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In 2002, Judy Cook discovered a packet of letters written by her great-great-grandparents, Gilbert and Esther Claflin, during the American Civil War. An unexpected bounty, these letters from 1862-63 offer visceral witness to the war, recounting the trials of a family separated. Gilbert, an articulate and cheerful forty-year-old farmer, was drafted into the Union Army and served in the Thirty-Fourth Wisconsin Infantry garrisoned in western Kentucky along the Mississippi. Esther had married Gilbert when she was fifteen; now a woman with two teenage sons, she ran the family farm near Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in Gilbert's absence. In his letters, Gilbert writes about food, hygiene, rampant desertions by drafted men, rebel guerrilla raids, and pastimes in the daily life of a soldier. His comments on interactions with Confederate prisoners and ex-slaves before and after the Emancipation Proclamation reveal his personal views on monumental events. Esther shares in her letters the challenges and joys of maintaining the farm, accounts of their boys Elton and Price, concerns about finances and health, and news of their local community and extended family. Esther's experiences provide insight into family, farm, and village life in the wartime North, an often overlooked aspect of Civil War history. Judy Cook has made the letters accessible to a wider audience by providing historical context with notes and appendixes. The volume includes a foreword by Civil War historian Keith S. Bohannon.
In How to Be Happy, Lama Zopa Rinpoche helps us find our good heart, the heart that rejoices in the happiness of others. How to transform problems into happiness, how to find compassion for our "enemies", how to treat ourselves with kindness; it is on these persistent and universal challenges that Lama Zopa offers his wise and warm teachings. Including three wonderfully rich and evocative guided meditations, How to Be Happy works with the reader to show that happiness in this present moment is dependent on the wisdom of a truly open and generous heart. Anyone looking for advice on how to be happy - truly, meaningfully happy - will find Lama Zopa Rinpoche to be a trustworthy and skillful guide. He is a tireless teacher of methods that work for us when all is well, and also when life's troubles, big and small, seem unmanageable.
The 108 pieces in the international bestseller Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? offer thoughtful commentary on everything from love and commitment to fear and pain. Drawing from his own life experience, as well as traditional Buddhist folk tales, author Ajahn Brahm uses over thirty years of spiritual growth as a monk to spin delightful tales that can be enjoyed in silence or read aloud to friends and family. Featuring titles such as "The Two-Finger Smile" and "The Worm and His Lovely Pile of Dung," these wry and witty stories provide playful, pithy takes on the basic building blocks of everyday life. Suitable for children, adults, and anyone in between, this eloquent volume wraps insight and inspiration inside of a good old yarn.
This life-affirming, instructive, and thoroughly inspiring book is a must-read for anyone who is - or who might one day be - sick. It can also be the perfect gift of guidance, encouragement, and uplifting inspiration to family, friends, and loved ones struggling with the many terrifying or disheartening life changes that come so close on the heels of a diagnosis of a chronic condition or life-threatening illness. Authentic and graceful, How to be Sick reminds us of our endless inner freedom, even under high degrees of suffering and pain. The author - who became ill while a university law professor in the prime of her career - tells the reader how she got sick and, to her and her partner's bewilderment, stayed that way. Toni had been a longtime meditator, going on long meditation retreats and spending many hours rigorously practicing, but soon discovered that she simply could no longer engage in those difficult and taxing forms. She had to learn ways to make "being sick" the heart of her spiritual practice - and through truly learning how to be sick, she learned how, even with many physical and energetic limitations, to live a life of equanimity, compassion, and joy. And whether we ourselves are ill or not, we can learn these vital arts from Bernhard's generous wisdom in How to Be Sick.
In this dynamic and utterly novel presentation, David Loy explores the fascinating proposition that the stories we tell--about what is and is not possible, about ourselves, about right and wrong, life and death, about the world and everything in it--become the very building blocks of our experience and of reality itself. Loy uses an intriguing mixture of quotations from familiar and less-familiar sources and brief stand-alone micro-essays, engaging the reader in challenging and illuminating dialogue. As we come to see that the world is made--in a word--of stories, we come to a richer understanding of that most elusive of Buddhist ideas: shunyata, the "generative emptiness" that is the all-pervading quality inherent to all mental and physical forms in our ever-changing world. Reminiscent of Zen koans and works of sophisticated poetry, this book will reward both a casual read and deep reflection.
Anyen Rinpoche's wise and reassuring voice guides readers through the Tibetan Buddhist teachings on death and dying, while providing practical tools for end-of-life and estate planning. Dying with Confidence reads like a remarkable how-to guide, laying out in clear and straightforward language the preparations we must make and the best practices to use while dying to further our goal of enlightenment.
