Friday, July 31, 2009
How do I find a good meditation teacher? - Shinzen Young
Shinzen speaks to the question "How do I find a good meditation teacher." Shinzen talks about the activity of teaching as subtle teaching, descriptive teaching, and explicit teaching. Filmed at Mt. Carmel Spiritual Centre in Niagara Falls.
Enlightened Society - Chögyam Trungpa
In an open forum, The Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, (1939-1987) discusses a society guided by the principles of wisdom and compassion. He was a pioneer in bringing the Tibetan Buddhist teachings to North America, Europe and in 1976 introduced Shambhala.
The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - John R. McRae
The Platform Sutra records the teachings of Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch, who is revered as one of the two great figures in the founding of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. This translation is the definitive English version of the eighth-century Ch'an classic. Phillip B. Yampolsky has based his translation on the Tun-huang manuscript, the earliest extant version of the work. A critical edition of the Chinese text is given at the end of the volume. Dr. Yampolsky also furnishes a lengthy and detailed historical introduction which contains much information hitherto unavailable even to scholars, and provides the context essential to an understanding of Hui-neng's work. He gives an account of the history and legends of Ch'an Buddhism, with particular attention to the traditions associated with Hui-neng, quoting or summarizing the most important narratives. He then discusses the various texts of the Platform Sutra, and analyzes its contents.
Zen 24/7: All Zen, All the Time - Philip T. Sudo
If you're searching for revelation and contentment, look no further than a handshake, a cup of coffee -- even your laundry pile. The most mundane details of life contain zen's profound truths, if you're of the mind to look for them.
By awakening to and embracing the zen in your life, you'll listen, watch, eat, work, laugh, sleep, and breathe your way to truth -- every moment of every day.
Philip Toshio Sudo has found Zen in the unlikeliest of places and has written about them: Zen Guitar, Zen Sex, and Zen Computer. Now, in Zen 24/7, it's Zen everything. But if it's true that being mindful in every moment is the heart of Zen, then everything is Zen. Taking just this approach, Sudo walks readers through a full day, from alarm clock to bedtime, stopping to ruminate on how the most mundane things, from a beer to a meeting to the dry cleaners, can remind us of bits of Zen wisdom. A Zen flag reminds us that it is the mind that moves; Zen fuzzy dice remind us to flow with traffic; a Zen mall reminds us to reduce desires; Zen sleep reminds us that every day's a good day. As in the best Zen writing, Sudo's observations are breezy but packed with genuine insight. There is a bit of sly humor and lots of encouragement, as if each page were a daily affirmation. This is a book to read through once, then pick up often for reminders, especially the page on Zen shopping, which you'll want to post on your refrigerator.
Don't Bite The Hook - Pema Chodron
Life has a way of provoking us with traffic jams and computer malfunctions, with emotionally distant partners and crying children—and before we know it, we're upset. We feel terrible, and then we end up saying and doing things that only make matters worse. But it doesn't have to be that way, says Pema Chödrön. It is possible to relate constructively to the inevitable shocks, losses, and frustrations of life so that we can find true happiness. The key, Pema explains, is not biting the "hook" of our habitual responses. In this recorded weekend retreat, Pema draws on Buddhist teachings from The Way of the Bodhisattva to reveal how we can:stay centered in the midst of difficulty improve stressful relationships step out of the downward spiral of self-hatred awaken compassion for ourselves and others.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Life at the Abbey with Pema Chodron
Pema Chödrön discusses life at Gampo Abbey.
A Western Buddhist Monastery in the Shambhala Tradition, Nova Scotia, Canada. Founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1984, it is a lineage institution of Shambhala and a corporate division of the Vajradhatu Buddhist Church of Canada.
