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12 Steps on Buddha's Path is an inspiring firsthand account of what happens when life seems hopeless and the miracle of finding out that it's anything but. The author describes her own journey of recovery from alcoholism - an astonishing passage through strange and frightening territory - and marks out the path that allowed her to emerge from that darkness as a wise and compassionate person living a life that is joyous and free. This book is a powerful and enriching synthesis of the 12-Step recovery programs and the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism. It is sure to appeal to anyone touched by addiction, including those looking for new ways to understand and work with the tried-and-true 12-Step system. Tens of millions of Americans suffer from alcoholism and other forms of dependence, and 12 Steps on Buddha's Path offers hope and help for any one of them. Though writing anonymously out of deep respect for 12-Step policies, the author is in fact a well-known professional author, deeply involved in the recovery and meditation communities.
The Abhidhamma, the third great division of early Buddhist teaching, expounds a revolutionary system of philosophical psychology rooted in the twin Buddhist insights of selflessness and dependent origination. In keeping with the liberative thrust of early Buddhism, this system organizes the entire spectrum of human consciousness around the two poles of Buddhist doctrine - bondage and liberation, Samsara and Nirvana - the starting point and the final goal. It thereby maps out, with remarkable rigour and precision, the inner landscape of the mind to be crossed through the practical work of Buddhist meditation. In this book of groundbreaking essays, Venerable Nyanaponika Thera, one of our age's foremost exponents of Theravada Buddhism, attempts to penetrate beneath the formidable face of the Abhidhamma and to make its principles intelligible to the thoughtful reader of today. His point of focus is the Consciousness Chapter of the Dhammasangani, the first treatise of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Basing his interpretation on the detailed list of mental factors that the Abhidhamma uses as a guide to psychological analysis, he launches into bold explorations in the multiple dimensions of conditionality, the nature of consciousness, the temporality of experience, and the psychological springs of spiritual transformation. Innovative and rich in insights, this book does not merely open up new avenues in the academic study of early Buddhism. By treating the Abhidhamma as a fountainhead of inspiration for philosophical and psychological inquiry, it demonstrates the continuing relevance of Buddhist thought to our most astute contemporary efforts to understand the elusive yet so intimate nature of the mind.
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.
Whether mere bumps in the road or genuine crises, we live in a world of unwanted events that no willpower can prevent. In The Art of Disappearing, Ajahn Brahm helps us learn to abandon the headwind of false expectations and follow instead the Buddha's path of understanding. Releasing our attachment to past and future, to self and other, we can directly experience the natural state of serenity underlying all our thoughts and discover the bliss of the present moment. In that space, we learn what it is to disappear. Ajahn Brahm, an unparalleled guide to the bliss of meditation, makes the journey as fun as it is rewarding. The Art of Disappearing, comprised of a series of teachings Ajahn Brahm gave to the monks of Bodhinyana Monastery, where he serves as abbot, offers a unique glimpse into the mind of one of contemporary Buddhism's most engaging figures.
Shikantaza--or "just sitting"--is one of the simplest, most subtle forms of meditation, and one of the most easily misunderstood. This peerless volume brings together a wealth of writings, from the Buddha himself to Bodhidharma and Dogen and many of modern Zen Buddhism's most influential masters, all pointing directly to the heart of this powerful practice. Edited by one of America's pre-eminent Zen teachers, this book is a rich resource for wisdom seekers and scholars alike.
Powerful and life-affirming, this watershed volume brings together the voices of pioneers in the field of contemplative care--from hospice and hospitals to colleges, prisons, and the military. Illustrating the day-to-day words and actions of pastoral workers, each first-person essay in this collection offers a distillation of the wisdom gained over years of compassionate experience. The stories told here are sure to inspire--whether you are a professional caregiver or simply feel inclined toward guiding, healing, and comforting roles. If you are inspired to read this book, or even one touching story in it, you just might find yourself inspired to change a life.
