The Five-Minute Buddhist: Getting Started in Buddhism the Simple Way

The Five-Minute Buddhist

The Five-Minute Buddhist: Getting Started in Buddhism the Simple Way

By Brian Schell

ISBN-13: 9781481950978

Pages: 154

A jargon-free, plain language introduction to the foundational ideas of Buddhism and real-world tips for practicing Buddhism while balancing life in the real, modern world. This book goes easy on the mystical mumbo-jumbo and simply introduces the ideas that will help you live in the present and feel different about the world and your place in it.

Geared towards people who were raised outside of Asia and people with a secular or Christian background who want to learn more of the philosophy that can change your life. This toolkit gives short lessons in what Buddhism is, and more importantly, how to apply it in situations with which you are already very familiar.


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Chapter List

Section I: The Basics

What is Buddhism?
Who was Buddha?
What Buddhists Don’t Believe
The Four Noble Truths
The First Noble Truth
The Second Noble Truth
The Third Noble Truth
The Fourth Noble Truth
The Eightfold Path Step 1: Right View
The Eightfold Path Step 2: Right Intention
The Eightfold Path Step 3: Right Action
The Eightfold Path Step 4: Right Speech
The Eightfold Path Step 5: Right Livelihood
The Eightfold Path Step 6: Right Effort
The Eightfold Path Step 7: Right Mindfulness
The Eightfold Path Step 8: Right Concentration
The Five Precepts
The First Precept
The Second Precept
The Third Precept
The Fourth Precept
The Fifth Precept
Five Faultless Gifts
The Three Poisons
Theravada & Mahayana
Pure Land
Tantric Buddhism / Vajrayana
Tibetan Buddhism
Zen Buddhism
Buddhist Symbology
The Lotus
The Conch
The Parasol
Golden Fish
Treasure Vase
The Victory Banner
The Endless Knot
The Dharma Wheel
Buddha Jokes, Round One

Section II: Q&A And Special Topics

Beginner’s Advice
Global Suffering
Souls, Karma and Moving On
Buddhist Movies
Zen Enough?
The Three Jewels include the Sangha
Self-Help Buddhism
Koan: A Diamond In The Road
What are Stupas?
Yama & Naraka: Death and Hell
Mara The Tempter
Book Review: The Universe in a Single Atom by the Dalai Lama
Koan: Is That So?
Creation and Evolution
The Other Precepts
Koan: Obedience
No-Self or Anatman
Dependent Origination
So You Want To Be A Buddhist?
Buddhist Weddings
Dealing with the Family
Book Review: The Accidental Buddhist
Faith or Not?
The Pesky Fifth Precept
Koan: Great Waves
Do Christians Have Karma?
Buddhist Jargon and Terminology
Buddhist Pet Food
The Karma of Performance Reviews
Controlling Karma
Book Review: Buddhist Scriptures, by Edward Conze, Ed.
Buddhist Service Obligations?
Koan: A Buddha
Koan: The Muddy Road
Breath Watching & Insight Meditation
Empty Mind Meditation
Walking Meditation and Kinhin
Mindfulness Meditation
Mantra Meditation
Conceptual Meditation
Other Forms of Meditation
The Forty Meditation Themes
Buddhist Rosary Beads
Book Review: Footprints in the Snow
Prayer in Buddhism
Fat Buddha, Skinny Buddha, Laughing Buddha
Zen Gardens
Pajapati / Mahapajapati
Kwan Yin
Koan: Not Far from Buddhahood
If You Meet the Buddha on The Road, Kill Him
Buddhism and Homosexuality
Book Review: The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination
To Meat or Not to Meat?
The Four Seals
The Four Immeasurables
Koan: The Strawberry
Koan: The Sound of One Hand
A Sensitive Topic: Masturbation
Buddhist Parenting and Discipline
I, Cannibal: Horror and Buddhism
Buddhist Temples
Why Do Buddhists Pray To Idols?
Just Sitting or Just Goofing Off?
Rebirth, Death, Heaven and Nirvana
Am I Buddhist Enough?
War and Peace
Rebirth and Karma
Why Do Buddhists Fall In Love?
Koan: The Voice of Happiness
Hinduism and Buddhism
Does Nirvana Mean Death to Everything?
Compassion and Pity
How Can I Desire Enlightenment?
Stringing Us Along
Reincarnation, God, and Other Things You Don’t Believe
Creation and the Origin of the Universe
Closet Buddhism
Being In the Present
Koan: The Dead Man’s Answer
Learning Non-Materialism
Wishing Your Life Away
Attachment To Buddhism
Depression and Drugs
Koan: The Stingy Artist


  1. From

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    By Teresa Lee on January 28, 2013
    Format: Kindle Edition
    I have been reading from the internet and other books but was still unsure of some concepts. This book is easy ro understand. It is the book I was missing. Highly recommend.

    Great book that explains Buddhism
    By Jason on January 15, 2013
    Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
    I was an avid listener to the author’s previous podcast “Daily Buddhism” and was glad to see that he wrote a book based on his talks and observations. This is a great book to read if you are interested in finding out about Buddhism without the rhetoric. His explanation of the four noble truths and eight precepts makes the reader want to learn more about the Buddha.

    Two thumbs up
    By EC on January 15, 2013
    Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
    Brian Schell’s book The Five-Minute Buddhist is an eye opener. Like many people, my knowledge of Buddhism used to be basically limited to seeing bald, robed monks in the media and the “Laughing Buddha” statue at my favorite Chinese restaurant. Rub his belly for luck; sure I understand what Buddhism is about.
    In the first portion of the book, he mainly covers the history and basic ideas of Buddhism in a clear and easy to understand way. He explains how Buddhism is almost more of a philosophy than a religion and it’s a way of life that can be followed to any degree that you choose. One does not have to be a cloistered monk living free of worldly possessions, eating only vegetarian foods given by the kindness of strangers. Though that’s one end of the extreme that is right for some folks, simply living a “normal” life is compatible with Buddhism as well.
    This book also covers some of the “magical” aspects of Buddhism, those aspects of any religion where the laws of physics are violated by supernatural beings and events. But it also explains how a belief in those miraculous aspects is not required when one follows the basic path of Buddhism. In fact, I can see now how Buddhism can be compatible with Atheism, Christianity, Hinduism or most any other belief system.
    The second portion of the book is a series of questions asked by people who visited the author’s website It’s a sort of “greatest hits” of postings from the site. Brian Schell gives articulate answers on a wide variety of topics. Things covered include how one can be a fan of horror movies and still be a Buddhist, how to pick pet food as a Buddhist, and how to handle relationships as a Buddhist. It was very entertaining reading.Read more ›

    Excellent introduction to humanity’s deep, vast and rich Buddhist heritage
    By John B. Hills on November 26, 2013
    Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase
    Informative presentation of many aspects of Buddhism. Although a few matters perhaps are treated too briefly, the book overall gives an impressive and understandable picture of the depth, breadth, and vision of centuries of Buddhist belief and practice, all within a vast range of geography, ethnicities, and cultures.

    By Petra Depalo on June 26, 2013
    Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
    I have been reading Books on Buddhism for many years and a lot of them feel like Text Books. This book was easy to read even easier to understand . It takes a look at life as we live it in today’s society from a Buddhist point of view. I would and have recommended it to all my friends.

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