- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; 1st edition (June 6, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553102907
- ISBN-13: 978-0553102901
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 141 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path Hardcover – June 6, 2000
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Jack Kornfield, one of America's most beloved teachers of meditation, assures us that enlightenment does occur on the spiritual path but warns that it is not the end of the road. Bringing his thoughts to a personal level, Kornfield looks up many of the notable spiritual teachers of our times (Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Sufi, etc.) and presents extended quotations of their trials and epiphanies. These anecdotes are woven together with fables and ruminations from Kornfield's own decades-long experience as a practitioner and teacher, creating an image of the spiritual life as challenging, multidimensional, rewarding, and, yes, mundane. In the old days in China, Zen monks were encouraged to travel for instruction under a variety of masters. Here, Kornfield introduces us to today's masters, but off their podiums, as equals. Genuine experiences of awakening, despair, fault, serious transgression, and simple childlike joy all appear as bridges on the way to the divine. After the Ecstasy, the Laundry is not just another inspirational bestseller, it is a lasting record of concrete insights forged from the fires of dedicated practice. --Brian Bruya
From Publishers Weekly
What to do after one has achieved enlightenmentAor a flash of it? How do the problems of everyday life look different? Which, if any, go away? And what is it like to have lived for decades under a spiritual discipline? Kornfield (A Path with Heart, Teachings of the Buddha, etc.) devotes his latest volume of advice and meditation to such questions. Kornfield has been a teacher in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since the mid-1970s; he also holds a degree in clinical psychology. His methods and counsels here reflect Buddhist teachings, but he also tries hard to be ecumenical: Kornfield interviewed lamas, Buddhist elders and Zen teachers, but also Sufi masters, rabbis and Catholic nuns and monks. Anecdotes and quotations draw on Hindu mythology, medieval Christian theologians, Native American visionary traditions and even decidedly secular modern writers (e.g., Albert Camus and Sharon Olds). Bits of interviews alternate with Kornfield's own interpretations and with anecdotes and lessons drawn from sacred Scripture, anthropology and current events. A chapter about circumstantial hardships jumps from postwar Japan to America's overcrowded prisons; a noteworthy chapter on self-esteem and self-abasement vaults from William Blake to The Tassajara Bread Book. Kornfield wants to help readers attain "a welcoming spirit, to greet all that life presents to us with a wise, respectful and kindly heart." Some may find Kornfield's words vague, or self-evident: "Spiritual life involves a maturing of understanding, a continual unfolding, wherever we are." Even unsympathetic browsers, though, might enjoy the compressed life stories of the many interviewees. And the audience Kornfield envisions may well want and use his admittedly general counsel that "no matter how isolated or embattled our lives, we need one another as family, we need each other's hearts and songs to help one another find the way." That's hardly news, but isn't it the truth? (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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There are so many statements, poems, stories that can help a person identify with and therefore, gain assistance or perhaps a "aha moment" that benefits them greatly.
My only wish is that this book could be purchased using the Kindle option.
acquaintance. Being a Psychology major with a BS degree, and, a
additional Substance Abuse Specialization degree, and, some post
graduate course completion from Imperial College of Science @the
University of London, UK. I thought, with over one hundred and thirty
books on the study of human behavior, in my personal study, I've created from a bedroom, to a study room, I thought I had read everything, on one's spiritual journey, toward life balance, including attendance to over one dozen one to 5 day seminars, from "book writers" on the national & international speaking circuit, including, many audio-cassette tapes on those pop psychology, and, "transformation" oriented
seminars. The book "After the Ectasy, the Laundry" by Jack Kornfield, I found most enlightening, that, "I have not read everything, I had falsely told myself". The book is easy to read, and interpret, I believe, to consumers of all faiths, religions, including agnostics, and
athesists. I highly recommend this book, to anyone, on a spiritual journey for wholeness, and to gain additional peace of mind, who may have a goal of becoming "Self-Actualized" in Abraham Maslow's Hierachy of Needs, or even the beginner, who is on a spiritual journey, (my choice of words) who, may have become dis-enchanted, attending seminars,
"when the guru leaves town, all too often, the charisma, and, insight, fade away" (at least that has been my experience form 1983 until this very year, 2011). I give Jack Kornfield, a solid Grade A, as with his Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, again, is written, in very simple language, for even, the beginner, who seeks some answers, that life is a journey, not necessarily a destination.
Everyone worldwide, can gain some very useful insight about "Enlightment does exist, and bring transformation, but, they don't last" from page
xiii of my version, of the Bantam trade paperback edition, published in October of 1991. I am also most grateful, to www.amazon.com who offered this book, at a savings to me, from a independant bookstore, classified as "Very Good" my interpretation, was it was flawless, and "brand spanking new", & received the book with supersonic speed, from
buymeimcheap. From a 11 yr member of Amazon.com (Charlotte, NC, USA)