John Price appears to have thrown in the towel. He has spent the last year struggling to support his family, neglecting to spend time with his wife and children, and becoming increasingly cynical about the degraded state of the natural world around him. After a heart-attack scare, however, his wife demands that he start appreciating all the "good things" in his life: their mouse-infested old house, their hopelessly overgrown yard, and most of all, the joys and humiliations of parenthood. In his quest to become a better father, Price faces many unexpected challenges--like understanding his grandmother's decision to die, and supporting his nature-loving sons' decision to make their home a "no-kill zone" for all living creatures. Still he finds the second chance he was looking for--to save himself and, perhaps, his small corner of an imperfect yet still beautiful world.
Tibetan Buddhist master Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso is known for his joyful songs of realization and his spontaneous and skillful teaching style. In this book he explains how to gain clarity, peace, and wisdom through step-by-step analysis and meditation on the true nature of reality. He also introduces readers to the joy and profundity of yogic song, and reveals the power of aspiration prayers to inspire, transform, and brighten our hearts. To learn more about the author, visit his website at www.ktgrinpoche.org.
The Book of Five Rings is one of the most insightful texts on the subtle arts of confrontation and victory to emerge from Asian culture. Written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the timeless principles of this text to their life, the book analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. The Book of Five Rings was composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Thomas Cleary's translation is immediately accessible, with an introduction that presents the spiritual background of the warrior tradition. Along with Musashi's text, Cleary translates here another important Japanese classic on leadership and strategy, The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yagyu Munenori, which highlights the ethical and spiritual insights of Taoism and Zen as they apply to the way of the warrior.
Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo wrote this treatise in the eleventh century during the renaissance of Buddhism in Tibet that was spurred by the influx of new translations of Indian Buddhist texts, tantras, and esoteric transmissions from India. For political and religious reasons, adherents of the "new schools" of Tibetan Buddhism fostered by these new translations cast the older tradition of lineages and transmissions as impure and decadent. Rongzompa composed the work translated here in order to clearly and definitively articulate how Dzogchen was very much in line with the wide variety of sutric and tantric teachings espoused by all the Tibetan schools. Using the kinds of philosophic and linguistic analyses favored by the new schools, he demonstrates that the Great Perfection is indeed the culmination and maturation of the Mah?y?na, the Great Vehicle.The central topic of the work is the notion of illusory appearance, for when one realizes deeply that all appearances are illusory, one realizes also that all appearances are in that respect equal. The realization of the equality of all phenomena is said to be the Great Perfection approach to the path, which frees one from both grasping at and rejecting appearances. However, for those unable to remain effortlessly within the natural state, in the final chapter Rongzompa also describes how paths with effort are included in the Great Perfection approach.
This collection of fifteen articles and talks by Tulku Thondup constitutes a manual on how to transmute the situations encountered in daily life, whether external or internal, into spiritual disciplines and experiences. Among the topics covered are: The fundamental principles of Buddhism. The practice of meditation as a means of arousing compassion. How suffering can become a more powerful tool than happiness in achieving enlightenment. The symbolic significance of holy places, temples, statues, books, and other spiritual artifacts.
A deeply affirming exploration of the challenges and possibilities of the unknown--with meditations and exercises that can help transform the fear and uncertainty of "not knowing" into a sense of openness, curiosity, and bravery.
For most of us the unknown is both friend and foe. At times it can be a source of paralyzing fear and uncertainty, and at other times it can be a starting point for transformation, creativity, and growth. The unknown is a deep current that runs throughout all religions and mystical traditions, and it is also the nexus of contemporary psychotherapeutic thought and practice and a key element in all personal growth and healing. In The Wisdom of Not Knowing, psychotherapist Estelle Frankel shows us that our psychological, emotional, and spiritual health is radically influenced by how comfortable we are at navigating the unknown and uncertain dimensions of our lives.
Drawing on insights from Kabbalah, depth psychology, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and ancient myth, Frankel explores how we can grow our souls by tapping into the wisdom of not knowing. She also includes case studies of individuals who have grappled with their fears of the unknown and, as a result, have come out wiser, stronger, and more resilient. Each chapter includes experiential exercises and/or meditations for befriending the unknown. These exercises help convey how we must be willing to "not know" in order to gain knowledge and be able to bear uncertainty so we can be free to enjoy a healthy sense of adventure and curiosity.
Here@95@#8217;s a drug-free, side effect@95@#8211;free solution to common stress and mood problems@95@#8212;developed by two physicians. Millions of Americans suffer from mood problems and stress-related issues including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and trauma-induced emotions and behaviors; and most would prefer not to take medication for their conditions due to troublesome side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and disappointing success rates.@16@@16@Drs. Richard P. Brown and Patricia L. Gerbarg provide a drug-free alternative that works through a range of simple breathing techniques drawn from yoga, Buddhist meditation, the Chinese practice of qigong, Orthodox Christian monks, and other sources. These methods have been scientifically shown to be effective in alleviating specific stress and mood challenges such as anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many others. The authors explain how breathing practices activate communication pathways between the mind and the body, positively impacting the brain and calming the stress response.
