This moment is the gateway to enlightenment. It is the only moment we have to be joyful, mindful, and awake. The key is to be there for yourself--to learn to be fully present in your life. This, Thich Nhat Hanh explains, is the heart of Buddhist practice. In this introduction to the practice of presence, the beloved Buddhist teacher provides indispensable insight on the essentials of Buddhist thought and offers a range of simple, everyday practices for cultivating mindfulness. These teachings empower us to witness the wonder of life and transform our suffering, both within us and around us, into compassion, tenderness, and peace--not in some long and hard struggle, but in this very moment. As Thich Nhat Hanh declares, "the energy of mindfulness is the energy of the Buddha, and it can be produced by anybody." It's as simple as breathing in and breathing out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Tib. Lam rim chen mo) is one of the brightest jewels in the world's treasury of sacred literature. The author, Tsong-kha-pa, completed it in 1402, and it soon became one of the most renowned works of spiritual practice and philosophy in the world of Tibetan Buddhism. Because it condenses all the exoteric s?tra scriptures into a meditation manual that is easy to understand, scholars and practitioners rely on its authoritative presentation as a gateway that leads to a full understanding of the Buddha's teachings. Tsong-kha-pa took great pains to base his insights on 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. This second of three volumes covers the deeds of the bodhisattvas, as well as how to train in the six perfections.
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.
In this beautifully written memoir, a daughter travels to her mother's Tibetan homeland and finds both her own deep connections to her heritage and a people trying to maintain its cultural integrity despite Chinese occupation. After her mother dies in a car accident in India, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa decides to take a handful of her ashes back to her homeland in Tibet. Her mother left Tibet in her youth as a refugee and lived in exile the rest of her life, always yearning to return home. When the author arrives at the foothills of her mother's ancestral home in a nomadic village in East Tibet, she realizes that she had been preparing for this homecoming her whole life. Coming Home to Tibet is Dhompa's evocative tribute to her mother and a homeland that she knew little about. Dhompa's story is interlaced with poetic prose describing the land, people, and spirit of the country as experienced by a refugee seeing her country for the first time. It's an intriguing memoir and also an unusual inside view of life in contemporary Tibet, among ordinary people trying to negotiate the changes enforced on it by Chinese rule and modern society.
From beloved writing teacher and author of the best-selling Writing Down the Bones: a treasury of personal stories reflecting a life filled with journeys--inner and outer--zigzagging around the world and home again. Here, Natalie Goldberg, "a writer both energized and enlightened" (Julia Cameron), shares those vivid moments that have wakened her to new ways of being. We follow alongside her mapless meanderings in the New Mexican desert and her pilgrimages to Bob Dylan's birthplace and to Larry McMurtry's dusty Texas ghost town of rare books. We feel her deep hunger while she sits zazen in a monastery in Japan, and her profound loss when she hears of the passing of a dear friend while teaching in the French countryside. Through it all, she remains grounded in a life informed by two constants: the practices of writing and of Zen. With humor and insight, Natalie encircles around the essential questions these paths compel her toward: Where does this life lead? Who are we? This is a book to be relished one awakening at a time. Each story is a reminder that no matter how hard the situation or desolate you may feel, spring will come again, breaking through a cold winter, bringing early yellow forsythia flowers. And the Great Spring of enlightenment--that sudden rush of acceptance, pain cracking open, obstructions shattering--will also burst forth.
Here is a spiritual practice for developing a strong and open heart--drawn from Judaism's Mussar tradition. Mussar draws from the vast storehouse of Jewish wisdom, law, revelation, and text and brings it right home in a way that is completely practical. Judaism teaches that Torah (the collective wisdom of the tradition) provides the blueprint for human experience--and so the more of it we acquire, the more we gain a clearer, truer perspective on life and learn how to navigate its pathways. The phrase "acquiring Torah" is code for the process of internalizing this wisdom to bring about a genuine transformation of the inner self.In short, accessible chapters, this book describes forty-eight methods through which we can acquire Torah--and turns them into a straightforward practice. These methods include cultivating humility, joy, awe, goodheartedness, closeness with friends, not taking credit for oneself, judging others favorably, and so on. The fruit of working through each quality or method is a refined soul and a strong and open heart.
