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Teachings of the Buddha by Jack Kornfield Essay


Summary of the Chapters

The book “Teachings of the Buddha: Revised and Expanded Edition” explores the origin of Buddhism. The most important thing in life is to find the truth. People should work hard in order to become free. Since life is full of real challenges, human beings should work hard in order to become enlightened. This is called the discovery of nirvana. The author offers useful teachings that can result in enlightenment.

1. Wakefulness

  • Masters should always be awake. This is the way of life.
  • The master watches and seeks wakefulness in his life.
  • Every master should support the needs of others.
  • This is the best practice towards happiness and freedom.

2. Luminous Mind

  • A luminous mind is capable of shining bright.
  • A person with such a mind will be able to lead a good life.
  • People should also be ready to cultivate their minds.
  • This practice will result in happiness.

3. The Sage

  • A wise person will always overcome miserliness and greediness.
  • Such a person overcomes sleepiness and laziness.
  • The individual will deal with enmity and hatred.
  • He will also avoid lies and violence.
  • True believers should not be misled by desire or loss.

4. Dhammapada

  • Human beings are defined by their thoughts.
  • People with impure minds will always encounter different problems.
  • A person who speaks with a pure mind remains happy and unshakable.
  • Evil thoughts can harm a person.
  • That being the case, human beings should be able to control their thoughts.

5. Metta Sutta

  • According to the book, Metta Sutta is the work of peaceful and skilled individuals.
  • Such people are upright, gentle, and straightforward.
  • Such people do good things. This is the beginning of a good life.
  • True believers should not deceive others.
  • They should always focus on happiness.

6. Developing Loving-Kindness

  • Believers should put away every form of hindrance.
  • They should also focus on love.
  • They should also have love-filled thoughts and ideas.
  • They should avoid ill-will and hatred. This practice will support their needs and expectations.

7. Harmlessness

  • All people fear death and violence.
  • It is therefore inappropriate to harm others.
  • People should interact with others in a positive manner.
  • People should seek harmless and live like brothers.

8. Virtue

  • This is one of the best spiritual values.
  • The fragrance of virtue is always against the wind (Kornfield 12).
  • Virtue will also result in many deeds.

9. Great Discourse on Blessings

  • According to the Buddha, true believers should always honor others.
  • They should also take care of one another.
  • They should become selfless.
  • They should also be austere and be obedient.

10. Noble Friendship

  • A good life is associated with true friendship.
  • This practice promotes the best values and virtues.
  • People should also engage in good deeds.

11. The Awakened

  • Wise people are usually awakened.
  • Believers should interact with these awakened individuals.
  • True believers should never be afraid.
  • They should also overcome every danger.

12. Hatred Never Dispels Hate

  • Hatred cannot dispel enmity or anger.
  • That being the case, people should focus on love in order to overcome hatred.
  • This knowledge can deal with hatred.

13. Sand Castles

  • This story explains how different people care about things that do not matter.
  • The children in the story eventually went home without bothering about their sand castles.

14. No-Self

  • People should not focus on material shapes.
  • This knowledge will deal with lamentation, despair, and suffering.
  • The practice will make it easier for more people to discover themselves.

15. Body and Mind

  • A person is the cooperation of the mind and the body.
  • This knowledge brings a sense of freedom.

16. The Empty World

  • The notion of “The Empty World” will ensure more people are wakeful.
  • They will destroy their personal views in order to achieve happiness.

17. Developing the Mind

  • People should develop the best state of mind.
  • This knowledge will produce friendship and joy.
  • This practice also guides more people in order to achieve their spiritual goals.

18. Joy

  • People should live in joy, peace, and good health.
  • This is the sweetest way of life.
  • Joy brings happiness. It supports the expectations of many people.

19. Rain, O Sky

  • The story embraces the notion of happiness.
  • People should free themselves from stubbornness and anger.
  • This approach will produce true freedom.

20. House Builder

  • This story explains why people should work hard in order to attain the peace and happiness of nirvana.
  • This practice is relevant towards a better life.

Personal Reaction

The book “Teachings of the Buddha: Revised and Expanded Edition” by Jack Kornfield is a masterpiece because it explores the foundations of Buddhism. According to the book, Buddha is used to refer to awareness (Kornfield 6). Buddhists should overcome different evils in order to realize happiness. The book presents numerous stories and narrations that can encourage more believers to focus on their goals.

I have enjoyed reading this book because it offers powerful arguments and discussions about Buddhism. Every reader acquires new concepts and practices that can result in freedom. Buddhism can be described as a positive way of life. The book offers useful guidelines that can empower more people. This approach will result in self-realization (Kornfield 47). This realization will ensure their bodies and minds are liberated from unhappiness.

The author also focuses on the nature of sorrow and unhappiness in life. For instance, death and sickness are common challenges encountered by many people across the globe. Such challenges are inescapable. That being the case, the teachings of Buddha encourage more people to focus on the best goals. They should work hard in order to deal with every evil. Human beings should overcome greed and enmity.

The text also encourages more people to focus on unending happiness. Since challenges and obstacles are part of the world, the concept of nirvana encourages people to promote happiness (Kornfield 86). This practice will deal with the challenges affecting humanity. Human beings should embrace the power of friendship. This ultimate purpose of life is to find contentment and freedom. A free person will achieve happiness. Such a person will support the needs of his or her friends.

I strongly believe that the author understands the teachings and concepts of Buddhism. Jack uses his knowledge to highlight the best teachings that can guide more people to attain nirvana. These teachings are also applicable in other religious beliefs. For instance, many Muslims and Christians have unique ways of overcoming death and pain.

The book supports the spiritual needs of many people across the world (Kornfield 109). The other strength of this book is that it uses simple English. It is agreeable that more people can benefit from these teachings. I totally support the beliefs and ideas presented in this book. Such beliefs and arguments can support the goals of many Buddhists. This fact explains why human beings should embrace these discussions. Every person can gain new concepts and ideas from this book.

The Buddha teaches powerful ideas that can result in the best spiritual practices. These teachings will make it easier for more people to embrace the power of morality. The individuals will also become aware of their goals. They will also embrace the power of consciousness. The practices of devotion and mantra will eventually produce the best religious outcomes. These simple teachings presented in the above text will encourage more people to open their ears and eyes.

This practice will result in a new kind of freedom (Kornfield 187). This approach will eventually bring happiness and blessings to more believers. I will read this book again in order to acquire more ideas. I will also read more books and articles in order to improve my spiritual strength. The practice will equip me with new spiritual values. I would also recommend this book to every person who wants to achieve happiness and freedom. The text is also relevant for both non-believers and believers.

Works Cited

Kornfield, Jack. Teachings of the Buddha: Revised and Expanded Edition. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, 2011. Print.

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