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Among the most profound questions we confront are the nature of what and who we are as conscious beings, and how the human mind relates to the rest of what we consider reality. For millennia, philosophers, scientists, and religious thinkers have attempted answers, perhaps none more meaningful today than those offered by neuroscience and by Buddhism. The encounter between these two worldviews has spurred ongoing conversations about what science and Buddhism can teach each other about mind and reality. In Mind Beyond Brain, the neuroscientist David E. Presti, with the assistance of other distinguished researchers, explores how evidence for anomalous phenomena-such as near-death experiences, apparent memories of past lives, apparitions, experiences associated with death, and other so-called psi or paranormal phenomena, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition-can influence the Buddhism-science conversation. Presti describes the extensive but frequently unacknowledged history of scientific investigation into these phenomena, demonstrating its relevance to questions about consciousness and reality. The new perspectives opened up, if we are willing to take evidence of such often off-limits topics seriously, offer significant challenges to dominant explanatory paradigms and raise the prospect that we may be poised for truly revolutionary developments in the scientific investigation of mind. Mind Beyond Brain represents the next level in the science and Buddhism dialogue.
When things go wrong in our life and we encounter difficult situations, we tend to regard the situation itself as our problem, but in reality whatever problems we experience come from the side of the mind.
If we responded to difficult situations with positive or peaceful mind they would not be problems for us. Eventually we might even regard them as challenges or opportunities for growth and development.
Problems arise only if we respond to difficulties with a negative state of mind. Therefore, if we want to be free from problems, we must transform our mind.
Dating back to the eighth century C.E., the " Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch" is a foundational text of Chan/Zen Buddhism that reveals much about the early evolution of Chinese Chan and the ideological origins of Japanese Zen and Korean Son. Purported to be the recorded words of the famed Huineng, who was understood to be the Sixth Patriarch of Chan and the father of all later Chan/Zen Buddhism, the "Platform Sutra" illuminates fundamental Chan Buddhist principles in an expressive sermon that describes how Huineng overcame great personal and ideological challenges to uphold the exalted lineage of the enlightened Chan patriarchs while realizing the ultimate Buddhist truth of the original, pure nature of all sentient beings.
Huineng seems to reject meditation, the value of good karma, and the worship of the buddhas, conferring instead a set of "formless precepts" on his audience, marked by embedded notes in the text. In his central message, an inherent, perfect buddha nature stands as the original true condition of all sentient beings, which people of all backgrounds can experience for themselves. Philip Yampolsky's masterful translation contains extensive explanatory notes and an edited, amended version of the Chinese text. His introduction critically considers the background and historical setting of the work and locates Huineng's place within the history and legends of Chan Buddhism. This new edition features a foreword by Morten Schl?tter further situating the "Platform Sutra" within recent historical research and textual evidence, and an updated glossary that includes the modern pinyin system of transcription.
In 1752, the Bengali poet Bharatchandra Ray completed a long narrative poem dedicated to the glory of Annada, the consort of Shiva and the divinity who, as her name proclaims, "bestows the bounty of rice." A poet well-versed in Sanskrit, Persian, and Hindi-all of which enrich his work-Bharatchandra took up the literary performance genre mangalkavya and thoroughly transformed it, addressing the aesthetic tastes of the court rather than those of the traditional village audience. He added depth and sensitivity to well-known legends, along with allusions to his own experiences of poverty, and more than a dash of mischievous wit. The second volume recounts the clandestine love affair of Princess Vidya and Prince Sundar, and how Bhavananda, ancestor of the poet's patron, stopped a rebellion and became a king. This translation, the first in English, features the original text in the Bangla script. Lively and entertaining, In Praise of Annada was regarded as a major achievement in its own time and is now counted one of the treasures of Bengali literature.