Buddhism began to take root in the West at just the same time that women's voices were arising to find expression here--after millennia of being relegated to the background. If that was a coincidence, it was an auspicious one, for the women who emerged as Buddhist teachers have been among the most articulate of Dharma-communicators--and they remain an indelible feature of Western Buddhism as the practice matures here. The remarkable range of their teaching is showcased in this anthology. The pieces featured touch on the topics that are at the heart of our lives--relationships, uncertainty, love, parenting, food, stress, mortality, living fully, and social responsibility. These approachable, engaging teachings illuminate Buddhist concepts and practices, such as meditation, tonglen, lovingkindness, cultivating gratitude, and deep relaxation. The book contains wisdom from such well-known and respected contemporary Buddhist teachers as Pema Chn, Ayya Khema, Sharon Salzberg, Toni Packer, Maurine Stuart, Karen Maezen Miller, Khandro Rinpoche, Jan Chozen Bays, Sister Chan Khong, Sylvia Boorstein, Pat Enkyo O'Hara, Darlene Cohen, Joanna Macy, Bonnie Myotai Treace, Tsultrim Allione, Tenzin Palmo, Tara Brach, Joan Sutherland, Carolyn Rose Gimian, Joan Halifax, Charlotte Joko Beck, and many others.
Modern science and classic spiritual traditions agree: regulating the breath leads to radiance and wellness of body, mind, and spirit. With the simple teachings and cutting-edge research offered in The Tibetan Yoga of Breath, you can start thriving just by integrating breathwork into your daily practice. Basic Yantra Yoga techniques--also called wind energy training--are the key to achieving this kind of vitality, down to the cellular level. Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo skillfully examine the teachings of Yantra Yoga and Buddhism through the lens of Western medical science. Their wise and accessible instruction reveals practices that are nourishing and transformative, delivering dramatic results--no experience with yoga or Buddhist meditation necessary.
The luminous presence of women who follow the Sufi Way--the mystical path of Islam--is brought to life here through their sacred songs and poetry, their dreams and visions, and stories of their efforts as they witness the Truth in many realms. These writings reflect the honor and respect for the feminine in the Sufi worldview, and they are shared in the spirit of inspiration and hope for the flourishing contributions of women to the spiritual development of humanity. Spanning the centuries, from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day, the selections are by or about an array of Sufi traditions in different parts of the world, from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to Europe and America--from beloved members of the Prophet's family to the mystic Rabi'a al-Adawiyya to the modern scholar Annemarie Schimmel. Biographical anecdotes and personal memoirs provide a glimpse into the experience of great saints and contemporary practitioners alike, while providing an introduction to the principles and practices of Sufism.
Love is the meaning of our existence, the raw material of transformation, the glorious way of access to Divine intimacy. This teaching infuses the lyric verse of Rumi (1207-1273), the greatest of the Sufi poets. The poems in this collection, taken from among the master's many volumes of work, focus on one of his greatest themes: how love grows and matures for those on the spiritual path. Kabir Helminski and Ahmad Rezwani have crafted a translation that remains faithful to the original Persian while giving eloquent expression to the joy of Rumi's astonishing encounter with the Divine.
The I Ching (Book of Change) is considered the oldest of the Chinese classics, and has throughout Chinese history commanded unsurpassed prestige and popularity. Containing several layers of text and given numerous levels of interpretation, the I Ching has been venerated for more than three thousand years as an oracle of fortune, a guide to success, and a source of wisdom. The underlying theme of the text is change, and how this fundamental force influences all aspects of life--from business and politics to personal relationships. This translation of the I Ching draws on ancient Confucian commentary, which emphasizes applying practical wisdom in everyday affairs.