This book is about using art as an instrument of personal transformation, enabling us to move from an inherited to a chosen state of being. Peter London offers inspiration and fresh ideas to artists, art students, and art teachers--as well as to people who think they can't draw a straight line but want to explore the joys of creative expression. Inside every person, he believes, there is an original, creative self that has been covered over by secondhand ideas, borrowed beliefs, and conditioned behavior. By freeing the capacity for visual expression--a natural human language possessed by everyone--we can awaken and release the full powers of that original self. Among the topics and exercises included are:
• How to increase the ability to visualize, fantasize, and dream
• Obstacles to the creative encounter and what to do about them
• Experimenting with art media as true mediators between imagination and expression
• Making masks to reveal the hidden self
• Painting with "forbidden" colors
• Arranging found objects as metaphors for one's life
Zen koans are stories of exchanges between Zen masters and their disciples at the moment of enlightenment or near-enlightenment. These stories have long fascinated Western readers because of their wisdom, humor, and enigmatic quality. Drawing on over thirty years of practice and teaching, Richard Shrobe (himself a recognized Zen Master) has selected twenty-two cases from The Blue Cliff Record, Book of Serenity, and Wu-men-kuan that he has found to be deeply meaningful and helpful for meditation practice. In Elegant Failure, he provides a wealth of background information and personal anecdotes for each koan that help to illuminate its meaning without detracting from its paradoxical nature. As Shrobe reminds us, "The main core of Zen teaching is the bare bones of what is there. In a certain sense, embellishing a story takes away from the central teaching: Don't embellish anything, just be with it as it is."
Master swordsman, calligrapher, and Zen practitioner, Yamoaka Tesshu is a seminal figure in martial arts history. John Stevens's biography is a fascinating, detailed account of Tesshu's remarkable life. From Tesshu's superhuman feats of endurance and keen perception in life-threatening situations, to his skillful handling of military affairs during the politically volatile era of early nineteenth-century Japan, Stevens recounts the stories that have made Tesshu a legend. This is the book all martial artists must own.
On the spiritual path we speak of enlightenment. But how do we reconcile the idea of enlightenment with what we see when we look in the mirror--when insecurities, doubts, and self-centered tendencies arise in our minds? Dzigar Kongtrül suggests that we need not feel "doomed" when these experiences surface. In fact, such experiences are not a problem if we are able to simply let them arise without judging them or investing them with so much meaning. This approach to experience is what Kongtrül calls self-reflection. Self-reflection is a practice, a path, and an attitude. It is the spirit of taking an interest in that which we usually try to push away. When we practice self-reflection we take liberation into our own hands and accept the challenge and personal empowerment in Kongtrül's title: it's up to you.
Devotion to one's teacher is the lifeblood of the Vajrayana path. Because the guru can and will use whatever means it takes to wake us up, this relationship may require us to drop our most deeply held beliefs and expectations. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse addresses some of the most misunderstood aspects of this powerful relationship and gives practical advice on making the most of this precious opportunity for transformation. Through stories and classical examples, he shows how to walk the path with eyes wide open, with critical-thinking skills sharpened and equipped to analyze the guru, before taking the leap.
Mindful play is a great way for kids to develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion. Here are fifty simple and accessible games that can bring mindfulness to your daily routine.These delightful games, developed and tested over many years of working with children and their caregivers, are designed for kids, but they can be just as fun and transformative for adults! Susan Kaiser Greenland encourages parents to play these games themselves to develop their own attention, balance, and compassion. As caregivers, our own mindfulness has a powerful effect on everyone in our lives, especially children.
Celebrating the seasons provides a wonderful opportunity to embrace creativity together as a family. It's also a fun way to decorate for, prepare for, and learn about the holidays we celebrate. In The Artful Year, you'll find a year's worth of art activities, crafts, recipes, and more to help make each season special. These artful explorations are more than just craft projects--they are ways for your family to create memories and mementos and develop creatively, all while exploring nature, new ideas, and traditions. The book includes: Arts and crafts, using the materials, colors, and themes of the seasonIdeas and decorations for celebrating the holidays togetherFavorite seasonal recipes that are fun for children to help make (and eat!)Suggested reading lists of children's picture books about the seasons and holidaysThe 175+ activities in this book are perfect for children ages one to eight, and for creating traditions that appeal to all ages.
