Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

This being Halloween in North America I thought I'd post some Buddhist-Horror movies. Not exactly a huge genre but there are a few. Here's two of the better ones. Happy Halloween!

Jigoku - (Japan, 1960)
Shocking, outrageous, and poetic, Jigoku (Hell, a.k.a. The Sinners of Hell) is the most innovative creation from Nobuo Nakagawa, the father of the Japanese horror film. After a young theology student flees a hit-and-run accident, he is plagued by both his own guilt-ridden conscience and a mysterious, diabolical doppelganger. But all possible escape routes lead straight to hell— literally. In the gloriously gory final third of the film, Nakagawa offers up his vision of the underworld in a tour de force of torture and degradation. A striking departure from traditional Japanese ghost stories, Jigoku, with its truly eye-popping (and -gouging) imagery, created aftershocks that are still reverberating in contemporary world horror cinema.

Kwaidan - (Japan, 1964)
This is a collection of 4 Japanese ghost stories originally written by the American writer Lafcadio Hearn, who lived in Japan in the 1800s and adopted it as his homeland. One of the most famous stories is "Hoichi the Earless" about a blind biwa player haunted by the ghosts of samurai. A Buddhist monk writes the Heart Sutra on Hoichi's body to make him invulnerable to the ghosts, but forgets to write on his ears! This story reflects the belief of the power of Buddhist sutras to ward off evil spirits. Because of the influence of Christianity in the West, crucifixes are believed to ward off vampires and evil spirits - in Buddhism in the East, it is not the image of the deity, but the power of the written word, especially in its Sanskrit mantra form, to protect the believer. You don't hold up a picture or statue of Buddha to ward off evil, you use Chinese characters! It demonstrates the power of the Dharma not residing in the physical person of the Buddha, but in his teachings, and in the value of literacy in premodern society.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Extreme Pilgrim - China

Extreme Pilgrim
Pete Owen-Jones, a vicar in a Sussex parish, is dissatisfied with some aspects of his faith and sets off on three extreme pilgrimages to China, India and Egypt to explore Zen Buddhism, Hinduism and ascetic Christianity.
Shaolin Monastery
Pete arrives at the famous Shaolin Temple, a seven-hour train journey from Beijing in the Hevan Province, right in the centre of China. The Shaolin Monastery occupies a central place in Chinese cultural history, as it is the ancestral home of all martial arts.
Pete says "The Church of England in particular is incredibly intellectual. You know, huge libraries full of books and theological bookshops. But we don't do anything physical. It's going to be very challenging indeed."
Pete is thrown straight into a gruelling routine of Kung Fu, the central technique in Chan Buddhism (also known as Zen Buddhism in Japan).


Monday, October 27, 2008

Meditate and Destroy - Noah Levine

Meditate and Destroy - Noah Levine
A feature-length documentary that provides an intimate portrait of Dharma Punx author, Noah Levine, who uses his personal experience and punk rock sensibilities to connect with a younger generation of spiritual seekers within juvenile halls and urban centers around the country.

This film provides an up-close look at how the driving forces in Noah's life changed from violence, addiction and rebellion to taking on the role of dedicated meditation teacher and community leader; an individual whose candor inspires others to integrate Buddhist teachings of nonviolence and inner peace with a Western lifestyle.

Similar to punk culture’s non-conformist attitude, Buddhism has long been seen as a tradition that goes "against the stream". Therefore, the film's visual aesthetic reflects this similarity. The film employs motion graphics reflecting the punk aesthetic that are complemented by an experimental movement through the various scenes exploring Noah Levine’s past and present life.


Ajahn Nyanadhammo - What the Buddha Taught

Ajahn Nyanadhammo - What the Buddha Taught
Ajahn Nyanadhammo was born in Adelaide in 1955. He became inspired by the Buddha's message while a biology student, and in 1978 stayed at Wat Buddhadhamma near Sydney before traveling to Thailand to ordain. He received his novice ordination from Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, and in 1979 received full ordination with Ajahn Chah. He then spent many years wandering in the jungles, staying in secluded monasteries and seeking out great teachers. From 1994 to 2002 he stayed at Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery as deputy to Ajahn Brahmavamso. Since 2002 he has been the abbot of Wat Pa Nanachat in Thailand, a forest monastery with an international community of English speaking monks.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Spirit Of Silence - Yoshikazu Iwamoto

The Spirit Of Silence - Yoshikazu Iwamoto
An exquisite album of solo Shakuhachi music, featuring six of the most challenging pieces in the classical solo Shakuhachi repertoire. The Shakuhachi (end-blown Japanese bamboo flute) was originally played by mendicant Buddhist monks, wondering the countryside in search of their enlightenment. Iwamoto spurns the recent over-sentimental interpretation of their music, prefering to deal with the nitty-gritty un-ornamented version; It is all too easy to fail to appreciate his gift...simply fail to listen!

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Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Shunryu Suzuki

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Shunryu Suzuki
A respected Zen master in Japan and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, Shunryu Suzuki has blazed a path in American Buddhism like few others. He is the master who climbs down from the pages of the koan books and answers your questions face to face. If not face to face, you can at least find the answers as recorded in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, a transcription of juicy excerpts from his lectures. From diverse topics such as transience of the world, sudden enlightenment, and the nuts and bolts of meditation, Suzuki always returns to the idea of beginner's mind, a recognition that our original nature is our true nature. With beginner's mind, we dedicate ourselves to sincere practice, without the thought of gaining anything special. Day to day life becomes our Zen training, and we discover that "to study Buddhism is to study ourselves." And to know our true selves is to be enlightened.


