Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Unlearning the Basics - Praise

A New Way of Understanding Yourself and the World

Unlearning the Basics might be understood as a sequel to the classic Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: gently nudging us back to what we thought we knew and helping us discover something fresh and real-something suddenly self-evident. A rare and precious achievement.”—Kurt Spellmeyer, author of Buddha at the Apocalypse

“An exciting read. Sativihari's book is in many ways a model for how the teachings of the Buddha could and should be talked about in a psychologically mature and sophisticated environment and offers the author's own innovative insights into what the Buddha was trying to convey in his explication of the Four Noble Truths. This is an important book that brings us much closer to a more nuanced understanding of the Buddha's own thought processes.”—from the foreword by Mu Soeng, author of The Heart of the Universe and Trust in Mind

“An exhilarating and lucid introduction to Buddhist thought. Sativihari begins with a sophisticated reading of the Four Noble Truths as a sacred poem and ends with a plea for more compassionate culture and politics. In between there is wisdom spiked on every page.”—Mark Kingwell Ph.D., author of The World we Want

“This book is a treasure. It poetically presents elemental aspects of Buddhist thought and is ideal for those in the West seeking to learn more about Buddhism and to glimpse reality afresh. The book is written with profound depth and elegant simplicity that inspires the reader to re-image life and to live the way of compassion and openness.”—Pamela R. McCarroll, professor of Pastoral Theology, Knox College

“As a practitioner trained in Christian forms of meditation, philosophy and theology, I am deeply grateful for Rishi Sativihari's achievement in Unlearning the Basics. His translation of Buddhist wisdom into Western language and images is practical and concrete. Often, attempts to help Westerners understand Buddhism rely too heavily on idealist philosophies, leading to a kind of mystification of the four noble truths. Because Dr. Sativihari appeals consistently to experience and is sophisticated in his understanding of Western philosophy and theology, he can present the four noble truths with profound spiritual realism. The work is very reader-friendly, showing the fruits of extensive reflection on pedagogical practice. There is genuine spiritual maturity at work in this text.”—Gilles Mongeau, S.J. professor of Systematic Theology, Regis College at the University of Toronto