Books: What Makes You Not A Buddhist


What Makes You not a Buddhist

I saw this one laying on a table at the bookstore, and the belligerence of the title kind of sucked me in. I kind of expected this to be one of those “I’m more Buddha than you” holier-than-thou sorts of books, but it really wasn’t.

Mostly, the Author is just making a case that acceptance of all four Dharma Seals are necessary and sufficient for someone to call himself a Buddhist.

He doesn’t belabor the point though, and most of the book just reads pretty much like any other introductory Buddhism book for a Western audience.

It’s not the Author’s fault, but I’ve read a few too many of those, and this one felt a little redundant.

I’d really like to find some books that delve a little deeper, without reading like textbooks for a graduate program in Buddhist Studies.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Anyhow, since I only accept three of the four Dharma Seals, I disagree with the whole premise of the book. I also find the title needlessly combative, so I give What Makes You Not A Buddhist only 2 Jihadis out of 5.

2 jihadis out of 5

2 thoughts on “Books: What Makes You Not A Buddhist

  1. tim

    I’ve been reading a “small” book by Pema Chodren, “Uncomfortable with Uncertainty”. It’s a compilation of 108 different teachings. I can understand that it can be too introductory, which is what you don’t want, but each of the 108 is a kind of “thought of the day”, but it’s great for meditation or for something to be mindful of on a given day.

    I really like it, and it’s small and cheap.


  2. clive

    The Heart of Buddhism: Practical Wisdom for an Agitated World
    by Guy Claxton

    I found this book very helpful in fleshing out the basic Buddhist concepts for me.

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