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Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts

In a probing analysis of the oldest Buddhist texts, Julius Evola places the doctrine of liberation in its original context. The early teachings, he suggests, offer the foremost example of an active spirituality that is opposed to the more passive, modern forms of theistic religions. This sophisticated, highly readable analysis of the theory and practice of Buddhist asceticism, first published in Italian in 1943 , elucidates the central truths of the eightfold path and clears away the later accretions of Buddhist doctrine. Evola describes the techniques for conscious liberation from the world of maya and for achieving the state of transcendence beyond dualistic thinking. Most surprisingly, he argues that the widespread belief in reincarnation is not an original Buddhist tenet. Evola presents actual practices of concentration and visualization, and places them in the larger metaphysical context of the Buddhist model of mind and universe.
The Doctrine of the Awakening is a provocative study of the teachings of the Buddha by one of Europe's most stimulating thinkers.

Julius Evola “The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts"
Inner Traditions | 1996-02-01 | ISBN: 0892815531 | 272 pages | PDF | 1,2 MB

The Philosophy of the Daodejing

For centuries, the ancient Chinese philosophical text the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) has fascinated and frustrated its readers. While it offers a wealth of rich philosophical insights concerning the cultivation of one's body and attaining one's proper place within nature and the cosmos, its teachings and structure can be enigmatic and obscure.
Hans-Georg Moeller presents a clear and coherent description and analysis of this vaguely understood Chinese classic. He explores the recurring images and ideas that shape the work and offers a variety of useful approaches to understanding and appreciating this canonical text. Moeller expounds on the core philosophical issues addressed in the Daodejing, clarifying such crucial concepts as Yin and Yang and Dao and De. He explains its teachings on a variety of subjects, including sexuality, ethics, desire, cosmology, human nature, the emotions, time, death, and the death penalty. The Daodejing also offers a distinctive ideal of social order and political leadership and presents a philosophy of war and peace.

An illuminating exploration, The Daodejing is an interesting foil to the philosophical outlook of Western humanism and contains surprising parallels between its teachings and nontraditional contemporary philosophies.

Hans-Georg Moeller, "The Philosophy of the Daodejing"
Columbia University Press | ISBN 023113679X | 2006 | PDF | 2 MB | 358 pages

Nagarjuna in Context: Mahayana Buddhism and Early Indian Culture

Nagarjuna in Context: Mahayana Buddhism and Early Indian Culture
This book is a study of Nágárjuna, a Buddhist philosopher of the second century and a key figure in the development of Maháyána Buddhism in ancient India. Few figures in the history of Buddhism stand out more prominently than Nágárjuna. In Maháyána hagiographies, Nágárjuna is among the earliest of the great saints mentioned. Nágárjuna is prominently represented in the transmission lineages for both the Zen tradition and the various Tantric traditions. He has been cited as a source of authority by personages as diverse as Tsongkhapa in Tibet and Dogen and Shinran in Japan. As a measure of his authority, in the eighth century the Tibetan king Khri Srong lDe brTsan declared, “Everyone should follow the teachings of Nágárjuna and engage assiduously in the practice of morality and the perfections.

On Buddhism

Keiji Nishitani (1900–1990) is generally considered to have been one of the three central figures in the now famous Kyoto school, and one of Japan’s most important and creative philosophers of religion. A student of Kitarø Nishida, the “founder” of the Kyoto school, Nishitani spent two years in Germany on a scholarship from the Ministry of Education. There he was able to consult with Martin Heidegger. The breadth and depth of his scholarship are abundantly evident in his Religion and Nothingness, a classic in modern cross-cultural philosophical inquiry, and possibly one of the more important books of the twentieth century in the philosophy of religion. As a teacher, he inspired many with his unflagging energy and the breadth and depth of his scholarship. As a man, he was generous with his time, and remarkably open-hearted and sensitive to the needs and projects of others. He delivered these six lectures to the Shin Buddhist Association of the Great Earth in Kyoto Japan.The first two lectures, which attempt to lay out the problem of modernism and its effects on traditional values, were given in 1971, the second two in 1972, and the final two in 1974.

Nishitani Keiji , On Buddhism
State University of New York Press | ISBN 0791467864 | 2006 | PDF | 1.16 MB | 188 pages

The Buddhist Theory of Self-Cognition

This highly original work explores the concept of self-awareness or self-consciousness in Buddhist thought. Within the Buddhist doctrinal system, the Sanskrit word svasamvedana or svasamvitti (self-cognition, self-awareness or self-consciousness) signifies a form of reflexive awareness. It is one of the key concepts in the Buddhist epistemological system developed by Dignaga (ca. 480-540 CE) and his followers. The discussion on whether the mind knows itself also had a long history in the Buddhist schools of Mahasamghika, Sarvastivada, Sautrantika and early Yogacara. The same issue was debated later among followers of the Madhyamaka and Yogacara schools. This work is the first systematically to study the Buddhist theory of self-cognition with an emphasis on its pre-Dignaga development. Its central thesis is that the Buddhist theory of self-cognition originated in a soteriological discussion of omniscience among the Mahasamghikas, and then evolved into a topic of epistemological inquiry among the Yogacarins. Toillustrate this central theme, this book explores a large body of primary sources in Chinese, Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan, most of which are being presented to an English readership for the first time. This work makes available important resources for the study of the Buddhist philosophy of mind.

