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    $16.76 $13.95 list($23.95)
    1. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook
    $4.95 $3.38
    2. The Art of War
    $12.56 $11.97 list($17.95)
    3. Sex and the Perfect Lover: Tao,
    $12.56 $8.00 list($17.95)
    4. The Tibetan Book of Living and
    $38.00 $36.36
    5. Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
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    6. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
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    7. Peace Is Every Step : The Path
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    8. The Tao of Pooh
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    9. The Shaolin Grandmasters' Text:
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    10. Miracle of Mindfulness an Introduction
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    11. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
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    12. The Web That Has No Weaver : Understanding
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    13. The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist
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    14. When Things Fall Apart : Heart
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    15. Osho Zen Tarot : The Transcendental
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    16. What the Buddha Taught
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    17. If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook
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    18. Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental
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    19. Heart of Buddha's Teaching
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    20. Mindfulness in Plain English

    1. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
    by Dalai Lama
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.76
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1573221112
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Putnam
    Sales Rank: 803
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit down with the Dalai Lama and really press him about life's persistent questions? Why are so many people unhappy? How can I abjure loneliness? How can we reduce conflict? Is romantic love true love? Why do we suffer?How should we deal with unfairness and anger? How do you handle the death of a loved one? These are the conundrums that psychiatrist Howard Cutler poses to the Dalai Lama during an extended period of interviews in The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living.

    At first, the Dalai Lama's answers seem simplistic, like a surface reading ofRobert Fulghum: Ask yourself if you really need something; our enemies can be our teachers; compassion brings peace of mind.Cutler pushes: But some people do seem happy with lots of possessions; but "suffering is life" is so pessimistic; but going to extremes provides the zest in life; but what if I don't believe in karma? As the Dalai Lama's responses become more involved, a coherent philosophy takes shape. Cutler then develops the Dalai Lama's answers in the context of scientific studies and cases from his own practice, substantiating and elaborating on what he finds to be a revolutionary psychology. Like any art, the art of happiness requires study and practice--and the talent for it, the Dalai Lama assures us, is in our nature. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (279)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Counter to the negative reviews
    I have noticed several reviews that blast Howard C. Cutler for the way he wrote this book.

    I would like to say that I think he did a good job.

    As an enthusiast of Buddhism, I am inclined to agree that I would have liked to heard more from the Dalai Lama himself, but I understand that the intent of this book was to allow non-buddhists to learn to appreciate and to implement this marvelous system of Buddhist psychology in their lives.

    In some senses, Buddhism is a science of understanding and mending the human psyche. For myself, I already understood a lot of the principles in the book, but it was very nice to hear a western psychologist's viewpoint. Sometimes I get lost in the volume of material there is to read about the practice of Buddhism. There are many different approaches to Buddhist thought.

    This book is perfect for any non-Buddhist who would like to get a taste of the basic psychology derived from the teacings of one of the most brilliant men in history, The Buddha. The Dalai Lama is a wonderful man in his own right, and is a very wise and worldly translator of this complex system of thought. His profound and well thought out answers to the questions posed by Cutler reflect the depth of his understanding of the human condition and the remedies prescribed by the Buddha to end the suffering that we all must endure.

    The Dalai Lama does not give a full exposition of the Buddhist teachings on any of the subjects presented in the book, but his answers are profound and can be put to use in the daily life of any westerner who desires to be happy. Cutler is a reassuring figure in the book who is there to raise the questions that any westerner might raise. More importantly, he is there to compare and contrast the words of the Dalai Lama to the work of western psychologists and to confirm and even exalt the approach of the Dalai Lama.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide To Happiness And Mental Health
    The Declaration of Independence asserts our self-evident right to pursue happiness, but doesn't teach us how to do so. The Dalai Lama says happiness is the goal of human existence and teaches us not just how to rid ourselves of the negative thoughts from which unhappiness springs, but also how to grow into an habitually positive frame of mind. This is not a selfish pursuit since compassion and altruism are understood as essential to personal happiness. In an age of road rage and air rage, depression and anxiety, such a guide to mental hygiene and growth is needed and welcome. I was initially disappointed that the book had two authors, but now consider this a strength. Dr. Culter not only adds western psychological information that complements "Buddhist" doctrine, but also provides good descriptions of the Dalai Lama, engages him in a running dialogue, and asks the questions that I would like to ask, particularly how a non-Buddhist would use the teaching just given. As it turns out there is very little in this book that is strictly "religious" or that would be unacceptable or impractical advice to a believer in another or in no faith at all. The Dalai Lama addresses himself specifically to such people. Obviously the book needs to be put into practice, not just read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to Buddhism and Dalai Lamas thoughts
    This is a good book to help you learn about the principles and ideas of Buddhism. Written for a Western audience, it takes up problems of daily life and how to be happy with the right mode of thinking. How to live a balanced, peaceful and happy life. Reading the book is easy. How to follow its teachings perhaps not that easy, but obviously worthwhile.


    5-0 out of 5 stars The Art of Happiness Explained By The Dalai Lama
    This is a thoroughly enjoyable book that is easy and interesting to read, understand, and most of all apply to your life.
    Here are a couple of quotes from this book that shed light on His Holiness The Dalai Lama's Views:

    P. 173: "The ability to look at events from different perspectives can be very helpful. Then, practicing this, one can use certain experiences, certain tragedies to develop a calmness of mind. One must realize that every phenomena, every event, has different aspects."

    "It seems that often when problems arise, our outlook becomes narrow. All of our attention may be focused on worrying about the problem, and we may have a sense that we're the only one that is going through such difficulties. This can lead to a kind of self-absorption that can make the problem seem very intense. When this happens, I think seeing things from a wider perspective can definitely help - realizing for instance, that there are many other people who have gone through similar experiences, and even worse experiences."

    When Howard Cutler questioned about dealing with anger, his question was: "...You might think about an event...even much later, and every time you think about it you become angry all over again. How would you suggest dealing with (this.")
    The Dalai Lama had this to say on P. 175: "If you look from a different angel, then surely the person who caused this anger in you will have a lot of other positive aspects, positive qualities. If you look carefully, you will also find that the act which has made you angry has also given you certain opportunities, something which otherwise would not have been possible, even from your point of view. So with effort you'll be able to see many different angles to a single event. This will help."

    By reading this book, you will gain a greater understanding of HOW to transform the difficulties in your life, by transforming your views of them. It will greatly contribute to your inner peace, as well as peaceful relations with others, along with how to deal with life's constant changes with calm and assurance.
    Highly Recommended! Barbara Rose, author 'If God Was Like Man'

    3-0 out of 5 stars FACT: Teachings in New Testament have Buddhist roots
    The book is ok .... I disagree with the retarded Christian from FL. It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to note that the Old Testament and the New Testament are of a completely different flavor. The Old Testament is full of fire and brimstone, an eye-for-an-eye kind of stuff whereas the New Testament has a distinctly Buddhist slant. Gee, I wonder if the fact that Jesus Christ spent several years in Tibet studying with the Buddhist monks had an influence on his teachings?!?!... ... Read more

    2. The Art of War
    by Sun Tzu
    list price: $4.95
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0762415983
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
    Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
    Sales Rank: 1309
    Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu is universally recognized as the greatest military strategist in history, a master of warfare interpretation. This condensed version of his influential classic imparts the knowledge and skills to overcome every adversary in war, at the office, or in everyday life. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars are you kidding me
    VERY DECEPTIVE. Makes it seem like its a hardcover book, yet it fits in the palm of my hand. its 3inches by 3inches. That is just ridiculous. On top of the deception, the "book" was a TOTAL RIP OFF.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Simply shoddy
    ``Don't judge a book by its cover.'' They could have at least gotten the Chinese characters the right way round -- the text on the cover is flipped left-to-right. I would not express surprise if this were representative of the contents (translation.)

    I can't say I'm particularly impressed with this edition of an otherwise great classic. (Allegedly. I've yet to read it. :-/)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Way screwed

    1-0 out of 5 stars Screwed!
    I expected a book not a pamphlet! Thank God I didnt pay alot or I really would have been Pis$#% Off!

    1-0 out of 5 stars I've been deceived.
    This book fits into the palm of my hand. I feel the seller deceived me in not disclosing this detail in the product description. ... Read more

    3. Sex and the Perfect Lover: Tao, Tantra, and the Kama Sutra
    by Mabel Iam
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0738704083
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
    Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
    Sales Rank: 928
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sexual desire is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. When repressed or expressed inappropriately, it can create problems-but when celebrated in a loving relationship, it can take you to the heights of sexual ecstasy and emotional fulfillment.

    Sex and the Perfect Lover is a guide for those who wish to strengthen sexual relationships and discover a source of power, pleasure, and intimacy like no other. Explore the magic and power of sacred sexuality through philosophies and practices both ancient and modern:

    -Visualization and other magical techniques to increase your sex appeal -Techniques for overcoming sexual blocks and inhibitions -Instructions for how men and women can achieve multiple orgasms, and how to find and stimulate a woman's G-Spot-Illustrations and descriptions of the positions of the Kama Sutra for increased intimacy and sexual pleasure -Techniques for a perfect first time with your lover -Tips for rekindling the flames of passion in an existing relationship -How to find your twin soul and the seven golden rules for creating loving relationships ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sex,the Perfect Lover is a guide for people in love or not
    Sex and the Perfect Lover is a guide for those who wish to strengthen sexual relationships and discover a source of power, pleasure, and intimacy like no other. Explore the magic and power of sacred sexuality through philosophies and practices both ancient and modern:

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is book about sex, tantra an tao
    more clear and nice that I read

    this book give many tips very clear, about sex, love and soulmates ... Read more

    4. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic & International Bestseller; Revised and Updated Edition
    by Sogyal Rinpoche, Patrick D. Gaffney, Andrew Harvey
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0062508342
    Catlog: Book (1994-04-22)
    Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
    Sales Rank: 3866
    Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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    In 1927, Walter Evans-Wentz published his translation of an obscure Tibetan Nyingma text and called it the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Popular Tibetan teacher Sogyal Rinpoche has transformed that ancient text, conveying a perennial philosophy that is at once religious, scientific, and practical. Through extraordinary anecdotes and stories from religious traditions East and West, Rinpoche introduces the reader to the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, moving gradually to the topics of death and dying. Death turns out to be less of a crisis and more of an opportunity. Concepts such as reincarnation, karma, and bardo and practices such as meditation, tonglen, and phowa teach us how to face death constructively. As a result, life becomes much richer. Like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Sogyal Rinpoche opens the door to a full experience of death. It is up to the reader to walk through. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (58)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A necessary read for seekers...
    My bookshelves are filled with books on many topics, including death and dying and spirituality -- this book might be the only book I really need.

    For years I have thought I must read the Tibetan Book of the Dead -- but whenever I tried, it was much too complicated for me to understand.

    Sogyal Rinpoche has written this book so that it is easily understood by anyone, even us Westerners, without compromising any of the Buddhist teachings it offers.

    In essence, we begin to die the moment we are born. We spend this life preparing to die well. Nothing is permanent, but we spend much of our lives filling our time with activities and pursuits that help us elude ourselves into thinking that what we see and touch is all that matters.

    Sogyal Rinpoche says, "To follow the path of wisdom has never been more urgent or more difficult. Our society is dedicated almost entirely to the celebration of ego, with all its sad fantasies about success and power, and it celebrates those very forces of greed and ignorance that are destroying the planet. It has never been more difficult to hear the unflattering voice of the truth, and never more difficult, once having heard it, to follow it: because there is nothing in the world around us that supports our choice, and the entire society in which we live seems to negate every idea of sacredness or eternal meaning. So at the time of our most acute danger, when our very future is in doubt, we as human beings find ourselves at our most bewildered, and trapped in a nightmare of our own creation."

