reviews

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    BuddhaFest 2011 Paid Member

    Good news for those looking for signs of enlightenment in our nation’s capital. From June 16 to 19, the second annual BuddhaFest took place right outside Washington, D.C., at the Artisphere’s Spectrum Theatre in Rosslyn, Virginia. Featuring Buddhist films, teachings, and meditation, BuddhaFest was organized by Eric Forbis and Gabriel Riera, two members of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW). (Tricycle cosponsored the festival.) “We want to serve the dharma by telling stories,” says Riera. “Films are a really good way of spreading the dharma.” More »
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    Finding True Love Paid Member

    The Novice: A Story of True Love Thich Nhat Hanh HarperOne, September 2011 160 pp.; $23.99 cloth More »
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    Stones of the Dalai Lama Paid Member

    In this North American road novel, an introspective "perfessor" and his lubricious sidekick take off into the Wild Blue Yonder—except that the Official Road Novel Vehicle, a '58 GMC pickup, breaks down just before the book's opening paragraph, and the duo end up in Tibet, exploring the universe according to the Vajrayana—the school of Buddhism known as the Diamond Vehicle. At its best, this novel transports us far beyond any ordinary Yonder, revealing against exotic backdrops the multifaceted illusion/realities that spin within each human mind. At its worst, it reads like Lobsang Rampa (Tibetan Buddhism's dubious popularizer) narrated by Howard Stern. More »
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    The Buddhist Priest Myoe Paid Member

    Returning in 1992 to my California sangha after two years in Japan, I was struck by the strong disjunction in approach to practice in the different cultures. I came to feel this shift as being from Japanese Faith Buddhism to an American Jungian Buddhism, informed by unavoidable therapeutic preoccupations. The Buddhist Priest Myoe: A Life of Dreams, a psychological biography of the Japanese monk Myoe Koben (1173-1232) written by the prominent Japanese Jungian psychoanalyst Hayao Kawai, bridges this cultural gap by focusing on Myoe's extraordinary dream diary. More »
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    Seeds in the Heart Paid Member

    When Donald Keene first conceived of writing a history of Japanese literature, he expected to draw from his own lecture notes and complete the work in a couple of years. Twenty-five years later, he has published the fourth (following the earlier World Within Walls and the two-volume Dawn in the West) and final volume, Seeds in the Heart, a history of the first millennium of Japanese writing. This is scholarship of epic proportion. More »
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    Journey in Search of the Way Paid Member

    To be a Buddhist in the United States can sometimes mean struggling with a sense of cultural inadequacy. What would it be like to be a Buddhist in a Buddhist world, to have come to Buddhism as a child, surrounded by other practicing Buddhists? Journey in Search of the Way, the autobiography of a Japanese peasant woman named Satomi Myodo, dispels and fuels this feeling in turn. Satomi-san had the deep courage of the true spiritual seeker, and she grew up in a spiritually lively world, much of it Buddhist in flavor. Her story, written in 1956 when she was a sixty-year-old Zen Buddhist nun, is full of wonders and anguish, wonders that seem almost ordinary in her cultural context, and anguish that is in no way lessened by the multiplicity of spiritual seekers around her. More »