By Stephen J. Laumakis

During this essentially written undergraduate textbook, Stephen Laumakis explains the foundation and improvement of Buddhist rules and ideas, concentrating on the philosophical rules and arguments provided and defended via chosen thinkers and sutras from a variety of traditions. He starts off with a comic strip of the Buddha and the Dharma, and highlights the origins of Buddhism in India. He then considers particular information of the Dharma with specified awareness to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology, and examines the advance of Buddhism in China, Japan, and Tibet, concluding with the guidelines of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. In each one bankruptcy he contains factors of key phrases and teachings, excerpts from fundamental resource fabrics, and displays of the arguments for every place. His booklet should be a useful advisor for all who're attracted to this wealthy and colourful philosophy.

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This fact was not lost on his immediate followers or the later Buddhist tradition, and they preserved it in the elements of his life story. Given this reading of his life, I would maintain that the most important metaphysical and epistemological ideas that we are introduced to in this ‘‘philosophical reading’’ of his biography include: Dhamma, interdependent arising, rta, duty, kamma, impermanence, dukkha, non-attachment, meditation, the ‘‘Middle Way,’’ wisdom, enlightenment, and nibbana. We shall be considering each of these ideas in more detail in subsequent chapters.

Understood in that way, the life of the Buddha and the context in which he lived it both serve as points of instruction to help us see what the Buddha himself saw, that ‘‘things,’’ including ourselves and the people and the material objects around us, do not exist in the ways we ordinarily think they do, at least not as we take them to be according to common sense. , discreet, self-contained, independently existing units or beings or substances) in the ordinary sense of that word. They literally are or at least minimally ought to be thought to be, instead, events or processes or happenings that causally interact with other ‘‘events’’ or ‘‘processes’’ or ‘‘happenings’’ in the same ways that the Mississippi river is a happening, or members of a community interacting 2 Armstrong (2001), Carrithers (1983), Kalupahana and Kalupahana (1982), Nanamoli (1972), Rahula (1974), and Strong (2001).

Each of these is an attempt to capture the Buddha’s account of causality. Kamma/Karma: Pali and Sanskrit terms for ‘‘act’’ or ‘‘action,’’ they refer to the connection between actions and their consequences that affect one’s life both in this world and after death. Moksa: The ultimate goal of many forms of Indian religious and philosophical practices, this term means liberation or release from the cycle of samsara. Nibbana/Nirvana: Literally, ‘‘to extinguish’’ or ‘‘blow out,’’ these Pali and Sanskrit terms refer initially to release from samsara and the end of suffering.

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