A few recommendations from...
Professor of South Asian religion,
University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington
Songs of Spiritual Experience:
Tibetan Buddhist Poems of Insight and Awakening
translated by ThuptenJinpa and Jas' Elsner (Shambhala Publications, 2000)
The kind of literature that provides heartfelt inspiration for a society that has too much mind.
The Hermit of Go Cliffs:
Timeless Instructions of a Tibetan Mystic
by Cyrus Steams
(Wisdom Publications, 2000)
Poetry that encourages us to find the kind of solitude in the midst of life that these great yogis found in the wilderness.
Seven Experiments that Could Change the World:
A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science
by Rupert Sheldrake
(Berkley Publishing Group, 1996)
This book suggests that there might be a place in which modem physics reinspires us, showing a more creative vision of the universe-where chaos is included in a dynamic order.
Associate teacher of the Dzogchen Foundation, Tibetan scholar, and writer
The Best of Meister Eckhart
by Meister Eckhart, edited by Halcyon Backhouse
(Crossroad Publishing Company, 1993)
I find most of the sermons inspiring, but "The Poor in Spirit" perhaps most of all for its uncompromising teaching about non-grasping and non-conceptualization. In some modem Buddhist writings, such words as the unconditioned, Buddha-nature, and rigpa are used without all the caution that is required to not make them into a thing, into something.
In "The Poor in Spirit" Meister Eckhart shows the rigor needed when speaking about that which one cannot speak about.
Waiting for God
by Simone Weil
The book isn't so interesting from the point of view of the notion of God, but rather for Simon Weil's reflections on the status of those hit by misfortune, and on how the gap separating self and other, and other and self, takes place. It is a beautiful complement to Shantideva's text, A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life.
Treasury of Dharma
by Geshe Rabten
(Edition Rabten, 1997)
A clear presentation of the important notions of Mahayana Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition.
Writer and Haihu poet,
Woodstock, New York
by Aryeh Kaplan
(Schocken Books, 1995)
In this and his other book, Meditation and the Bible, the late Orthodox rabbi Aryeh Kaplan performed amazing acts of spiritual archaeology, recovering many of the lost spiritual practices of the Western mystical tradition—some remarkably similar to Buddhist techniques.
by Mark Salzman
A Carmelite nun in present-day Los Angeles discovers that the mystical experiences which have made her famous as a poet may have been caused by a rare form of epilepsy. An exceptionally spare, beautiful novel.
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
by Shunryu Suzuki
More than thirty years after its initial publication, it still offers the clearest—and purest—vision of American Zen. ▼