Routledge | ISBN 041534431X | 2005-12-22 | PDF | 224 pages | 7.8 MB

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Wandering on the Way - Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu

Wandering on the Way
This little book is the perfect companion to Lao-Tzu's _Tao Te Ching_. Thomas Merton assembled it with admirable spiritual insight and sensitivity. Here is the path of the ancient sages. It is not a "how to" manual, for, "He who knows does not speak, and he who speaks does not know." And yet, this book somehow indirectly gives you a sense of what it is to be centered in the Tao. You get a fleeting sense of what it is like to live a life of such centerness and simplicity that it is difficult to tell where your own consciousness ends and the currents of the cosmos begin. This is the state of Wu Wei, effortless action in complete resonance with the Tao. I suppose that what I found so refreshing during this rereading was the confirmation that men of wealth, station, and learning are not to be admired. They are the least enlightened of men. Indeed, the true man of Tao will live humble in simplicity and obscurity- and yet such beings are the true wellsprings of cosmic harmony between heaven and earth.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Origin of Buddhist Meditation

The historic authenticity of the early Buddhist sources is a much disputed topic. Although many modern scholars of Indian Buddhism are highly sceptical about the possibility of identifying and recovering authentic early teachings, this book maintains that such an objective is possible. Having identified early material that goes back to the Buddha himself, the author argues that the two teachers of the Buddha were historical figures. Based on the early Brahminic literature, namely the early Upanishads and Moksadharma, the author asserts the origin of the method of meditation learned by the Buddha from these teachers, and attempts to use them to identify some authentic teachings of the Buddha on meditation.

The following claims are put forward in this book, which will stimulate a debate within the field of Buddhist Studies:

* The claim Buddha was taught by Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, as stated in the literature of numerous early Buddhist sects, is historically authentic.
* Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta taught a form of early Brahminic meditation.
* The Buddha must consequently have been trained in a meditative school whose ideology was provided by the philosophical portions of early Upanishads.
* This hypothesis is confirmed in the Parayanavagga, where the Buddha teaches an adapted practice of Alara Kalama's goal to some Brahmins, and appears to be fully conversant with the philosophical presuppositions of early Brahminic meditation.

The book will be of significant interest to academics in the field of Buddhist Studies, Asian Religion and South Asian Studies.

Wandering with Sadhus: Ascetics in the Hindu Himalayas

In this moving ethnographic portrait of Hindu renouncers—sadhus or ascetics—in northern India and Nepal, Sondra L. Hausner considers a paradox that shapes their lives: while ostensibly defined by their solitary spiritual practice, the stripping away of social commitments, and their break with family and community, renouncers in fact regularly interact with "householder" society. They form a distinctive, alternative community with its own internal structure, but one that is not located in any single place. Highly mobile and dispersed across the subcontinent, its members are regularly brought together through pilgrimage circuits on festival cycles. Drawing on many years of fieldwork, Hausner presents intimate portraits of individual sadhus as she examines the shared views of space, time, and the body that create the ground for everyday experience. Written with an extraordinary blend of empathy, compassion, and anthropological insight, this study will appeal to scholars, students, and general readers alike.

Philosophy of the Buddha: An Introduction

Philosophy of the Buddha is a philosophical introduction to the teaching of the Buddha. It carefully guides readers through the basic ideas and practices of the Buddha, including kamma (karma), rebirth, the not-self doctrine, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, ethics, meditation, nonattachment, and Nibbâna (Nirvana).

The book includes an account of the life of the Buddha as well as comparisons of his teaching with practical and theoretical aspects of some Western philosophical outlooks, both ancient and modern. Most distinctively, Philosophy of the Buddha explores how Buddhist enlightenment could enable us to overcome suffering in our lives and reach our full potential for compassion and tranquillity. This is one of the first books to introduce the philosophy of the Buddha to students of Western philosophy. Christopher Gowans' style is exceptionally clear and appropriate for anyone looking for a comprehensive introduction to this growing area of interest.

Selections from the Bonpo Book of the Dead

Selections from the Bonpo Book of the Dead
Selections from the Bonpo Book of the Dead, with translations, introduction, and commentaries by John Myrdhin Reynolds (1998). This volume presents translations of a number of texts from the Zhang-zhung Nyan-gyud dealing with the Bardo or the after-death experience in the intermediate state from the viewpoint of Dzogchen. The commentaries by the translator elucidate many important points in the translations. Comparisons are made of the Dzogchen tradition of the visions of Nirvana and Samsara with the eschatologies and mysticisms found in other spiritual traditions.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Live in a Better Way - The Dalai Lama

Live in a Better Way - The Dalai Lama
The packaging of talks given by the Dalai Lama has become a publishing staple in the last decade. Here the Dalai Lama's student Singh, a university professor in India, has pulled together six talks delivered in New Delhi from 1988-1997. "In order to practice Buddhism, you have to first know about the mind," begins this labyrinthine journey that is ostensibly aimed at all people, not just Buddhist practitioners. The lectures are good examples of how the Dalai Lama must be supremely accessible in thought and speech, and yet must also articulate the more abstract philosophical underpinnings of Buddhism as a "science of the mind." Within each chapter both aspects are in evidence. For example, in "A Journey to Happiness" we read the clear directive, "Some people feel that compassion, love and forgiveness are religious matters. This is wrong. Love and compassion are imperative. There is no way we can ignore these things, whether one is a believer or not." Near the end of the same chapter the thinking takes one of its abstruse turns: "In Maha-Anuttara Yoga Tantrayana, one unique practice is making a distinction among the gross, subtle, and innermost subtle levels of mind." The book's ultimate message of happiness through compassion is a vital one, but this collection is geared for the adept with a philosophical appetite and a considerable intellect, not for the general reader.