    He writes about the importance of realizing the interconnectedness of all living beings (including nature), of meditation (and gives instructions and advice), of finding and being devoted to a good master (something very difficult for Westerners to accept -- he acknowledges that there are fraudulent ones about), of learning to live and learning to die, of letting go of egos and becoming egolessness. Throughout the book, he tells of female masters as well as males, something female readers may greatly appreciate.

    Sogyal Rinpoche is from Tibet, and speaks of the cruelty of the Chinese to the Tibetan Buddhists (very similar to the persecution of the early christians, and later the Jews by the Nazis -- when will we ever learn, but then that's the point of this book!)

    In the last section of the book, he speaks of "The Universal Process" which is about spirituality, living and dying of all humans, regardless of race, spiritual beliefs, gender or national origin. There are in the back two mantras with explanations and he shares photographs of his beloved masters. Throughout the book are inspiring poems from such poets as Rumi and St. Francis of Assisi, as well as Buddhists. In the very back he gives suggested readings, and offers phone numbers and addresses of Rigpa National Office, where those who are interested can find referrals to cources and study groups in the US, Canada and around the world.

    This book is a very good place for the seeker to begin. For those curious about Buddhism, or seriously interested in becoming a Buddha or a Buddhist, or just looking for more thoughts and information on death and dying, this book is excellent, easy to understand, thought-provoking.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a must for a Buddhist library
    This book fully captures the essence of Tibetan Buddhism. I don't claim to be an authority on the subject, but I was born into a Buddhist household that has remained faithful and reverent to both Mahayana and Hiyana traditions of Buddhism. From the information I've had passed on to me by both family and Tibetan Buddhist clergy, this book has never been contradictory to anything lecture I've heard. In fact, everybody seems to recommend it enthusiastically!

    Essentially, according to Tibetan Buddhism, the purpose of living is to cultivate the mind and purify the body and soul to prepare for death. Westerners may, at first glance, find this philosophy morbid. However, we must remember that reincarnation is integral to Buddhist text (and most world religions, for that matter; the 'one life' theory is actually relatively new). Death is explained as a transitional period, like the end of a chapter to a book. To waste away ones life is like wasting away all your money without care for the future. Basically, this philosophy heavily emphasizes living in the present with thoughtfulness and offers a plethora of Buddhist insight into life and death. It also stresses the urgency of cultivation in a day and age when we disregard life, old age, and disease as trivial matters and nothing that science cannot combat.

    The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is written by a Rinpoche. For those who are not familiar with Tibetan titles, a Lama is essentially a monk who has abandond wordly comforts for a spiritual pursuit, and a Rinpoche is a recognized reincarnation of an esteemed Lama.

    If you are a Buddhist, I highly recommend this book. It is enlightening, insightful, and an absolute must in any Buddhist library. Whether you follow the traditions of Chinese Buddhism, Zen or Chan, take the Amitabha or Guan Yin approach, etc., as a fellow Buddhist to another, you should not go without having this book. It's available in Chinese, as well, for the Buddhists out there who are more adept at Chinese than English.

    For seekers, this is a wonderful guide, as well. The best part with any book as wonderful as this is that everytime you read it, you'll find new insight in the words. Beginners and established Buddhists alike will take in much insight.

    I also highly recommend this to Buddhists who are unfamiliar with the Tibetan traditions. The Tibetan texts will open a whole new door for you. I know from personal experience, because my mother (who is the spiritual leader of the family) was originally a student of Chinese Buddhism, but after reading this book, our entire family discovered a whole other arena of philosophies that have done nothing but enrich our practices.

    So whether you're already a Buddhist wishing to broaden your knowledge, a Buddhist who would like new material to absorb, or a seeker who is just curious of the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, this book is definitely a must.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good book but
    This book was not really written by Sogyal Rimpoche. It was mainly written by Harvey mentioned as a secondary author (or someone else called Paul Harvey). This information comes to me via a Tibetan Buddhist who sponsored Sogyal Rimpoche's arrival and settling down in the UK. As a reviewer at and a Buddhist practitioner who has met Sogyal, I stand by the above statement. The informant was quite sure though the communication was provided under informal circumstances.

    Before I continue, in the publishing world it is probably not uncommon for books to be "authored" by one person but actually written by another. Jefferey Archer's editor or some other editors often may have written a book under the umbrella of a lucrative author.

    Sogyal Rimpoche has started Rigpa and earns a lot of money. His disciples carry cash in suitcases (I gathered from the above source and am not surprised after attending one of Sogyal's retreats). He was disowned by or he disowned Dujom Rimpoche his teacher. Sogyal is fond of quoting his familial links and relationship to Dujom or the Dalai Lama and is regarded as some sort of incarnation (aren't we all?). Sogyal Rimpoche was informed that he was not mature enough to teach in the Nyngma tradition and was asked to return to Tibet. He refused.

    Harvey kept the fee and Sogyal harvests the royalties.

    This book is a cherry picked slice of Tibet's greatest teachings with highlights on death, rebirth, compassion incorporating practices somewhat external to a principal Tibetan source text on death and rebirth which forms the basis of the book. It is recommended reading before you go on a Sogyal retreat boosting sales. The book is not especially deep and designed to appeal. Small wonder it attracts few detractors.

    It reads rather well I suppose and Rimpoche remains a charismatic teacher. As long as you don't swallow it lock, stock and smoking barrel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exoteric
    All of the above reviews that I have sampled, are falling into a trap many 'western' philosophers get caught in. The psychologist Jung saw only the exoteric meaning. This is not a book on the act of actually dying physically, it is all a metaphor to confuse the non-initiates. The book is about ego-loss, specifically 'non-game ectasy' ego-loss. It is the death dying and rebirth of the ego. The 3 bardo's just represent states that are commonly encountered in the journey. The goal is to die, transcend briefly, and then the ego is reborn and the choice lies in ascending to a higher state (permanent growth) or to go to a lower level (or the same/similiar). That is the esoteric meaning, the entire book is metaphorical, if you aren't aquainted with altered consciousness then you will be lost. Useful in psychadelic ego-loss as well.

    The book itself is an excellent guide, I recommend strongly to pick up a version of The book of the dead if you seek consciousness alteration, and/or ego-loss.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Humorous, Insightful...Yet Quite Ambiguous
    This is a book which is extremely difficult to review due to the vast wealth of knowledge contained within the actual text. Sogyal Rinpoche was raised by some of the most prolific Tibetan teachers of modern times, the most well known may well have been Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. He had been an authority on all of the traditions of Tibet and a leader in the so called, "non partisan" movement. At any rate, this book does a lot of things for us. Rinpoche explores and explains the difficult and esoteric teachings of the famous Holy Text "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" to us, as well as some most interesting autobiographical looks at his own life. The most important thing to keep in mind when reading this book, is that it's as much about life as it is about death. Sogyal Rinpoche has a great sense of humor, something that is almost a necessity when explaining texts like this to the modern reader; it helps take the edge off of the weighty material at hand. The one and only reason I gave this book four stars is that indeed many of the issues explored are very cryptic; as some reviewers have pointed out. Some of it merely must be taken in with a grain of salt. But all around it is absolutely a worthwhile read that I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone. Enjoy! ... Read more

    5. Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
    list price: $38.00
    our price: $38.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593851391
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-09)
    Publisher: The Guilford Press
    Sales Rank: 19358
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Responding to growing interest among psychotherapists of all theoretical orientations, this practical book provides a comprehensive introduction to mindfulness and its clinical applications. The authors, who have been practicing both mindfulness and psychotherapy for decades, present a range of clear-cut procedures for implementing mindfulness techniques and teaching them to patients experiencing depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and other problems. Also addressed are ways that mindfulness practices can increase acceptance and empathy in the therapeutic relationship. The book reviews the philosophical underpinnings of mindfulness and presents compelling empirical findings. User-friendly features include illustrative case examples, practice exercises, and resource listings.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A special collection about nothing special
    As a psychotherapist for 30 years and a mindfulness practitioner for nearly 10 years, I have read a lot of good books and articles on both subjects."Mindfulness and Psychotherapy" is as clear and helpful in both disiplines as any I have encounted.The editors have done a 'mindful' job in selecting from an array of perspectives.Mindfulness is defined and contextualized for our western psychotherapeutic practice, while also placed in an historical and cultural framwork that informs and enlightens our understanding. Indeed the more philosophical essays are perhaps the strongest pieces in this marvelous compendium. We are reminded that the Buddah saw himself as a physician who sought to diagnose and find a cure for human suffering.Out of his own intimate encounter with suffering, he devised and revised a program that we in western psychological science are just now testing and finding curative-both for our clients and for ourselves.
    There is much here to be considered by all schools of psychotherapy.Paul Fulton presents an intriguing chapter on Mindfulness as Clinical Training. There are concise chapters on teaching mindfulness skills to clients (even children)with varying disorders, including panic,anxiety, depression, and psychophysiological problems. There is a comprehensive while managable 'Resources for the Clinician" appendix.
    Andrew Olendzki deserves special mention for his piece on "The Roots of Mindfulness."I had to stop highlighting as each page was yellowed with brightness.
    If you are a psychotherapist, a meditator, or thinking of practicing either, you will do well to read this wonderful book. ... Read more

    6. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
    by Robert M. Pirsig
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060958324
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 2463
    Average Customer Review: 4.01 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The modern epic that transformed a generation and continues to inspire millions -- a penetrating examination of how we live and how to live better.

    A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning, the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.

    This new edition is updated with important typographical changes, a penetrating new introduction, and a Reader's Guide that includes an interview with Pirsig and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (394)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buried treasure
    Read this book. Talk about it. Share it with your friends. This book is more important than one thinks at first glance. I have read it 5 times over the past 25 years, first as a teenager thinking it was about motorcycles, next as a Philosophy major at Harvard, and each time I have gotten something new out of it. It is more than a travel adventure. It is more than a father/son reconciliation story. It is more than an autobiographical odyssey of psychological redemption. It is even more than an "inquiry into values." This book reveals the greatest crime perpetrated against intellectual history. While Pirsig is concerned with a synthesis of Eastern and Western philosophical traditions, he points us to the violence done by Plato in his attack on the Sophists. Until Plato, Philosophy was a part of the common life. Sophists wandered the Greek world offering instruction (for pay) in rhetoric and Philosophy, and this was deemed the normal course of life. Even Plato's revered Socrates conducted his discourses in the marketplace, the agora. The aristocratic and elitist Plato's crime (in my view) was to whisk philosophical discussion away from the agora and put it in the acadamy, where it has remained gathering dust for 25 centuries. His Theory of Forms tells us that few, if any other than himself, can see things as they "really are." The Republic tells us that only the philosopher-king (Plato himself being the leading candidate) is fit to rule. If all of Philosophy is a "response to Plato" as A.N. Whitehead put it, then we are debating with a traitor to humanity. Nothing is more relevant than a synthesis of the Philosophical and the Practical ways of being, as well as Eastern and Western ways of thinking. I have devoted my life to dragging the philosophical debate back from the academy into the agora where it belongs and where it can be of the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Reading and sharing this book with friends is a wonderful way to begin that pilgrimage yourself. I just wish someone would make a film of it. Can't you just see William Hurt in the lead?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Rereading Many Times
    I first read ZAMM as a sociology class assignment in 1979. I hated it! I wondered why a sociology professor would want us to read this book. I bought the book second-hand, paying $.95 for it. What a DEAL! I still have it, full of my notes from my first reading.

    In 1987, an interest in Zen caused me to pull the book off the shelf and reread it. I discovered something the second time around...this is a GREAT BOOK.

    The relationship between the narrator and his son Chris evolves into something wonderful. The author's search for his former identity (pre electro-convulsive shock treatment) is a mystery tale unfolding. And the quest for the meaning of Quality hits home for me in my search for that inner peace that comes from "caring."

    You've got to care. Quality is about caring.