A collection of dharma talks, Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains explores the life of passionate commitment that lies at the heart of the formal practice of Zen meditation. Reb Anderson draws on over thirty years of experience as a Zen priest, exploring Buddhist yoga and psychology and the relationship of wisdom and compassion to the personal, social, and ecological crises of our time. At once inspirational and practical, he bows to an ancient tradition as he helps us to forge a modern-day Buddhism that urges us "to sit still in the middle of all living beings."
A seminal commentary on one of the most important works of Mahayana Buddhism. According to tradition, Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes (Madhyāntavibhāga) was revealed by Maitreya to Asaṅga, and the radical view it presents forever changed the way Mahayana Buddhists perceive reality. Here, the Tibetan master Rongtön unpacks this manual and its practices for us in a way that is at once accessible and profound, with actual practical meditative applications. The work explains the vast paths of the three vehicles of Buddhism, emphasizing the view of Yogācāra, and demonstrates the inseparability of experience and emptiness. It offers a detailed presentation of the three natures of reality, an accurate understanding of which provides the antidotes to confusion and suffering. The translator’s introduction presents a clear overview of all the concepts explored in the text, making it easy for the reader to bridge its ideas to actual practice.
In Yoga: Awakening the Inner Body, Donald Moyer draws on over thirty years of yoga teaching and practice experience. His groundbreaking work is designed for yoga students and teachers to develop a home practice and to deepen their understanding of all aspects of yoga--the anatomical, the physiological, the mental, and the spiritual.In Part One, "Finding Inner Balance," he offers a comprehensive guide for the practice of yoga's two most important inverted poses. These two chapters help you select props according to your body type, and suggest ways to check your alignment once you are in the pose.Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), including variations and alternativesSalamba Sirsasana (Headstand), including variations and alternativesPart Two, "Themes and Variations," consists of six chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of the upper body. Each chapter begins with an anatomical introducation that establishes the theme to be explored in the subsequent practice sequence. The sequences include standing poses, backbends, twists, inverted poses, forward bends, pranayama (breathing practice), and relaxation.The Three Diaphragms: balance your three diaphragms (pelvic, respiratory, and thoracic) to facilitate movement and improve breathingBalance Your Sternum: align your sternum--the manubrium (upper sternum), the sternal body, and the xiphoid process--to free your upper spineCollarbones, Kidneys, and Groins: discover an effortless way to stabilize the pelvis, open the shoulders, and lengthen the spineAlign Your Shoulder Blades: work with a circular movement of your shoulder blades to create space in your shoulder jointsStabilize Your Elbows: learn how to strengthen your arms by stabilizing your elbow jointsStrengthen the Base of Your Neck: activate the deeper muscles of your neck for a strong and healthy cervical spine
Do you turn away from your own physical and emotional pain? Do you withhold empathy or give yourself away when witnessing another's pain? Do you lash out or withdraw when you feel that someone has harmed you? Is it possible to learn to respond to rather than react against what feels unbearable? Drawing on her experience as a Buddhist practitioner and teacher, Christina Feldman asserts that it is possible, but only if we turn, time and again, toward compassion, which she describes as the "innate, natural condition of our hearts." She says, "You do not need to be a saint to find the grace and transformative power of compassion; you need only to be willing to pay attention to pain and its cause and to commit yourself to its end." She offers techniques for developing the capacity to hold adversity, loss, and pain--with love. Her guided meditations will teach you to cultivate and sustain compassion for the blameless, for those who cause suffering, for those whom you love, and for yourself.
This user's guide to Buddhist basics takes the most commonly asked questions--beginning with "What is the essence of the Buddha's teachings?"--and provides simple answers in plain English. Thubten Chodron's responses to the questions that always seem to arise among people approaching Buddhism make this an exceptionally complete and accessible introduction--as well as a manual for living a more peaceful, mindful, and satisfying Life. Buddhism for Beginners is an ideal first book on the subject for anyone, but it's also a wonderful resource for seasoned students, since the question-and-answer format makes it easy to find just the topic you're looking for, such as: • What is the goal of the Buddhist path? • What is karma? • If all phenomena are empty, does that mean nothing exists? • How can we deal with fear? • How do I establish a regular meditation practice? • What are the qualities I should look for in a teacher? • What is Buddha-nature? • Why can't we remember our past lives?
