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The Edge of Certainty: Dilemmas on the Buddhist Path (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 31. März 2003

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 160 Seiten
  • Verlag: Nicolas-Hays Inc (31. März 2003)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0892540354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892540358
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,3 x 12,1 x 21 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 353.892 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Synopsis

This work challenges common conceptions and misconceptions about travelling the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Peter Fenner provides illuminating summaries of the orthodox and unorthodox ways of the many different Buddhist traditions and traces his own experience with such practices as mindfulness meditation, Vipassana, the transformational tools of Tantra, and the natural meditations of the Dzogchen tradition.

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von douglaspoetry am 27. März 2010
Format: Taschenbuch
Dieses Buch gibt eine herausragende Übersicht über die buddhistischen Schulen und beschreibt
Probleme, die westliche Buddhisten auf ihrem Weg haben können. Für Alle, die der englischen
Sprache mächtig sind, ist dieses Buch nur zu empfehlen.

Der Autor führt eine eigene generelle Zweigliederung der Schulen ein, die verdeutlicht, in welche
Ansatzprobleme und späteren Probleme Menschen, die den buddhistischen Pfad beschreiten, kommen können.
Es sind dies: zum einen die 'orthodoxen' Schulen, welche davon ausgehen, dass der Mensch sich bewusst
verändern muss, um zur Erleuchtung zu gelangen. Dieser Ansatz entspricht der Schule der Alten, der Theravada-Schule und geht von den original Palireden des Buddhas aus. Zum anderen gibt es die unorthodoxen Schulen,
die von der allgegenwärtigen Buddhanatur der Wesen ausgehen und daher keinen stringenten Weg des 'An-sich-arbeitens' proklamieren, sondern einfaches Loslassen der Dinge. Zu diesen Schulen gehören z.B. Zen-Schulen und die tibetische Ausrichtung der 'Großen Vollkommenheit' Dzogchen.

Wer also als vor allem westlicher Buddhist zwischen den Konzepten 'An-sich-arbeiten' und 'Loslassen' hin- und hergerissen ist, sollte dieses Buch kaufen.

Der klare Überblick, der daraus entsteht hilft zu verstehen, dass dies Alles Buddhadharma ist und es keinen besseren oder schlechteren Weg gibt, sondern nur den eigenen. Schon seine Heiligkeit der 14. Dalai Lama sagte:
'Jeder ist für seinen spirituellen Weg selbst verantwortlich!'.
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32 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
the Dilema of Trying to Relax 26. Februar 2004
Von J Doyle - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Fenner's book was one I'd been wanting to read a long time. First, he very clearly outlines the major schools and approaches of dharma in general, and specifically their orthodox/unorthodox stance. Most long term practicioners might well enjoy this lucid if brief survey, although it will be paricularly useful to newer students. Well written in some ways that struck me as quite fresh.
Anyway, I was geared up for the Final Showdown in the last chapter; Who's Cuisine Reigns Supreme? This boils down to the question: is enlightenment reached through sustained, gradual effort? Or, since enlightenment is an ultimate, unconditioned state, (not 'caused' in any way), would it not follow that nothing can be done since it is already and always the case? Here, effort only masks this Truth that cannot be masked since it is the mask as well.....Utimate irony.
This boils down to the great dilema; Striving only creates more striving; thinking more thinking; yet do we really think that we can reach realization without effort? How did those who realize that there is nothing that needs to be done, or can be done, reach that realization? The master Longchenpa, in one cited text, goes to great lengths to mock the notion of any path's usefulness, then elsewhere in the same text speaks of the neccessity of path! Likewise, dzogchen takes the same disparaging approach, yet is the last stage of a gradual path requiring great effort and gusto. I love it.
Well, of course that's the Edge of Certainty, and a razor's edge it is. The book is koan like in the sense that it's devotion to truth means it won't settle or dwell anywhere, but everywhere and nowhere. Frustrating to the brain, intriguing to the heart!
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent journey through the rabbit hole into Buddhist wonderland 22. August 2006
Von Timothy Conway - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is quite a delightful, insightful and very stimulating read, indeed!

Peter has, with great cogency and originality engaged in what is clearly none other than "meta-communication" (Prof. Gregory Bateson's useful old idea of communicating about the kind/quality of ongoing communication) to lay out basic conundrums in Buddhist spirituality. To wit: Buddhist traditions urge that one spend lots of time, energy and even money to practice hard and long. But, asks Peter, "Does 'what we are doing' have any spiritual value?"

He then explores the big differences between the "discourse of change" (you must change from your unenlightened state to the enlightened state) and the "discourse of immediacy" (i.e., you're already realized, "this is it").

Peter's exploration and critique actually apply to all spiritual paths that have a mystical "sudden" enlightenment dimension, not just Buddhism.