Changing From Inside - Documentary on Vipassana in Jail

Changing From Inside - Documentary on Vipassana in Jail
The film, entitled Changing from Inside" is 42 minutes long. It was written and produced primarily for an audience of prison administrators, jail officials, judges, etc. and tells the story of the introduction of Vipassana meditation courses into the North Rehabilitation Facility (N.R.F.) of the King County jail in Seattle, Washington, USA.

The film attempts to answer many of the questions that come from corrections officials after they have seen the earlier film entitled Doing Time, Doing Vipassana, documenting the introduction of this meditation into the prisons of India, or after the idea of meditation as a reform measure has been introduced to them.

In general, Changing from Inside is a compelling account of an intensive pilot meditation program for inmates at the N.F.R. minimum security jail near Seattle, Washington. Under the guidance of both community volunteers and facility staff members, seven women inmates undertake ten days of total silence. They practice the ancient meditation technique of Vipassana for ten hours each day, delving ever deeper into themselves to understand and ultimately master the nature of their behaviors and compulsions. In the end, they are transformed by their inward journey and come away with tools to maintain that transformation.

Changing from Inside also chronicles the personal and professional journey of the articulate, determined facility director, Lucia Meijer, as she rallies her staff to undertake and implement this new and unconventional program. Candid interviews among prison staff reveal a range of reactions, from interest to skepticism. However, the results achieved by the course prove to be an inspiration to everyone involved in the project including the participatants, other inmates and the professional staff, leaving the facility transformed, as well.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mahamudra Teachings of the Supreme Siddhas

Reveals powerful mahamudra practices for realizing the mind's fundamental nature. The advice and instructions on the ground, path, fruition, view, meditation and action of mahamudra are both complete and beautiful.

"All students of the Kagyu traditions are familiar with Karmapa III Rangjung Dorje's beautiful prayer, known as the Aspiration of Mahamudra, recited daily in countless Tibetan temples, retreats and homes. Lama Sherab Dorje offers an accurate and highly readable translation of this masterwork that is to be read with profit both by those who wish to learn something about the system of Mahamudra and by those practicing within the tradition--it deserves to be studied until the intentions of the author have become fully integrated with one's own meditations."


Pointing Out the Great Way

Pointing Out the Great Way
The Stages of Meditation in the Mahamudra Tradition

Mahamudra is the pinnacle of practice in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and this book is a timely examination of a subject of which there has been little published in easily accessible formats. Closely following core commentaries of the Kagyu Mahamudra lineage, the author has written a detailed manual of the meditation process and the mental states it produces. This book is different in the systematic way it draws from a variety of sources to construct a complete, graded path of practice informed by an understanding of the particular obstacles faced by meditators in the West. It attempts to capture the inner experience of the stages of mahamudra meditation in sufficient detail to convey its richness. Brown describes mahamudra from the perspective of the gradual path. The gradual path is a progressive process of training that is often contrasted to sudden realization. There are step-by-step descriptions of the ways to practice, precise descriptions of the various stages and their intended realizations, and the typical problems that arise along with their remedies. Simply put, mahamudra meditation involves penetrative focus, free of conceptual elaboration, upon the very nature of conscious awareness.

Approaching the Great Perfection

Approaching the Great Perfection
Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyingthig

An important new study that looks at one of the lineage's seminal figures, Jigme Lingpa, and makes an extensive analysis of a core tension within Buddhism: does enlightenment develop gradually, or can it come about suddenly?

Dzogchen is the highest meditative practice of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, and Jigme Lingpa was an eighteenth century scholar-yogi whose cycle of teachings, the Longchen Nyingthig, has been handed down through generations as a complete path to enlightenment. Ten of Jigme Lingpa's texts are presented here. Van Schaik shows that both the sudden and gradual approaches and positions on enlightenment are present within each of the Tibetan Buddhist schools, and he demonstrates that Jigme Lingpa is a great illustration of this balancing act, using the rhetoric of both sides to propel his students along the path of the Great Perfection.

"A stimulating contribution to the study of simultaneist and gradualist approaches in Buddhism by way of important new translations and lucid commentary. His insights into the philosophical content of Tibetan tantric literature, as well as into the boundaries between revelation and composition, illuminate the most significant tantric cycle in the Nyingma tradition of the last three centuries." David Germano.

Progressive stages of meditation on emptiness

A concise and clear presentation of the Tibetan Shentong view of emptiness. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso introduces the various stages of the different approaches to understanding and realizing emptiness according to first the Sravaka meditation on not-self; then the Cittamatra or Mind Only school; the Svatantrika; and then the Madhyamika Prasangika, or Rantong view.

In this teaching Rinpoche presents the main schools of Buddhist philosophy with their progressively more subtle and refined views of reality. However it is not just a teaching on the view, but a presentation providing the student the means to realize it through meditation practice. The idea of a series of meditation practices on a particular aspect of the Buddha's teaching is that beginning with one's first rather coarse commonsense understanding, one progresses through increasingly subtle and more refined stages until one arrives at complete and perfect understanding. Each stage in the process prepares the mind for the next in so far as each step is fully integrated into one's understanding through the meditation process.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Deva Premal - Sings the Moola Mantra

Deva Premal - Sings the Moola Mantra
German-born Deva Premal is a certified diva of the new age, having traversed the requisite Eastern spiritual paths, communing in Indian and following the late guru Bhaghwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho. While her last CD, Dakshina, had a bit more of a pop-Enyaesque sensibility, Moola Mantra is a much more meditative affair as Premal sings a single, 15-word Sanskrit mantra over the course of six lushly smooth Indian fusion arrangements. The disc is something of a mantra super session, with kirtan crooner Jai Uttal playing dotar, Nepalese bansuri flute player Manose, pianist Kit Walker, sitarist Peter Van Gelder (who played with Grace Slick and the Great Society) and esraj player Benjy Wertheimer. They're among the ensemble providing the patchouli-scented ornamentations that surround Premal's serene voice. With producer Ben Leinbach's detailed arrangements and Premal's overdubbed vocal choirs, Moola Mantra recalls similar Hindu adaptations by Rasa more than any other Premal CD. Like Rasa's Hans Christian, Leinbach is a capable multi-instrumentalist with a gift for trance grooves that don't tire and evocative instrumental touches like the tremolo guitar bleeding into Uttal's dotar solo on "Part II." The music is a languid float down an endless stream, but the repetition of the mantra, even with inventive melodic variation, can get tiresome. Premal tries to have it both ways, mantra as art and as spiritual practice.

