Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now, readers everywhere can get insider access to one of the most sought after classes in the country, a course in health, happiness and creativity that is improving the livelihood and productivity of those responsible for one of the most successful businesses in the world.
With forewords by Daniel Goleman, author of the international bestseller Emotional Intelligence, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, renowned mindfulness expert and author of Coming To Our Senses, Meng’s Search Inside Yourself is an invaluable guide to achieving your own best potential.
At the root of human conflict is our fundamental misunderstanding of who we are. The illusion that we are isolated beings, unconnected to the rest of the universe, has led us to view the “outside” world with hostility, and has fueled our misuse of technology and our violent and hostile subjugation of the natural world. To help us understand that the self is in fact the root and ground of the universe, Watts has crafted a revelatory primer on what it means to be human—and a mind-opening manual of initiation into the central mystery of existence.
Lao Tsu’s philosophy is simple: Accept what is in front of you without wanting the situation to be other than it is. Study the natural order of things and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistance. Nature provides everything without requiring payment or thanks. It does so without discrimination. So let us present the same face to everyone and treat them all as equals, however they may behave. If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop “trying,” if we stop putting in so much extra effort, if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be reflected. Te—which may be translated as “virtue” or “strength”—lies always in Tao meaning “the way” or “natural law.” In other words: Simply be.
With essays on “cosmic consciousness” (including Alan Watts’ account of his own ventures into this inward realm); the paradoxes of self-consciousness; LSD and consciousness; and the false opposition of spirit and matter, This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience is a truly mind-opening collection.
The latest edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Buddhism updates one of Alpha Books's most successful books in the religion/spirituality category, providing extensive information on both understanding the teachings and schools of Buddhism and incorporating the tenets of Buddhism into everyday life. It also includes additional information on Buddhism's effect on popular arts and sciences, the continuing relevance of the Dalai Lama, and an annotated bibliography.
- With Buddhism as one of America's fastest growing religions, the audience continues to renew itself
- Covers all four schools of Buddhism: Zen,Tibetan, Pure Land, and Insight Meditation, which are not in competitors' books
- For thousands of years, Buddhism has been a source of inner peace and security for millions
Download a sample chapter.
From the Paperback edition.
Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart shows us that happiness doesn't come from any kind of acquisitiveness, be it material or psychological. Happiness comes from letting go. Weaving together the accumulated wisdom of his two worlds--Buddhism and Western psychotherapy--Epstein shows how "the happiness that we seek depends on our ability to balance the ego's need to do with our inherent capacity to be." He encourages us to relax the ever-vigilant mind in order to experience the freedom that comes only from relinquishing control.
Drawing on events in his own life and stories from his patients, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart teaches us that only by letting go can we start on the path to a more peaceful and spiritually satisfying life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In Paths to God, Ram Dass brings the heart of that system to light for a Western audience and translates the Gita’s principles into the manual for living the yoga of contemporary life.
While being a guide to the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita, Paths to God is also a template for expanding our definition of ourselves and allowing us to appreciate a new level of meaning in our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
The so-called “Tibetan Book of the Dead” has been renowned for centuries as a cornerstone of Buddhist wisdom and religious thought. More recently, it has become highly influential in the Western world for its psychological insights into the processes of death and dying—and what they can teach us about the ways we live our lives. It has also been found to be helpful in the grieving process by people who have recently lost their loved ones.
Composed in the eighth century C.E., it is intended to prepare the soul for the trials and transformations of the afterworld. Its profound message is that the art of dying is as important as the art of living. Drawing on Tibetan spiritual traditions, it shows us the workings of the mind in its various manifestations—terrifying and comforting, wrathful and beautiful—which appear more clearly after death in the consciousness of the deceased. By recognizing these manifestations, we can attain a state of enlightenment, both in this existence and in the existence to come.
This authoritative translation preserves the form and spirit of the original and was prepared especially for Western readers by Robert A. F. Thurman, one of the most prominent Tibetan scholars in America and a close associate of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s.
