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101. The Art of Happiness at Work
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101. The Art of Happiness at Work
by The Dalai Lama, Howard C. Cutler
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573222615
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 13630
Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In their 1998 book The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and co-author Howard C. Cutler, M.D., explored how inner development contributes to overall happiness. In their second collaboration, the authors considered how they could best follow their highly successful first book. They chose a subject that affects millions of people around the world and produced. In this very readable, useful book, the authors attempt to discover the following: "Where does work fit in to our overall quest for happiness?" and "To what degree does work satisfaction affect our overall life satisfaction and happiness?"

The Art of Happiness at Work is a modern-day Socratic dialogue in which Cutler asks the Dalai Lama about the difficulties and rewards we might encounter in the workplace. The authors explore issues such as work and identity, making money, the Buddhist concept of "right livelihood," and transforming dissatisfaction at work. The discussion appears simple, if not obvious, at first, but upon closer scrutiny, the Dalai Lama's profound wisdom and sensitivity emerges. For the Dalai Lama, basic human values such as kindness, tolerance, compassion, honesty, and forgiveness are the source of human happiness. Throughout the book, he illustrates with clear examples how bringing those qualities to bear on work-related challenges can help us tolerate or overcome the most thorny situations. Recognizing that not all problems can be solved, the Dalai Lama provides very sound advice. The authors urge balance and self-awareness and wisely state, "No matter how satisfying our work is, it is a mistake to rely on work as our only source of satisfaction." --Silvana Tropea ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Dalai Lama and the Workplace
In 1998, H.H. the Dalai Lama joined Dr. Howard C. Cutler, an American psychiatrist, in writing a book "The Art of Happiness" which became a best-seller. This book taught the importance of "looking within" and of controlling destructive emotions in living a good life and finding happiness.

Dr. Cutler and the Dalai Lama have again collaborated in this follow-up book which applies the insights of the initial volume to life situations which are, typically, the sources of great conflict. Several additional books, in addition to this book exploring the world of work, are underway. The book is based upon a series of conversations held between the Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler over the course of several years. Dr. Cutler is responsible for the format and editing of the book. The final product was read and approved by the Dalai Lama's interpreter.

Early in the volume, the Dalai Lama reminds Dr. Cutler that the focus of the inquiry is "secular ethics" (p.7) One of the most valuable features of the book is that it shows how the Dalai Lama can use his spiritual tradition to articulate values that can be shared by many people, whether or not they are religious believers. Another feature of the book is the significance of the subject matter. Many people trust and listen to the Dalai Lama where they will be reluctant to accept possibly similar advice from experts, such as psychiatrists, or from teachers in Western religous traditions. The book is deceptively simple in tone and teaching, but hard to realize.

In a series of discussions Dr. Cutler explores with the Dalai Lama the reasons why many people tend to be bored or dissatisfied with their jobs. Dr. Cutler brings to bear many anecdotes from his work as a psychiatrist as well has his familiarity with much contemporary literature on job satisfaction. The Dalai Lama brings to bear his wisdom and insight. Time and again during the conversations, the Dalai Lama takes issue with Dr. Cutler, forcing him to redirect and rephrase his questions and assumptions, and to change the tenor of his approach to questions of happiness in the workplace. The Dalai Lama's approach is marked by its circumspectness. He reiterates that the situation of every individual differs and that questions about work admit of no easy solution. In other words,it is not a case of "one size fits all."

With that said the issues and insights are valuable. Chief among these for me are the Dalai Lama's comments on self-understanding. Much difficulty at work is caused by having an overly inflated or an overly deflated view of ourselves and our abilities. This causes discontent because it gives a picture of our abilities and our expectations of ourselves that are out of touch with reality.

Similarly, the Dalai's teachings in this book about patience, humility, self-control, and compassion for one's co-workers provide a great deal to think about in approaching the workplace. The Dalai Lama, in common with others who have thought about these matters, distinguishes between views of work as a "job", simply to support oneself, a "career", with the goal of advancement and growth, and a "calling" in which a person does what he or she finds important to be of service to others. People necessarily occupy different spaces on this continuum. For some people, the goal properly should be to learn the value of one's work and to move towards viewing it as a calling.

The book also teaches that work and money-making are not the sole source of happiness and urges the reader to develop other interests, particularly a sense of connectedness to others through family or through interests and activities outside the workplace.

Many of the criticisms of this book and its predecessor that I have seen turn on the respective roles of the Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler. Dr. Cutler serves, I think, as a foil to the Dalai Lama. In the book, the voices of the two principal are distinct, allowing the reader to capture a good deal of the spirit of the Dalai Lama.

There is also a tendency to criticize the book for its simplicity. I agree the teachings of the book are simple, but in practice they are difficult of realization. A virtue of the book is its very accessiblity which makes it possible for the reader to try to use it for benefit in his or her own case.

Finally, it should be pointed out again that this book does not purport to be an introduction to Buddhism. It is a work of secular (or applied) ethics. There are ample books available, including many works of the Dalai Lama, for those who would like a specifically Buddhist study. One can learn from this book regardless of commitment or lack of commitment to any religion.

I thought this book helped me with questions that have bothered me for years. I also found that the book would probably be useful to many of my coworkers and, perhaps, useful as well, to management where I work.

This book will not solve any person's workplace issues, but it will encourage the reader to reconsider and to sharpen his or her focus to address these issues.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Cutler is a genius!
This is a simple but downright astonishing book! Read it and your life is guaranteed to change for the better. The Dalai Lama's teachings are not easy for laymen to understand, but Dr. Cutler is a genius in bringing the ideas like a laser straight to guide our lives. Like the Art of Happiness, this book will be read around the world: it is so applicable to our everyday lives that it is a joy to read. If you buy only one book this year: buy this one! And give it to your co-workers, too. What a gift!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Attitude, interdependence and serving others
I give this book 3 stars primarily because it could have been "tighter" as a result of more rigorous editing. However, there are good ideas here and they can be engaged immediately.

As the title states, this book is about happiness at work. What are its attributes, what conditions are most important to assure happiness most of the time, how it impacts performance and the other dimensions of life. All, important topics. The book is written in the form of a long conversation between Howard Cutler and The Dalai Lama.

There are a whole host of interesting ideas. For example, the Dalai Lama comenting "By engaging opposition, a deeper understanding of one's own standpoint emerges." Putting a premium on debate to sharpen one's mind and to foster growth and improvement.

But the most powerful elements of this book are the realization that it's wisdom is quite simple in the end. It's simplicity, however, is complex and difficult to execute each and every day. We need a balanced life. A life that recognizes the interdependence between all aspects of our lives (work, family, hobby, meditation time etc.) We must "reduce the gap between who we are and what we do". The things on which we spend time must have meaning and ideally have some connection with creating a "greater good" and service to others.

Most of all, however, a common theme emerges that suggests that the most important aspect of happiness at work (and for that matter in anything) is one's own "attitude" and outlook. How an individual sees the world is the critical aspect in shaping attitude and therefore "happiness". The elements of a positive attitude seem to include a realistic grasp of one's self (self understanding), a desire to serve others, to creatively achieve and contribute, to have confidence in one's own judgment, "right livelihood" ("best to choose work that does not cause harm to others, that does not exploit or deceive others....").

The key is to recognize the fusion between one's self and one's work. They are not separate ideas but one. Moreover, as it relates to happiness, "the primary determinant of one's happiness is the state of one's mind." Attitute, attitude, attitude.

A meaningful contribution even though it could have been shorter and tighter.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sadly 95% filler.
Howard Cutler's first book with the Dalai Lama, "The Art Of Happiness," was packed with wonderful and accessible teachings from the Dalai Lama. We owe Mr. Cutler much thanks for the work he put into his efforts on his first book when it was not sure thing anyone would either publish or read his collection of interviews with the Dalai Lama.

This new book falls short however. The Dalai Lama doesn't have much of interest to say about the subject in general. Mr. Cutler, in what seems like an ego play, inserts himself into the book at every available opportunity, unlike his first book where he was much more a reporter. The conversations are endlessly boring and sophomoric.

