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    A Dreamlike Path Paid Member

    When the Iron Bird FliesDirected by Victress Hitchcock Produced by Victress Hitchcock and Amber Bemak Released October 2012 96 minutes Download, Alive Mind Cinema, $19.95When the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959, following the unsuccessful Lhasa uprising, the Tibetan diaspora began in earnest. In her new documentary, When the Iron Bird Flies, longtime Buddhist practitioner Victress Hitchcock traces perhaps the most unexpected outcome of this tragedy, the arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. “Everything has two sides,” the Tibetan teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche deadpans in an early scene. “Unfortunate side is we lost country. Fortunate side is dharma went all over the world.” More »
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    Angry Cops and Shallow Cads Paid Member

    The Angry Buddhist By Seth Greenland Europa Editions, 2012 400 pp.; $16 paper The cover of my copy of Seth Greenland’s new book The Angry Buddhist shows a dreamy Southern California landscape with palms, a red-tiled roof, a desert mountain, and a swath of blue sky. Hovering in the sky is a quote from Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David: “The Angry Buddhist is a great novel. It’s satirical, it’s political, it’s sexual. All the things I love dearly. Finally, something to come home to.” Having recently read the book from cover to cover, I can attest that it is indeed satirical, political, sexual—and rather a blast to come home to. But is it a great novel? I think that’s a question worth asking—and I don’t mean that to sound even remotely flip. More »
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    Journey Through Samsara Paid Member

    SamsaraDirected by Ron FrickeProduced by Mark MagidsonReleased August 24, 201299 minutes Samsara is a film without dialogue or narration, a series of wondrous and occasionally bewildering images set to a vibrant original score. Director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson labored nearly five years to complete the film, traveling to 25 countries and editing the resulting footage together as a team. Their subjects range from a Buddhist monastery in Tibet to an auto-wreckage yard in California, from an ancient city in Burma to a modern prison in the Philippines. More »
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    Books in Brief Winter 2012 Paid Member

    Anyone who knows Huston Smith from his classic work, The World’s Religions, is in for a surprise with And Live Rejoicing: Chapters from a Charmed Life—Personal Encounters with Spiritual Mavericks, Remarkable Seekers, and the World’s Great Religious Leaders (New World Library, 2012, $15.95, 248 pp. paper). While Smith’s first memoir, Tales of Wonder, outlined the renowned religion scholar’s remarkable life, the new book fills in the details. And what a “life of joy, even in the vale of sorrow” it is. Smith lays it all out in pithy anecdotes, many of them about family, or friends like the Dalai Lama. More »
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    The Sounds of Silence Paid Member

    Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists Kay Larson The Penguin Press, 2012 478 pp.; $29.95 cloth More »
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    In the Middle of Nowhere Paid Member

    You’re so deep in the Colorado wilderness that for days the only human face you’ve seen is your own, in the reflection of a mountain stream or a tin canteen. You turn a bend, and where are you? In the rubble of an ancient Buddhist shrine? More »