Buddhism Plain and Simple offers a lucid, straightforward treatise on Buddhism in general and on awareness in particular. When Buddha was asked to sum up his teaching in a single world, he said, "Awareness." The Buddha taught how to see directly into the nature of experience. His observations and insights are comprehensible, practical, and down-to-earth, and they deal exclusively with the present. The longtime teacher of Buddhism Steve Hagan presents the Buddha's uncluttered, original teachings in everyday, accessible language unencumbered by religious ritual, tradition, or belief.
The closer I got to the end of the book, though, the harder I had to work at understanding - and the harder you try to understand, the further you are from Seeing. So I am not yet enlightened.
I do recommend this book for anyone interested in Zen Buddhism. The subject may be plain and simple, but human nature makes it slippery.
As the title suggests, this book attempts to introduce the reader to the basic ideas and principles of Buddhism in as plain and straightforward a manner as possible. Hagen strips away the cultural and historical frameworks that normally obscure Buddhist studies and addresses the simple core of his subject in a truly remarkable way. This book does a superb job of laying out a basic foundation of Buddhist philosophy that is accessable to a western audience.