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Throughout history, symbols have formed and shaped our mental and
emotional states, and influenced our behavior. Robert Adkinson's
compendium of religious, philosophical, and cultural emblems from a
variety of contexts reveals the universal power of these elemental
images, bridging the gap between languages and civilizations all
over the world. With illuminating commentary, Adkinson positions
each image within its cultural context, from the early societies of
the Egyptians, the Celts and the Maya, who used visual metaphors to
explain natural phenomena and illustrate concepts of good and evil,
to the iconography of Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity as found
in art and architecture, concluding with the complex spiritual
puzzles of the mandala, sacred sex, and the Tarot.
This book is based on a revered collection, long ago considered lost, of three-hundred-year-old Tibetan thangkas: elaborate paintings that portray a philosophy of healing based on Buddhist beliefs, Ayurvedic practices and ancient shamanic traditions. Rendered by Tibet's foremost traditional artist, Romio Shrestha, using the age-old techniques of painting with rich materials such as gold and lapis lazuli, these breathtaking works reward the minutest contemplation. The Tibetan Art of Healing is also a practical guide to our search for physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. With insights into such 'contemporary' ailments as stress, allergies and heart disease, and chapters devoted to aspects of sexual alchemy, rejuvenation and Tantric yoga, this wide-ranging study is an unprecendented journey into health and transformation, an astonishing volume as timely and revolutionary as it is sumptuous and exuberant.
With its easy-to-follow format and glorious full-color illustrations, this is the ideal choice for a home seder attended by lots of children or a congregational model seder. In just 40 pages, Family Haggadah presents all the key elements of the seder in a child-friendly way that will charm everyone at the table. Special features include: Vibrant images of ancient and contemporary artifacts and illuminated Haggadot Photographs of modern children celebrating Passover Sidebars that provide enlightening commentary and thoughtful discussion questions New traditions and innovations, including Miriam's Cup Suggested techniques for involving young children in the service Popular children's Passover songs Conduct a proper seder, enjoy group discussion and learning opportunities, and keep the children engaged--all in just 45 minutes!
An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism, third edition, offers a comprehensive study of a contemporary form of Hinduism. Begun as a revival and reform movement in India 200 years ago, it has now become one of the fastest growing and most prominent forms of Hinduism. The Swaminarayan Hindu transnational network of temples and institutions is expanding in India, East Africa, the UK, USA, Australasia, and in other African and Asian cities. The devotion, rituals, and discipline taught by its founder, Sahajanand Swami (1781-1830) and elaborated by current leaders in major festivals, diverse media, and over the Internet, help preserve ethnic and religious identity in many modern cultural and political contexts. Swaminarayan Hinduism, here described through its history, divisions, leaders, theology and practices, provides valuable case studies of contemporary Hinduism, religion, migrants, and transnationalism. This new edition includes up-to-date information about growth, geographic expansion, leadership transitions, and impact of Swaminarayan institutions in India and abroad.
Centred around three journeys to Mount Athos, one of the most important places in Orthodox Christianity, this is both a beautifully nuanced travel book and a journey of self-discovery in a world beset by violence and fear. Mount Athos is the spiritual home of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and for more than ten centuries this monastic community in northern Greece has been a centre for contemplative life, a staging ground for mystical visions and teachings, and a watch tower for Byzantium. A world unto itself, which has existed almost unchanged since medieval times, the theocratic state of Athos is a spiritual haven which stands in dramatic counterpoint to the contemporary world. Even time is calculated differently here -- Athos rejects the Julian calendar and clocks are reset every day to Byzantine time -- midnight falls at sunset. Christopher Merrill travelled to Mount Athos in search of spiritual renewal and a vision of eternity. At this unique intersection of modernity and Biblical tradition he discovered not only the enduring value of faith but also how much Athos has to teach us about the contemplative life, and found that eternity is located in the here and now. Journey to the Holy Mountain is a book rooted in spiritual crisis, which explores a route to salvation hitherto undocumented in a mainstream Western context. Out of spiritual desolation Merrill came to a deepening sense of the religious life, learning to recognize what have been described as 'the distinctive challenges and calls' of each monastic hour. The world of Mount Athos is closely guarded against intrusion by monk-policemen: no women, or even female animals, are allowed on Athos and the number of visitors is severely restricted. Christopher Merill describes, in vivid scenes and stories, the daily life ritual and scenery of a place which most will never be able to visit.