Stories are ancient and wondrous tools with the mysterious power to transform lives. And the stories and parables of the Lotus Sutra-one of the world's great religious scriptures and most influential texts-are among the most fascinating and dramatic. In this fun, engaging, and plain-English book, Gene Reeves-the translator of Wisdom's critically acclaimed and bestselling edition of the Lotus Sutra-presents the most memorable and remarkable of the Lotus Sutra's many stories and parables, along with a distillation of his decades of reflection on them in an accessible, inspiring, and naturally illuminating way. The Stories of the Lotus Sutra is the perfect companion to Reeve's breathtaking translation of this scriptural masterpiece as well as a thoroughly enjoyable stand-alone volume for those who want to bring the inspiring teachings of the bodhisattva path into their daily lives.
Beloved and critically acclaimed author Lin Jensen returns with this bounteous volume exploring what the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins calls "deep down things." Richly informed by deep ecology, Lin's writing explores our intimate connection to the land, to the specificities of place, and to the living earth itself-all as Lin uncovers our own deepest nature, the true heart of what it means to be human. There is much in what's happening in our environment now that can and perhaps should be cause for dismay - and Deep Down Things looks squarely at all of this and nonetheless gives us ample cause for celebration.
Join the bestselling author ofCiao, America!on a lively tour of modern Italy that takes you behind the seductive face it puts on for visitors--la bella figura--and highlights its maddening, paradoxical true self You won't need luggage for this hypothetical and hilarious trip into the hearts and minds of Beppe Severgnini's fellow Italians. In fact, Beppe would prefer if you left behind the baggage his crafty and elegant countrymen have smuggled into your subconscious. To get to hisItalia, you'll need to forget about your idealized notions of Italy. AlthoughLa Bella Figurawill take you to legendary cities and scenic regions, your real destinations are the places where Italians are at their best, worst, and most authentic: The highway:in America, a red light has only one possible interpretation--Stop! An Italian red light doesn't warn or order you as much as provide an invitation for reflection. The airport:where Italians prove that one of their virtues (an appreciation for beauty) is really a vice. Who cares if the beautiful girls hawking cell phones in airport kiosks stick you with an outdated model? That's the price of gazing upon perfection. The small town:which demonstrates the Italian genius for pleasant living: "a congenial barber . . . a well-stocked newsstand . . . professionally made coffee and a proper pizza; bell towers we can recognize in the distance, and people with a kind word and a smile for everyone. " The chaos of the roads, the anarchy of the office, the theatrical spirit of the hypermarkets, and garrulous train journeys; the sensory reassurance of a church and the importance of the beach; the solitude of the soccer stadium and the crowded Italian bedroom; the vertical fixations of the apartment building and the horizontal democracy of the eat-in kitchen. As you venture to these and many other locations rooted in the Italian psyche, you realize that Beppe has become your Dante and shown you a country that "has too much style to be hell" but is "too disorderly to be heaven. " Ten days, thirty places. From north to south. From food to politics. From saintliness to sexuality. This ironic, methodical, and sentimental examination will help you understand why Italy--as Beppe says--"can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters or ten minutes. "
A psychologist with a reputation for penetrating to the heart of complex parenting issues joins forces with a physician and bestselling author to tackle one of the most disturbing and misunderstood trends of our time -- peers replacing parents in the lives of our children.Dr. Neufeld has dubbed this phenomenon peer orientation, which refers to the tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction: for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behaviour. But peer orientation undermines family cohesion, poisons the school atmosphere, and fosters an aggressively hostile and sexualized youth culture. It provides a powerful explanation for schoolyard bullying and youth violence; its effects are painfully evident in the context of teenage gangs and criminal activity, in tragedies such as in Littleton, Colorado; Tabor, Alberta and Victoria, B.C. It is an escalating trend that has never been adequately described or contested until Hold On to Your Kids. Once understood, it becomes self-evident -- as do the solutions.Hold On to Your Kids will restore parenting to its natural intuitive basis and the parent-child relationship to its rightful preeminence. The concepts, principles and practical advice contained inHold On to Your Kids will empower parents to satisfy their children's inborn need to find direction by turning towards a source of authority, contact and warmth.
In each of his widely acclaimed, best-selling books, Dr. Andrew Weil has been an authoritative and companionable guide through a uniquely effective combination of traditional and nontraditional approaches to health and healthy living. Now he gives us a book about aging that is unlike any other. Drawing on the new science of biogerontology (the biology of aging) as well as on the secrets of healthy longevity -- diet, activity and attitude -- Dr. Weil explains that there are a myriad of things we can do to keep our bodies and minds in good working order through all phases of life. Hugely informative, practical, and uplifting,Healthy Agingis infused with the engaging candor and common sense that have made Dr. Weil our most trusted source on healthy living. With detailed information on: -Learning to eat right: Following the anti-inflammatory diet, Dr. Weil's guide to the nutritional components of a healthy lifestyle -Separating myth from fact about the would-be elixirs of life extension -- herbs, hormones, and anti-aging "medicines" -Learning exercise, breathing and stress-management techniques to benefit your mind and body -Understanding the science behind the aging process -Keeping record of your life lessons to share with loved ones.
