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41. Living Buddha, Living Christ
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42. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
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43. Radical Acceptance : Embracing
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44. Offerings : Buddhist Wisdom for
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45. Buddhism for Dummies
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46. The Wabi-Sabi House : The Japanese
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47. I Ching Workbook
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49. Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao
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53. Awake at Work : 35 Practical Buddhist
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54. The Life of the Buddha : According
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55. Code of the Samurai: A Modern
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60. Guanzi

41. Living Buddha, Living Christ
by Thich Nhat Hanh
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 1573225681
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 6974
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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If you have always assumed that Christianity and Buddhism are as far apart philosophically as their respective founders were geographically, you may be in for a bit of a surprise. In this national bestseller, Zen monk and social activist Thich Nhat Hanh draws parallels between these two traditions that have them walking, hand in hand, down the same path to salvation. In Christianity, he finds mindfulness in the Holy Spirit as an agent of healing. In Buddhism, he finds unqualified love in the form of compassion for all living things. And in both he finds an emphasis on living practice and community spirit.

The thread that binds the book is the same theme that draws many Christians toward Buddhism: mindfulness. Through anecdotes, scripture references, and teachings from both traditions, Nhat Hanh points out that mindfulness is an integral part of all religious practice and teaches us how to cultivate it in our own lives. Nhat Hanh has no desire to downplay the venerable theological and ritual teachings that distinguish Buddhism and Christianity, but he does cause one to consider that beyond the letter of doctrine lies a unity of truth. ... Read more

Reviews (57)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good attempt to show commonality
Thich Nhat Hanh's attempt to portray the commonality between Christianity and Buddhism is sometimes awkward and utilizes Gnostic Gospel text that may not be accepted by more conservative or fundamentalist Christians. (I would highly recommend Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels" as a quick introduction to the Gnostic Christians) However, it does make a number of excellent observations of the parallels of the teachings of Jesus and Buddha and begs the question of what the meeting of these to men would be like if they were able to meet in person. Thây's plea to release ourselves from our notions and concepts and to look open mindedly at all faiths is much needed in our fragmented world. This book helps one to see through much of the dogma and doctrine that perpetuates the mythology of terminal uniqueness and guides us gently to a better understanding of both Buddhist and Christian traditions. I would also recommend highly Thich Nhat Hanh's "Going Home, Jesus and Buddha as Brothers".

5-0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Compassion that lies at the heart of us all
Thich Nhat Hanh is a respected humanitarian as well as an insightful and intelligent author. The readability of this book is excellent for all people who seek to understand the contemplations that stir within his beautiful mind. The way in which Thich Nhat Hanh can describe such joy and inner peace almost makes the reader share his peace for a time. For the Christian or the Buddhist this is a must-have book, if you don't have it yet get it now, no really, right now, I'll wait. Jesus and siddartha have always been recognized as very similar and their must be a hunred books out there that compare them. This book doesn't do that; instead it compares both of the religions they founded and the common positive goal between them. Understandibly Thich Nhat Hanh uses many mor Buddhist metaphors but this should not imply that he has no knowledge of Christianity. It is obvious that Thich Nhat Hanh (I continue to use his full honorary as a sign of respect) has a breadth of understanding in reference to Christianity that some Christians fail to grasp.

Definitely read this book. It is a work of beauty and tranquility. I recommend it to everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME READ!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Thich speaks as someone who's suffered immeasurably. But his suffering, transformed, had enabled him tremendous insight.

Thich is able to understand the dynamics that underpin two great traditions. He is able to step outside of time and tradition on speak on truth.

He is not a "philosopher" or "lawyer" who plays with language to "prove" how these religions are one. Rather he speaks from his own experience to express his feelings regarding Jesus and Buddha.

Highly recommended to all Christians looking to deepen their understanding of the holy spirit and to open their hearts to the living Christ.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nijmegen, The Netherlands
In Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh explains the similarities between all earthly religions, giving particular emphasis on his own background in Buddhism and his view of Christianity as it has been formed by direct interactions both hostile (missionaries in Vietnam) and serene (monks, nuns, and priests met during travels). As somebody that can an outside-in view to both traditions, I heartily concur with Hanh. ... Read more

42. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
by B. K. S. Iyengar
list price: $21.95
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Asin: 0007145160
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Thorsons Publishers
Sales Rank: 68973
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book provided readers with a fresh and accessible translation of this ancient text. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The theory behind the practice
There was yoga before the time of Patanjali but it was not written down, or at least no text survives. We find elements of the practice in the Upanishads and of course in the Bhagavad Gita. But before Patanjali's codification there was no systematic text to guide the aspirant. Since then Patanjali's sutras have been translated into many languages along with commentary to elucidate the concise text, with Vyasa's commentary from the ninth century--upon which Iyengar makes some reliance--being the most important.

With the publication of this book a decade ago, B.K.S. Iyengar laid his claim to being one of the world's foremost experts not only on the practice of yoga--which he certainly is--but on its theory as well. Mark well that the bulk of what we call yoga stems from these pithy aphorisms first written down by the Indian sage Patanjali some eighteen hundred years ago.* One can see in this authoritative, comprehensive--indeed, nearly exhaustive--translation and commentary that Iyengar aspires to take his place among the great yogis of history.

For each of the 196 aphorisms (most texts have 195 omitting number 3.22 as superfluous, which Iyengar includes), Iyengar gives first the Sanskrit, then the Sanskrit in transliteration. Then he breaks down the expression into its individual words and gives an English translation of each word. Indeed he often gives several possible English equivalents for each Sanskrit word. Then he gives his English translation of the aphorism. In this way the reader can judge the fidelity of Iyengar's expression. Better yet, the reader can have reference to another translation (I have Ernest Wood's, Alistair Shearer's and Barbara Stoler Miller's in front of me, but there are many others) and compare the results, and in doing so, come to a fuller appreciation of Patanjali's sometimes enigmatic words.

Finally there are Iyengar's commentaries on each of the aphorisms, some of which cover several pages. Occasionally Iyengar gives tables for further clarification; indeed there are 18 tables and diagrams spread throughout the text. The sutras and commentary are framed with an Introduction, an Epilogue and four Appendices. There is a Glossary and an Index.

To be candid, there is more in this book than can be assimilated by most persons interested in yoga. Even the most sincere practitioners will find the information and interpretation given by Iyengar daunting. Some may also object to Iyengar's non-secular presentation. While he stops short of calling yoga a religion, it is only the word "religion" that is left out! Iyengar makes his position clear from the opening sutra which he translates as "With prayers for divine blessings, now begins an exposition of the sacred art of yoga." Usually this opening statement is rendered simply as, "Now, instruction in yoga." In the Sanskrit there are only three words. Iyengar even identifies Patanjali as "an evolved soul incarnated of his own will to help humanity" who has "assumed human form, experienced our sorrow and joys, and learned to transcend them." (p. 1)

Clearly Iyengar is taking a more spiritual position in this book than he took in his famous treatise on hatha yoga, Light on Yoga, first published in 1965, although even there he calls yoga "the true union of our will with the will of God."

Personally, I have no problem with this. Properly understood, yoga is a religion if one so desires; and properly understood yoga is not a religion if that is what is appropriate. Most authorities believe that yoga works best as an adjunct to religion so that one can practice yoga and remain devout in one's own faith; in fact this is the usual practice. Furthermore, the emphasis here, as in all of Iyengar's work, is on the practical and the non-sectarian so that Iyengar's yoga is accessible and appropriate for persons of all faiths, and is in negation of none.

I should add that from the spiritual yogi's point of view the idea of God is not personal. Although Patanjali refers to Isvara as our Lord and as God, many authorities believe that this is an inexplicit augmentation of his text that one may take or leave as one sees fit. Indeed most yogis who embrace God embrace a God similar to the God of the Vedas; that is a God that is Ineffable about which nothing can be said, a God beyond any human comprehension, a God without any attributes that we could name.

By the way, Patanjali's yoga is often referred to as astanga yoga (astanga meaning "eight-limbed") because there are eight limbs or steps leading to liberation. It is also called raja yoga, the so-called king's yoga that comes after one has mastered the preliminaries of hatha yoga. More correctly however, hatha yoga and raja yoga are both integral parts of Patanjali's program with the purely physical aspects including asana and pranayama being mentioned but without any exposition. It wasn't until the middle ages and such works as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Svatmarama that hatha yoga gained prominence as something separate.

There are four other yogas that have come down to us from ancient times that should not be confused with Patanjali's yoga. They are bhakti yoga, the yoga of faith and devotion; karma yoga, the yoga of selfless work; jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge; and tantric yoga, the mystical yoga of self-indulgence. All but the latter are mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita.

*Iyengar identifies Patanjali with the grammarian who lived some four hundred years earlier, but this is more of a traditional understanding than it is historical; most scholars including Georg Feuerstein and Mircea Eliade believe that Patanjali the grammarian and Patanjali the author of the Yoga Sutras are different persons who lived at different times.

Bottom line: this is as close to an essential work on Patanjali as I have read. Any serious aspirant should have this book and study it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well intentioned
Mr. Iyengar's translation and commentary on the Sutras is heavilly weighted and biased by his lifetime focus on hatha yoga. As a result, his commentary has neither the completenes of Satchidananda's "Yoga Sutras" nor the insightfulness of McAfee's "Beyond the Siddhis". But it does shed a different light on the sutras that can be appreciated by most of his yoga followers.

