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The Separation of Church and State of Mind
New Buddhist Book Offers Teens
Answers To Tough Questions
(Los Angeles) Sex, philosophy, science, art and religion - teens are expected to form their own opinions on these topics while subjected to a barrage of conflicting messages from parents, schools, the church and the media. No wonder teens feel a great deal of angst. A new book by spiritual leader Daisaku Ikeda titled The Way of Youth; Buddhist Common Sense for Handling Life's Questions (Middleway Press, ISBN 0-9674697-0-8, paperback, $14.95) encourages teens to begin their journey of self-exploration with an open mind and a philosophical, positive approach.
The Way of Youth discusses Buddhism as a state of mind rather than a religion. Buddha simply means "enlightened one," and Buddhist practice encourages self-reliance and moral action based on tolerance, acceptance and reflection. Because Buddhism has no dogma that conflicts with modern day scientific theories, and takes no stance on the existence of God, teens of all faiths can benefit from the answers provided in this book.
The Way of Youth, takes an avuncular approach to answering a comprehensive list of the 85 most common questions asked by teenagers - questions and answers that will prove surprisingly beneficial even to adult parents, teachers and counselors - all from a Buddhist perspective.
The book, in nine easy-to-read chapters, shows teenagers how to deal with such concerns as nagging parents, peer pressure, friendship and sex, fear of failure, dropping out, job and career ambitions or the lack of them and dealing with bullies and violence. Chapters include family, friendship, love, learning, work, dreams and goals, confidence, compassion and the bigger picture.
Ikeda has been a Buddhist spiritual guide for the past 50 years and is the author of more than 200 books, many translated into several foreign languages. In 1960 he became president of Soka Gakkai International, which promotes education, international cultural exchange and world peace.
Founded in Japan in 1930, SGI with membership in 186 countries, and its American affiliate SGI-USA, seeks peace by working against violence using the philosophy and ideals of the Buddhism of Nichiren. Nichiren was a thirteenth-century Japanese Buddhist teacher and reformer who, based on the Lotus Sutra, taught the sanctity of human life above all.
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