reviews

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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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    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 »
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    Cheerleading for Capitalism (and Consciousness Too!) Paid Member

    Conscious Capitalism By John Mackey and Raj Sisodia Harvard Business Review Press, 2013 368 pp.; $27 cloth I don’t think Max Weber could have predicted the appearance of Conscious Capitalism. Weber was busy working to demystify capitalism and the origins of our current ideology of work when he wrote The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905). What horrified Weber most about the cultural forms that capitalism produced were the dehumanizing results that came along with the benefits of efficiency, division of labor, innovation, enterprise, and technology. More »
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    Meditation in the Modern World Paid Member

    buddhify The buddhify app takes the usual formula of meditating while sitting still, with minimal distractions, and flips it on its head. Instead of practice with no distractions, the focus of buddhify is meditation on the go. The app includes several contexts you can choose from, whether commuting, walking, or working out at the gym, and then serves up a selection of bit-sized guided audio practices tailored to those particular environments. This app is great for urban dwellers and for folks who are newer to meditation, or for those who would like to experiment with meditating in new environments. I also hear that kids love it—which probably has something to do with its funky orange design. buddhify.com Available for iPhone and Android More »