Outstanding! This is what comes to mind when reviewing Jack Kornfield's compilation of the sayings accredited to the Buddha Shakyamuni retrieved from various sources. What I would recommend to the person buying this book is perhaps to read an excerpt before sitting down to meditate, or in the morning before heading off to work or school. It truly is much like a daily devotional, to be savored and "picked apart."
I love these types of works where the "author" really just plays role of "editor." In this particular case Jack is more of a compiler, retrieving these sayings from a large variety of sources. I appreciate how he simply presents us with the material, but does not do our homework for us. I am always reminded by a man who asked a shaman to interpret a dream he had, while the shaman replies, "Sure, that's great.You should hire me to interpret all of your metaphors for you, I could be your wife, too. In the night you can just roll over and ask me what it all meant. I can spoonfeed you breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well." The man who asked for the interpretation then laughs, realizing the shaman's wonderful teaching. We must find our own commentary for our Buddhist practice to grow any, much like Basho's famous "Ancient Pond" poem.
I hope you enjoy this book:)!
This is the best concise compendium of original Buddhist teachings available in (smooth) English, in my opinion. The selection is excellent and covers the full range of Buddhist traditions. The titles are generally thematic, leaving the designation of the actual sutra to a small note at the end of each selection. It is the perfect and most natural choice for those who are looking for a small bedside edition of concise Buddhist teachings rather than a complete translation of the entire Majjhima Nikaya, or some such (for that check out Wisdom Book's excellent Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, for example). In short, I can't recommend this book highly enough!