    You can see it at the supermarket when a checker really "cares." Most of the time, however, you see the uncaring. Ask the checker how he/she is doing, the answer you get is likely, "I'll be doing great when I get off." There's no heart...there's no caring. And so, Quality of service suffers.

    ZAMM gives timeless tips on how to get the "caring" back into the things you do. My life has been greatly changed by following some of the tips. It became evident in a statement that came to mind a few months ago... "Work is a state of mind we engage in when we feel we have no other choice." We always have a choice. It's only work if you don't enjoy what you're doing. The choice is clear...either change what you're doing, or change how you feel about what you're doing.

    Peace of mind comes with caring about what you're doing. All "work", every job, in some way or fashion, makes the world a better place. Find meaning in that. Find out how what you do makes the world a better place, and dwell on that contribution, rather than the short-term goal of getting off work.

    By the way, I'm on my 12th rereading of ZAMM. And every time I read it, I gain some new little insight.


    2-0 out of 5 stars ADD and the art of motorcycle maintenance
    Ugh. This book can't decide what it wants to be. Every time you get interested in a topic (and this book does contain some interesting topics from the travel narrative to some of the ideas expressed) it switches over to another topic before resolving anything. This is incredibly frustrating from the point of view of entertainment. Does this book want to be a novel and flow like one, or a middle-brow discussion of contemporary worldviews, or a amateur philosophy thesis? It suceeds only in being a very long and slow 400+ pages of several seperate books thrown together with minimal integration.

    3-0 out of 5 stars like beating your head against a brick wall
    I have never taken a philosophy course, so I will admit that having taken one might have better prepared me for this journey. It starts out very intriguing--both the physical motorcycle journey, and the narrarator's discussion of technology and art. Then, when we get up into "high country," I found myself completely lost. I have a bachelor's degree in English, so I think of myself as fairly intelligent. But perhaps it is like his analogy to reading Walden: you have to pause after every sentence and let it set in. It's just that if I did that, it would take me years to get through this book. Some wonderful ideas, but this book is definitely not light reading.

    1-0 out of 5 stars didn't even make it through the book
    I am an avid reader and consider myself fairly intelligent. I was excited to receive this book as a present since I heard so many wonderful things about it. The person who gave it to me said I would find myself referring back to it every 5 years of my life.

    Maybe it is me, but this book did not enlighten me. I made through 60 pages and realized it was just not the book for me. I found it long winded and I kept asking myself why I felt the need to go on.

    I finally had to good sense to stop. I felt like I was reading something written by an insane person that was projecting his own reality onto the world. ... Read more

    7. Peace Is Every Step : The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553351397
    Catlog: Book (1992-03-01)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 2892
    Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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    Thich Nhat Hanh's writing is deceptive in its subtlety. He'll go on and on with stories about tree-hugging or metaphors involving raw potatoes; he'll tell you how to eat mindfully, even how to breathe and walk; he'll suggest looking closely at a flower and to see the sun as your heart.As the Zen teacher Richard Baker commented, however, Nhat Hanh is "a cross between a cloud, a snail, and piece of heavy machinery." Sooner or later, it begins to sink in that Nhat Hanh is conveying a depth of psychology and a world outlook that require nothing less than a complete paradigm shift. Through his cute stories and compassionate admonitions, he gradually builds up to his philosophy of interbeing, the notion that none of us is separately, but rather that we inter-are. The ramifications are explosive. How can we mindlessly and selfishly pursue our individual ends, when we are inextricably bound up with everyone and everything else? We see an enemy not as focus of anger but as a human with a complex history, who could be us if we had the same history. Suffice it to say, that after reading Peace Is Every Step, you'll never look at a plastic bag the same way again, and you may even develop a penchant for hugging trees.--Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (51)

    5-0 out of 5 stars a moment of peace is waiting for you...
    How can you make a difference in this world? Reading PEACE IS EVERY STEP is definitely a step in the right direction. Thich Nhat Hanh illustrates in his beautifully simplistic way that peace is something that begins with the individual.

    One need not read the book from start to finish. Each chapter is a morsel of wisdom in and of itself. I use it as a daily meditation first thing in the morning. A gentle reminder as I start the day.

    This book radically changed the way that I look at the world. I have bought copies for so many of my friends and they have done the same after reading it. By passing this message of Peace along, we are in essence forming a Peace Movement. Please do yourself and your community a favor and read and savor this little volume of wisdom.

    A moment of peace is waiting for you...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerfully simple
    This is a book to savor slowly. I will sometimes just read a paragraph or two and set it down to let the words really be absorbed. While that is my approach, this is a thin book that can be read very quickly if one wishes.

    The prospective purchaser (or gift-giver) need not worry about this being "too Buddhist" or religious. Of course it encompasses Buddhism's most profound meanings, but the writing approach of Thich Nhat Hahn is warmly inviting as he simply speaks of more peaceful ways each of us can make our way in this world. His words, with little reference to Buddhist tenets, come across as common sense that we often need to rediscover.

    It is very much about the *personal* journey to peace, with gentle stories that remind and reveal the goodness within each of us, that goodness then expanding in ripples that touch those in our lives. The writing is open and sincere and stated with a direct kindness. It is truly wonderful how he makes such profound ideas and options so simple and broadly understandable.

    This is a book I love to give as a gift. I believe you will find his words to be worth your time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Practice This Book's Contents
    Following Nhat Hanh's book "Being Peace", this is my next favorite by this articulate Zen master. Within you will find commentaries and meditations straight from the heart of Thay, as well as stories of his life as an activist for peace. It is so very applicable to our daily lives. Lately it's become all too clear that this world needs a healthy serving of peace. Our spiritual mouths are so hungry for this. The meditations Thich Nhat Hanh has been celebrated worldwide for are captured within this deceptively slim book. For those of you who have come to know Thay through his wide body of books, you know how well he communicates points to all of us; always with a soothing ease and simplicity. That style is more than ever evident in this text. This work is a remarkable starting point for someone interested in looking into Buddhism, searching for balance in their lives; it's for non Buddhists who are simply looking for a way to bridge the gap of divisiveness. Thich Nhat Hanh is such a good friend to us all, and buying this magnificent book can help all of us become better friends to the world at large. Enjoy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars it makes me smile
    this book is an easy read that can be enjoyed by anyone. i think it would be hard to read this book and not feel better about your life after reading it. this book can bring you instant peace. i highly recommend it!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars pefect understanding
    This book will show you the way to accept others and yourself in the best ways of compassion. I especially like the parts about how flowers grow in garbage. Yeah, that sounds funny but when you look deeply at what it means it basically says that even though people have their bad points they all have something in common: a wanting to end suffering....and if they are suffering (the garbage) try to find the flower amongst it.

    Very insightful and a must read for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. ... Read more

    8. The Tao of Pooh
    by Benjamin Hoff
    list price: $11.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140067477
    Catlog: Book (1983-07-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 1560
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl. Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living. ... Read more

    Reviews (151)

    5-0 out of 5 stars No poo-poohing...
    'The Tao of Pooh', a fascinating synthesis of Eastern philosophy and Western children's literature, is done largely in conversational style between Benjamin Hoff, erstwhile writer, photographer and musician with a penchant for forests and bears. Thus, Pooh makes a natural philosophical companion. But, more than a companion, Pooh is, for Hoff, the very embodiment of the Tao.

    'It's about how to stay happy and calm under all circumstances!' I yelled.
    'Have you read it?' asked Pooh.

    This is two-way book: to explain Taoism through Winnie-the-Pooh, and to explain Winnie-the-Pooh (not always an easy task itself) through Taoism. Taoism, more academically, is a religion indigenous to China, built upon teachings primarily of Lao-tzu, with significant influence from Buddha and K'ung Fu-tse. It is in the teachings of harmony and emptiness and being of Lao-tzu, however, that Taoism draws its meaning, believing that earth is a reflection of heaven, and that the world 'is not a setter of traps but a teacher of valuable lessons.'

    As with many religions, this one took various guises: philosophic, monastic, structural, folk. But through them all, the imperceptible Tao, the essence of being, essentially undescribable, shapes the universe continually out of chaos, with a yin and yang alteration of perpetual transformation, in which nothing remains eternal save the Tao.

    This makes Pooh a perfect example and exemplar. 'For the written character P'u, the typical Chinese dictionary will give a definition of 'natural, simple, plain, honest.' P'u is composed of two separate characters combined: the first, the 'radical' or root-meaning one, is that for tree or wood; the second, the 'phonetic' or sound-giving one, is the character for dense growth or thicket.'

    Through semantic changes, perfectly in keeping with the Tao, we find that Pooh, or P'u, is actually a tree in the thicket, or a wood not cut, or finally, an Uncarved Block. And this, of course, is what pure being is.

    Pooh, in his journey through the Tao, with the Tao, of the Tao (it is a hard one to nail down, isn't it?) encounters many. This includes Eeyore, the terminally morose, who represents Knowledge for the sake of Complaining about Something. It also includes Owl, the Western successor of the 'Confucianist Dedicated Scholar', who believes he has all truth as his possession, and studies Knowledge for the Sake of Knowledge (even if it isn't always the best knowledge). 'You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.'

    Of course, all of the knowledge of the Owl, accompanied by the variable helpfulness of Rabbit who cannot stop activity in favour of just being something, couldn't figure out what had become of Christopher Robin, who left the Very Clear Note on his door:


    Who or what is a Backson? Backsons are those people trying to outrun their shadows and their footprints, not realising that to stand still and rest in the shade defeats the power of both. And of course, the Bisy Backson is never at a standstill. And of course, one cannot experience the Tao, be the Tao, know the Tao (well, you get the Tao) if one is perpetually on the run.

    The Bisy Backson is always


    or, maybe GONE SOON. Anywhere. Anywhere he hasn't been. Anywhere but where he is. Of course, the idea of not going anywhere is abhorrent to him, and there is no concept of being able to do nothing.

    Nothingness frees the mind. Nothing works like nothing. For there is nothing to distract you. Nothing to get in the way. Nothing to hinder you. Nothing means anything.

    Now, read that last sentence again, carefully.

    Nothing means anything.

    Any thing is by definition itself, but when it is no thing, it can become potentially any thing.

    'Oh, I see,' said Pooh.

    Wisdom lies in the way of Pooh, who shirks the busy-ness of Rabbit, the intellectual hubris of Owl, and the doom-saying of Eeyore. Pooh simply is, and enjoys being who he is. Pooh is a Master, who knows the Way. Learn from him. Learn to be with him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fabulous explaination of a difficult topic
    Benjamin Hoff has taken an intricate and complex philosophy and distilled it to its essence in the delightful Tao of Pooh. This is much easier to read and understand than the I Ching (Book of Changes) or the Tao ti Ching (Book of the Way.) With Pooh as your guide, Hoff clearly articulates the lessons and tenets of the Tao ("the Way").

    Taoism, a Chinese peasant religion and philosophy, was founded by Lao Tzu in the 5th century BC. Essentially it urges its followers not to resist the natural ebb and flow of life - after all, nature will always win, so why waste the energy? Hoff, using Pooh and the other characters of the Hundred Acre Wood, illustrate how "the Way" is practiced in day-to-day situations.

    Yet there is more to this wonderful little book than an elucidation of Taoism in practice. Hoff takes neither himself or his subject too seriously, often times having "conversations" with Pooh who, in his almost child-like simplicity, both emphasizes and embodies living "the Way".

    This is no children's book - but it is fun to read for its message, its messenger and its content. I recommend it without reservation.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Loveable, huggable, simple-minded Pooh
    This book completely expresses the simple-mindedness of Pooh & the simple-mindedness of Taoism. The author explains things that normally would confuse people in the plain 100-acres woods way so that everyone can understand. From the over thinking Owls to the Quiet minded Poohs. I read this book ever few months when I start to feel myself sway from quiet realistic thoughts. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who may be alittle confused or need alittle clarity.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a great introduction to the Way
    I bought this book in '95, and re read it about once a year. If you want a simple, wonderful introduction to how life can be, you might want to read this book.

