The Feeling Buddha

A Ridiculous Misinterpretation of Buddhism

David Brazier

This book contain so many mistakes and boneheaded conclusions that it never should have been published. David Brazier has attempted to take the Buddha's message and make it fit into a limited psychological framework. Among the obvious mistakes in the mishmash of misinformation are the following:

4 Noble TruthsThe Buddha SaysDavid Brazier Says
1st Noble TruthDukkha HappensLife involves Adversity
2nd Noble TruthDukkha Originates from CravingDukkha Causes Craving (sic!)
3rd Noble TruthCease craving and Dukkha will ceaseContain your passions and Dukkha won't be so bad
4th Noble TruthThe Path leading to the cessation of DukkhaThe result of containing your passions (sic!)

Notice that Brazier's interpretation of the 3rd Noble Truth contradicts his interpretation of the 2nd. He also mistranslates Nihodha as containment in order to justify? ignore? not doing what the Buddha recommends. And why on earth would the Buddha spend so much time explaining in detail the Eightfold Path if is was only the result and not the means? This interpretation is so ridiculous that even the structure makes total nonsense.

Brazier claims to have read the Buddha's discourses, but he sure wasn't paying attention. If he were to insert his misunderstanding of the 2nd Noble Truth into the teaching on Dependent Origination, he would find silly things like

If he were to substitute "containment" for "cessation" where it occurs in the suttas, he would find phrases like "the remainderless fading away, the containment".

Furthermore, the mistakes in this book are not just limited to a misinterpretation of the Four Noble Truths:

But this book is not totally useless. Remember those pictures when you were a kid - "Can you find 10 things wrong with this picture?" There would be a drawing with a man whose hat is on upside-down, a car going by with no one in the front seat, a dog with two tails, etc. Well, another good subtitle for The Feeling Buddha would "Can you find 108 Things Wrong with this Book?"

This book shows that cross tradition commentaries are very often quite suspect. Open it only if you have enough knowledge of the Four Noble Truths to give a 30 minute talk on them without notes! Don't buy this book - it only encourages 'em.

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Leigh Brasington / / Revised 02 Nov 12