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A visionary book by Thich Nhat Hanh and members of his community about the future of Buddhism
Thirty years ago, "mindfulness" was a Buddhist principle mostly obscure to the west. Today, it is a popular cure-all for Americans' daily problems. A massive and lucrative industry promotes mindfulness in every aspect of life, however mundane or unlikely: Americans of various faiths (or none at all) practice mindful eating, mindful sex, mindful parenting, mindfulness in the office, mindful sports, mindfulness-based stress relief and addiction recovery, and hire mindful divorce lawyers. Mindfulness is touted by members of Congress, CEOs, and Silicon Valley tech gurus, and is even being taught in public schools, hospitals, and the military. Focusing on such processes as the marketing, medicalization, and professionalization of meditation, Jeff Wilson reveals how Buddhism shed its countercultural image and was assimilated into mainstream American culture. The rise of mindfulness in America, Wilson argues, is a perfect example of how Buddhism enters new cultures and is domesticated: in each case, the new cultures take from Buddhism what they believe will relieve their specific distresses and concerns, and in the process create new forms of Buddhism adapted to their needs. Wilson also tackles the economics of the mindfulness movement, examining commercial programs, therapeutic services, and products such as books, films, CDs, and even smartphone applications. Mindful America is the first in-depth study of this phenomenon--invaluable for understanding how mindfulness came to be applied to such a vast array of non-religious concerns and how it can be reconciled with traditional Buddhism in America.
“Awakening Together combines the intimately personal, the Buddhist and universal into a loving, courageous, important work that will benefit all who read it. For anyone who longs to collaborate and create a just and inclusive community, Larry provides a brilliant guidebook.” —Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart How can we connect our personal spiritual journeys with the larger course of our shared human experience? How do we compassionately and wisely navigate belonging and exclusion in our own hearts? And how can we embrace diverse identities and experiences within our spiritual communities, building sanghas that make good on the promise of liberation for everyone? If you aren’t sure how to start this work, Awakening Together is for you. If you’ve begun but aren’t sure what the next steps are, this book is for you. If you’re already engaged in this work, this book will remind you none of us do this work alone. Whether you find yourself at the center or at the margins of your community, whether you’re a community member or a community leader, this book is for you.
This extraordinary story takes the reader from the rice fields of Vietnam, to the California coast, to a monastery in southwest France. Huong Huynh was born in the midst of war to a Vietnamese mother and a U.S. soldier. She dedicated her life to healing and transforming the suffering of other people as a doctor. When her partner suddenly drowned, she decided to become a Buddhist nun. Ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who gave her the name "Dang Nghiem" (Adornment with Nondiscrimination), she finally experienced her own healing. With humor, insight, and an irrepressible sense of joy, Sister Dang Nghiem's story offers inspiration and guidance for anyone who has dealt with suffering and loss. Book jacket.
The words and example of Gautama (often known by the title, "Buddha") have affected billions of people. But what do we really know about him? While there is much we cannot say for certain about the historical Gautama, this persuasive new biography provides the fullest and most plausible account yet. Weaving ancient sources and modern understanding into a compelling narrative, Gautama Buddha places his birth around 484 BCE, his Enlightenment in 449 BCE and his death in 404 BCE, a century later than the traditional dates. Vishvapani Blomfield examines Gautama's words and impact to shed fresh light on his culture, his spiritual search and the experiences and teachings that led his followers, to call him "The Awakened One." Placing Gautama in a credible historical setting without assuming that he was really just an ordinary person, this book draws on the myths and legends that surround him to illuminate the significance of his life. It traces Gautama's investigations of consciousness, his strikingly original view of life and his development of new forms of religious community and practice. This insightful and thought-provoking biography will appeal to anyone interested in history and religion, and in the Buddha as a thinker, spiritual teacher and a seminal cultural figure. Gautama Buddha is a gripping account of one of history's most powerful personalities.
If, as Buddhism claims, the potential for awakening exists in all human beings, we should be able to map the phenomenon with the same science we apply to other forms of consciousness. A student of cognitive social science and a Zen practitioner for more than forty years, Richard P. Boyle brings his sophisticated perspective to bear on the development of a theoretical model for both ordinary and awakened consciousness. Boyle conducts probing interviews with eleven prominent Western Buddhist teachers (Shinzen Young, John Tarrant, Ken McLeod, Ajahn Amaro, Martine Batchelor, Shaila Catherine, Gil Fronsdal, Stephen Batchelor, Pat Enkyo O'Hara, Bernie Glassman, and Joseph Goldstein) and one scientist (James Austin) who have experienced awakening. From the paths they traveled to enlightenment and their descriptions of the experience, he derives three fundamental properties of awakened consciousness. He then constructs an overarching model that explains how Buddhist practices help free the mind from attachments to reality and the self and make possible the three properties of awakening. Specifically, these teachers describe how they worked to control attention and quiet the mind, detach from ideas and habits, and open themselves to compassion. Boyle's account incorporates current theories of consciousness, sociological insights, and research in neuroscience to advance the study of awakened consciousness and help an even greater number of people to realize it.
"Essays on the Buddha's life making connections between spiritual practice and the Engaged Buddhism movement in which meditators allow their inner experience of peace to propel them into action for social justice and environmental protection"--

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