Buddhism Is Not What You Think: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs

Buddhism Is Not What You Think: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs

Steve Hagen / Jul 16, 2019

Buddhism Is Not What You Think Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs Hagan s book will appeal to readers interested in what true Zen practice is supposed to be about beyond all the popular images and colorful stories Robert M Pirsig New York Times bestselling author o

  • Title: Buddhism Is Not What You Think: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs
  • Author: Steve Hagen
  • ISBN: 9780060730574
  • Page: 440
  • Format: Paperback
  • Hagan s book will appeal to readers interested in what true Zen practice is supposed to be about beyond all the popular images and colorful stories Robert M Pirsig, New York Times bestselling author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Buddhism is Not What You Think is a clear, direct, and engaging guide to the most essential elements of spiritual inquiry at Hagan s book will appeal to readers interested in what true Zen practice is supposed to be about beyond all the popular images and colorful stories Robert M Pirsig, New York Times bestselling author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Buddhism is Not What You Think is a clear, direct, and engaging guide to the most essential elements of spiritual inquiry attention, intention, honesty with oneself, compassion, and the desire to awaken A renowned Zen teacher, Steve Hagen offers a valuable hands on guidebook in which examples from everyday life are presented alongside stories from Buddhist teachers past and present to banish misconceptions and inspire the newcomer and the knowledgeable practitioner alike Buddhism is Not What You Think it is both and less.

    Buddhism Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha, supposedly born Siddh rtha Gautama, and also known as the Tath gata thus gone and Sakyamuni sage of the Sakyas Early texts have his personal name as Gautama or Gotama Pali without any mention of Siddh rtha, Achieved the Goal which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear. The religion of Buddhism Religious Tolerance Religions of the world Menu Buddhism, based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama Quotation by Siddhrtha Gautama Buddha Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Buddhism in Japan Buddhism in Japan has been practiced since its official introduction in CE according to the Nihon Shoki from Baekje, Korea, by Buddhist monks Buddhism has had a major influence on the development of Japanese society and remains an influential aspect of the culture to this day. In modern times, Japan s popular schools of Buddhism are Pure Land Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon Buddhism About Buddhism About Buddhism Welcome to About Buddhism Here you will find some information on Buddhism to help you gain a basic understanding of this ancient religion and philosophy. BBC Religion Buddhism Nov , Buddhism is a tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities. A Basic Buddhism Guide Minute Introduction What is Buddhism Buddhism is a religion to about million people around the world The word comes from budhi , to awaken. Sacred Texts Buddhism Chinese Buddhism by Joseph Edkins A comprehensive discussion of Chinese Buddhism Buddhism In Tibet by Emil Schlaginteweit One of the few th century books about Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism in a Nutshell Is Buddhism a Religion Is it a religion It is neither a religion in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, for it is not a system of faith and worship owing any allegiance to a supernatural being. Stoicism Buddhism Lessons, Similarities and Differences Stoicism and Buddhism are two remarkably similar philosophies that were created independently thousands of miles apart Buddhism was founded in present day Nepal around B.C and Stoicism began in Athens, Greece around B.C.They both advocate seeking happiness from an internal source, so that the ups and downs of life will not be your masters. Comparison of Buddhism Christianity Religious Tolerance Buddhism Comparison of Buddhism Christianity Sponsored link Comparison of Buddhism with Christianity Since so many American adults are converting from Christianity to Buddhism, it may be useful to compare the two.

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    About "Steve Hagen"

      • Steve Hagen

        Stephen Tokan Steve Hagen, R shi, born 1945 is the founder and head teacher of the Dharma Field Zen Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a Dharma heir of Dainin Katagiri roshi.He is a published author of several books on Buddhism Among them, Buddhism Plain Simple is one of the top five bestselling Buddhism books in the United States.He has been a student of Buddhist thought and practice since 1967 In 1975 he became a student of Dainin Katagiri Roshi in Minneapolis and was ordained in 1979 He has studied with teachers in the U.S Asia, and Europe, and in 1989 received Dharma transmission endorsement to teach from Katagiri Roshi He is currently head teacher at Dharma Field.


    1. "Whatever you hold to, let it go. Step into this moment. Come back to just this. It takes some effort. But come back, come back, come back to just this. Just see what you've been ignoring for so long".This is how Steve Hagen ends this immensely comforting and insightful book. I picked up this book during 2013 after some personal struggles that left me feeling a lot of things, both physical and emotional, none of which were comfortable, or pleasant or things that I wanted to be experiencing. Earl [...]