Powerful and Life-Affirming, this watershed volume brings together the voices of pioneers in the field of Buddhist contemplative care from hospices and hospitals to colleges, prisons, and the military. Each first-person essay offers a distillation of the wisdom gained over years of experience, and vividly shows the lived experience of each pastoral worker. The stories told here are sure to inspire-whether you are a professional caregiver or are simply called to serve through caregiving. Quite simply, this is a book that can change lives.
Meditation offers, in addition to its many other benefits, a method for achieving previously inconceivable levels of concentration. Author B. Alan Wallace has nearly thirty years' practice in attention-enhancing meditation, including a retreat he performed under the guidance of the Dalai Lama. An active participant in the much-publicized dialogues between Buddhists and scientists, Alan is uniquely qualified to speak intelligently to both camps, and The Attention Revolution is the definitive presentation of his knowledge. Beginning by pointing out the ill effects that follow from our inability to focus, Wallace moves on to explore a systematic path of meditation to deepen our capacity for deep concentration. The result is an exciting, rewarding "expedition of the mind," tracing everything from the confusion at the bottom of the trail to the extraordinary clarity and power that come with making it to the top. Along the way, the author also provides interludes and complementary practices for cultivating love, compassion, and clarity in our waking and dreaming lives. Attention is the key that makes personal change possible, and the good news is that it can be trained. This book shows how.
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.
Bodhichitta, often translated as "great compassion," is the gem at the heart of Buddhism. From this altruistic desire to serve others, all other Buddhist practices naturally flow, therefore, this state of mind is one Buddhists should understand and cultivate. In The Awakening Mind, Geshe Tashi Tsering leads us through the two main methods to develop bodhichitta that have been developed by the great Indian and Tibetan Buddhists over the centuries: the seven points of cause and effect, and equalizing and exchanging the self with others. This is the fourth release from Geshe Tashi's Foundation of Buddhist Thought series, which individually and collectively represent an excellent introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. These unique and friendly books are based on the curriculum of a popular course of the same name, developed by Geshe Tashi himself. Geshe Tashi's presentations combine rigor and comprehensiveness with lucidity and accessibility, never divorced from the basic humanity and warmth of his personality. In Geshe Tashi, we encounter the new generation of Tibetan monk-scholars teaching in the West who are following in the footsteps of such revered and groundbreaking teachers as Geshe Wangyal and Geshe Sopa.
Everyone appreciates kindness. A smile, a few friendly words, a show of concern when we're troubled or feeling unwell, an offer of help - gestures of kindness like these brighten our day and ease whatever sadness we may feel in our hearts. Feeling that "someone cares" fulfills a very deep need that we all have. And just as we appreciate other people being kind to us, others appreciate it when we are kind to them. That is why it is important to learn to be kind, because it will help make our relationships and interactions with others more satisfying and less problematic. But it's not always easy to be kind. Sometimes our hearts are filled with anger, jealousy, or pride, and being kind is the last thing we feel like doing. Or we get so caught up in our work and responsibilities that we find no time to think of others and their needs, no time to be kind and gentle. However, these problems can be remedied. The Buddhist tradition offers a wealth of methods that can be used to overcome whatever prevents us from being kind and gentle. Some of these methods are explored and explained in this book - in a way that will allow you to practice them in your daily life. Awakening the Kind Heart offers powerful and inviting meditation techniques to activate the heart of kindness within us all - a modern and motivating interpretation of traditional and powerful practices.
Mother Theresa. The Dalai Lama. Nelson Mandela. Gandhi. Some admire such figures from afar and think, "How special they are; I could never be like that." But, as John Makransky has learned, the power of real and enduring love lies within every one of us. Awakening Through Love is his guide to finding it. In Awakening Through Love, he pioneers new ways of making Tibetan meditations of compassion and wisdom accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths. Drawing from Tibetan teachings of compassion and the Dzogchen teachings of innate wisdom, and using plain, practical instruction, he helps readers uncover the unity of wisdom and love in the very nature of their minds. Then Lama John describes how to actualize those qualities in every aspect of family life, work, service and social action.
