Why Buddhism?: Westerners in Search of Wisdom

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9780007142286: Why Buddhism?: Westerners in Search of Wisdom

A fascinating look at why Westerners are turning to Buddhism in record numbers, featuring world-renowned Buddhists such as composer Philip Glass and Professor Bob Thurman.

Why is Buddhism the fastest growing religion in the West? Vicki Mackenzie, best-selling author of A Cave in the Snow, has been a Buddhist for 25 years. A skilled interviewer, journalist and author, she explores this question in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia with extraordinary people who have turned to Buddhism, taking its philosophy and spirit into their lives and work. Among the stories are those of Buddhist luminaries Sharon Salzberg and Stephen Batchelor, and ordinary people: a mother, a counsellor and a businessman.

The book explores Buddhism, ideas about other religions, about work and worldly success, thoughts on mind, consciousness and enlightenment; views on nature, the family, relationships, and death. The picture that emerges is an intriguing reflection on what Buddhism means to the contemporary West. Buddhism is attracting intelligent and creative thinkers who seek a wiser way to live, inspiring them with joyful spirituality, tolerant and practical ethics, and fellowship within the unity of all life.

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Review:

"These are not 'born again' stories about blind faith and revelation, but studies in hard thinking, transformation and compassion."

From the Back Cover:

WHY IS BUDDHISM THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION IN THE WEST?

Vicki Mackenzie, bestselling author of 'Cave in the Snow', investigates this question with the insight of a journalist who has explored Buddhism for 25 years. Among those who speak candidly about the effects of Buddhism in their lives are counsellors and writers, a woman lama, a terminal cancer patient, a diamond merchant, composer Philip Glass, Professor Robert Thurman, and Buddhist luminaries Sharon Salzberg and Stephen Batchelor.

The stories present intriguing responses to the Buddhist way – to its ideas about consciousness and compassion, work and worldly success, family and relationships, nature and death, reincarnation and other faiths. At a time when Western culture seems overwhelmed by materialism and individualism, Buddhism is attracting thoughtful people seeking a wiser way to live, inspiring them with tolerant and practical ethics and joyful spirituality.

'Traditionally we're told to have faith in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, but ultimately the faith is in ourselves – in our capacity to have awareness and compassion and to be free.'
Sharon Salzberg

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Published by Element Books Ltd. (2003)
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