    I do not agree with the other reviewers in this thread, who say this book is against the western lifestyle. The author does have criticism about the western civilisation, and if you think about it, it all does make sense.

    Thanks to this book I have found my path, and inner peace that goes with it. It has so many treasures inside, that I cannot even begin to mention them all...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Of Vinegar and Honey
    This is a wonderful book with a few minor flaws. Even if you have no wish to follow Tao, it can be taken as a fresh and light-hearted look at many of the timeless truisms we may already know but choose to ignore. It's also a jolly read.

    So it's a shame to quibble, but quibble I will. The first tale we are given is that of the vinegar tasters. Unfortunately Benjamin Hoff fails to heed the lesson as he repeatedly grimaces at the bitter taste left by western civilisation. Some sections are even likely to irritate (see other reviewers).

    p.s. some of my favourite ways of doing nothing include running, swimming and the gym; so I don't know what Hoff would make of me. ... Read more

    9. The Shaolin Grandmasters' Text: History, Philosophy, and Gung Fu of Shaolin Ch'an
    list price: $39.99
    our price: $26.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0975500902
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-15)
    Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
    Sales Rank: 93417
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    During a time of upheaval and destruction, Shaolin's abbots and priests scattered to the corners of the Earth. This book is an important part of their martial and Buddhist legacy.

    Beginning in 1901, the most senior priests of the Shaolin Order fled a war-ravaged China. Over a period of several years they gathered in New York City's Chinatown, which the Shaolin congregation called home until 1974, and developed a plan to preserve the Order's heritage. For the last 100 years, the Order of Shaolin Ch'an has worked quietly to preserve the traditions, philosophy, and arts of the Order in the United States of America.

    This text, written by Shaolin monks, explains the core of Shaolin philosophy to a public audience for the first time since the Order was founded in 520. Since 1970, Shaolin and its martial arts have increasingly become a focal point of popular culture. Misinformation and disinformation have anchored this growing notoriety. In contrast, this volume strives to accurately share what is spiritually meaningful and martially significant about Shaolin. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marvelous resource
    On the whole, I thought this book was fantastic - although I certainly have a few quibbles. Since the quibbles are minor, I'll hit them first. I found the section on Daoism kind of sparse, and I would have liked to see more verifiable historic information.

    Other than those things, I found this to be the most comprehensive book on Shaolin (and Chinese martial arts in general) that I have ever read. Much of the book is about martial styles, but substantial space is also given to a discussion of Shaolin Buddhism, Qi Gong, history, and Shaolin traditions. The authors say that they represent a genuine Shaolin Buddhist tradition that has existed outside of China for the last 100 years. This could be true, as it is a very detailed and insightful book. Even if it isn't, the book has a wealth of information. As I alluded to already, most of the history is oral history - which is very common in Chinese martial arts - and that has its pros and cons.

    The presentation of Buddhism is straightforward and helped me understand the Shaolin approach to the Eight Fold Path. I also liked the fact that the book didn't read like some books and magazines that seem to be all about ego inflation. Most of the information is presented in a mature and humble manner, and this was refreshing.

    This book is a hefty yet accessible read, but is not a technique manual. Although there are some exercises detailed, there are no forms or martial techniques illustrated. There is a nice glossary.

    This book is a gem, and now sits next to Bruce Lee's "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do" in my personal martial arts library.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Rating Manipulation
    The quality of a product should stand on its own without people manipulating their own user ratings. Almost all the user ratings are posted by someone who only posted one time for this particular product.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Authoritative Source for Knowledge of Shaolin Chan
    Without repeating the comments in the reviews above, I will further support them by saying that this is perhaps the single best treatment on the history, philosophy, and practice of Shaolin Chan I've seen.I would highly recommend this book for anyone seeking an insider's, "one-stop shopping" treatment of the subject.While I do not want to give any criticism inappropriate weight, I must say that I do agree with their own disclaimer that the read is somewhat disjointed, given that several different author's sections were put together to form the whole volume.As a result, it's almost a literary collage rather than a smooth end-to-end read.Additionally, given the heavy use of American vernacular at times, I am sure that some of it at least had to have been written by Occidentals...nonetheless, I do highly prize this read and I enthusiastically recommend it to any serious student ofShaolin Chan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enhanced with charts, photographs, and themed artwork
    The Shaolin Grandmasters' Text: History, Philosophy, And Gung Fu Of Shaolin Ch'an is a richly informative and very strongly recommended survey of Shaolin history, Buddhism, and the martial arts associated with Shaolin practitioners. The authors purport to be two Shaolin monks with a direct and unbroken lineage to the Shaolin Order of dynastic China. Enhanced with charts, photographs, and themed artwork, this 304-page compendium is informed and informative as to Shaolin martial arts practices and the Buddhist philosophy that undergirds them. Especially commended to the attention of dedicated martial artists, The Shaolin Grandmasters' Text will also prove to be of particular interest to students of Buddhism and will correct a great deal of modern misinformation put out from the People's Republic Of China's attempted commercialized resurrection of Shaolin -- as well as the American cinema's distortions of authentic Shaolin practices.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait
    This book is the best account of Shaolin and its practices available. It appears to be the only book written with inside knowledge of the real Shaolin order. Wong Kiew Kit's "Art of Shaolin Kung Fu" is one of the better "outside looking in" books dealing with Shaolin, but it is clearly not authoritative. "Bodhisattva Warriors" by Shifu Tomio Nagaboshi, - and even though it denies the existence of Shaolin - gives an excellent look at the esoteric union of Buddhism and martial arts, but it is a mess organizationally and delves a little too deeply into esotericism.
    The Grandmasters' text has the most complete package of history, philosophy and martial practices of the Shaolin order available to anyone. It is destined to raise controversy as it challenges many of the current assumptions about the state of Shaolin in the world today. Definitely a must-read for anyone interested in Shaolin, Buddhism or the martial arts in general.
    ... Read more

    10. Miracle of Mindfulness an Introduction
    by Thich Nhat Hanh, Mobi Ho, Vo-Dinh Mai
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0807012394
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co
    Sales Rank: 2507
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    There have been more than 250,000 copies sold of this famous introduction to Buddhist meditation. Thich Nhat Hanh's gentle stories and exercises show us how to use the practice of ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book full of compassion and wisdom
    Thich Nhat Hanh provides you with wonderful advice on how to increase your awareness and mindfulness about the joys and beauty of everyday life. The Miracle of Mindfulness is a terrific book that gives you ways to exercise your mind and awareness in everyday situations. It gives wonderful meditation exercises for those that would like an enlightening experience without a lot of mystic or religious teachings thrown in, and who are perhaps too busy to spend an hour everyday in meditation. For me, it was a life-changing book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The antidote to civilization
    Most likely Thich Nhat Hanh's most popular and compelling work, Miracle of Mindfulness is as much about being mindful of your thoughts and consciousness as it is about just trying to relax in order to attain a sense of clarity. In a time of extreme angst and hasty deliberations, this book is an antidote to civilization. In a move that is reminiscent of Krishnamurti, he brings such mundane things as washing dishes alive through a sense of mindfulness and actually "being there" when doing things like daily chores. It gives one's life a sense of vitality and energy where there were once discordant thoughts. This world famous Buddhist of the Zen tradition presents a step-by-step approach that will appeal to all but especially to the self-help enthusiast out there with his begging bowl seeking gems of wisdom. This is by no means a trivial book and provides an extremely interesting counterpoint to books out there dealing with self-help. If we are to effect positive change in the world, we need to start from the inside - find that "happy place" and proceed with a sense of calm that allows us to find the road - to ourselves.

    Miguel Llora

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great guide for the beginning (or not beginning) meditator
    Thay's writings often seem so simple as to be simplistic or childish, but spend a little quality time with this book (or any of his huge output) and you'll realize that, like other great spiritual teachers, his words have a profoundly life-changing quality. In this classic text, he explains in simple poetic language the basics of meditation practice; what to do, what to expect, and why it's an important and meaningful practice. The operative word in Thay's teaching is PRACTICE, and he really does mean "practice" as if you were learning to play the piano or to play tennis. If absorbed and worked at every day, preferrably in the context of daily meditation as well as the normal interactions of daily life, these teachings have the power to create peace and joy for you and those with whom you live and work. This is the beauty of Buddhist teaching in general and the teachings of TNH in particular: they are not complex theological constructs but simple, practical steps designed to make you happy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, but audio version is not read by author
    If you've heard Thay's warm and thoughtful voice in tapes such as "The Art of Mindful Living" (essential), "Teachings in Love", and "Being Peace", you might find some of the beauty of the written book is lost in the audio version of "The Miracle of Mindfulness", as it is not read by Thich Nhat Hanh. If this is your first introduction to his work, and you haven't yet purchased the audio version of "The Art of Mindful Living", that might be your first selection. In books, "Peace is Every Step" is outstanding as a first choice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lifesaving revelation.
    This book was revolutionary for me. It was one of the most influential if not the most influential book in my life. It very easily explains a deeply fulfilling way of living which is just the opposite of what we are used to in the United States. It simply teaches us a way to live that is deep and meaningful and offers us an alternative to the unsatisfying lifestyles of our culture. It tells us truths we find unbelievable--that all one could ever want is right here, right now. There is nothing that needs to be attained, and nothing that can be lost. It shows us how to live these truths. ... Read more

    11. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
    by Shunryu Suzuki
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0834800799
    Catlog: Book (1973-04-01)
    Publisher: Weatherhill
    Sales Rank: 4898
    Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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    A respected Zen master in Japan and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, Shunryu Suzuki has blazed a path in American Buddhism like few others. He is the master who climbs down from the pages of the koan books and answers your questions face to face. If not face to face, you can at least find the answers as recorded in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, a transcription of juicy excerpts from his lectures. From diverse topics such as transience of the world, sudden enlightenment, and the nuts and bolts of meditation, Suzuki always returns to the idea of beginner's mind, a recognition that our original nature is our true nature. With beginner's mind, we dedicate ourselves to sincere practice, without the thought of gaining anything special. Day to day life becomes our Zen training, and we discover that "to study Buddhism is to study ourselves." And to know our true selves is to be enlightened. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (97)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mountains are Mountains
    It is March, 2000, and I have just ordered another 6 copies of this classic book on Zen sitting meditation. I first read it shortly after it was published in 1972, borrowed from the Cleveland Heights OH library. Since then I have returned to it many times and given many copies away to friends.

    Some are grieving a loss, some are facing a major personal challenge, like cancer. Some are simply searching for truth or a sense of themselves.

    In any case, I do agree with those reviewers who point novices toward a more traditionally instructive book like The Three Pillars of Zen. That book speaks to the logical structure of Zen study, its emphasis on teaching, practice and enlightenment. It is important to understand Zen in this historic and traditional light if one is to pursue it seriously. But Three Pillars is a "study book" - it is not a description of the sitting zen experience. Shunryu's lectures were "live" and directed to the experience itself.

    As in the old Zen saying, his words are fingers, pointing to the moon.

    Certainly, there may be purists who find dogmatic contradictions in some of Shunryu's comments. But he did not set out to teach the dogma!

    This is an excellent book the serious zen student will return to again and again. And for the "everday man" among us, the "beginner" Shunryu spoke to, it is much better than a handbook of Hazleton platitudes, an erstwhile koan or a list of Covey's rules.

    Sit up straight! Put your thoughts away! Sit and....

