reviews

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    Outrageous Betrayal Paid Member

    The general attitude of the media and most of the public to Werner Erhard, often described as "America's most famous pop guru," was crystallized in a review of this book in Erhard's former hometown paper, The San Francisco Chronicle. The review concluded that "Outrageous Betrayal certainly succeeds as an indictment of Werner Erhard, who is portrayed here as a monster of selfishness. But the mystery of why so many people believed in the man and his message still remains to be solved." More »
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    The Healing Path Paid Member

    Seven years ago, death sent a greeting card to Mark Ian Barasch—a card in the form of a 3.5-centimeter malignant tumor on his thyroid gland. Fortunately for Barasch, as well as for readers of this moving and revelatory book, the message was taken to heart: change your life, heal your life, or suffer death—not just death that marks the end of a life, but the slow living death of a life lived without attention, without full heart and soul. At the time, Barasch was the editor in chief of New Age Journal and a student of Buddhism to boot—a man whose work reflected his beliefs, a man presumably harmony with himself and the world: an apparently unlikely candidate for an illness whose roots—according to the thinking of many—seem to lie as much in mind as in matter. But, as with many of us, Barasch's spiritual search and idealism existed side by side with an inner turmoil: as his More »
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    Opening the Hand of Thought Paid Member

    Between 1965 and 1975, while Kosho Uchiyama Roshi was abbot of Antaiji monastery in Kyoto, he kept an electric fan above the Buddha statue on the altar. One visitor expressed shock at this irreverence, but the iconoclastic Zen master insisted that the whirring appliance was just where it belonged. His reply became a teaching point in "The Wayseeker," his retirement lecture—the capstone to this wise, clear, deeply useful collection of his writings. More »
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    Wherever You Go There You Are Paid Member

    As founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Jon Kabat-Zinn teaches mindfulness meditation to housewives, plumbers, prison inmates, laundry workers, lawyers—a wide assortment of people. They come for better physical health, and get more. Kabat-Zinn does what many Buddhist centers have been criticized for not doing. He offers mindfulness meditation to the people—to the masses—stripped of elitism. You don't need lofty philosophical goals, spiritual hankering, or psychic angst to sit in Kabat-Zinn's class. Most come in with plain old physical ailments or disease, among them chronic pain, cancer, AIDS. More »
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    Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf Paid Member

    In the "snow country" around Niigata on the northwestern shores of Japan's main island, Honshu, the eighteenth-century Zen monk-poet Ryokan has assumed mythical proportions somewhat akin to our Johnny Appleseed. He inhabited a thatch-roofed hut among tall pines and dark hannoki alder a few hundred yards below Kokujo Temple on Kugami Mountain and lived by his begging bowl. He was revered for his personal warmth and compassion, particularly as he revealed it to children—playing games and bouncing his silk ball with them for hours on end. He referred to himself as Daiguor "great fool" Ryokan, bur he was nobody's fool. His calligraphy was very highly prized. He once inscribed on a child's kite, "Above heaven, big wind." More »
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    The Awakened One Paid Member

    As a student of Buddhism I have often wondered why a readable and intelligent "life of the Buddha" did not exist. There are indeed numerous translations, anthologies, and secondary sources that include the relevant materials for presenting a "life" of the Buddha, but for various reasons these works are not completely suitable for a serious but average audience. Books that present a "life" of the Buddha tend toward two extremes. The pioneering translations of Pali texts and the early twentieth-century studies of the Buddha's life are highly dependable in terms of scholarship, but are written in a Victorian language and idiom, or at best, affect a stiff Edwardian posture that is difficult for modern readers to penetrate. More »