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Music For Yoga (2007)

Music For Yoga (2007)

1. Om Namah Shivaya — Deva Premal
2. Air, Oil — Peasm
3. Peace Through Kindess — Nawang Khechog
4. Love Has No Boundaries — Randy Armstrong
5. Sleeping Woman — Luis Perez
6. Opening — Stephen DeRuby
8. Song for Peace — Randy Armstrong
9. Planet — Kitaro
10. Yemaya Assessu — Deva Premal
11. Presence — Newang Khechog
12. Misty — Kitaro
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adyashanti - Book pack

Adyashanti - Book pack
1.) Adyashanti - Emptiness Dancing
2.) Adyashanti - The Impact of Awakening
3.) Adyashanti - What is it like to Live an Awakened Life
4.) Adyashanti - Satsang Transcript - When I Awoke - 7 March 1999
5.) Adyashanti's teachings by
6.) Adyashanti - Actually One Being

Adyashanti - Emptiness Dancing
Discovering our true nature could be called the discovery of emptiness--of the vast stillness and loving silence that lies beyond and within all that exists. Our lives are the dance of this emptiness as it flowers into form. "Emptiness Dancing" offers dynamic teachings that come directly from this emptiness and draw the open heart into profound realization. Adyashanti reveals valuable insights and explores important themes relevant to those seeking and deepening into the Truth. He shares an enlightened perspective on the seeker's struggle, the joys and challenges of spiritual awakening, the symptoms of spiritual addiction, the essence of sacred relationship, the true meaning of enlightenment, the simple secret to being happy.


Women of Tibet: Gyalyum Chemo-The Great Mother

Women of Tibet: Gyalyum Chemo-The Great Mother recounts the compelling story of a simple village woman who gave birth to the boy who was destined to become His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas, rare footage of Tibet and photographs from private family collections present a never before seen perspective of the Dalai Lama and his family.Weaving anecdotal threads and intimate personal reflections from family and friends, this film offers a rare glimpse into Tibet's first family and the woman who inspired them. His Holiness describes how his mother helped shaped the man he is today and how the relationship between a healthy family and a healthy humanity all begins with a mothers love. Frame of Mind Films.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple), Angeles Arrien (The Second Half of Life), and Dr. Marion Woodman (Addiction To Perfection), link this unique Tibetan story to the universal power of motherhood and how the Great Mother lives within each of us.

Destroyer of Illusion: The Secret World of a Tibetan Lama

Destroyer of Illusion: The Secret World of a Tibetan Lama
This unique film focuses on the annual Mani Rimdu festival and on Trulshig Rinpoche, the renowned Nyingma Tibetan Lama who directs its performance.

Unprecedented access and intimate knowledge inform this richly detailed and beautifully filmed portait of a secret Tibetan Buddhist ritual, theMani Rimdu festival, a centuries-old tradition where monks battle the malevolent supernatural forces of the universe. Hundreds of tantric initiates gather once a year at Thubten Choling monastery to learn to become Garwang Tojay-chenpo, Lord of the Dance. He is called this because his infinite creativity is symbolized by dance and he personifies the compassion of all the Buddhas. Lord of the Dance is the deity of Mani Rimdu, the major sacred festival of the Mount Everest region of Nepal. Each Autumn, Trulshik Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of the region, goes from his home in Thubten Choling to Chiwong monastery to preside over the festival. His name means "Destroyer of Illusion". In this unique documentary filmed on location in the Mount Everest region we see the world through the eyes of those who undertake this ancient ceremony - a world where the mountains are filled with deities and a human being's potential is limited only by his imagination and his will.

Narrated by Richard Gere.

"A jewel of a documentary." The Boston Globe.

"Pulsating with colour, movement, music and faith." San Francisco Chronicle.

"In the West, we think of magic as the art of creating illusions. For Tibetans, destroying illusions is the highest form of magic." From the narration.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ramana Maharshi: Sage of Arunachala

Ramana Maharshi: Sage of Arunachala

At the age of seventeen, sitting alone at his uncle’s house, the young Venkataraman, as Ramana Maharshi was known then, underwent a spontaneous ‘conversion experience’ that would change his life forever, beginning his spiritual quest. He left home soon after, not stopping until he had reached the shrine of Lord Arunacalesvara at Tiruvannamalai. He never left it.

Hailed as one of the most remarkable and unique practitioners of Advaita Vedanta, Ramana Maharshi saw no difference between his life and teachings. Even Mahatma Gandhi had heard that the Maharshi was known to be and was perhaps . . . [a] realized soul, and expressed a wish to meet him several times. That meeting never happened, but thousands of others flocked to him hoping to catch a glimpse of the man who is said to have experienced eternity.