    5-0 out of 5 stars a zen classic...a book you can always come back to
    Weather you don't know anything about Zen or have been practicing for twenty years, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" will always give you something new. Out of all the Zen books I own, this is the one I am constantly going back to and re-reading. For many American Zen students, this is the book that started it all. "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is a collection of lectures given by Shrunryu Suzuki given to his students in Los Atlos, CA. They deal with the fundamentals of practice in the Soto Zen tradition started by Dogen in Japan. However it would be wrong to limit this book to just a tradition. I believe no matter what your beliefs or practices are, this book and the practice of zazen can help you. Suzuki emphasises strongly on practice which in Zen, its easy to get carried away with false ideas and I think that is what makes this book so helpful with my practice. So pick up this book and a Zafu and take the lotus position and be prepared to be changed forever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What is Buddhism? What is Zen?
    This book will not answer either of those questions. Therefore it should get 0 stars. However, I think it deserves 5 stars.

    Religious or philosophical traditions are among the most difficult to pass from one generation to the next without bollixing up the original spirit of the tradition. When Siddhartha experienced enlightenment 2500 years ago, did he envision all the crazy schizms, sects, misinterpretations, and frauds that would ensue as a result of his teachings? YES. But he decided to teach his experiences anyway.

    To many, religion is all about dogma or exactly how to practice it. If you don't kneel correctly at the right time of day or cut a fart in the middle of silent meditation, then you are a permanent failure and can never achieve the perfection that your guru/god is trying to teach you.

    Others abandon religion entirely, and say that you should reject any dogma that tells you what to believe and how to think. Organized religion is just a perpetual Multi-Level Marketing scheme, where the only way to be successful is to convince everyone else that you've found the truth and get them to pass it on. Evangelical Christianity is obviously the best example of this, but some people see elements of it in all religions, and they have a point.

    Is there a middle ground? I think so, even though it's sooo easy to slip to one side or the other. My goal is to find inspiration in different traditions, understand and respect them, and also to explore the elements that I don't agree with (Judeo-Christian-Islamic fundamentalism, for example). What can I do to build a bridge between myself and people with these beliefs?

    I find that reading works such as Zen Mind, Beginners Mind nurture that middle path. It doesn't give step-by-step instructions for achieving perfection, but by walking with Shunryu Suzuki for a few hours and listening to his conversation you get a glimpse of what it means to be alive and aware of what's happening around you. You don't learn Buddhist dogma (whatever that is), and you don't learn how to reject all other religions or philosophies, you just get to enjoy reading the words of a kinder, gentler person. To you he is giving the gift of his thoughts which you can either take and use or reject and go look for something else.

    If you feel that this book is new-age trash or baffling mumbo-jumbo, I hope you're able to find whatever's right for you and that it enriches your life accordingly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Soto Zen explained with perfect simplicity
    There are two major brands of Zen, the Soto (a.k.a. "gradual") and Rinzai (a.k.a. "sudden") schools. Shunryu Suzuki outlines with crisp clarity the fundamental beliefs and practices that underlie Soto Zen. "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is a collected edition of his talks which strike closest to the heart of the Soto school of the modern day. I found this book relevatory as a beginning practitioner of Zen.

    For beginners, I also recommend "Zen in the American Grain," by Kyogen Carlson. It's especially useful for those trying to reconcile Western culture with Zen practice.

    As a previous reviewer has noted, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is not intended as an introduction to "Buddhism" -- it seems to me that there are in fact far too many Buddhisms for such a book to be written.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Zen Book
    As a Chinese artist in the West, I think this is the best Zen book I have read!!! It is a powerful weapon, which helps people realize the ultimate reality. ... Read more

    12. The Web That Has No Weaver : Understanding Chinese Medicine
    by Ted J. Kaptchuk
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $14.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0809228408
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-11)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill
    Sales Rank: 8791
    Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Completely and thoroughly revised, The Web That Has No Weaver is the classic, comprehensive guide on the theory and practice of Chinese medicine. This accessible and invaluable resource has earned its place as the foremost authority in the synthesizing of Western and Eastern healing practices.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    3-0 out of 5 stars An OK source for TCM information
    I had to learn TCM basics as part of my chinese martial art training. This book was invaluable in learning the basics of TCM. Ted Kaptchuk's writing is at times confusing, but overall is pretty well easy to understand.

    A Great Book! 5 Stars

    ********************NEW COMMENTS************************
    The above was my former review of this book. It is now almost a year later and I am now enrolled in Chinese Medicine school. Now that I have to know a great deal of theory, I find that this book is a bit lacking on explanation, as compared to "Foundations of Chinese Medicine : A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists" by Giovanni Maciocia. This book, I find is a much better basic explanation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) than "The Web That Has No Weaver." Apparently the California Acupuncture board uses The Web book for their exams, as well as others including Giovanni's. I wanted to correct my review now that I have some perspective and understanding in Chinese Medicine. Still a good book with 3 stars.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening Primer on TCM and Taoist philosophy
    Lent to me by an acupuncture and herbal doctor, I originally read "The Web" without any prior background and found it extremely enlightening. Thousands of years of Chinese philosophy and medicine explained by a Western doctor helps to bridge the chasm between the two approaches to medical care.

    In the end, expect to be frustrated that Western medicine largely ignores what is proven to work, or steals the ideas and repackages them as "new".

    The irony of the title is that Taoist philosophy acknowledges the intricate web of life, but ignores the Creator (the weaver). This is because, unlike western medicine and philosophy, Taoists do not constantly ask "why?", but instead focus solely on mapping what is. Understanding this fundamental difference may be key to understanding the Chinese mind and how to deal with their government and people.

    This book gives one a sense of how much we could learn from the Chinese, and what Americans miss by ignoring a medical practice thousands of years old.

    Over the course of two years since first reading, my mind repeatedly returns to lessons learned from this book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars More Technical than you may want, but an eye-opening classic
    This text is often refered to as the classic introduction to Chinese Medicine Theory. Because I am not a practitioner of Chinese medicine--or of Biomedicine--I cannot comment on its accuracy of portraying its subject matter. (I have heard that various texts abound with differing interpretations.)

    I can say that the book is known as a classic, and it is HIGHLY DETAILED. It illustrates very well how Chinese Medicine is completely different from the view of health we are used to in "The West". For example, instead of diagnosing someone with cancer, or arrhythmia, or bronchitis, a diagnosis sounds something like dampness affecting the Spleen, Deficitent Kidney Yang, Congealed Blood, etc... (These are not respective equivalents for the western diagnoses cancer, et al.)

    And Blood, Kidney, Spleen, Spirit, and a host of other terms that look familiar to our eyes take on larger meanings than we are used to.

    What I liked best was the chapters on Meridians and on Organs, showing the organization of energy and systems of the human body.

    Other later chapters got extremely detailed. While this was more than I wanted, it was fine, I just skimmed them without trying to memorize or really remember too much. Just get a basic sense of how there is a completely different approach to health and illness, which showed me that different possibilities and viewpoints always exist. I definitely enjoyed the book despite being more technical than I wanted. It opened my eyes.

    (I am a massage therapist with just a pinch of training in "5 Element Theory" and Shiatsu, which is accupressure.)

    I found this book to be the most complete resource on Traditional Chinese Medicine. It goes through the introduction and goes to quite deep details of the basics, the diagnoses, and more. I found this book to be the best so far at explaining pulse diagnosis on a level understandable to a beginner.
    This book can be read on many, many levels. It is meant to be read several times over the course of one's studies of TCM, each time getting a bit more than the last time.
    Some advice to beginners like myself: If while reading this book you get stuck and feel uninterested and repelled by some part of the chapter, just skip it and move on. Don't get discouraged no matter what. You may just not be ready for that part yet. Skip it and move on to the next part. You can always come back and read it.
    I found that the language of this book is very easy and flowing, there is no difficult jargon at all. It is very smooth and easy to follow.
    An amazing book, I would recommend it to everyone interested in TCM!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars For those studying for the California State Board...
    This is a classic book for acupuncture in the U.S. In many places, it uses specific different terminology from other books. The appendixes contain a large amount of info on diagnosis and pattern differentiation. I had to pull out the patterns with unfamiliar names like "heat poison in the Liver and Gallbladder" to make sure I wasn't stumped on the test. Apart from the appendixes, however, the rest of the info is covered in other books or is too philosophical or speculative to be tested.

    It's not a bad first book for those new to chinese medicine, but it assumes you want to know a lot... and you may not! ... Read more

    13. The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art
    by John C. Huntington, Dina Bangdel, Robert A. F. Thurman
    list price: $95.00
    our price: $95.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1932476016
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
    Publisher: Serindia Publications
    Sales Rank: 178197
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars himalayan art at its best !
    This is really one of the few books that everyone seriously interested in himalayan art should not afford to miss. All the different aspects of the himalayan branch of the buddhistic religion / philosophy which have visual representation - from tangkas to statues, to any kind of ritual objects - are illustrated with exceptionally detailed, wonderful pictures, each supplemented by exhaustive descriptions. Entire chapters of the book introduce, and then guide, the reader to and through the meanders of a truly fascinating journey, which develops from peak to peak, from monastery to monastery in that magic world - suspended between land and sky - known as The Himalayas. This is one of those rare books with top class quality built in. Outstanding ! ... Read more

    14. When Things Fall Apart : Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics)
    by Pema Chodron
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1570623449
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-26)
    Publisher: Shambhala
    Sales Rank: 2456
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    How can we go on living "when things fall apart" – when we are overcome by pain, fear, and anxiety? Pema Chodron’s answer to that question contains some spectacularly good news: there is a fundamental happiness readily available to each one of us, no matter how difficult things seem to be. But to find it, we must learn to stop running from suffering, and instead actually learn to embrace it – fearlessly, compassionately, and with curiosity. This radical practice enables us to use all situations, even very painful ones, as means for discovering the truth and love that are utterly indestructible. ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Advice is not very useful
    This book caught my attention in a bookstore at a time when I was going through a lot of stress due to things "falling apart" in my life. Basically, I was in a situation where just nothing seemed to be going right. I bought this book and started reading it. It gets very quickly into the teachings of buddhism. The primary message that I got from the book was that of "letting go". Yes, this is one way of dealing with things when they get overwhelming. But there are other, far better ways, I think. This book is a valuable read for understanding buddhist philosophy. But, if you're looking for inspiration during trying times in your life, you'll have to look elsewhere--and there are plenty of such inspirational books. A good example of such a book is "Many Lives, Many Masters" by Brian Weiss.

    When one is going through difficult times, I don't think one should just give up and stop trying. But that is the recommendation of this book. Instead, I think one can change one's thoughts and one's expectations. But one should not stop making an effort altogether and just "let go" completely. The book's title is misleading; it won't really help someone whose life is falling apart. I know for sure that it didn't help me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Leaning into life's sharp points.
    Life's difficult times may be inevitable, but they're not a prerequisite for appreciating the 146 pages of wisdom found in this book. Pema Chodron is the director of Gampo Abbey in Pleasant Bay, Nova Scotia. WHEN THINGS FALL APART pays respect to her teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. We learn in the book's title essay, before becoming a Buddhist nun, Chodron survived the anger of a failed marriage. In truth, she writes, it saved her life (p. 10).

    Chodron's experience illustrates the point of the 22 "teachings" contained within this book: "Life is a good teacher and a good friend" (p. 10). Life, Chodron observes, "is like riding a train sitting backwards" (p. 143). Leaning into the sharp points along the way is the kind of instruction we can apply to our lives to bring about "revolutionary changes in how we perceive things" (p. 139). The thorny path through hope, fear, death, loneliness, opinion and chaos should not be avoided. It is the goal.

    I have now read Chodron's book twice. It is like a heart-to-heart encounter with an insightful friend. Thank you, Pema Chodron.

    G. Merritt

    5-0 out of 5 stars Infinite Power for Living
    I grew up and was deeply involved in a moderate Baptist church. For much of my life I considered myself a "good" Christian who knew that Jesus died for my sins and therefore I also knew that I was bound for heaven. But it wasn't until I was 40 years old and had seen my life fall apart that I decided to let go of my life completely, and give it to God.

