On Joesph Goldstein's Book, "One Dharma"
These notes briefly comment on Joeseph Goldstein's book, "One Dharma"
that beautifully describes Buddhism from a westerner's perspective.
Goldstein's aim is to integrate what is common to the many sects
that practice Buddhism. Since these developed more or less independently
in many countries without any central authority, and over 25 centuries,
there are many differences in emphasis and practice among them.
Goldstein beautifully sets forth what is common and essential to Buddhism,
starting by tracing the hisory and four essential motivations (which I question)
for Buddhism, precious human birth, impermanence, karma, and samsara.
The awakening of faith is used as the essential introduction to Buddha's guidelines
of doing no harm, acting for the good, and purifying the mind, each of which is the
subject of a chapter. Lovingkindness, Compassion, Liberation through
Nonclinging, Nirvana, and The Sword of Wisdom are each treated in successive chapters.
The book covers much the same ground as Thich Nhat Hahn's book "The Heart of
Buddha's Teaching" and Bhante Henepola Gunaratana' book, "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness".
Each book is very beautifully written but quite different, however, probably reflecting
the profound differences in backgrounds and experience among the authors.
Goldstein's book is easier for westerners to appreciate and use as a basis for practice.
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