In this absorbing biography, Arvind Sharma chronicles the life of Ramana Maharshi, his solitary and extraordinary spiritual journey, his wisdom and his message. Ramana Maharshi: The Sage of Arunachala will doubtless offer something to the believer and the questioner; the scholar and the layperson.

BTJunkie Torrent
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A Guide to Japanese Buddhism

A Guide to Japanese Buddhism

Buddhism originated in India in the 6th century BC. It consists of the teachings of the Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha. Of the main branches of Buddhism, it is the Mahayana or "Greater Vehicle" Buddhism which found its way to Japan. Buddhism was imported to Japan via China and Korea in the form of a present from the friendly Korean kingdom of Kudara (Paikche) in the 6th century. While Buddhism was welcomed by the ruling nobles as Japan's new state religion, it did not initially spread among the common people due to its complex theories.
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Eckhart Tolle - Lasting Happiness

Eckhart Tolle - Lasting Happiness

Tolle is aligned with the teachings of an emerging religion which has been called interspirituality or New Age. In the book Dialogues with Emerging Spiritual Teachers by John W. Parker, he has acknowledged a strong connection to J Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi and stated that his teaching is a coming together of the teachings of both those teachers, and it is a continuation of that. In addition, he states that by listening to and speaking with the spiritual teacher Barry Long, he understood things more deeply.[7] At about the age of fifteen he received five books that were written by a German mystic, Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken, also known as Bô Yin Râ. Tolle responded "very deeply" to those books.[1] He said the first texts with which he came in contact after the awakening and in which he found deep understanding were the New Testament, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching and teachings of The Buddha.[1] In The Power of Now, he mentioned the writings of Meister Eckhart, Advaita Vedanta, A Course in Miracles, the Bible, mystical Islam, Sufism, and Rumi's poetry, as well as Zen Buddhism's Lin-chi (Linji in pinyin ) (Rinzai) school


FUNDAMENTAL MIND: The Nyingma View of the Great Completeness

Khetsun Sangpo Rinbochay provides an illuminating, expansive, and practical commentary on Mi-pam-gya-tso's incisive work on the Great Completeness view of ultimate reality, called The Meaning of Fundamental Mind, Clear Light.

Fundamental Mind begins with a biography of Mi-pam-gya-tso, after which Khetsun Sangpo Rinbochay explains the aim of the book--the differentiation of mistaken mind and fundamental mind. The main theme is primordial enlightenment in the basal clear light, self-arisen pristine wisdom. The emphasis is on being introduced to and identifying fundamental mind in naked experience through a lama's quintessential instructions.

The combination of topic, well-known authors, and accessible presentation of the material should make this an important book for practitioners.


Vipassana For Psychiatrists

Vipassana For Psychiatrists
In psychoanalysis the subject reports his free-associations as they occur and is helped to understand his mental mechanisms. A student of Vipassana also finds himself free associating during meditation. However, psychoanalysis and Vipassana differ in their attitudes towards and interpretations of the material of free-association. In Vipassana, the emphasis is on maintaining a continuum of awareness of somatic sensations and inculcating a neutral attitude of indifference and non-indulgence, upekkha, in the ideational material. In psychoanalysis, the ideation material is welcome. In Vipassana the interpretation is mainly phenomeno-logical in terms of the transitory nature, anicca, illusory nature (creating the illusion of "I" etc.), and binding nature dukkha, of emotive processes of clinging raga, aversion dosa and ignorance moha. In psychoanalysis, the interpretation is semantic and helps to decode the messages from the system unconscious, revealing the universal struggle between various forces.

Several other Vipassana Torrents

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramahansa Yogananda

Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramahansa Yogananda
Often described as the book that has changed the lives of millions, Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi has been translated into 20 languages, and is regarded worldwide as a spiritual classic. It was selected as "One of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century." It reads like an adventure story while answering questions about religion, God, existence, yoga, higher consciousness, and the challenges of daily spiritual living. It is a book for people of all faiths; anyone yearning to know what life is truly all about.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tenzin Palmo - 4 Talks

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is a Tibetan Buddhist nun in the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school. Jetsunma is an author, teacher and founder of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in Himachal Pradesh, India. She is best known for being one of the very few Western yoginis, having spent twelve years living in a remote cave in the Himalayas, three of those years in strict meditation retreat. Vicki Mackenzie, who wrote Cave in the Snow about her, relates that what inspired the writing of the book was reading Tenzin Palmo's statement to a Buddhist magazine that "I have made a vow to attain Enlightenment in the female form - no matter how many lifetimes it takes"

Chenresig and Tonlen Practice .mp3 [24MB]
Difficult Points for Westerners .mp3 [25MB]
Mindfulness and Opening the Heart .mp3 [26MB]
Wisdom Of Emptiness .mp3 [13MB]


Reflections on a Mountain Lake - Teachings on Practical Buddhism

Reflections on a Mountain Lake - Teachings on Practical Buddhism
This sparkling collection of Dharma teachings by Tenzin Palmo, the subject of the best-selling book Cave in the Snow, addresses issues of common concern to Buddhist practitioners from all traditions. Personable, witty, and insightful, Tenzin Palmo presents an inspiring and no-nonsense view of Buddhist practice, giving readers the inestimable benefit of her many years of reflection and practice in teaching and in retreat.

The topics covered include women in Buddhism, karma, rebirth, difficult points for Westerners,the role of the spiritual master, spiritual practice in daily life, ethics, motivation, visualization, calm abiding meditation and insight meditation, and the emerging role of lay practitioners in a tradition that historically has belonged to monastics.

