Everyday Buddha
August 27, 2009 6:30 AM   Subscribe

My fledgling Buddhist Dharma Punx meditation/discussion group expressed at our first meeting last week that they would like readings on "rubber meets the road" Buddhism, or the practical application of Buddhist principles in everyday life. Whatcha got, Mefi? No more inside!
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas to Religion & Philosophy (15 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
There's always martial arts. Or meditation for stress reduction.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:34 AM on August 27, 2009

The book The Accidental Buddhist by the incongruously named Dinty Moore was the least pretentious, most easily accessible book I've ever read on Buddhism. I think it qualifies as 'rubber meets the road Buddhism', which is incidentally my new favorite expression.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:39 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well, A Western Approach to Zen by Christmas Humphreys promises to answer "How can Westerners pursue eastern spirituality amid the bustle of everyday life?" on the back cover. I have not read this book, but it doesn't seem patently ridiculous now that I flip through it.
posted by reverend cuttle at 6:41 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nothing Special, Charlotte Joko Beck
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, or really anything by her

Both deal with the normal day-to-day problems of Western lay people.
posted by desjardins at 7:30 AM on August 27, 2009

I was also going to suggest Pema Chodron, whose books were my introduction to Buddhism and whose ideas and applications made immediate sense to me.

Doing basic yoga on a daily basis, even what I think of as "pop yoga", has given me a more Zen outlook and reminded me to make time for a calm mind, which in turn has given me the chance to apply that sereneness to common situations which would previously work me up.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:43 AM on August 27, 2009

Have you listened to Noah Levine's podcasts? Also Brad Warner's about as straightforward as you can get. Gentler approaches by both Charlotte Joko Beck and Thich Nhat Hanh are about how to maintain mindfulness in everyday life.

Separate from the zen thing are writings by people like Marc Ian Barasch on living compassionately (that one also has a "how to" guide), and mindfulness courses for teenagers that are geared toward stress reduction and/or ADHD issues.
posted by headnsouth at 7:50 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

"Sit Down and Shut Up" by Brad Warner deals with this, plus it's an entertaining read from an ex-punk rocker.
posted by LN at 7:53 AM on August 27, 2009

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry
posted by Zambrano at 8:31 AM on August 27, 2009

Thirding Charlotte Joko Beck - I really like her book Everyday Zen, and it definitely deals with how people in America can deal with everyday situations with a Buddhist/mindful approach.

You guys might also like Jack Kornfield's After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. As you might guess, it addresses the seeming quandary of trying to attain some kind of "Enlightenment" even as you go about your daily hum-drum life.
posted by vytae at 8:31 AM on August 27, 2009

Caring for the bereaved and dying
posted by Abiezer at 9:12 AM on August 27, 2009

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you mean. Deepak Chopra's novelization of Siddhartha Gautama's life is about as practical (without being prescriptive) as I've ever seen.
posted by cmoj at 10:31 AM on August 27, 2009

The podcasts from the ID Project seem to fit the bill. I don't think they're free any more unfortunately but maybe you can find past episodes of their "21st century buddhism" series. Brad Warner was a guest speaker there.
posted by olecranon at 2:18 PM on August 27, 2009

Nthing Pema Chodron. And if you can get your hands on her recordings (iTunes sells them), group-listening might be fun. She has a terrific voice and manner of speaking that is at once informed, intelligent, approachable, and soothing. She also has a great sense of humor. Chodron provided my introduction to Buddhism as well.
posted by ViolaGrinder at 2:51 PM on August 27, 2009

Hey everyone, thanks for the avalanche of reading! I picked up some Pema Chodron from my dinky little neighborhood library yesterday and will start reading it asap. All the podcasts are great, too.

Seriously, thank you hive mind (oh, and keep 'em coming if you've got 'em)!
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 5:10 AM on August 30, 2009

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