As President Bush is preparing to invade Iraq, Wall Street Journal correspondent Asra Nomani embarks on a dangerous journey from Middle America to the Middle East to join more than two million fellow Muslims on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims once in their lifetime. Mecca is Islam's most sacred city and strictly off limits to non-Muslims. On a journey perilous enough for any American reporter, Nomani is determined to take along her infant son, Shibli -- living proof that she, an unmarried Muslim woman, is guilty of zina, or "illegal sex." If she is found out, the puritanical Islamic law of the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia may mete out terrifying punishment. But Nomani discovers she is not alone. She is following in the four-thousand-year-old footsteps of another single mother, Hajar (known in the West as Hagar), the original pilgrim to Mecca and mother of the Islamic nation.
Each day of her hajj evokes for Nomani the history of a different Muslim matriarch: Eve, from whom she learns about sin and redemption; Hajar, the single mother abandoned in the desert who teaches her about courage; Khadijah, the first benefactor of Islam and trailblazer for a Muslim woman's right to self-determination; and Aisha, the favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam's first female theologian. Inspired by these heroic Muslim women, Nomani returns to America to confront the sexism and intolerance in her local mosque and to fight for the rights of modern Muslim women who are tired of standing alone against the repressive rules and regulations imposed by reactionary fundamentalists.
Nomani shows how many of the freedoms enjoyed centuries ago have been erased by the conservative brand of Islam practiced today, giving the West a false image of Muslim women as veiled and isolated from the world. Standing Alone in Mecca is a personal narrative, relating the modern-day lives of the author and other Muslim women to the lives of those who came before, bringing the changing face of women in Islam into focus through the unique lens of the hajj. Interweaving reportage, political analysis, cultural history, and spiritual travelogue, this is a modern woman's jihad, offering for Westerners a never-before-seen look inside the heart of Islam and the emerging role of Muslim women.
For thousands of years, mankind has searched for enlightenment and inner peace. This small book unlocks the door on the wisdom of the ages, from 12th century B.C. Egyptian writer Amenemope and the Dalai Lama to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Amy Tan.
"Rediscovering the Beauty of Sabbath Rest"
Mindfulness is considered the heart of Buddhist meditation but its essence is universal and of deep practical benefit to all.& nbsp; In essence, mindfulness is about wakefulness.& nbsp; Our minds are such that we are often more asleep than awake to the unique beauty and possibilities of each present moment as it unfolds.& nbsp; In WHEREVER YOU GO THERE YOU ARE, Jon Kabat-Zinn maps out a simple path for cultivating mindfulness in one??'s own life.& nbsp; It speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time and to longtime practitioners, anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments.& nbsp;
Take your child on a colorful adventure to share the many ways Jewish people celebrate Shabbat around the world. Shabbat Shalom Beginning in an old Jerusalem market Friday morning, shopping for foods to make Shabbat meals specialSetting a beautiful Sabbath table in Australia Friday afternoonLighting Shabbat candles with a family in TurkeySinging zemirot with relatives in RussiaMaking hamotzi as a congregation in the United StatesParading the Torah scrolls at Shabbat morning services in a synagogue in GermanyRelaxing in the peace of Shabbat day in CanadaEnjoying a special Sabbath afternoon meal in Morocco
From Israel to Thailand, from Ethiopia to Argentina, you and your children are invited to share the diverse Sabbath traditions that come alive in Jewish homes and synagogues around the world each week and to celebrate life with Jewish people everywhere."
Western society has never been more interested in interiority. Indeed, it seems more and more people are deliberately looking inward--toward the mind, the body, or both. Michal Pagis's Inward focuses on one increasingly popular channel for the introverted gaze: vipassana meditation, which has spread from Burma to over forty countries and counting. Lacing her account with vivid anecdotes and personal stories, Pagis turns our attention not only to the practice of vipassana but to the communities that have sprung up around it. Inward is also a social history of the westward diffusion of Eastern religious practices spurred on by the lingering effects of the British colonial presence in India. At the same time Pagis asks knotty questions about what happens when we continually turn inward, as she investigates the complex relations between physical selves, emotional selves, and our larger social worlds. Her book sheds new light on evergreen topics such as globalization, social psychology, and the place of the human body in the enduring process of self-awareness.
