It was an honor indeed to be able to craft the entry for Buddhism in the Complete Idiot’s Guide series. Their rigorous format dovetails with Buddhism as a system. So I based the structure of the book in the material itself. The 1st half is “living Buddhism” (Buddha: his biography, history of transmission of his teachings, its relation to other paths, Western adoption … Dharma: refuge, the 8-fold Path, key points, precepts … Sangha: meditation basics & basic schools of practice [Vipassana/Mindfulness … Zen … Pure Land … Vajrayana]). Since what all that is … is up to us, as to how we put it into practice … … the 2nd half is “Buddhist living” (a survey of applications in various walks of life: our relationships, livelihood, food, culture, science, and society). Plus I got to doodle comments in the margins & illustrate each chapter. That it’s proven a success speaks perhaps to how closely the book reflects this timeless path & its relevance for today.
“I simply don’t know why another Buddhist guidebook needs to be written.” —Lyn McNulty, Napra Re-View