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Whether speaking of student or master, Zen hinges on the question. Zen practice does not necessarily focus on the answers, but on finding a space in which we may sustain uncertainty and remain present and upright in the middle of investigations. "Zen Questions" begins by exploring "The World of Zazen,"--the foundational practice of the Zen school--presenting it as an attitude of sustained inquiry that offers us an entryway into true repose and joy. From there, Leighton draws deeply on his own experience as a Zen scholar and teacher to invite us into the creativity of Zen awareness and practice. He explores the poetic mind of Dogen with the poetry of Rumi, Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, and even "the American Dharma Bard" Bob Dylan. What's more, Leighton uncovers surprising resonances between the writings of America's Founding Fathers--including Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin--and the liberating ideals at the heart of Zen.
Buddhism, in its diverse forms and throughout its long history, has had a profound influence on Asian cultures and the lives of countless individuals. In recent times, it has also attracted great interest among people in other parts of the world, including philosophers. Buddhist traditions often deal with ideas and concerns that are central to philosophy. A distinctively Buddhist philosophy of religion can be developed which focuses on Buddhist responses to issues such as the problem of suffering, the purpose and potential of human existence, life after death, freedom and moral responsibility, appearance and reality, the nature of religious language, attitudes to religious diversity and the relationship between Buddhism and science. Buddhism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation examines some of the central questions that such ideas raise, drawing on ancient and more recent sources from a variety of Buddhist traditions, as viewed from a contemporary philosophical standpoint.
This book presents a concise, balanced overview of China's oldest and most revered philosophy. In clear, straightforward language, Paul R. Goldin explores how Confucianism was conceived and molded by its earliest masters, discusses its main tenets, and considers its history and relevance for the modern world. Goldin guides readers through the philosophies of the three major classical Confucians - Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi - as well as two short anonymous treatises, the "Great Learning" and the "Classic of Filial Piety." He also discusses some of the main Neo-Confucian philosophers and outlines transformations Confucianism has undergone in the past century.
"Mixing Minds" explores the interpersonal relationships between psychoanalysts and their patients, and Buddhist teachers and their students. Through the author's own personal journey in both traditions, she sheds light on how these contrasting approaches to wellness affect our most intimate relationships. These dynamic relationships provide us with keen insight into the emotional ups and downs of our lives -- from fear and anxiety to love, compassion, and equanimity. "Mixing Minds" delves into the most intimate of relationships and shows us how these relationships are the key to the realization of our true selves.
The seventh and final book of the monumental R?m?ya?a of V?lm?ki, the Uttarak???a, brings the epic saga to a close with an account of the dramatic events of King R?ma's millennia-long reign. It opens with a colorful history of the demonic race of the r?k?asas and the violent career of R?ma's villainous foe R?va?a, and later recounts R?ma's grateful discharge of his allies in the great war at Lank? as well as his romantic reunion with his wife S?t?. But dark clouds gather as R?ma, confronted by scandal over S?t?'s time in captivity under the lustful R?va?a, makes the agonizing decision to banish his beloved wife, now pregnant. As R?ma continues as king, marvelous tales and events unfurl, illustrating the benefits of righteous rule and the perils that await monarchs who fail to address the needs of their subjects. The Uttarak???a has long served as a point of social and religious controversy largely for its accounts of the banishment of S?t?, as well as of R?ma's killing of a low-caste ascetic. The translators' introduction provides a full discussion of these issues and the complex reception history of the Uttarak???a. This translation of the critical edition also includes exhaustive notes and a comprehensive bibliography.
In this book, Anyen Rinpoche gives practical information beneficial to those wanting to explore the depth of the teachings on dying skillfully, in accord with the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Encouraging readers to honestly look at both life and death, and to contemplate our impermanence deeply, the author shows us how to use the very process of dying to further our goal of enlightenment, compassion, and a wise and fulfilling life in the here-and-now.
