Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells (2009)


Beautifully shot film, a little low on plot however.

Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells (2009)
Kim is on the way home after divorce procedure. He feels obsessive, watching TV news about suicide in the subway of an illegally staying labor of Nepal, Sham. He sleeps, returning home. As he dreams a small mountain village of the Himalayas, he wakes up. He goes to Sham’s funeral home. He asks people of a human rights organization in charge of the funeral arrangements to take Sham’s ashes to his family in Nepal. As Kim arrives in Zomsom, mountain region in Nepal, asks around about Sham’s home. He leaves for Jharkot with a map and a bag. Kim walks long, dry and winding roads. Climbing highlands, he suffers from nasal haemorrhage and headache because of mountain sickness. It’s in two days that he arrives in Sham’s hometown, which is located on the top of a mountain in the Himalayas with snow. There are Sham’s ill mother and his three sisters living in a ragged house. As Kim gives Sham’s ashes to the first sister of Sham’s, Sunita, she gulps down tears, but runs to a hill outside, and cries out loud in sorrow. Sunita asks Kim not to tell her families about Sham’s death. While Kim stays a night in Sham’s, he suffers from serious illness from fatigue and stomach-ache. He stays more under Sunita’s careful nursing.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sugata Saurabha


Sugata Saurabha: An Epic Poem from Nepal on the Life of the Buddha - Chittadhar Hridaya
The Sugata Saurabha is an epic poem that retells the story of the Buddha's life. It was published in 1947 in the Nepalese language, Newari, by Chittadhar Hridaya, one of the greatest literary figures of 20th-century Nepal. The text is remarkable for its comprehensiveness, artistry, and nuance. It covers the Buddha's life from birth to death and conveys his basic teachings with simple clarity. It is also of interest because, where the classical sources are silent, Hridaya inserts details of personal life and cultural context that are Nepalese. The effect is to humanize the founder and add the texture of real life. A third point of interest is the modernist perspective that underlies the author's manner of retelling this great spiritual narrative. This rendering, in a long line of accounts of the Buddha's life dating back almost 2,000 years, may be the last ever to be produced that conforms to the traditions of Indic classic poetry. It will not only appeal to scholars of Buddhism but will find use in courses that introduce students to the life of the Buddha.

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Tibetan Ritual


Tibetan Ritual
Ritual is one of the most pervasive religious phenomena in the Tibetan cultural world. Despite its ubiquity and importance to Tibetan cultural life, however, only in recent years has Tibetan ritual been given the attention it deserves. This is the first scholarly collection to focus on this important subject. Unique in its historical, geographical and disciplinary breadth, this book brings together eleven essays by an international cast of scholars working on ritual texts, institutions and practices in the greater Tibetan cultural world - Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Mongolia. While most of the chapters focus on Buddhism, two deal with ritual in Tibet's indigenous Bon religion. All of the essays are original to this volume. An extensive introduction by the editor provides a broad overview of Tibetan ritual and contextualizes the chapters within the field of Buddhist and Tibetan studies. The book should find use in advanced undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on Tibetan religion. It will also be of interest to students and scholars of ritual generally.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Dhamma Brothers


The Dhamma Brothers
East meets West in the Deep South. An overcrowded maximum-security prison-the end of the line in Alabama's correctional system-is dramatically changed by the influence of an ancient meditation program. Behind high security towers and a double row of barbed wire and electrical fence dwells a host of convicts who will never see the light of day. But for some of these men, a spark is ignited when it becomes the first maximum-security prison in North America to hold an extended Vipassana retreat, an emotionally and physically demanding course of silent meditation lasting ten days. The Dhamma Brothers tells a dramatic tale of human potential and transformation as it closely follows and documents the stories of the prison inmates at Donaldson Correction Facility who enter into this arduous and intensive program

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening From the Alan Watts Audio Archives


Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening From the Alan Watts Audio Archives
In order to come to your senses, Alan Watts often said, you sometimes need to go "out of your mind." Perhaps more than any other teacher in the West, this celebrated author, former Anglican priest, and self-described "spiritual entertainer" was responsible for igniting the passion of countless wisdom seekers to the spiritual and philosophical delights of Asia and India. Now, with Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives, you are invited to immerse yourself in twelve of this legendary thinker's pinnacle teaching sessions on how to break through the limits of the rational mind and begin expanding your awareness and appreciation for "the Great Game" unfolding all around us.
Out of Your Mind brings you six complete seminars carefully selected from hundreds of recordings by Alan Watts' son and archivist Mark Watts that capture the true scope of this brilliant teacher in action. On these superb, digitally restored recordings, you will delve into Alan Watts' favorite pathways out of "the trap of conventional awareness."

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The Best Guide to Eastern Philosophy and Religion


The Best Guide to Eastern Philosophy and Religion
Want to get more out of your yoga class? Explore the teachings of the Tao Te Ching? Are you looking for the Zen wisdom that makes Phil Jackson such a success? This examination of the ancient beliefs of Asia takes the mystery out of Eastern thought. Targeted for the Westerner, this enlightening audiobook is sophisticated in content, yet easy to follow. It provides a thorough account of the histories and beliefs of Eastern philosophies as well as a “quick take” on the practices of the various religions.The Best Guide to Eastern Philosophy and Religion is the one source for everything anyone would want to know about Eastern traditions. There are complete discussions of the tenets of: • Hinduism • Buddhism • Confucianism • Taoism • Shintoism • Jainism • Zoroastrianism.
Best of all, this Best Guide elaborates on the meaning of the Eastern practices that Westerners find most compelling, such as tantric sex, the martial arts, and feng shui. It also explores the connection between Asian beliefs and Western writers like William Blake and Deepak Chopra, and Western seekers like the Beatles and Richard Gere.Whether a first time explorer of Eastern ideas or a seasoned practitioner, this guide shows the way through the beautiful labyrinth of Asian thought.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Buddha, Bees and the Giant Hornet Queen


Buddha, Bees and the Giant Hornet Queen (BBC Natural World)
There's no fiercer looking or more dangerous insect than the giant Japanese hornet. The film follows the life of a giant hornet queen as she emerges from hibernation and starts to build her colony in an old temple garden. At first she is vulnerable, fighting bad weather as she painstakingly constructs her paper nest. But as workers hatch, her empire gains strength and desperate for food the hornets start to search for their favorite meal – honeybee grubs.