Under the spiritual direction of the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the spiritual head of Shambhala International, Gampo Abbey is guided by our abbot the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and our principal teacher Acharya Pema Chödrön.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sacred Tibetan Chants from the Great Prayer Festival - Tibetan Monks Of Drepung Loseling Monastery
An ample and well-written text details the purpose behind these ritual chants, among which a rare cycle is heard in its entirety. The remoteness of Tibet created and preserved a musical practice which is absolutely unique. For those familiar with Tibetan chanting, it will be a welcome offering to hear the chanting from this once-vital monastery. Once being the keyword, as the text underscores the genocide and destruction vented on the peaceful Tibetean nation by the occupying Chinese, a horrific tragedy which continues... The monastery, or better, its survivors, went into exile in India.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Matthieu Ricard: Habits of happiness
What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind: We can train our minds in habits of happiness. Interwoven with his talk are stunning photographs of the Himalayas and of his spiritual community.
Friday, July 24, 2009
The treasure text of Nuden Dorje renders a very clear and authentic account of the view and essential meditation of dzogchen, the practice of nondual experience. The presentation is the Men ngag style, a personal instruction distilling the author's own realization in a manner both beautiful and deeply meaningful. Short verses show, with pithy clarity, how the various aspects of dzogchen fit together. The text provides both an authentic portrayal of the practice and a clear instruction in how to apply it.
The Sovereign All-Creating Mind-The Motherly Buddha
This book presented the first English translation of an eighth century Tibetan Buddhist text. despite its centuries-old origin, the kun byed rgyal po'i mdo addresses themes of great concern to the present, including how to achieve a holistic world-view that integrates the peripheral nature of existence with the ground of being; and the interrelatedness of periphery and center, of individual and universe. From a contemporary viewpoint this can be seen to engender a feminist understanding of the ground of being. Unlike other Buddhist texts, the kun byed rgyal po'i mdo invites the reader to rejoice in this world as beautified and intelligible, and thus the innate purity of the intelligent potency, the motherly Buddha, will be experienced. In addition to the translation, the book also includes a discussion of the conceptual and historical contexts of the text, an examination of its leading ideas, and an assessment of the challenges related to the translation.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Cloud And Water In Zen - Choi Kai-Shing
I haven't found any info regarding this artist. It is a pleasant sounding collection of Chinese flute music. If anyone can find a Bio please let me know.
APE Music Format
Tibetan Renaissance: Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan Culture
"Ronald Davidson's Tibetan Renaissance marks a real rebirth for the study of Tibetan cultural history. Drawing on an extraordinary range of original sources, most of them previously unstudied, Davidson traces, in convincing detail, the peculiar blend of conservative monasticism, transgressive esotericism, and political and economic interest that characterized the formation of Tibetan Buddhist lineages and institutions during the early second millennium. With Indian Esoteric Buddhism, Davidson's previous book, Tibetan Renaissance completes a duet that substantially transforms our understanding of Buddhism during its last phase in India and its continuation in Tibet, an exemplary contribution to the history of religions." -- Matthew T. Kapstein, University of Chicago, author of Reason's Traces: Identity and Interpretation in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Thought.
Tantric Treasures: Three Collections of Mystical Verse from Buddhist India
Roger Jackson provides accurate, accessible translations of three classics of medieval Indian Buddhist mysticism: the "couplet-treasuries" of the great tantric masters Saraha, Kanha, and Tilopa. Since their composition around 1000 CE, these poems have exerted a powerful influence on spiritual life, as well as poetry and song, in India, Nepal, and Tibet. Jackson's fresh translations allow the poetry to shine through, capturing the sense and spirit of the poems in the original. Jackson offers a thorough introduction that deftly summarizes the latest scholarship, situating the poems in their historical context and making them accessible not only to scholars but also to students and practitioners.
Monday, July 20, 2009
What is Nirvana?
