måndag 28 september 2009

Bookreview: "What Makes You Not a Buddhist"


Have you ever wondered what makes a buddhist a buddhist?
In the book “What makes you a Buddhist” Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche talks about the fundamentals of buddhism and what makes a Buddhist a Buddhist.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is Tibetan Lama.
He is also the film director of critically acclaimed movies The Cup and Travellers and Magicians.

The way in which he expresses himself is both funny and provocative, as he moves from one conception/misconception challenging many of the beliefs about Buddhists and Buddhism ocurring today.
This straight forward books takes you from the basic principles of Buddhism and encourages you to analyze its roots, cut right through to the heart of Buddhism and share the view that far from the shaved heads, robes, meditation and peaceful smiles, Buddhism has a more practical approach to our everyday existence.
In chapters as “everything is emptiness” and “Nirvana is beyond concepts” he nails down his case both with stories from the buddha and the Kanon, and from everyday life, and in doing so presenting his view of the fundamentals of buddhism.

For me this is a very good book.
Finally an Tibetan Buddhist stepping out and giving everybody an very much needed kick in the behind.
A fair warning, this is not a book for those that want Buddhism to be about love, compassion and brotherhood.
But is an essential book, in that it puts forth the fundamentals of buddhism in a very concise way.

The essence of Buddhism is beyond culture, but it is practiced by many different cultures, which use their traditions as the cup that holds the teachings. If the elementsof these cultural trappings help other beings without causing harm, and if they don’t contradict the four truths, then Siddharta would encourage such practices.


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