Don't wait until your next life to experience Zen! 'The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Buddhism' reveals the essence of Buddhist thought from its inception in the Far East to its growing devotees in the West. In this 'Pocket Idiot's Guide', you get:
-The life of Siddhartha, better known as the Buddha; the founder of Buddhism.
-The basic Buddhist belief system, including the Three Marks of Existence, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path.
-Fully explained concepts such as Zen, karma, dharma, and sutras.
-The history of the various Buddhist sects and their important influence.
Yoga and the Luminous also includes a word-by-word translation of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra, the foundational text of Yoga philosophy and a system of ethical practice and bodily purification. The translation is accompanied by an analysis that traces key ideas through the text, such as the reversal of mental and sensory outflows and the theme of spiritual discernment. Chapple also gives special attention to the feminine in the description of Yoga practices.
Buddhism is practiced by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, from Tibetan caves to Tokyo temples to redwood retreats. To an outside viewer, it might be hard to see what they all have in common. In Buddhism, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and American Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron map out with clarity the convergences and the divergences between the two major strains of Buddhism--the Sanskrit traditions of Tibet and East Asia and the Pali traditions of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Especially deep consideration is given to the foundational Indian traditions and their respective treatment of such central tenets as the four noble truths the practice of meditation the meaning of nirvana enlightenment. The authors seek harmony and greater understanding among Buddhist traditions worldwide, illuminating the rich benefits of respectful dialogue and the many ways that Buddhists of all stripes share a common heritage and common goals.
The Yoga Sutras were cast in their present form in India around the third century b.c. Yoga is from the Sanskrit root meaning “union,” and a sutra is a thread or aphoristic verse. The basic questions “Who am I?” “Where am I going?” “What is the purpose of life?” are asked by each new generation, and Patanjali’s answers form one of the oldest and most vibrant spiritual texts in the world. He explains what yoga is, how it works, and exactly how to purify the mind and let it settle into absolute stillness. This stillness is our own Self. It is the indispensable ground for Enlightenment, which is the ultimate goal of all our aspirations.
Alistair Shearer’s lucid introduction and superb translation, fully preserving Patanjali’s jewel-like style, bring these ancient but vital teachings to those who seek the path of self-knowledge today.
Bell Tower’s series, Sacred Teachings, offers essential spiritual classics from all traditions. May each book become a trusted companion on the way of truth, encouraging readers to study the wisdom of the ages and put it into practice each day.
From the Hardcover edition.
The basic principles of Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence (Ahimsa) and non-violent action (Satyagraha) were chosen by Thomas Merton for this volume in 1965. In his challenging Introduction, "Gandhi and the One-Eyed Giant," Merton emphasizes the importance of action rather than mere pacifism as a central component of non-violence, and illustrates how the foundations of Gandhi's universal truths are linked to traditional Hindu Dharma, the Greek philosophers, and the teachings of Christ and Thomas Aquinas.
Educated as a Westerner in South Africa, it was Gandhi's desire to set aside the caste system as well as his political struggles in India which led him to discover the dynamic power of non-cooperation. But, non-violence for Gandhi "was not simply a political tactic," as Merton observes: "the spirit of non-violence sprang from an inner realization of spiritual unity in himself." Gandhi's politics of spiritual integrity have influenced generations of people around the world, as well as civil rights leaders from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Steve Biko to Václav Havel and Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mark Kurlansky has written an insightful preface for this edition that touches upon the history of non-violence and reflects the core of Gandhi's spiritual and ethical doctrine in the context of current global conflicts.
For students or long-time enthusiasts, it is the ideal guide for investigating Japanese reverence for the sun, the imperial family, and the virtues of purity and loyalty. Readers will also learn why sumo wrestlers stomp before each match, how a fussy baby creates thunder, why Japan has a god for soccer, and much more.
Do you feel at home right now? Or do you sense a hovering anxiety or uncertainty, an underlying unease that makes you feel just a bit uncomfortable, a bit distracted and disconnected from those around you?