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.
This inspiring tale reminds us that no one can be truly at peace unless all beings have a chance for peace, freedom, and happiness. The Banyan Deer is a wonderful, heart-warming gift for anyone who loves a great story. This beautiful hardcover edition will delight both adults and children alike.
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.
Not only was Lama Yeshe one of the most beloved Tibetan Buddhist masters of the late twentieth century, he was also a remarkably effective teacher and communicator. In Becoming the Compassion Buddha, just as he did with his bestselling Introduction to Tantra, he once again demonstrates his extraordinary ability to present practices that once were considered arcane or hidden in a way that is clear and understandable to the general reader. In these pages, Lama Yeshe guides readers through the tantric practice of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, basing his instructions on a text written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at age nineteen. He gives special emphasis to mahamudra, the emptiness of one's own mind, and demystifies these esoteric techniques, clearly showing them for what they are: highly developed psychology. Throughout, Lama Yeshe presents his approachable teachings by drawing on examples from daily life and introducing meditation practices that all can follow. Becoming the Compassion Buddha is an extraordinary book that opens new doors for countless readers.
"The practice of purification is one of the most important solutions to life's problems." - Lama Zopa Rinpoche Common to all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, the practice of Vajrasattva is used to purify negative karma, illness, and obstacles to spiritual development. Lama Yeshe, the inspirational teacher who strongly influenced the development of Buddhism in the West, found that the practice of Vajrasattva brought dramatic results for his Western students. Becoming Vajrasattva is a complete guide to this purification practice, providing instruction on the method, commentary on the traditional texts, and insight into tantra. Also included is an entire section of complete retreat instructions - indispensable reading material for anyone undertaking a retreat in the Tibetan tradition.
In this lucid classic, beloved teacher Ayya Khema introduces the reader to the essence of the Buddhist path. She addresses the how and why of meditation, providing a clear framework for understanding the nature of karma and rebirth and the entirety of the eightfold path. With specific, practical advice Ayya Khema illuminates the practices of compassion and sympathetic joy and offers forthright guidance in working with the hindrances that we all encounter in meditation. Few introductory books are both simple and profound. Being Nobody, Going Nowhere is both.
Countless people worldlwide have made Mindfulness in Plain English a beloved and bestselling classic in almost a dozen languages. Now after nearly two decades, Bhante helps meditators of every stripe take their mindfulness practice to the next level - helping them go, in a word, beyond mindfulness. In the same warm, clear, and friendly voice, Bhante introduces the reader to what have been known for centuries as the "jhanas" - deeply calm, joyous, and powerful states of meditation that, when explored with the clearly presented tools in this book, can lead to a life of insight and unshakeable peace.
Regarded as the "crown jewel of the Himalayas," the Kingdom of Bhutan is the last remaining independent country to support Buddhism as the official state religion. Photographed over the course of three years, Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon transports us to colorful festivals and religious traditions, continuing to the remote communities along the roof of the world. This book encompasses a wide range of landscape, portrait, and editorial photographs sure to impress and please any reader interested in travel, photography, and/or Himalayan culture.
In the classic bestseller, Introduction to Tantra, Lama Yeshe offered a profound and wonderfully clear glimpse into the sophisticated practices of Tibetan Buddhist tantra. This present book, the last major teachings of this great lama, opens up the world of advanced practices for Highest Yoga Tantra initiates in much the same way his earlier work opened up the world of tantra in general. Following Je Tsongkhapa's (1357-1419 C.E.) text Having the Three Convictions, Lama Yeshe introduces the renowned Six Yogas of Naropa, focusing mainly on the first of these six, the practice of inner fire (tummo). Mastery of inner fire quickly brings the mind to its most refined and penetrating state--the experience of clear light, an extra-ordinarily powerful state of mind that is unequaled in its ability to directly realize ultimate reality. Lama Yeshe felt that twentieth-century Westerners could easily grasp the often misunderstood ideas of this esoteric tradition: "We really need tantra these days because there is a tremendous explosion of delusion and distraction.and we need the atomic energy of inner fire to blast us out of our delusion." Lama Yeshe's aim was for his students to actually taste the experience of inner fire rather than merely gain an intellectual understanding. Lama's own realization of the transformative power of these practices comes through, inspiring his students to discover for themselves their own capacity for inexhaustible bliss.
