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What Makes You Not a Buddhist [Kindle Edition]

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
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"Here at last is a crisp new voice in Tibetan Buddhism. . . . There is much food for thought in this short book for Buddhist students and for anyone interested in the ongoing adaptation of traditional Eastern wisdom into postmodern Western settings."—Publishers Weekly

"A pleasant refresher or an excellent introduction to Buddhism, even for those who choose not to be Buddhists."— New Age Retailer


So you think you're a Buddhist? Think again. Tibetan Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, one of the most creative and innovative lamas teaching today, throws down the gauntlet to the Buddhist world, challenging common misconceptions, stereotypes, and fantasies. With wit and irony, Khysentse urges readers to move beyond the superficial trappings of Buddhism—beyond the romance with beads, incense, or exotic robes—straight to the heart of what the Buddha taught.


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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen "What makes you not a Buddhist" 18. März 2010
Von Kai
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
D.J.K. presents very clearly what defines a Buddhist. I find this book very important in this age of naive fascination with all things "esoteric" and "oriental". Buddhism is not essentially esoteric, in fact it is very simple: it is a way of thinking, of viewing the world and yourself.

In addition, as a translator of this book (into another language), I'd like to point out that this text is pure joy to translate: very clear, logical language, the reasonings are easy to follow and render themselves just as well in another language.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Delightfully different 21. April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Ich hatte schon viel von diesem Buch gehört. In buddhistischen Kreisen erfreut es sich eines gewissen Bekanntheitsgrades. Über Ostern habe ich mich nun herangetraut. Und siehe da, aus meiner Sicht wird es seinem Ruf vollauf gerecht!

Man darf es allerdings nicht oberflächlich oder unter Zeitdruck lesen. Sonst könnte man leicht den Eindruck gewinnen, ach, schon wieder ein "lustiges" Dharma-Buch, das auf modern getrimmt ist. Doch es geht doch deutlich tiefer, als "nur" westliche Leser zu unterhalten.

Ein klein wenig "einlenken" möchte ich allerdings. Es ist sicher Geschmackssache, inwieweit ein im Westen lebender Tibeter sich an die moderne westliche Kultur "anbiedern" sollte. Es werden zahlreiche Beispiele und Anekdoten aus dem aktuellen Zeitgeschehen gewählt, und manchmal habe ich schon gedacht, weniger wäre mehr. Zumal erstaunlich ist, wie schnell die "Halbwertszeit" von Skandalen etc. doch erreicht ist. Manche Anekdoten wirkten schon wieder verstaubt - wie George Bush, oder Monica Lewinsky.

Mein zweiter, deutlich kleinerer Einwand besteht darin, dass der Autor eben einen ganz bestimmten Zugang zum Wesen "des Buddhismus" wählt, der aus seiner eigenen Tradition her begründet ist. Er wählt die "4 Siegel" als Ausgangspunkt - wenn man diese nicht kenne oder anerkenne, "sei man eben kein Buddhist". Diese Aussage würde ich mit Vorsicht genießen! Es gibt da in anderen Traditionen durchaus andere Schwerpunkte.

In allem anderen aber finde ich das Buch sehr gelungen!
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  86 Rezensionen
107 von 112 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The best 130 pages on Buddhism 14. März 2007
Von S. A. Richards - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
What Makes You Not A Buddhist is structured around four main chapters, each of which explore the four main truths of Buddhism (Chapter 1: Fabrication and Impermanence, Chapter 2: Emotion and Pain, Chapter 3: Everything Is Emptiness, Chapter 4: Nirvana Is beyond Concepts). Sandwiched in-between these are an interesting and insightful introduction and conclusion (for a change). In each of these chapters, the Buddha's teaching about the nature of impermanence (annica) is set out and explored, as well as how this affects our understanding of everything else. One of the nice things about this book is that unlike many other books on Buddhism I have read, although the story of Siddhartha's quest for Enlightenment is once again included, it is done so within the context of a wider discussion of the Buddha's teaching. One learns about Siddhartha's family, his desire to find truth, and his becoming the Buddha at the same time one learns about what it is to be and become a Buddhist... and the really nice thing about this is that it is done in an interesting and engaging manner, not in a dry text-book fashion as so many other books on Buddhism I have read have tended to do. This really is a brilliant short little introduction to 'Buddhism'.

