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Buddhism is one of the major world religions today, with approximately 500 million followers worldwide and nearly 300,000 in the UK. Following the Buddha's Enlightenment in north India in the 5th century, Buddhism was adopted across Asia and is now widely practised in the West, where many people embrace a Buddhist lifestyle or select practices such as meditation. Accompanying the largest ever display of the British Library's Buddhist treasures, Buddhism introduces the history, philosophy, geographical spread and practices of Buddhism, exploring its relevance in the modern world. Illustrated throughout with astonishingly beautiful scrolls, manuscripts and printed books, Buddhism presents the idea of the `Middle Path' - promoting mindfulness, compassion, tolerance and non-violence - with a renewed relevance for a 21st-century reader.
Buddhist scholar and teacher Bhikkhu Analayo explores the practice of mindfulness of breathing in the sixteen steps of the Anapanasati Sutta. This is an authoritative, practice-orientated elucidation of a foundational Buddhist text, useful to meditators whatever their tradition or background. In the first six chapters Analayo presents practical instructions comparable to his Satipatthana Meditation: A Practice Guide. The remaining chapters contain his translations of extracts from the early Chinese canon. With his accompanying commentary, these help the practitioner appreciate the early Buddhist perspective on the breath and the practice of mindfulness of breathing. Analayo presents his understanding of these early teachings, arising from his own meditation practice and teaching experience. His aim is to inspire all practitioners to use what he has found helpful to build their own practice and become self-reliant. The book is accompanied with freely downloadable audio files offering guided and progressive meditation instructions from the author.
Why meditate? To let go of stress? To become more focused? To fathom life's mysteries? Whatever your purpose, Jinananda is a clear, experienced and friendly guide who can help you start meditating - right now. Find everything you need to begin your exploration of meditation: how to sit, simple instructions to two traditional practices that develop clarity, peace of mind and positive emotions, troubleshooting tips and ideas on how to take your practice further. This new edition is realistic, witty, and very inspiring.
Seven steps to lasting happiness. In The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, bestselling author and the world's leading figure in alternative medicine Dr Deepak Chopra show us how to be happy in spite of living in difficult or trying times. By looking through the lens of our contemporary understanding of consciousness, combined with Eastern philosophy, he has created a set of principles for living with ease. The result is an inspiring and instructive journey that leads to a prescription for living life mindfully, with a light heart and effortless spontaneity - a prescription only Dr Deepak Chopra could write. With the world in turmoil and more people than ever suffering from depressive episodes, Dr Chopra underlines the importance of keeping an eye on the positive aspects of life and finding ways to experience joy no matter what is happening to you. This remarkably clear and helpful book explains how to maintain an optimistic outlook and experience the benefits of having a happy heart and soul, no matter what the circumstances.
An Introduction to Indian Philosophy offers a profound yet accessible survey of the development of India 's philosophical tradition. Beginning with the formation of Brahmanical, Jaina, Materialist, and Buddhist traditions, Bina Gupta guides the reader through the classical schools of Indian thought, culminating in a look at how these traditions inform Indian philosophy and society in modern times. Offering translations from source texts and clear explanations of philosophical terms, this text provides a rigorous overview of Indian philosophical contributions to epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and ethics. This is a must-read for anyone seeking a reliable and illuminating introduction to Indian philosophy.
A monumental work in the history of religion, the history of the book, the study of politics, and bibliographical research, this volume follows the making of the Chinese Buddhist canon from the fourth century to the digital era. Approaching the subject from a historical perspective, it ties the religious, social, and textual practices of canon formation to the development of East Asian Buddhist culture and enlivens Chinese Buddhist texts for readers interested in the evolution of Chinese writing and the Confucian and Daoist traditions. The collection undertakes extensive readings of major scriptural catalogs from the early manuscript era as well as major printed editions, including the Kaibao Canon, Qisha Canon, Goryeo Canon, and Taisho Canon. Contributors add fascinating depth to such understudied issues as the historical process of compilation, textual manipulation, physical production and management, sponsorship, the dissemination of various editions, cultic activities surrounding the canon, and the canon's reception in different East Asian societies. The Chinese Buddhist canon is one of the most enduring textual traditions in East Asian religion and culture, and through this exhaustive, multifaceted effort, an essential body of work becomes part of a new, versatile narrative of East Asian Buddhism that has far-reaching implications for world history.
Classical Tibetan Buddhist scriptures forbid the selling of Buddhist objects, and yet there is today a thriving market for Buddhist statues, paintings, and texts. In Buddha in the Marketplace, Alex John Catanese investigates this practice, which continues to be viewed as a form of "wrong livelihood" by modern Tibetan Buddhist scholars and early Buddhist texts such as the Vinaya. Drawing on textual and historical sources, as well as ethnographic research conducted in the region of Amdo, Tibet, Catanese follows the trajectory of Buddhist objects from their status as noncommodities prior to the Cultural Revolution to their emergence as commodities on the open market in the modern period. The book examines why Tibetans have more recently begun to sell such objects for their personal livelihoods when their religious tradition condemns such business activities in the strongest possible terms. Addressing the various societal and religious ramifications of these commercial practices, Catanese illustrates how such activity is leading to significant cultural and economic changes, transforming the "moral economy" associated with Buddhist objects, and contributing to a reinterpretation of Tibetan Buddhist identity.