What we do gain is an appreciation of how brilliant a thinker the Dalai Lama is even when he is being hassled by nit picking questions from someone who seems to think there is a sure thing going on. I do hope Mr. Culter gets back on track, becomes a reporter instead of subject, and focuses on topics that are more compatible with the Dalai Lama's keen intelligence.

Or perhaps the interviews have played themselves out and it is time to stop and appreciate the contributions made in the first book.

2-0 out of 5 stars A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME...
THE ART OF HAPPINESS AT WORK by The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler falls considerably short of THE ART OF HAPPINESS, the original work by the same authors. In the original book The Dalai Lama provides very interesting views that can be applied to a variety scenarios in life, including the workplace.

Hence, ...HAPPINESS AT WORK is very repetitive of the original and runs the risk of placing someone as illustrious as The Dalai Lama in the position of appearing too much like other marketing-driven authors of the genre who pump out repeats of their original works under other titles like ...FOR THE WORKING SOUL, ...FOR THE GOLFING SOUL, OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL FAMILIES, ...OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL TEENAGERS, etc.

After all, if you read the first book by The Dalai Lama you can easily see how his philosophies concerning happiness apply to all walks of life. Stick with THE ART OF HAPPINESS and discover for yourself how it may apply to a variety of your questions regarding your personal happiness...including in the workplace.

Douglas McAllister ... Read more


102. The Way of Zen (Vintage Spiritual Classics)
by ALAN W. WATTS
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
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Asin: 0375705104
Catlog: Book (1999-01-26)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 32399
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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After D.T. Suzuki, Alan Watts stands as the godfather of Zen in America. Often taken to task for inspiring the flimsy spontaneity of Beat Zen, Watts had an undeniably keen understanding of his subject. Nowhere is this more evident than in his 1957 classic The Way of Zen, which has been reissued. Watts takes the reader back to the philosophical foundations of Zen in the conceptual world of Hinduism, follows Buddhism's course through the development of the early Mahayana school, the birth of Zen from Buddhism's marriage with Chinese Taoism, and on to Zen's unique expression in Japanese art and life. As a Westerner, Watts anticipates the stumbling blocks encountered with such concepts as emptiness and no-mind, then illustrates with flawlessly apt examples. Many popular books have been written on Zen since Watts' time, but few have been able to muster the rare combination of erudition and clarity that have kept The Way of Zen in readers' hands decade after decade. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece!
Alan Watts has always had the most amazing ability to speak the unspeakable, and in The Way of Zen you will feel the true essence of Zen as long as you don't get hung up on the words.To get the point, one must read without "reading" because Zen itself can never be put into words. But as you are taken through Zen's conception, birth, growth, and finally into the arts - you will notice that: "this ain't just literature." I have adored Alan's style of writing for over 25 years now, and I must say that this is one his best books, and surely the best ever writen on the subject ( with the one possible exception of D.T. Susuki's writings.) However, I have always found Watts to be more enjoyable, because he understands the western mind and the complications we will inevitably encounter while trying to understand something so completely Chinese as Zen. As you read, you will notice an intimacy develope between author and reader, master and student, or master and master. This book is not only for the serious student of Zen, but for anyone who enjoys eastern thought and "mysticism."

5-0 out of 5 stars Alan Watts at his best.
Watts is a scholar, first and foremost, and a brilliant writer. In this book, you'll learn where Zen came from. It has its origins in India, where Buddhism was created, and then became as fresh as a gust of wind on its way through China and Chinese Taoism. Zen reached its full fruition after it arrived in Japan.

The book is separated into two sections. The first tells the history of Zen. The second describes the practice of Zen. But all the while, Watts opens your mind and you get the real FEEL of Zen. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I can tell you that Watts' way of writing works: It will change the way you look at the world. This book is very much worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Watts enlightens
It is unfortunate in my view that the word Zen gets attached to the most frivolous things. You see books with titles such as "The Zen of Motorcycle Repair" or "The Zen of Making Big Fat Wads of Cash". As Lao Tzu says, "Those who speak do not know; those who know do not speak". With that in mind, it's clear that the modern fad of Zen-everything is not really the way of Zen. Which raises the question - what is the way of Zen? Alan Watts recognises the difficulty in explaining the concept of Zen to the West, and freely admits he's not the world's foremost expert on the subject. However humble he may have been, Watts certainly seems to know what he's talking about. "The Way of Zen" traces the origins of this non-religion/philosophy/ideology from ancient China and India, to its uptake in the rest of Asia (notably Japan). There's even a few chapters on Zen in the Arts, discussing the idea of haiku and how it aspires to be Zen-in-motion. Watts is lucid in his approach, and always takes the time to explain even the most perplexing concepts. Overall if you want to get one step closer to understanding the inscrutable Zen, let Watts enlighten you (pun intended).

5-0 out of 5 stars this is the heart of Zen
if you are a seeker and wish to achieve satori; stop seeking and let go of that wish...

this book is about dis-learning. YOU cannot learn anything from this great source. Alan Watts says "AWAKENING IS NOT NOT TO KNOW WHAT REALITY IS, AWAKENING IS TO KNOW WHAT REALITY IS NOT"

Alan W. Watts says "to Tia, Mark and Richard who will understand it all the better. for not being able to read it"

but know that if there's a book about Zen, this is it...

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best on Zen
As most of us know, Watts is historically one of the most significant writer's introducing the West to Eastern thought. Although "The Book" may speak to a wider audience, this is the best English book on Eastern thought in terms of accesibility and comprehensiveness. It provides us a nice historical overview of the evolution of this type of consciousness and explains the main messages of various "Eastern" schools of thought in a way that most of us Western minds can comprehend. Because of this, I use this as a book as one of the texts in my class of Eastern philosophy. Another book I use for this class is a book called "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato. It is an excellent book that provides a nice bridge between Western thought and Eastern thought in a way that students can understand and appreciate. If you are truly interested in Eastern thought, I believe that these two books are two pieces of essential reading. ... Read more


103. The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra
by Thich Nhat Hanh, Peter Levitt
list price: $8.00
our price: $7.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0938077112
Catlog: Book (1988-09-01)
Publisher: Parallax Press
Sales Rank: 43046
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

regarded as the essence of Buddhist teaching ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is an absolute gem
In a very few words, Thich Nhat Hanh puts in very simple terms what many of us struggle to come to terms with - the esoteric Dharma-teachings on emptiness. Perhaps it's the Zen-born simplicity that makes this treatise so approachable and readable.

This would be a good book for newcomers to Buddhism who hear about emptiness and hairs stand up on the back of their neck. A gentle and skilful introduction to profundity.

A must read for anyone with an interest in emptiness as applied in our conventional world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible wisdom made accessible.
Thich Nhat Hanh sheds light on this superb Buddhist text. The paradoxical language of the scripture is important to convey the illusory qualities of emptiness and individual existence. Unfortunately this language makes it extremely difficult to understand. Hanh takes this esoteric teaching and explains it to a child. I recommend any of his sutra translations and commentaries.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
A Nobel Peace Prize candidate, Thich Nhat Hanh explains in easy to understand language, what this paradoxical concept of emptiness means in Buddhism. This should be a good book to start off with if interested in Buddhism or emptiness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like Meditating
Just reading the first couple paragraphs of this book was like, "aaaahhh..." Completely relaxing. The writer's message and style is simple yet poetic, and very important--how to not be afraid. This is the first Buddhist book I have ever picked up, being that I had only studied Buddhism from the classroom/historical aspect, and never viewed it in any way as something I would actually connect to or practice in my life. Now I can. This book is refreshing, short, easy to read. I would recommend it to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clearly written, very accessible.
This was the first book I read by Thich Nhat Hanh. I had heard a lot about him prior to this. When I read the book, I could easily see why there is so much excitement about him and his works. He writes in a very clear, very accessible style. This book is a commentary on the Heart Sutra. The Heart Sutra is said to contain the essence of Buddhist teachings. I would recommend any book written by Thich Nhat Hanh! ... Read more


104. Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up
by Stanley Bing
list price: $20.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060188618
Catlog: Book (2002-03)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 314696
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Stanley Bing's Throwing the Elephant, subtitled Zen and the Art of Managing Up, is a wise and hilarious--mostly hilarious--antidote to the extensive library of works by grim, clenched-fisted business gurus. Bing posits that power strategies cannot be "managed through rational means." Real success--corporate-niche enlightenment--comes only by embracing religion, specifically Zen Buddhism. This enables one to take "an object of enormous weight and size" (i.e. the elephantine boss) and "mold it ... like a ball of Silly Putty." In truth, he continues, senior management is "the silliest putty of them all." Bing doles out his thoughts in dozens of pithy chapters ("Playing Golf with the Elephant," "Getting Drunk with the Elephant"). He also includes many visual aids (some of which nearly make sense) and adds a sprinkling of the wisdom of others--from Martha Stewart and Jimmy Hoffa to the rock band the Doors--to make his wickedly entertaining points. --H. O'Billovitch ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Elephants in life
The elephant referred to in this title of this witty and joyfully manipulative little book is your boss, the powerful but lumbering and self-involved authority figure that Fortune columnist Stanley Bing believes is comfortably ensconced in your company's corner office. Bing begins his manual on the care and feeding of these "business elephants" with the admonition that people don't get to choose their bosses; like the weather or gravity, bosses exist as laws of nature that exceed the control of the mere mortal mosquitoes that hover about them. "Throwing the Elephant" is likely to become the kind of book that people start reading because it makes them laugh and end up giving to their friends because there's so much to learn from it. While it's a little lopsided to see the boss/employee dynamic as exclusively a power-based relationship, there's still a lot of wisdom about corporate life packed into this little book, which, like the "Dilbert" cartoons, succeeds in suggesting aspects of workplace culture that almost everyone can relate to. Now, of course, someone needs to write a book for the elephants, telling them how to deal with those pesky mosquitoes who keep buzzing around them, clamoring for attention and drinking up their lifeblood. I also highly recommend another little book of wisdom titled "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life" by Taro Gold which has helped me greatly deal with the elephants in my life!

5-0 out of 5 stars What the work world really needs.
If you read Stanley Bing's regular column in Fortune magazine, you know what a wonderful way he has of capturing the idiosyncracies of the corporate world, and letting those of us who don't occupy a corner office in on the real reality of our daily lives.

No doubt Bing is funny, and this book will sometimes have you wondering if he's really joking -- you will certainly be able to relate his humorous stories to some situation of your own. The true gift of "Throwing the Elephant" is that it offers us "corporate monks" what it is we really need -- some humor in our work lives, and the permission to laugh at the randomness of the world. And, of course, verification that the "elephants" we all serve are just as crazy sometimes as we really think they are.

But be forwarned -- this is no traditional "how to make it in business without really trying" book. Before reading, you must first have the ability not to take your position and work too seriously -- you must be able to prioritize the truly important things in life. As Bing whispers to us over the pages, that is where true wisdom and true success really come from.

2-0 out of 5 stars A book about nothing
It must have been fun to write this book. It is much better than Mr Bing's What Would Machiavelli Do? There is more humor than knowledge in this one. Even if you are a Bing fan, I would suggest you borrow it from the library.

5-0 out of 5 stars My elephant likes to rage and stomp me!
This is going down as one of my all-time favorite books. I also highly recommend the excellent book on tape version which is read by the very amusing Simon Jones.

My employer is a self-made multimillionaire who is a elephant in the truest meaning of the what this book discusses. He will scream and spit in your face while firing off threats of how he wants to kill you if he feels pushed to far. But the man is at his worst (or finest) when he calmly and collectedly confronts someone in his lair and with smirks and onesided logic breaks them down. I have yet to learn to properly handle my elephant and so he repeatedly stomps me as he trumpets his rage. The beast is the master of browbeating.

Ironically (At this very moment of my typing this) he has summoned me to his upstairs office for most likely another stomping. This man/elephant has gone decades without someone effectively standing up to him and saying ***&&!!! this is where you get off the bus!! As the old saying goes "absolute power corrupts."

I just got back from my meeting with him. I have been granted a reprieve and will supposedly get much better treatment. But is he really trying to "rehabilitate me" or simply fattening me up for the kill later on? A part of me yearns for the axe and freedom. But I have invested so much work into what I have with him and the company.

I think he wants to turn me into an elephant "mini-me." He is in my view a generally good & brilliant human being (amazingly) but with a bad side at times the size of the Grand Canyon. The strange thing about my pachyderm is that he wishes to live forever and never have to be laid to rest in an elephant graveyard. To this end he will be frozen at death in the hope of being brought back to stomp and trumpet among the humans and elephants of the future. I hope the denizens of that time will know what they are bargaining for by bringing him back! But perhaps they will teach him the lessons he has not gotten in this segment of his life.

I have a fantasy about winning the lottery and becoming his business partner. My dreams of putting him in his place are much stronger than simply being able to go out and buy anything I want, traveling the world or even making love to beautiful women!

Best wishes to all potential elephant wranglers out there!

You will need it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious but not so useful
I gave this book 3 stars instead of 2 because it really made me laugh. However, if you have been in corporate American for more than 5 years, you probably already know that "elephants" (Sr. Management) are self-centered weirdos, not normal people like you and me. And the best way to get by is to let them be what they are and ensure you simply manage around their craziness. If you are hoping for useful advice, seek elsewhere. For a funny read, enjoy this book. ... Read more


105. The Importance Of Living
by Lin Yutang
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688163521
Catlog: Book (1998-10-07)
Publisher: Perennial Currents
Sales Rank: 45849
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Is it really a philosophy book if it has a section entitled "The Importance of Loafing"? Harvard scholar, Taoist, and modernist Lin Yutang wrote The Importance of Living to express his highly subjective, personal feelings after years of studying ancient Chinese texts, and created a wonderfully slow-going yet radiantly clear guide to the simple life. Taking walks, drinking tea, long talks with friends are all important to Lin, whose stories and retellings of Taoist classics meander away from his points, find new ones, and remind us to enjoy the life that's all around us without needless worry.

Lin's prose is gentle, like the conversation of a favorite lazy uncle who is more at home sipping lemonade on the back porch than gulping lattes between meetings. The sincerity of his humility is surprising to a reader used to postmodern writers who seem to pride themselves on their self-abasement. Though Lin deliberately avoided fame and notoriety, correctly observing that it only leads to troubles, one can only hope that his wisdom, timelier than ever, finds a wider audience among today's too-busy-to-breathe global culture. His philosophy, more practical and enjoyable than the usual Western writings on the subject, reminds us all of the vital importance of simply living. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good essence under complicated cover
What I like about this book is the author's eloquence in evaluating simple acts in our life taken as granted (e.g. laying down, drinking tea, having a nice conversation) and in bringing out their simplicity yet beauty. In this manner, he teaches us how to enjoy them as they are and therefore gain a deeper appreciation of life itself. This book is like a reminder of things that we already knew but became forgotten as we grow older and is a collection of concrete philosophical ideas that would enrich our way of living.
The downside of this book is the tendency of the author to be verbose and to use complicated expressions. It is somewhat a vocabulary marathon to understand what he writes, not to mention the chinese expressions oftenly used without clear explanation (even with the explanation summary at the end of the book). The other is the impresssion of somewhat chinese-centric and xenophobic writing style.
In conclusion, this book is valuable in the way it reminds us the importance and enjoyment of living. It is however not an easy reading, and his writing style needs some getting used to.

