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Tuesday
Aug202013

Book Briefs

Although movies and hype about Zen martial arts abound, there are very few good books available on the disciplines. Sword of Zen (Hawaii 2013) transcends cliché musings about Zen swordplay and introduces us to the world of one of Japan’s most renowned Zen sword mas­ters, Takuan Soho (1573–1645). Along with an informative introduction and biographical sketch of Master Takuan, the book includes translations of two of his most important works on Zen swordsmanship. Author and translator Peter Haskell describes the texts in translation as “user manuals” for the Zen mind. Written to illuminate the principles of Zen through the warrior’s art, they guide the practitioner through combat situ­ations as well as daily life. For instance, Master Takuan demonstrates how a swordsman must move swiftly through a succession of attacks in battle without getting stuck on any one attacker or interrupting the flow of nonthought, and how this exemplifies the spontaneity and responsive­ness that is embodied by the Zen mind.

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Tuesday
Aug202013

Profile: Mangala Shri Bhuti

Growing up in rural northern India amid the Tibetan diaspora, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche was always fascinated by America, but he never dreamed he would one day wind up living there, leading a vibrant sangha of dedicated practitioners. Yet by his early twenties he had met and married an American, Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, and the two were living in Nepal, where she was teaching English. In 1989 their lives took an unexpected turn when Mattis-Namgyel, at home with their newborn son, realized she would have to resume teaching at the American Cultural Center to keep the working visa that allowed her to stay in Nepal.

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Tuesday
Aug202013

Journeys: The Real Rodeo 


Illustration by Kim Scafuro

It started with a lie. Of course, this is how most truly great adventures begin.

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Friday
Jun212013

Best Buddhist Books for Summer 2013, Part Two

By Michael Sheehy, Review Editor, Buddhadharma

Here is Part Two of Buddhadharma’s selection of the Best Buddhist Books of the year so far. These are books that will expand and deepen your understanding of Buddhism to help you navigate the waters of samsara.

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Friday
Jun072013

Best Buddhist Books for Summer 2013, Part One

By Michael Sheehy, Review Editor, Buddhadharma

Looking for a great Buddhist book to dive into this summer? Here is Buddhadharma’s selection of the Best Buddhist Books of the year so far. These are books that will expand and deepen your understanding of Buddhism to help you navigate the waters of samsara.

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Tuesday
May212013

True Blessings

In this commentary on a traditional Guru Rinpoche visualization, the contemporary Dzogchen master Tulku Thondup Rinpoche reveals the deep nontheistic essence of Vajrayana practice. We receive the true blessings of the enlightened ones when our mind and theirs become one.

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Tuesday
May212013

A Straight Road with Many Curves 

Gregory Shepherd looks back on his Zen training in Japan with the late Yamada Roshi and the difficult lessons he learned.

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Tuesday
May212013

The Practical Practitioner

If you want to get anywhere with your practice, says Anyen Rinpoche, it must be built on intellectual and experiential certainty.

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Tuesday
May212013

Forum: Your Meditation Reality Check 

Ezra Bayda, Judith Simmer-Brown, and Kamala Masters discuss how to identify obstacles in your practice, apply antidotes that work, and deepen your meditation in the process.

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Tuesday
May212013

Unlimited Heart

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images.

After caring for his ailing mother for nine years, Ajahn Viradhammo reflects on self-sacrifice and the importance of cultivating a strong and expansive heart.

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