A beekeeper monk witnesses the rising power of the giant hornet colony, and despite the hornets' attacks on his own bees he reveals a deep respect for these incredible predators.

FYI: Frame Rate seems to be a little fast on this, so if your using VLC player slow the playback a bit.

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Peace Pilgrim: An American Sage Who Walked Her Talk

I posted this over on SRF but I think it deserves being posted here as well. Peace.

Peace Pilgrim: An American Sage Who Walked Her Talk
This is a powerful documentary about an extraordinary woman. At age 44, Mildred Norman left her life circumstances and became Peace Pilgrim -- walking coast to coast for peace for nearly 30 years, living on faith and sharing her wisdom and exhuberance generously with people across the land. This 60-minute documentary is a poetic and musical exploration of her life and message, which is as relevant today as ever. Also included are interviews with Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, John Robbins, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, and many of Peace Pilgrim's friends, admirers, and relatives, along with newsreel footage from the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's, when Peace was on her walk for peace. The video is narrated by Reverend Michael Beckwith. This video was scripted and edited by Sharon Janis (Kumuda) of Night Lotus Productions, using materials that had been filmed and gathered over two decades. You can order a copy of this video or Peace Pilgrim's books or audio materials from Friends of Peace Pilgrim Foundation at http://www.peacepilgrim.org . In accordance with Peace Pilgrim's belief that spiritual teachings should be given rather than sold, all of her materials are offered without charge (although donations to continue their work are welcome)

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Mediating the Power of Buddhas: Ritual in the Manjusrimulakalpa


Mediating the Power of Buddhas: Ritual in the Manjusrimulakalpa
Mediating the Power of Buddhas offers a fascinating analysis of the seventh-century ritual manual, the Manjusrimulakalpa. This medieval text is intended to reveal the path into a ritual universe where the power of a buddha abides. Author Glenn Wallis traces the strategies of the Manjusrimulakalpa to enable its committed reader to perfect the promised ritual, uncovering what conditions must be met for ritual practice to succeed and what personal characteristics practitioners must possess in order to realize the ritual intentions of the Buddhist community. The manual itself was written at a key point in Buddhist history, one when Hindu forms of practice were still imitated and on the cusp of the shift from Mahaµyaµna to Vajrayaµna (or Tantric) Buddhism. In addition, the Manjusrimulakalpa presents a rich compendium of Buddhist life in an earlier era, containing information on a variety of its readers' concerns: astrology, astronomy, medicine and healing, ritual practice, iconography, devotion, and meditation.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Buddha Lounge Tribute to the Beatles

Generally I loathe those Buddha Lounge Albums, but this is sinking to new lows. Without a doubt the worst Album I've heard this year. Has nothing to do with Buddhism or Music. However it is an excellent meditation on patience.

Buddha Lounge Tribute to the Beatles
I love Beatle cover tunes and have a huge collection and this is definitely bottom of the barrel. The ingredients are synthesizer, an electronic drum track, and occasional use of tabla and sitar. In the background on a couple of tracks is a siren. I kid you not. I was listening this in the car and kept checking the rear view mirror. This sounds like a mash up of Lord Sitar and the Hollyridge Strings. That sounds better than it is, Both Lord Sitar and the Hollyridge Strings are enjoyable. This disc is not.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mustang - Journey of Transformation


Mustang - Journey of Transformation
Narrated by Richard Gere, Mustang – Journey of Transformation, tells the remarkable story of a culture pulled back from the brink of extinction through the restoration of its most sacred sites. The Himalayan Kingdom of Mustang lies on a windswept plateau between Nepal and Tibet in one of the most remote regions of the world. Isolated both by geography and politics, Mustang—known as the Forbidden Kingdom—has been completely off limits to westerners for fifty years. Although Mustang is culturally and ethnically Tibetan, politically it is part of Nepal. This starkly beautiful place is home to one of the last surviving repositories of Tibetan sacred art from the 15th century. To travel here is to journey into the past where one can witness the ancient ways of life. In 1991, Nepal opened Mustang’s border to the outside world. What the first visitors found was shocking—the ancient monasteries were on the verge of collapse; the Buddhist wall paintings were disintegrating; the community was deeply impoverished. The people needed health care, education and jobs. Surprisingly, the King’s first plea to outsiders offering help was to save the monasteries. Mustang – Journey of Transformation features interviews with the Dalai Lama; the King of Mustang; Luigi Fieni, the chief art restorer; and Richard Blum, founder of the American Himalayan Foundation, the NGO that worked closely with the community to restore the monasteries and bring essential social services to the people.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tantras of Gyuto (1972)


Tantras of Gyuto (1972)
Maybe the music itself just wasn't mysterious enough for the Nonesuch label, so on a subsequent reissue of this title all that was reissued was the title itself, but the recording featured is actually different than the material that was included on this, the original album version. Major recorded documentation took place in Bhutan in both the early '60s and early '70s; when producer David Lewiston actually did his recording of these Gyuto monks is not something the busy producer of world music recordings seems to have wanted to share with his audience, not even as a reward for squinting at the liner notes. The sloppiness of the vinyl pressing did nothing to help this particular series of releases, which were first of all mastered with an extremely wide dynamic range, then pressed on the el cheapo side, because after all, this was a budget label. Thus both a pristine copy and one wedged out from the bottom of the used-record pile will no doubt have a supply of surface noise that will seriously compete with the extended chanting and beautiful held notes of the monks, although nothing -- that is, nothing -- will drown out the clattering handheld cymbals accompanied by brief bass drum thumps. Even in ideal circumstances the volume contrast between the cymbals and the voices will be bothersome to some listeners, although one can't imagine the producer having altered it in any way. These two extended pieces are intense and absorbing, although these collections lack the excitement of the Lyrichord and Baren Reiter series.

