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Guide to the Buddhist Path

Guide to the Buddhist Path
Awaiting stock, will ship in 10 – 15 business days
245 x 196
The Buddhist tradition, with its numerous schools and teachings, can understandably feel daunting. Which teachings really matter? How can one begin to practice Buddhism in a systematic way? This can be confusing territory. Without a guide one can easily get dispirited or lost. In this highly readable handbook, Sangharakshita is a sure guide. The book is in two parts: the first devoted to the Three Jewels of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the second to the Threefold Way of Morality, Meditation and Wisdom.

Profoundly experienced in Buddhist practice, familiar with its main schools, and founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community, Sangharakshita sorts out fact from myth and theory from practice, to reveal the principal ideals and teachings of Buddhism.

This far-reaching guide has been popular over the years and WP is very proud to release the third edition. In addition to a beautiful new cover, the book now includes short introductions to each chapter to further help the reader. The result is a reliable and extensive guide to this inspiring path.
Preface and Acknowledgements 5

Part ONE 11
Introduction: The Approach to Buddhism 13
The Buddha 21
Who is the Buddha? 22
Archetypal Symbolism in the Biography of the Buddha 30
The Symbolism of the Five Buddhas, ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ 44
The Five Wisdoms 56
The Dharma 59
The Word of the Buddha 60
Wrong View, Right View, Perfect View 63
The Wheel of Life and the Spiral Path 67
The Six Realms 72
The Twelve Links 79
Stopping the Wheel 87
The Spiral Path 92
The Sangha 105
The Traditional Significance of the Sangha 106
The Primacy of Going for Refuge 112
The Nucleus of a New Society 116
Communication 119
Friendship 121
Unfailing Mutual Kindness 123

Part TWO 127
Introduction: The Path of Regular Steps
and the Path of Irregular Steps 129
Morality 139
The Five Precepts 143
The Principle of Non-Violence 146
The Principle of Non-Exploitation 148
Contentment 150
Levels of Communication 153
Awareness 160
Meditation 163
A System of Meditation 164
The Five Basic Methods of Meditation 172
Alienated Awareness and Integrated Awareness 177
Maitra, the Four Brahma-Viharas 184
The Dhyànas 188
The Symbolism of the Five Elements in the Stupa 193
Stupa Visualization Practice 199
Wisdom 201
The Three Characteristics of Existence 202
Bodhicitta 210
How the Bodhicitta Arises 215
Enlightenment, Eternity, and Time 218
‘Goal’ of Nirvana 226
Enlightenment 229

Appendices 233
Further Reading 233
Notes 236
Index 252