After introducing readers to the basic Buddhist "4 Noble Truths," he outlines with great clarity the practices and methods of each of the "orthodox" major paths of Buddhism--Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantra. These are all "orthodox" in Peter's schema because they involve methods said to bring about or "cause" enlightenment and therefore involve the mindset that "there is something to do, to get, something I need to know and be careful about--i.e., the "discourse of change."

Peter then goes on to explore the "unorthodox" "paths" of Dzogchen and Mahamudra and certain other teachings like those of Sahajayana sage Saraha, Zen master Bankei, et al. These are "unorthodox" spiritual teachings because the message is "there is nothing to do, this is it, there isn't anything to get, there's nothing wrong with you as you are in your natural state"--i.e., these teachings express the "discourse of immediacy."

In the book's final chapter, "The Edge of Certainty," Fenner brings the contrasts into bold relief, and he invites us to examine any of our own intrinsic attitudes that assume or dismiss a sense of a problematic "dilemma." He then brilliantly makes use of metacommunication and Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka "four-cornered" logic to unfold the discussion along surprisingly fresh lines of inquiry.

I won't give anything away here... Buy and read this elegant little book to find out much more about Buddhism than you probably ever imagined.

Peter's Madhyamaka training and expertise serve him very well in this book(he is, among other things, not just a student of but also a teacher of this "Middle Way" of "no position," having authored a serious text, *The Ontology of the Middle Way,* Holland: Kluwer, 1991).

The Edge of Certainty, therefore, is highly recommended, not only for Buddhists, but also Vedantins (of both Advaita and Dvaita persuasions and everything in between), Taoists, Sufis, Christians, Muslims/Sufis, Jews/Kabbalists, Shamanists, and New Agers--that is, anyone involved in spiritual life. They will learn much about their own attitudes and motivations as well as learn about all the major aspects of Buddhism.

Whatever your background and temperament, I promise you that you will be challenged, stimulated, and, i daresay, significantly "enlightened"!
10 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Or Midst of Muddle 9. September 2006
Von calmly - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
An introduction to the different schools of Buddhism that steps into some advanced challenges to conventional Buddhism based on whether a method is necessary or even harmful. Seeing all these variations of Buddhism one may question whether it doesn't reflect some inadequency within the enterprise.

If conventional Buddhism traffics in imprecise terms like consciousness, the mind, and enlightenment, it seems no wonder that many rebirths would be needed. If also seems no wonder than an unconventional Buddhism would arise that would question the common meaning or use of such terms. You may wonder after several millenia why so few enlightened beings may be found. There may be some value in all this, but if you are not skeptical, ask yourself what would make you skeptical? There are many systems out there that offer a numbing comfort.

Most of the presentation in this book seems derivative. Fenner seems to rely heavily (perhaps not without good reason) on the ancient Dzogchen master Longchenpa to challenge conventional Buddhism. Longchenpa is quoted largely without much more content than you or I might provide although with some elaboration by Fenner: you wonder why you wouldn't be better off to read a translation of a complete work by Longchenpa along with a commentary that provides some context (e.g. history of religion) for him. I suppose Fenner can only do so much in an introductory work.

Although Fenner is listed on the back cover as having been a Tibetan Buddhist monk for 9 years, the text seems academic, with little if any direct mention of his experience as a monk. I may have missed some parts somehow as the part cover also says he "traces his own experiences", but that may refer to the intellectual re-tracing done for this academic study.

After reading this, I remembered why I abandonned Eastern religions about a decade ago: one becomes lost in dilemmas that may be word games, bad definitions, head trips, who knows without an Eastern background. Lately I've been attracted back to the East by the texts of the ancient Dzogchen masters, who seem to speak directly to me somehow. One big dilemma on the Buddhist path, including the Dzogchen path,is finding and recognizing a teacher who can guide you without overdoing it. Dzogchen texts may contain warnings about the dangers of Dzogchen practice and the need for a teacher to learn about the nondual state, but how is it we remain in the dual state safely for lack of finding a Dzogchen teacher to guide us?

Another reason I abandonned Eastern teachings for a long while seems present throughout this book: the lack of concrete examples from daily life. This kind of philosophical Buddhism in particular (if not Buddhism in general) moves to abstractions that make it very difficult to undestand whether one's understanding of Buddhism amounts to a practical gain at all: how is it that so many people who have gained Buddhist realization seem equipped by it only to teach that realization?

As Fenner points out, Dzogchen can stand outside Buddhism. So it may have value even if Buddhism doesn't but that value may be independent of conferring the authority of a teacher or a popularizer. If years from now, Westerners are all chatting about their nonduality and paying tribute to teachers, is that a gain?
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