Discourse by Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh
In Buddhism, we speak of nirvana which is the cessation of all suffering. Nirvana, first of all, it means the cessation, the extinction of all suffering. But our suffering come from our wrong perceptions. Avidia, misunderstanding. And that is why the practice of meditation, the practice of looking deeply has the purpose of removing wrong perceptions from us. If you are able to remove wrong perceptions, you will be able to be free from the afflictions and the sufferings that always arise from wrong perceptions. You have wrong perception on yourself and on the other, and the other has wrong perception on themselves and on you and that is the cause of fear, of violence, of hatred. That is why trying to remove wrong perceptions is the only way to peace. And that is why nirvana is, first of all, the removal of wrong perceptions. And when you remove wrong perceptions, you remove the suffering... Continued
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Oriental Sunrise - Riley Lee
Centuries of advancements in musical instruments have bypassed the traditional shakuhachi flute, an ancient instrument formed from bamboo root and equipped with just five finger holes. Its tender, ethereal tone thus remains essentially unaltered since its distant origins in Japan, and in the hands of a master player such as Riley Lee, an Australian, it sings to our spirits with a graceful gentleness that seems just beyond the reach of modern instruments. Lee here performs a series of duets with a koto, a stringed instrument with a harp- or zither-like character (performed by a trio of players), evoking moods of serenity and calm, carrying away your concerns on the receding mists of a golden dawn. Sweet, not shrill, Lee's gentle playing (accented by the sounds of surf at the disc's opening and close) is easily accessible to Western ears and is well-suited for meditation and massage. The combined run time of the disc's four tracks exceeds 56 minutes.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The Adornment of the Middle Way: Shantarakshita's Madhyamakalankara
Madhyamaka, or the Middle Way, is accepted by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism as the most profound expression, in philosophical terms, of emptiness, the true nature of phenomena. Emptiness is the basis on which the whole of Mahayana practice is founded, from the mind-training meditations on bodhichitta to the advanced yogas of tantra and dzogchen. The Madhyamaka tradition, inaugurated by Nagarjuna and dominant in India for over a thousand years, remains a vibrant force in Tibetan Buddhism. Shantarakshita's view, quintessentially expressed in the Madhyamakalankara, effects a synthesis between the Madhyamaka of Nagarjuna, the Mind-Only teachings traced back to Asanga, and the logico-epistemological tradition of Dignaga and Dharmakirti. This great work marks the final stage in the evolution of Madhyamaka and was the last major development of Buddhist philosophy in India. Composed toward the end of the nineteenth century, Mipham's brilliant and searching commentary has been described as one of the most profound examinations of Madhyamaka ever written. In presenting and defending Shantarakshita's view, Mipham throws down the gauntlet to the philosophical establishment and calls for a major reassessment of the Madhyamaka field. This challenging but rewarding text is indispensable to a balanced understanding of Tibetan Buddhist thought. This book is a core study text for both scholars and practitioners of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Zen (2009 )
Directed by Takahashi Banmei, Zen is an elegant and fascinating look into the life and times of 13th-century monk Dogen, founder of the Soto sect in Zen Buddhism. Offering a fairly faithful depiction of what is known of the monk's life, the film follows Dogen, handsomely portrayed by kabuki actor Nakamura Kantaro, from an orphan child inspired by his mother's dying words to a young monk wandering in China where he experiences his awakening. After reaching enlightenment, he returns to Kyoto to spread his teachings of silent meditation, attracting both dedicated followers and fierce detractors who cast him as a heretic. In his travels and teachings, Dogen encounters many different people. Some guide him, some follow him, and some test him, but all become crucial figures in his spiritual journey of peace and meditation. Zen's supporting cast includes Kora Kengo (Snakes and Earrings) as a young monk gone astray, Uchida Yuki (Welcome to the Quiet Room) as a prostitute and aspiring nun, and Fujiwara Tatsuya (Death Note) as the shogun haunted by inner ghosts.
