This is one of those rare, mind-boggling books that has the power to stay with you for a very long time. While I have read other books on Buddhism before, this was an excellent introduction and refresher that covered everything from the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path to the power of meditation. There are many aspects of Buddhism that resonate with me, and very few that do not. Here are some of the notes that I took while reading- about ten pages of notes (some are direct quotes from the author, quotes from others, or just notes that had meaning to me):
- "You're not going to find truth outside yourself. Truth is found by living truly- in your own authentic way."
- Search inward for answers.
- Unrealistic expectations tarnish our appreciation of life.
- Do not reduce life to an ongoing competition.
- "No one has a corner on the market of truth."
- You must acknowledge that enlightenment is a real possibility.
- "The Buddha never said he would save you; in Buddhism you save yourself." (This is a big one for me. Love this idea.)
- Do not overlook the miracle of the present moment.
- "Small doubt, small enlightenment; big doubt, big enlightenment."
- "With Buddha Dharma there is nothing to believe and everything to discover. The Buddha encouraged seekers to investigate and inquire for themselves."
- Do not be overly influenced by and dependent on the opinions and reactions of others.
- Nothing in pure Buddhism encourages blind faith or cult-like environments. The Buddha challenged his followers to open their minds and think for themselves.
- "Only our searching for happiness prevents us from seeing it."
I can't recommend this book enough to all those who are intellectually curious and concerned about leading a meaningful life.