In a remote Himalayan village in 1721, the Jesuit priest Ippolito Desideri awaited permission from Rome to continue his mission to convert the Tibetan people to Christianity. In the meantime, he forged ahead with an ambitious project: a treatise, written in classical Tibetan, that would refute key Buddhist doctrines. If he could convince the Buddhist monks that these doctrines were false, thought Desideri, he would dispel the darkness of idolatry from Tibet. Offering a fascinating glimpse into the historical encounter between Christianity and Buddhism, Dispelling the Darkness brings Desideri's Tibetan writings to readers of English for the first time. This authoritative study provides extended excerpts from Inquiry concerning the Doctrines of Previous Lives and Emptiness, Desideri's unfinished masterpiece, as well as a full translation of Essence of the Christian Religion, a companion work that broadens his refutation of Buddhism. Desideri possessed an unusually sophisticated understanding of Buddhism and a masterful command of the classical Tibetan language. He believed that only careful argumentation could demolish the philosophical foundations of Buddhism, especially the doctrines of rebirth and emptiness that prevented belief in the existence of God. Donald Lopez and Thupten Jinpa's detailed commentary reveals how Desideri deftly used Tibetan literary conventions and passages from Buddhist scriptures to make his case. When the Vatican refused Desideri's petition, he returned to Rome, his manuscripts in tow, where they languished unread in archives. Dispelling the Darkness brings these vital texts to light after centuries of neglect.
For the first time a serious attempt has been made to understand the social background of the Namdhari Sikhs of Punjab; their demographic and occupational changes and beliefs and practices. The study shows that the Namdhari Sikhs primarily came from the agricultural and artisan classes ever since the inception of the Kuka Movement in the late nineteenth century. Since then the people of other occupational castes have also responded to the Namdhari mission. The study has identified eighteen occupational castes of the Namdhari Sikhs. Among these, the Jat and Ramgharia Sikhs are in majority. The study analyses the variations in the proportionate representation of each occupational caste and its status in the administrative hierarchy of this community during a period of 150 years. It also examines the impact of primary variables, like Partition of Punjab (1947), creation of Indo-Pakistan Border, Green Revolution, industrial developments and Terrorist Movement in Punjab, on the processes of migration and resettlement of the Namdhari Sikhs, their caste-wise occupational diversification and class differentiation and rise of new classes. These developments posed serious challenges to the Namdhari leadership. In addition to the above, the study examines the Namdhari concepts of embodied-guru, nam-simran, structure of rituals, dowry-free mass marriages, food taboos and dress code. The study highlights that the religious orientation of the Namdhari Sikhs has strengthened them spiritually and morally to withstand those social evils that affect most Punjabis.The study is based upon a random survey of 1545 Namdhari families of eighteen districts of Punjab, as well as primary and secondary sources.
Buddhism is a vast and complex religious and philosophical tradition which is now followed by around 115 million people. In this introduction, Rupert Gethin concentrates on the ideas and practices which constitute the common heritage of the different traditions of Buddhism existing in the world today. From the narrative of the story of the Buddha, through discussions of aspects such as textual traditions, the framework of the Four Noble Truths, the interaction between the monastic and lay ways of life, the cosmology of karma and rebirth, and the path of the bodhisattva, this books provides a stimulating introduction to Buddhism.
A popular guide to the art of living, the Sakya Legshe--or
"Treasury of Good Advice"--has been fundamental to the development
of Tibetan culture and character. As in Aesop's Fables, Sakya
Pandita uses proverbs and stories to address the basic question:
"How are we to live peaceably with ourselves and with others?"
Informed by almost two decades of dialogue, research and teaching, this book refutes the mistaken premise that Zen Buddhism is more suited to people who lived years ago. Beginning with the annotated "ox path" pictures, the gradual development of the wayward mind away from aimless wandering and towards Buddhahood is depicted and examined. Ever mindful of the legacy of India, the life and teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha are revisited as are the scriptures themselves. At every point, this book presents Zen Buddhism, not as some esoteric mystery cult, accessible only to the eastern mind, but in an animated, meaningful manner that demonstrates its purpose and function in today's world.
Tales for the Dying explores the centrality of death and dying in the narrative of the Bhagavata-Purana, India's great text of devotional theism, canonized as an integral part of the Vaisnava bhakti tradition. The text grapples with death through an imaginative meditation, one that works through the presence and power of narrative. The story of the Bhagavata-Purana is spoken to a king who is about to die, and it enables him to come to terms with his own passing. The work does not isolate dying as an issue; it treats it on many levels.