The range of ways the truth of impermanence is discussed in the book is impressive. For instance, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse reflects on how morality changes, how our craving for moral, scientific and religious certainty is due to a fear of the unknown (grounded in a fear of uncertainty), how any belief in immortality is based on false notions of a permanent self, how we can overcome depression and despair by realising that everything can and does change, why we will never be truly happy (as this can never last), and how killing another life for the preservation of or sake of our own, is the ultimate expression of misguided self-importance. In the end, we are led to see the world as Siddhartha did, whilst he was seated under the tree at Bodh Gaya - this being that nothing is permanent, and that everything we know of ourselves and the world is merely grounded in appearances.

'Ultimately one must abandon to path to enlightenment. If you still define yourself as a Buddhist, you are not a buddha yet.' (p.106)

This is an amazing little book, and I am so glad that I read it; no more so than because I now realise the paradox of actually writing about the notion of 'Buddhism' - for this can only be done if there is something permanent called 'Buddhism' (and 'Buddhists'). However, this is also where I struggled with the whole aspect of 'Buddhism' itself. For if there really is no permanently existing thing, then what is this book about, and how can we speak of the centrality of the four truths? Although this book concludes that the only permanent thing is impermanence, this is surely undermined by the relativity which inevitably accompanies it? I just hope that Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse adds a further volume to address this matter further...
103 von 110 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen What do Yoda and George Bush have to do with Buddhism? 23. Januar 2007
Von Daiho - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a wonderful little book, 130 pages of distilled wisdom from a man who is known most widely as a film maker, the director of The Cup, but who is otherwise a well-respected teacher from the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism. Besides being deeply familiar with Buddhist scholarship, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse has traveled and worked widely in Europe and North America, knows the cultures of the countries, and is able to explicate Buddhist principles with examples that resonate for Star Wars fans and suburban American Republicans.

The purpose of the book, the author notes, is not to make the reader a Buddhist, but to explain what it means to be a Buddhist. It's not a book about how to be, but a book about the implications of being. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse does this through the Four Seals, truths about the physical, phenomenal, and psychological world that the Buddha himself invited his students to examine and investigate. They are:

.....1. All compounded things are impermanent.
.....2. All emotions are pain.
.....3. All things have no inherent existence.
.....4. Nirvana is beyond concepts.

Each seal is discussed in separate chapters and illustrated with examples from contemporary life, as well as from the life of Siddhartha, the prince who gave up his pampered court life to seek greater truth and who later became known as The Buddha, the Enlightened One.

Full of sharp humor directed at everyone from spiritual seekers to corporate suits, from tree huggers to neoconservatives occupying the White House, this witty volume is a pithy introduction to Buddhism and would make a great gift for any one interested in the philosophy. I've already purchased one volume for a friend and suspect I'll be buying a few more in the coming year.

93 von 99 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The purity of the heart-mind is the most important 7. Februar 2007
Von Let it Be - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
In a nutshell, this book is 125 pages of putting together people, things and our world in the right perspective, making sense of our chaotic world and how to conquer the biggest problem of our life - ourselves, and the way we run our lives. It is 125 pages of unpatented, non-copyrighted profound but yet simple fundamental wisdom as taught by the historical Buddha. The message is delivered through a hard hitting conversation with the author, wittyly written in the language of our time.

I have got a dozen comments to share on what this book is NOT :

1. NO teaching of new meditation technique

2. NO new mantra to learn

3. NOT a nice soft and motherly conversation with the author

4. NOT propagation & hard selling of religious hocus pocus

5. NOT boring stuff written to replace your sleeping pills

6. NOT not another profound and hard to understand Zen story

7. NOT another story about the Life of the Buddha or a parody

8. NO you do not need to be a Buddhist to read this book or benefit from

reading it (IMHO non-Buddhists get the best value)

9. NO you do not need to read another Buddhist book to understand or benefit from this work

10.NO you do not need to agree or disagree with the author.

