"Professor Newland's intellectually engaging examination of the four Buddhist tenet systems navigates the maze of complex theories that must be mastered to understand each system's contribution to the whole."  John Tigue, Ph.D. for Explorations

 

This has been translated into Danish and Vietnamese.  

Text from back of the book:

When someone seeks to understand Buddhism, where should one start: With the elaboration on what it means to take refuge in the three jewels? Or the four noble truths?

When the Dalai Lama was asked this question, he suggested that for many in the West today, the two truths, conventional truth and ultimate truth, is the best place to start.

When the Buddha awoke from the dream we still dream, he saw the ultimate reality of things just as they are. There are shifting appearances and conventions, the manners and traditions of the vast and diverse world; and then there is the mystery of things just as they are, sheer reality. And yet we cannot find this reality anywhere else but right here.

Each system of Buddhist philosophy has its own way of explaining exactly what these two truths are and how they relate to one another. In exploring these systems, we are looking over the shoulders of Buddhist thinkers as they grapple with a basic question: What is real? This is not an idle intellectual question, but a matter which cuts to the heart of our practice in life.

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