The Sayings of the Buddha is the perfect introduction to the life and work of the Buddha all in a handy pocket-sized format that makes it easy to carry around. It contains a range of carefully chosen thoughts, teachings and aphorisms which express in different ways the core doctrines of Buddhism. There is also a fascinating biography of the Buddha plus an introduction to his work by William Wray which includes an analysis of the Buddha's discourses.
In the 1960s, Americans combined psychedelics with Buddhist meditation to achieve direct experience through altered states of consciousness. As some practitioners became more committed to Buddhism, they abandoned the use of psychedelics in favor of stricter mental discipline, but others carried on with the experiment, advancing a fascinating alchemy called psychedelic Buddhism. Many think exploration with psychedelics in Buddhism faded with the revolutionary spirit of the sixties, but the underground practice has evolved into a brand of religiosity as eclectic and challenging as the era that created it. Altered States combines interviews with well-known figures in American Buddhism and psychedelic spirituality-including Lama Surya Das, Erik Davis, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei, Rick Strassman, and Charles Tart-and personal stories of everyday practitioners to define a distinctly American religious phenomenon. The nuanced perspective that emerges, grounded in a detailed history of psychedelic religious experience, adds critical depth to debates over the controlled use of psychedelics and drug-induced mysticism. The book also opens new paths of inquiry into such issues as re-enchantment, the limits of rationality, the biochemical and psychosocial basis of altered states of consciousness, and the nature of subjectivity.
Could Confucius hit a curveball?
No, there is only one Zen master who could contemplate the circle of life while rounding the bases.
Who is this guru lurking in the grand old game? Well, he's the winner of ten World Series rings, a member of both the Hall of Fame and the All-Century Team, and perhaps the most popular and beloved ballplayer of all time. And without effort or artifice he's waxed poetic on the mysteries of time ("It gets late awful early out there"), the meaning of community ("It's so crowded nobody goes there anymore"), and even the omnipresence of hope in the direst circumstances ("It ain't over 'til it's over").
It's Yogi Berra, of course, and in What Time Is It? You Mean Now? Yogi expounds on the funny, warm, borderline inadvertent insights that are his trademark. Twenty-six chapters, one for each letter, examine the words, the meaning, and the uplifting example of a kid from St. Louis who grew up to become the consummate Yankee and the ultimate Yogi.
In Search of Wisdom is a book born of the friendship of three gifted teachers, exploring the universal human journey and our quest for meaning and understanding. This translation of the French bestseller brings readers an intimate, insightful, and wide-ranging conversation between Buddhist monk and author Matthieu Ricard, philosopher Alexandre Jollien, and psychiatrist Christophe Andre. Join these three luminaries as they share their views on how we uncover our deepest aspirations in life, the nature of the ego, living with the full range of human emotion, the art of listening, the temple of the body, the origin of suffering, the joy of altruism, true freedom, and much more. "We don't pretend to be experts on the subject matter or models in accomplishing the work or overcoming the obstacles involved in it," they write. "We are only travelers in search of wisdom, aware that the path is long and arduous, and that we have so much still to discover, to clarify, and to assimilate through practice . . . Our dearest wish is that when you cast your eyes on these pages, you will discover subjects for reflection to inspire you and brighten the light of your life."? In Search of Wisdom Highlights * Discovering our deepest aspirations * The ego: friend or impostor? * Learning to live with the full spectrum of our emotions * The art of listening * The body: burden or idol? * Suffering and its origins * The joy of altruism * The school of simplicity * Guilt and forgiveness * True freedom * Daily practice
The Indian Buddhist world abounds with goddesses--graceful nature divinities, maternal nurturers, potent healers, mighty protectors, transcendent wisdom figures, cosmic mothers of liberation, and dancing female Buddhas. Despite their importance in Buddhist thought and practice, female deities have received relatively little scholarly attention, and no comprehensive study of the female pantheon has been available. Buddhist Goddesses of India chronicles the histories, legends, and artistic portrayals of nineteen goddesses and several related human figures and texts. Beautifully illustrated and drawing on a sweeping range of material, from devotional poetry and meditation manuals to rituals and artistic images, Shaw reveals the character, powers, and practice traditions of the female divinities in this definitive and essential guide.
This second volume of paradoxes and precepts is both a wonder and a wake-up call. They mysteriously realign with vigour, seriousness, and fun, our mind's modulations with that of the Spirit's High Vision, (or Dharma View), and they give us a new world-perspective vis-a-vis some immortal truths and common spiritual concepts.