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World Religions: Buddhism


World Religions: Buddhism
"Buddhism, Fourth Edition" tells the story of Buddhism's origins and its development into three major schools of thought - and presents the particular beliefs and practices of those schools of Buddhism that still flourish today. This fascinating title explores the concept of the 'socially engaged Buddhist,' the growth and practice of Buddhism in America, and the recent revival of Buddhism in Asia. Coverage includes: introduction to the modern Buddhist world; the life of the Buddha; the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia, and the world; differences between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism; the literature of Buddhism; Buddhism and the arts' the year in Buddhism; and Buddhism today and in the future.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

TAO of Letting Go: Meditation For Modern Living


TAO of Letting Go: Meditation For Modern Living
Let Go to Reclaim Your Inner Life Listen to this 6-CD set to learn powerful methods to let go of your tension, fear, anger, and pain. Calmly turn inward to awaken the great human potential in yourself. Bruce Frantzis’ books, CDs, and DVDs are unique in their practicality and relevance to modern life. The Water Method of Taoism has been transmitted for thousands of years from teacher to disciple in an unbroken chain. The Taoist lineage to which Frantzis belongs is directly linked to that of Lao Tse, author of the Tao Te Ching, the second most translated book in the world. Now Frantzis shares these ancient teachings to help you move closer to feeling truly alive and joyful.

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Three Monks (1980)


Three Monks (1980)
The film is based on the ancient Chinese proverb "One monk will shoulder two buckets of water, two monks will share the load, but add a third and no one will want to fetch water."

The film does not contain any dialogues, allowing it to be watched by any culture, and a different music instrument was used to signify each monk.
The film also tell the story from the aspect of the buddhist bhikkhu.

A young monk lives a simple life in a temple on top of a hill. He has one daily task of hauling two buckets of water up the hill. He tries to share the job with another monk, but the carry pole is only long enough for one bucket. The arrival of a third monk prompts everyone to expect that someone else will take on the chore. Consequently, no one fetches water though everybody is thirsty. At night, a rat comes to scrounge and then knocks the candleholder, leading to a devastating fire in the temple. The three monks finally unite together and make a concerted effort to put out the fire. Since then they understand the old saying "unity is strength" and begin to live a harmonious life. The temple never lacks water again.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Secrets of Shangri-La: Quest for Sacred


Secrets of Shangri-La: Quest for Sacred
In a remote corner of the Himalaya, in the forbidden Kingdom of Mustang, mysterious caves, perched high on cliff faces and carved by humans thousands of years ago, have lain just beyond reach — until recently. In April of 2007, a team of climbers and scientists climbed inside the long-hidden chambers for the first time in modern history. This film follows the riveting story, told by filmmaker Liesl Clark, about her husband, seven-time Everest summiter Pete Athans, and big-wall climber Renan Ozturk, who take on the dangerous job of climbing into the crumbling caves, searching for nine legendary cave temples called “kabum.” What they find goes far beyond their expectations, as their cameras document every hair-raising move.

It’s an explorer’s dream … until the unexpected happens: A posse of local horsemen gallops up while Ozturk is perched high on a dangerously eroding cliff. The climbers intend to document and preserve what may be inside the cave, but the site is sacred to the locals. Dramatically heightening the stakes, the villagers start pulling on the ropes, placing weight on the fragile anchors; they then demand payment. Should the team set a precedent by paying the locals to climb into their cave? Should they risk violating the sacred in a dangerous effort to preserve it?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thus Have I Seen: Visualizing Faith in Early Indian Buddhism


Thus Have I Seen: Visualizing Faith in Early Indian Buddhism
Although Buddhism is often depicted as a religion of meditators and philosophers, some of the earliest writings extant in India offer a very different portrait of the Buddhist practitioner. In Indian Buddhist narratives from the early centuries of the Common Era, most lay religious practice consists not of reading, praying, or meditating, but of visually engaging with certain kinds of objects. These visual practices, moreover, are represented as the primary means of cultivating faith, a necessary precondition for proceeding along the Buddhist spiritual path. In Thus Have I Seen: Visualizing Faith in Early Indian Buddhism, Andy Rotman examines these visual practices and how they function as a kind of skeleton key for opening up Buddhist conceptualizations about the world and the ways it should be navigated.
Rotman's analysis is based primarily on stories from the Divyavadana (Divine Stories), one of the most important collections of ancient Buddhist narratives from India. Though discourses of the Buddha are well known for their opening words, "thus have I heard" - for Buddhist teachings were first preserved and transmitted orally - the Divyavadana presents a very different model for disseminating the Buddhist dharma. Devotees are enjoined to look, not just hear, and visual legacies and lineages are shown to trump their oral counterparts. As Rotman makes clear, this configuration of the visual fundamentally transforms the world of the Buddhist practitioner, changing what one sees, what one believes, and what one does.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Enlighten Up! (2009)


Enlighten Up! (2009)
Kate Churchill is a filmmaker and a dedicated yoga practitioner who insists that yoga can transform anyone. She decides to prove it. Her plan: select a subject, immerse him in yoga and follow him until he finds a yoga practice that transforms him. Her subject: Nick Rosen a skeptical, 29 year-old journalist living in New York City.