Over the last thirty-five years, Ken Wilber has developed an Integral "theory of everything" that makes sense of how all the world's knowledge systems--East and West; ancient, modern, and postmodern--fit together and can elevate our awareness. Drawing on science, psychology, human development, spirituality, religion, and dozens of other fields, Integral Theory is a revolutionary framework for understanding ourselves and the world we live in. Now there is a way to not just think Integrally, but to embody an Integral worldview in your everyday life. Integral Life Practice is not just a new approach to self-development and higher awareness, but a way of making sense of--and making best use of--the existing treasure trove of insights, methods, and practices for cultivating a more enlightened life. It offers a uniquely adaptive approach to awakened living that's suitable for everyone: people with busy careers and families, college students, retirees, even hardcore athletes and yogis. It's geared for devout--and irreverent--people of any religion, or no religion! This highly flexible system will help you develop your physical health, spiritual awareness, emotional balance, mental clarity, relational joy, and energy level, within a framework that integrates all aspects of your life. Combining original exercises, vivid examples, cutting-edge theory, and illustrative graphics, Integral Life Practice is the ultimate handbook for realizing freedom and fullness in the 21st century.
The Treasury of Precious Instructions by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Taye, one of Tibet's greatest Buddhist masters, is a shining jewel of Tibetan literature, presenting essential teachings from the entire spectrum of practice lineages that existed in Tibet. In its eighteen volumes, Kongtrul brings together some of the most important texts on key topics of Buddhist thought and practice as well as authoring significant new sections of his own.In this, the fourteenth volume, Kongtrul compiles the teachings on Severance, or Chöd. It includes some of the tradition's earliest source scriptures, such as the "grand poem" of ?ryadeva, and numerous texts by the tradition's renowned founder, Machik Lapdrön. Kongtrul also brings together the most significant texts on the rites of initiation, empowerments for practice, and wide-ranging instructions and guides for the support of practitioners. Altogether, this quintessential guide to Severance offers vast resources for scholars and practitioners alike to better understand this unique and remarkable tradition--the way of severing the ego through the profound realization of emptiness and compassion.
In the tradition of the best-selling Dhammapada: a translation with commentary of one of the earliest of the surviving Buddhist texts, which reveals the teachings to be remarkably simple and free of religious trappings. One of the earliest of all Buddhist texts, the Atthakavagga, or "Book of Eights," is a remarkable document, not only because it comes from the earliest strain of the literature--before the Buddha, as the title suggests, came to be thought of as a "Buddhist"--but also because its approach to awakening is so simple and free of adherence to any kind of ideology. Instead the Atthakavaggapoints to a direct and simple approach for attaining peace without requiring the adherence to doctrine. The value of the teachings it contains is not in the profundity of their philosophy or in their authority as scripture; rather, the value is found in the results they bring to those who live by them. Instead of doctrines to be believed, the Book of Eights describes means or practices for realizing peace. Gil Fronsdal's rigorous translation with commentary reveals the text to be of interest not only to Buddhists, but also to the ever-growing demographic of spiritual-but-not-religious, who seek a spiritual life outside the structures of religion.
Back Care Basics offers the low-cost solution for back care in the new millennium: therapeutic yoga. Dr. Schatz's approach to back rehabilitation is gentle, effective, and doesn't resort to drugs or surgery. Her program encourages both positive health practices and a positive outlook; the important tools needed for prevention and healing. Dr. Schatz has designed this program to help those with pain from chronic musculoskeletal back and neck strain, spinal arthritis, osteoporosis, premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, and scoliosis. Simple and practical ways to heal the back, restructure the body, and cope with stress are taught so that one becomes more sensitive to early warning signs of an impending "back attack" and what to do to ward it off.
In the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, the Great Perfection is considered the most profound and direct path to enlightenment. The instructions of this tradition present a spiritual shortcut--a radically direct approach that cuts through confusion and lays bare the mind's true nature of luminous purity. For centuries, these teachings have been taught and practiced in secret by some of the greatest adepts of the Buddhist tradition. Great Perfection: Outer and Inner Preliminaries contains detailed instructions on the foundational practices of this tradition, from "The Excellent Chariot," a practice manual compiled by the Third Dzogchen Rinpoche. Distilling the teachings of the Heart Essence of the Dakinis into an accessible, easy-to-practice format, The Excellent Chariot leads the reader through the entire Buddhist path, starting with basic Buddhist contemplations that work to dislodge deeply ingrained patterns of thinking and behaving, and continuing on to the most advanced and secret meditative practices of the Great Perfection. The teachings in this volume are drawn largely from the writings of the great Nyingma master Longchenpa and the root texts of the Heart Essence of the Dakinis itself. The Third Dzogchen Rinpoche begins by discussing the correct way to study and practice the Great Perfection teachings before presenting an overview of the Great Perfection lineage and an explanation on the meaning and importance of empowerment. In the chapters that follow, he presents practical instructions on the outer and inner preliminaries, the so-called "ngöndro" practices. These practices enable the practitioner to transform and purify the mind, preparing it for the advanced Great Perfection meditation of Trekchö and Tögal, the breakthrough and direct leap. In addition to the translation mentioned above, Great Perfection: Outer and Inner Preliminaries contains a beautiful introduction by the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, a contemporary Great Perfection master, and an extensive glossary of key Great Perfection terminology.