This lucid overview of the Buddhist path takes the perspective of the three "vehicles" of Tibetan Buddhism: the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. While these vehicles are usually presented as a historical development, they are here equated with the attitudes that individuals bring to their Buddhist practice. Basic to them all, however, is the need to understand our own immediate condition. The primary tool for achieving this is meditation, and The Essence of Buddhism serves as a handbook for the various meditative approaches of Buddhist practice.Beginning with the Four Noble Truths, Traleg Rinpoche incorporates the expansive vision of the bodhisattva path and the transformative vision of Tantra. The final chapters present the transcendent view of Mahamudra. This view dispenses with all dualistic fixations and directly realizes the natural freedom of the mind itself. Along the way, the author provides vivid definitions of fundamental concepts such as compassion, emptiness, and Buddha-nature, and answers common questions: Why does Buddhism teach that there is "no self"? Are Buddhist teachings pessimistic? Does Buddhism encourage social passivity? What is the role of sex in Buddhist Tantra? Why is it said that "samsara is nirvana"? Does it take countless lifetimes to attain enlightenment, or can it be achieved in a moment?
As human beings we stand on the threshold between two realities: the world of material existence and the world of spiritual Being. The "knowing heart" is the sacred place where these two dimensions meet and are integrated.In Sufi teaching the human heart is not a fanciful metaphor but an objective organ of intuition and perception. It is able to perceive all that is beautiful, lovely, and meaningful in life--and to reflect these spiritual qualities in the world, for the benefit of others. Every human heart has the capacity and the destiny to bring that world of divine reality into this world of appearances. The Sufis, mystics of Islam, have been educators of the heart for some fourteen centuries. Their teachings and methods are designed to help us awaken and purify the heart, to learn to listen to our deepest knowing. In The Knowing Heart, Kabir Helminski presents the Sufi way as a practical spirituality suitable for all cultures and times--and offers insights that are especially valuable for our life in today's world. In cultivating a knowing heart, we learn to experience a new sense of self, transform our relationships, and enhance our creative capacities. Most important, we learn how to meet the spiritual challenge of our time: to realize our sacred humanness.
With more than four thousand entries and over one hundred illustrations, this encyclopedia offers a complete survey of the four major religious traditions of Asia. It is designed not only for students and scholars but also to help general readers find their way through the thicket of unfamiliar words and concepts that are often encountered today in various fields such as the health professions, psychotherapy, the sciences, and the media. Among the subjects covered are:- Important terms such as chakra, karma, koan, nirvana, tantra, Tao, and yin-yang
- The lives and teachings of mystics, philosophers, and masters of meditation
- Basic texts and scriptures
- Sects and schools of thought
- Mythological figures and events In addition, pronunciation tables, a comprehensive bibliography, and a Ch'an/Zen Lineage Chart are provided.
This is a unique and powerful presentation of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism on the five elements: earth, water, air, fire, and space. In their gross and subtle forms, these elements combine to make up the infinite illusory display of phenomenal existence. Through teachings, stories, and his distinctive use of language, Thinley Norbu Rinpoche relates how the energies of the elements manifest within our everyday world, in individual behavior and group traditions, relationships and solitude, medicine and art. He explains their links to the five Buddha families and their respective Wisdom Dakinis, and shows how each element relates to our senses, temperament, passions, habits, and karmic potentials. This magic dance of the elements, he concludes, can be transformed through meditation practice and cultivating the calm, vast, and playful state of consciousness that he calls "playmind."
Nicholas Roerich--prolific artist and writer, renowned philosopher, educator, and explorer--relates the remarkable encounters and events of his travels through central Asia and Tibet at the turn of the century. Through his detailed diary notes and the chronicling of legends and parables, he reveals the many facets of the tale of Shambhala, the long-awaited realization of paradise on earth. In Western mythology, Shambhala appears as the mythic land of Shangri-la. In the prophecies of the East, it is seen as both a physical place and the dawning of a New Era of enlightened consciousness. Roerich found signs of the imminent arrival of Shambhala at every juncture of his journey--in the legends of local villagers and within their rock paintings and engravings. In keeping with the ancient traditions, Roerich felt that Shambhala would be attained not inevitably or without effort, but only as a result of "the Noblest and most intensive activity." A living example of this philosophy, he worked unceasingly for peace through culture, believing that "obstacles are only new possibilities to create beneficent energy." Chapters on Tibetan art, the desert cities, subterranean dwellers, and the Great Mother give the reader crystalline glimpses of Roerich's manifold vision and the vast panorama of his life journey toward a new age of human achievement.
These stories about Kurozumi Munetada (1780-1850) shows the reader a spirituality for everyday living. He was a Japanese priest, poet and healer of body and mind. This text is a biography of the founder of the Shinto movement.
A Buddhist teacher shares his principles and techniques of guided meditation, offering exercises that enhance joy in life, heal loneliness, and provide heightened awareness and insight.
Drawing on ancient and modern sources, Watts treats the Chinese philosophy of Tao in much the same way as he did Zen Buddhism in his classic The Way of Zen. Critics agree that this last work stands as a perfect monument to the life and literature of Alan Watts.
"The subject of 'Kokoro, ' which can be translated as 'the heart of things' or as 'feeling, ' is the delicate matter of the contrast between the meanings the various parties of a relationship attach to it. In the course of this exploration, Soseki brilliantly describes different levels of friendship, family relationships, and the devices by which men attempt to escape from their fundamental loneliness. The novel sustains throughout its length something approaching poetry, and it is rich in understanding and insight. The translation, by Edwin McClellan, is extremely good."--Anthony West, The New Yorker