Intrigued by the opportunity to peek behind the curtain of a 5.7 billion dollar “spiritual” industry, Nick signs on to investigate yoga for 6 months. Before he can say OM, he finds himself twisted up like a pretzel, surrounded by celebrity yogis, true believers, kooks, entrepreneurs and a gentle teacher from Brazil who leads his class with his feet behind his head.

The more Nick investigates yoga the more contradictions he discovers, leading him to question whether yoga is anything more than a workout. As Nick searches for concrete facts and discards the lofty spiritual theories of his yoga teachers, he strays further from Kate’s original plan. The two find themselves lost in Northern India, embroiled in a struggle between Kate’s expectations and Nick’s overt rejection of “spirituality.”

They circle the globe talking to mystics, gurus, mad men and saints searching for the true meaning of yoga. Ultimately, both Nick and Kate end up in places they never could have imagined. They don’t find the answers to their questions, they find much more.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Do You Do It or Does It Do You?


Do You Do It or Does It Do You?: How to Let the Universe Meditate You - Alan Watts
At the heart of the popularity of such spiritual teachers as Eckhart Tolle and Ken Wilber lies the spirit and intellectual passion of the seminal teacher who inspired them all—Alan Watts. Now, in response to our run-away bestselling audio collection Out of Your Mind, Sounds True is proud to present one of Alan Watts’ most extraordinary learning sessions. Listeners will delight in hearing Alan Watts at his finest as he guides them with humor, deep insight, and startling wisdom into a genuine understanding of how the grand, exuberant Self plays the game of living through us, and vice versa. With rare guided meditations taught by Watts himself, Do You Do It or Does It Do You? is an essential audio seminar with one of the true pioneers of Western spirituality.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Tribute to Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö


A Tribute to Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
To mark the 50th anniversary of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's parinirvana, we have quickly assembled this short compilation from our ever-growing archive of film and photographs. Although little known in the West, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö was of the greatest importance for the spread of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings over the Western hemisphere. At that time in Tibet there was no other master that received the respect from followers of all traditions. Since he himself, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, had gathered, studied, practiced and taught all the different lineages of Tibetan Buddhism everyone claimed him as a great teacher of their very own tradition.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Mae Chee Kaew - Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening & Enlightenment


Mae Chee Kaew - Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening & Enlightenment
Mae Chee Kaew (1901-1991) was a countrywoman, who lived a simple village life in the northeastern region of Thailand and overcame enormous difficulties in her attempt to leave home and follow the Buddha’s noble path. Blessed with the good fortune to meet the most renowned meditation masters of her era, Mae Chee Kaew took their teachings on meditation to heart, diligently cultivating a mind of clear and spontaneous awareness. Her per- sistence, courage, and intuitive wisdom enabled her to transcend conventional boundaries—both those imposed upon her by the world and those limiting her mind from within—and thereby find release from birth, ageing, sick- ness and death.
Mae Chee Kaew is one of the few known female arahants of the modern era and testimony to all beings that regardless of race, gender or class, the Buddha’s goal of supreme enlightenment is still possible.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Karmapa: The Black Hat Lama of Tibet


Karmapa: The Black Hat Lama of Tibet
Karmapa, the black hat hierarch of Tibet, has been honoured as a living buddha in his 16 successive incarnations. The Karmapa life stories tell of the spread of mystic spirituality in the regions of Tibet, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim and also incorporate the ancient transmission from India. The life stories of the Karmapas are being told here for the first time in English and cover 800 years. The Karmapa lamas established monasteries in Tibet and other countries, and they were famous as artists and sculptors, whose unique style known as Karma-Khadri, is the most highly considered art school in Tibet. The 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje has written an introductory message expressing the hope that people of all nations will read the book.

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Fluent Tibetan


Fluent Tibetan
Fluent Tibetan is a significant and unmatched achievement in the field of teaching colloquial Tibetan." -- The Tibet Journal The most systematic and extensive course system available in spoken Tibetan language, Fluent Tibetan was developed by language experts working in conjunction with indigenous speakers at the University of Virginia. Based upon courses for diplomats needing to learn a language quickly, the method acquaints students with the sounds and patterns of Tibetan speech, through repetitive interactive drills, enabling the quick mastery of increasingly complex structures, and thereby promoting rapid progress in speaking the language. Fluent Tibetan is the best course available anywhere for learning on your own. The package consists of textbooks and tape recordings, arranged in fifteen units. The first three units are devoted to recognition and pronunciation of the Tibetan alphabet and its combinations in syllables and words. With unit four, vocabulary and grammatical patterns are introduced in situational dialogues. Each dialogue is followed by extensive drills repeating the vocabulary and grammatical patterns in different contexts thereby teaching how to use the language creatively. The exceptionally clear voices in the dialogues and drills are both male and female indigenous Tibetans. The glossary is both Tibetan-English and English-Tibetan. Fluent Tibetan corresponds to a year of college-level language study.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Universal Love - Nawang Khechog


Universal Love - Nawang Khechog
For spiritual practitioners in Tibet, one of the highest aspirations is to cultivate the heart of universal love—to become one who loves all sentient beings unconditionally. Thus, the measure of whether someone has cultivated universal love is illustrated in the classical Tibetan story of the mother who has only one child ("Buckikpe maa tar") and shows how much she would love and give care to her only child. Yes, this is a tall order and, in my case, I am far from actualizing this wonder and magnificence. Perhaps I can say that I have been inspired by this highest aspiration a tiny bit since my early years due to the kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s living inspiration and his teachings on the Tibetan Spiritual culture of universal love. This inspiration gives me some sense of meaning, purpose, and direction, and helps me to channel my anger not to hate anyone, channel my temptations not to become overwhelmed by lust and greed, and channel my heart to try to love all and everyone. I often wonder if, even given a million years to do this, I can cultivate this universal love in my heart. That would be the beginning of the highest journey and meaning of my life.