5-0 out of 5 stars Offers a complete philosophy of life
This is a true modern classic (to those who consider 1937 modern anyway). Lin Yutang offers a meandering, informal look at life, happiness, the differences between Eastern and Western cultures, the enjoyment of food and many other things. What I like best about this book is not what it argues for or advocates (Yutang is about as far from an academic philosopher as you can get) but the joy and wisdom he injects into every paragraph. He is often considered a Chinese thinker, but this is only partially true. His very broad studies and experiences make him a true cosmopolitan, the sort it is hard to find today. The Importance of Living is really a call to appreciate the earthly pleasures of life and not take so seriously the overrated follies of modern civilization. You don't have to completely agree with his views to appreciate his style. The ideal life for Lin Yutang is that of a lazy, wandering Taoist scholar. Not a humorless ascetic, but someone who approaches life with a sense of humor and an ability to enjoy the small pleasures. Yutang identifies himself as a hedonist (later in life he became Christian, but that's another story). There are many self help and new age books out today that tell you how to live a simpler, more spiritual life. This book tells you the same thing in a way that is far wittier and less sanctimonious.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book of wisdom and beauty
I enjoyed Dr. Lin's books since I was a high school student. If you carefully read this book and apply the philosophy embedded in this book, your will discover the beauty of life more and live a happier and more sensible life. Strongly recommend this book to those who are always busy and don't have time to enjoy their lives. (if you still have time to read a book.... ^__^)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Living
I bought a copy of this book (the original 1937 edition) in a secondhand book store in the 1970s for the princely sum of $1.00. Through countless moves since then I have somehow managed to retain this book, which is surprising since I have lost or given away so many books, almost all of which cost me much more money than this one did. I can honestly say it was the most profitable dollar I ever spent. This is a wonderful book -- rambling at times, it is true -- but it contains many gems. Yutang is a superb writer and his quote of Chuangtse (as he spells the name of the famous Chinese philosopher) is classic: "Spit forth intelligence." This, along with William Strunk's famous dictum "Omit needless words," is a phrase every writer should live by.

5-0 out of 5 stars Living life without fighting it!
I have a soft spot for this book because I recently learned that this was my grandfather's favourite book ever. And as he was born in 1900, was a silent man and left us a huge library, I simply had to read this book to see what it was about.

Mr. Yutang is definitely a nice person. It would have been a pleasure to have some conversation with him.

I know that some of his beliefs can seem quite strange, in this crazy 21st. century days we are living, but in a certain way I believe he embodies the Chinese tradition of letting things pass instead of fighting with them.

This book has some funny passages, such as the one where he describes his passion for walking in the rain and how he later would lie to explain to people why he was all wet...

It certainly packs a different approach to life and it is interesting to learn his opinions about our western life styles. And having lived in America, he never condemns any of it, but simply points some absurds and curiosities that couldn't be easily accepted by a chinese.

There is certainly some to be learned from his culture of appreciation and his delightful essays about many aspects of our lives that would have simply passed unnoticed otherwise. ... Read more


106. The New Physics and Cosmology Dialogues with the Dalai Lama
by Arthur Zajonc, Zara Houshmand, David Finkelstein, George Greenstein, Piet Hut, Tu Weiming, Anton Zeilinger, B. Alan Wallace, Thupten Jinpa, Bstan-Dzin-Rgya-Mtsho
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 0195159942
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 46014
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Book Description

What happens when the Dalai Lama meets with leading physicists and a historian? This book is the carefully edited record of the fascinating discussions at a Mind and Life conference in which five leading physicists and a historian (David Finkelstein, George Greenstein, Piet Hut, Arthur Zajonc, Anton Zeilinger, and Tu Weiming) discussed with the Dalai Lama current thought in theoretical quantum physics, in the context of Buddhist philosophy. A contribution to the science-religion interface, and a useful explanation of our basic understanding of quantum reality, couched at a level that intelligent readers without a deep involvement in science can grasp. In the tradition of other popular books on resonances between modern quantum physics and Zen or Buddhist mystical traditions--notably The Dancing Wu Li Masters and The Tao of Physics, this book gives a clear and useful update of the genuine correspondences between these two rather disparate approaches to understanding the nature of reality. ... Read more


107. Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective
by Dalai Lama, Geshe Thupten Jinpa
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 1559390735
Catlog: Book (1997-03-01)
Publisher: Snow Lion Publications
Sales Rank: 12950
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"The Dalai Lama teaches with clear and forceful language. These teachings form an essential spiritual discourse."--Publishers Weekly ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Snow Lion Publications is a landmark when it comes to Buddhist literature, up there with Wisdom Books and Shambhala Publications. The Dalai Lama faces the issues of our times in this book; for we live in times of so much violence and anger in various situations, not just "global." We encounter them in our family life, in our work life, et cetera. Everywhere we go, this matter seems to pop right up! As you might expect, the practice out of this the Dalai Lama prescribes is the cultivation of compassion; cultivating patience. Patience, His Holiness points out, permits us to mindfully and calmly accept hardship, thus enabling us to see things as they are unclouded.

In here you find an old text from the 11th century which is quite important to Tibet known as the "Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" by Shantideva. The Dalai Lama uses this text as his entire groundwork for explaining the practice and place of patience in our lives, if of course, we are aspiring and actualizing our life as a bodhisattva. Also a good book on this subject is "Anger: Wisdom For Cooling the Flames." Sure the books are dissimilar in style and format, while simultaneously they drive towards the same end point; realizing our life as a bodhisattva. Get this book right away, it's a must have!

5-0 out of 5 stars Perspective
Get what you will --- just get it! Anything this man has to say is worth every penny you pay to listen or read --- you don't have to be a Buddist or even spiritual to bring out a little humanity in yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Logical and needed in today's world
This book is essential reading for those like myself who have difficulty restraining their anger. Reading this book has allowed me to understand the causes that lead to anger and ultimately, to suffering. At it's deepest level, Healing Anger is about how to get oneself on the road to the cessation from suffering by changing one's outlook on the world and on oneself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
This book is a recording of one of the Dalai Lama's seminars in the US. Looks hard to read at first, but the concepts are fascinating. The Q&A sections reveal alot of the more dogmatic views of Tibetan Buddhism. The premise is simple, anger is an unecessary cause of suffering. Alot of good advice, especially for Westerners attempting to convert to Buddhism or considering the path of the Bodhisatva. When you think about these things it can really make a difference. Stick with it. It's worth reading!

4-0 out of 5 stars Patience
I have read several of the Dalai Lama' books and hve grown more fond of him with each book. In this book, His Holiness attempts to address the issue of anger. His main argument is based in the fact that anger can be remedied through patience. I find this to be true as anger is often rooted in impatience. The book sites Buddhist scripture to explain the reasoning behind the argument. In addition, His Holiness presents meditation sessions in the book. Even for those who are inexperienced in the meditation practices, the suggestions make the practice easy and practical. The meditation practices did help me address some of the anger in my life. As the Dalai Lama suggests, anger will not disappear. It takes time to work through anger. Anger is a powerful and destructive emotion. It is worth learning to control anger.

The only problem I have found in this book is that It tends to be a little hard to follow if you are unfamiliar with Buddhist scripture. The dialogue can also seem very long and drawn out at times. Overall, this book can be beneficial to those who seek its wisdom. ... Read more


108. The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life
by Tung-Pin Lu, Richard Wilhelm
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
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Asin: 0156799804
Catlog: Book (1962)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 60196
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

1955. The point of view established in this volume is that the spirit must lean on science as its guide in the world of reality, and that science must turn to the spirit for the meaning of life. This book lends us a new approach to the East, and it also strengthens the point of view evolving in the West with respect to the psyche. Wilhelm provides the reader with the text and explanation, while another section contains commentary by Jung. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Big Secret" has been revealed!
The "Secret of the Golden Flower" is the best book i have ever read. I have read hundreds of nonfiction books searching for hidden knowledge - none of them (with an exception of Sri Swami Sivananda's Yogic Texts) speek so clearly and openly of the divine secret which has eluded mankind for so long. I cannot posibly put into words the extreme importance of the contents of this book. The ancient Taoist translations are priceless. Read it and then read it again. I have read the two Chinese texts, with Wilhelms excellent translations, over ten times - and haven't even glanced and Jung's commentary. For the spiritual aspirant contemplating the deep secrets of the alchemical sciences, ancient Egyptian, Indian, and Biblical texts - look no further - this book is worth it's weight in "gold."

5-0 out of 5 stars Not a page is wasted
This book is absolutely worth reading, from cover to cover, including all of the commentaries and introductions and what have you. The text itself is, of course, incredible, with a surprising clarity that is rare among aged religious and philosophical texts, especially those pertaining to meditative practice, and Richard Wilhelm's somewhat outdated translation doesn't inhibit it much. Carl Jung's commentary is equally worth reading, and could easily stand as a book of its own. It also thankfully puts this book at arm's length from watery New Age "spirituality." Get this book and don't skip anything.

