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    Dunhuang Paid Member

    Dunhuang: Buddhist Art at the Gateway of the Silk RoadApril 19–October 6, 2013China Institute, New York Situated at the edge of the Gobi Desert between Mongolia and Tibet, the oasis city of Dunhuang is home to a complex of Buddhist cave shrines created between the 4th and 14th centuries. It is one of a number of such complexes built in northern China following the breakup of the Han empire in 220 CE. While a weak imperial government in the south retained Confucianism as its official doctrine for somewhat longer, the non-Han nomadic tribes who took control of the north enthusiastically adopted Buddhism, which had arrived in China from India in the first century.  More »
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    Books in Brief Fall 2013 Paid Member

    For Buddhists, exploration and discovery have always referred to an inner journey, and the oldest, most formidable frontier remains the mind. While the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks long knew the divine power of dreams, no one experimented with this royal road—or passed on their techniques—quite as effectively as Tibetan yogis. They were pioneers of lucid dreaming, the experience of being consciously aware while in a dream state. For Tibetan Buddhists, dream yoga remains a high tantric teaching, unapproachable to most explorers.  More »
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    They Eat Puppies, Don't They? Paid Member

    They Eat Puppies, Don't They?By Christopher BuckleyGrand Central, 2013352 pp.; $15.00 paper The giant military contractor Groepping-Sprunt has a problem. Their executives dream of building the ultimate 21st-century weapon: a “predator drone the size of a commercial airliner,” complete with Gatling guns, Hellfire missiles, and cluster bombs. But Congress is balking at the multi-billion-dollar price tag. A “breathtakingly large and lethal killing machine” like this—let alone the even more deadly materiel they have secretly planned—requires a similarly large and lethal enemy. And right now, it’s not clear that America has one.  More »
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    A Tale for the Time Being Paid Member

    A Tale for the Time BeingBy Ruth OzekiViking, 2013422 pp.; $27.95 cloth “The time being” is an English translation of the Japanese word uji, which is the title of a short piece of writing about time, by the 13th-century Zen master and poet Eihei Dogen. The time being is deep time, as opposed to linear, chronological time. The time being is a kind of eternal present. A time being is also a being who lives in time, who is alive, and who will therefore die.  More »
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    Book Reviews Paid Member

    The SoloistMark SalzmanRandom House: New York, 1994.284 pp. $19.00 (cloth). Amy Hollowell This could have been a helluva book, a marvel, a veritable gem glistening in the dull, plastic body of contemporary American fiction. Or could it? Gould a novel that mixes so many genres—thriller, courtroom drama, love story, spiritual awakening—do justice to any of them, much less to the artful telling of a tale? And could any of the subjects in which the author dabbles here—Zen, classical music, Asian culture, immigrants in America, the U.S. legal system—be given much more than a monochromatic rendering? More »
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    Books in Brief Summer 2013 Paid Member

    Known as the Zen Master in basketball circles, Phil Jackson parlayed his unorthodox coaching methods inspired by Eastern philosophy into a record-breaking 11 NBA championship titles (6 with the Chicago Bulls; 5 with the LA Lakers), plus 2 more he won as a forward for the NY Knicks. Now retired, Jackson takes an all-encompassing look at his 19-year coaching career in Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success (Penguin Press, May 2013, $27.95, paper, 368 pp.). With its play-by-plays of games and locker-room talks on selflessness, mindfulness, and the Noble Eightfold Path, this is the sort of beach read that Buddhist sports fans will devour. More »