    2. Simple and free flowing book, Buddhism Is Not What You Think written by Steve Hagen talks about what reality is as per Zen Buddhism. The author resonates one central point in the entire book and that is, reality is about direct experience of the real time than mere feelings and thoughts, which happen to be in constant flux in conscious and subconscious level in human mind.Through various real life examples, Hagen illustrates the point of perceiving awareness of the current instances that is taki [...]

    3. I really like this book; in fact, I reread it this fall. The concepts behind Buddhism are so elegantly simple, yet I find them difficult to absorb and digest. I guess that's the challenge, right? Hagen writes in a clear and straightforward way, illustrating major points of the religion with everyday examples to which the average Western reader can relate. I find him to be an inspiring and thought-provoking teacher, and I would recommend this book as a good place to start if you are interested in [...]

    4. I prefer quites over reviews:53According to Bodhidharma (and to Zen), if we make enlightenment—or enlightened people—into something special and set them apart from others and from ourselves, we abuse them. In the process, we also abuse ourselves. Thus enlightenment becomes remote, otherworldly, mysterious, and (seemingly) virtually impossible to realize. Zen is about freeing ourselves from such deluded thinking. 57-58Try to nail down what anything is. You can’t. It’s like trying to answe [...]

    5. Buddhism is REALLY not what I thought!The author beautifully sheds light what being enlightened really is not. You might be asking what it is then? The answer is: that is the wrong question to ask!Here are some key points I've found most important,First thing first, Buddhism is not a belief system, a follower is not required to believe in anything supernatural. Buddha was a human, who found out that our suffering is caused by our craving to get happiness. Imagine our life as a beach, there are t [...]

    6. This could have been interesting if he hadn't reiterated his only message on every single page. Instead it was just incredibly boring.The message is in the title - don't bother reading the book.

    7. Buddhism is Not What You Think-Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs by Steve HagenIn his clear and conversational style, much as he did in Buddhism Plain and Simple, Steven Hagen tackles what is a thorny issue for most people coming to Zen practice hoping to "get enlightened" "feel blissed out by Nirvana" or those who come to Zen practice hoping to "get" anything at all. As he so simply states through 43 chapters, there is no getting what all beings innately possess (Buddha nature) and no becoming wha [...]

    8. Beautifully written - I'm learning a lot. A very detailed deposition of modern Buddhism that debunks the western-hemisphere initiated misunderstandings and biases towards the ONLY life philosophy that Albert Einstein mentioned as being worthy of further consideration.

    9. One of the best books you will find on Buddhism. Hagen gives clear descriptions of Buddhist thought and in a way that gives the reader a clear understanding of the fundamental concepts that are key to understanding the Buddha's message. Highly recommended.

    10. This is a no-nonsense book on Buddhism and perhaps the most exceptional one I've ever read. The subtitle "Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs" is why I chose this particular book. I believe that beliefs are sometimes so unbelievable that they are hard to believe.

    11. Buddhism for the pragmatic American. Explained well with none of that as-soon-as-you-try-to-explain-it-you-fail stuff.

    12. Terrific book. A lot of practical sense and getting to grips with real Buddhism. I like Steve Hagen's books and have a couple of others—they're all worth reading.

    13. A handful of months ago, I went on a meditation/mindfulness/Buddhism reading bonanza. I tore through quite a few books on the subject and feel like I got a lot out of them. This book came highly recommended as a good beginner's primer on the subject, and I mostly agree. There's plenty of good information here, and I found myself underlining and marking pages to return to regularly.For some reason, though, this book took me forever to finish. I would pick it up, read a chapter, put it down for th [...]

    14. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It presents a broad range of topics and discusses them from a Buddhist/Zen perspective. However, I do not agree with the author that Buddhism is not a "belief system". It is, but couched in different terms, riddles, and obfuscation. It does not share the extensive dogma of the Judaeo-Christian model but does proffer a belief system regarding life and the cosmos.While reading the book, I began to reflect upon the Seinfeld episodes that promoted the idea of selling [...]

    15. Enjoyable and introspective. Hagen discusses the spirit of Buddhism from a Zen perspective: the illusion of ego, the breaking of subject-object dualism, the nature of sudden enlightenment, the art of manifesting wisdom in the world, and more. Many of his comments reflected perspectives/attitudes I had already discovered in myself through reading the primary sources (Yuanwu, Huangpo, Huineng, etc.) - but he delivers them in a holistic and polished manner, inspiring the reader to practice Zen more [...]

    16. Couldn't understand half of it Particularly after reading conversation with God -1 , I feel it's boring in comparison. It seems to carry the same message but isn't presented well. I am quiet disappointed .

    17. I'm no Buddhist but this was the best book I've read all year. There are so many thoughts and viewpoints explored in this book anyone would be able to walk away with something. My view on life has been changed forever after reading, i can see now lol!