5-0 out of 5 stars 100 days to the Spiritual Child...
If what you seek is a meditation method that will develop in you the basis for illumination [ the Spiritual Child as described in the book ], you will find that by following the methods prescribed therein, in 90 to 100 days you will have it. The book tells it like it is, if only you can read it without intellectual wrangling..... i succeeded in 90 days exactly following the intructions. ... Read more


109. The Complete I Ching: The Definitive Translation by the Taoist Master Alfred Huang
by Alfred Huang
list price: $30.00
our price: $18.90
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Asin: 0892816562
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Inner Traditions International
Sales Rank: 9858
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first translation to honor the authentic Chinese spirit of the Book of Change

For more than 3000 years the I Ching has been the most important book of divination in the world. Yet it has always been translated by Westerners who brought their own cultural biases to the work. Now, for the first time, an eminent Chinese scholar has translated the original ideograms of the I Ching into English. Imprisoned and sentenced to death during the Cultural Revolution in 1966, Master Alfred Huang studied the I Ching in secret with some of China's greatest minds. Released in 1979, he emigrated to the United States, where he discovered that no I Ching existed in English that truly understood the Chinese mind. This book is the product of his desire to right that situation.

To the Chinese, the I Ching is nothing without the Confucian commentaries known as the Ten Wings. Previous editions have given them only a minor place in the book, or have left them out altogether. In this new translation, they are restored to their central importance by Master Huang.

This book also emphasizes the intricate connections between the 64 possible hexagrams, and introduces several new methods for doing readings. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Use the I Ching in the manner it was meant to be used
Expertly translated by Alfred Huang, a third-generation master of Wu style Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, and Oriental meditation, The Complete I Ching is the ancient Eastern philosophical classic and book of divination that has been used since ancient times to seek meaning. This English version is exceptional in that it includes full translations Confucius' Ten Wings, his commentaries and insights that are crucial to the wisdom the I Ching has to offer. An extensive introduction teaches the reader about the subtleties of the translation as well as instructions for using the I Ching in the manner it was meant to be used. Due to its exhaustive and meticulous accuracy, The Complete I Ching is the version to have for English speakers interested in exploring the insights and uses of this age-old resouce.

5-0 out of 5 stars ... each step in preparation for the next....
The insight of the I Ching has been a companion guide in my life for two decades, my well-read, well-marked, well-worn, well-loved Wilhelm translation and my books of journal notes. For the past several years, I've felt that I was missing something, some connection I had as yet not been able or ready to make. I would pick up other translations, hoping to find that which had eluded me, only to determine that they missed the mark -- they did not speak to me. Until now. Thank you Master Huang, for you are helping me build the bridge to the next level. I look forward to the upcoming release of your new book. The journey continues....

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior in every way! A version true to Chinese Wisdom.

The most difficult task when translating a document from its original source language into another language is to carry across the full *meaning* of the work (as it was intended, not how its interpreted). This is virtually impossible to do without a thorough understanding of both the original language (that which the document is written in), and of the culture that is transmitted via that language. Until now, this has been the same problem that has plagued other English translations of the I Ching.

Previously, these other translations have relied upon a Western perspective and understanding, leaving something important behind... the cultural wisdom behind the I Ching. Even the best translations available prior to that of Master Huang (those by Wilhelm, Legge and Blofeld) have failed to fully relate the cultural wisdom inherent in the I Ching. They've come close, but close isn't close enough. These translations lack the open-endedness of the Chinese I Ching that lead to its multiple interpretations and are inherent in the Chinese writings of antiquity. To gain an understanding from a Chinese perspective requires an understanding that only someone living within the culture and fluent in the language, with many years of practical experience (and training), has to offer. Enter Huang.

To truly experience a culture, and its wisdom, one must experience it first hand. Raised in China and spending a good many years of his life working with the I Ching, Master Huang has gained an understanding of the I Ching that most of us could only hope to experience. He has taken on the monumental task of translating this amazing book into English, with the cultural wisdom, open-endedness and fluidity of the original I Ching, and succeeded.

This is, bar-none, the best English translation of the I Ching published to date, and the only version you'll ever need (unless you enjoy collecting books). I cannot recommend it enough!

5-0 out of 5 stars A great I Ching for your library!!!!
I confess, when I first purchased this book I was a little put off. I was new to the I Ching and I probably had the get answers quick mentality. I almost immediately put this book on the shelf. But I kept coming back to it in order to glean an in depth perspective. As I have grown in my studies of the Ching (only 8 months!!) and as I have applied its wisdom and answers to my current situations - I have realized just what a momumental task that Huang has accomplished. It goes without saying that this will be one of my prized versions. I now use it extensively because it gives accurate answers and provides appropriate background but it still very versatile for any situation. It's is a beautiful book, too. I recommend that you throw the dust jacket away. My binding was weak and may necessitate me purchasing another version, but oh well. I simply love this book. The prose and explanations are relevant and applicable. His value adds such as change patterns, et al are a great addition.

If you are new to the I Ching and getting your feet wet but want books of substance and endurance then The Complete I Ching is an excellent place to start and truthfully it will be the ONLY translation that you will need. I also recommend that you purchase Stephen Karcher's How to Use the I Ching and Sarah Denning's The Everyday I Ching. All three are a tour de force in your understanding and application of the I Ching's wisdom. If you really want your money's worth - get Karcher's I Ching kit since it has his book, yarrow stalks and coins.

If you wish to have one more resource, then I recommend R. L. Wing's I Ching Workbook as a means of understanding and visually seeing the patterns that affect your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alfred Huang's translation of I Ching - Life Transforming!
Alfred Huang's modern American prose and poetry translation of the I Ching is "the best" translation I've read. There are many enjoyable commentaries on the I Ching in English (e.g. Wu Wei's I Ching Wisdom) and there are older translations of the I Ching held in high esteem by western scholars (e.g. The Richard Wilhelm/Cary F. Baynes translation). But with Alfred Huang's translation, you get a pre-"cultural revolution" professor of Taoist philosophy translating the I Ching directly into English from ancient Chinese texts and modern Chinese commentaries/scholarship. This is much better than reading Cary F. Baynes' "English language" translation of Richard Wilhelm's "German translation" of Chinese texts -- which until Master Huang's translation was considered the "definitive" English-language translation available. The I Ching is comprised of four parts: 1) divinatory passages 2) history of the Zhou overthrow of the Shang dynasty 3) Duke of Zhou's commentary and 4) commentary by Confucius. Alfred Huang adds a "fifth" part: a scholarly and native-Chinese perspective on ancient and modern Chinese cultures. In those five parts of the Alfred Huang's translation of the I Ching one finds: 6) tons of practical Chinese philosophical meditations on living attuned to the laws of nature and humanity. Despite my praise for Huang's translation, I do have some questions or concerns! For example, in comparing his translation to "other translations in English," Alfred Huang relies almost exclusively on only two English-language translations by Wilhelm/Baynes and Bloefeld -- only dropping "James Legge's" name in a brief introductory cameo appearance. There is scant mention of the many other English-language translations available. For Master Huang to simply say I focus on only Wilhelm/Baynes and Bloefeld because they are "the best" in English is not convincing scholarship; it's merely a claim. His scholarship with the Chinese texts seems apparent, but I would like to see more comparisons with other English-language translations. Can some of the other translations into English spread light on the I Ching? My second reservation: how much is Alfred Huang's own commentary influenced by his immersion in Taoist and Confucian philosophy, and how does this chronologically undercut the purity of his translations? In other words, are we getting an anachronistic I Ching translation here -- i.e. a post Taoist-Confucian reading or rearticulation of the I Ching? (And why does Master Huang only use 5 of the 10 "Wings" of Confucius and not all 10 in his translation?) Despite these reservations, I can only applaud Alfred Huang's translation as masterful and definitive. Without having flipped a single coin or yarrow stalk, Master Huang's text has begun to transform my restless life into one of greater harmony. Of course, he would say it is not he who transforms, but the wisdom of the I Ching. Thank you Master Huang for making the I Ching more accessible to my daily life. I hope you translate the Tao Te Ching next. Xie Xie Ni Da Shi! ... Read more