Buddhist Chants - Pali / English - Metta

Buddhist Chants - Pali / English
A Buddhist chant is a form of musical verse or incantation, in some ways analogous to Hindu or Christian religious recitations. They exist in just about every part of the Buddhist world, from the Wats in Thailand to the Tibetan Buddhist temples of India. Almost every Buddhist school has some tradition of chanting associated with it, regardless of being Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana.

There are also a number of New Age and experimental schools related to Buddhist thought which practice chanting, some with understanding of the words, others merely based on repetition.


Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment - Dalai Lama

Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment - Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama gives a commentary to Atisha's seminal text, a Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, and Lama Tsong Khapa's Lines of Experience.

About one thousand years ago the great Indian pandit and yogi Atisha was invited to Tibet to re-establish the Buddha's teaching which had been suppressed and become corrupted. In his Lamp for the Path, Atisha extracted the essence of all the 84,000 teachings of the Buddha and organized them into a clear, step-by-step arrangement that makes it easy for the individual practitioner to understand and practice the Dharma. This genre of teachings is known as Lam Rim, or Stages of the Path, and it went on to be highly influential and an essential part of every school of Tibetan Buddhism, most notably in the Gelug. Lama Tsong Khapa wrote his Lam Rim Chenmo based on Atisha's text, and many other great Lamas followed with their own commentaries. Lines of Experience is a short text wriiten by Lama Tsong Khapa on the Lam Rim.

Lama Yeshe Free Ebooks

A dose of emptiness

Used as a supplement to the scholastic debating manuals in some of the greatest monasteries in Tibet, the sTong thun Chenmo is a veritable encyclopedia of Mahayana philosophy, dealing with hermeneutics, the theory of non-duality, the linguistic interpretation of emptiness, the typology of ignorance, logic, the nature of time, and the perception of matter across world spheres. This book is an indispensible source for understanding the Tibetan Gelugpa school's synthesis of the Madhyamaka and epistemological traditions of Indian Buddhism, and an unprecendented source for the philosophical polemics of fifteenth century Tibet.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ajahn Brahm`s Dhamma Talks

Thanks to Thor my God of Thunder friend for this link.

Ajahn Brahm`s Dhamma Talks
Most Buddhist writers are not often lighthearted or zesty, but the British-born monk Ajahn Brahm is a delightful exception. Even though meditators are taught to not expect anything, since that represents an attachment, meditation should bring you joy and bliss, according to Brahm. The bliss states of meditation (jhanas) are little-taught, so this book is an addition with value in a crowded niche. Trained in the Thai forest tradition by the Buddhist master Ajahn Chah, Brahm is a clear communicator of the ineffable. He is able to write about a variety of mental states and visualizations with precision and discrimination, drawing on his own experience. He is step-by-step systematic, which helps demystify what happens in meditation. Also useful is the specificity with which he describes the kinds of problems meditators encounter and what to do to resolve them. Meditation is difficult to teach on the page, but Brahm, who began life as an academic at Cambridge, fulfills his calling as teacher. He projects both energetic conviction and calm equanimity. The promise of bliss he describes in this excellent manual is elusive, but remains a compelling goal.

AstaDasaSahasrika PrajnaParamita

Perfection of Wisdom in 18 thousand lines translated into English from Gilgit manuscript by Edward Conze.

[The Gilgit manuscripts are among the oldest manuscripts in the world, and the oldest manuscript collection surviving in India, having unmatched significance in the area of Buddhist studies and can be considered to be important milestones in the history of Buddhist writing in India...]

Mahamudra The quintessence of Mind and Meditation

Mahamudra The quintessence of Mind and Meditation
Mahamudra is the first English translation of a major Tibetan Buddhist presentation of the theory and practice of meditation-a manual detailing the various stages and practices for training the advanced students. The original Tibetan text of nearly 800 pages was composed by Takpo Tashi Namgyal (1512-87), a great lama and a scholar of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

Avatamsaka Sutra

The Avatamsaka Sutra is one of the richest texts of Buddhism, revered as a treasure of sensual imagery and as a vast storehouse of wisdom. Known in Chinese as Hua-yen and in Japanese as Kegon-kyo, this definitive translation contains all 39 books of the sutra, along with an introduction and Cleary's translation of Li Tongxuan's commentary to the final book, the Gandavyuha, or Entry into the Realm of Reality.

"The Avatamsaka is really the consummation of Buddhist thought, Buddhist sentiment and Buddhist experience. To my mind, no religious literature in the world can ever approach the grandeur of conception, the depth of feeling and the gigantic scale of composition attained by this Sutra. Here not only deeply speculative minds find satisfaction, but humble spirits and heavily oppressed hearts, too, will have their burdens lightened. Abstract truths are so concretely, so symbolically represented here that one will finally come to a realization of the truth that even in a particle of dust the whole universe is seen reflected - not this visible universe only, but a vast system of universes, conceivable by the highest minds only." D.T.Suzuki.

Naked Awareness

Naked Awareness
Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra & Dzogchen

Continuing the work begun by Gyatrul Rinpoche in Spacious Path to Freedom, this sequel expands on more of the commentary to Karma Chagme's extensive work on true nature, Breakthrough and Leap-over in dzogchen, powa and mahamudra. The concluding chapters of this treatise present a detailed analysis of mahamudra meditation in relation to dzogchen practice.

To Cherish All Life: A Buddhist Case for Becoming Vegetarian - Philip Kapleau

To Cherish All Life: A Buddhist Case for Becoming Vegetarian - Philip Kapleau
Clear, direct and concise, Philip Kapleau's "To Cherish All Life" marshals the basic religious, humanitarian, and scientific reasons for becoming vegetarian. Expanding on the Buddhist principle of cherishing all life, Kapleau's compelling discussion examines crucial Buddhist texts, thoughtfully considers the spiritual-ethical dimensions of the issue, and speaks cogently to those with a religious or humanitarian respect for all life.


