Best Selling Books by Eric Van Horn

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release date: Feb 03, 2016
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The Little Book of Buddhist Meditation: Establishing a daily meditation practice (The Little Books on Buddhism) (Volume 1)
The Little Book of Buddhist Meditation is designed to help you establish a regular meditation practice. It is based on the Buddha's original teachings. You will be guided step-by-step through establishing a posture, and basic meditation techniques like breath counting, sweeping, the practice of loving-kindness, walking meditation, and the use of "gathas," or short poems. There is an explanation of chanting and how this can be used to establish the beginning of a sitting, to bring the mind into the present moment, and to reinforce the Buddha's teachings. There is also a description of what to do when problems occur, and how to establish a regular routine. This guide is intended to help you develop a sense of well-being, calm, serenity, and confidence, for a foundation that will serve you for many years to come.
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release date: Jul 21, 2016
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The Little Book of Buddhist Mindfulness & Concentration (The Little Books on Buddhism) (Volume 5)
The Little Book on Buddhist Mindfulness & Concentration builds on the basic Buddhist practice that is described in the previous books in this series. This Little Book begins by describing the practice of mindfulness. The word “mindfulness” has been greatly distorted in its imported, Western version. It is usually taught as something like “non-judgmental awareness” or “non-reactive attention.” But the Pali word for “mindfulness” literally means ”keeping something in mind,” not “attention.” Further, when the Buddha did teach “attention” he taught “wise attention,” which means attending to qualities of the mind that are skillful. The Buddha’s teachings on mindfulness are taught most extensively in two discourses: “The Four Foundations of Mindfulness” and “Mindfulness of Breathing.” This book describes the practices in both of these discourses. The practice of “right mindfulness” leads to “right concentration.” The Buddha defined right concentration as “jhana,” or “meditative absorption.” The qualities of mindfulness and concentration reinforce each other. Greater mindfulness leads to greater concentration and greater concentration leads to greater mindfulness. These practices of mindfulness and concentration constitute Phase Two of Buddhist practice. They lead to serenity, calm, tranquility, and greater wisdom. Ultimately, if they are mastered they lead to Awakening, to freedom from stress and suffering, to transcendent happiness.
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release date: Sep 14, 2016
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The Little Book of Buddhist Rebirth (The Little Books on Buddhism) (Volume 7)
The Little Book on Buddhist Rebirth looks at questions related to how the Buddha’s teachings on rebirth apply to Buddhist practice. It starts with some fundamental questions, starting with “Did the Buddha actually teach rebirth?” And if he did, was he talking about the transmigration of a being from one lifetime to the next, or was it a metaphor for other types of phenomena like mental activity? Next the Little Book looks at whether there is evidence that rebirth is a reality. What do studies on past life experiences tell us? What does our knowledge of Near Death Experiences tell us, and does this relate to how Buddhists describe rebirth? There is also a discussion of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and how its description of the death process compares to Near Death Experiences. Then there is an examination of whether belief in rebirth is necessary to attain Awakening. Even if rebirth is part of the Buddha’s teachings, is it necessary to believe in rebirth in order to liberate our minds from suffering and stress? Or is rebirth a cultural artifact from ancient India, and we can dispense with it? Finally there is a description of the Buddhist cosmology, how the Buddhist tradition came to understand the different realms in the universe. This Little Book takes us beyond views and practices that fit comfortably into conventional reality. It prepares us for the transcendent teachings of the Buddha, and into the mystical world that lies beyond time and space.
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release date: Jun 24, 2016
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The Little Book of the Life of the Buddha (The Little Books on Buddhism) (Volume 3)
In the centuries that followed the Buddha’s death there were many fanciful and mythologized accounts of his life. Unfortunately these stories gained traction, and even today movies and television programs are often based on these accounts. The Little Book of the Life of the Buddha goes back to the original sources in order to reconstruct his life from the oldest material. This helps answer important questions about the nature of the Buddha and his quest for Awakening. Despite some assertions that there is little biographical information about the life of the Buddha, quite the opposite is true. In fact, a major hurdle for any biographer of the Buddha is the enormous amount of information that is scattered throughout the thousands of pages of canonical literature. This information is enhanced by some extraordinary research and archeology from the past 200 years. But this is not simply a scholastic biography. The important question is, “What can I learn from the life of the Buddha?” How does it help me become a better person, and a better meditator? How can I learn from the many inspirational people in the Buddha’s life? The Little Book of the Life of the Buddha looks at the often subtle lessons in his teaching. This brings us closer to understanding the man and his Dharma, and how it helps us become happier, wiser, more useful people.
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release date: Nov 01, 2016
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The Little Book of Buddhist Daily Living: The Discipline for Lay People (The Little Books on Buddhism) (Volume 6)
One of the great challenges for Western Buddhists is how to take a meditation practice and bring it into daily living. Monks and nuns have every aspect of their lives governed by the monastic code, the Vinaya. This makes their lives simpler. The monastic life is optimized for developing the path. In Asia, traditionally lay Buddhists do not meditate. They followed the Five Ethical Precepts, practice generosity by supporting the monastic Sangha, and they go to the temple or monastery on Uposatha Days. But in the West we have a mode of practice that lies somewhere between the monastic model and the Asian lay model. Western Buddhists are mainly lay people. But we do meditate, and we aspire to many of the life ideals of monks and nuns. The Vinaya does not provide a lot of guidance to Western Buddhists in our daily lives. But the Buddha does give some guidance, especially in the Sigaalaka Sutta: Advice to Lay People. The Little Book of Buddhist Daily Living has discussions on various aspects of life, such as work, caring for our bodies and minds, working with difficult people, how we relate to money, eating, consumption, speech, politics, community, and death. This book also stresses important qualities to cultivate such as kindness, patience, and simplicity. The goal is to make Buddhist living a part of every moment of every day. In this way we cultivate the path, becoming happier, more skillful people in the world.