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Light At The Edge Of The World: People Of The Windhorse



Light At The Edge Of The World: People Of The Windhorse
Wade Davis travels to Mongolia to discover the secrets of the man-horse bond by taking part in the lives of his nomadic horsemen hosts.

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The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion


The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
The psychological benefits of mindfulness are well established. Yet for people who struggle with difficult emotions like anxiety, guilt, anger, loneliness, sadness, or low self-esteem, mindfulness practices can be enhanced by adding a simple yet powerful ingredient: self-compassion. Without it, we all too often respond to emotional suffering with self-criticism, shame, or defensiveness—tough-to-break habits that only make suffering worse. This wise, eloquent, and practical book illuminates the nature of self-compassion and offers easy-to-follow, scientifically grounded steps for incorporating it into daily life. Practical examples and innovative exercises and techniques make this an ideal resource for readers who are new to mindfulness or want to bring an important new dimension to their meditation practice.

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Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations


Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations
The issue of saints is a difficult and complicated problem in Buddhology. In this magisterial work, Ray offers the first comprehensive examination of the figure of the Buddhist saint in a wide range of Indian Buddhist evidence. Drawing on an extensive variety of sources, Ray seeks to identify the "classical type" of the Buddhist saint, as it provides the presupposition for, and informs, the different major Buddhist saintly types and subtypes. Discussing the nature, dynamics, and history of Buddhist hagiography, he surveys the ascetic codes, conventions and traditions of Buddhist saints, and the cults both of living saints and of those who have "passed beyond." Ray traces the role of the saints in Indian Buddhist history, examining the beginnings of Buddhism and the origin of Mahayana Buddhism.

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Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed


Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed
Beginning in the nineteenth century and continuing to the present day, both Buddhists and admirers of Buddhism have proclaimed the compatibility of Buddhism and science. Their assertions have ranged from modest claims about the efficacy of meditation for mental health to grander declarations that the Buddha himself anticipated the theories of relativity, quantum physics and the big bang more than two millennia ago.

In Buddhism and Science, Donald S. Lopez Jr. is less interested in evaluating the accuracy of such claims than in exploring how and why these two seemingly disparate modes of understanding the inner and outer universe have been so persistently linked. Lopez opens with an account of the rise and fall of Mount Meru, the great peak that stands at the center of the flat earth of Buddhist cosmography—and which was interpreted anew once it proved incompatible with modern geography. From there, he analyzes the way in which Buddhist concepts of spiritual nobility were enlisted to support the notorious science of race in the nineteenth century. Bringing the story to the present, Lopez explores the Dalai Lama’s interest in scientific discoveries, as well as the implications of research on meditation for neuroscience.

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Tibetan Tantric Choir - The Gyuto Monks


Tibetan Tantric Choir - The Gyuto Monks
The Western world became familiar with overtone singing--the process by which an overtone, or second note, is generated by one's voice--primarily through Tuvan throat singers. The monks of Llhasa, Tibet, have handed down this tradition for centuries. TIBETAN TANTRIC CHOIR is a recording of two pieces by the Gyuto Monks, produced by former Grateful Dead member and famed ethnomusicologist Mickey Hart during the monks' brief 1986 visit to the U.S. Each member of the Gyuto ensemble is capable of generating three tones at once, and they combine their voices on two lengthy pieces full of low-frequency drones and gently arcing overtones.

The first piece is for unaccompanied voices, and its focus on the low register is alternately spooky and enthralling. The second piece, "Melody for Mahakala," finds the monks accompanying themselves on a variety of handmade percussive instruments. The effect is like that of primal industrial music wedded to ancient religious rites. Intense concentration on the monks' work is rewarded by a deeper understanding of the relationship between sonic frequencies, but this album also functions well as somewhat ominous ambient music.


Buddhist Yoga: A Comprehensive Course


Buddhist Yoga: A Comprehensive Course - Thomas Cleary
The word "yoga" has many meanings, including "meditation", "method", and "union." While the physical exercises of Hindu yoga are familiar to westerners, the subtle metaphysics and refined methods of spiritual development that characterize Buddhist Yoga are not yet well known. This volume presents a landmark translation of a classical sourcebook of Buddhist Yoga, the "Scripture Unlocking the Mysteries," a revered text of the Yogachara school of Buddhism. The study of this text is essential preparation for anyone undertaking meditation exercise. Linking theory and practice, the scripture offeres a remarkably detailed and thorough course of study in both the philosophical and pragmatic foundation of Buddhist yoga, amd their perfect, harmonious union in the realization of Buddhist enlightenment.

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The Sociology of Early Buddhism


The Sociology of Early Buddhism
This volume analyzes the remarkable ability of Buddhism to survive within a strong urban environment despite its renunciant nature. Early Buddhism flourished because it was able to take up the challenge represented by buoyant economic conditions and the need for cultural uniformity in the newly emergent states in northeastern India from the fifth century BCE onwards. In spite of the Buddhist ascetic imperative, the Buddha and other celebrated monks moved easily through various levels of society and fitted into the urban landscape they inhabited. The book offers reasons for this apparent inconsistency.

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Daoism


Daoism
Daoism is one of the great philosophical and religious traditions that grew and flowered in China. Unlike the great Western religions, Daoism has no one God or even a founding prophet. One of its central beliefs is that each person must follow his or her own path to the Dao, or 'Way of Life.' By being so universal and yet so personal, Daoism has exerted a significant influence on the spiritual life of many cultures both in Asia and throughout the world. "Daoism, Third Edition" traces the progress of Daoist thought, from the great Daodejing, or "The Book of the Way and Its Power" by Laozi, to the contemporary "Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra. This revised edition also examines the restoration of Daoism under China's religious freedom clause, the slow rebirth of Daoist monasticism, renewed interest in Daoism in China and abroad, and the impact of tourism on the monastic tradition. Coverage includes: meditation and the concept of wuwei; Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism; the growth and spread of religious Daoism; art and literature within Daoism; and political turbulence in the 20th century.

