The grand delusion
This is a fun, unique book that goes deep into the great mysteries of knowing.
In The Grand Delusion, Hagen drills deep into the most basic assumptions, strengths, and limitations of religion and belief, philosophy and inquiry, science and technology. In doing so, he shines new light on the question Why is there Something rather than Nothing?—and shines this light from an entirely unexpected (and largely unexplored) direction.
Using a provocative mix of examples from physics, philosophy, religion, myth, neuroscience, and mathematics—and a clever conversational exploration between Hagen and his interlocutor, “ANYONE”—this book also offers a fresh perspective on questions that science, philosophy, and religion have long grappled with.
Layer by layer, Hagen examines the questions we ask, the way we ask them, the assumptions and beliefs we hold dear, and the ways in which we separate ourselves from the very answers we seek. In the process, he draws on sources that include Huang Po, Richard Feynman, Sir Arthur Eddington, Hui-Neng, Susan B. Anthony, Daniel Dennett, Joseph Campbell, Dogen, Emily Dickinson, Nagarjuna, Ikkyu, William I. McLaughlin, Sam Harris, and Henry David Thoreau.
Ultimately, this book reveals how all of these fundamental questions—and many, many more—stem from a single error, a single unwarranted belief, a single Grand Delusion.
“I love Steve Hagen’s books! He manages to write about the most abstruse truths and make them sound as sensible and as straightforward as baseball scores—how does he do it? This book—which is so much fun to read and is full of scientific as well as everyday examples—is written in the form of a dialog between Steve and ‘Anyone’ (you and I) in which everything Anyone thinks makes sense doesn’t. By the time Anyone gets to the end, Anyone agrees. This is a wonderful book.”
—Norman Fischer, poet, Zen priest, and author most recently of The World Could Be Otherwise (prose) and On A Train At Night(poetry)
“A brilliant philosophical masterpiece. Hagen explores some of our most cherished assumptions about reality and self in a thought-provoking yet lighthearted interview-style conversation. This book is bound to shake up how you understand your life.”
—Mark Van Buren, author of The Fool's Guide to Actual Happiness
“Steve Hagen's best and most ambitious book, where he gets to the bottom of religion, philosophy, and science and settles the deepest questions that have long bedeviled human beings. Amazingly, he succeeds at all of the above in a book that's immensely readable, enjoyable, and accessible.”
—Scott Edelstein, author of The User's Guide to Spiritual Teachers
“A thought-provoking read. Steve Hagen has a knack for taking complex ideas and presenting them simply and straightforwardly.”
—Tim Burkett, author of Nothing Holy About It
WHY THE WORLD DOESN'T SEEM TO MAKE SENSE
In this wise and original book, science writer and Zen priest Steve Hagen helps us to perceive the world as it is, not merely as we conceive it to be. This revised and updated edition includes new scientific understandings and clarifications of some of the more complex ideas. “Read this book: it will change how you look at things.” – Nick Herbert, Ph.D., author of Quantum Reality
“For those who are certain that objectivity and intellect are the ground floor of all knowledge, this can be a valuable trip to the sub-basement.”
—Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
“An unusually stimulating and exhilarating book, of profound value to those seeking to clarify the essential nature of everyday existence—in short, all of us.”
—Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard
Buddhism Plain and Simple
When the Buddha was asked to sum up his teachings in a single word he said "awareness"—experiencing the whole of reality, seeing what is, and being entirely in the present. In this way, the mind is made free.
In Buddhism Plain and Simple, Zen priest and longtime teacher Steve Hagen presents this heart of Buddhist teaching, pared down to its essence and explained in simple, everyday language. This best-selling beginner's guide to Buddhism text has served international readers at all levels of study and practice since it was originally published over a decade ago. More than 300,000 copies in various formats have sold to date, and now it's available in this brand new, high-quality paperback edition.
Praised by Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, as "the clearest and most precise exposition of Buddhism I have ever read. If you're looking for enlightenment rather than just scholarly knowledge, you'd better read this." Buddhism Plain and Simple is the perfect "beginner's mind" introduction to the practice of being awake and in touch with the here and now.
“This is the clearest and most precise exposition of Buddhism I have ever read. If you’re looking for enlightenment rather than just scholarly knowledge, you’d better read this.”
—Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
“This book is a beacon of clarity and wisdom, a sobering teacher for us all. Simple and outstanding. Highly recommended.”
—Charlotte Joko Beck, author of Everyday Zen
“Buddhism Plain and Simple, is a delightfully direct pathway toward our true heart.”
—Stephen Levine, author of Who Dies?
Buddhism IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK
Bestselling author and renowned Zen teacher Steve Hagen penetrates the most essential and enduring questions at the heart of the Buddha's teachings: How can we see the world in each moment, rather than merely as what we think, hope, or fear it is? How can we base our actions on reality, rather than on the longing and loathing of our hearts and minds? How can we live lives that are wise, compassionate, and in tune with reality? And how can we separate the wisdom of Buddhism from the cultural trappings and misconceptions that have come to be associated with it?
Drawing on down-to-earth examples from everyday life and stories from Buddhist teachers past and present, Hagen tackles these fundamental inquiries with his trademark lucid, straightforward prose. The newcomer to Buddhism will be inspired by this accessible and provocative introduction, and those more familiar with Buddhism will welcome this much needed hands-on guide to understanding what it truly means to be awake. By being challenged to question what we take for granted, we come to see the world as it truly is. Buddhism Is Not What You Think offers a profound and clear path to a life of joy and freedom
“Hagen's writing flows in a tranquil way, like a spring trickling up effortlessly from the earth. One tends to stop judging it and just appreciate it for its own sake. Since this appreciation is his advice for dealing with everything, the sentences themselves actually create what they are describing.”
—Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
“This is not just another nice book about Buddhism, one telling us what we like to hear and are used to hearing. No—it is a clear and challenging showing of the fundamental truth of our lives. This is an exceptional book. Make good use of it.”
—Charlotte Joko Beck, author of Everyday Zen: Love and Work and Nothing Special: Living Zen
MEDITATION NOW OR NEVER
National bestselling author and teacher Steve Hagen strips away the cultural and religious jargon surrounding meditation and provides an accessible and thorough manual for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike. Inside you will find:
“For the beginner, a lucid, no-frills introduction to Buddhist meditation. For the practitioner, a timely reminder of what meditation is all about.”
—Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism Without Beliefs
“Clean and clear as a mountain stream. I wish I had found such a book when I began meditating. Hagen acts as ‘the good teacher’ offering much, needing nothing.”
—Stephen Levine, author of A Gradual Awakening