11.NO you would not fall asleep reading the 125 pages of gripping truth.

12.NO it is not written to "convert" you or anyone into becoming a Buddhist.

And half a dozen more comments to share on what this book IS about :

i. It is about simple but RAW HARD truth about life according to the FOUR


ii. It is about HARD truth of life that may hurt us & the truth always

hurts. Ouch.

iii. It is about our deluded mind and the problems we create for ourselves

iv.It is about how we, Buddhists & Non-Buddhists alike

cling on and attach to to our delusion.

v. It is about how to live with a pure mind & right motivation in this

increasely chaotic, and seemingly insane world populated with

countless confused and deluded beings like ourselves. The truth is not

out there it is either it is within, it's always been present in our

luminous nature.

vi.It's about becoming a real Buddhist by going back to understanding and

practising the very basic of Buddha's teachings-the four dharma seals.

If you every come across this short and bring us down-to-earth book don't ever give it a miss,take it from the shelf, browse and read it! Whatever views of the author which would not make sense to you after reading the book either in parts or in its entirety, would eventually make sense to you when the conditions arise and would surely impact your life positively.
25 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Highly accessible to lay readers 6. März 2007
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
What Makes You Not a Buddhist is a one-of-a-kind expression of the four basic points of Buddhism written for the sake of the general public, by Tibetan Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse. What Makes You Not a Buddhist presents the tenets of Buddhism as a set of four challenging questions: Can you accept that all things are impermanent and that there is no essential substance or concept that is permanent? Can you accept that all emotions bring pain and suffering and that there is no emotion that is purely pleasurable? Can you accept that all phenomena are illusory and empty? Can you accept that enlightenment is beyond concepts; that it's not a perfect blissful heaven but instead a release from delusion? If one's answer to these four questions is an unambiguous "yes", then according to Khyentse, one is truly a Buddhist. Written in an amiable tone and primarily in plain terms, What Makes You Not a Buddhist is highly accessible to lay readers and enthusiastically recommended for anyone seriously contemplating Buddhism as the faith of choice for oneself.
37 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A good contemplation... for those in the know 11. September 2008
Von Vanessa Hutcheson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The best feature of this book is that Khyentse presents Buddhist concepts in a current events context. Many classic Buddhist parables aren't understandable to someone unfamiliar with the workings of the Ancient Indian society the Buddha lived in; someone unfamiliar with concepts such as atman, caste, clan, and other aspects of the culture may not understand the Buddha's analogies and humor. Khyentse makes an incredibly insightful, cosmopolitan Buddhist analysis of the modern world. This is something contemporary readers can greatly appreciate.

This book's fatal flaw is that, while it attempts to explain away certain misconceptions about Buddhism, it also uses old, bad translations of classic Buddhist terms that perpetuate those very misconceptions. This leads someone unfamiliar with the original Pali either completely bewildered or put off, as a few other reviewers, it appears, have been.

For example, Khyentse translates the second seal as "All emotions are pain". To his credit, he does note in "Postscript on the Translation of Terms" that this statement loses clarity in translation, and points out that the original statement said something that's difficult to express in English. In my opinion, he chose the most misleading translation possible. Alternate translations of the second seal have read, "All conditioned states are unsatisfactory," which I think is a much more accurate translation. Khyentse's decision to render the word dukkha as "pain" in English was certainly a poor decision in my book; the Pali Text Society's Pali to English dictionary would have something to say on that. Second, the word "emotion" not only is a bad translation, but as far as I have read, an unprecedented one.

If you are familiar with the Pali language and can therefore take the poor translation with a grain of salt by understanding what he's actually referring to, this book can be incredibly uplifting and enjoyable. If you're unfamiliar with Pali or Buddhism, I would NOT recommend this book as a first read. The poor translation of certain terms could give you the wrong impression.
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