Barring his leaning toward arcane yogic language, the book is well written and easy to read. For completeness, all serious yogis should have a copy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Definitive Guide for the Aspiring Student
In today's world, the main problem with acquiring the knowledge of a new subject is the lack of contact with a learned teacher. Between traveling, busy daily schedules or just living in a place where there is no access to a learning facility, it is very difficult to pursue the topic of interest. Where the subject of yoga is concerned, B.K.S. Iyengar, a master of yogic knowledge and methods of practice, helps the hopeful student transverse this barrier by bringing to the masses his knowledge and direction in a series of wonderful books. He further enables the aspirant to better practice the vidhya (science) by developing easy to learn techniques and availing props to help in the process of practicing the techniques.

This particular book, Light on the Yoga Sutras, is an in-depth exposition of the philosophy behind the science of Yoga. It provides the student with the original sutras (verses) as written by Patanjali, the Indian sage who compiled the knowledge of yoga into written form over 2,000 years ago. The book then offers a translation and explanation of these sutras, effectively filling in the gaps of knowledge left by the intensely compact form of the original sutras.

From all my research into the subject when I first wanted to learn more about yoga, I can definitely say that this is one of the best books on the subject I have ever come across. B.K.S Iyengar provided me with the guidance and knowledge I needed to confidently pursue the subject without becoming discouraged.

I would recommend B.K.S Iyengar's Light on Yoga in addition to this book, for where this book provides the theory; Light on Yoga provides the practical methodology.
It is essential to fully understand both the practical and the theory to fully reap the benefits of yoga.

For those who want to delve even deeper into the science of yoga, Light on Pranayama the Yogic Art of Breathing provides one with the techniques and insight into the methods of breathing. It is a good addition as a learning aid, but not necessary until you are at ease with the asanas (postures) and have a good grasp of the theory and knowledge of yoga and are ready for more.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite translation of the yoga sutras
This is my favorite translation and commentary on the yoga sutras. Mr. Iyengar's direct way of communicating, along with his decades of deep personal practice, provide an insight into the sutras that few others can offer.

The practice of yoga does not require one to follow any specific religious discipline or belief, and this book reflects this. As Mr. Iyengar says, the Yoga Sutras provide one of the clearest descriptions of the human psyche ever written. Those wishing to deepen their understanding of this, through the practice of yoga or not, can benefit from this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Central to Yoga
Yoga and meditation are brought forth by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras and most modern Yoga systems and teachings are based on what Patanjali wrote.BKS Iyengar has been practicing and teaching Yoga for more than 60 years, so it is only natural that he should give us his work on the Sutras.As all readers who really delve into this book will find, the sutras are very dynamic, their interpretations changeable, deeper and richer as the reader matures.This is the kind of book that never has to leave your side.You will be surprised how something that you've read again and again all of a sudden has new meaning and gives new perspective to your life and hopes. ... Read more

43. Radical Acceptance : Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
list price: $15.00
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Asin: 0553380990
Catlog: Book (2004-11-23)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 42893
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much--just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work--to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully.
--from Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance

“Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering,” says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book.This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgments and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork--all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled. Radical Acceptance offers a path to freedom, including the day-to-day practical guidance developed over Dr. Brach’s twenty years of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students.

Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence of Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.
... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Suffering is Highly Over-rated!
Tara Brach's book was invaluable in helping me become more accepting of myself. Ms. Brach shares many useful stories and helpful insights. Radical Self Acceptance provides skillful exercises for dealing with many inner shadows. Not only does she bring light to issues of shame and feelings of unworthiness, she provides practical advice on how to awaken from self-suffering. I personally have greatly benefited from her courageous inquiry into the facets of angst that we all experience. In these turbulent times, this book illustrates many practices to embrace our personal struggles so that we can become more compassionate and live a fuller life. When Tara addresses her own vulnerabilities it provides me fortitude to face my own. I consider this book a great resource for understanding our greatest struggle today: ourselves. In our world filled with consumption and materialism, we make up many deluded stories that further separates us from ourselves and our world. Tara goes to the root of how we reinforce our sense of unworthiness. Ms. Brach's wonderful Buddhist and other spiritual teachings provide vivid examples of how we can feel less disconnected. This book is a powerful guide for showing that our self-hatred and shame threatens the future of our world with continuing strife. This book is a wonderful collection of Tara's teachings that weave together our sense of belonging amidst the constant sense of alienation that we unconsciously perpetuate. Finally, this book allows me to free myself from my sense of deficiency to understand that my suffering can be ameliorated with the knowledge that I am a part of a larger, awakening community of like-minded souls who are recovering from their shame. Radical Self Acceptance inspires me to fully "show up", accept, embrace and cultivate greater kindness in all my relationships.

5-0 out of 5 stars A truly amazing book that will change your life
I've read a number of books on Buddhism, and many of them include a fair amount of discussion on "suffering" and how much of our pain is perpetuated by our telling stories to ourselves. The mind (and heart) is seemingly forever tangled in a web of doubt, what-ifs, and events that exist mostly or entirely in one's head. As Mark Twain put it, "My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened."

That, in essence, is what /Radical Acceptance/ is about, but it goes above and beyond the seemingly brief gloss-over treatment traditional western Buddhist books give this subject. Tara Brach has crafted an amazing book that opens your eyes to just how much suffering we tend to bring upon ourselves. Despite the very serious nature of what this book deals with, it is a delight to read. With each turn of the page, you begin to see more and more clearly. It's like having a compassionate, age-old friend guide you down the road of your own emotions and thoughts.

If you take the time to truly digest what /Radical Acceptance/ is all about, I can guarantee it will change you forever. My brief description here cannot do it justice by any measure - just as the storytelling and strategizing of the mind cannot do justice to the vibrant reality of the world. You might think a book about suffering and self-delusion would be depressing, but it is entirely the opposite. It's like suddenly being able to see with clarity after being caught up in a dense fog for so long. And that, I believe, is the highest praise you can give any book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life As It Is
As the title of this marvelous book indicates, Tara Brach shows each and every one of us the path towards accepting our life as it is. This doesn't mean, as you may be wondering, never strive in the direction of change. It's just that, well, change is pretty much a given anyhow. Tara's philosophy (not necessarily writing style) reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh and his works on mindfulness. Like the book Anger by Nhat Hanh, Tara proposes we must embrace our emotions and perceived shortcomings with the love a mother would have for it's child. There is an absolute plethora of Buddhist/Self Help books on the shelves these days that aren't really worth mentioning, but this book stands out. The most important factor is that you don't even need to be practicing Buddhism to benefit from his wisdom. Just as I have learned from such Christian writers as Thomas Merton and Anthony de Mello, Christians (or any religious tradition's followers) can learn much from this. It's the kind of imperfect life experience all of us can relate to in her work that appeals to me. She's down to earth, introspective (as opposed to preachy), and compassionately skilled in all of her words. Tara Brach holds a Ph.D. and is a clinical psychologist in addition to being a lay Buddhist priest and vipassana meditation guide. In Washington, D.C. she founded the "Insight Meditation Community." She also participates in running various workshops nationally. If your making a "books to buy" list for 2004, put this on there; it's genuinely worth the read. Thanks Tara.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great book on mindfulness, but limited in other ways
Tara Brach is a great teacher of psychology and an especially brilliant teacher of mindfulness, but I think her teachings of Buddhism are reductionist when it comes to their fundamental core.

I concur with what many of the reviewers have said below about how well Tara Brach brings the Buddhist teachings on awareness and compassion to light. This book is particularly valuable for those who are interested in Buddhism as a collection of practical, secular techniques to improve personal well-being and social relationships. It is "accessible", "practical" and "heart-warming". In this sense Tara Brach is a master of human psychology.

However, those who are interested in seeing what the Buddha saw (which is a possiblity for all), in living in such a way that it is no longer necessary to cultivate joy but merely have bliss follow one like a shadow, in realizing the formless compassion of the Buddhas which is beyond the limited techniques of psychology, should question some of the assertions in this book.

The primary notion Tara Brach emphasizes which, while believable from a psychological perspective, is highly questionable from a Buddhist perspective, is the notion that "awareness is the true self" or "compassion is the true self". Tara Brach describes the true self as something one knows when one has the clear mind of meditation (whether seated or in daily life) or a compassionate heart, but doesn't know when one gets distracted or angry or self-doubting. In one passage, she describes being her true self one morning, getting distracted, and then losing touch with her true self. This makes it sound like the "true self" is some separate state, which is then defined with terms like awareness and compassion.

There are many different interpretations of Buddhism and there is no way to objectively to say which is 'right' or 'authentic', but the view that the true self is something which comes in one state of mind and leaves in another is highly suspect. The "true self" in Buddhism, to the extent that one wishes to use such terminology, is altogether everywhere, without differentiation or degree. It neither comes nor goes nor sits nor reclines. One does not need to do any practice or be in any state to realize it; it cannot be with you sometimes and not with you other times. It depends on no state of mind, no practice, no virtue - it is unconditioned.

All conditioned things (which includes the elements that we humans often mistakenly think we are such as our personalities or our virtues or our values or some profound mental/emotional state we come to) are intrinsically Nirvanic. In other words, confusion and anger are no less our "true self" than "awareness".

Read this book, love it, cherish it, and learn from it, but ask yourself whether the real cessation of suffering the Buddha knew is some state of "awareness" or "compassion", something that is here when you are clear minded and gone when you are not. I don't think that's what the Buddha taught.

