The Buddhist field of knowledge is now so vast that few can master all of it, and the study and application of its principles must be a matter of choice. One may choose the magnificent moral philosophy of Theravada, the oldest school, or the Zen training of Japan; or special themes such as the doctrine of No-self, the Mahayana emphasis on compassion or the universal law of Karma and Rebirth. But the intense self-discipline needed for true spiritual experience calls for specialization of subject and technique.
In this reissue, first published in 1974, Christmas Humphreys takes us on a personal journey through Buddhism, offering insights into the many different paths, doctrines and approaches to Buddhism. This collection of twenty essays ranges from history to doctrine, and from the rise of Buddhism in the West through to the finer points of its everyday practice. It is a truly valuable piece of Western Buddhist literature and its reissue will be welcomed be scholars of Buddhism and interested laypeople alike.
Part 1: The Buddha and his Enlightenment 1. The Buddha’s Englightenment 2. Buddhism and the Esoteric Tradition 3. The Two Concentric Circles of Buddhism in Tibet 4. Self and No-Self Part 2: Buddhist Doctrines 5. Central Themes of Buddhism 6. The Precipice and the Mountain 7. The Buddhist Concept of Dharma 8. Karma and Rebirth 9. The Head and the Heart 10. The Arhat and the Bodhisattva Ideal 11. Absolutely Relative 12. A Beginner’s Guide to Zen 13. Soto Zen Part 3: Buddhism Comes West 14. Buddhism Comes West 15. Why Buddhism? 16. Zen Comes West Part 4: On Doing Buddhism 17. On Doing Buddhism 18. Buddhism in Daily Life 19. Should Buddhists Meditate? 20. Concentration and Meditation