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Sera: The Way of the Tibetan Monk


Sera: The Way of the Tibetan Monk - S Rock
Tibet was once home to thousands of thriving Buddhist monasteries. But in 1959, following a Tibetan uprising against China's long occupation, nearly all were destroyed by the Chinese military, the practice of Buddhism was outlawed, and the Dalai Lama was forced into exile. In March of that year, Chinese tanks bombarded the 540-year-old Sera Jey Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet, killing hundreds of monks and destroying ancient texts and invaluable artifacts that had been collected over centuries. Thousands of survivors fled over perilous mountain passes to neighboring India, many with only thin robes and light footwear to shield them from the harsh winter conditions of the Himalayas.The Sera Jey Monastery, reestablished near Mysore, India, now houses 5,000 Buddhist monks living in exile-including many who escaped the attack on the Tibetan monastery in 1959, and many more who have never known their ancestral homeland. Providing an intimate glimpse of this rarely seen world, Sera: The Way of the Tibetan Monk evokes the subtle moods and rhythms of this Buddhist community that has steadfastly carried on the legacy of the original Sera Jey. More than 100 duotone photographs capture daily rituals and sacred ceremonies, serious moments and playful gestures, compassionate faces and expressions of inspired serenity. Moving and unforgettable, Sheila Rock's portraits celebrate the tranquility, simple joys, and unadorned beauty of the ascetic life, offering a powerful testament to the strength and resilience of a persecuted people. A percentage of the royalties from this book go to the Sera Jhe Health Care Committee in aid of various humanitarian projects.

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Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism


Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism
For more than a thousand years, Buddhism has dominated Japanese death rituals and concepts of the afterlife. The nine essays in this volume, ranging chronologically from the tenth century to the present, bring to light both continuity and change in death practices over time. They also explore the interrelated issues of how Buddhist death rites have addressed individual concerns about the afterlife while also filling social and institutional needs and how Buddhist death-related practices have assimilated and refigured elements from other traditions, bringing together disparate, even conflicting, ideas about the dead, their postmortem fate, and what constitutes normative Buddhist practice.

The idea that death, ritually managed, can mediate an escape from deluded rebirth is treated in the first two essays. Sarah Horton traces the development in Heian Japan (794-1185) of images depicting the Buddha Amida descending to welcome devotees at the moment of death, while Jacqueline Stone analyzes the crucial role of monks who attended the dying as religious guides. Even while stressing themes of impermanence and non-attachment, Buddhist death rites worked to encourage the maintenance of emotional bonds with the deceased and, in so doing, helped structure the social world of the living. This theme is explored in the next four essays. Brian Ruppert examines the roles of relic worship in strengthening family lineage and political power; Mark Blum investigates the controversial issue of religious suicide to rejoin one's teacher in the Pure Land; and Hank Glassman analyzes how late medieval rites for women who died in pregnancy and childbirth both reflected and helped shape changing gender norms.

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The Record of Linji


The Record of Linji
The Linji lu (Record of Linji) has been an essential text of Chinese and Japanese Zen Buddhism for nearly a thousand years. A compilation of sermons, statements, and acts attributed to the great Chinese Zen master Linji Yixuan (d. 866), it serves as both an authoritative statement of Zen's basic standpoint and a central source of material for Zen koan practice. Scholars study the text for its importance in understanding both Zen thought and East Asian Mahayana doctrine, while Zen practitioners cherish it for its unusual simplicity, directness, and ability to inspire.
One of the earliest attempts to translate this important work into English was by Sasaki Shigetsu (1882-1945), a pioneer Zen master in the U.S. and the founder of the First Zen Institute of America. At the time of his death, he entrusted the project to his wife, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who in 1949 moved to Japan and there founded a branch of the First Zen Institute at Daitoku-ji. Mrs. Sasaki, determined to produce a definitive translation, assembled a team of talented young scholars, both Japanese and Western, who in the following years retranslated the text in accordance with modern research on Tang-dynasty colloquial Chinese. As they worked on the translation, they compiled hundreds of detailed notes explaining every technical term, vernacular expression, and literary reference. One of the team, Yanagida Seizan (later Japan's preeminent Zen historian), produced a lengthy introduction that outlined the emergence of Chinese Zen, presented a biography of Linji, and traced the textual development of the Linji lu. The sudden death of Mrs. Sasaki in 1967 brought the nearly completed project to a halt. An abbreviated version of the book was published in 1975, but neither this nor any other English translations that subsequently appeared contain the type of detailed historical, linguistic, and doctrinal annotation that was central to Mrs. Sasaki's plan.

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Being a Buddhist Nun: The Struggle for Enlightenment in the Himalayas


Being a Buddhist Nun: The Struggle for Enlightenment in the Himalayas
This prize winning ethnography describes the politics of buddhism, butter, and barley in the Indian Himalayas. They may shave their heads, don simple robes, and renounce materialism and worldly desires. But the women seeking enlightenment in a Buddhist nunnery high in the folds of Himalayan Kashmir invariably find themselves subject to the tyrannies of subsistence, subordination, and sexuality. Ultimately, Buddhist monasticism reflects the very world it is supposed to renounce. Butter and barley prove to be as critical to monastic life as merit and meditation. Kim Gutschow lived for more than three years among these women, collecting their stories, observing their ways, studying their lives. Her book offers the first ethnography of Tibetan Buddhist society from the perspective of its nuns.

Gutschow depicts a gender hierarchy where nuns serve and monks direct, where monks bless the fields and kitchens while nuns toil in them. Monasteries may retain historical endowments and significant political and social power, yet global flows of capitalism, tourism, and feminism have begun to erode the balance of power between monks and nuns. Despite the obstacles of being considered impure and inferior, nuns engage in everyday forms of resistance to pursue their ascetic and personal goals.