But you can read the Majjhima Nikaya, available at Amazon, (Suttas 7, 10, 22, 26 are particularly relevant to this question) and find out for yourself.

Awareness and compassion are very important, but the Buddha did not mistake them for a "true self". The Buddha rode on a raft of such positive states, such good karma, to cross to the other shore, but when he got there, he abandoned even them, he knew what was before and after them and what illuminates them beyond any faculty, and that is what allowed him to save thousands of beings with merely a word or a smile or a gesture.

I think Tara Brach has written a brilliant book, but she could have improved it by staying within the limits of her own insight, not diminshing Buddhism with the confines of psychology. This books shows the limits of trying to express Buddhism with Western science and humanism, in other words of thinking the truths of Buddhism can be mastered without a shift in one's fundamental world view.

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 Cheers for Tara
I've been involved in Vipassana for many, many years and Tara Brach has always been a huge influence on me... Her skillful means at guiding people through the perils of the "monkey-mind" that overrun most everyone and offer practical suggestions on how we can actively choose to become whole and peaceful inside are second to none. Everyone should read this book because we all at one time or another struggle with "not being enough" in our daily endeavors or by our parents or coworkers or even friends. Tara shows a path to happiness that we should all heed. ... Read more

44. Offerings : Buddhist Wisdom for Every Day
by Olivier Follmi, Danielle Follmi
list price: $29.95
our price: $18.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584793155
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Sales Rank: 2698
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A book to contemplate each day, Offerings is a deeply thoughtful collection of wisdom and knowledge from the masters of Tibetan Buddhism. Three-hundred sixty-five photographs by Olivier Föllmi present an evocative new image every day-each accompanied by a choice Buddhist quote. This spiritual advice, which is suited to people of any belief or religious tradition, is organized into 52 themes, including spirituality, ancestors, money, trust, and dependence.

Danielle and Olivier Föllmi share a message of peace and hope in this new book. Through subjects that preoccupy us today, the masters of Tibetan Buddhist thought-including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa, Shabkar, Jack Kornfield, and Arnaud Desjardins-convey to us their vision of existence. Their collective and individual vision celebrates humanity and encourages continual self-improvement. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A world of compassion
I love this book. It was recently given to me as a birthday present and has become a way for me to reflect and start my day. Every morning I sit and open the page related to the same day. The photographs are stunning and although the book is heavy, the format makes it different, unforgettable among other books by its shape and beautiful cover photograph.
If you are one who believes in compassion, kindness and truthfulness about oneself's divine nature, then this book is for you. Enjoy! ... Read more

45. Buddhism for Dummies
by Jonathan Landaw, Stephan Bodian
list price: $21.99
our price: $14.95
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Asin: 0764553593
Catlog: Book (2003-02-24)
Publisher: For Dummies
Sales Rank: 13211
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the outside, Buddhism seems like a bundle of contradictions wrapped inside a paradox. It is a religion without a god, a belief system without rules, and a faith that encourages its adherents to question everything, including its own teachings. You could spend a lifetime studying Buddhist texts and following its observances and still feel like you’ve only just barely scratched the surface. Yet, over the past 2500 years, this lovely religion that preaches compassion, generosity, tolerance, selflessness and self-awareness has commanded the fervent devotion of hundreds of millions of people around the world who believe it to be the true path to enlightenment.

If you’re curious about Buddhism but feel intimidated by all the exotic jargon and strange trappings, this book is for you. Written by two leading American Buddhist teachers and scholars, it offers you a uniquely friendly way to explore the fascinating history of Buddhism and discover:

  • Who Buddha was and his significance in world history and spirituality
  • How the practice of Buddhism can enrich your everyday life
  • How Buddha’s teachings combine to create a path to enlightenment
  • Daily observances and meditation practices
  • How to fulfill your highest potential through Buddhism

In plain English, experts Jonathan Landaw and Stephan Bodian define the important terms, explain the key concepts and explore, in-depth a wide range of topics, including:

  • Buddha’s life and teachings and the evolution of the major Buddhist traditions
  • How Buddhism works as a religion, philosophy of life and a practical approach to dealing with life’s problems, all rolled into one
  • The idea that the mind is the source of all happiness and suffering
  • How the practices of wisdom and compassion can connect you with your inner spiritual resources
  • Meditation and other core Buddhist practices and how they can affect your everyday life
  • How to apply Buddhist teachings at each stage along the spiritual path

Whether you’re a searcher of truth, a student of religions, or just curious about what’s got Richard Gere and all the rest of those celebrity Buddhists so excited, Buddhism For Dummies is your intro to Buddhism basics. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mosquitoes are people, too!
I'm one of the "dummies" referred to in the title. What I knew about Buddhism I'd learned while studying the transcendental writers, Emerson, Thoreau etc. while in college.

This book is written by Stephan Bodian, an American Buddhist monk, and Jonathan Landaw, who has led meditation courses at Buddhist centers for over twenty-five years.

Despite its cheesy title, this book answered most of the questions I had about Buddhism:

Why the heck does the Buddha have so many names? He was born Prince Siddhartha, but once he became enlightened, he was called Shakyamuni Buddha. Bodhi, the tree under which he meditated, means enlightenment. Shakyamuni means enlightened sage of the Shakyas, the clan to which he belonged.

Was Buddha God? No, he was a real human thought to have lived between 563 and 483 BCE. When you see Buddhist monks prostate before a statue of Buddha, they are praying to their inner Buddha. They believe each of us has the ability to achieve enlightenment (nirvana).

What is karma? Sort of credits you build up, both bad and good. Buddhists believe in reincarnation; karma credits transfer from life to life. So if you're dealt a bad hand; it's because you were naughty in a previous life.

What's the difference between Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism? The way I understand it, Theravada emphasizes individual enlightenment; whereas, the Mahayana's proponents are more worried about helping everyone achieve spiritual awakening. A Buddha becomes a Bodhisattva, sort of a savior like Shakyamuni. Theravadas also emphasize compassion and kindness which is pretty much the same thing. Zen Buddhism and Vajrayana (Tibetan) are offshoots of Mahayana Buddhism.

What about heaven and hell? This is where they lost me. Shakyamuni taught that suffering resulted from something called the "Wheel of Life." A diagram shows a pig (ignorance) giving birth to a rooster (desire or attachment) and a snake (aversion or hatred). There are also six realms of existence: God, anti-God, Human, Animal, hungry ghost, and hell being. Primarily through meditation and compassion, an entity can build up enough karma to work its way up to God. But the gods can be demoted if they run out of karma and they are always fighting the jealous anti-gods, so apparently they are not Buddhas. This wheel of life has existed in infinity; one of the authors says to remember that an enemy was probably at one time your mother, so it should be easy to forgive.

At times Landaw and Bodian take their transcendental philosophy a bit too far. The last section deals with "uninvited house guests." By this they mean insects. According to Buddha killing mosquitoes and other pests is bad karma. If a mosquito makes its way into your house, you're supposed to catch it and take it outside. Obviously these guys haven't experienced a humid, Minnesota evening in July down by the lake.

5-0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars, really
All the title really means is that this book is written for people who know very little -- or nothing at all -- of the subject matter. When it comes to Buddhism, that's the majority of North Americans. I perhaps knew a little bit more than most as I live in San Francisco where Buddhists may be found readily, but I appreciated this book for filling me in on the ins and outs. (I knew enough to know I didn't know enough.)

This is a practical book designed to educate the Western reader on what Buddhism is and what it is not. A lot of attention is paid to dispelling myths Westerners frequently believe about Buddhism. What this book does not do is presume to get the reader started on some kind of practice of Buddhism, but it may well get a reader well enough informed to choose to pursue the Buddhist way further -- or not, for that matter.

As a liberal Christian, I appreciated this book a lot. I'm interested in knowing more because I already look from a viewpoint that includes Buddhist ideas as experienced truth. One of the interesting things about Buddhism is that it neither teaches nor denies a supreme being and has nothign negative to say about other religions. Rather, in a nutshell, Buddhism is more of a system of spiritual self-discovery than it is a religion, per se.

It's interesting to note that there are many different systems of Buddhist discipline, much as there are different denominations in Christianity, for example. The beliefs and teachings all have the same foundation, but are not necessarily identical from one form of Buddhism to another, nor are the practices the various adherents follow. It's interesting to find out what the differences are and when, how and where each "denomination" came into being.

One thing annoyed me as I read this book, however, which is why I've given it four and a half stars and not five. Throughout this book, the historical human being we most often think of as the Buddha is referred to as Shakyamani Buddha, a term I hadn't heard before. Nearly everyone refers to Prince Siddartha who became enlightened while sitting under the Bodhi tree in northern India in his role as enlightened being as Gautama Buddha (or sometimes Gotama Buddha, a variant spelling). Not once in this book is the name "Gautama" even mentioned that I could find. At least a paragraph addressing the disparity between the appellations "Shakyamani Buddha" and "Gautama Buddha" would have been apprecited -- after all, the author is using the less familiar of the two terms.

(I could be wrong here, but I think "Gautama" was Prince Siddartha's clan name, more like a family name, and his family belonged to the much larger Shakyamani tribe, of which he became prince.)

