The Little Book of Buddhist Wisdom

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The Little Book of Buddhist Wisdom looks at what makes Buddhism unique. This includes the most central teaching in Buddhism, The Four Noble Truths, the law of karma, the Buddha’s teachings on causation – dependent co-arising – and the three marks of existence: dukkha, impermanence, and non-self, the Buddha’s description of “What the Teaching is Not,” and a discourse on "right view." More
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About Eric Van Horn

Eric Van Horn was born and raised in Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania. He graduated Pottsgrove High School in 1970 and went to college at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. He graduated from Goddard in 1973 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. His senior thesis was about his experience as a community organizer for a drug abuse prevention program in Pottstown, PA.

After graduation he worked in a number of social service jobs, but eventually discovered a love of computer programming. He spent the next 33 years working as a software engineer. In his last job he spent 18 years working in the field of medical informatics at the PKC Corporation in Burlington, Vermont. He retired from PKC in 2011 to devote his life to his Buddhist practice.

His interest in Buddhism began in 1991 when he attended a "spiritual support group" at the Burlington Unitarian Church. Over the next 20+ years he attended many retreats at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, MA, the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Barre, MA, the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Temper, NY, the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, the Bhavana Society and Monastery in High View, WV, the Embracing Simplicity Hermitage in Asheville, NC, Kharme Choling in Barnet, VT, and Maple Forest Monastery in Woodstock, VT. He went to India on Buddhist Pilgrimage in 2004.

Eric has written several papers on Buddhism, including "Jhāna in the Majjhima Nikaya" and "Reverse Engineering the Buddha's Enlightenment." These can be found at in 2015 he published the "Travel Guide to the Buddha's Path," a practice guide that provides an outline of the whole of the Buddha's path as described in the Pāli canon.

He moved from Vermont to New Mexico in 2014 because it was "sunnier, warmer, and cheaper." He also found a living situation that is quieter and more conducive to meditation. He has two adult children, Seth and Rebecca, a daughter-in-law Britomarte, and a grandson James.

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About the Series: The Little Books on Buddhism
This eight-book series takes you through the entire arc of Buddhist practice, from first sitting to final awakening, what is also called “enlightenment.” They provide instruction on the first stage of meditation, on ethical conduct, the life and times of the Buddha himself, as well as the foundational, wisdom teachings of the Buddha.

The topics then move on to more advanced topics like mindfulness, concentration, and daily living. And finally there are the transcendent issues of rebirth, the Buddhist cosmology, and awakening itself.

What we discover is that the Buddha’s message is timeless. It does not need to be modernized, merged with the field of psychology, or Westernized. One of the great lessons of the Buddha’s discourses is that in 2500 years, the human mind has not changed. And the cure for our problems of living has not changed, either.

Also in Series: The Little Books on Buddhism

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Jnana Hodson reviewed on July 12, 2019

As one of Horn's eight "little books" on aspects of Buddhism, this volume takes a "hands on" approach to understanding. It's a map to assist individual experience, rather than a set of tightly defined answers. Horn does a fine job of acknowledging the complexities of Buddhist teaching while giving a layman a view of the field – especially as he sweeps away many of the misunderstandings repeated in popular Western literature. Don't expect a set of snippet quotes – he's looking at the place of the central teachings as guideposts. There's no way to avoid getting technical in addressing this topic, but he does cut through to the core, often with applicable insights from his long, first-hand practice.
(review of free book)
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