The Tao is the ancient Chinese "Way" that has inspired numerous books, from The Tao of Physics to The Tao of Sex . This book might be called "The Tao of Tao." In 142 brief meditative essays, the author uses simple language and natural imagery to express the essence of the wisdom that holds the key to success in every human endeavor. Liu I-ming (b. 1737) was a Taoist adept and a scholar of Buddhism and Confucianism. He is the author of commentaries on several Taoist classics that have been published in English, including The Taoist I Ching , also translated by Thomas Cleary.
Making art--giving form to the images that arise in our mind's eye, our dreams, and our everyday lives--is a form of spiritual practice through which knowledge of ourselves can ripen into wisdom. This book offers encouragement for everyone to explore art making in this spirit of self-discovery--plus practical instructions on material, methods, and activities such as ways to: • Discover a personal myth or story • Recognize patterns and themes in one's life • Identify and release painful memories • Combine journaling and image making • Practice the ancient skill of active imagination • Connect with others through sharing one's art works Interwoven with this guidance is the intimate story of the author's own journey as a student, art therapist, teacher, wife, mother, and artist--and, most of all, as a woman who discovered a profound and healing connection with her soul through making art." Pat B. Allen Ph.D., ATR, is an artist and a registered art therapist who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She produces workshops, events, and collaborative projects around the country and directs an online image community at www.patballen.com, where readers can post their images and writings, communicate with the author and one another, and subscribe to an electronic newsletter. ""Allen has produced a wonderful book for anyone, artistic or not, who is interested in using art to know more about himself or herself."--Elizabeth Caulfield Felt, Washington State University, Pullman, Library Journal "Art Is A Way of Knowing has a practical, hands on, and experiential feel to it. It is like a guide book or a manual for those interested in self-exploration through creative activity. Allen persistently invites the reader to join her. I found her to be an encouraging and competent guide."--American Journal of Art Therapy "Finally, a self-help book that is true to the passionate and turbulent movements of the soul in the process of creation."--Shaun McNiff, Ph.D., author of Art as Medicine
Aikido is the "Art of Peace," a discipline that emphasizes harmony and the peaceful resolution of conflict. Far more than a self-defense technique, Aikido is a physical and spiritual discipline that aims at unifying the body and spirit with the natural forces of the universe, fostering compassion, wisdom, and fearlessness. This book introduces the basic principles and practices of this popular martial art and includes: • The biography of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), highlighting key events that led to the development of Aikido • The fundamental training methods and techniques, illustrated by dozens of photographs • The philosophical and spiritual dimensions of Aikido • How to choose an instructor • A glossary of important terms • Suggestions for further reading " John Stevens is Professor of Buddhist Studies and Aikido instructor at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai, Japan. He is the author or translator of over twenty books on Buddhism, Zen, Aikido, and Asian culture. He has practiced and taught Aikido all over the world. "Over the years, John Stevens Sensei has written enough books on Aikido and related topics to fill the martial-arts shelves of most bookstores. The latest in the series, The Shambhala Guide to Aikido, is an introduction. Stevens' hope, he explains in the book's introduction, is that this will be "the first book that Aikido instructors recommend to beginning students, as well as the one that Aikido practitioners present to their parents, friends, co-workers, partners, and spouses when confronted with the question, 'What is Aikido?'" Like some of Stevens' other books, The Shambhala Guide to Aikido contains many photos, which are accompanied by lengthy captions (some several hundred words long). A university professor in Japan, Stevens has access to much historical material, and the book contains twenty-four interesting pictures of O-Sensei at various stages of his life. The Shambhala Guide to Aikido is divided into four parts: a biography of the Founder, a section on the art of Aikido, a section on Aikido philosophy (which includes selections from O-Sensei's writings), and a discussion of "schools and styles" of Aikido. There is also a list of resources and a glossary. "[a] brief, engaging introduction to the Japanese defensive art of aikido..."-- Natural Health Magazine
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.