Mindfulness involves learning to be more aware of life as it unfolds moment by moment, even if these moments bring us difficulty, pain or suffering. This is a challenge we will all face at some time in our lives, and which health professionals face every day in their work. The Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living programme presents a new way of learning how to face the pressures of modern living by providing an antidote which teaches us how to cultivate kindness and compassion - starting with being kind to ourselves. Compassion involves both sensitivity to our own and others' suffering and the courage to deal with it. Integrating the work of experts in the field such as Paul Gilbert, Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer and Tara Brach, Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster have established an eight stage step-by-step compassion training programme, supported by practical exercises and free audio downloads, which builds on basic mindfulness skills. Grounded in ancient wisdom and modern science, they demonstrate how being compassionate shapes our minds and brains, and benefits our health and relationships. The programme will be helpful to many, including people with various types of chronic or recurring mental health problems, and can be an effective means of coping better with low self-esteem, self-reproach or shame, enabling participants to experience more warmth, safeness, acceptance and connection with themselves and others. Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living will be an invaluable manual for mindfulness teachers, therapists and counsellors wishing to bring the 'care' back into healthcare, both for their clients and themselves. It can also be used as a self-help guide for personal practice.
India has a long, rich, and diverse tradition of philosophical thought, spanning some two and a half millennia and encompassing several major religious traditions. This Very Short Introduction is structured around six schools which have achieved classic status. Sue Hamilton explores how the traditions have attempted to understand the nature of reality in terms of an inner or spiritual quest, and introduces distinctively Indian concepts such as karma and rebirth.
Within all of lies a source of infinite bliss, clarity of wisdom, and compassion for others. In this unique and highly praised book - based on Buddha's Tantric teachings - the contemporary Buddhist Master, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, presents authentic methods for discovering this inner wealth within ourselves. In a clear and precise way, he explains step-by-step how we can generate a deeply peaceful and concentrated mind by harnessing the subtle energy system within our body. With this blissful awareness we can uncover our true nature, destroy ignorance and suffering at its root, and swiftly become a source of inspiration and benefit for others. 'Clear Light of Bliss' is a manual for Tantric meditation that reveals the most profound secrets of the ancient Yogis and makes their blissful experience accessible to the modern world.
This book presents comparative perspectives on the nature of mind, motivation, conflict, anxiety and suffering, as well as the therapeutic management of these problems, in both the writings of Sigmund Freud and the discourses of the Buddha. The nature of the instinct of sexuality, ego instinct and the death instinct in Freud are compared to parallel concepts in Buddhism. This fourth edition has been revised and updated and looks at the emerging dialogue between Buddhism and psychotherapy. It includes new chapters on the nature of the unconscious, the therapeutic basis of early Buddhist psychology, and the Freudian search for the ideal therapeutic model.
Pyrrho of Elis went with Alexander the Great to Central Asia and India during the Greek invasion and conquest of the Persian Empire in 334-324 BC. There he met with early Buddhist masters. Greek Buddha shows how their Early Buddhism shaped the philosophy of Pyrrho, the famous founder of Pyrrhonian scepticism in ancient Greece. Christopher I. Beckwith traces the origins of a major tradition in Western philosophy to Gandhara, a country in Central Asia and northwestern India. He systematically examines the teachings and practices of Pyrrho and of Early Buddhism, including those preserved in testimonies by and about Pyrrho, in the report on Indian philosophy two decades later by the Seleucid ambassador Megasthenes, in the first-person edicts by the Indian king Devanampriya Priyadarsi referring to a popular variety of the Dharma in the early third century BC, and in Taoist echoes of Gautama's Dharma in Warring States China. Beckwith demonstrates how the teachings of Pyrrho agree closely with those of the Buddha Sakyamuni, "the Scythian Sage." In the process, he identifies eight distinct philosophical schools in ancient northwestern India and Central Asia, including Early Zoroastrianism, Early Brahmanism, and several forms of Early Buddhism. He then shows the influence that Pyrrho's brand of scepticism had on the evolution of Western thought, first in Antiquity, and later, during the Enlightenment, on the great philosopher and self-proclaimed Pyrrhonian, David Hume. Greek Buddha demonstrates that through Pyrrho, Early Buddhist thought had a major impact on Western philosophy.
The philosophy of Buddhism, originating in India, has undergone considerable changes in its adoption in the Far East. It has, in Japan, assumed a more practical aspect, and has come to play an important role in the everyday life of action. But in this process Japanese Buddhism has split itself into many sects with greatly differing doctrines, though all profess a method destined to elevate the soul and a method of action. The understanding of this spiritual movement is an important key to the understanding of the contemporary Japanese state of mind, and The Buddhist Sects of Japan gives the first complete account of it in the English language.
Religion plays a central role in Thai society with Buddhism intertwined in the daily lives of the people. Religion also plays an important role in establishing gender boundaries. The growth in recent decades of self-governing nunneries and the increasing interest of Thai women in a Buddhist monastic life are notable changes in the religion-gender dynamic. This anthropological study addresses religion and gender relations, analysing this through the lens of the lives, actions and role in Thai society of Buddhist nuns (mae chii). It raises questions about how the position of Thai Buddhist nuns outside the Buddhist sangha affects their religious legitimacy and describes recent moves to restore a Theravada order of female monks.
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