Asian DVD Club
RS Links (Try a program like JDownloader for managing all those links.)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
How to Behave: Buddhism and Modernity in Colonial Cambodia
This ambitious cross-disciplinary study of Buddhist modernism in colonial Cambodia breaks new ground in understanding the history and development of religion and colonialism in Southeast Asia. In How to Behave, Anne Hansen argues for the importance of Theravāda Buddhist ethics for imagining and articulating what it means to be modern in early-twentieth-century Cambodia. The 1920s in Cambodia saw an exuberant burst of new printed writings by self-described Khmer Buddhist modernists on the subject of how to behave (as good Buddhists and moral persons) and how to purify oneself in everyday life in the modern world. Hansen's book, one of the first studies of colonial Buddhism based largely on Khmer language sources, examines the modernists' questioning of Buddhist values that they deemed most important and relevant. She explores their new interpretations of traditional doctrines, how they were produced, and how they represent Southeast Asian ethical and religious responses to the modern circulation of local and translocal events, people, ideas, and anxieties.
Contains passages on a new theme for each week of the year, with each topic developed over seven days. The book covers topics such as desire, sorrow, self-knowledge and meditation.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Authenticity: Clearing the Junk: A Buddhist Perspective -
Do you find yourself overwhelmed by junk? Is your house full of stuff you don't know what to do with? Do you eat too much unhealthy food? Are you involved in destructive relationships? Do you find yourself surrounded by trivialities or engaged in meaningless conversation? Do you feel there's little of value in your life?
If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," then you need to read On Junk. Clearly and compassionately, Ven. Yifa explores junk in all its ramifications: junk food, junk stuff, junk relationships, junk communication, and junk thoughts and feelings. She shows how our obsession with materialism, convenience, and the fast-paced nature of our society is diminishing our ability to connect wholeheartedly with others and making it harder for us to lead authentic lives. Through consciously separating out what is junk from what is genuine, she says, and through practicing right-mindedness, we can gain equanimity, clarity of purpose, true friendship, and the ultimate realization of our Buddha-nature.
Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in New Zealand
Land of Beautiful Vision is the first book-length ethnography to address the role of material culture in contemporary adaptations of Buddhism and the first to focus on convert Buddhists in New Zealand. Sally McAra takes as her subject a fascinating instance of an ongoing creative process whereby a global religion is made locally meaningful through the construction of a Buddhist sacred place. She uses an in-depth case study of a small religious structure, a stupa, in rural New Zealand to explore larger issues related to the contemporary surge in interest in Buddhism and religious globalization. Her research extends beyond the level of public discourse on Buddhism to investigate narratives of members of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) about their relationship with the land, analyzing these and the FWBO's transformative project through a thematic focus on key symbolic landmarks at their site, Sudarshanaloka. In considering cross-cultural interactions resulting in syncretism or indigenization of alien religions, many anthropological studies concentrate on the unequal power relations between colonizing and colonized peoples. McAra extrapolates from this literature to look at a situation where the underlying power relations are quite different. She focuses on individuals in an organization whose members seek to appropriate knowledge from an "Eastern" tradition to remake their own society--one shaped by its unresolved colonizing past. In its exploration of the role of three key symbolic markers of relationship between the community, its motivating ideals, and the land it occupies, Land of Beautiful Vision brings together the diverse themes of land, colonization, environment, and the relationship between Buddhism and indigenous spiritual entities. It contributes to material culture studies, landscape studies, religious studies, and anthropology of religion. In exploring the domestication of Buddhism in a new cultural setting, it will be of interest to anyone wanting to understand the rise of Buddhism in new sociocultural settings. It will also be of interest to scholars and students of cross-cultural religious translation and settler societies.
The Gods of Northern Buddhism: Their History and Iconography
Indispensable reference for art historians, scholars of Eastern philosophy and religion. Wealth of detailed scholarly information on names, attributes, symbolism, pictorial representations of virtually every major and minor divinity in Mahayana pantheon, as worshipped in Nepal, Tibet, China, Korea, Mongolia, and Japan. 185 black-and-white illustrations. Glossary.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
American-born Ajahn Sumedho (born July 25, 1934 ) is a seminal figure in the Thai Forest Tradition and Western Theravada Buddhism. The word "Ajahn" is not a proper name, but a title which means "Teacher" in Thai. He is also affectionately known among his students as "Venerable Father" in Thai. He has been an ordained bhikkhu for 40 years, and is perhaps the most senior living Western Theravadin bhikkhu.