Other than that, I very much liked this book and found it satisfyingly informative about a very interesting topic. I wish all Westerners were clearer about what Buddhism is and what it isn't and this book is effective toward that end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the title
If you can get past the title, this is an excellent introduction to Buddhism. It's written for Westerners, and lays out in a clear and understandable format the life of Buddha, the basic precepts, the practice of meditation, the sacred sites of Buddhism, the lives of other famous Buddhist teachers, and more.
It's a great book to browse through before a trip to a Buddhist country, and an excellent reference work for anyone interested in eastern religions. Notwithstanding the title, the authors are experts and have done a good job.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best introduction I've ever read!
This book finally gives an overview of Buddhism, a kind of birds eye view of the history and concepts. I got more out of this book than any other book on Buddhism. It laid the foundation for further study and practice.
Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Buddhism 101
This book is an excellent resource for people interested in Buddhism, but don't know where to start. It covers all the basics in a clear and understandable way. ... Read more

46. The Wabi-Sabi House : The Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
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Asin: 1400050464
Catlog: Book (2004-11-23)
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Sales Rank: 6715
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47. I Ching Workbook
by R.L. WING
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 038512838X
Catlog: Book (1978-12-19)
Publisher: Main Street Books
Sales Rank: 42038
Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This book is indeed a Workbook for using the I Ching. There are so many books about the hexagrams, but not many go into enough detail as to how to really USE them from a practical perspective, and leave the reader to figure it out for him or herself. R.L. Wing's interpretations of each hexagram are more detailed than one usually finds. As the other reviews indicate, Wing keeps a impartial distance, however, and that requires the user to read between the lines to apply them to their own circumstances.

For each hexagram, he gives several paragraphs where one gives an interpretation if you're asking on a personal matter, another if the question has to do with career, another if your question is about family relationships, etc. For myself, I used it heavily when I found myself in a new job or with new acquaintances and found it to be extremely useful in navigating the political ups and downs and figuring out who to trust. I spent a while asking deeper and deeper questions into each area and it helped me to transform my professional relationships and find a more meaningful career. Thanks, R.L. Wing!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Oracle is a living thing
I first encountered this R.L. Wing's version of the I Ching many years ago,and it remains to this day the best and most understandable I have ever seen. This book has a personality - I don't know of any other way to describe it. It has an astonishing ability to answer even the most direct and pointed questions with a relevant response and sound advice. If you have ever had the slightest curiosity about the I Ching or the Tao, you must have this book. I've replaced my copy of this book 3 times now, having worn out the previous ones. Be prepared - you don't read this book, you converse with it.

5-0 out of 5 stars I CHING demystified!
While I am still a novice at working with the hexagrams, I was frustrated with trying to make sense of I Ching, until I found this workbook. Sometimes, it just takes a picture or a simple chart to make things clear.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finding your Tao
This is a wonderful book for those not interested in deciphering the English translation, which can be most difficult. It is straight forward, with all the information needed for imediate use. It stirs your imagination to desire the highest ideals, and gives information on exacting those ideals or actions. Years ago I studied an english version of the I Ching, but never understood it as clearly as I do now, and therefore only applied it to problems. After reading the brief but concise info on how and why this book is used, I am applying it to all aspectds of life, living, my enviornment, and more; with ease and awe!

5-0 out of 5 stars Meet a new and treasured friend!
I've had this book for more than 20 years. It is in almost constant use. It is truly like conversing with another entity. I own many different copies of the "I Ching", but this is my most valued. It is a beautiful translation and in keeping with the spirit of the "I Ching". ... Read more

48. The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
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Asin: 052152069X
Catlog: Book (2005-01-17)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 143053
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Book Description

Representing one of the great traditions of Western philosophy, philosophy written in Arabic and in the Islamic world was inspired by Greek philosophical works and the indigenous ideas of Islamic theology. This collection of essays, by some of the leading scholars in Arabic philosophy, provides an introduction to the field by way of chapters devoted to individual thinkers (such as al-Farabi, Avicenna and Averroes) or groups, especially during the 'classical' period from the ninth to the twelfth centuries. ... Read more

49. Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age
by John Heider
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
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Asin: 0893340790
Catlog: Book (1984-11-01)
Publisher: Humanics Ltd Partners
Sales Rank: 40307
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Tao of Leadership is an invaluable toolfor anyone in aposition of leadership. This book provides the most simple and clearadvice on how to be the very best kind of leader: be faithful, trustthe process, pay attention, and inspire others to become their ownleaders. Heider's book is a blend of practical insight and profoundwisdom, offering inspiration and advice.This book is used as aManagement/Leadership training text by many Fortune 500 corporations,including IBM, Mitsubishi, and Prudential. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Full of wisdom, interesting approach
In this book, Heider guides the reader down the long path to enlightened leadership. Leadership is not about manipulation or command and control, says Heider; the leader should at most be a catalyst for what the group should come up with themselves. Interesting stuff. The gold nuggets of wisdom that Heider gives in this book are reason enough to buy it, even if you are not a leader. It goes without saying that Taoism encompasses much more than mere leadership and I finished the book wanting to know more about Taoism. My one criticism of this book is that it is not for everybody. What Heider purports, essentially, is a very specific, idealised form of leadership (in real life, you have to learn to have a forceful presence, not just be wise and harmonious). But if this sounds like your type of book, then buy it, along with Max Depree's Leadership Is An Art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent thoughts for reflection.
Each page gives you a lot to think about and to reflect upon.
Don't bother with this book if you want something to give you
the quick and dirty answer, this ain't it.

But, it will get you to stop and reflect upon yourself and your effect
upon the world and others. It will get you to find your own
answers if you slow down long enough to sense them.
This book is best a few pages at a time. It can get deep if you let it.

The thing that would make this book a 10 is if it were focused a little less
on "leadership". Maybe something like; The Tao of Life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Lead Without It
I've used this book for over 10 years as my leadership support tool. As General Manager of a $200MM business, I need perspective and support on a daily basis - and Heider's book provides it. I love that the persective is NOT a management flavor of the week, but a view on leadership that stands the test of time.

I've given this book as a gift to peers, friends, and family for years - just purchased copies last week for my new staff. It provides us with a common framework and a vision of where we're taking our organization.

Thanks, Heider, for great thoughts, great lessons, and great leadership!

1-0 out of 5 stars Great Source, Bad Translation
I have read several translations of the Tao Te Ching and was very disappointed in this read. I feel as if much of the strengths from the original text are lost in this author?s choice of words and examples. This translation loses the beauty and appreciation of nature that the original texts focused on. (He refers to calculators and computers in some instances) I was also bothered by his addition of the Christian understanding of God as a character in his translations. Over all I really recommend finding a better translation than this to read if you are a first timer. (such as translation by Victor H. Mair) It is a bit more of a heavy read but caries over the interesting paradoxes that make the ancient document so intriguing.

Also read ?The wisdom of insecurity? By Allan Watts (a Beatnik) if you like the idea of Taoism

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
Important lessons for all leaders ... Read more

50. The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents : A New Interpretation
by William C. Martin, Hank Tusinski
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 1569246629
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 23303
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

William C. Martin has freshly reinterpreted the Tao Te Ching to speak directly and clearly to the most difficult of modern tasks -- parenting. With its combination of free verse and judicious advice, The Parent's Tao Te Ching addresses the great themes that permeate the Tao and that support loving parent- child relationships: responding without judgment, emulating natural processes, and balancing between doing and being. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bill Martin's book walks hand in hand with the Tao.
William Martin's walk on the spiritual side of parenting is a path that few people are brave enough to travel. In a world full of how-to-do-it-in-five- easy-steps help books, The Parent's Tao Te Ching rises above, creating a place where parents can dig deeper into their own spiritual wisdom. Instead of following the guidlines of another "expert" who has never met the readers' children or lived a day in their lives, parents are encouraged to seek the knowledge that is inherant in everyone; mother, father, guardian and child. I love this book and have bought several copies for all of my friends who are weeks away from becoming parents for the first time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Parenting lessons EVERYONE should follow!
This is the ONE book on parenting that everyone (parents, grandparents, caregivers, anyone at all who cares about children of all ages) should read and carry with them, always. It is especially helpful for those who have limited exposure to non-Western ideas, spiritual or otherwise. What is so special about Mr. Martin's book? It forces one to focus on the CHILD, and one's reactions to the child, and to stop worrying about classifying everything and overanalyzing the child. Parents these days get so worked up about raising the perfect child, and parenting perfectly, that no one winds up happy, and I for one think many of these current generations will suffer because of this. If only more parents would read Martin's book, they'd realize that children will grow up, with or without our interference. This book will guide those who choose to let the child become who THEY should be, rather than who we WANT them to be...wise words for us all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A daily dose of spiritual parenting inspiration and advice!
This book has so many wonderful pages of inspiration. The passages are beautifully written and contain simple words of advice. I close my eyes and choose a page from the book each morning... a simple reminder of a spiritual parenting idea to focus on that day.