A Future Perfect is the first comprehensive examination of the most important revolution of our time--globalization--and how it will continue to change our lives. Do businesses benefit from going global? Are we creating winner-take-all societies? Will globalization seal the triumph of junk culture? What will happen to individual careers? Gathering evidence worldwide, from the shantytowns of São Paolo to the boardrooms of General Electric, from the troubled Russia-Estonia border to the booming San Fernando Valley sex industry, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge deliver an illuminating tour of the global economy and a fascinating assessment of its potential impact.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Narrated by over twenty distinct voices and full of dangerous humour, English Passengers combines wit, adventure and historical detail in a mesmerizing display of storytelling. When Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his band of smugglers have their contraband confiscated they are forced to put their ship, Sincerity, up for charter. The only takers are two Englishmen, the Reverend Geoffrey Wilson, who believes that the Garden of Eden was on the island of Tasmania, and Dr. Thomas Potter who is developing his sinister thesis concerning the races of man. Meanwhile an aboriginal in Tasmania, Peevay, recounts his people's struggles against the invading British. As the English passengers haplessly approach his land, their bizarre notions ever more painfully at odds with reality, we know a mighty collision is looming.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Complete in one breathtaking volume -- Books One and Two of an unforgettable historical romance series by an exciting new author They were two Viking lords, the brothers Wolf and Dragon, bound both by blood and by a shared ambition to end the war with their lifelong enemies, the Saxons. They know that their only hope for peace is to persuade the Saxon Lord Hawk to unite his noble family with theirs -- in a bond sealed forever by the sanctity of marriage. Together these three men will strive to overcome centuries-old rivalries and hatred. Each will unite in marriage with an extraordinary woman who has her own special gift -- and her own dreams of bringing about an end to war. . . . Book One InDream of Mewe meet the Viking leader Wolf Hakonson as he embarks on a mission to kidnap the Lady Cymbra, a legendary beauty Wolf mistakenly believes is the cause of war. Instead he discovers that she is a gifted healer who will challenge him to confront his deepest yearnings -- and together they will become soul mates who forge a future blessed by peace. Book Two The drama continues inBelieve in Me, when the Saxon Lord Hawk, brother of Cymbra, seeks to strengthen the alliance by wedding a Norse noblewoman. But Lady Krysta arrives bearing many secrets -- including her gift for seeing what others cannot. And as an unexpected love ignites, only Krysta can sense the looming danger that threatens the peace -- and Hawk as well. Now, discover Josie Litton. . . .
In this, the final volume in John Updike's mock-heroic trilogy about the Jewish American writer Henry Bech, our hero is older but scarcely wiser. Now in his seventies, he remains competitive, lecherous, and self-absorbed, lost in a brave new literary world where his books are hyped by Swiss-owned conglomerates, showcased in chain stores attached to espresso bars, and returned to warehouses just three weeks later. In five chapters more startling and surreal than any that have come before, Bech presides over the American literary scene, enacts bloody revenge on his critics, and wins the world's most coveted writing prize. It's not easy being Henry Bech in the post-Gutenbergian world, but somebody has to do it, and he brings to the task his signature mixture of grit, spit, and ennui.an world, but somebody has to do it, and he brings to the task an indomitable mixture of grit and ennui.From the Hardcover edition.
Bestselling author Alain de Botton considers how our private homes and public edifices influence how we feel, and how we could build dwellings in which we would stand a better chance of happiness.In this witty, erudite look at how we shape, and are shaped by, our surroundings, Alain de Botton applies Stendhal's motto that "Beauty is the promise of happiness" to the spaces we inhabit daily. Why should we pay attention to what architecture has to say to us? de Botton asks provocatively.With his trademark lucidity and humour, de Botton traces how human needs and desires have been served by styles of architecture, from stately Classical to minimalist Modern, arguing that the stylistic choices of a society can represent both its cherished ideals and the qualities it desperately lacks. On an individual level, de Botton has deep sympathy for our need to see our selves reflected in our surroundings; he demonstrates with great wisdom how buildings -- just like friends -- can serve as guardians of our identity. Worrying about the shape of our sofa or the colour of our walls might seem self-indulgent, but de Botton considers the hopes and fears we have for our homes at a new level of depth and insight. When shopping for furniture or remodelling the kitchen, we don't just consider functionality but also the major questions of aesthetics and the philosophy of art: What is beauty? Can beautiful surroundings make us good? Can beauty bring happiness? The buildings we find beautiful, de Botton concludes, are those that represent our ideas of a meaningful life. The Architecture of Happiness marks a return to what Alain does best -- taking on a subject whose allure is at once tantalizing and a little forbidding and offering to readers a completely beguiling and original exploration of the subject. As he did with Proust, philosophy, and travel, now he does with architecture.From the Hardcover edition.