Ajahn Sumedho is a prominent figure in the Thai Forest Tradition. His teachings are very direct, practical, simple, and down to earth. In his talks and sermons he stresses the quality of immediate intuitive awareness and the integration of this kind of awareness into daily life. Like most teachers in the Forest Tradition, Ajahn Sumedho tends to avoid intellectual abstractions of the Buddhist teachings and focuses almost exclusively on their practical applications, that is, developing wisdom and compassion in daily life. His most consistent advice can be paraphrased as to see things the way that they actually are rather than the way that we want or don't want them to be ("Right now, it's like this..."). He is known for his engaging and witty communication style, in which he challenges his listeners to practice and see for themselves. Students have noted that he engages his hearers with an infectious sense of humor, suffused with much loving kindness, often weaving amusing anecdotes from his experiences as a monk into his talks on meditation practice and how to experience life.
Demonoid Part 1
Demonoid Part 2
Friday, July 10, 2009
Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations
Mahayana Buddhism spread across Asia, becoming the prevalent form of Buddhism in Tibet and East Asia. Over the last twenty-five years Western interest in Mahayana has increased considerably, reflected both in the quantity of scholarly material produced and in the attraction of Westerners towards Tibetan Buddhism and Zen. Paul Williams ' Mahayana Buddhism is widely regarded as the standard introduction to the field, used internationally for teaching and research and has been translated into several European and Asian languages. This new edition has been fully revised throughout in the light of the wealth of new studies and focuses on the religion's diversity and richness. It includes much more material on China and Japan, with appropriate reference to Nepal, and for students who wish to carry their study further there is a much-expanded bibliography and extensive footnotes and cross-referencing. Everyone studying this important tradition will find Williams' book the ideal companion to their studies. Paul Williams is Professor of Indian and Tibetan Philosophy and Co-director of the Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol. The author of six books and an editor of a further eight, he is a former President of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies. Among his other books for Routledge is Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Eckhart Tolle AudioBooks Collection
An historic meeting with this leading new voice in contemporary spirituality
When Eckhart Tolle agreed to be interviewed on September 11, 2001, he could not foresee the historic nature of this date or the suffering that would follow. As the day’s events unfolded, in real time, he responded with a calm and clear voice, helping to make sense out of the fear and chaos that will forever define this date. "Even the Sun Will Die" documents this historic meeting with Eckhart Tolle and the comforting wisdom he revealed that day.We live in a time, he says, when we define ourselves through our enemies; and science and technology are in the service of human madness. Yet even in the face of disaster, a miracle happens when we say "yes" to living in this moment and no other. This "great opening," he teaches, can serve as nothing less than the beginning of a revolution in human consciousness with the potential to transform our world and everyone in it. Also for the first time on audio, Eckhart Tolle comments on his own awakening, and what he sees as the next step in human evolution. From insights into the way out of suffering, to evidence that a new consciousness is already rising, "Even the Sun Will Die" confirms Eckhart Tolle’s place among the most important and accessible spiritual teachers of our time.
In the collection.
Even the Sun Will Die - CD 1,2
Living the Liberated Life - CD 1,2,3
The Realization of Being - Disk 1,2
Entering The Now - CD 1,2
Practicing the Power of Now - 1 CD
Stillness Speaks - CD 1,2,3
The Flowering of Human Consciousness - CD 1,2
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim Chen Mo) - Tsong-Kha-Pa
The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam rim chen mo) is one of the brightest jewels in the world's treasury of sacred literature. The author, Tsong-kha-pa (1357-1419), completed this masterpiece in 1402 and it soon became one of the most renowned works of spiritual practice and philosophy in the world of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Lotus Sutra - Professor Burton Watson
A third-century Mahayana text, this is used and revered in several traditions. It contains the essential teachings of Mahayana, stressing the doctrine of the transcendental nature of the Buddha, the ideal of the Boddhisattva, and the possibility of universal liberation.