In The Road Home, Ethan Nichtern, a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, investigates the journey each of us takes to find where we belong. Drawing from contemporary research on meditation and mindfulness and his experience as a Buddhist teacher and practitioner, Nichtern describes in fresh and deeply resonant terms the basic existential experience that gives rise to spiritual seeking—and also to its potentially dangerous counterpart, spiritual materialism. He reveals how our individual quests for self-awareness ripple forward into relationships, communities, and society at large. And he explains exactly how, by turning our awareness to what's happening around us and inside us, we become able to enhance our sense of connection with others and, at the same time, change for the better our individual and collective patterns of greed, apathy, and inattention.
In this wise and witty invitation to Buddhist meditation, Nichtern shows how, in order to create a truly compassionate and enlightened society, we must start with ourselves. And this means beginning by working with our own minds—in whatever state we find them in.
significance of Alan Watts.
Alan Watts—Here and Now
explores the intellectual legacy and continuing relevance of a prolific writer
and speaker who was a major influence on American culture during the latter half
of the twentieth century. A thinker attuned to the spiritual malaise affecting
the Western mind, Watts (1915–1973) provided intellectual and spiritual
alternatives that helped shape the Beat culture of the 1950s and the
counterculture of the 1960s. Well known for introducing Buddhist and Daoist
spirituality to a wide Western audience, he also wrote on psychology, mysticism,
and psychedelic experience. Many idolized Watts as a guru-mystic, yet he was
also dismissed as intellectually shallow and as a mere popularizer of Asian
religions (the “Norman Vincent Peale of Zen”). Both critical and appreciative,
this edited volume locates Watts at the forefront of major paradigmatic shifts
in Western intellectual life. Contributors explore how Watts’s work resonates in
present-day scholarship on psychospiritual transformation, Buddhism and
psychotherapy, Daoism in the West, phenomenology and hermeneutics, humanistic
and transpersonal psychology, mysticism, and ecofeminism, among other areas.
Open Your Mind, Open Your Life encourages and uplifts readers with more than 300 inspiring guideposts based on the timeless wisdom of Eastern thought. It's filled with sage advice on opening life to its inherent joy, including:
* Master your past in the present, or the past will master your future.
* Instead of putting others in their place, put yourself in theirs.
* True happiness in life is found always within.
* As water carves through stone, those who persevere will win.
* Turn your face to the sun and shadows will only fall behind you.
Open Your Mind, Open Your Life is richly illustrated with exquisite Far East-inspired patterns and original watercolor art. The book also includes profiles of great Buddhist and Eastern thinkers such as Nichiren, Lao-tzu, Confucius, and Mahatma Gandhi.
The Ending of Time is a series of important and enlightening dialogues in which Jiddu Krishnamurti and Dr. David Bohm—men from vastly different backgrounds in philosophy and physics, respectively—debate profound existential questions that illuminate the fundamental nature of existence, probing topics such as insight, illusion, awakening, transcendence, renewal, morality, the temporal, and the spiritual. Along the way, Krishnamurti and Bohm explore a person’s relationship to society and offer new insights on human thought, death, awakening, self realization, and the problem of the fragmented mind.
The Ending of Time also refers to the wrong turn humanity has taken—a state that they argue can be corrected. Though they insist that mankind can change fundamentally, they warn that transformation requires going from one’s narrow and particular interests toward the general, and ultimately moving still deeper into that purity of compassion, love and intelligence that originates beyond thought, time, and even emptiness.
This updated edition, edited and revised in clear and engaging language, includes a new introduction and a conversation previously published separately which examines “The Future of Humanity.”
Pose a question, then toss three coins (or cast your yarrow stalks) to access the time-honored wisdom of the I Ching.
The I Ching, or Book of Change, has been consulted through the ages, in both China and the West, for answers to fundamental questions about the world and our place in it. The oldest extant book of divination, it dates back three thousand years to ancient shamanistic practices involving the ritual preparation of the shoulder bones of oxen. From this early form of communication with the other world, it has become the Chinese spiritual book par excellence. An influence on such cultural icons as Bob Dylan, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Philip K. Dick, and Philip Pullman, the I Ching is turned to by millions around the world for insights on spiritual growth, business, medicine, genetics, game theory, strategic thinking, and leadership, and of course for the window it opens on China.
