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Thursday
Feb142013

Let's Talk: What Are You Waiting For?

Clinical therapist Tamara Kaiser asks why Buddhist communities have not adopted ethical standards long accepted by the rest of society.

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Thursday
Feb142013

Serving Others, Transforming Ourselves


THE ARTS OF CONTEMPLATIVE CARE: PIONEERING VOICES IN BUDDHIST CHAPLAINCY AND PASTORAL WORK
Edited by Cheryl A. Giles and Willa B. Miller
Wisdom Publications, 2012
$34.95; 368 pages

BUDDHIST CARE FOR THE DYING AND BEREAVED
Edited by Jonathan S. Watts and Yoshiharu Tomatsu
Wisdom publications, 2012
$22.95; 312 pages

Reviewed by Frank Ostaseski

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Thursday
Feb142013

A Bow to Women’s Wisdom


RECEIVING THE MARROW TEACHINGS ON DOGEN  by Soto Zen Women Priests
Edited by Eido Frances Carney
Temple Ground Press, 2012
$18; 266 pages

Reviewed by Steven Heine

Nearly eight hundred years ago, the celebrated Japanese Zen master Dogen gave a remarkable sermon revealing his egalitarian attitude toward women, an attitude reflected in both his teachings and writings. With the publication of Receiving the Marrow, a collection of essays edited by Eido Frances Carney, eleven accomplished Zen women priests share their understanding of Dogen’s teachings, as well as their appreciation.

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Thursday
Feb142013

Book Briefs

by Michael Sheehy 

How we have received and continue to interpret Buddhism through European lenses is the subject of The Cult of Emptiness (University Media 2012), which presents us with a glimpse into the European discovery of Buddhism. The author, Urs App, explores and narrates this history, beginning with sixteenth-century Jesuit and Christian missionaries who encountered Zen Buddhists in Japan. App looks at how these encounters shaped the invention of a unified “Oriental philosophy,” an atheistic doctrine of nothingness that was attributed to the Buddha and thought to originate in Egypt. Bringing to light new sources for the study of these encounters, we see how the history of Buddhism was rewritten by the Church. The story of what was known about Buddhism and how that knowledge was manipulated, not to mention how it informs our perceptions of Buddhism today, makes for a fascinating read. 

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Thursday
Feb142013

Profile: Boundless Way Zen 

by Andrew Merz

We must carry an iron yoke with no hole,
It is not a slight matter, the curse is passed on to our descendants;
If you want to support the gate and sustain the house,
You must climb a mountain of swords withbare feet.

When asked about the challenges of teaching Zen, Josh Munen Bartok sensei, one of the four guiding teachers of Boundless Way Zen (BWZ), recalls these rather severe lines from The Gateless Gate, a thirteenth-century koan col­lection compiled by the Chinese master Wumen.

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Thursday
Feb142013

On Second Thought

by Shayne Larango

Things were not good with me, but little did I know they were about to get worse. Some­thing was pulling me from a self-destructive relationship with my job. I had started wearing flip-flops to my corporate office, I developed an eye twitch, and my blood pressure was ris­ing. Every day, I felt as though I was walking underwater against the current. But instead of taking all the pills my doctor had recommended, I started seeing an acupuncturist who gently sug­gested I try meditation.

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Friday
Jan182013

Buddhadharma Book Reviews: From the Editor's Desk

In this installment of From the Editor's Desk, Review Editor Michael Sheehy looks at the art of the 10th Karmapa, Buddhist trees, and early Sakya visions of tantra.

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Monday
Jan072013

Buddhadharma Book Reviews: From the Editor's Desk

In this installment of From the Editor's Desk, Review Editor Michael Sheehy looks at new books on not why, but where Bodhidharma went; the new Buddhist hybrid of "Zen lojong"; and pure land literature in Tibet. 

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Wednesday
Dec192012

The Best Buddhist Books of 2012: Selections from the Review Editor’s Desk

By Michael Sheehy
Review Editor, Buddhadharma

There was a harvest of good Buddhist books published in 2012. So what makes a "Best Buddhist Book"? This question has become something of a koan for Buddhadharma's review editors, and while we have not unriddled it, we've managed to come up with a rationale for selecting this year's Best Buddhist Books:

(1) They inform Buddhists about their practice
(2) They advance our understanding of, or shatter our preconceptions about, Buddhism
(3) They are well written or translated, and accessible

The ultimate litmus test, though, is if we like it!

Some of the books and collections that made this year's list were obvious choices while others were surprising gems. Since translations of Buddhist books are essential to the long-term reception of the Buddhist traditions and are primary sources for study and practice, we've created a separate category for translations into English, underscoring their importance.

Below is our selection of Best Buddhist Books for 2012.

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Friday
Nov232012

What's In a Name?

Ajahn Amaro presents two helpful meditation practices you can do while listening to the inner sound.

One practice that can help free the heart from the compulsions of self-view is to meditate upon your own name. Begin by taking a moment to listen to the inner sound. Focus on that until the mind is clear and open and then simply voice your own name internally. Listen to the sound of silence before your name, then to the sound of silence within and then behind your name, and finally to the sound of silence after you repeat it: “A-ma-ro,” “Su-san,” “John.” See and feel what qualities that sound brings. It’s only the sound of your own name, something so familiar, so ordinary. See what happens when it’s dropped into the silence of the mind and really felt and known for a change. Notice what quality it brings, how it opens up the habit of seeing ourselves in a particular way, how it loosens the boundaries.

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