The Anapanasati Sutta : A Practical Guide to Mindfulness of Breathing and Tranquil Wisdom Meditation - Ven. U Vimalaramsi
When the Bodhisattva sat under the Bodhi tree to meditate on the full moon night of May and made his great effort to attain the supreme nibbana, he recalled that not all forms of pleasure are unwholesome. He realized that there could be pleasurable feelings arising in the mind and body although there was not any attachment to anything. That very night, the Bodhisattva practiced "Tranquil Wisdom Meditation" through the method of opening and expanding the mind. In short, he practiced the "Anapanasati" or "Mindfulness of Breathing". And as we all know, he became the Buddha or the supremely enlightened one. The Anapanasati Sutta gives the most profound meditation instructions available today. It includes the "Four Foundations of Mindfulness" and the "Seven Enlightenment Factors" and shows how they are fulfilled through the practice of "Mindfulness of Breathing" . This is done by attaining all of the meditation stages (jhanas). This sutta shows the direct way to practice "Tranquil Wisdom Meditation" and does not categorize meditation practices.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Nagarjuna - 3 Books
The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika
Nagarjuna's Seventy Stanzas: A Buddhist Psychology
by Nagarjuna Uploading Depositfiles
Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka: A Philosophical Introduction
by Jan Westerhoff uploading.com depositfiles.com
Nāgārjuna's primary contribution to Buddhist philosophy
is in the further development of the concept of śūnyatā, or "emptiness," which brings together other key Buddhist doctrines, particularly anatta (no-self) and pratītyasamutpāda (dependent origination). For Nāgārjuna, it is not merely sentient beings that are empty of ātman; all phenomena are without any svabhāva, literally "own-nature" or "self-nature", and thus without any underlying essence; they are empty of being independent. This is so because they are arisen dependently: not by their own power, but by depending on conditions leading to their coming into existence, as opposed to being.
Natural Liberation Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos
In the spirit of the Buddhist tantric tradition, Natural Liberation examines how to take the commonplace states of consciousness experienced in life and death and turn them into opportunities for the highest liberation. In this work, Padmasambhava, the great 9th century Indian master who established Buddhism in Tibet, describes in detail six life-processes, or bardos, and how to transform them into vehicles for enlightenment. This most extraordinary teaching is here accompanied by meditation instructions and edifying anecdotes in a lucid commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche, an esteemed teacher of the Nyingma tradition.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Asian Corridor In Heaven
Description: Part of the Insight Asia series, Asian Corridor In Heaven is a six-episode HD documentary series co-produced by KBS and NHK about the world's oldest trade route, the "Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road". Pre-dating the Silk Road by 200 years, the Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road crossed from the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces of Southwest China over mountainous terrain into Tibet, Nepal, and India. The Caravan Road was not only an important route for the trade of tea and horses, but also a corridor connecting Chinese and Tibetan language, people, religion, and cultures.
Ep1. The Last Horse Caravan
Ep2. Road To Pilgrimage
Ep3. Tea makes the Road Open
Ep4. The Salt in Yanjing. The Crystal by Woman
Ep5. Himalayan Salt Trek
Ep6. Guge. Mystery of The Lost Kingdom
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Hommage à Chen Zhong - Chen Zhong
Chen Zhong (1919-2002) was a great master of Chinese music, a multi-instrumentalist particularly renowned for his skill on the xun and xiao flutes. He first gained international recognition in 1994, at the age of 75, with an overseas tour that included Japan, France and Switzerland. Zhong was recorded by Radio France in 1995 (Ocora C560090) and it was the success of that association that led to the release of these serene and intimate ensemble recordings, previously only available in China.
