- Series: Best Buddhist Writing
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Shambhala; 1 edition (October 13, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590307348
- ISBN-13: 978-1590307342
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,877,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Best Buddhist Writing 2009 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In this wise, accessible collection, editor McLeod gathers writings from a number of well-known Buddhist writers-Pico Iyer, Tom Robbins, Natalie Goldberg, and others-along with up-and-comers whose work contributes to the study, understanding and practice of Buddhism. Environmental concerns make up a major theme of the book, a sharp turn away from more self-focused Buddhist practices of the past; in "Cranes in the DMZ," Alan Weisman writes that there's "great peace" in realizing "that we are part of a grand, changing, living pageant-one that, no matter how deep a wound it sustains, will always be renewed." That quest for peace in the face of life's suffering also drives two of the best contributions, Kathleen Willis Morton's account of her baby son's death ("The Blue Poppy") and Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle's chronicle of her husband's losing fight with Alzheimer's ("The Majesty of Your Loving"). Neither makes for easy reading, but both demonstrate how the ancient practice of Buddhism sustains the authors through their grimmest ordeals. A few essays provide practical guides that will resonate for Buddhist practitioners, but lack the intensely humane focus of the collection's best. Still, thoughtful readers of all kinds will find something here that resonates.
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“A compendium of gentle wisdom.”—PublishersWeekly.com
“The most illuminating of these [essays] include Phillip Moffitt’s lucid explanation of mindfulness and Martine Batchelor’s and Joan Sutherland’s contributions on koans. The series’ greatest aspect, however, is ready access to engaging personal accounts by lesser-known authors; standouts include Calvin Malone’s “Razor-Wire Dharma,” Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s “Where Is God When Stick Hit Floor?” and Pico Iyer’s look at the Dalai Lama’s life as a simple monk. Verdict: A good bet for those seeking a quick survey of contemporary Buddhist thought and especially for readers who benefit from shared personal struggles.”—LibraryJournal.com
“A thought-provoking collection of the most notable, enjoyable and insightful Buddhism-inspired literature published in the past year. This volume is a most wonderful contribution to Buddhism and its contemporary facets while retaining the roots and essence. Mr. McLeod and his team are to be congratulated on being true to the spirit of Dharma.”—The <st1:street w:st="on"> <st1:address w:st="on">Middle Way</st1:address> </st1:street>
“Check this one out, it’s a keeper.”—MandalaMagazine.org
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- Thich Nhat Hanh, "The World We Have"
The most important part of the question is not the meaning of the words themselves but the question mark. We ask unconditionally, "What is this?" without looking for an answer, without expecting an answer. We are questioning for questioning's own sake. This is a practice of questioning, not of answering. We are trying to develop a sensation of openness, of wonderment. As we throw out the question, "What is this?" we are opening ourselves to the moment. There is no place we can rest. We are letting go of our need for knowledge and security, and our body and mind themselves become a question.
- Martine Batchelor, "What is this?"
True compassion just does what needs to be done because it's the only thing to do - just because it's natural and ordinary, like smoothing your pillow at night. Sometimes the outcome can seem to be a happy one. And often enough we are faced with so-called failure.
- Joan Halifax, "The Wooden Puppet and Iron Man"
To attribute meaning to an event or to a lifetime of events is an expression of dissatisfaction with things as they are. This is true of even the subtlest attribution. If I wash my dishes as a practice in Zen mindfulness, I indulge my resistance to simply washing them in order to get them clean. I want the washing to be more significant than I think it to be, and so make a spiritual project of it. We want our lives to have meaning, and we complain inwardly and sometimes outwardly as well if what we do and we are appear meaningless. Well, our lives are meaningless in any sense of their constituting a meaningful narrative plot of some sort, and when we strain to make them otherwise, we're merely indulging a story we like to tell ourselves. You and I don't manifest in the universe as meaning, we manifest as living human beings. We're not here to represent something else. We're here in our own right. A human being, or a sink full of soapy dishes for that matter, is complete in itself without the aid of fictional enhancement.
- Lin Jensen, "Where the Buddha Lives"
I used to think of the spiritual path as a detached, solo journey. I imagined how challenging it would be to renounce life's pleasures and meditate in a cave. Now I realize that life offers a much more common but just as powerful spiritual trial: just try getting along with one other person for the rest of your life.
- Gabriel Cohen "Of Course I'm Angry!"
Dependence on sophisticated, ever-more powerful technologies tends to aggravate our sense of separation from the natural world, whereas any successful solution must involve accepting that we are part of [it]. That also means embracing our responsibility for the well being of the biosphere, because its well-being ultimately cannot be distinguished from our own well-being. Understood properly, our taking care of the earth's rain forests is like me taking care of my own leg.
- David Loy, "Healing Ecology"