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FrequencyRiser Conscious Lifestyle Blog

Letters to a Dead Friend about Zen - Book Review

January 20, 2020

We weren't quite sure what to think of this book when the fine folks at New World Library sent it to us for review. All we knew is that we love Zen and if the content relates to Zen, we would more than likely enjoy it. Letters to a Dead Friend about Zen is exactly what it says. Author Brad Warner utilizes the format of writing informal letters to his friend, who recently passed away, to convey all the things he wanted to tell him about Zen and his life but didn't get the chance. The results are a refreshing compendium of Zen Buddhism filled with everything you might of wondered about Zen and more. 

This humorous and light hearted book cuts to the quick in relating basic Zen terms, Buddhist philosophy, koans, and concepts like karma, reincarnation and emptiness. There are many gems of wisdom throughout the book that will benefit the reader. We enjoyed the fact that Warner has a great grasp on the metaphorical context of many Buddhist stories in the sense that often the stories should not be taken literally but point to a deeper meaning. 

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The Buddha's Eightfold Path

December 12, 2019

The Noble Eightfold Path

The 'Middle Way', avoiding the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, is the path which the Buddha taught in the Fourth Noble Truths that leads to the complete cessation of suffering (dukkha) and release from the cycle of existence (samsara). This is the realisation of Nibbana, the ultimate goal of a Buddhist.

The path comprises eight categories or factors which aim at developing and perfecting the three essentials of Buddhist training and discipline: Virtue (Sila), Concentration (samadhi) and Wisdom (panna).

Virtue or Ethical conduct comprises Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, and Right Effort.

Concentration is the development of Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration through meditation.

Wisdom comprises Right Understanding and Right Thought.

What the Buddha meant by 'Right' is that which produces a beneficial result.
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