A richly textured picture of the little known culture of a Buddhist nunnery, the book offers moving narratives of nuns struggling with the Buddhist discipline of detachment. Its analysis of the way in which gender and sexuality construct ritual and social power provides valuable insight into the relationship between women and religion in South Asia today.

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The Madman's Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Chopel


The Madman's Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Chopel
Gendun Chopel is considered the most important Tibetan intellectual of the twentieth century. His life spanned the two defining moments in modern Tibetan history: the entry into Lhasa by British troops in 1904 and by Chinese troops in 1951. Recognized as an incarnate lama while he was a child, Gendun Chopel excelled in the traditional monastic curriculum and went on to become expert in fields as diverse as philosophy, history, linguistics, geography, and tantric Buddhism. Near the end of his life, before he was persecuted and imprisoned by the government of the young Dalai Lama, he would dictate the Adornment for Nagarjuna’s Thought, a work on Madhyamaka, or “Middle Way,” philosophy. It sparked controversy immediately upon its publication and continues to do so today.
The Madman’s Middle Way presents the first English translation of this major Tibetan Buddhist work, accompanied by an essay on Gendun Chopel’s life liberally interspersed with passages from his writings. Donald S. Lopez Jr. also provides a commentary that sheds light on the doctrinal context of the Adornment and summarizes its key arguments. Ultimately, Lopez examines the long-standing debate over whether Gendun Chopel in fact is the author of the Adornment; the heated critical response to the work byTibetan monks of the Dalai Lama’s sect; and what the Adornment tells us about Tibetan Buddhism ’s encounter with modernity. The result is an insightful glimpse into a provocative and enigmatic work that will be of great interest to anyone seriously interested inBuddhism or Asian religions.

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Socially Engaged Buddhism - Sallie B. King


Socially Engaged Buddhism - Sallie B. King
"Socially Engaged Buddhism" is an introduction to the contemporary movement of Buddhists, East and West, who actively engage with the problems of the world - social, political, economic, and environmental - on the basis of Buddhist ideas, values, and spirituality. Sallie B. King, one of North America's foremost experts on the subject, identifies in accessible language the philosophical and ethical thinking behind the movement and examines how key principles such as karma, the Four Noble Truths, interdependence, nonharmfulness, and nonjudgmentalism relate to social engagement. Many people believe that Buddhists focus exclusively on spiritual attainment. Professor King examines why Engaged Buddhists involve themselves with the problems of the world and how they reconcile this involvement with the Buddhist teaching of nonattachment from worldly things. Engaged Buddhists, she answers, point out that because the root of human suffering is in the mind, not the world, the pursuit of enlightenment does not require a turning away from the world. Working to reduce suffering in humans, living things, and the planet is integral to spiritual practice and leads to selflessness and compassion. "Socially Engaged Buddhism" is a sustained reflection on social action as a form of spirituality expressed in acts of compassion, grassroots empowerment, nonjudgmentalism, and nonviolence. It offers an inspiring example of how one might work for solutions to the troubles that threaten the peace and well-being of our planet and its people.

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Heart Sutra - Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutram - Imee Ooi


Heart Sutra - Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutram - Imee Ooi
The Heart Sutra appears to refer to the use of perfect wisdom (prajnaparamita) to cleanse error from the heart (hridaya)...

The Heart Sutra (Prajnaparamita) is one of the most universal Buddhist chants in the world. It is a classic chant recited among both the Mahayana, Zen and Vajrayana/Tibetan Buddhists. This is powerful chants, especially when played/chanted around the full moon, new moon and for uplifting the heart. Pali narration.

The Prajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutram 1
The Prajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutram 2
The Prajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutram 3

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Unmistaken Child (2008)

Unmistaken Child (2008)
The Buddhist concept of reincarnation, while both mysterious and enchanting, is hard for most westerners to grasp. UNMISTAKEN CHILD follows the four-year search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84. The Dalai Lama charges the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa (who had been in his service since the age of seven), to search for his master’s reincarnation.

Tenzin sets off on this unforgettable quest on foot, mule and even helicopter, through breathtaking landscapes and remote traditional Tibetan villages. Along the way, Tenzin listens to stories about young children with special characteristics, and performs rarely seen ritualistic tests designed to determine the likelihood of reincarnation. He eventually presents the child he believes to be his reincarnated master to the Dalai Lama so that he can make the final decision.

Stunningly shot, UNMISTAKEN CHILD is a beguiling, surprising, touching, even humorous experience.

BTjunkie

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Friday, October 9, 2009

John Daido Loori Roshi (1931-2009)


John Daido Loori Roshi (1931-2009)

Sadly I heard the news today that John Daido Loori Roshi has passed away from lung cancer.
He was truly one of the heavy weights in the Zen arena and had a profound influence on my life.

Deep Gassho friend

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Medicine Buddha


Medicine Buddha - Jonathan Goldman
Medicine Buddha is one of the definitive chant and healing CDs. Jonathan Goldman, a harmonics pioneer and chant master, has created an ultimate meditation atmosphere. This disc features "Medicine Buddha Suite" (33 minutes and 12 seconds), with three movements, and "Heart of Wisdom Sutra" (28 minutes and 34 seconds). These long-form compositions are perfect for deep holistic journeys to the inner self. Goldman's overtone work goes straight to listeners' souls. He uses traditional acoustic meditation instruments (bells, bowls, and flutes), chants, overtone vocals, tuning forks, and subtle synths and guitars. His Tibetan chants are deep in both style and power. The repetition, while not mechanical, places this disc firmly in the minimalist arena. That is one of Goldman's strong points, especially on this disc. Listeners can use this as a meditation experience, background ambience, or journeys to outer space. It is effective in many arenas. The disc will appeal to fans of Thea Surasu, Life in Balance, Klaus Wiese, Xumantra, and Deuter.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chants to Awaken the Buddhist Heart


Chants to Awaken the Buddhist Heart - Steven Halpern
Timeless Tibetan Buddhist prayers and chants to bless, illumine and awaken all beings are updated with meditative hip-hop rhythms and funkified bass.