This would make a great gift for parents (or yourself) with a child of any age. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading.
This book should be required reading for every parent or parent to be. I go back to it quite often and it is always helpful. My one regret is that I could never convince my ex-wife to read it. It has helped me and I am sure it would help her if she'd allow it. I would recommend this book to anyone, William C. Martin has written the best manual for child rearing that I have ever seen. It not only makes me be a better parent but teaches me much about myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable
Ever since I became a father about one year ago, I've been reading voratiously on the subject(s) of parenting, fatherhood, etc. This is an absolutely wonderful and indispensable book!!! It should be made a required reading for every parent aspiring to create, raise and live in a happy and healthy household. Its pages burst with wisdom and deeply felt insights without being esoteric... If I owned a hotel, I'd put this book in every room and/or give it as a gift in the nation's baby delivery rooms... ... Read more

51. Qigong Empowerment: A Guide to Medical, Taoist, Buddhist, Wushu Energy Cultivation
by Shou-Yu Liang, Wen-Ching Wu
list price: $34.95
our price: $22.02
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Asin: 1889659029
Catlog: Book (1996-12-01)
Publisher: Way of the Dragon, Limited, the
Sales Rank: 31811
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Qigong Empowerment is the most unique and complete volume ever written in the English language on Qigong (Chi Kung), the attainment of energy. It is a volume that you can refer to over and over again for all your energy studies. This book includes all the major energy training schools in ancient China:1. Medical Qigong theories and training methods to strengthen the organs and to rejuvenate overall health. 2. Taoist Qigong cultivation and training outline, from the basic to the most profound methods, to foster Essence, Qi, and Spirit. 3. Buddhist Qigong empowering methods to develop the Esoteric Abilities of the Body, Speech, and Mind. 4. Emitting, Absorbing, and Healing Qigong to develop your healing ability. 5. Wushu (martial arts) Iron Shirt, Iron Palm, Iron Fist Qigong for developing your ultimate physical potential. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fine Assortment of Qigong Practices
Whether one is interested in qigong for health, healing, or self-defense, this is the book to have. Separated into five sections, Qigong Empowerment runs the spectrum of internal arts practices. The taijiquan practitioner finds information on Taoist practices. The "hard-style" practitioner finds plenty of training approaches. Those not interested in martial arts but interested in Asian energy healing practices will not be disappointed. Expensive for a paperback, but well worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Effort
Combining a good deal of theory with a tremendous amount of well explained, useful qigong exercises is what makes this book the single most valuable book on qigong available. The authors cover in five separate chapters, the essential theory and practice of five major schools of qigong: Medical, Taoist, Buddhist, Healing, Wu-Shu.The section on Medical qigong covers Qi Permeation technique, various techniques for each of the six organ systems in the body, and the six healing sounds.The section on Taoist Qigong covers three levels of the Taoist system, including the Microcosmic orbit. Everything is presented sequentially to ensure safety. The final steps aren't presented with detailed instructions as they require, according to the authors, supervision.Buddhist Qigong includes Nine Segment breathing, Precious Vessel, Spiritual Flame, Great Perfection, Protective Qigong, and the Nine Esoteric Seals.The section on healing qigong is tremendous. Numerous methods of building, emitting, absorbing qi are given. Also discussed are various abilties related to scanning, auras, and protecting yourself from bad energy.The wu-shu qigong section was somewhat dissapointing. Most of it seemed very external. Still, many exercises are given.The only real downside to the book is that it is sometimes hard to follow based on the layout of chapter and subchapter headings, but a close reading will clarify any problems.Also, I would have liked some information about how to combine the routines into a daily practice.This book is not as detailed on theory as Yang Jwing Mings Root of Chinese Chi-Kung, but contains more actual routines. The two books complement each other well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Complete Book on Qigong
Quite simply, this book covers more aspects and types of Qigong than any other book available to the english speaking public. I am a practitioner of the huge Universal Tao System and this one of the only books that that is up to par with Sifu Mantak Chia's books. Furthermore, it uncovers very, very secret practices from the Taoist Internal Alchemy, Chinese and Tibetan Tantrism, Shaolin Secret Arts and even Dzogchen(!) many of which have never been publicly published before. Some of these practices are so secret most practitioners have either: never heard of them or had concluded they had been lost. Yet, Sifu Shou-yu Liang and Sifu Wen-ching Wu have found it in their hearts to share these profound practices with the rest of the world. They are both incredible masters in their own right, not to mention winning numerous qigong and martial arts awards under their belt. Their schools are well known and respected worldwide.
Really, Qigong Empowerment is set of 5 books. After reading the introduction you will then be able to choose which books you want to read. If you are feeling unhealthy you might go to the Medical Qigong Book; if you practice a style of martial arts you may go to the Martial Qigong Book. All five books are really amazing though.
Each practice is outlined in a very logical and practical manner and really pretty easy to understand. There is also a healthy amount of philosophical explanation and theory. So even the teaching method is complete here: they give WHO founded the particular technique and how it was passed down, WHAT it is in clear explanation, WHERE it is from exactly, and HOW it should be done along with safety tips, and to top it off, WHY you would want to practice such a technique with some examples of the benefits.
If your new to Qigong start here. It will give you the proper understanding of Qigong far from those videos at whole foods with some guy waving his arms around. This is real Qigong which involves leading the Qi with the Yi (heart/mind intent) It will also give you thorough understanding of each of the most common Qigong schools.
If you already experienced in Qigong or any type of Martial Arts -- buy this book right now and prepare yourself to experience some of the most amazing abilities humans are capable of. The title says it all: Qigong Empowerment!

5-0 out of 5 stars More bang for your buck
Very well written book.
This book ranks up with Yang Jwing-ming's books on taijiquan and qigong, as to form practice and mind stillness.
This book is definately a must read, as the author has also spent years on it.

There are some things that don't seem right like the "spritual flame technique". Now this technique heats up the body.
Unfortunately the bones are very yin, and heat can damage them. It is my understanding that you must use cooler yin energy to protect your bones, and other yin parts of the body.
Not necessarily something you want to do early in training.

There is also the 'bone marrow to qi' technique. Sorry, I spent too many years packing qi into my bone marrow (or more appropriately circulating it within). Without qi, bonemarrow becomes fatty.
Now even though I disagree with some of it, there is still a wealth of information contained in these books.
Studing does not hurt and separates the wheat from the chaff.

With qigong, once again, you must practice regularly to maintain, otherwise you lose it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
This is a good book. It covers many aspects of Chi Gung. Sometimes it lacks some depths, though. ... Read more

52. Bushido: The Way of the Samurai (Square One Classics)
by Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Justin F. Stone, Minoru Tanaka
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0757000266
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Square One Publishers
Sales Rank: 3799
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you want to know the world of the samurai
This is a quick read and very informative.

5-0 out of 5 stars A look into the warrior's mind
This book was written at the very start of the 19th century, by a samurai in retirement. It gives a unique look back to the late 18th, when Yamamoto was active as a samurai. The view is unique, in part, because Japan was unifying and there was less need for each minor lord to have an armed class. The warrior ethic was changing as war became less common. In part, these notes seem to mourn the passing of the clearest, purest form of that ethic.

The warrior ethic only changed, though and still underlies many aspects of modern Japanese thought and policy. The feudal caste system still gives a fair decription of different levels of management.

This book is not just about a time and a culture different from that in the modern West. It teaches personal responsibility, a lesson that many too many people still need. In part, this means responsibility to one's self, in maintaining professional skills and personal credibility. It also means responsibility towards one's employer. I do not feel crass in saying that, by accepting the pay that feeds and houses me, I have a duty to return the value given. Self interest, if not personal honor, should encourage me to support my employer well enough to keep supporting me and to support me better in the future.

I was also interested to see that a strict code of honor can include a strictly preserved set of personal freedoms. Yamamoto stresses the need to tolerate a few flaws in order to use a person's strengths. He also notes that samurai - or, I think, any professionals - can be effective only when free to make decisions on their own. This is not insubordination, quite the opposite. The skilled employee must be able to make decisions based on that skill. Too tight a managerial rein just strangles the professional's effectiveness.

I was surprised (but perhaps should not have been) that this book describes the modern professional so well. Yamamoto's advice is right in line with my own business experience. I think that more of today's skilled workers, and their managers, would be more effective if they applied this book in their lives.

It was also surprising, but satisfying, to read Yamamoto's most secret advice: to do what you love most. I certainly see why this maxim must be held back. This advice can only enrich a person who is already so trained that their loves are honorable, loyal, and productive. Keeping with Yamamoto's Zen spirit, though, I would say that such people do not need that inner secret. Today, as then, such people already follow what they love.

5-0 out of 5 stars Creating Super-men...
The Hagakure was dictated by Yamamoto and later scribed verbatim by Tsuramoto Tashiro over a period of seven years (1710-1716) in which they lived together in a far off mountain retreat in Japan. Tashiro was sworn to secrecy over the texts contents because the author believed the teachings to be far too radical and too militaristic for the then peaceful times during the Shogunate Rule (1603-1867). During this time of unusual calmness, the teachings of Buddhism and the ethical codes of Confucius permeated Japan, enriching every aspect of her culture from arts to politics. But the old Samurai, Yamamoto, believed (though acknowledging the Buddha and the tenets of Confucius) that the Samurai, as a class, had become effeminate and weak. Yamamoto's basic premise was that the Samurai could not serve two masters (religion and the Clan) and by doing so had become less effective. The service of the lord and the clan should come first, and once this was done, one could then amuse oneself with the studies of the humanities. In writing the Hagakura, Yamamoto hoped that someday the Samurai would return to the purity of its strong and compassionate past. More than this, however, he wanted to create a class of super-men. As Tanaka explains in his historical overview:

"In his (Yamamoto) talks, he wanted every Samurai to become a super-man. But he wanted super-men who were capable of gaining great power, not for their own self-interest, but for the interest of the clan. He wanted super-men who were capable of operating effectively for the solidarity of the clan." (xv)

This is the key to the power and longevity of the way of the Samurai, and that is its notion of devout loyalty to the Lord of the Clan and the Clan itself. All other concerns in life are simply deemed irrelevant. Moreover, that other essential dictum, do your duty to your parents. And lastly, but most importantly, ensuring compassion for all sentient beings and the devout service of others. By devoting oneself to these vows of allegiance and practicing them, Yamamoto believed the Samurai would attain super-man status.