Liberation upon Hearing in the Between: Living with the Tibetan Book of the Dead - Robert Thurman
One of the 25 most influential people in America according to Time Magazine, and "the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism" (The New York Times), Robert Thurman illuminates the Tibetan Book of the Dead with up-to-date insights for modern audiences. For centuries, this text has been read aloud to the dying—who Buddhist masters say are capable of hearing up to three days after clinical death—as a guide through the tumultuous and often terrifying process of dissolution. Now, in Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between, Professor Robert Thurman demystifies this esoteric teaching and reveals the Tibetan view of dying: it is not an ending to be feared, but a wondrous and liberating culmination of our life’s journey, potentially opening into glorious new beginnings. Entering the bardo\227the in-between state in which one reality dissolves and the next has not yet formed—we need not become prey to our fears and hopes. Instead we can relax into our natural clarity and stabilize the journey. And, this treasured teaching is for much more than just changing our understanding of death. Whether we have lost a dear relationship, awoken from a dream, or face the loss of our bodied life, simply hearing these teachings steadies our minds and hearts so that the journey from one state to the next changes from a tragic voyage into a clear adventure through the brilliant sky of great liberation.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Introducing Daoism - Livia Kohn
Daoism is one of the major religious traditions of the East, but in the past has not been as well known as Buddhism and Hinduism. With the increased interest in Eastern religions, and alternative spiritual traditions, interest in Daoism is increasing. "Introducing Daoism" is a lively and accessible introduction to this fascinating religion. "Introducing Daoism" presents Daoism's key concepts and major practices in an integrated historical survey. From Daoism's origins in antiquity, through the Tang, Ming, and Quing dynasties, and into the present day, Livia Kohn explores Daoism's movements and schools, including: Daoist philosophy, the organized religion, and Daoist health practices.Each chapter introduces the main historical events of the period, the leading figures in Daoism, and Daoist scriptures and practices, as well as covering a wealth of fascinating topics such as Chinese cosmology, Daoist understanding of the body, rituals and doctrine, meditation, mythology, and poetry. Livia Kohn examines the connections between the defining concepts, history, and practices of Daoism, and key issues in Asian and Western comparative religions, making this the essential text for students studying Daoism on World Religions courses. Illustrated throughout, the book also includes text boxes, summary charts, a glossary which includes Chinese characters, and a list of further reading to aid students' understanding and revision.
The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master
In a life-and-death situation of being sword-tip to sword-tip with the enemy, where should the swordsman put his mind?
This is the first question posed in the first of three essays written by a Zen master for the guidance of samurai swordsmen. Among the other questions that arise are the difference between the right mind and the confused mind, what makes life precious, the nature of right-mindedness, the Buddhist paradigm of form and consciousness, and what distinguishes the True Mind. So succinct are the author's insights that these writings have outlasted the dissolution of the samurai class to come down to the present as sources of guidance and inspiration for captains of business and industry, as well as those devoted to the practice of the martial arts in their modern forms.
The history of the sword in Japan goes back to antiquity. Zen and its meditative practices also have a long history, but it was not until the rule of the Tokugawa shoguns, beginning in the early 1600s, that the techniques of swordsmanship fused with the spirit of Zen. And if one man can be said to have been the prime mover in this phenomenon, it was none other than Takuan Soho, confidant and religious instructor to an emperor, to a great sword master, and to the heads of the most important sword schools of the time.
Takuan's meditations on the sword in the essays presented here are classics of Zen thinking.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Pretty funny vid I found today. This is obviously a joke so don't read too much into it.
Vavrek and Sean Kennedy challenge each other to a 'Zen Duel' in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. one shall remain.
Robert Thurman on Buddhism
Take refuge in the three jewels, the three precious gems," begins Robert A.F. Thurman's introduction to Buddhism: "the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha." Each of these is the focus of one tape in Thurman's three-part lecture series On Buddhism, an extremely thorough introduction to the philosophy, theology, and history of Buddhism. Thurman is well-known as a professor of Indo-Tibetan studies at Columbia University, having also translated The Tibetan Book of the Dead into English. In these lectures, Thurman patiently takes apart each jewel of Buddhism: the Buddha as the teacher of enlightenment, the Dharma as the teaching, or enlightenment itself, and the Sangha as the historical and current community of learners seeking to become Buddhas. The videotapes themselves do not have elaborate production values: these are essentially college lectures, and they are not for newcomers to Buddhism. For people who have done some reading or have some personal experience with Buddhism and want to gain greater insight and understanding from a leading scholar, however, these lectures are an excellent foray into the intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual underpinnings of Buddhism.
