Chapter Summary from Home Grown Buddha
The primary purpose of Home Grown Buddha is to encourage the
reader to engage in the experiment of self exploration, using the basic
tools of the meditative arts. The book outlines the writer's own
experience with these experiments, beginning with outcomes and ending
Chapters One and Two provide a basic definition of
meditation and consider meditation from a psycho-behavioral perspective,
a traditional religious perspective, a mystical perspective and from a
non-conceptual perspective. The point of these chapters is to free
meditation from being seen from a one dimensional point of view.
Chapter Three is a general outline of the outcomes of
the experiments performed by the author, basically describing how a
meditation practice changed the way the author experienced a wide
variety of different aspects of his world. These changes are compared
and contrasted to things as they were.
Chapter Four further details the changes discussed in
Chapter Three, particularly in the area of how the mind is created and
how the mind creates or projects what it sees.
Chapter Five increases the specificity of the previous
chapters by exploring the role of ego or self as it begins to be
identified as a creation of mind with no independent reality of its own.
Chapter Six explores automaticity and looks at how the
experimenter begins to see desire as
a function of the illusion of self. The roots of addiction begin to show
when the illusion of self is revealed.
Chapter Seven looks at how we create ourselves through
our stories and how are stories are containers for what we believe about
Chapter Eight encourages alternative narratives designed
to free us from our mental constructs, from our bondage to ego, from
automaticity, and the stories that lock us into the illusion of
Chapter Nine explores insights into letting go of
attachments to view points such as Christians can't be Buddhists and
Buddhists can't be Christians.
Chapter Ten uses all the previous chapters to develop
the felt-sense of what it means to let go. Addiction is generalized to
being our primary existential challenge.
Chapter Eleven through Twenty-five presents the specific
techniques used in the experiments discussed above.
Home Grown Buddha differs from other books of this type by attempting to present the experience of meditation as a series of experiments. The outcomes of the experiments are the direct experiences of the author and are not an attempt to further any particular religion, teacher, lineage, sect, denomination, school or creed. Since I do not represent any specific path, I feel free to express my insights in the language of my own experience, which does not include long lists of Sanskrit or Pali terms and does include the metaphors, symbols, and everyday language of largely monotheistic American culture.