This new translation, over a decade in the making, is informed by the latest archaeological discoveries and features a gorgeously rendered codex of divination signs—the I Ching’s sixty-four Tarot-like hexagrams. It captures the majesty and mystery of this legendary work and charts an illuminating path to self-knowledge.
From the Hardcover edition.
Our unique edition of Dogen’s Genjo Koan (Actualization of Reality) contains three separate translations and several commentaries by a wide variety of Zen masters. Nishiari Bokusan, Shohaku Okamura, Shunryu Suzuki, Kosho Uchiyama. Sojun Mel Weitsman, Kazuaki Tanahashi, and Dairyu Michael Wenger all have contributed to our presentation of this remarkable work. There can be no doubt that understanding and integrating this text will have a profound effect on anyone’s life and practice.
Norman Waddell has spent his life reading and commenting on the vast work of Hakuin. He has published several previous selections, all leading to his work on this major, monumental gathering, the Keiso Dokuzui, never before translated in any foreign language. Translating sacred texts requires years of practice and intimate familiarity with the material in its original language, as well as complete mastery of the available commentary. There’s no one alive better capable of handling this important and difficult offering.
For this collection Hakuin gathered more than 200 individual pieces, consisting of commentaries, memorials, poems, koans, and teisho (lectures). They were offered to the many students living around his temple as well as to the countless lay followers around the country, and Hakuin spent his life offering these teachings together with his own commentary. Result is an organic, growing collection of understanding and advice, certain to engage Zen students as well as religious practitioners in other spiritual disciplines.
In addition to archaeological materials, Como makes extensive use of a wide range of textual sources from across Asia, including court chronicles, poetry collections, gazetteers, temple records, and divinatory texts. As he investigates the influence of myths, legends, and rites of the ancient Chinese festival calendar on religious practice across the Japanese islands, Como shows how the ability of immigrant lineages to propitiate hostile deities led to the creation of elaborate networks of temple-shrine complexes that shaped later sectarian Shinto as well as popular understandings of the relationship between the buddhas and the gods of Japan. For much of the book, this process is examined through rites and legends from the Chinese calendar that were related to weaving, sericulture, and medicine technologies that to a large degree were controlled by lineages with roots in the Korean peninsula and that claimed female deities and weaving maidens as founding ancestors. Como s examination of a series of ancient Japanese legends of female immortals, weaving maidens, and shamanesses reveals that female deities played a key role in the moving of technologies and ritual practices from peripheral regions in Kyushu and elsewhere into central Japan and the heart of the imperial cult. As a result, some of the most important building blocks of the purportedly native Shinto tradition were to a remarkable degree shaped by the ancestral cults of immigrant lineages and popular Korean and Chinese religious practices.
This is a provocative and innovative work that upsets the standard interpretation of early historical religion in Japan, revealing a complex picture of continental cultic practice both at court and in the countryside."
What made Hakuin even more remarkable was that he was not only a religious teacher but also a prolific artist. Using calligraphy and painting to create “visual Dharma,” his teachings were rendered on paper in pictures, characters, and images, uniquely and magnificently expressing the nature of enlightenment as he wished to impart it to his students.
The Religious Art of Zen Master Hakuin is a stunning volume containing many of Hakuin’s finest calligraphies and paintings, along with brilliant commentary by Katsuhiro Yoshizawa, the leading Japanese expert on Hakuin and his work. Yoshizawa masterfully guides the reader from one piece of artwork to the next, sharing the story of Hakuin’s life, revealing the profound religious meaning embedded in each illustration, and providing a detailed documentary of the lessons of one of Zen’s most respected teachers.