Google Videos Part 1
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
For more than one thousand years, the vast Buddhist monastery and temple complex on remote Mount Kōya has been one of Japan's most important religious centers. Saint Kōbō Daishi (also known as Kūkai), founder of the esoteric Shingon school and one of the great figures of world Buddhism, consecrated the mountain for holy purposes in the early 800s. Buried on Kōyasan, Kōbō Daishi is said to be still alive, selflessly advocating for the salvation of all sentient beings.
Located south of Osaka, Kōyasan has attracted visitors from every station of Japanese life, and in recent years, more than a million tourists and pilgrims visit annually. In Sacred Kōyasan, the first book-length study in English of this holy Buddhist mountain, Philip L. Nicoloff invites readers to accompany him on a pilgrimage. Together with the author, the pilgrim-reader ascends the mountain, stays at a temple monastery, and explores Kōyasan's main buildings, sacred statues, mandalas, and famous forest cemetery. Author and reader participate in the full annual cycle of rituals and ceremonies, and explore the life and legend of Kōbō Daishi and the history of the mountain.
Written for both the scholarly and general reader, Sacred Kōyasan will appeal to potential travelers, dedicated armchair travelers, and all readers interested in Buddhism and Japanese culture.
The Mystique of Transmission: On an Early Chan History and Its Contexts - Wendi Adamek
The Mystique of Transmission is a close reading of a late-eighth-century Chan/Zen Buddhist hagiographical work, the Lidai fabao ji ( Record of the Dharma-Jewel Through the Generations), and is its first English translation. The text is the only remaining relic of the little-known Bao Tang Chan school of Sichuan, and combines a sectarian history of Buddhism and Chan in China with an account of the eighth-century Chan master Wuzhu in Sichuan.
Chinese religions scholar Wendi Adamek compares the Lidai fabao ji with other sources from the fourth through eighth centuries, chronicling changes in the doctrines and practices involved in transmitting medieval Chinese Buddhist teachings. While Adamek is concerned with familiar Chan themes like patriarchal genealogies and the ideology of sudden enlightenment, she also highlights topics that make Lidai fabao ji distinctive: formless practice, the inclusion of female practitioners, the influence of Daoist metaphysics, and connections with early Tibetan Buddhism.
The Lidai fabao ji was unearthed in the early twentieth century in the Mogao caves at the Silk Road oasis of Dunhuang in northwestern China. Discovery of the Dunhuang manuscripts has been compared with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as these documents have radically changed our understanding of medieval China and Buddhism. A crucial volume for students and scholars, The Mystique of Transmission offers a rare glimpse of a lost world and fills an important gap in the timeline of Chinese and Buddhist history.
Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature (Mahayanasutralamkara) - Robert Thurman
A fully annotated, critical translation of Maitreyanatha's text, as transmitted to the 4th-century adept Asanga, along with a commentary by Vasubhandu. This text emphasizes the compassion side of Buddhist thought. Inlcudes introduction, bibliography, and detailed index.
Emptiness - Jeffrey Hopkins
Jeffrey Hopkins (born 1940) is a distinguished American Tibetologist. He is Emeritus of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia, where he taught for more than three decades since 1973. He has authored more than twenty-five books about Tibetan Buddhism, among them the highly influential Meditation on Emptiness, which appeared in 1983, offering a pioneering exposition of Prasangika-Madyamika thought in the Geluk tradition. From 1979 to 1989 he was the Dalai Lama's chief interpreter into English and he played a significant role in the development of the Free Tibet Movement.