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Contemplating Reality: A Practitioner's…

Contemplating Reality: A Practitioner's Guide to the View in Indo-Tibetan…

by Andy Karr

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Emptiness is surely at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. Different schools present emptiness in different ways. Karr presents the views of a variety of these schools, from the Vaibhasika to the Shentong. He follows quite closely the program of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche's book Progressive Stages of Mediation on Emptiness.

Another useful aspect of this book is the explanation of how this kind of conceptual reflection meshes with meditation. Karr does a good job of explaining how working with concepts can enable one to become free of entrapment in concepts.

This book is probably too specialized to be a good introduction to Buddhism. But even as a second book it could work. Karr carefully introduces the terms and concepts along the way. This is an excellent introduction to emptiness. ( )
  kukulaj | Aug 6, 2016 |
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"Buddhism emphasizes direct experience and devalues conceptual thinking, but that doesn't mean it is devoid of philosophical reasoning and inquiry. This book by Karr, a teacher and investment banker, is formidably philosophical. 'We need to use thought to get beyond thought', he writes, in laying the groundwork for a step-by-step presentation of various schools of Buddhist analytical meditation. In that practice, Buddhists contemplate ultimate reality by asking themselves questions or by reflecting on short and profound teachings. Various schools have different emphases, and Karr patiently explains and singles out these varied analytic methods. He is a friendly teacher of difficult material: exercises offer ways of helping students reach conclusions; demanding chapters of philosophical explication are relieved by quirky 'interludes' of poetry and comedy; and appendixes contain helpful biographies of historical Buddhist teachers and a chart of philosophical systems" -- Publishers Weekly.… (more)

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