In an age when the Dalai Lama's image has been used to sell computers, rock stars have used tantra to enhance their image, and for many, Nirvana calls to mind a a favorite band, what does Buddhism mean to twenty-somethings? Blue Jean Buddha offers real stories about young Buddhists in their own words that affirm and inform the young adult Buddhist experience. This one-of-a-kind book is about the experiences of young people in America-from their late teens to early thirties-who have embraced Buddhism. Thirty-three first-person narratives reflect on a broad range of life-stories, lessons, and livelihood issues, such as growing up in a Zen center, struggling with relationships, caring for the dying, and using marathon running as meditation. Throughout, up-and-coming author Sumi Loundon provides an illuminating context for the tremendous variety of experiences shared in the book. Blue Jean Buddha was named a finalist in the 2002 Independent Publisher Book Awards (Multicultural Non-Fiction - Young Adult) as well in NAPRA's Nautilus Awards, in the Personal Journey/Memoir/Biography category.
The Book of Equanimity contains the first-ever complete English language commentary on one of the most beloved classic collections of Zen teaching stories (koans), making them vividly relevant to spiritual seekers and Zen students in the twenty-first century. Continually emphasizing koans as effective tools to discover and experience the deepest truths of our being, Wick brings the art of the koan to life for those who want to practice wisdom in their daily lives. The koan collection Wick explores here is highly esteemed as both literature and training material in the Zen tradition, in which koan-study is one of two paths a practitioner might take. This collection is used for training in many Zen centers in the Americas and in Europe but has never before been available with commentary from a contemporary Zen master. Wick's Book of Equanimity includes new translations of the preface, main case and verse for each koan, and modern commentaries on the koans by Wick himself.
The word "mu" is one ancient Zen teacher's response to the earnest question of whether even a dog has "buddha nature". Discovering for ourselves the meaning of the master's response is the urgent work of each of us who yearns to be free and at peace. "Practicing Mu" is synonymous with practicing Zen, "sitting with Mu" is an apt description for all Zen meditation, and it is said that all the thousands and thousands of koans in the Zen tradition are just further elaborations of Mu. This watershed volume brings together over forty teachers, ancient and modern masters from across centuries and schools, to illuminate and clarify the essential matter: the question of how to be most truly ourselves. Includes writings from: Dogen, Hakuin, Dahui, Thich Thien-An Zenkei Shibayama, Seung Sahn, Taizan Maezumi, Sheng Yen Philip Kapleau, Robert Aitken, Jan Chozen Bays, Shodo Harada Grace Schireson, John Daido Loori, John Tarrant Barry Magid, Joan Sutherland, and many more!
How do we build resilient children who can handle life's challenges?As parents today, we often feel that our role is to protect our children from the world: to cushion them when they fall, to lift them over obstacles, and to remove sharp rocks from their path. But controling a child's entire environment and keeping all pain at bay isn't feasible--we can't prepare the world for our children, so instead we should focus on preparing our children for the world. "The solution is not removing impediments from our children's lives," writes Krissy Pozatek, "it is compassionately encouraging them to be brave." We need to show our kids how to navigate their own terrain. If our kids face small hurdles, small pains, at a young age and learn to overcome these obstacles, they will be much better equipped to face larger trouble later in life. Early lessons in problem solving teach self-confidence and self-reliance--and show us that our kids are tougher than we think. Krissy draws her lessons from her experience guiding children in wilderness therapy and from her Buddhist practice--showing us that all life is as unpredictable as mountain weather, that impermanence is the only constant, and that the most loving act a parent can do is fearlessly ready their child to face the wilderness. For parents of children of all ages.
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