Practicing meditation under difficult conditions, Upsasika Kee eventually broke through to complete inner peace. Here is her achievement -- direct, plain-spoken talks on how to deal with sickness, how to allow suffering and stress to always 'disband, ' as she calls it, and how to how to keep the mind centered. Upasika Kee was a uniquely powerful teacher. Evocative of the great Ajahn Chah, her teachings are earthy, refreshingly direct, and often funny. In the twentieth century, she grew to become one of the most famous teachers in Thailand-male or female-all the more remarkable because, rarer still, she was a layperson
Though "The Heart Sutra" is an ancient Buddhist scripture, scholars are now discovering how it offers insight into the nature of an ultimate reality perceived through intuitive wisdom. Fascinatingly, quantum physicists are increasingly discovering interesting parallels between science and the basic insights of "The Heart Sutra." In this important offering, Mu Soeng shows how the intellectual and the intuitive can begin to meet. In offering a commentary on this important piece of the world's great religious literature, "The Heart of the Universe" establishes a broad context to encounter "The Heart Sutra" on many levels -- historical, spiritual, and empirical -- each serving to interdependently illuminate the other.
This landmark presentation at last makes heard the centuries of
Zen's female voices. Through exploring the teachings and history of
Zen's female ancestors, from the time of the Buddha to ancient and
modern female masters in China, Korea, and Japan, Grace Schireson
offers us a view of a more balanced Dharma practice, one that is
especially applicable to our complex lives, embedded as they are in
webs of family relations and responsibilities, and the challenges
of love and work.
A visual journey through Zen's influence on Japanese life, from calligraphy to the martial arts Formed by a convergence of the Buddha's teachings with Taoism and local tradition, Zen has had a profound impact on the art and culture of Japan. As a philosophy, Zen promotes a recognition of emptiness and impermanence. As an aesthetic, it is marked by striking simplicity and a reverence for space. It operates on the principle of wabi-sabi, the harmony found in all things transient and imperfect. Countless Japanese artists, artisans, and designers have engaged with the Zen tradition, their work the fruit of its wisdom. Author Gavin Blair has spent nearly two decades as a writer and journalist in Japan. In these pages, he shows how Zen has found expression in all aspects of Japanese culture, be it the tea ceremony, origami, or bonsai. Gorgeous full-color photographs highlight the simple beauty of the Zen aesthetic, from the hanging noren curtains that adorn entrances and doorways, to the intricate craftwork of a wagasa umbrella. Together these images speak to the quiet power of Zen. Above all, Zen is an invitation to contemplate the mind, to cultivate harmony with nature and ease through understanding. This book is for any reader who is curious about Japanese culture and the Zen tradition.
Forming the final part of the Sanskrit Mahabharata, the Harivamsha's main business is to supply narrative details about the great god Vishnu's avatar Krishna Vasudeva, who has been a comparatively minor character in the previous parts of the Mahabharata, despite having taken centre stage in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna is born in Mathura (some 85 miles south of present-day Delhi). As an infant he is smuggled out of Mathura for his own safety. He and his brother Baladeva grow up among cowherds in the forest, where between them they perform many miraculous deeds and kill many dangerous demons, before returning to Mathura where they kill the evil King Kamsa and his cronies. Thereafter, Krishna is the hero and unofficial leader of his people the Yadava-Vrishnis. When Mathura is besieged by enemies, Krishna leads his people to abandon the town and migrate west, founding the dazzling new city of Dvaraka by the sea. Krishna then repeatedly travels away from that base repeatedly to perform heroic deeds benefitting those in need - including his own people, his more immediate family, and the gods. After narrating the stories of Krishna, the Harivamsha ends by finishing the story of Janamejaya with which the Mahabharata began. The Harivamsha is a powerhouse of Hindu mythology and a classic of world literature. It begins by contextualising Vishnu's appearance as Krishna in several ways, in the process presenting a variety of cosmogonical, cosmological, genealogical, mythological, theological, and karmalogical materials. It then narrates Krishna's birth and adventures in detail. Presenting a wide variety of exciting stories in a poetic register that makes extensive use of natural imagery, the Harivamsha is a neglected literary gem and an ideal starting-point for readers new to Indian literature.
The remarkable benefits of yoga, which include improved flexibility, balance, muscle tone, endurance, and vitality, only hint at the extraordinary power of this deeply spiritual practice. When adhered to and practiced mindfully, yoga can unlock readers' full creative potential, their capacity for love and compassion, and ability to find success in all areas of their lives. "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga" brings spirituality back to yoga. It shows how the Seven Spiritual Laws play a crucial role in yoga's path to enlightenment while providing readers with a wealth of meditation techniques, mantras, breathing exercises, and yoga poses. Whether a newcomer to yoga or an experienced practitioner, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga" is a portal to yoga's deeper spiritual dimension and a beautiful step to a happier, more harmonious, and more abundant life.
"Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model of something that was almost completely lacking in Western psychology--an account of the development phases of higher consciousness.... Jung's insistence on the psychogenic and symbolic significance of such states is even more timely now than then. As R. D. Laing stated... 'It was Jung who broke the ground here, but few followed him.'"--From the introduction by Sonu Shamdasani
Jung's seminar on Kundalini yoga, presented to the Psychological Club in Zurich in 1932, has been widely regarded as a milestone in the psychological understanding of Eastern thought and of the symbolic transformations of inner experience. Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model for the developmental phases of higher consciousness, and he interpreted its symbols in terms of the process of individuation. With sensitivity toward a new generation's interest in alternative religions and psychological exploration, Sonu Shamdasani has brought together the lectures and discussions from this seminar. In this volume, he re-creates for today's reader the fascination with which many intellectuals of prewar Europe regarded Eastern spirituality as they discovered more and more of its resources, from yoga to tantric texts. Reconstructing this seminar through new documentation, Shamdasani explains, in his introduction, why Jung thought that the comprehension of Eastern thought was essential if Western psychology was to develop. He goes on to orient today's audience toward an appreciation of some of the questions that stirred the minds of Jung and his seminar group: What is the relation between Eastern schools of liberation and Western psychotherapy? What connection is there between esoteric religious traditions and spontaneous individual experience? What light do the symbols of Kundalini yoga shed on conditions diagnosed as psychotic? Not only were these questions important to analysts in the 1930s but, as Shamdasani stresses, they continue to have psychological relevance for readers on the threshold of the twenty-first century. This volume also offers newly translated material from Jung's German language seminars, a seminar by the indologist Wilhelm Hauer presented in conjunction with that of Jung, illustrations of the cakras, and Sir John Woodroffe's classic translation of the tantric text, the "Sat-cakra Nirupana."
Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: Understanding a Tradition of Practice is the first book in any western language to provide a comprehensive overview of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism. Even though Pure Land Buddhism was born in China and currently constitutes the dominant form of Buddhist practice there, it has previously received very little attention from western scholars. In this book, Charles B. Jones examines the reasons for the lack of scholarly attention and why the few past treatments of the topic missed many of its distinctive features. He argues that the Chinese Pure Land tradition, with its characteristic promise of rebirth in the Pure Land to even non-elite or undeserving practitioners, should not be viewed from the perspective of the Japanese Pure Land tradition, which differs greatly. More accurately contextualizing Chinese Pure Land Buddhism within the landscape of Chinese Buddhism and the broader global Buddhist tradition, this work celebrates Chinese Pure Land, not as a school or sect, but as a unique and inherently valuable "tradition of practice." This volume is organized thematically, clearly presenting topics such as the nature of the Pure Land, the relationship between "self-power" and "other-power," the practice of nianfo (buddha-recollection), and the formation of the line of "patriarchs" that keep the tradition grounded. It guides us in understanding the vigorous debates that Chinese Pure Land Buddhism evoked and delves into the rich apologetic literature that it produced in its own defense. Drawing upon a wealth of previously unexamined primary source materials, as well as modern texts by contemporary Chinese Pure Land masters, the author provides lucid translations of resources previously unavailable in English. He also shares his lifetime of experience in this field, enlivening the narrative with personal anecdotes of his visits to sites of Pure Land practice in China and Taiwan. The straightforward and nontechnical prose makes this book a standby resource for anyone interested in pursuing research in this lively, sophisticated, and still-evolving religious tradition. Scholars - including undergraduates - specializing in East Asian Buddhism, as well as those interested in Buddhism or Chinese religion and history in general, will find this book invaluable.
A Sunday Times bestseller, this paperback is an elegant and inspiring short guide to the art of meditation: another instant classic from the bestselling author of The Art of Happiness. Wherever he goes, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard is asked to explain what meditation is, how it is done and what it can achieve. In this authoritative and inspiring book, he sets out to answer these questions. Matthieu Ricard shows that practising meditation can change our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. He talks us through its theory, spirituality and practical aspects of deep contemplation and illustrates each stage of his teaching with examples. Through his experience as a monk, his close reading of sacred texts and his deep knowledge of the Buddhist masters, Matthieu Ricard reveals the significant benefits that meditation - based on selfless love and compassion - can bring to each of us.