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release date: Feb 15, 2016
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The Little Book of Buddhist Virtue: The Buddha's teachings on happiness through skillful conduct (The Little Books of Buddhism) (Volume 2)
In the Buddha’s system of teaching, the foundation for his entire path is the practice of virtue. This includes his instructions on ethics and morality, as well as the often misunderstood teachings on karma. The Little Book of Buddhist Virtue shows the many contexts in which the Buddha described the practice of virtue. These include an endearing discourse to his 7-year-old son Rahula on proper behavior. There is also a discussion of generosity and the five moral precepts, his explanation of virtue as a “gift that we give to the world”, and the virtue division of the Four Noble Truths. The final section describes each of the Ten Perfections – the paramis (Pali), or paramitas (Sanskrit) - using stories from the Buddhist folk tales, the Jataka stories. Most importantly this Little Book shows that ethics and morality is not a burden, but the path to a noble and happy life.
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release date: Jul 01, 2016
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The Little Book of Buddhist Wisdom: The Four Noble Truths, causality, karma and the three marks (The Little Books on Buddhism) (Volume 4)
There are many aspects of Buddhism found in most religions. These include ethics and morality, altruism and iconic stories of inspirational people. But The Little Book of Buddhist Wisdom looks at what makes Buddhism unique. This begins with the most central teaching of Buddhism, The Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths identify our fundamental problem of life and its cause. But more importantly The Four Noble Truths provide the antidote as well, the course of training that leads to greater skill and greater happiness. This path culminates in final release and transcendent knowing. The law of karma states that our actions have consequences. We are not victims of determinism, random chaos, or an external authority. While the law of karma allows for circumstances outside of our control, it focuses us on what we can control. Our destinies are in our hands. The most complex and subtle of the Buddha’s teachings is that on causation. The teachings on causation describe a universe of every-flowing causes and results, an ocean of experience that changes from moment-to-moment. This is good news because it is the causal nature of life that is the foundation for our ability to evolve, change, become more skilled, and happier. Buddhism has long recognized that there are Three Characteristics of conditioned experience: dukkha (stress, or suffering), impermanence (inconstant and unreliable), and non-self. Most of the difficulty we have in life is because we identify with ever-changing phenomena. To become free from this stress we must release these attachments. This is the way to harmony with life and the universe. The Little Book of Buddhist Wisdom also looks at two important discourses, one that describes “What the Teaching is Not,” and one that describes the first step in the Noble Eightfold Path, right view. And finally, there are brief discussions of common Buddhist topics like emptiness, non-duality, Buddha nature, and interconnectedness.
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release date: Oct 10, 2016
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The Little Book of Buddhist Awakening: The Buddha's instructions on attaining Enlightenment (The Little Books on Buddhism) (Volume 8)
The Little Book of Buddhist Awakening looks at the subtle and elusive questions about awakening, what is also commonly called “enlightenment.” What does it mean to awaken? What are the different ways in which the Buddha described the end of the Noble Eightfold Path? What are common misconceptions about awakening? Next there is a discussion about how to create the causes and conditions conducive to awakening. How should you practice? How does individual temperament affect the process of awakening? How do you practice in a balanced way so that all the different parts of the practice develop together? Then there is a discussion about the first stage of awakening, what is called “stream-entry.” What does it mean to “enter the stream?” How did the Buddha define the different stages of awakening? What are the requisite conditions for moving toward and attaining stream-entry? What are barriers to stream-entry? Finally there are qualities of mind that put the dedicated meditator on the path to stream entry: dispassion, the still mind, and the “inner observer,” what is also called “mind watching mind.” There is a description of how we fabricate our experience, and how behind that fabrication is a subtle intention. As our skill as meditators deepens, we see into this causal process, and how our mind takes this process of cause and effect and turns it into a substantial “self.” Over time and with dedication this seeing and understanding leads to cessation, the end of mental fabrication and the end of stress and suffering, to liberation and nirvana.
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release date: Apr 01, 2002
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release date: Oct 08, 2015
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Travel Guide to the Buddha's Path: The Buddha's training in conduct, meditation, and understanding
Starting with the first time that you sit down to meditate, the Travel Guide to the Buddha’s Path takes you all the way to the end of the path. It starts with how to establish a physical posture, a daily meditation routine, breath meditation, and how to end your sitting. This helps you establish a sense of well-being. Next, it goes into the wisdom teachings of the Buddha: the Four Noble Truths, virtue, karma, causality, and the “Three Marks” of existence: stress, impermanence, and non-self. This gives you a foundation and framework for your meditation. A common problem for meditators is how to integrate a meditation practice into daily living. There are discussions of how to relate to money, politics, eating, romantic relationships, and community. There is an enhanced discussion of right speech, as well as the daunting challenges of aging, illness, and death. Finally, there are descriptions of mindfulness - the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and Mindfulness of Breathing – concentration – the four material jhanas and the immaterial attainments – and the Buddhist cosmology and awakening. The Travel Guide to the Buddha’s Path shows how the different teachings of the Buddha interweave to form a whole fabric. The Buddha’s discourses are extensively quoted so you can see what he said, what he taught, and how he taught it. The human mind has not changed in 2400 years, and the Buddha’s message still works for attaining greater happiness and final liberation.
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