Buddhism – Plain and Simple Book Summary By Steve Hagen

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Buddhism Plain and Simple (2013) is the perfect book for those who want to learn about Buddhism's essential practices.

It offers a straightforward explanation of the religion's most important teachings.

Whether you're new to Buddhist philosophy or have been studying it for years, this book will give you the knowledge you need to apply its teachings in your life.

The author has taken great care to link these teachings with everyday aspects of life where they can be applied with particular importance, such as building awareness and living in the present moment.

So if you're looking for a comprehensive guide to Buddhism that covers all the basics in an easy-to-read format, this is definitely the book for you!

Buddhism – Plain and Simple Book

Book Name: Buddhism – Plain and Simple (The Practice of Being Aware, Right Now, Every Day)

Author(s): Steve Hagen

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 11 Minutes

Categories: Religion & Spirituality

Author Bio

Steve Hagen is a distinguished figure in Buddhist circles and widely acclaimed for his insightful takes on Buddhism.

As a Zen priest, teacher of Buddhism, and author of books such as How the World Can be the Way It Is: An Inquiry for the New Millennium into Science, Philosophy, and Perception, Hagen has enlightened countless readers about Buddhism's key principles.

His latest book, Buddhism - Plain and Simple offers an accessible introduction to Buddhism that focuses on core concepts like emptiness, impermanence and meditation.

Written in easily readable language with clear examples, it offers keen insight into Buddhist practices without getting too technical or dogmatic.

Discovering Buddhism: How To Find True Fulfillment In Life Through Practices Of Mindfulness


In Western society, a lot of us feel discontented, full of fear and depression.

We’re constantly worrying about the little things in life and can’t seem to find peace or contentment.

So why have so many famous people embraced Buddhism?

Buddhism has a lot to offer: it teaches that everything we’re searching for is already in our lives, but we are blocked from experiencing reality due to our many desires and opinions acting as a veil between us and the world as it really is.

Fortunately, there are practices that can help us to break through this barrier and learn to find peace of mind and see things as they truly are.

For example, you’ll learn why there’s no such thing as self; how you should channel your best efforts; and how even something as small a dripping tap can give you insight into being mindful.

By following these teachings you can free yourself from unhelpful thoughts in order to experience true joy and satisfaction from life.

Buddhism: Learn How To Embrace Change And Appreciate Reality

We can be miserable if we fail to see the world the way it really is.

According to Buddhism, our misery often comes from comparing reality to expectations and wishes that don’t match up.

As a result, we miss out on real experiences in life when we don’t appreciate what’s actually there.

Our fixation with attempting to control our lives and striving for perfection takes us away from the present moment and leads us down a path of confusion, alarm and dissatisfaction.

When something doesn’t match up with our pre-conceived ideas, like rain on a summer day instead of sunny weather, it leads to unhappiness.

If we keep expecting reality to be something it isn’t, then we spend much of our time judging ourselves and others based on those expectations, leading us further away from the true nature of things.

Buddhism teaches us that life is always changing – something that we have no control over – so learning to accept this is essential if you want to break free from unnecessary suffering.

Acknowledging that these changes are inevitable will help you appreciate every experience that life brings your way without expectation or disappointment.

Learning The Right View And Intention: The Keys To Buddhist Peace Of Mind

Buddhist Peace Of Mind

If you’ve been searching for a way to find peace of mind, then look no further than Buddhism.

The religion recommends eight practices that can help you foster inner peace, and two of these are particularly interesting – they’re all about the way we think.

The first is called “right view” – essentially, it’s about looking at the world without judging or perceiving it only through a fixed set of concepts.

Buddhism advises us to recognize that the world is always changing and evolving, whether it be the cycle of life or water changing forms.

To truly appreciate this idea, one must also be willing to occupy multiple perspectives at once – much like how two people might perceive a rat differently (in one instance it’s seen as cute, while in another it’s seen as disgusting).

By adopting “right view,” we become better equipped at managing our own and others’ perceptions in order to minimize conflict.

The second practice is called “right intention” which involves the firm resolve to embrace an ever-changing present moment rather than clinging onto longings from other times or places.

Ultimately, this practice provides not just peace but also focus and awareness of our current conditions and disposition.

The Path To Enlightenment: Understanding The Principles Of Right Intention, Right Effort, And Right Mindfulness

Two key practices to understanding and achieving enlightenment, according to Buddhism, are the right mindfulness and the right effort.

The right effort is about not straining or trying to control something that you can’t—it’s about moving through life without pushing yourself.

Meanwhile, the right mindfulness involves focusing on how we react to certain situations without judgment—noticing where in our body we feel emotions such as annoyance—to help bring us back to balance.

Practicing both of these principles can help us understand ourselves better and be more mindful of our reactions so that external influences won’t affect us as easily.

It takes a dedicated practice, but it’s worth it when peace and clarity become more consistently achievable.

Buddhism Teaches That Our Changing Selves Are Fluid Streams, Not Immutable Corks


According to Buddhism, trying to capture our ever-changing lives with the notion of a self or permanent personality is an illusion.

We tend to see ourselves as corks in a stream, but in reality, we are the streams – always changing and evolving as we move through life.

The self is not really the definition of our individuality according to Buddhism’s teachings.

Our individual identities and personalities cannot be defined by any one thing.

Instead, we are constantly in flux, ever shifting and transforming, never static or definitively defined by any single concept or definition.

Rather than thinking of yourself as having a “self” that remains constant regardless of what happens around you, think about yourself as being in a continuous state of becoming.

Take on new ideas, challenge your beliefs and ask questions – this is how you grow as a person and discover who you truly are.

Exploring The Concept Of Absolute Truth In A World Of Relative Truths

When it comes to understanding reality, we often get bogged down by our relative truths that tell us everything is different or distinct.

But if we look at the world from a different perspective, one of absolute truth, we can see that all things actually belong to a unified whole.

Our minds tend to focus on differences between objects and concepts, but this only creates an illusion, isolating what appears in the foreground from what is in the background.

The Absolute Truth reveals that nothing ever exists by itself – every occurrence happens as a product of some other event, and it’s impossible for anything to be separated from a oneness of being.

The language we use is also based on these relative truths – but if we pay attention and tap into our direct perceptions through awareness and mindfulness, then these arbitrary distinctions will disappear, revealing our True Reality of unity instead.

Ultimately, all aspects of reality are interconnected – this is the main lesson Buddhism has been teaching us since ancient times.

Wrap Up

In Buddhism – Plain and Simple, the final summary is that by breaking out of the cycle of confusion and dissatisfaction, we can start to practice new approaches to living with mindfulness and deeper intentions.

This allows us to remain in the present moment and enjoy it instead of getting caught up in past memories or worrying about the future.

One powerful way recommended by this book is to try just breathing when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation or feeling overly anxious.

Just close your eyes, focus on your breath, and allow yourself to be fully present in your own body.

With this exercise, you’ll rediscover the power of being aware in the here and now.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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