This particular translation is divided into eleven books, covering personal, social and philosophical advice from How to Excel Above Others, How to Conduct Yourself, Spiritual Vigour and Conceal Your Wisdom. These titles really speak for themselves.

This is an excellent text to prime oneself on the foundational tenets of the way of the Samurai and a good introduction to the history of Japanese culture and thought in terms of social discourse and philosophical perspective.

5-0 out of 5 stars Correcting a previous review ...
Regarding the comments, " leaders in Japan today all study Kendo" and, "...It's wise not to take Japanese women in business lightly. They nearly all study naginata in school."

I know Japan enough to say that these comments are not true, in other words lies. One may have special feelings for Japan, the same as I do, but these comments are misleading.

The Samurai teachings live on in Japan as a part of society, but are considered modern and not solely of that era.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good information for both martial arts AND business
Often, if you take a course in business strategy, it will include the wonderful Art of War by Sun-Tzu. Sometimes you are asked to read Mushashi's Book of Five Rings, which is Japanese in origin, not Chinese like Sun-Tzu. It's more philosophical and etherial than Sun-Tzu's book, which can be compared to Von Clauswitz's "The Nature of War." But--if you study martial arts, or plan to work in Japan, have Japanese partners, or if you just enjoy learning about military philosophy as a part of business strategy, then "Bushido: The Way of the Samurai" is a fascinating book with a lot to offer the reader. In fact, this is probably one of the best books I could recommend to get to know the mindset of Japanese business leaders. Man of them come from old Samurai families, whose history and traditions go far, far back in time.

In particular, the book outlines the aspects of Bushido philosophy:


The book of course gives the meaning of Samurai rituals, including seppuku (hari-kiri) and discussing the training of a warrior. Lest you think this is old hat, business leaders in Japan today all study Kendo, the martial art of the sword and the closest to Bushido's heart.

Even women are not exempted from the Bushido code. They are expected to do their part as warriors, and women traditionally have used the naginata (halberd or pike) as a defensive weapon. It's funny to think that the naginata is considered "effeminate" and watch a Japanese sportswoman wielding that deadly blade against eight opponents during a martial arts demonstration. It's wise not to take Japanese women in business lightly. They nearly all study naginata in school.

I've worked briefly in Japan and have studied Aikido in the past. I found "Bushido" to be one of the most valuable books I own on the subject of Japanese culture and mindset, as well as an additional good book on military philosophy. ... Read more

53. Awake at Work : 35 Practical Buddhist Principles for Discovering Clarity and Balance in theMidst of Work's Chaos
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570629838
Catlog: Book (2004-09-14)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 28323
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54. The Life of the Buddha : According to the Pali Canon
by Nyanaponika Thera, Gnanamoli
list price: $21.00
our price: $21.00
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Asin: 1928706126
Catlog: Book (2001-08)
Publisher: Independent Publishers Group
Sales Rank: 28042
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Composed entirely of texts from the Pali canon, this unique biography presents the oldest authentic record of the Buddha's life and revolutionary philosophy. The ancient texts are rendered here in a language marked by lucidity and dignity. A framework of narrators and voices connect the canonical texts. Vivid recollections of his personal attendant Ananda and other disciples bring the reader into the Buddha's presence, where his example offers profound inspiration and guidance on the path to freedom. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Buddhism Changes Too.
This is my humble opinion on the importance and place of this book.

The Changes of Buddhism:

1. Theravada Buddhism = techniques of making art
2. Mahayana Buddhims = the skillful and creative artist
3. Western (existential) Buddhism = modern artist

Theravad: "The Life of the Buddha"
is filled with the actual teachings and words of the Buddha.

Mahayana: "A Guide To The Bodhisattva's Way of Life" by Santideva
is filled with relevant insights in everyday life that were first inspired
by the original words of the Buddha

Western: "Buddhism Without Belief" by Stephen Batchelor
asks do we really know? What is relevant?
Instead of accepting or rejecting,
we can admit that we don't really know,
but still be open minded and have the resolve
to continue to question and explore.

5-0 out of 5 stars Straight from the horse's mouth
This is an excellent book using only material from the earliest accounts provided from the time of the Buddha.

You can make your own mind up about this enigmatic human being rather than relying on hearsay. It includes biographical material by observers, autobiographical accounts from the Buddha and also includes a section on the teaching. All sections are prefaced with opening remarks like the acts of a play in more or less chronological sequence of the Buddha's life.

Nanamoli was one of the best Pali translators and tries to produce as authentic and as lucid an account based on the Pali sources used.

One of the most ancient Buddhist texts, the Digha Nikaya, summarizes the Buddha's teaching this way:

"To do no evil deeds, to give effect to good, to purify the heart."

The essense of this teaching can be conveyed no more powerfully than by a carefully told account of the Buddha's life, and no account of his life can be told more carefully than the one by Bikkhu Nanamoli.

Nanamoli, a scholar-monk, deliberately chooses not to glorify the tale by weaving it into yet another overly rich, silk-and-gold tapestry of the sort which the oriental world has loved to make of it. Instead he patiently pieces together dozens of bits from the oldest fabrics he can find, and creates from them a simple quilt, stunning in the geometrical honesty of its design and beautiful in the precision with which it is crafted.

The ancient fabrics from which Nanamoli snips out the elements of this biography are selected exclusively from works encompassed by the Pali Tipitika. By imposing this limit on his sources Nanamoli does not compromise the completeness of the work nor diminish the elegance of the story; in a remarkable way, he actually enhances both. Nanamoli brings to life a flesh-and-blood Buddha, and convinces the reader than anxient India and its people are more like the world today than different from it. The evolution of the Buddha's doctrine is allowed to remain an epic, but on a human scale. Nanamoli preserves the grandeur of the great Teacher's achievements without aggrandizing him as a person. By the book's end the reader will surely concede that fanciful myth and axaggerated exploits about the Buddha are not needed to enhance our admiration of him. As this stimple story gains momentum, we are allowed to experience first-hand how one of the world's most compelling leaders created himself through the sheer power of his intellect and the wonder of his spiritual perfection.

For the serious student, Nanamoli's book selects, organizes and reproduces all the basic facts of the Buddha's life and most of his essential ideas. (One entire chapter uses selections from the Tipitika just to summarize the major components of his teaching or dhamma). Through its other footnotes and indices, the book also equips the reader to turn to and review the original Tipitika sources any times he wishes. In effect Nanamoli creates a historical road-map, starting with specific events, ideas and people, and leading straight back to the original texts themselves. The index is very complete, and the lengthy list of sources neatly summarizes each fragment taken from a given scripture, then locates it by title and page. A real map helps to find most of the places the Buddha frequented, and documents the scope of all the world he knew and wandered.

If one proposes to confine himself only to a single book about Buddhism, this would not be a bad choice. However if one is committed to read all he can about the Buddha, Nanamoli's biography should be within reach at all times. More than just another ancient legend retold, this unpretentious book gives great coherence and meaning to the intricate web of Buddhist teaching and doctrine. In my view it sheds far more light on this web than do a great many of the other highly elaborate books written with the ambitious aim of explaining or expounding upon that doctrine.

Nanamoli's work is devoted to the Buddha's life. However the reader may find that the book has the power to deal with other lives as well. It will certainly inform and stimulate. But I predict that it might actually reach into the very lives of all those who read and study it, and could dramatically change those lives forever. ... Read more

55. Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinsu
by Yuzan Daidoji
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804831904
Catlog: Book (1999-01-01)
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Sales Rank: 6352
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Code of the Samurai is a four-hundred-year-old explication of the rules and expectations embodied in Bushido, the Japanese way of the warrior.bushido has played a major role in shaping the behavior of modern Japanese government, corporations, society, and individuals, as well as in shaping the modern Martial Artsl arts within Japan and internationally.The Japanese original of this book has been one of the primary sources on the tenets of Bushido, a way of thought that remains fascinating to the modern world, East and West. ... Read more

Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book to read and reread
I bought this book out of interest in samurai philosophy and culture that originates in my study of jujutsu. Part of my own personal development that coincides with my physical training is that I read everything I can on the lives, deeds, and philosophy of the samurai. This is where the art I've chosen to study originates, and I want to try my best to understand those original intentions for the physical skills I'm learning.

This book does an admirable job of detailing the warrior's life and the expectations that are upon him. However, since I am not educated in the Japanese language, I can only read it in this English translation. I think the original intent is still there, but a lot of the translation sounds as if it was written with businessmen in mind, much like many translations of Musashi that are also translated with that audience in mind.

Since I would not buy a book after reading something like this in a review, let me say this: The translation, I feel, could be more true to the setting in which the book was written, but the lessons put forth are the same ones that the samurai were to learn and follow. That is the intent of the book, and that is what a close reading will reveal.