    Interestingly, after this total commitment and release to God, I was immediately and strangely drawn to the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. Many wonder why this book was included in the bible because it seems to contain nothing but the pervading theme of hopelessness. Yet, its words seemed to give me comfort and a source of spiritual strength. It was difficult for me then to explain this to other Christians.

    Pema's book is a kind of contemporary practical application of the teaching found in Ecclesiastes. Of course our lives and our world are utterly evanescent. Nothing lasts. Yet, most of us become quite delusional during our lives by effectively denying this fact. We grab hold of anything we can that can give us a sense of a sustainable and unique identity... including our religious tradition. But any or all of this can be taken away in an instant. Both Pema's and Ecclesiastes' teachings have the power to bring us home by helping us to discover our eternal identity in the unmanifest... in the mystery of Infinite Spirit. Once we find our home there, nothing can shake us. There is a power and a joy that is not fully describable with words... because its source lies beyond words, beyond creation.

    In one of Jesus' prayers he asks God to bring all people into Oneness... "may they be One as we are One." Pure Oneness implies the loss (even death) of a separate identity, and the realization of a universal identity as One. Pema's use of the idea of hopelessness is really the movement through the death of our false and fleeting separate identities into the ultimate home of Oneness with each other and with God. I believe that Pema's teachings can aid any one that is ready, whose ego has been broken enough, to discover their eternal home even as they live in this manifested world. This can be a liberated life filled with the courage and fearlessness to bring Unconditional Love to the whole world, and especially to the seemingly unlovable.

    2-0 out of 5 stars OVERATED and MIND NUMBINGLY BORING
    I do not understand the fascination with Pema Chodron's works. Her voice sounds like somenoe who has never known a day of joy in her life. She is extremely repressed sounding and sucks the life out of LIFE. I felt like I was chocking on cardboard listening to her. While I agree with her that we shouldn't contine to believe that we can creat a permanence to our lives her way is just as devoid of seeing the truth. Lovingkindness and Compassion are what makes life worthwhile but I felt like my mind was being dragged over cement listening to how she thought we should go about accomplishing this. There are plenty of teachers who are better such as Jack Kornfield or Sharon Salzburg who seem to convey some of these ideas in a way that feels compassionate. I think Pema just has catchy titles for her books. She also offers no reasonable way to live out these teachings in a way that works towards peace or the caretaking of our planet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great work
    Pema Chodron is a beloved American Buddhist nun who trained under Chogyam Trungpa, the at times controversial Tibetan meditation master. Yet whatever qualms you may have in mind about him, please don't let that taint your perception of Pema. She is truly a shining, clear and loving teacher among us today.

    In this book Pema draws from the traditional Buddhist wisdom in order to give us thorough and kindhearted advice on what to do when, as the title suggests, "things fall apart." There is only one approach that grants lasting benefit, Pema tells us here, and that entails approaching these situations with openness and inquisitiveness. Teaching us to embrace our painful emotions, she shows the way on how to gain both wisdom and compassion not just towards and for ourselves, but for all people.

    "The Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of Harold Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen To Good People." - Publishers Weekly

    "This is a book that could serve you for a lifetime." - Natural Health Magazine ... Read more

    15. Osho Zen Tarot : The Transcendental Game Of Zen
    by Osho
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $17.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312117337
    Catlog: Book (1995-04-15)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
    Sales Rank: 14280
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    When life seems to be full of doubt and uncertainty we tend to look for a source of inspiration: what will happen in the future? What about my health, the children? What will happen if I make this decision and not that one? This is how the traditional tarot is often used, to satisfy a longing to know about the past and future. This Osho Zen Tarot focuses instead on gaining an understanding of the here and now. It is a system based on the wisdom of Zen, a wisdom that says events in the outer world simply reflect in the outer world simply reflect our own thoughts and feelings, even though we ourselves might be unclear about what those thoughts and feelings are. So it helps us to turn our attention away from outside events so we can find a new clarity of understanding in our innermost hearts. The conditions and states of mind portrayed by the contemporary images on the cards are all shown as being essentially transitional and transformative. The text in the accompanying book helps to interpret and understand the images in the simple, straightforward and down to earth language of Zen.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (65)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I own over 100 decks and this one gives the best readings!
    I have collected and read tarot for about 25 years. I have held and studied some of the oldest cards that are in the British Museum. I own over 100 decks. This deck was going to be just part of the collection -- until I read from it. I couldn't believe the insight and how well it fit with today's world and issues. It was like an epiphany. Most of my tarot reading friends have purchansed it after seeing me read from it. A friend who had been trying to read the tarot for years, but said she just couldn't get it, can read from this deck. The wonderful colors and imagery of the deck and the poetic language of the book trigger one's intuition into full gear before realizing it. Readers of other decks can quickly use it as it follows the traditional pattern but in an innovative way. New readers can also begin using it quickly as the deck and book are inspirational. I highly recommend this book/deck combination!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but very, very subtle
    I bought this package some-odd years ago as my first Tarot deck and was both delighted and disappointed. The Zen approach to card interpretation makes it very easy to begin readings, but leaves you with only a vague idea of what the combination of cards means. Most people want a hint to help make a decision, not a self-help recommendation. But I agree with the book in that "all answers lie within." Unfortunately, the meanings of many cards are subtle enough that I have to have the book at hand to derive an interpretation and they're all quite large, even for my 'palm-a-basketball' hands, and don't shuffle easily. The artwork is very "transcendental" rather than invoking intense emotions. I'm happy I bought this as my first deck and I use it off and on for issues that bother me, but I'd find a more entertaining deck to give readings with.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Provides Clarity in a Crazy World
    I've picked up the Zen Tarot numerous times in the last few years, mainly to understand what is going on in my life, what attitude would serve me when confronted with unknown situations and unpredictable people ...
    I was first exposed to it in a virtual Dream Work class where we conclude every dream with a "reading" from Osho (or Rumi). What I most appreciate is the clarity and humor in this guidance. I've laughed a lot and always recognized ego's expressions in the material world. Anyone ready to grow and change will tremendously benefit from this. The illustrations by Ma Deva Padma are simply divine. Enjoy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An offbeat and highly intuitive deck.
    As soon as I unwrapped and shuffled this set, I did a "Celtic Cross" reading and was pretty amazed. For this first quickie "out of the box" reading, and without having read any of the commentary on the individual cards, I was gifted with a very insightful reading on my general situation at the time. It took all of five minutes. Very intuitive indeed!

    The card symbolism is fresh but the artwork is, for me at least, a bit variable in quality. As far as general "feel" goes, I can only gauge by the other decks I've tried, which aren't many. The readings do seem "softer" than my work with the Rider-Waite deck -- which seems to take a pretty clear-eyed, hard-edged view of things -- and certainly less dramatic than my William Blake deck.

    But while perhaps somewhat softer in atmosphere and feel than many decks, Osho Zen Tarot doesn't gloss over the hard questions. I receive quieter but still tough responses from these cards, if the situation demands it. Given its intuitiveness and "measured" feel, this deck seems especially suited for my daily one-card reading.

    Other decks may have a bit more depth to them in terms of symbolic complexity and intellectual appeal, but this isn't Tarot Lite by any means. I'm probably going to save my "bigger" inquiries for other decks, but as a quick and refreshing start to your day, I think Osho Zen Tarot would be hard to beat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Path from Worshipping to BEING an Enlightened One
    The wisdom of Osho contained in this illuminating book and card set transcends the ego's need to look for outer validation, to worship others, and instead will bring you the wisdom to become and integrate the wisdom and enlightenment that the Enlightened or "Awakened" ones have sought to teach humanity.

    Osho Zen Tarot teaches us to be fully ALIVE and to live with joy, to interact with others in compassion, to shed the ego's domain of fear that seeks to control all elements that exist outside of us, and to embrace our child-like wonder to experience life completely in the here and now.

    The path to freedom is written simply, and the wisdom profoundly applicable once you are open to its teachings. Osho's own words in this breathtaking book states: "It is the capacity not to worship buddhas but to BECOME a buddha, not to follow others, but to develop the awareness within that brings a quality of light and love to all that we do."

    I HIGHLY recommend this book not only for the reading you can do, but for the divine and illuminated wisdom it will bring to you so that you may live your life with the peace and joy you deserve.
    Barbara Rose, author of, 'Individual Power' and 'If God Was Like Man' ... Read more

    16. What the Buddha Taught
    by Walpola Rahula
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0802130313
    Catlog: Book (1974-07-01)
    Publisher: Grove Press
    Sales Rank: 9877
    Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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    Beneath the enormous umbrella of Buddhism, there is a diverse galaxy of customs and beliefs, but there is also a kernel of truth that every sect holds dear. Rahula Walpola, scholar and monk, discovers this foundation of Buddhism for us first through straightforward explication, never skipping over a point that has yet to be substantiated, then through translations from key scriptures. Logical and focused, these are the essentials of Buddhism; know them first, then move comfortably on to other Buddhist works. ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    5-0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING introductory text on Buddhism!
    The Ven. Dr. Walpola Sri Rahula has produced one of the best texts I have ever read on Buddhism! There are many out there that incorrectly talk about Buddhism and they also have many incorrect interpretations of the Buddha.

    Venerable Rahula does an outstanding job in his correct translations/interpetations of important teachings of Siddhattha.

    The reader is introduced to key Buddhist teachings such as:

    -The Buddhist attitude of Mind

    -The Four Noble Truths (each one having it's own chapter!) And the eightfold path as well as the five aggregates.

    -The doctrine of No-Soul: Anatta. This is one of the most important ones and the author talks about how 'self' is incorrectly being introduced by some authors, etc.

    -Meditation: Everything from a few 'basic' meditation techniques to such things as why meditate...

    -What the Buddha Taught and the World Today: This great section shows how to apply the Buddhas teachings into every day life. There is even the 10 duties of a ruler (Government) which would be great if some politicians read!

    And finally there is 'selected texts' which provide even more was a refreshing thing to read after the chapters and after reading the book it made sense when reading these selected texts!

    There is even a Glossary to help you understand words used in Buddhism. In fact throughout the book you are introduced to the correct sayings and words...

    All in all you should get this book even if you are already 'into' Buddhism.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still the best introductory book on Buddhism
    A clear and concise introduction to the central teachings of Buddhism--the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, "no-soul," meditation--by a Buddhist monk and scholar. Includes translations of selected Buddhist texts and a glossary of Buddhist vocabulary.

    When I first read "What the Buddha Taught" in college, it helped spark my interest in Buddhist practice, and one bit in particular has fundamentally shaped my approach to life and religion (Christianity as well as Buddhism): the story of the man wounded by a poisoned arrow, a parable illustrating the Buddha's utter noninterest in metaphysical speculation and his pragmatic and compassionate focus on liberation from suffering.

    (A good complement or follow-up to this book would be "Radiant Mind," a collection of essential Buddhist teachings from classical sources, with commentaries excerpted from the writings of contemporary Buddhist teachers. If you're looking for a "how to" book on meditation, I'd recommend "The Three Pillars of Zen.")