110. Sourcebook in Asian Philosophy (Sourcebooks in Philosophy)
by John M. Koller, Patricia Koller
list price: $71.67
our price: $71.67
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Asin: 0023658118
Catlog: Book (1991-01-04)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 118816
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111. Tao : The Watercourse Way
by Alan Watts, Al Chung-liang Huang
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
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Asin: 0394733118
Catlog: Book (1977-01-12)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 37347
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Drawing on ancient and modern sources, Watts treats the Chinese philosophy of Tao in much the same way as he did Zen Buddhism in his classic The Way of Zen. Critics agree that this last work stands as a perfect monument to the life and literature of Alan Watts. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Alan Watts is at his best in this book
Watts' scholarship is impressive, yet even more impressive is his ability to communicate what he knows. The Tao Te Ching is not the easiest book to read, but you wouldn't know that from Watts' Watercourse book. Everything is very clearly presented. Lacking are the word-games Watts sometimes likes to play in his other books. His rather lengthy discussion of "li" would have been worth the price of the book all by itself, but there was just so much more. Far and away, this is one of the best books on Taoism I have on my shelf. I have been reading a lot of Watts lately, recently introduced to him by an acquaintance, and it has been one of the best adventures of my life. Among all his books, this is one of my favorites.

4-0 out of 5 stars An almost Masterpiece!
The Watercourse way is a most wonderful work on Taoism and mysticism/spirituality in general. I started to read the book with only a vague understanding of Taoism, but when I was done I was in love with the philosophy. Alan Watt's characteristic intelligent and compassionate way of writing shines through, and with his help one can really wrap their head around very complex ideas.

Although some parts dealing with chinese translation and calligraphy can be somewhat monotonous, the insight gained from a heightened understanding of Tao, Te and wu-wei more than make up for any shortcomings of the book. This book is definately an important stepping stone on my personal spiritual journey. I just wish he had put the 'fun stuff' in.

4-0 out of 5 stars It would have been a great book
I'm a great fan of Alan Watts, and this would certainly have been a five stars book had he lived to finish it.

This was originally intended to be a two parts book. The first part would introduce the basic concepts of taoism to the reader. The second one, according to Watts himself, would be "full of surprises", and I believe it would consist in a set of amusing and paradigm-shaking stories and illustrations of the taoist way.

Unfortunately, Watts passed away before initiating the second part, and the book was published as being composed only by the first one, "stuffed" with volume-increasing editorial tricks such as large size fonts and spacing, and with many pages consisting of taoist texts written in chinese.

As it is, the volume is a wonderful introduction to taoism. Nonetheless, I think the intended second part would have been the real treasure of this book, since the concepts presented in the introductory chapters, though brilliantly explained, had already been exposed, in similar ways, in many of Watts previous books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incomplete but still quite complete
Although we can tell that this is a book Watts started on and was not able to finish himself, there are many important insights in this book. This book presents an in depth exploration of the teachings of Taoism. It goes over many of the teachings of Taoism and Watts applies these ideas to many ordinary things that many of us would experience in life. If you like other works of Watts, you will definitely enjoy this! If you are interested in Taoism and other eastern ideas, you will also like "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato. It is a wonderful book that explains the nature of consciousness and how it relates to many of our experiences concerning interpersonal relationships, group relationships, and our own development and evolution. Happy Reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars the most profound book
i am moved by the spirit of the tao and mr. watts, therefore i would like to say, ... ... Read more


112. Waking Up to What You Do : A Zen Practice for Meeting Every Situation with Intelligence and Compassion
by DIANE ESHIN RIZZETTO
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
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Asin: 1590301811
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 46261
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113. Going to Pieces without Falling Apart
by MARK EPSTEIN
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0767902351
Catlog: Book (1999-06-01)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 22272
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Provides new insights into nature of sexuality and intimacy.
This book of Epstein's seemed a lot more helpful and useful than his more theoretical "Thoughts Without a Thinker." I felt her recast many of the old Buddhist stories in a very new light that make them sparkle again. His intertwining of psychoanalysis with meditation was brilliant especially his demonstration that both are complementary and that one can get stuck in either mode. Finally, his analysis of how our selves resist disintegration even in sexuality and interpersonal intimacy rings so true! Epstein comes across as so human, so struggling and yet so wise. I felt the gentle touch of a caring counselor throughout the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Epstein exposes the meaning behind Emptiness
A superb look at the inner workings of the mind. Often times Psychology and Buddhist texts tend to be a bit hard to read. Often times I hear complaints about such writings, but here Epstein gives a clear and easily understood look at our inner workings. Don't be put off by the Buddhist aspects, this is book is purely based on understanding our own difficulties in being human. From dealing with bad relationships, balancing our monster ego's, and finding a more constructive way to deal with our daily deconstruction, this book from beginning to end is an engaging experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read This Book!!
This is the best I have ever and will ever read. It explains budhism and psychotherapy, which are complex subjects in and of themselves, in a way that really connects with the reader.

4-0 out of 5 stars Digging it
I'm currently reading this book, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It's helping me to take a more play-oriented approach to my writing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pillow or couch?
This book is fun to read and explore. It bears reading two or three times, and is filled with some good insights into parallels between buddisht practice and western psychology. Having said that, it is also fair to say that it is in need some serious editing and rethinking. Misstatememts like: "Buddhism has always made the self's ability to relax its boundaries the centerpiece of its teachings" are indicative of the authors' predeliction for interpreting buddhist philosophy in western psychological terms. And this is a real weakness of the text.
It also troubles me that the author himself, along with several of his aquaintances and patients, practiced most fertily in the ground of buddhist meditation, and yet the author seems to take pains to avoid suggesting that this is indeed the most appropriate advice for those suffering. ... Read more


114. The Spirit of Yoga
by Cat De Rham, Michele Gill
list price: $17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0007108826
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: Thorsons Publishers
Sales Rank: 220077
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Structured around the eight limbs identified in the yoga sutras of Pantanjali, this highly accessible approach leads you from Yama, the practice of universal ethical disciplines, right through to Samadhi, union with the Supreme Being.Throughout, the authors share personal hints and practical tips on how Pantanjali's beautiful teachings translate into both the practice of yoga and our everyday lives. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars the eight limbs of yoga illuminated
The Spirit of Yoga is an amazing and magical interpretation and guide to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. The eight limbs or stages of the yogic path to liberation are described with clarity, wisdom and insight and illuminated with poems, photographs and illustrations. Open to any page and discover new insights, inspiration, guidance and wisdom for your practice

5-0 out of 5 stars Not your typical yoga book...
When I first saw this book, I was expecting your typical workout book with photos and instructions. I was pleasantly suprised and delighted with the text and photos. This is a must have for anyone who enjoys and understands the true meaning yoga. ... Read more


115. A Source Book in Indian Philosophy
by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Charles A. Moore
list price: $34.95
our price: $34.95
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Asin: 0691019584
Catlog: Book (1967-04-01)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 207709
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ian Myles Slater on: A Classic Anthology
Originally published in 1957, and reissued in paperback in the 1960s, this is basically a textbook (or supplementary reading source) for the serious study of the philosophical schools of India -- very much including the religious traditions.

Radhakrishnan and Moore assembled and edited an impressive body of material, most of it in selections, with useful introductions and helpful notes. It begins with philosophical passages in early Sanskrit religious texts, and proceeds through their orthodox interpreters, through heterodox approaches (materialist, Jaina, and Buddhist), and the medieval synthesizers, and concludes with a chapter each on two modern Indian philosophers, Sri Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan himself.

Although the work is careful and solid, it represents a half-century-old point of view, and especially bibliographically is in places quite out of date. So far as I am aware, however, there is no recent, but equally comprehensive and well-documented collection, available in English (specific topics are another matter). The translations are in places not only old but unappealing. It can be misleading, and at the very least it does not deal with fifty-odd years of controversy over the absolute and relative datings of various key texts. With this in mind, however, it is certainly worth reading.