This wide-ranging and powerful book argues that Theravada Buddhism provides ways of thinking about the self that can reinvigorate the humanities and offer broader insights into how to learn and how to act. Steven Collins argues that Buddhist philosophy should be approached in the spirit of its historical teachers and visionaries, who saw themselves not as preservers of an archaic body of rules but as part of a timeless effort to understand what it means to lead a worthy life. He contends that Buddhism should be studied philosophically, literarily, and ethically using its own vocabulary and rhetorical tools. Approached in this manner, Buddhist notions of the self help us rethink contemporary ideas of self-care and the promotion of human flourishing. Collins details the insights of Buddhist texts and practices that promote the ideal of active and engaged learning, offering an expansive and lyrical reflection on Theravada approaches to meditation, asceticism, and physical training. He explores views of monastic life and contemplative practices as complementing and reinforcing textual learning, and argues that the Buddhist tenet that the study of philosophy and ethics involves both rigorous reading and an ascetic lifestyle has striking resonance with modern and postmodern ideas. A bold reappraisal of the history of Buddhist literature and practice, Wisdom as a Way of Life offers students and scholars across the disciplines a nuanced understanding of the significance of Buddhist ways of knowing for the world today.
The Mexica (Aztecs) used a solar calendar made up of eighteen months, with each month dedicated to a specific god in their pantheon and celebrated with a different set of rituals. Panquetzaliztli, the fifteenth month, dedicated to the national god Huitzilopochtli (Hummingbird on the Left), was significant for its proximity to the winter solstice, and for the fact that it marked the beginning of the season of warfare. In The Fifteenth Month, John F. Schwaller offers a detailed look at how the celebrations of Panquetzaliztli changed over time and what these changes reveal about the history of the Aztecs. Drawing on a variety of sources, Schwaller deduces that prior to the rise of the Mexica in 1427, an earlier version of the month was dedicated to the god Tezcatlipoca (Smoking Mirror), a war and trickster god. The Mexica shifted the dedication to their god, developed a series of ceremonies - including long-distance running and human sacrifice - that would associate him with the sun, and changed the emphasis of the celebration from warfare alone to a combination of trade and warfare, since merchants played a significant role in Mexica statecraft. Further investigation shows how the resulting festival commemorated several important moments in Mexica history, how it came to include ceremonies associated with the winter solstice, and how it reflected a calendar reform implemented shortly before the arrival of the Spanish. Focused on one of the most important months in the Mexica year, Schwaller's work marks a new methodology in which traditional sources for Mexica culture, rather than being interrogated for their specific content, are read for their insights into the historical development of the people. Just as Christmas re-creates the historic act of the birth of Jesus for Christians, so, The Fifteenth Month suggests, Panquetzaliztli was a symbolic re-creation of events from Mexica myths and history.
The northern Chinese mountain range of Mount Wutai has been a preeminent site of international pilgrimage for over a millennium. Home to more than one hundred temples, the entire range is considered a Buddhist paradise on earth, and has received visitors ranging from emperors to monastic and lay devotees. Mount Wutai explores how Qing Buddhist rulers and clerics from Inner Asia, including Manchus, Tibetans, and Mongols, reimagined the mountain as their own during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Wen-Shing Chou examines a wealth of original source materials in multiple languages and media--many never before published or translated-such as temple replicas, pilgrimage guides, hagiographic representations, and panoramic maps. She shows how literary, artistic, and architectural depictions of the mountain permanently transformed the site's religious landscape and redefined Inner Asia's relations with China. Chou addresses the pivotal but previously unacknowledged history of artistic and intellectual exchange between the varying religious, linguistic, and cultural traditions of the region. The reimagining of Mount Wutai was a fluid endeavor that proved central to the cosmopolitanism of the Qing Empire, and the mountain range became a unique site of shared diplomacy, trade, and religious devotion between different constituents, as well as a spiritual bridge between China and Tibet. A compelling exploration of the changing meaning and significance of one of the world's great religious sites, Mount Wutai offers an important new framework for understanding Buddhist sacred geography.
Kosher USA follows the fascinating journey of kosher food through the modern industrial food system. It recounts how iconic products such as Coca-Cola and Jell-O tried to become kosher; the contentious debates among rabbis over the incorporation of modern science into Jewish law; how Manischewitz wine became the first kosher product to win over non-Jewish consumers (principally African Americans); the techniques used by Orthodox rabbinical organizations to embed kosher requirements into food manufacturing; and the difficulties encountered by kosher meat and other kosher foods that fell outside the American culinary consensus. Kosher USA is filled with big personalities, rare archival finds, and surprising influences: the Atlanta rabbi Tobias Geffen, who made Coke kosher; the lay chemist and kosher-certification pioneer Abraham Goldstein; the kosher-meat magnate Harry Kassel; and the animal-rights advocate Temple Grandin, a strong supporter of shechita, or Jewish slaughtering practice. By exploring the complex encounter between ancient religious principles and modern industrial methods, Kosher USA adds a significant chapter to the story of Judaism's interaction with non-Jewish cultures and the history of modern Jewish American life as well as American foodways.
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