Book Review: No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners

In blog, Books, Reviews by Michael MicheliniLeave a Comment

Buddhism, something we are surrounded with here in Thailand.

Been on a reading frenzy lately – basically when I go out with the wife and kids I slip my kindle in my pocket and read while they are playing or in spare time. Been pretty effective way to get through books.

One book I got to get through – pretty quickly as its a fast and easy read – is
No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners: Clear Answers to Burning Questions About Core Buddhist Teachings by Noah Rasheta

The format of the book was very digestible, as it is broken down into a few sections – and then in each section has relevant questions most newbies to Buddhism ask.

My wife has been diving deeper and deeper into Buddhism (my house has a dedicated room for a temple / shrine) and I have also been deeper into meditation.

Some of my key takeaways from the book:

  • Buddhism isn’t a religion in the normal sense – the author says many practicing Buddhism are also Christian or Jewish or other religions. Buddhism isn’t about worshipping a god – it is a mindset and a way of living.
  • Suffering – we all suffer, by being a human being, we will suffer. So it isn’t about avoiding suffering, it is about learning how to accept it. (See ELSA below)
  • ELSA acronym (I love acronyms to help remember things) goes like this – Embrace Suffering, Let go of reacting, See yourself stopping to reactions, Act skillfully.
  • Letting Things Be – LIBERATION – you don’t know the exact state of mind of others in life, where they are, etc. Experience life as it is. Reality.
  • We are all “cut from the same cloth” – not really said exactly like this in the book (directly) but I interpret it as all the energy in the world, we are all part of it. We are a bundle of energy.
  • The 3 poisons of human nature – greed, hatred, ignorance. We need to work towards improving and being aware of these poisons.
  • I went to the birth place of Buddha! Back in the summer my wife and I stopped by Lumbini, Nepal, and this is where the king gave up everything to become a buddhist – or create buddhism. Seems he left his “castle” and saw beggars and poor people and was inspired to give up everything he had and create this concept of buddhism.

If you are curious about Buddhism at all, or have people in your network involved in it, this is definitely a good book to breeze through in a few hours and get up to speed.

So check it out –
No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners: Clear Answers to Burning Questions About Core Buddhist Teachings by Noah Rasheta

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