Love and Liberation reads the autobiographical and biographical writings of one of the few Tibetan Buddhist women to record the story of her life. Sera Khandro Kunzang Dekyong Chonyi Wangmo (also called Dewe Dorje, 1892-1940) was extraordinary not only for achieving religious mastery as a Tibetan Buddhist visionary and guru to many lamas, monastics, and laity in the Golok region of eastern Tibet, but also for her candor. This book listens to Sera Khandro's conversations with land deities, dakinis, bodhisattvas, lamas, and fellow religious community members whose voices interweave with her own to narrate what is a story of both love between Sera Khandro and her guru, Drime Ozer, and spiritual liberation. Sarah H. Jacoby's analysis focuses on the status of the female body in Sera Khandro's texts, the virtue of celibacy versus the expediency of sexuality for religious purposes, and the difference between profane lust and sacred love between male and female tantric partners. Her findings add new dimensions to our understanding of Tibetan Buddhist consort practices, complicating standard scriptural presentations of male subject and female aide. Sera Khandro depicts herself and Drime Ozer as inseparable embodiments of insight and method that together form the Vajrayana Buddhist vision of complete buddhahood. By advancing this complementary sacred partnership, Sera Khandro carved a place for herself as a female virtuoso in the male-dominated sphere of early twentieth-century Tibetan religion.
In the middle of winter, Jane Dobisz arrives at a lonely, primitive cabin armed with nothing but modest food supplies and an intensely regimented daily schedule that she thumbtacks to the wall. "3:15 A.M. Wake Up. 3:20 300 Bows. 4:00 Ma. 4:15 Sitting. 4:45 Walking." And so it goes, for 100 days. Dobisz, inspired by her Korean Zen master's discipline of long, solitary retreats, has decided to embark on a retreat of her own. The unfolding story of her experience is related here. The suburban-raised Dobisz weaves amusing anecdotes about learning to live a Walden-like existence -- water comes from a well, wood needs to be chopped -- with Zen teachings and striking insights into the miracles and foibles of the human mind when there's nothing on hand to distract it. Entertaining and inspiring, the book is a joyous testament to the benefits that solitude and reflection can bring to all.
Since the publication of Mark Siderits' important book in 2003, much has changed in the field of Buddhist philosophy. There has been unprecedented growth in analytic metaphysics, and a considerable amount of new work on Indian theories of the self and personal identity has emerged. Fully revised and updated, and drawing on these changes as well as on developments in the author's own thinking, Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy, second edition explores the conversation between Buddhist and Western Philosophy showing how concepts and tools drawn from one philosophical tradition can help solve problems arising in another. Siderits discusses afresh areas involved in the philosophical investigation of persons, including vagueness and its implications for personal identity, recent attempts by scholars of Buddhist philosophy to defend the attribution of an emergentist account of personhood to at least some Buddhists, and whether a distinctively Buddhist antirealism can avoid problems that beset other forms of ontological anti-foundationalism.
The way people encounter ideas of Hinduism online is often shaped by global discourses of religion, pervasive Orientalism and (post)colonial scholarship. This book addresses a gap in the scholarly debate around defining Hinduism by demonstrating the role of online discourses in generating and projecting images of Hindu religion and culture. This study surveys a wide range of propaganda, websites and social media in which definitions of Hinduism are debated. In particular, it focuses on the role of Hindu nationalism in the presentation and management of Hinduism in the electronic public sphere. Hindu nationalist parties and individuals are highly invested in discussions and presentations of Hinduism online, and actively shape discourses through a variety of strategies. Analysing Hindu nationalist propaganda, cyber activist movements and social media presence, as well as exploring methodological strategies that are useful to the field of religion and media in general, the book concludes by showing how these discourses function in the wider Hindu diaspora. Building on religion and media research by highlighting mechanical and hermeneutic issues of the Internet and how it affects how we encounter Hinduism online, this book will be of significant interest to scholars of religious studies, Hindu studies and digital media.
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