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The Power of an Open Question: The Buddha's Path to Freedom Hardcover – September 14, 2010


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The Power of an Open Question: The Buddha's Path to Freedom + Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) + The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590307992
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590307991
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A bold, playful, and invigorating book about the Buddha’s most important and subtle teachings.”—Pema Chödrön, author of Taking the Leap


“The reader will harvest the fruit of Elizabeth’s mature humility.”—Dzongsar Khyentse, author of What Makes You Not a Buddhist


“Elizabeth Namgyel has written a totally accessible book, one which shows tremendous depth of understanding.”—Diana J. Mukpo, author of Dragon Thunder

“Personal and insightful.  Mattis-Namgyel writes with the clarity and grace one hopes for from such a dedicated student of Buddhist tradition.”—Library Journal 

“Mattis-Namgyel understands her Western readers. She reaches out gently to them, with compassion born of twenty-five years of Buddhist practice. She knows the questions that readers need answered. She anticipates the challenges that will arise for them as they attempt to drastically change their mindsets. Reading this book is a beautiful experience on the journey in search of enlightenment.”—New Age Retailer 

“Mattis-Namgyel’s book guides us on a provocative, playful, and spiritually-enriching journey of contemplation.”—The Messenger

“An edifying examination of openness.”—Spirituality & Practice

About the Author

Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel is the wife of Tibetan Buddhist master Dzigar Kongtrül and the editor of two of his books (It’s Up to You and Light Comes Through). She has studied and practiced in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for twenty-five years under his guidance and completed years of solitary retreat. As a Buddhist teacher, she leads weekend retreats throughout the United States and Europe.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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A book to read and re-read.
Michael P. Maslanka
This is a book of great depth and yet simplicity, written in an easy conversational style.
D. Crane
For such a small book, it has a lot of "meat" in it!
Mary J. Lord

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Larry on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The open question which Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel exhorts us to appreciate and tolerate extends to the book and its author as well. Completely open and free of the reifications which compromise so many Dharma books, she resists labels, easy answers and pain-killers of any sort, offering us both the authority earned from years of practice and the Dharma friendship of one who never forgets that, like all practitioners, she remains a beginner on the path.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Marie on November 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I truly enjoyed reading The Power of An Open Question by Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel. She shares her experience and understanding in terms and images that are thought provoking and yet accessible to understand. Reading the book felt like having a chat with the author. She shares her intimate experience of her own exploration into the Tibetan Buddhist teachings and into her own relationship to them. Thank you Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel for writing The Power of an Open Question with such heartfelt intelligence!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SPG on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I found "The Power of an Open Question" to be an incredible articulation of what it means to follow the Buddhist path. Not only is it well articulated, the book is also an encouragement to go further and look deeper.

As someone who has been attempting to follow the Buddhist path for 15 years, I found in this book a very clear re-introduction to the basics of view and practice. I think Buddhists from any tradition will find this book a wonderful support, as it is the story of Siddhartha and his quest for truth which serves as the backbone of her exploration.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough! I found the presentation of the concepts and material to be very engaging, and felt my perceptions and engagement with the world being further awakened through her encouragement. The author has done an amazing job of pointing toward something profound without objectifying it in any way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Maslanka on February 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a short book, broken down into digestable chapters. Each makes us think. Her Big Idea: ambiguity is our friend,not our enemy. We can never know anything for certain, and when we try we will fail or ,even worse, deceive ourselves.Her book is useful for business executives, who deal in an envirnoment that is not static and always in flux. As a client once told me, "all news is good news." I understand his point even more after finishing her book. Great chapter on "Digesting Experience." A book to read and re-read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gregory M. Seton on November 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel's open question serves as an insightful meditation on the point of meditation itself. Through delving deeply into the essence of meditative experience, Mattis-Namgyel sheds light on the nature of the human mind and its habitually overlooked capacity for contentment. Rife with practical wisdom and many useful and colorful personal examples, her reflections resonate with human experience in a way that is difficult to find elsewhere. By making the Buddhist teachings so accessible in everyday terms, she summarizes the essential points of a simple but potent method for transforming one's life. Her open question is so contagious that by just reading and contemplating the pithy chapters in this book, I have found myself less caught up in the struggles of daily life and more able to find contentment in all my surroundings. This is a book that I plan to read again and again and meditate upon over and over. Its presentation of the Buddhist approach to living is poignant. The book may have a special appeal for those interested in understanding Buddhist wisdom, but I recommend it for anyone interested in the mind's own pathways to freedom and happiness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Holland on November 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In The Power of An Open Question, Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel presents the essential teachings and spirit of the Buddha in a modern, accessible, lively and NON-DOGMATIC fashion. She has spent many years engaging all facets of Tibetan Buddhism and we are the beneficiary. I cannot recommend The Power of an Open Question strongly enough.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book of great depth and yet simplicity, written in an easy conversational style. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have found in it, much to think about and ponder.
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