The Heart of Buddhism

In Search of the Timeless Spirit of Primitive Buddhism

Takeuchi Yoshinori

In this book Takeuchi Yoshinori, one of the leading figures of the Kyoto School, shows how an existentialist hermeneutic can disclose the true meaning of Buddhism. His primary focus is on the two core notions of primitive Buddhism: the stages of contemplation and the theory of dependent origination. Working over the Pali texts of primitive Buddhism, Takeuchi seeks to unearth the fundamental concerns of Buddhist theory and practice, and to relate them to the contemporary world.

This Japanese scholar endeavors to correct some misunderstandings that are still rampant in the West….But he does far more than this. Mainly he tries to guide the Western reader to a critical and self-critical understanding of two tenets that are as central to Buddhism as they are hard to grasp.

Hans Küng

The book…will threaten the assumptions of almost any Western reader. This is the kind of writing that can renew the understanding of what is at stake religiously in metaphysics.

Frank E. Reynolds