    18. A truly inspiring and enlightening book. Boiling down the concepts of Buddhism to their most basic and fundamental.

    19. I picked up this book for a couple of reasons. General interest in "what is Buddhism", a few times my behavior has elicited a question from a friend if I was studying the subject because of a comment or action on my part. (e.g. not being upset at someone because I felt, how can it hurt me if I choose not to have an ego about it…)I have to laugh that this book tried to explain Buddhism and being “fully awake and aware of reality” without being able to state how one does it, or what it reall [...]

    20. I'm surprised I didn't jot this down, but in one of the chapters Steve Hagen makes a distinction between Belief and Knowledge. If I remember correctly, there are two insights packed into this distinction.First that Science is about Belief, which maybe something materialists like me may not be comfortable with at first glance but actually kind of makes sense. It just so happens that Science has a very good way of controlling belief so that we're not just believing any old thing, but the bits and [...]

    21. This is one of those popular books on Buddhism which seeks to come at its subject from an original angle, presumably so that wisdom that has survived millennia can be commercially viable. In this case, the angle is revealed by the ambiguous title: easily misinterpreted as meaning 'Buddhism is not what you think [it is]', but properly explained in the book as meaning 'Buddhism is not [about] what you think' (but actually about letting go of thought). Yes, it's a clever smart-ass title, but a very [...]

    22. Hagen writes about abstract and philosophical subjects in simple language. I found it quite an enjoyable read. Much of the book is devoted to ideas such as impermanence, oneness, and enlightenment. Compassion, on the other hand, receives relatively little attention. This markedly differs from many other Buddhist books where compassion is often a big focus (compassion itself is also more compatible to western values and Christianity, whereas emptiness and impermanence might appear counter-intuiti [...]

    23. I've been studying with Sogyal Rinpoches RIGPA foundation now for two years. This past year in class they introduced us to the notion's of how we use concepts to explain that which is beyond concepts, which kinda makes it hard to write a review with any obvious (concept based) value.This book really does a beautifully direct teaching of the above. How it makes the point over and over about what reality is and isn't, is the absolute take out from the book for me. I think if I hadn't had 2 years w [...]

    24. Some of the ideas put forth in this book, especially those concerning various Zen conceptions of life and reality, are pretty nice thoughts and have even been pleasant and helpful in everyday life. However, Hagen is unclear at best on a number of important philosophical ideas and claims. Often he falls back on the claim that if we could "just see" reality for what it is in this moment, we would know the truth of Zen teaching.As an overview of Buddhist teachings and beliefs, this book is useful I [...]

    25. Well written and straightforward, as straightforward as the subject allows. A bit of practical advice is offered: "Continuously examine what you're doing, what you're thinking, what you're saying. Observe what you believe, what you say. Do this over and over again, without supposing that a time will ever come when this activity will stop. Let logic and authority drop away under their own weight. What remains is what has been right here all along: Reality, before we try to make something of it."

    26. "Buddhism is not what you think" refers to the view of Zen Buddhists on how we all look at the world around us and ourselves in it. This flawed view of everything consists of seeing the world, and our minds immediately applying countless moulds - our concepts like "cat", "book" and "rain" - on this view. Steve Hagen goes to great lengths in his book to teach us that the reality does not consist of the concepts we use, but merely is the way it is. All we need to do is to just see the world, and n [...]

    27. Perhaps a slightly less metaphor-heavy alternative to Charlotte Joko Beck's books, this is probably a great introduction to zen. Some of the examples he uses verge on the gimmicky, and feel at odds with the rest of the work. I also wasn't convinced by the latter sections which call upon rather speculatory science - yes, it's really pretty interesting, but also mostly irrelevant, I would have thought, detracting from the major themes of the book.

    28. This book absolutely blew my mind. It didn't make me become a buddhist but it changed the way I look at the world and the things that happen around me. The chapter that talks about the vibrations of atoms and how the past/present/future is literally all happening at once was the best thing I've ever read.

    29. This is a book that's half-and-half for me. Hagen explains many teachings of Buddhism, however, he does get repetitive, and his constant emphasis on concept of "reality", "truth" and "seeing" is difficult to comprehend. The book might be more suited for practitioners, rather than for someone just getting into understanding Buddhism.

    30. Honesty and clarityThis is an absolutely beautiful book, written in direct and simple language, that points the reader back to explore the simplicity of what is. In its essence, Buddhism is about reality, and that's what I enjoyed about this book. It's not a book on historical Buddhism, it's about a naked looking at right here right now. I very much recommend this book.

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