5-0 out of 5 stars The REALISTIC guide for the samurai
The first time I read a book about samurai philosophy and customs, it was the Hagakure. After reading it, I felt sick and even embarassed that I was so heavily into martial arts having origins in such a death-focussed, suicidal, slavish mentality. After reading it, I lost most of my interest in the origins of the Japanese martial arts, and Japanese culture. How mistaken I was... Two years ago, I bought the "Code of the Samurai", and my interest immediately returned. This book was written one hundred years earlier than the Hagakure and thus it was written closer to the time when the Samurai were in fact warriors and not so only in theory (as they were at the time of the publication of the Hagakure). Both books have in intention the reformation of the Samurai class to what the authors consider to be proper moral standards. But after reading both, it seems evident that the Hagakure is a forlorn attempt to recreate some kind of "glorious" suicidal mindset that never existed much in reality. The "Code of the Samurai" gives suggestions for every facet of behaviour... Everything about this book is remarkably humane, and very well thought out. It promotes responisibility to all one's aquaintances, colleagues, and leaders. This book could be retitled as "How to be a Responsible Citizen". It is about how to live well, not about how to die. For those martial artists who are interested in learning about the cultural roots of their Japanese "ways" (DO), and about how they can model their lives in part on the lives of the samurai, or for those whose interest is simply in Japanese culture, this book is critical reading, even more so because it will take away the inhuman face given the Japanese by English translations of books like the Hagakure, and not confront the reader with the kind of bewliderment faced when reading the combination of practical and mystical found in the "Book of Five Rings". Do not be put off buying this book because of its "mere" ninety-eight pages. Every page is packed with fascinating ethical and corporate lessons. One can get more out of this book than tomes hundreds of pages long written by modern Westerners who have never lived in 17th Century Japan. The ideals held within the covers of this book are those that have been striven after in the Japanese martial arts right up to the present day, and, for those interested in the lives of the Samurai, this covers every significant factor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still applicable today
At first glance, this is just a wonderful historical relic. It's stiff and formal, as you might expect of a guide to proper behavior. It was meant to guide young men of the warrior class in an era when war was a fading memory. Even in its day, somewhere around 1700AD, during the Tokugawa era, it was probably a bit old-fashioned.

For all that, Shigesuke's advice is remarkably applicable to modern society. Things like loyalty to an employer have almost gone out of style. Today's employers are different, but some employees need the reminder that a paycheck imposes obligations on the receiver. The advice about treating one's wife with courtesy is painfully up to date, as counter-examples in every day's news will show. The idea of maintaining professional skills, even when not immediately needed, is still quite current. So are the needs for basic skills in social setting and for basic education.

I am not a student of martial arts. I am a participant in today's business world. This slim volume still has something to say to me, in this different place and century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Death is the central issue...
In a time of peace, at the end of the Tokugawa regime, (1603-1867), the Samurai extended their duties into the administrative class, developing from mere 'attendants' to philosophers, scholars, physicians, and teachers, creating concise systems of mental and moral training. This class influenced the country's culture in profound ways, which continues to be felt and seen in modern day Japan. Fearing that the Samurai would lose their basic purpose and essential character, author Taira Shigesuke, (1639-1730) a Confucian scholar, wrote this handbook for the novice knight. For the beginning knight, this book would have been indispensable, in terms of conducting oneself in the true spirit of the Samurai.

The book is structured in three parts, including subjects ranging from education, familial duty, frugality, courtesy and respect, laziness, discretion to military service, vassalage and loyalty to dealing with one's superiors. What is so valuable about this book for the modern western reader is that it provides age-old ethical guidelines that are exceedingly practical and relevant to the present day.

Central to the Samurai philosophy is the notion of concerning oneself daily with death. Shigesuke emphasises from the outset, that, "As long as you keep death in mind at all times, you will also fulfil the ways of loyalty and familial duty." In other words, everything else follows from this basic attitude - a long life, and a character that will improve and virtue that will grow. This makes sense, of course, because as the author points out, when you think your time here will last, you're inclined to take it for granted, thereby saying things you shouldn't say and letting important matters slide because " can always be done tomorrow."

This powerful little book is as compelling and relevant as it was over 400 hundred years ago. It will not take more than an hour to read, but its contents hold treasures that should be referred back to in order to remind one that life is short and should never be taken for granted. This book is also recommended to students of Asian studies as it provides a fundamental understanding of Japanese culture.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good summary of Bushido concepts
This book provides a good introduction to the concepts of Bushido, namely Loyalty, Duty and Courage. On the surface, the book goes to excrutiating detail on how to show these traits. This is useful, but not profound. When you apply the duties of a knight to his overlord in the context of modern business, it helps explain the salaryman phenomenon in Japan Inc. This is the true value of the book.

This book is about individual performance, though and not strategy. As such, the lessons are more along the lines of "The Book of 5 rings" than "The Art of War". I found the overall lessons less profound than those classics, but that is not the responsibility of the translator.

Cleary is an expert at translating Eastern thoughts for Western readers. My one complaint on the translation is the use of metaphors such as, "at the end of one's rope". It leaves the reader questioning the translation - was he trying to tranlate another metaphor, or is he turning a concrete concept into a cliche? ... Read more

56. Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0877732647
Catlog: Book (1988-03-12)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 18183
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior Chögyam TrungpaThe founder of Naropa University opens the warrior’s path to contemporary men and women in search of self-mastery and greater fulfillment. Interpreting the warrior’s journey in modern terms, Trungpa discusses such skills as overcoming habitual behaviors, relaxing within discipline, facing the world with openness and fearlessness, and finding the sacred dimension of everyday life. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Shambhala may help one to live life to the fullest.
Chogyam Trungpa's book, Shambhala : The Sacred Path of the Warrior, is a must-read, especially in light of the tragedy in Rwanda and the embarrassment of the Canadian army in Somalia. We must endeavor to overcome old ways that do harm to the way of the warrior, and practise the bright shining path that is the Shambhala path. Chogyam's words are best not read once, but many times until his words are lived out. This book is recommended reading for anyone who wishes to understand the true path of warriorship in times of peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you are reading this now then your search is complete.
"The Shambhala teachings are founded on the premise that there is basic human wisdom that can help to solve the world's problems. This wisdom does not belong to any one culture or religion, nor does it come only from the West or the East. Rather, it is a tradition of human warriorship that has existed in many cultures at many times throughout history". - Chogyam Trungpa

The book looks at the principles of warriorship, and this is non-aggressive, no swords and daggers here.

I read this book and it was like having spent my whole life walking from place to place. Then one day being given a bicycle to travel around. And one night, whilst asleep, dreaming of the awesome speed I was now able to travel at, someone sneaks into my garage and fits a turbo charged, jet powered, rocket engine.

I would recommend this book to anyone, and have been doing, if you are reading this now then your search is complete, there is no need to go any further. Put it in your shopping basket and get ready for the rollercoaster ride of your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars In spite of himself...
After several years of studying Shambhala Warriorship (beginning with this book), I am still unable to reconcile Trungpa's behavior with his teachings...and probably never will. Still, I can't deny the tremendous impact his work has had on my life. As another reviewer said, "By all means buy the book." I only want to add that if Trungpa's words speak to you, look for a Shambhala Center in your area. No book can compare to the Shambhala Training program, which gives indepth teaching and practice in this book's basic concepts. You'll also find like-minded others who seek to create enlightened society in this dark age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shambhala--The Sacred Path of the Warrior+++
"In this practical guide to enlightened living, Chogyam Trungpa offers an inspiring vision for our time, based on the figure of the sacred warrior. In ancient times, the warrior learned to master the challenges of life, both on and off the battlefield. He acquired a sense of personal freedom and power--not through violence or aggression, but through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. The Japanese samurai, the warrior-kings of Tibet, the knights of medieval Europe, and the warriors of the Native American tribes are a few examples of this universal tradition of wisdom."+++

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
The principles that are discussed in this book are really easy to understand, and very practical. Trungpa uses examples from everyday life quite often, even such trivial acts as putting on your shoes to demonstrate a point such as lha, nyen and lu. It also shows how you can make great change by changing simple habits and making a difference in the world by starting with the home. Really life changing, and I think that I can make great changes in my personal life by reading and applying the concepts of this book in everyday conduct. Give it a try, it just might work for you! ... Read more

57. The Book of Five Rings (Shambhala Library)
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590300408
Catlog: Book (2003-06-24)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 9173
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bonus Material Not Found in Other Translations
This classic text deals with the delicate art of leadership, and was composed originally in 1643 by the famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi. But this book isn't just for those involved in the martial arts, as the previous reviewer suggests, no far from it; it's for anyone who wants to enjoy the neverending wisdom contained within this text. Thomas Cleary's translation of Miyamoto's masterpiece is comprehensible, with an introduction that presents us readers with the spiritual backdrop of the warrior tradition that is vital for the rest that proceeds. This most up-to-date edition also embraces one more important Japanese text - "The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War" by Yagyu Munenori; here the book highlights insights of Zen and Taoism as they pertain to the way and life of the warrior. Enjoy the book! Cleary is a terrific translator.

5-0 out of 5 stars the book of five rings
This is a great book. You must get this book to become extremly
disciplined. Only great samurai have the ability to master this code and still few suceeded, I for one have suceeded and am now a great ronin warrior. If you buy this book be prepared for extremly onfusing lessons. ... Read more

58. The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master
by Takuan Soho
list price: $9.00
our price: $8.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087011851X
Catlog: Book (1988-03-01)
Publisher: Kodansha America
Sales Rank: 11052
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

So succinct are the author's insights that these writings have outlasted the dissolution of the samurai class to come down to the present and be read for guidance and inspiration by the captains of business and industry, as well as those devoted to the practice of the martial arts in their modern form. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book!
I've been reading The Unfettered Mind for the past week and I'm amazed by the depth of Takuan's writing. I thoroughly enjoy the anecdotes and the references to Kendo masters such as the Yagyu clan for advice on matters of lord and retainer. Takuan Soho must be placed in the pantheon of other highly influential writers such as Sun Tzu, Confucius, Musashi and others.
Takuan is at or near the top of my must read list.