This should be the whole content of my review; the remainder, is I fear, currently necessary, for reasons external to the book in question.

The age of the book has left it open to attacks which are less reasonable, from certain Indian nationalists and their more naive supporters, including reviewers here. The editors took for granted the conventional view (since the later nineteenth century) that the recorded history of Indian thought begins with the ancient literature in Sanskrit, itself a very early example of the Indo-European languages (see below). Anything earlier is either irretrievably lost, or inextricably interwoven with the Sanskrit and Prakrit (medieval vernacular) heritage, including that in the Dravidian languages of south Asia, notably Tamil.

This conflicts with traditional Hindu (and Jaina and Buddhist) views about the eternal nature of Indian civilization, and from a religious point of view is simply wrong; but Indian concepts of time are one of the subjects covered in this book (if not entirely adequately), and have little to do with Western empirical studies. (A Christian Fundamentalist or ultra-Orthodox Jew would have equivalent, if opposite, objections.)

In the absence of extended texts (instead of clusters of undeciphered glyphs) from the Indus Valley civilization, this is still the basic working assumption, despite attempts to recognize Shiva, for example, in ancient art. The dates are, within limits, open to debate, and the relationship of the arrival of the "Aryas" to the fall of the Indus Valley civilization is no longer taken as obvious. Still, the Sanskrit language is regarded as having entered India with invading tribes from the north, which occupied the inviting plains of northern India (including modern Pakistan). Their ("Vedic") language and culture, if not the tribes themselves, very slowly spread over the northern part of the subcontinent, and eventually beyond. (This has historical parallels, including the Persians, Alexander's Macedonians, and a variety of later, more permanent, invaders, most recently Muslims from Central Asia.) The ancient oral literature of the "Aryas" (Noble Ones), encapsulated in the Vedas and Brahmanas, is the foundation of later developments, including the Upanishads, the Epics, and the Puranas.

Some reviewers, perhaps accepting well-publicized recent "discoveries" (of an often dubious nature), seem to find this objectionable. They are either implicitly denying the well-known relationship of Sanskrit to Old Persian, and of both to Greek, Latin, and the Slavic, Baltic, Celtic, Germanic (and several other) languages, or they are arguing that the whole Indo-European (or, especially for German scholars, "Indo-Germanic") language group originated in India.

This latter approach was a view entertained in the nineteenth-century infancy of comparative linguistics; it has had a revival in India, where it has an understandable appeal. (Starting their history with an unrecorded invasion is an annoying idea -- although it leaves India in the same "humiliating" position as most of Europe.) Radhakrishnan and Moore were certainly familiar with some earlier versions of this position (including a variant which expressed open sympathy with the "Aryans" of Nazi Germany), and ignored them.

The "out of India" choice requires accepting that the ancient Indo-European speakers (in modern thought, a linguistic, not a genetic, grouping), instead of spreading throughout Eurasia in unrelated migrations and episodes of cultural influence, marched north from India, over the Himalayas, across some of the world's most rugged terrain, and spread out, presumably conquering as they went, imposing their language on the subjugated peoples, who learned to speak it as best they could.

This is possible to imagine, if militarily (and otherwise) highly unlikely. It presents India as the original colonial super-power, however. This view is actually endorsed, if not widely publicized in the West, by a variety of nationalist groups in India, whose "anti-imperialism" is apparently limited to recent, and European, empires.

Those who want to present India in a positive light should perhaps complain less about what is, on the whole an admiring look at the sub-continents' more peaceful (if occasionally startlingly pragmatic / Machiavellian) contributions to history, in volumes like the present one. Radhakrishnan and Moore made a serious effort to explain the intellectual heritage of India. I wish I didn't feel it was necessary to defend them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most concise and precise book on Indian Philosophy
1) The best feature of this book is: it has the actual texts of so many great works like Vedas, Upanishads, Gita etc. For this one reason itself, it is a must have book, where else will you get such a concise and precise translations of all the major Indian texts all in one place.

2) It deals extensively not only with Upanishads and other six Darshanas but also includes Arth Shastra by Kautilya(Chanakya), the famous Indian economist/politician (contemporary to Alexander). It also included Bhagvat Gita and the famous Karma Yoga, as one would expect in any Indian philosophy book!

3) It summarizes the key-features of all the seemingly different Indian philosophies Buddhism/Jainism/Charvaka/Hinduism very succintly in the first chapter. I particularly liked the seven key similarities of Indian thought on page xxiii from the general introduction.

4) Another interesting part is on page xxx where the authors argue why one should undertake the study of Indian philosophy and how should it be taken. It takes historical, political and philosophical stand-points. Again, a must read!

4) One flaw of the book is that they have kind of assumed whole-heartedly with the Aryan Invasion Theory stating that Aryans came from outside India and settled in India around 2000 bc. However, this theory is seriously debated by many contemporary scholars like Prof Edwin Bryant (PhD from Columbia, now teaching at Rutgers), Prof Klaus Klostermaier (author of many Hinduism books, one of which was assigned reading in this class too, retired from Univ of Manitoba, Canada, now teaching at Oxford, UK), Prof Subhash Kak etc. Some of these scholars maintain that Aryans were native inhabitants of India who went to other parts of the world, starting from India. But, it is still a big controvery until solid evidences are found.

5) Other problem is: on page xxix, it is mentioned that the people from the varna, Shudra (sudra), are not religiously initiated Hindus and they dont have to undergo the four Aashrams (stages) of the human-life. This is also not agreeable statement as the same Manu-Smriti which has stated this has also stated elsewhere, that one becomes Dvija(twice born) of the first there varnas, ONLY by character and not just by birth alone. It prescribes the mobility between different varnas.

5-0 out of 5 stars The gateway to the mind begins here.
Anyone like Krshna? This book, full of Sanskrit and Pali terms, not only expands the mind with new vocabulary, but adds a whole new dimension to the field of thought and understanding. If anyone wants a taste of Eastern Philosophy at its most difficult level, this is the book to read. ... Read more


116. Buddhism in America
by Richard Hughes Seager
list price: $45.00
our price: $45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0231108680
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Sales Rank: 34629
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Buddhism has influenced American culture since the American Transcendentalist movement in the 1830s and '40s; only recntly, however, has this transplanted philosophy begun to blossom into a full-fledged American religion. Seager offers a perceptive and engaging portrait of the communities, institutions, practices, and individuals that are integral to the contemporary Buddhist landscape, including six profiles of Buddhist traditions exported to the United States from Japan, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere. The book also considers Americanization and recent developments in gender equity, progressive social change, and intra-Buddhist and interreligious dialogue.

... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging and informative
This "road map to the American Buddhist landscape" succeeds inbeing both "engaging and informative," as the author intended. While it could be used as a text for a college class, it will also be ofinterest to American practitioners of Buddhism (like me) who want to knowmore about our roots and about the variety of forms of Buddhism inAmerica.

Part One provides background material on the history of Buddhismand its transmission to America and includes a short chapter on "VeryBasic Buddhism" for those new to the subject or wanting a refresher. Part Two, the largest part, discusses the various forms of Buddhism inAmerica, with chapters on Jodo Shinshu, Soka Gakkai, Zen, Tibetan,Theravada, and "other Pacific Rim migrations."And Part Threeexplores some "Selected Issues": gender equity, socialengagement, intra-Buddhist and interreligious dialogue, and theAmericanization of Buddhism.

4-0 out of 5 stars An important and scholarly addition to Buddhist history.
Religious historian Richard Hughes Seager provides a revealing and candid portrait of the communities, practices and individuals who are central to the modern Buddhist life, examining not only Buddhist beliefs and historyin Asia and the US, but providing profiles of Buddhist traditions whichhave been brought into the U.S. Buddhism In America rounds out ourinformation and provides important insights into the Americanization ofBuddhism and is an important addition to the growing library of Buddhisthistorical liteature.