Buddhist Drums, Bells, Chants - Various Artists

Buddhist Drums, Bells, Chants - Various Artists
Drum of the Zen service. Hannya Shingo (Heart Sutra), Goeika (Pilgrim Chant), Aki Wasan (Jode Funeral), Choshi (Meian Priests), Shomyo, Temple Bells (Myoshinji) recorded at actual services in the temples of Kyoto, Japan.


Spacious Path to Freedom

Spacious Path to Freedom
Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Atiyoga

Karma Chagme was a major lineage-holder of the Karma Kagyu tradition, but his writings have also become central to the Payul Nyingma order, making him an ideal figure to show how the two great meditation systems of Mahamudra and Dzogchen can be integrated into a single, unified approach to realising the ultimate nature of consciousness. He sets forth the stages of meditation practice including the cultivation of meditative quiescence and insight, the experiential identification of awareness, and the highest steps of Mahamudra and Atiyoga, or Dzogchen leading to perfect enlightenment in one lifetime. The Nyingma lama Gyatrul Rinpoche`s commentary elucidates this profound text.

The practice of Dzogchen

The practice of Dzogchen
A compilation of the celebrated Nyingma master Longchenpa's work on Dzogchen. This anthology of writings by the great scholar-yogi reveals the innermost esoteric philosophy and meditation training of Dzogpa Chenpo (Dzogchen), which until recent decades was only whispered into the ears of heart-disciples by the learned masters.

Dzogchen employs a meditative technique which effortlessly uncovers the emotional and intellectual layers of the mind and instantly awakens its essential nature, which is Buddha mind or Buudhahood itself.

"This is one of the most significant works on Tibetan Buddhism to be published in recent years, treating with grace, beauty and depth a most important subject, namely the character of the Dzogchen tradition and its placement within the overall structure of the Nyingma doctrine and training. An understanding of Dzogchen will benefit any philosophical or religious study of Tibetan Buddhism. This is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive works on the Nyingma to appear in English." Glenn Mullin.

"Tulku Thondup Rinpoche has performed a service of inestimable value for all serious students of Buddhist thought. One of Tibet's greatest philosphical-sages, Longchen Rabjampa, is here made accessible to the specialist and interested non-specialist in a manner that is authoritative, comprehensive and clear." Matthew Kapstein.

Old Man Basking in the Sun - Longchenpa's Treasury of Natural Perfection

Old Man Basking in the Sun - Longchenpa's Treasury of Natural Perfection
Dzogchen is the apotheosis of Tibetan Buddhism and Longchenpa is the pre-eminent master of Dzogchen and one of Tibet's greatest mystical poets. The verses of his Treasury of Natural Perfection (Gnas lugs mdzod) written in the fourteenth century encompass and epitomize the radical precepts of Dzogchen while his auto-commentary elaborates their meaning through a concise prose paraphrase and with illustrative quotations from the Collection of Tantras of the Ancients (Rnying ma rgyud 'bum). Transcending the Tibetan context, Longchenpa delivers a manual of wisdom for all people at all times and shows why the western world has turned to Tibet for its mystical inspiration during the last half century. This transmission of timeless wisdom of the Ancients of Tibet should take its place amongst the world's religious classics. Through the precept 'nonaction' - which is savoured like 'an old man basking in the sun' - Dzogchen teaches the natural perfection of all our experience, and all our lives, just as it is, without need of any alteration. This discipline provides the key not only to our inner enlightenment but to the health and survival of our planet.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Three autobiographies

Guru Rinpoche - His Life and Times

Guru Rinpoche, or Padmasambhava, was the great Indian tantric master who brought Buddhism to Tibet and is revered as a second Buddha. This book presents four very different accounts of his life story: two Buddhist, one according to the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, and one based on Indian and early Tibetan historical documents. The two Tibetan Buddhist works are a Biography of Guru Rinpoche by Jamgon Kongtrul, and the Immaculate White Lotus by Dorje Tso. Then follows an Indian version of his life story by Taranata, a Bonpo version by Jamyang Kyentse Wongpo, and Supplications to Guru Rinpoche in Seven Chapters, as well as visualizations written to accompany these supplications by Jamgon Kongtrul.

"The presence of Guru Rinpoche, a figure so important to Tibetan Buddhists that he is simply called "the Precious Master", can be felt still in each of the four liberating stories translated here. Read side-by-side, they reveal an even wider picture, of how history and culture interact with the inner spirituality that is beyond time and place." Sarah Harding.

Sky Dancer
The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyal

A lively biography of one of Tibet's celebrated enlightened women, with insight into women's role in the Tibetan tradition. Yeshe Tsogyel was the Tibetan consort of the great Indian tantric master Padmasambhava, and her life story and detailed instructions to her disciples are still an inspiration for today's practitioners.

Keith Dowman supplements this translation with a detailed commentary on the historical background to the text, the tantric tradition, Nyingma lineages and the tantric view of women and the dakini

The Lotus Born The life story of Padmasambhava

"The first complete version of Guru Rinpoche’s life, The Lotus-Born translated by Erik Pema Kunsang, one of the most able and prolific Western translators, comes highly recommended. What a relief to be able to sit down and read a treasure in which we can have full confidence in both the words and the meaning. He has put Guru Rinpoche’s life into meaningful context by including with his translation a foreword by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and a short work by Tsele Natsok Rangdröl, a master of the seventeenth century."
- Ngawang Zangpo, author of Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.