4-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for any martial artist or business person
This is not an entertaining book. This is not a story and is not engaging. What it is is illuminating! This very short (and frequently hard to find) collection of three letters/essays from Takuan Soho to masters of the sword arts contains some incredible gems. It is the kind of book that should be read a page or even just a paragraph at a time followed by a period of thought. The ideas of the interval between striking flint and steel to the production of the spark, or the visual and mental image of the glint of light on the blade of a sword become captivating and even revelatory.

If you are a martial artist, you MUST read this book. If you are in business, this is as essential as Musashi's Book of Five Rings.

2-0 out of 5 stars Neither zen nor sword
I got interested in the book because of its references to swordsmanship and Buddhism, two seemingly incompatible subjects. I knew for a fact that the Japanese used Buddhism as a vehicle for training the warrior class, and learning that the book consisted of letters from a Zen monk to a swordsman, expected the book to contain reasons why Buddhism and swordsmanship were compatible.

I found no satisfactory answers. Instead (within the first and second letters) was Soho's (the Zen monk) teaching to swordsmen to fulfill the master/servant contract. "...Therefore it is better not to inquire who this lord or that might be, but to simply think 'the lord,' and consider right-mindedness towards him without mentioning his name." I found Soho's such Confucianism-oriented(!) teachings puzzling.

For those of you whom are approaching this from the spiritual (Buddhism) side like myself, there are parts of the book that touches the five skandhas (things of temporal existence), how consciousness arises, and the importance of not fixating one's mind in any one thing (this became the Sino-Japanese title of the book), but there are much elaborate and better Buddhism references available. For those of you want to approaching from the business side, I suppose you may gain some insight about the Japanese way of viewing the world, but there are too few maxims in this book that you could ponder over. This is no Sun Tzu.

There might be misunderstandings on my part, but to me the importance of the book seems historical.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book
I just started The Unfettered Mind today. I'm amazed that Takuan Soho had that much influence. Great Book. I'll be sure to keep Takuan in mind along with Musashi,Sun Tzu, and other pivotal figures of Ancient China and Fuedal Japan.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Translation
This book contains a collection of three letters/essays from Takuan Soho to masters of the sword arts. They contain some incredible gems. This book should not just be read; but reflected upon.As another reviwer said, "The ideas of the interval between striking flint and steel to the production of the spark, or the visual and mental image of the glint of light on the blade of a sword become captivating and even revelatory." I could not have said it any better myself. This is a must read book. ... Read more

59. Awakening the Buddha Within : Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767901576
Catlog: Book (1998-06-15)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 8900
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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If you dropped the Buddha into a modern metropolis, would he come off sounding like a 16th-century morality play or more like a drive-time disc jockey? Lama Surya Das doesn't spin platters for a living, but he does have a hip delivery that belies his years of sheltered training in Buddhist monasteries. In Awakening the Buddha Within, he borrows a time-tested bestseller format for a 2,500-year-old tradition that comes off as anything but ancient. With the "Five T's of Concentration," the question of "need or greed," and the story of the monk who bares his backside to prove a point, Surya Das invokes a path of wisdom that is as accessible and down-to-earth as a worn pair of loafers. It's not an easy path--it demands thought, effort, and discipline. But Surya Das is there for you, lighting the way to wisdom training, coaxing you into ethics training, and laying out step by step the path of meditation training. And if that's not enough to get you to live in the now, consider these words of the enlightened lama: "You must be present to win." --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars "America the Buddhaful!", as seen by "The Deli Lama"
This a fun-to-read introduction to the Buddhist path. Whether you are simply curious about Buddhism or are looking for some spiritual nourishment, this book informs and enlightens.

Lama Surya Das skillfully explains how ancient Buddhist wisdom can help us find peace and meaning in our fast-paced American lives. He conveys the beauty and richness of Tibetan Buddhism without making it so exotic or esoteric that is becomes inapplicable to our Western lives. He also has a warm sense of humor. ("America the Buddhaful" is the title of an essay by Lama Das.).

Das weaves the fundamentals of Buddhism with the story of his own spiritual journey. Find out how a nice Jewish boy from New York (his mom calls him "The Deli Lama") transforms himself into one of the leading teachers of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. For Das, an ex-high school jock, it's a long way from the locker room to the windswept monasteries of the Himalayas!

Lama Surya Das is a Dzogchen lineage holder and founder of the Dzogchen Foundation. I found this to be one of the most complete and easily understood books written on Buddhism, which is often a complex philosophy to understood by the lay reader.

"Awakening the Buddha Within" is similar in nature to the book, "The World of Tibetan Buddhism" a series of essays based on a three-day lecture given in London, England by the Dalai Lama and translated into English. However, if you are a novice to Buddhism, I would strongly recommend you first read, "Awakening the Budda Within". This book is much easier to understand, and the author simplifies the concepts of Buddhism in everyday terms for the western world. Lama Surya Das explains The Three Jewels of Buddhism - the commitment of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha or spiritual community, the Eight-Fold Path to Enlightenment, the Four Noble Truths and the importance of meditation in our lives. If you are searching for a better understanding of Buddhism in the contemporary world, or simply a more peaceful way of life, I highly recommend purchasing the "Awakening the Buddha Within." It is spiritually uplifting, refreshing and inspirational, and definitely one you will want to use as a reference, time and time again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Read
A very good book, suitable for persons of any background and religion. It gives a good sense of Buddhism and the mindset involved with it. Definitely a positive book for all who read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars An accessible approach to Buddhism for western minds
Lama Surya Das is one of the most well-known western lamas (priest and spiritual master teacher) hailing from the Dzogchen tradition. He was born in the U.S., and has studied Zen, vipassana, yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism with the great masters of Asia, including the Dalai Lama's own teachers.

Das' approach to Buddhism is sometimes controversial for the same reasons that it is so popular. He brings forth the ideas of Buddhism in a way that is graspable for Western minds, and he outlines practices that are compatible with Western lives. One of the main difficulties with many other informative and instructional books is that they require belief in concepts such as reincarnation which is not likely to happen for most Americans. Or they describe things in vague terms unfamiliar to us and leave us doubting the validity of what has been said. Das stands above most other authors in that he has tweaked his writing to make it applicable to American lives now.

In addition to the thought-provoking content of this book, Das is a good writer. The book is fun to read, because it is filled with attention-grabbing stories and amusing phrases.

I highly recommend this book if you are curious about Buddhism and wonder how the tenets might be applicable to Western life. It is quite useful for those who wish to incorporate Buddhist philosophy into their daily activities, or for people who just wish to have more peace and happiness in their lives. This book is also a wonderful gift for a friend who is unsure that Buddhism has a place in the modern world if you are already convinced.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Guided Tour Of The Eight-Fold Path
(4.75 Stars)

I really liked this book. I liked that it speaks in a current voice and is still full of wisdom.

I dig Buddhism books that give examples and situations of what they are talking about. This book has classic stories and classical examples of old Tibetan Lamas and has current stories and examples of the author in now times in New York City.

The famous phrase that really sums up the experience of reading with the author - Lama Surya Das - is the Deli Lama - again Awakening The Buddha Within is full of great Tibetan wisdom of old and it's related to today.

The emphasis in Awakening The Buddha Within is the eight-fold path. This is one of the best journeys down the eight-fold path I've taken.

Each aspect of the path is explained in detail, spirit and examples. It really is one of the best explanations of the eight-fold path I've read and experienced.

If you're a student of Buddhism and want to explore the eight-fold path this is definitely the book for you.

If you're new to Buddhism to this is a fantastic 2nd step to being introduced to the Buddha within. ... Read more

60. Guanzi
by W. Allyn Rickett
list price: $145.00
our price: $145.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691048169
Catlog: Book (1998-03-16)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 313634
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Book Description

Named for the famous Chinese minister of state, Guan Zhong (d. 645 B.C.), the Guanzi is one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese writings still in existence. With this volume, W. Allyn Rickett completes the first full translation of the Guanzi into English. This represents a truly monumental effort, as the Guanzi is a long and notoriously difficult work. It was compiled in its present form about 26 B.C. by the Han dynasty scholar Liu Xiang and the surviving text consists of some seventy-six anonymous essays dating from the fifth century B.C. to the first century B.C.

The forty-two chapters contained in this volume include several which present Daoist theories concerning self-cultivation and the relationship between the body and mind as well as the development of Huang-Lao political and economic thought. The "Dizi zhi" chapter provides one of the oldest discussions of education in China. The "Shui di" chapter refers to the circulation of blood some two thousand years before the discoveries of William Harvey in the West. Other chapters deal with various aspects of statecraft, Yin-Yang and Five Phases thought, folk beliefs, seasonal calendars, and farming. Perhaps the best-known chapters are those that deal with various methods of controlling and stimulating the economy. They constitute one of the world's earliest presentations of a quantity theory of money. Throughout the text, Rickett provides extensive notes. He also supplies an introduction to the volume and a comprehensive index.

... Read more

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