5-0 out of 5 stars An important contribution to Buddhist historical literature.
Religious historian Richard Hughes Seager provides a revealing and candid portrait of the communities, practices and individuals who are central to the modern Buddhist life, examining not only Buddhist beliefs and historyin Asia and the US, but providing profiles of Buddhist traditions whichhave been brought into the U.S. Buddhism in America rounds out ourinformation and provides important insights into the Americanization ofBuddhism and is an important addition to the growing library of Buddhisthistorical liteature. ... Read more


117. If the Buddha Got Stuck: A Handbook for Change on a Spiritual Path
by Charlotte Davis Kasl, Charlotte, Ph.D. Kasl
list price: $13.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142196282
Catlog: Book (2005-01-04)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 345125
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118. Classics of Strategy and Counsel, Volume 1 : The Collected Translations of Thomas Cleary
by THOMAS CLEARY
list price: $40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570627274
Catlog: Book (2001-01-02)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 468021
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding
Thomas Cleary has done us a great service by translating and/or collecting these works.He is a man of understanding and insight and these three volumes will threaten to make any reader who takes them seriously the same.

Any person who deals with anybody in any way should endeavor to grasp these fine works of wisdom.Not to do so is a mistake.As Confucius said,"If a mistake is not corrected, that is called a mistake."

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reading for anybody interested in leadership
Anyone interested in learning about leadership should go back to the classics. Clearly has done a great job putting together a collection of the most influencial eastern classics in three volumes. The five classics included in this volume present crucial aspects of human development and empowerment. The most insighful readings in my opinion are thunder in the Sky and The Book of the Five Rings.The first one talks about the skills and behavior of succesful leaders, while the second one deals with the art of confrontation and victory. Clearly's comments are very good in providing insights about the reading. My last recommendation is to start with the first volume: The Art of War by Sun Tzu. ... Read more


119. The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment
by Philip Kapleau Roshi
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385260938
Catlog: Book (1989-02-27)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 26341
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Advice-Boring Read
I hate saying it, because Philip Kapleau is so full of the good teachings that helped Zen "take" here in the USA, but this book was very boring. I understand many of his students perhaps have written the reviews here and such, and that Roshi Kapleau is in fact, a very good teacher. As for being a good writer, he is not. That said, the words on each page are accurate and concise. It is the delivery that leaves much to be desired.

Let us keep in mind that when this book was published, the West didn't really know much about Zen. It was considered, largely, to be a "philosophy" that is to be understood academically. Every author writes for his or her audience, that is, any writer that wants to write another book does. This work reminds you of, though not entirely, the flavor that Daisetz Suzuki wrote with. The scholarly, intellectual route. Which, like I said, was necessary to pave way for the many teachings we would find later in the USA as a result. Roshi Kapleau paved the way for Zen, but as for this book, it simply is not "attractive" enough for many students of Zen today. If you want an entertaining read that provides insight, this is not really your book. If you are looking for insight, and don't care much one way or the other about the "entertainment" aspect-then this book is for you. All this said, I recommend the book. The oddest recommendation I have given to date.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pillar Of Zen literature in the West
The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment
by Philip Kapleau

Now in a 35th Anniversary edition, The Three Pillars of Zen is generally regarded as the "classic" introduction to Zen Buddhism, and along with Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, has probably helped more westerners begin Zen practice than any other book.

The book is a collection of texts which describe Zen Buddhism as encountered by Philip Kapleau in Japan in the 1950's. Kapleau's transmission is Zen as it was taught in particular by Harada-Roshi and Yasutani-Roshi, a synthesis of both the Rinzai and Soto traditions. Harada's and Yasutani's school revitalized Zen in the twentieth century, and their teaching is particularly relevant to Americans as many American Zen teachers today are of their lineage.

The book is in three parts. Part One is titled "Teaching and Practice" and consists of Yasutani's Introductory Lectures on Zen Training (these alone are worth the price of the book), his Commentary (Teisho) on the Koan Mu, and records of his Private Encounters With Ten Westerners (in dokusan). These three sections provide the reader an idea of what Zen training is, how to begin, and hint at the flavor of the process as practiced in Yasutani's school. Part One concludes with a translation of a dharma talk and some letters by the 14th century Japanese master Bassui.

Part Two is titled "Enlightenment" and consists of first-person descriptions of 20th century enlightenment (kensho) experiences. These descriptions are unique and fascinating, and bring the concept of enlightenment a personal relevance - it's not just something that was attained by ancient masters. Of particular interest are the pieces by Kapleau himself, and Kyozo Yamada, both of whom became prominent Zen teachers.

Part Three is a collection of supplements to the text and consists of a brief and mystifying selection from Dogen's writings on "Being-Time", the famous "Ten Oxherding Pictures" with commentary and verse, and an extremely helpful section on sitting postures with common questions and answers.

The 35th Anniversary edition has a new afterward by Bodhin Kjolhede, Kapleau's successor at the Rochester Zen Center, and a terrific glossary of Zen vocabulary and Buddhist doctrine.

While no book can provide a complete in-depth view of the Zen tradition, The Three Pillars of Zen is a comprehensive look at Zen as practiced by a lineage that continues to have great influence in the West. The newcomer to Zen practice will come away from reading this book with clear guidelines about how to begin his or her practice, a fundamental understanding of Zen terminology, and at least a vague idea of what all this Zen talk is about.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
I first ran across this book a while back, when I was involved in Buddhism in a sort of academic way. The Three Pillars of Zen was on the reading list for one of my classes, and I ended up reading it the way I read most academic texts - with an eyes towards extracting pithy quotes and supporting ideas for an eventual paper. At the time, it made little impression on me, although I think I may have footnoted it a couple times in assorted papers.

Then, about two years ago, I began to rediscover Buddhism (and, in particular Zen) not as an field of intellectual study, but as a practice and a way of life. I began regularly sitting - first five minutes a day, then ten, then half an hour - and occasionally sitting zazen and attending dharma talks at one of our local Zen centers.

But I still didn't really have a good grounding in some of the fundamentals. Yes, I knew the basic dharma, but I felt that I was missing something.

Enter The Three Pillars of Zen. I don't know why I happened to grab it, but it proved to be exactly what I was looking for - a good introduction to the fundamentals of Zen, with a particular emphasis on practice. Reading this gave my sitting practice something to take root in, and has offered me continual inspiration.

There's a lot here, and a lot to absorb, and I don't doubt that different parts of this book will speak to different people. For me, I found the depictions of assorted enlightenment experiences to be incredibly inspiring, but the real meat was in the collection of student-roshi interviews. I found every doubt, every question that I've had about my practice repeated, in some cases word-for-word, in this section - which was a nice thing to encounter, as a relative neophyte who is, admittedly, plagued with doubts as to virtually everything.

I would neccessarily reccommend this to someone who knows nothing of Buddhism or of the dharma, but I would reccommend it as an excellent introduction to Zen and the practice of Zen. It's a book that I return to every day, and that I find a continual source of inspiration.

4-0 out of 5 stars good stuff
a wise and wondrous accompaniment to the works of Alan Watts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book on Zen!
This is definitely one of the best books on Zen Buddhism ever written in English. It contains important historical and theoretical information and it is clearly written. The writing style is very inspiring and it contains practical advice regarding the practice of Zen itself. Being on a path of personal growth towards something close to enlightenment myself, I found this book very very educational. Although not exclusively on Zen, a general book concerning this path that is also an absolutely must read is "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato. I recommend these two books for anyone on the path. ... Read more


120. Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children
by Sarah Napthali
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1741140102
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited (Australia)
Sales Rank: 53016
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Addressing the often-overlooked spiritual needs of mothers, this book discusses Buddhist teachings as applied to the everyday challenges and stresses of raising children. Offered are ways for mothers to reconnect with their inner selves and become calmer and happier-with the recognition that a happier mother will be a better parent. This realistic look at motherhood acknowledges the sorrows as well as the joys of mothering and offers real and achievable coping strategies for mothers to renew their lives on a deep level. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars does the trick
Since the whole Old Testament thing has become back in vogue due to Dubya's administration, isn't it refreshing that little gems like this exist? This one presents highly useful ideas to Moms and parents everywhere on alternatives to the "spare the rod, spoil the child" motif. Thank God.

I presented this book to a Mom who was open-minded to the ideas presented and it was very well received, indeed.

Glad I made the purchase. ... Read more


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