This book discusses how images of dying in the Bhagavata-Purana relate to issues of language and love in the religious imagination of India. Drawing on insights from studies in myth, literary semiotics, and depth psychology, as well as from Indian commentarial and aesthetic traditions, the author examines the power of myth and narrative (storytelling or hari katha) and shows how a detailed awareness of the Puranic imagination may lead to a revisioning of some long-held presuppositions around Indian religious altitudes toward dying. By casting Vaisnava bhakti traditions and Puranic narrative in a fresh light, the mythic imagination of the Puranas takes its place on the stage of contemporary discourse on comparative mythology and literature.
Bodhicitta--the aspiration to achieve enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings--lies at the core of the Bodhisattva ideal for Mahayana Buddhism. The late Tibetan master Khunu Rinpoche was revered by many, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as the very embodiment of this ultimate form of altruism. In this modern classic, Khunu Rinpoche's heartfelt verses--presented in both English and Tibetan--bestow upon his unparalleled vision of the incomparable power of Bodhicitta.
Written by a great modern Nyingma master, Dudjom Rinpoche's "The
Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism" covers in detail and depth both
the fundamental teachings and the history of Tibetan Buddhism's
oldest school. This, the first English translation of His Holiness'
masterwork, constitutes the most complete work of its type in the
There are many holy cities in India, but Mumbai is not usually considered one of them. More popular images of the city capture the world's collective imagination--as a Bollywood fantasia or a slumland dystopia. Yet for many, if not most, people who live in the city, the neighborhood streets are indeed shared with local gods and guardian spirits. In The Neighborhood of Gods, William Elison examines the link between territory and divinity in India's most self-consciously modern city. In this densely settled environment, space is scarce, and anxiety about housing is pervasive. Consecrating space--first with impromptu displays and then, eventually, with full-blown temples and official recognition--is one way of staking a claim. But how can a marginalized community make its gods visible, and therefore powerful, in the eyes of others? The Neighborhood of Gods explores this question, bringing an ethnographic lens to a range of visual and spatial practices: from the shrine construction that encroaches on downtown streets, to the "tribal art" practices of an indigenous group facing displacement, to the work of image production at two Bollywood film studios. A pioneering ethnography, this book offers a creative intervention in debates on postcolonial citizenship, urban geography, and visuality in the religions of India.
In this beautifully written book, Buddhist monk and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh explains how to acquire the skills of mindfulness. Once we have these skills, we can slow our lives down and discover how to live in the moment - even simple acts like washing the dishes or drinking a cup of tea may be transformed into acts of meditation. Thich Nhat Hanh's gentle anecdotes and practical exercises help us to arrive at greater self-understanding and peacefulness, whether we are beginners or advanced students. Irrespective of our particular religious beliefs, we can begin to reap the immense benefits that meditation has been scientifically proven to offer. We can all learn how to be mindful and experience the miracle of mindfulness for ourselves.
Wisdom comes in many forms, and the search for wisdom has many expressions. In Dharma Delight, celebrated New York abstract artist and Zen student Rodney Alan Greenblat uses light-hearted, inviting narrative and vivid pop art paintings to celebrate the joys of living life from the inside out. Part graphic guide book, part personal testimony, part art book, Dharma Delight illustrates how seeking the path of compassion and acceptance can be as zany and exuberant, as it is profound and rewarding. This thoroughly modern and accessible exploration of Enlightenment, including what it is and where to seek it, shows us how to recognize the perfection in ourselves. Sutras (teachings), bodhisattvas (enlightened beings), and jataka tales (parables) are presented in a way that is simple, upbeat, and fun to read. The colourful, inspiring paintings, some of which are new and some of which are well-known within the New York art scene and beyond, are an imaginative and affirming mind's-eye view of Buddhist teaching today. Dharma Delight is greatly appealing to all ages, and together, the words and illustrations are a warm and cheerful invitation to Buddhism newcomers and a cool splash of refreshment to any traveller on the road to Enlightenment.
