Full disclaimer: I come from the Zen tradition.
This book belongs to the Theravada tradition and depicts Buddhism as an ascetic practice, well suited for monks who have no family. This outlook lacks the adaptability and the lightness of the Zen view. Indeed, the Zen view inherits these features from Chinese Daoism. By contrast, in this book there are several references to the existence of Mara, the Buddhist devil, and the spiritual path is seen in terms of effort and restraint. There is a lot of aversion toward the body ('a nest of disease' in 11.3) and I learned from experience that hating the body brings no good.
Some parts are very wise, like:
'Perceive the world as a bubble
perceive the world as a mirage
if you see the world in this way
you render the lord of death powerless'.
However, this interpretation of Buddhism focuses on the self (which does NOT exist) and on making one's future life better. In my humble opinion, this actually misses some of the most important insights that are present in Buddhist thought. All of us are already in Nirvana right now, since there is no actual difference between the world of categorized objects and the 'other shore'....Continua