Being Good: Buddhist Ethics For Everday Life

ISBN: 0834804581
ISBN 13: 9780834804586
By: Master Hsing Yun Xingyun Tom Graham

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About this book

The aim of this book is simple: to invite readers to consider what it means to lead a good life, and to offer practical advice, based on the Buddhist teachings, as to how this can be accomplished. In each of more than thirty brief essays, Master Hsing Yun treats a specific moral or ethical issue, using quotations from the rich treasury of the Buddhist scriptures as a point of departure for his discussion. Among the topics he considers are control of the body and of speech, overcoming greed, ending anger, patience under insult, how to manage wealth, how to get along with others, what it means to practice Buddhism, and the blessings and joys of that practice. The Buddhist precepts are introduced as guideposts along this path of liberation, and friendship, gratitude, and service to others are presented as essential elements of a common quest to discover and to embody our innate goodness and humanity.

Reader's Thoughts


"Being Good" is chock full of great insights into the afflictions we encounter in our daily lives. The author and translator have done a superb job, because the language flows beautifully. The book consists of Master Hsing Yun's commentary, interspersed with passages from the (mostly Mahayana) Buddhist scriptures and the Zen canon.Master Hsing Yun places great emphasis on practicing Buddhism in the natural course of our everyday lives. He calls this "Humanistic Buddhism," and it is a theme found throughout the book. From pp. 67-68:Our minds are stimulated and challenged by people more than anything else. Once we recognize this, we will realize that to practice Buddhism apart from other people is to turn away from the very essence of ourselves and of Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion founded on human nature. You will come to understand yourself, ultimately, only through your interactions with other people.I enjoyed this approach, and was also thankful for the tone of gentle encouragement that pervades the book. It felt like having a compassionate teacher lecturing to me.The short chapters make it very easy to read, and provide natural pausing points for reflection. I came across this book in a used bookstore and initially passed it up because of its generic-sounding title. I'm so glad I gave it a closer look!

Bill Currie

How ironic that a book based on Buddhist teachings to guide one in their daily lives turns out to be one that I failed to return to it's lender which will remain anonymous. However it will be returned. Wonderful read, with excellent, relevant information applicable in today's society.

Gary Donnelly

A very (very) low-level introductory text to Buddhist ethics and the reasoning thus. So low level that it can, in fact, be misleading. Worth a scan if you are entirely new to Buddhism and Buddhist Virtue Ethics, but for anybody even vaguely familiar with anything along these lines, the book is rather a waste of time.

Steve Woods

This book is really a selection of Dharma talks by a monk. There are some good points contained in it but a person would need a background in Buddhist practice to make much sense out of it. there are many references to various sutras, and that makes it a bit esoteric for anyone just starting out on the paths but still worth a read.,

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