How can we be more mindful when the world is this f*cked up? How to Stay Human in a F*cked Up World is the fresh, engaging answer to this important question. If you've tried mindfulness before and failed, we get it. Likely you were told to sit on a pillow in a dark room, meditate, or count your breaths. But mindfulness isn't about separating ourselves from the problems in the world. Instead, it is about re-learning how to get out there, connect with the suffering of every living being and in so doing, embrace your own personal suffering to heal, transform, grow, and finally find peace. Tim Desmond-an esteemed Buddhist philosopher who has lectured on psychology at both Harvard and Yale and studied under Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh-has spent his life cultivating new ways to bridge the gap between the ancient tradition of mindfulness and modern life. With How to Stay Human in a F*cked Up World Desmond gets right to the heart of our collective pain with a life-changing mindfulness practice for surviving the sometimes-miserable world we live in, featuring strategies and guidance you can start using to feel more connected, joyful, and present today.
The influence of Buddhism on the Chinese language, on Chinese literature and on Chinese culture in general cannot be overstated, and the language of most Chinese Buddhist texts differs considerably from both Classical and Modern Chinese. This reader aims to help students develop familiarity with features of Buddhist texts in Chinese, including patterns of organization, grammatical features and specialized vocabulary. It also aims to familiarize students with the use of a range of resources necessary for becoming independent readers of such texts. Chinese Buddhist Texts is suitable for students who have completed the equivalent of at least one year's college level study of Modern Chinese and are familiar with roughly one thousand of the commonest Chinese characters. Previous study of Classical Chinese would be an advantage, but is not assumed. It is an ideal textbook for students taking relevant courses in Chinese studies programs and in Buddhist studies programs. However, it is also possible for a student to work through the reader on his or her own. Further online resources are available at: lockgraham.com
Employing a method of discipline used for children, this Zen guide
encourages parents to look inwardly and reflect on their
motivations in order to respond to their child's needs from a
clearer, kinder perspective. It contains meditative exercises for
stressed or disgruntled parents and provides accounts of
parent/child interactions. In each one, the self-aware parent
describes how they would have reacted before learning to take
time-out to discover their own motivations. Then each parent tells
how he or she responded to the situation from a clearer, kinder
In 1990, then-23-year-old African-American Jarvis was sentenced to death in the state of California. Using the only instrument available to him--a ball-point pen filler--Jarvis has written an astounding memoir that is a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and the talent of a fine writer.
Each card in this deck highlights a particular deity in the Hindu pantheon and provides corresponding mantras, meditations, prayers and blessings. These cards reveal a who's who in the spiritual world, and identify which roles particular gods and goddesses play in the universe. For greater intelligence, petition Saraswati or for the removal of obstacles, invoke the presence of Ganesh by chanting his mantra.
'It is not enough merely to espouse a noble vision, the Dalai Lama tells us - we need to move toward it. The Dalai Lama's vision beckons us all. Every one of us can be a force for good' The Dalai Lama has for decades travelled the world, meeting people from all backgrounds and sharing with them his wisdom and compassion. In his encounters with everyone, from heads to state to inhabitants of shanty towns, he has come across similar problems: values that help the wealthy to advance beyond the poor, an environmental disregard that could lead to global catastrophe and governments in paralysis, bereft of any positive, progressive policies. The Dalai Lama offers here his unique vision for a global economic system, one that applies principals of fairness and which values fulfilment, focusing on what is truly urgent and why. It is a manifesto that has the potential to reshape humanity as we know it and bring hope to millions.
This accessible guide to the development of Japan's indigenous religion from ancient times to the present day offers an illuminating introduction to the myths, sites and rituals of kami worship, and their role in Shinto's enduring religious identity.
Offers a unique new approach to Shinto history that combines critical analysis with original researchExamines key evolutionary moments in the long history of Shinto, including the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and provides the first critical history in English or Japanese of the Hie shrine, one of the most important in all JapanTraces the development of various shrines, myths, and rituals through history as uniquely diverse phenomena, exploring how and when they merged into the modern notion of Shinto that exists in Japan todayChallenges the historic stereotype of Shinto as the unchanging, all-defining core of Japanese culture
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