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Summary

General interest in Buddism has never been higher. The story and teachings of a man who lived 2,500 years ago have a special resonance for us today, perhaps because he taught a way of life that was not based on belief in a creator god but rather on personal experience. "Test my words for yourself," he said. But what lies behind those distinctive images of the Buddha, seated with unshakeable poise, with eyes half-closed and a slight smile? How did Buddhism develop, from the austere style which governed the life of the yellow-robed monks in ancient India to the more colorful, even magical expression of Tibet? And where does Zen fit in?

Jinananda, a Western-born Buddhist, divides the subject into the Three Jewels: The Buddha (a life of the historical figure), the Dharma (an account of the fundamental teachings), and the Sangha (the disciples, both lay and monastic, throughout the world). With extracts from some of the main sutras, Jinananda explains the key concepts that lie behind a system of thought and behavior which, like the universe itself, is continuously expanding.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©1997 Jinananda (P)2012 Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great audio presentation!

I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent presentation. The narration by David Timson was particularly good. He spoke with great clarity and conviction. There are some difficult concepts covered but very well conveyed throughout.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent overview.

The book clearly presents the basic historical perspective of the life of the Buddha, and explains basic Buddhist concepts clearly. It provides the background for understanding the differences and similarities in the different Buddhist communities. The narrators are very skillful, and each time I listen to the book, I learn something new.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LeperSmurf
  • 16-11-04

Rocking...

I've got a lot of audible books on Buddhism. So far this has been my favorite one, and have listened to it numerous times. Lot's of information and told in a very easy way to listen to. The voice they used for Gotama Buddha is now burned into my brain as the voice of Gotama Buddha.

Check it out, it's totally worth it.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Louise
  • 13-05-05

Well Written and Superbly Narrated

Makes you feel like a child sipping hot cocoa while a loving adult reads an adventure to you.

Take a break from Tricycle, Chodron, Surya Das, et al and get back to basics with this beautifully read tale that reminds us to stay aware of the core of Buddhist thought.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • 22-06-05

Wonderful

Entertaining, informative and inspiring. Explains all of the basic concepts of Buddhism, including conditionality. Play this CD over and over. It's always enlightening and interesting!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 09-07-07

To the point...

This is one of the best introductions to Buddhism that I've listened to. Just listening to it calms my nerves. A great listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Micah J. Hall
  • 01-02-11

An excellent listen

Really glad I selected this title with this months credit. It brought a lot of clarity to the subject and the way it is broken down into Buddha, Dharma, Sangha really works. Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Valerie
  • 19-11-09

Informative. Challenging. and Gentle.

It takes several times through to understand what is so simply set out... And it's lovely. The voice of David Carradine as the Buddha is a perfect fit.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KRS
  • 15-07-18

Clear and Interesting

I got this to take a break from modern Buddhist teaching and its "Feel good/Self-help" quality and review the basics. This book is a clear and comforting path. It covers the main story of the Buddha, important parts of the Dharma, and the history of the different lineages and sangha. The reading is enlivening, and it is written as a logical step-by-step understanding. Definitely a good way to review the "bones" of the practice.

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  • Teri
  • 01-04-17

excellent information

I very much enjoyed this book. It explains much about Buddhism. Very good book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ian D.
  • 12-08-11

magnificent

i love The Middle Way: The Story of Buddhism. it's impeccably and passionately read (and by "passionately," i do NOT mean "over the top" - not in the least - but simply that the readers clearly care very much about what they're reading, and speak each word and phrase with appropriate feeling and intent), highly educational, and provocative of insight; no single influence i've encountered over the years has done more to interest me in the possibility of stepping onto the Buddhist path, nor to help me along in my understanding. i only wish i could find more sources of information that take so purely philosophical and non-religious a view of Buddhism. my personal opinion is that religion is a refuge of the weak-minded - indeed, as this very book points out, "it is much easier to follow rules and commandments than to be aware" - and i don't see any more reason to saddle Buddhism with the taint of "religion" than i do to so saddle Christ's teachings. this non-religious approach is one of the great attributes of this book, and i only hope i'll be able to find such purity of approach elsewhere.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kacy
  • 30-11-06

Not the best

I listened the the entire book. But I was not impressed from the very beginning. I found that it did not flow easily. It was almost rough to listen to. It was short though, so I didn't feel that I wasted too much time. I could have done without having purchased it though.

1 of 10 people found this review helpful