EXPLORES and presents simply and creatively the practical and the theoretical, the mundane and the sacred of Buddhism.
— Michael Wenger, Dean of Buddhist Studies, San Francisco Zen Center
THIS book will bring a smile to us all. We see that it is reaching out to so many people - to bring the understanding, solidity, and compassion so very needed in our society.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
AT last! The Complete Idiot's Guide... makes Buddhism as accessible as Volkswagen repair. (Or is it the other way around?) It's so easy even a woman can do it. Not only that. Even a MAN! Thanks to Gary Gach's wide-ranging knowledge and long experience as a Buddhist practitioner, his book is full of delightful quotes and anecdotes. He brings Buddhism alive in the "hear and now," including, for example, an excellent chapter on socially engaged Buddhism, letting us know of the many ways in which contemporary Buddhist practice is integrally connected with work for social and environmental justice. The book is inviting for a newcomer to Buddhism, and great fun for a long-time practitioner as well, as it reminds us of the multiple forms of contemporary Buddhist practice.
~ Susan Moon, author The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi
and editor, with Lenore Friedman, Being Bodies: Buddhist
Women on the Paradox of Embodiment
THIS book is not for idiots. It tells us what smart people want and need to know about Buddhist wisdom, history, theory, and its practice today. Gary Gach has done a fine job here, in lending a helping hand to lift ourselves toward the spiritual goal of awakened enlightenment.
~ Lama Surya Das,
author of Awakening the Buddha Within
and founder of the Dzogchen Center
GARY Gach is like that teacher you always wanted — easygoing, full of information, able to communicate in humorous and meaningful ways, and a little bit wacky. So he's the perfect author for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism. In this trademark easy-to-read format, Gach introduces us to a very human Buddha, along with the rules for living that make a Buddhist a Buddhist. In addition to the various kinds of meditation, he shows us how to meditate at meals and be aware of the interconnections in life. We learn about popular branches of Buddhism, like Zen and Tibetan, with an emphasis on practicing here and now. There is the theoretical: emptiness, nothingness, impermanence, as well as a very strong dose of the practical: Buddha at work, Buddhist films, environmental concerns, Buddhist celebrations, etc. Gach brings it all together with a light touch and an enthusiasm that makes you want to get up and do something Buddhist.
~ Brian Bruya, Reviewer, Amazon.com; translator of Zen Speaks: Shout of Nothingness; The Tao Speaks: Lao Tzu's Whisper of Wisdom; The Dao of Zhuangzi: The Harmony of Nature; Confucius Speaks: Words to Live By; Sunzi Speaks: The Art of War; Wisdom of the Zen Masters: The Quest for Enlightenment; all illustrated by Tsai Chich Chung
WITH great integrity and critical insight, Gary Gach immeasurably enhyances authentic interfaith understanding and fellowship. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism is an exquisitely organized and comprehensive introduction to Buddhism that honors the intellect, illumines the spirit, and enobles the human sojourn.
— Reverend Dorsey Blake,
Pastor, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples
GARY is a clear voice articulating the history, culture, and universal appeal of the Dharma. This is a book foreveryone: those who know a lot about Buddhism; those who little; and thoseprecious few who are blessed with knowing nothing at all.
—Rabbi Rami Shapiro, The Wisdom of Solomon; Proverbs; Minyan
THE best of its kind.
— Chevy Chase, actor
but hardly a complete idiot ...