The 30th anniversary edition of the first V. I. Warshawski novel, Indemnity Only, featuring a new afterword from Sara Paretsky Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. But trouble is Chicago private eye V. I. Warshawski's specialty. Her client says he's the prominent banker John Thayer. Turns out he's not. He says his son's girlfriend, Anita Hill, is missing. Turns out that's not her real name. V. I.'s search turns up someone soon enough--the real John Thayer's son, and he's dead. Who's V. I.'s client? Why has she been set up and sent out on a wild-goose chase? By the time she's got it figured, things are hotter--and deadlier--than Chicago in July. V. I.'s in a desperate race against time. At stake: a young woman's life.
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless. Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Beginner's Guide to Insight Meditation offers advice about going on retreat and help in choosing a teacher and a sangha (practice community), as well as suggestions for further reading and information on various Insight Meditation or Vipassana centers and resources. Here is an enormously practical book that covers every aspect of the teachings a beginner needs to get started.
In the same engaging style that has endeared him to readers of Mindfulness In Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana delves deeply into each step of the Buddha's most profound teaching on bringing an end to suffering: the noble eightfold path. With generous and specific advice, Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness offers skillful ways to handle anger, to find right livelihood, and to cultivate loving-friendliness in relationships with parents, children, and partners, as well as tools to overcome all the mental hindrances that prevent happiness. Whether you are an experienced meditator or someone who's only just beginning, this gentle and down-to-earth guide will help you bring the heart of the Buddha's teachings into every aspect of your life. A Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Awards finalist (Spirituality/Inspirational).
Maitreya's Ratnagotravibhaga, also known as the Uttaratantra, is the main Indian treatise on buddha nature, a concept that is heavily debated in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. In A Direct Path to the Buddha Within, Klaus-Dieter Mathes looks at a pivotal Tibetan commentary on this text by Go Lotsawa Zhonu Pal, best known as the author of the Blue Annals. Go Lotsawa, whose teachers spanned the spectrum of Tibetan schools, developed a highly nuanced understanding of buddha nature, tying it in with mainstream Mahayana thought while avoiding contested aspects of the so-called empty-of-other (zhentong) approach. In addition to translating key portions of Go Lotsawa's commentary, Mathes provides an in-depth historical context, evaluating Go's position against those of other Kagyu, Nyingma, and Jonang masters and examining how Go Lotsawa's view affects his understanding of the buddha qualities, the concept of emptiness, and the practice of mahamudra.
With his books Landscapes of Wonder and Longing for Certainty, the American monk Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano led readers down literary trails, providing enlightening glimpses of the natural world. In Available Truth, he guides us further along the path. His unqualified embrace of the Buddha's worldview - in intelligent and deeply thoughtful prose - distinguishes his work from many other Western Buddhist books. Along with reflections on mindfulness, impermanence, and the end of suffering, Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano is not afraid to delve into the topics of rebirth, karma, nonvirtue, and the roles of reasoned faith, ritual, and monasticism, revealing their continuing relevance for today's seeker. His patient awareness of the workings of the mind and the natural world will enable readers to deepen both their practice and their lives. Available Truth will surely stand the test of time as both sound teaching and elegant writing.
Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, is the highest meditative practice of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. Approaching the Great Perfection looks at a seminal figure of this lineage, Jigme Lingpa, an eighteenth-century scholar and meditation master whose cycle of teachings, the Longchen Nyingtig, has been handed down through generations as a complete path to enlightenment. Ten of Jigme Lingpa's texts are presented here, along with extensive analysis by van Schaik of a core tension within Buddhism: Does enlightenment develop gradually, or does it come all at once? Though these two positions are often portrayed by modern scholars as entrenched polemical views, van Schaik explains that both tendencies are present within each of the Tibetan Buddhist schools. He demonstrates how Jigme Lingpa is a great illustration of this balancing act, using the rhetoric of both sides to propel his students along the path of the Great Perfection.
From the best-selling author of Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, Ayya Khema's Be an Island guides us along the path of Buddhist meditation with direct and practical advice, giving us contemplative tools to develop a healthy sense of personal being. Be an Island is at once an introduction to the teachings of Buddhism and a rich continuation of Ayya Khema's personal vision of Buddhist practice.
Awesome Nightfall: The Life, Times, and Poetry of Saigyo captures the power of Saigyo's poetry and this previously overlooked poet's keen insight into the social and political world of medieval Japan. It also offers a fascinating look into the world of Japanese Buddhism prior to the wholesale influence of Zen.
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