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Endless Path: Awakening Within the Buddhist Imagination: Jataka Tales, Zen Practice, and Daily Life Kindle Edition

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Length: 290 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


Endless Path:

“Oh, such stories and commentaries! They stand side by side with the koans, the words and doings of the Zen masters of old and new, and together with them help us rise above narrowness and know a life of greater selflessness and affection, bringing peace to ourselves and the world. Svaha! Nine bows to Rafe Martin.”
—Danan Henry Roshi, founder and spiritual director of the Zen Center of Denver

“Rafe Martin’s retelling of the ancient jataka tales, and his insightful commentaries that relate the stories to our daily lives and the paramitas, is an inspiration. We hear a new voice here from the old storyteller and it brings great joy!”
—Susan Ji-on Postal Sensei, teacher and spiritual director of the Empty Hand Zen Center, New Rochelle, NY

Endless Path is a gem. Martin’s enthusiasm for the jatakas leaps off each page, bringing the reader into a realm where the deepest truths are revealed by even the most humble creatures. This book should be required reading for all Buddhist practitioners—actually, for everyone!”
—Sunyana Graef Sensei, Zen teacher and spiritual director of the Vermont Zen Center

“Reading Endless Path, I can actually hear a familiar voice coming alive, telling me stories of the Buddha’s lives. The world I enter is vast, wonderful, inspiring! I love this book!!”
—Hogen Bays Roshi, leader of Zen Community of Oregon and co-abbot of Great Vow Zen Monastery

Endless Path is a treasure for all seekers of the Way! Rafe Martin relates wondrous ancient Buddha stories and then unravels them, delivering meaning for today’s Western lay practitioners. A much-needed integration of the awesome past and our perplexing present. And a delightful read.”
—Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, abbot of The Village Zendo, guiding spiritual teacher for the New York Center f...

About the Author

Renowned storyteller RAFE MARTIN is the recipient of the Empire State Award, three American Library Association Notable Book awards, four Parents' Choice Gold Awards, two Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Awards, an American Folklore Society Aesop Accolade, several American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, an International Reading Association Teachers' Choice, and many other awards of distinction. The Women's National Book Association has honored Rafe with their Lucile Micheels Pannell Award. His work has been cited inTIME Magazine, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, andUSA TODAY. Rafe lives in Rochester, New York

Product Details

  • File Size: 6303 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1556439326
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 1 edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JHYR8G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,702 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nate DeMontigny on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Recently I reviewed one of Rafe Martin's other books, "The Banyan Deer" and I raved about it. Not only did I rave about the storytelling, but for the fabulous illustrations by Richard Wehrman. The pair have teamed up again, this time in a much larger book, with multiple stories and illustrations.

"Endless Path..." is a collection of 10 jataka tales. For those that do not know, the jataka tales are stories which are based, and believed to be, about the Buddha's previous incarnations as either humans or animals. Jataka tales have been told for many years, and while some are not the exact story they may have originally been, they are very close representations I'm sure.

Rafe offers a refreshing spin on the familiar stories, as well as one I was not acquainted with at all, the "Blue Bear Jataka". Not only does he retell the stories, but he offers commentary on each on at the end of the chapter.

Rafe's ability to retell the stories draw the reader into an almost "round the fire" type of feeling. I can picture numerous folks, throughout the years, passing these stories around. His mastery of storytelling transports one into this very setting, cozy and comfortable.

These stories do not just appeal an or apply to young readers, this collection is very much on an adult level. That doesn't mean a child wouldn't enjoy the stories, but the moral behind each might get lost without an explanation. So do not doubt it, this book was meant for you to read, yes you.

If you are looking to take a break from the academic books on Buddhism you have your nose buried in, than "Endless Path..." is not only the book to read, it's a great one! Each story represents an opportunity to contemplate the true meaning of compassion and kindness in a way that is not only fun, but truly enjoyable.

You should be ordering this book by now...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. C. Henderson on December 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Jataka tales are the stories that reveal the Buddha's previous births as a bodhisattva (one who has attained enlightenment, but who chooses not to pass into Nirvana [the state of supreme bliss, tranquility, and purity, when the fires of desire are extinguished], opting to remain in the world to help lesser beings attain enlightenment) working towards the goals of Buddhahood. Martin naturally relates to stories, having children of his own. Interest in stories is with us from an early age, with tales being used in most religions to exemplify the principles propagated by the different belief systems concerned (just think of the Parables in the Bible, for example, in terms of Christianity).

In Endless Path, Martin shares with the reader original telling of the jataka stories, "versions created to speak in a lively colloquial, vernacular voice to contemporary readers." He himself has "gained strength from an ongoing connection with the jatakas and the life of the Buddha, enough to begin to trust his own way and then to find it." The commentaries for each story offer a Zen "take" on the jatakas and on their relevance to our daily lives and practice. Extolling qualities of generosity, morality, patient forbearance, limitless vigor, meditation, wisdom, skillful means, resolve, strength, and knowledge, the jatakas, together with their commentaries, are intended to "help us rediscover the endless path unfolding even now beneath our feet." Clearly told in fluent and flowing English that is clearly that of an English First Language speaker, the tales are powerfully written and conveyed in such a way that we can gain the most from them.

As a skilled Zen practitioner and teacher, Martin is in an ideal position to help bring the truths of Buddhism alive, which he does with admirable ease.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By meadams on December 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone wanting to be inspired this is a book that will do it! Rafe is an amazing and gifted writer. He brings these stories to life. i could not put the book down and found it very thought provoking. i bought a copy for everyone on my gift list.
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