No one is perfect – in fact, we all are perfectly imperfect. That is the paradoxical first lesson shared by Taro Gold in Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life. What is Wabi Sabi? A universal ideal of beauty, Wabi Sabi celebrates the basic, the unique, and the imperfect parts of our lives. Wabi Sabi is the comfortable joy you felt as a child, happily singing off key, creatively coloring outside the lines, and mispronouncing words with gusto. On a deeper level, Wabi Sabi is the profound awareness of our oneness with all life and the environment. It includes a deep awareness of the choices we make each day, the power we have to accept or reject each moment of our lives, and to find value in every experience.
Appreciate this and every moment, no matter how imperfect, for this moment is your life. When you reject this moment, you reject your life. You don't have to settle for this moment, you are free to steer a different course, but for now, this moment is yours, so be mindful to make the most of it."
Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life leads us to discover the true beauty of our lives, to know true joy here and now, to reveal the most powerfully positive sides of imperfection. Illustrated with stunning yet simple watercolor art, Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life is a beautiful keepsake that is sure to become a beloved resource for wisdom in the joy of living.
A rough sketch of the milieu of 1820s Edo Japan and Atsutane s position within it provides the backdrop against which the drama of Senkyo ibun unfolds. There follow chapters explaining the relationship between the implied author and the outside narrator, the Other World that Atsutane helped Torakichi describe, and Atsutane s nativist discourse concerning Torakichi s fantastic claims of a newly discovered Shinto holy man called the sanjin. Sanjin were partly defined by supernatural abilities similar (but ultimately more effective and thus superior) to those of the Buddhist bodhisattva and the Daoist immortal. They were seen as holders of secret and powerful technologies previously thought to have come from or been perfected in the West, such as geography, astronomy, and military technology. Atsutane sought to deemphasize the impact of Western technology by claiming these powers had come from Japan s Other World. In doing so, he creates a new Shinto hero and, by association, asserts the superiority of native Japanese tradition. In the final portion of his book, Hansen addresses Atsutane s contribution to the construction of modern Japanese identity. By the late Tokugawa, many intellectuals had grown uncomfortable with continued cultural dependence on Neo-Confucianism, and the Buddhist establishment was under fire from positivist historiographers who had begun to question the many contradictions found in Buddhist texts. With these traditional discourses in disarray and Western rationalism and materialism gaining public acceptance, Hansen depicts Atsutane s creation of a new spiritual identity for the Japanese people as one creative response to the pressures of modernity.
When Tengu Talk adds to the small body of work in English on National Learning. It moreover fills a void in the area of historical religious studies, which is dominated by studies of Buddhist monks and priests, by offering a glimpse of a Shinto religious figure. Finally, it counters the image of Atsutane as a forerunner of the ultra-nationalism that ultimately was deployed in the service of empire. Lucid and accessible, it will find an appreciative audience among scholars of Shinto and Japanese and world religion. In addition to religion specialists, it will be of considerable interest to anthropologists and historians of Japan."
Emphasizing the lived experiences to be found in the many worlds of yoga, Yoga in Practice includes David Gordon White's informative general introduction as well as concise introductions to each reading by the book's contributors.
Just how to live your life?
Everybody sooner or later comes to crossroads where the path of life divides
and you must turn one way or another. This book is based on the timeless wisdom
of Vedanta, ancient Indian spiritual jewel, that leads you to examine who you
are, who God is, and what the world is. In a systematic and down-to-earth
manner, Vedanta questions all your taken-for-granted assumptions so that you
can see for yourself what has not worked in your life so far.
This book starts out with basic
facts but it quickly dives deeply in life’s fundamental paradoxes. It is a kind
of quick guide for serious students who are keen on exploring those issues as a
means of finding solution from suffering and life’s complexities. The ultimate
goal is to find the knowledge that frees you from further dependence and
feelings of inadequacy and lack.
This book is based on traditional Vedanta and it
is written by Vedanta students, Paul and Carol Bahder, in the tradition of
Swami Dayananda, who is the world’s foremost Vedanta authority. Use of Sanskrit
words written in parentheses after English allows the reader to effortlessly
learn technical language, if he or she wishes to. It is a Vedanta reference
that invites to be visited over and over again.