Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Buddhism without Beliefs

Buddhism without Beliefs - Stephen Batchelor
Those with an interest in Buddhism will welcome this new book by Stephen Batchelor, former monk and author of Alone With Others and The Awakening of the West. But those who are just discovering this increasingly popular practice will have much to gain as well-for Buddhism Without Beliefs serves as a solid, straightforward introduction that demystifies Buddhism and explains simply and plainly how its practice can enrich our lives. Avoiding jargon and theory, Batchelor concentrates on the concrete, making Buddhism accessible and compelling and showing how anyone can embark on this path-regardless of their religious background.


Friday, April 16, 2010

The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment Vol 1, 2 & 3
(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. Tsong-kha-pa took great pains to base his incisive insights on the classical Indian Buddhist literature, illustrating his points with classical citations as well as with sayings of the masters of the earlier Kadampa tradition. In this way the text demonstrates clearly how Tibetan Buddhism carefully preserved and developed the Indian Buddhist traditions.

Vol 1


Vol 2



Vol 3



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Awakening The Buddhist Heart

Awakening The Buddhist Heart - Lama Surya Das
The "Buddhist heart" that Surya Das refers to in his third book turns out to be a good heart. Blending intimate anecdotes with wisdom gleaned from his decades of study with traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachers, the American-born author seeks to help readers to awaken this heart so that their everyday relationships may become a way to experience the meaningful interconnectedness and sacrednessness of life. Surya Das wishes to cut to the essence of Buddhist wisdom, while bolstering a general readership with a dawn-of-a-new-era pep talk: "As we enter a new century and a new millennium... it seems increasingly important to awaken our Buddha-like hearts through spiritual connections." Unlike in his first two books Awakening the Buddha, an explication of Tibetan Buddhism, and Awakening the Sacred, an attempt to describe spiritual values in nonsectarian terms here Surya Das initially seems to be trying to be all things to all people, and the advice he offers can feel flimsy or vague. He counsels readers to cultivate a more authentic presence, for example, by learning to be natural, simple and open. The disarming honesty of the many personal accounts he presents puts a friendly human face on an ancient tradition, yet the work as a whole lacks power and coherence.



Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Buddha (2010)

The Buddha (2010)
This documentary for PBS by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere, tells the story of the Buddha’s life, a journey especially relevant to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. It features the work of some of the world’s greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia, have depicted the Buddha’s life in art rich in beauty and complexity. Hear insights into the ancient narrative by contemporary Buddhists, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Join the conversation and learn more about meditation, the history of Buddhism, and how to incorporate the Buddha’s teachings on compassion and mindfulness into daily life.



RS Links

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mindful Mixed Martial Arts - Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindful Mixed Martial Arts - Thich Nhat Hanh
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills, from a mixture of martial arts traditions and non-traditions, to be used in competitions. The rules allow the use of striking and grappling techniques, both while standing and on the ground.
What has always been lacking from MMA is the spirit Mindfulness. While pummeling your opponents head to the ground Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us to pause and Mindfully places hands to palms in a gentle slapping technique. Only the skilled gentle hand of a true Zen master like Thich could bring such beauty and grace to such a violent sport. Thich explains various techniques and moves such as Mindfully breaking dishes on opponents head, Flower Power Strike and the dreaded Flying Monk Iron Butterfly Downward Facing Leg Kick.