American Buddhist meditation teacher Lama Surya Das and Steven Halpern join spiritual and musical visions to create a unique version of healing music that brings us home to the inner peace, wholeness and spiritual well-being that is our birthright.

Ancient Tibetan Buddhist prayers and chants to bless, illumine and awaken the heart of Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike. Energized with modern grooves, electric bass, keyboards and guitar. More and more people in the West are discovering the healing power of sacred chants and mantras. Whether you chant along or just listen, you'll find this recording works on many levels. 'These are the chants and prayers that I use in my personal meditations. They can help open the third ear and delight the third eye with inner vision, cosmic sound, primordial bliss and divine light.

Demonoid

Cutting Through Fear


Cutting Through Fear - Tsultrim Allione
Within the ancient teachings of Tibetan Buddhism lies a meditation tradition for facing - and dissolving - our greatest fears and attachments in life. Now one of contemporary Buddhism's most experienced and respected teachers, Tsultrim Allione, adapts this practice to the challenges unique to our time, on Cutting through Fear. Based on the traditional Tibetan practice of Chud (literally "to cut"), this method was developed by a legendary Tibetan yogini, Machig Lapdron, almost 1,000 years ago and is practiced within all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. To this day, Chud is still used in Tibet to treat mental and physical illness and as a path to awareness. On Cutting through Fear, Tsultrim Allione shares the fascinating history of this practice, and interprets it especially for Western students of meditation and psychology. Drawing from root visualization practices, Tsultrim Allione shares a four-step process that can help you meet and release what the ancient Tibetans called "demons" - the fears, obsessions, illnesses, and hopes that can be faced and dissolved with this powerful meditation technique. We all encounter the demons of addiction, compulsion, anger, and other difficult emotions, too often as a daily event. Now we have a rare and useful tool to stop struggling against them, and instead liberate them, with Cutting through Fear.

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This Moment Is the Perfect Teacher


This Moment Is the Perfect Teacher - Pema Chodron
New audio CD from Pema Chodron and read by her. Here, she presents the heart of the transformative spiritual Tibetan practice of Lojong, or mind training.

Lojong is a powerful Tibetan Buddhist practice which is especially useful for training the mind to work with the challenges of everyday living. It teaches our hearts to soften, reframes our attitude toward difficulty, and allows us to discover a wellspring of inner strength. In this recorded retreat, Pema Chodron introduces the Lojong teachings and explains how we can apply them to any situation in our life - because, as she says, "every moment is an opportunity for awakening."

In addition to the revolutionary Lojong teachings offered here, Pema Chodron also leads a guided Tonglen meditation, a practice aimed at developing courage and cultivating compassion for ourselves and others.

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Dalai Lama Collection


Dalai Lama Collection
A collection of nine audio books with teachings from the Dalai Lama.

Includes:
Dalai Lama - Art of Happiness at Work
Dalai Lama - Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment
Dalai Lama - The Art Of Happiness
Dalai Lama - The Meaning of Life
Heart Sutra
Opening the Eye of New Awareness
Speeches and Teachings (Australia Tour 2002)
The Path to Enlightenment
The Way to a Meaningful Life - How to Practice

TPB

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet's Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India


The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet's Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India
While accompanying eight high–spirited Jewish delegates to Dharamsala, India, for a historic Buddhist–Jewish dialogue with the Dalai Lama, poet Rodger Kamenetz comes to understand the convergence of Buddhist and Jewish thought. Along the way he encounters Ram Dass and Richard Gere, and dialogues with leading rabbis and Jewish thinkers, including Zalman Schacter, Yitz and Blue Greenberg, and a host of religious and disaffected Jews and Jewish Buddhist.

Kamenetz, a poet and a Jew, was invited to attend and write about a historical meeting between a delegation of American Jews and a group of Tibetan Buddhists that included the Dalai Lama. This interfaith get-together was inspired, in part, by the increasing number of Jews who have become Buddhists as well as the Dalai Lama's perception of Jews as "survival experts." The Dalai Lama felt that the Jews, experts in exile and the preservation of faith and practice, would offer advice and comfort; participating rabbis were intrigued by the surprising similarities between the two religions, including esoteric traditions and a profound awareness of suffering. Kamenetz not only chronicles the resultant discussions, which proved to be enlightening and emotional, but also profiles a number of Jewish Buddhists, including Allen Ginsberg and Ram Dass. As his investigation throws his own beliefs and assumptions into high relief, Kamenetz is amazed and humbled by the intensity and altruism of Buddhism. Kamenetz defines and comments upon these complex matters with skill, personableness, and a welcome dash of levity.


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Pure Meditation


Pure Meditation - Pema Chodron
For thirteen hundred years, Tibetans have been practicing shamtha/vipashyana (peaceful dwelling/insight): a profound form of meditation that illuminates and purifies the obstacles to spiritual realization. Tibetan Buddhists today regard shamatha/vipashyana as both the fundamental and the most advanced spiritual practice of all.

On Pure Meditation, Pema Chödrön - the beloved American-born nun known for her bestselling book When Things Fall Apart - takes you step by step through this timeless and elegant meditative form. You will learn the posture that helps you relax your mind, how to use your own breath as a reminder to return to the present moment, and what to do with the many thoughts and emotions that arise during your meditation sessions. A straightforward, authoritative resource for students at all levels, Pure Meditation is a definitive guide to the authentic Tibetan Buddhist meditation that has brought its practitioners relaxation, peace of mind, and deeper awareness for hundreds of years.

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