    5-0 out of 5 stars Joy and peace never had before!
    I know there are some people trying to make this a battleground to point out their differences and views between Theravada and other. no Self or Soul etc. I see this as two bulls walk to clear water to drink, but they fight over no clear or reasonable reason and leave the water muddy, which is undesirable to others or to them to drink..
    Forget about soul or not soul, but there is much more important, logical and beautiful things to learn from this book. Those things are free from all opinions but universal. It shows the world in a completely different way from other religions. It does not ask anyone to believe. But come and see for yourself. IF you disagree, that is fine. But clear understanding that gives you confident and assertiveness. Buddhists are free to question their own religion. There are no universal powers to watch your wrongdoing but you watch yourself.
    I am very glad that I came across this book. Now I learn to meditate and learn to love and be compassionate to everyone with no different regardless they are friends, enemies or unknown. I am not perfect but I am learning. The joy I get from this cannot explained by words.
    This book is not really for beginners as I see it. It needs an analytical mind to analyse it on your own time. Just reading it is not enough. My way is questioning while reading.
    But still I have lot to discover and understand. So far what I understood is rewarding.
    If you want to enjoy this book, make yourself free from conclusions before start. Have an open mind don't be afraid to question it try to understand it before you jump to conclusions.
    My doubt about rebirth is not scientifically proven but I found there is lot of researches and investigations have proven that this is very much a possibility.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive, succinct introduction to Buddhism
    I've been studying the Dhamma for over a quarter century, and have been fortunate in having a number of wonderful teachers. In my opinion, Rahula's book is the best introduction available. The book is also quite useful as it is the ultimate "briefer course" on the subject. Extremely well-ordered and organized, the book presents all the basic concepts and tenents of Buddhism, in concise and easily accessible explanations. Noteworthy is Rahula's blessed blend of economy and comprehensiveness. In less than 150 pages, an average reader can be well-versed in this magnificent teaching as it was originally disemminated. The entire book can be read in a couple of sittings (great for students under pressure, reads like higher order cliff notes!).

    Rahula, a Theravadan Monk, begins his discussion by relating the life of the Buddha (the dhamma) and continues with an exposition of "The Buddhist Attitude of Mind". Here he discusses with brevity and precision the purpose and essence of the Buddha's thought and enlightenment. In the following four chapters he discusses the details of that enlightenment, "The Four Noble Truths", which is simultaneuosly a map of "The Middle Way", the path the Buddha has prescribed to reach freedom (nibbana, which is Pali for the Sanskrit, nirvana). The next chapter deals with the most difficult concept for Western students, Anatta (the idea of 'no-soul'). In this chapter, there is also a clear and understandable discussion of 'paticcasamupada' which is often called in older English translations 'dependent-arising' or 'co-dependent arising'. This idea is the Buddha's theory of causation and is the central philosophical concept in Buddhism. Rahula translates it as 'conditioned genesis', but much more to the point is the contemporary Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh's translation of the idea as 'Interbeing'. However, in brevity, focus, and comprehensiveness, Rahula's explanation is most helpful. Following are chapters on meditation, mindfulness, and the potential helpfulness of Buddha's teaching for the contemporary world.
    Then, we get forty pages of selections from the most essential Buddhist texts, including Buddha's first talk after attaining enlightenment, the wonderful Dhammapada, the Metta-sutta, and much else. The book includes a comprehensive and informative glossary of Pali (the scriptural language of Buddhism in contrast to Sanskrit which is Vedic/Hindu)words, excellent Bibliography, and complete Index.
    The Theravadan teaching is the original teaching of Buddhism as close as the world's scholars and devotees can seem to get to how Gotama Buddha taught it. You simply cannot do better that this book for quickly attaining a foundational knowledge of Buddhism.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not "what the Buddha taught", but "What Theravada teaches"
    Having read this book through, and being a translator of Pali (the language of the oldest texts of Buddhism), one can only conclude that the Author, now dead, did not read Buddhism's teachings, but rather the secular materials of his personal school, the Theravada and its Abhidhamma.
    Mr. Rahulas claim, like that of Mr/Mrs. "Trinity" below is that, without evidences or citations from scripture, that Buddhism denied negated the Soul (attan/atman). This is however a baseless claim which cannot be substantiated in Sutra. In fact anatta is an adjective, not a noun. Buddhism says specifically: SN 3.196 "What does anatta mean Lord (Buddha)?...It means that form is non-self (anatta), feelings are non-self (anatta), and the other 3 aggregates.".
    I'm afraid that anyone reading this book will confuse Mr. Rahula's personal views as expressed by and thru his school (Hinayana/Abhidhammism) and superimpose that belief system in his book upon Buddhism's doctrine. In fact, Buddhism says:The Soul is Charioteer"[Jataka-2-1341], "I leave you now, having made my Soul the refuge (saranamatta) DN 2.120 and "The Self (atman) as refuge, with nary another as refuge" DN 2.100.
    I dare say that the claim by Rahula in his book that "anatta rejects the belief in a permanent unchanging Soul", is not scripturally verifiable in the least. Anatta is an adjective which refers to 22 things being devoid of Atman, "no-Soul" is specifically the Pali term: NATTHATTA' (literally "there is not/no[nattha]+atta'[Soul]), not anatta.
    The claim below to the effect that: "The central message of Buddhism is that ALL things are empty and dependently arising", is correct, the all (sabbe) is phenomena (sankhara), and are devoid of (sunna) the Atman and are dependently arisen (paticcasamuppada), however both Buddhism and the Upanishads say the identically same thing, to conclude that ABCDEF is not X (atman/soul), therefore X does not exist, (the conclusion of Rahula and a reviewer below) is a fallacy of composition.
    To parrot a reviewer below who said: "But don't believe either one of us just because we said so!" is true, which is why I have provided the scriptural evidences from Buddhist Sutta proving Rahula's "no-soul = Buddhist philosophy" claim to be groundless. I do not see the reviewer below refuting or upholding Rahula's claims by quoting Buddhism's sutras, hence it is ipso facto a "baseless claim composed entirely of conjecture". Mr. Rahula's book should correctly be titled "The secular opinions by and of Theravadins", it is incorrect and misleading to title this book "what the Buddha taught", since empirically the book contradicts Buddhism's main tenant to wit: "Dwell with the Soul as your Light, with the Soul as your refuge, with none other as refuge." [SN 5.154, DN 2.100, SN 3.42, DN 3.58, SN 5.163]. ... Read more

    17. If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path
    by Charlotte Sophia, Phd. Kasl
    list price: $12.00
    our price: $9.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140195831
    Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 8960
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In this practical, playful, yet spiritual guide, Charlotte Kasl, author of the highly successful Finding Joy: 101 Ways to Free Your Spirit and Dance with Life, shows you what it would be like to have the ancient wisdom of the Buddha to guide you through the dating process.

    Kasl brings a compassionate understanding to the anxiety and uneasiness of new love, and helps readers discover their potential for vibrant human connection based on awareness, kindness, and honesty. She approaches the dating process as a means for awakening, reminding us that when we live by spiritual rules, we bring curiosity and a light heart to the romantic journey.

    Filled with quotations from Zen, Sufi, and other wisdom traditions, and informed by the experiences of people from all walks of life, here is a relationship book that will appeal to readers looking for more than a Venus-meets-Mars solution to the complex affairs of the heart. ... Read more

    Reviews (37)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
    One nice thing about this book is that it doesn't get caught up in the whole male/female dating trap rules muck that clog the market. It asks you to be honest with yourself and others and to treat others with genuine love and compassion, which is something that is needed when it comes to male/female, straight/gay relations or any human relations. On the down side, it's mostly just a collection of common sense - there's nothing really unique in this book. Plus, as anyone who knows anything about Buddhism knows, the Buddha said nothing about romantic love. So, the book's premise itself is a little tenuous. I prefer "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A Little Book of Eastern Wisdom" by Taro Gold, which has taught me a great deal about the Buddhist view of life and has indirectly helped my relationships enormously.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the best relationship book ever
    If the Buddha Dated is the best guide to healthy relationships I've ever found. I recommend it all the time to anyone with relationship problems, or a tendency to have less than desirable results with others (friends included). No quick fix, but realistic spiritual-based advice that will help.

    I also highly recommend "If the Buddha Were In Love" by Kasl, which is an audiocassette series that will absolutely change the way you view love and relationships. But in a wonderful way.

    The books and tape series do not try to convert people into Buddhism (she incorporates all spiritualities, by the way), but I have found some people are put off by the mention of Buddhism. I wish they wouldn't and that they'd give it a chance.

    4-0 out of 5 stars nice
    Good book - most of it is common sense in the day to day dealing with folk in general. But then, common sense tends to be the kind easiest forgotten, so its a nice little reminder.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm finding one for each of those that are dearest to me.
    And this showed in _perfect_ condition! Thank you for aiding in my quest to bring this little guide to life to my dearest friends. I am happy to give this as a gift in the condition it is in.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect purchase of a perfect little guide to yourself...
    The transaction couldn't have gone better. The book looks as if you just removed the shrink wrap and sent it. Perfect!
    Thank you *bow* ... Read more

    18. Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game
    by Joseph Parent
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385504462
    Catlog: Book (2002-05-14)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 1618
    Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Vijay Singh, Masters and PGA Champion, says, "ZEN GOLF is the best book there is for connecting golf and the mind together. It's for everyone, and you're going to enjoy it. I keep it in my golf bag and take it with me everywhere." Charles Howell III says, "The techniques in ZEN GOLF for working with negative thoughts are better than any other psychological approach." In chapters such as "Never Keep More Than a Hundred Thoughts in Your Mind During Your Swing", "Isn't Where You Have to Play It From Punishment Enough?" and "How to Enjoy a Bad Round of Golf", the Dr. Joe Parent, a PGA TOUR Instructor, guides golfers with simple yet powerful techniques to prepare for, execute, and, equally important, respond to the results of any golf shot. The author draws on his teaching experience and sense of humor to offer special methods that have led to amazing improvements in the games of professionals and amateurs alike. By applying classic insights and stories from the Buddhist tradition to the challenges of golf, ZEN GOLF shows you how to make your mind an ally instead of an enemy: how to stay calm, clear the interference that leads to poor shots, and eliminate bad habits and mental mistakes.Clear, concise, and enlightening, this book introduces a unique perspective combining modern psychology, Buddhist wisdom and professional golf instruction. Zen Golf shapes ancient philosophies into new teachings, leading golfers to the effortless focus and unconditional confidence of being in "the zone." ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Once Is NOT enough!
    I read Zen Golf and immediately thought that this was THE best book on how to improve your golf game and how you enjoy it. The book is NOT how to create the perfect golf swing. It is all about the mental side of the game and how you can improve your results by improving the way you think. Shortly after reading the book, I realized that reading it only once and expecting to achieve the intended results was simply not enough. The book must be read multiple times, use a hi-liter to mark the passages you want to improve on. There are so many wonderful mental suggestions that it is almost impossible to pick them all up the first time you read the book. I thought so much of the book, I purchased the book on CDs. I have read the book three times and listened to the CD's twice and will continue to read and listen until I have a clear picture of exactly what I want to accomplish. Since I only play on weekends, the time between rounds/practice tends to dull the lessons learned if you read it only once. Once is simply not enough! I know of no other book on golf I would recommend more. The principles also apply to life in general and sales specifically. The similarities between golf and sales are incredible!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Point
    What's the point of golf? What are we trying to achieve while we're out there? Simply put, the point is to get the ball in the cup as quickly as possible and enjoy the process. I played a round early this summer, had an awful time, came off the course stressed and feeling bad about my behavior. I was literally hyperventalating over putts. Turns out I scored well. So something was amiss, right? This book has me enjoying the game again. Zen Golf is not a deep and difficult treatise of the deeper meaning of life and golf. It is closer to an instruction manual on how to play better golf and enjoy the game more. It addresses concepts like trust, confidence and positive thinking. I now enjoy those 3-iron punch shots out of the trees. I'm learning to enjoy those 5-footers. Every shot is an opportunity and there's no need for fear or negativity. My "evil caddie" seldom comes around, and when he does, I know what to do. This is simply the best golf book I've ever read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lowered my scores
    Okay, I'm not ready to turn pro now, but I had never once shot below 90 prior to reading this. Then, one night I was bored and picked it up (quick read -- couple hours or so) and decided to zen out next time on the course. I followed just a few simple ideas from the book and shot an 84. It was the first time in a while that golf was fun again and not so dang frustrating. Loved it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Listening Prepares Your Head for Golf
    Often I have a 30 minute drive or more to my favorite local daily fee course in the area that I live. As soon as I turn off the cell phone and head to the course I listen to several chapters (and sometimes I skip around) among 4 CDs to prepare my head for the day's round. I arrive at the course focused on golf. And that's where this CD excels. Dr. Parent has been able to pinpoint the various mentals games and thoughts that we serious golfers (even at a 20 handicap) think about and agonize over ever time we play. This books helps me to focus. I highly recommend it on CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Focus Focus Focus
    not as bad as the title sounds...maybe 4 3/4 stars...trys to get you to focus on what is right and not what will continue to distract you...a guy gave me the book to read that used to throw clubs when he was unhappy...said it changed his whole approach to the game...i havent seen him throw a club in 6 months so i thought I'd try the book too.
    I never threw clubs and now I figured out why....same indian shoots all the arrows...why be mad at myself..? ... Read more

