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Buddhism is Not What You Think: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs    by Steve Hagen order for
Buddhism is Not What You Think
by Steve Hagen
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)
Paperback, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This small book explores a topic that is both absurdly simple and incredibly complex - how to wake up from our muddled mental states, experience with more clarity, and 'approach the world with bare, naked attention'. Zen teacher Steve Hagen tells us in his title that Buddhism is Not What You Think, and then attempts to explain what it is.

There's an interesting discussion ('We've Got It All Backward') of belief and knowledge in science and religion. Hagen tells us that the Buddha taught 'rebirth, not reincarnation', and that 'With each moment, the universe is reborn'. He explains meditation as 'simply collecting the mind', something that can occur anywhere, and in any position. He quotes traditional Buddhist sources like Dogen Zenji ('What is Reality? An icicle forming in fire'), poets like Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, and quantum physics, to make his points.

Buddhism is Not What You Think attempts to explain what is essentially unexplainable. This is not a book that you can read once and comprehend, but rather one to re-read over time, for deeper understanding.

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