    19. Heart of Buddha's Teaching
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767903692
    Catlog: Book (1999-06-08)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 6824
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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    What should we think when on the one hand Buddhism tells us that life is suffering and on the other we are told to enjoy life's every moment? Loved around the world for his simple, straightforward explanations of Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh has finally turned his hand to the very core of Buddhism and conundrums such as this. In the traditional way, Thich Nhat Hanh takes up the core teachings one by one--the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Twelve Links of Interdependent Co-Arising--but his approach is as fresh as a soft breeze through a plum orchard. For illustration, he dips into the vast stores of Buddhist literature right alongside contemporary anecdotes, pointing out subtleties that can get glossed over in other popular introductions. He also includes three short but key sutras, essential source teachings from which all Buddhism flows. Studying the basics of Buddhism under Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is like learning basketball from Michael Jordan. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (37)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The book of choice for an organized intro to buddhism
    This book is probably the single best book for those interested in learning the fundamentals of buddhism, as well as for those looking for a guidebook to refine and contemplate their buddhist views. Thich Nhat Hanh is living testimony that Buddhist practice can transform a life of suffering and despair into one of peace and joy. His books were the start of my path and this book is almost like a handbook to the four noble truths and the eightfold path, as well as other fundamental thoughts of buddhists. The language does get somewhat abstract and spiritual and may require some re-reading by some, especially those with no previous exposure to buddhism. Otherwise, the best book covering fundamental buddhism I've ever read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of how to apply Buddhist philosophy.
    Thich Nhat Hanh has written a book on Buddhist thought and practice that will appeal to those who want to gain practical insights from this great religion -- not necessarily a scholarly dissection. And that's the beauty of his work; he does not pick Buddhism apart as an intellectual ego-boosting exercise. Rather, he explains its essence, with clarity and some humor, and offers many sound suggestions for putting Buddhism to daily practice. Isn't this what Buddhism should really be? Moreover, he has such a knack for finding the appropriate metaphors to underscore key points. Example: When explaining the Buddhist principle of acceptance of the inevitability and necessity of suffering for realizing compassion, he likens this to visualizing the flowers that will some day emerge from the center of the compost pile.

    Hanh is humble in his approach. Never preachy, he doesn't want the reader to convert to any viewpoint -- only to find in Buddhism some tools for personal spiritual growth. I admire Hanh, a humble Buddhist monk in the Zen tradition. He took great personal risks in preaching peace and reconciliation at a time when his home nation of Vietnam and the United States were embroiled in bitter military conflict. He is not asking us to follow him, but to walk alongside him, and make our own discoveries. What a welcome change of pace from all those "sprirituality" books that push political agendas or become the basis of a commercialized enterprise. This one is genuine. Highly recommended for those of any faith. His other books are very worthwhile, too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Complete
    Many people like Thich Nhat Hanh's works for his uncandid simplicity. This book I feel is for both the initiated practitioners and uninitiated practitioners alike. Thay covers so very much in this book, it is a bit baffling to figure where the review should begin. When I originally purchased this book, I was looking for someone to expound a bit on all the "dogma" I believed I saw in Buddhism. I had read a few of Thich Nhat Hanh's earlier works and had always been impressed by his "unscholarly" approach to the Buddha Dharma.

    Nhat Hanh truly delivered to me what I came looking for, the book is so very thorough. He literally covers just about everything one needs to know about the "ritualistic or discipline oriented" side of practice here. Thich Nhat Hanh's Zen is a bit playful often, and although we see glimpses of that here, I have to say it almost IS a bit scholarly. It's truly a very exceptional book, sure to bring you more growth to personal practice.

    Please enjoy the book:)

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Second Level or Buddhism 102
    This is a good book - I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars - and 3 and a half is not available - as I write this I'm still not sure if it's getting 3 or 4 stars.

    Before I bought this book I (like you) wanted to read the reviews of others who have read the book. Trinity's review for some reason caught my attention and kept popping into my head as I read the book. Really just one theme - "Buddhism For A Generation Weaned On Mr. Rogers" specifically Trinity's view of the language.

    There were times where the language was too flowery. I know I'm reading about and am in the space of Buddhism and that this type of criticism goes against my preconceived notions of Buddhism, but it just bugged me here or there and I got distracted.

    My Wondering Monkey Brain aside I thought this book was a good next step. A good exploration into Buddhism that goes beyond the introductory level. That's what I was looking for - a next step onto the eightfold path or Buddhism 102.

    There are some very good things in this book. Very good detail into other avenues of Buddhism that I was not aware of. See the table of content. Part 1 and 2 I found excellent and familiar. Parts 3 and 4 were new and hard to follow, but all in all contained very good detail and specific areas and information.

    Again - this is a good 2nd step. If you're looking for a little more than you're used to or a little more in-depth view into Buddhism this is a good book.

    Good - not great. I'm still torn between giving a 3 or 4 star rating. Reluctantly I'm giving it a 3.

    Thich Nhat Hanh sounds like a fantastic man and you could feel his goodness and love coming through each chapter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Interconnected!
    This book requires the reader to explore the interelatedness of all the Buddhist doctrines. I read this at the same time as Bhante Gunaratana's *Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness* and found that it provided a depth and meaning that Gunaratana's simpler exposition did not. That's not to say that I was not confused at various points! But Thich Nhat Hanh's warmth and loving-kindness reaches right off the page to express the inner meaning of the Buddha's teaching in daily life. Well worth digging into. ... Read more

    20. Mindfulness in Plain English
    by Henepola Gunaratana, Bhante H. Gunaratana, Henepola Gunaratana
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $13.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0861713214
    Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
    Publisher: Wisdom Publications
    Sales Rank: 9225
    Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This step-by-step guide to Insight Meditation is truly practical and direct.This new edition includes the complete text of its best selling predecessor and a new chapter on loving-kindness, an especially important subject in today's fractious world. ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    5-0 out of 5 stars How to practice insight meditation and why
    This is an excellent book. It is in plain English. It provides step by step, detailed instruction in how to practice insight meditation and mindfulness. This is the type of meditation that the Buddha describes in his writings.

    But, in addition to providing the detailed nuts and bolts the author also explains why you should meditate and what you can get out of it.

    The specificity of the instruction is what sets this book apart. Yes, his is not the only way to do it. But, if you are starting out new this is exactly the type of book that will provide a road map for you. As you read more, attend classes, or a sitting group you can modify your practice. But even with such this book provides much helpful and specific advice of how to do it and what to do when problems arise. Which they will.

    In addition, the author's explanations of the whys of meditation have a surprising depth on re-read. Surprising because of their straight forward presentation. I've found revisiting the book most helpful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lucid, enjoyable instruction on insight meditation
    As stated on page 1 of this book, this is a "how to" manual. It does not expound on the philosophy and theoretical aspects of Buddhism (as is also stated on the first page), but instead explains how one can start the practice of meditation. The concept of mindfulness as the practice of "living in the moment" is presented in an engaging, conversational manner.

    The first chapter, "Meditation: Why Bother?" establishes the tone that meditation is an effective means to profoundly change the way one approaches life. I happen to follow a faith other than Buddhism, and the principles put forth in this book have a universal appeal that should alienate no one. Additionally, the writing has a contemporary style and the subject is presented as a practice that anyone can cultivate and apply to their daily lives. This is impressive when one considers the author was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1939 at the age of twelve.

    Chapters two and three describe what meditation is and what it isn't, giving beginners a clear idea of what they can expect from the rest of the book (and from insight meditation in general). The remainder of the text lays out the specifics of the practice such as how to sit, how to focus on the breath and how to deal with problems and distractions. The final sixty-or-so pages discuss the concept of mindfulness and its application in everyday life, both as a means of self-regard and for the development of relations with others.

    I highly recommend this book with its clear, engaging instruction and straightforward presentation of mindfulness meditation. It would be a worthy addition to the collection of anyone interested in this topic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mindfulness in Theravada Way
    Simple Way Great Result
    The Power of Mindfulness remains hidden force behind Theravada buddhism practices.
    Emotional Intelligence gets attention for the world since Daniel Goleman's best seller books "Emotional Intelligence".
    EQ is a pop word since then.
    This book is a way to practice meditation for improving Self-Awareness.(a component of EQ)
    Mindfulness is SATI in Pali Language.
    Simple language will make people easy to read through.
    However, to get deep understanding , people need a real practice !!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best available book but needs to offer better practical help
    One third of what you will learn about meditation will come from your teachers and your fellow class and retreat meditators; one third from yourself on your own patient journey - and one third from a good book. That book will sometimes seem the least important third, sometimes the most important part. Having read a shelf full, I find, Mindfulness in Plain English, to be the best available how to meditate guide - it is well written, clear, graceful and it covers all the issues tackled elsewhere.

    But it leaves out much advice that would have made it much better. 90% of those starting a meditation class drop out - meditation teachers such as Gunaratana rarely seek to find out why and so the small things that get in the way of even the most determined intentions. A good meditation book must tackle them - and Gunaratana like every writer does so only partially.

    Here is a list of a few of things that could be added.

    A beginner requires equipment to handle the 20, 30 or 40 minute duration of their meditation -- for example, a timer used in cooking (under something to dim its unpleasant alarm sound), or a CD burnt with silent tracks that end with one of bells. After a few months, time can be estimated by looking at a watch but in the initial days such checking just adds an additional and an unnecessary burden.

    Ear plugs (motor cyclist shops and internet sites are a good source), or ear muffs (internet sites again check for Bilsom or Peltor brands) might be an idea. Again after a few months, distracting sounds of kids, power tools, TVs in other rooms etc are not a problem, and can even add to the practice, but in the initial stages they add that extra difficulty.

    I guess that half of those that drop out would not if they were better prepared about these and other small practical issues.

    Also forget ideas about lotus positions, sitting Buddhas and Nirvana. Instead it is as if you have an old fashioned radio in your head. What is called 'meditation' is simply slowly and patiently learning how to shift its dial off its noisy stations. As you sit, you will find the radio dial keeps drifting back on to news or entertainment broadcasters. But carefully - the radio is delicate and needs a loving touch - you move using a focus upon your breath the dial back to silence. Slowly as you learn to move off the main stations your awareness becomes more sensitive. What was once emptiness is now discovered to be filled with the noise of distant stations and even static. Patiently with increasing tenderness and gentleness you keep moving the dial until you find yourself in awareness not of a silent radio but where you are.

    This kind of nonBuddhist practical advice is not in this book - or any other. Meditation books do not get written ground up from the problems that cause people to drop out. Nor do they give the practical tips that are soon forgotten by experienced meditators but that beginners need to stay the initial course. Sorry about being so negative about Gunaratana - you will not find a better book. Buy it, retake that mediation class that was dropped or never continued. But do not think meditation has yet to be written about in the way it should.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book in so many ways..
    This book is fabulous! It's written in a non-condisending way, very much "plain english". A fabulous step on the path to enlightenment! ... Read more

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