Posted on | February 21, 2015 | No Comments
The Way Things Really Are is translation of Book IV of the Sutta-Nipata by Lesley Fowler Lebkowicz, Tamara Ditrich and Primoz Pecenko.The Sutta-Nipata is one of the earliest texts of the Pali canon, coming from the same period as the Dhammapada, before the monastic tradition was strong. It was created by people as they practiced and refers to “the wise one”, rather than to monks or nuns. For several centuries after the death of the Buddha the Canon was transmitted orally, probably in several dialects, throughout the Indian subcontinent. According to the traditional sources, the entire Canon was for the first time written down in the first century BCE in Sri Lanka. Some scholars believe that the Sutta-Nipita describes the oldest of all Buddhist practices. It consists mainly of verses.
Posted on | February 20, 2015 | No Comments
Ten Teachings for one World, with the subtitle Wisdom from Mother Mary is written by Gina Lake but the words are directly channeled by the spiritual being introducing herself as Mother Mary. During 2013 they had a number of conversations and the result is this ten chapter book. From the preface:
I am Mother Mary, and I am offering these ten teachings to you now in this way, because I have the opportunity to work through this individual, Gina Lake, who has the vocabulary, understanding, and readers I wish to reach.
Posted on | February 18, 2015 | No Comments
No Inner Core – An Introduction to the Doctrine of Anatta by Sayadaw U Silananda. The Anatta doctrine is one of the most important teachings of Buddhism. It is the most distinctive feature of Buddhism, for, as many scholars have recognized, it makes Buddhism different from all other religions. The understanding of Anatta, the theory of no-soul or non-self, is a tough nut to crack. Yet only with a correct understanding of this key Buddhist issue can the door to the profound and liberating teachings of the Buddha be opened. Knowing about the crucial importance of the doctrine of Anatta, the reader might gather his or her courage to work through Sayadaw’s scholarly introduction to this central teaching. Read more
Posted on | January 29, 2015 | 1 Comment
Buddhist Meditation and Depth Psychology by Douglas M. Burns is guidebook to Buddhist meditation, a warning and teaching on the obstacles and techniques. He writes: The ultimate goals of meditation are the ultimate goals of Buddhism, i.e., realization of Nibbana and the abolition of dukkha or suffering. Nibbana, however, is beyond the realm of conceptualization and all other forms of normal human experience. Therefore, we have no certainty that it exists until we ourselves have progressed to realizing it as a direct experience transcending logic and sense perception. Nibbana can thus be defined as that which is experienced when one has achieved ultimate moral and psychological maturation. Little more can be said. Therefore the Buddha said relatively little about Nibbana and instead directed most of his teachings towards two lesser goals which are empirical realities of readily demonstrable worth. These were, first, the increase, enhancement, and cultivation of positive feelings such as love, compassion, equanimity, mental purity, and the happiness found in bringing happiness to others. Secondly, he advocated the relinquishment and renunciation of greed, hatred, delusion, conceit, agitation, and other negative, unwholesome states.
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Posted on | January 17, 2015 | No Comments
Milestones by Syed Qutb Shaheed. Syed was an Egyptian Islamist, author, educator and poet. The books is presented here today because of Syed Qutb Shaheeds continuing influence on a number of currently active radical Islamist groups. Syed Qutb Shaheed was also the leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1966 he was convicted of plotting the assassination of Egyptian president Abdel Nasser and he was executed by hanging. His masterpiece is the 30 volume commentaries on the Qu’ran: In the Shade of the Qu’ran, which is mandatory bedtime reading for members of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad and similar groups. Milestones is one of his works on social justice and the role of Islam in politics. I post this book here, not to promote these views, but in order to help people to understand the ideology subscribed to by radical Islamist groups. Read more
Posted on | January 12, 2015 | No Comments
Magic Mushrooms Around the World – A Scientific Journey Across Cultures and Time by Jochen Gartz presents new unifying theories based upon years of research into the ethnobotanical aspects of magic mushrooms. Jochen Gartz documents how it was not only early american cultures who used a range of mushrooms but also European cultures have a forgotten past with a number of psychoactive fungus. The book contains some rare descriptions of the use of psychotropic mushrooms. For instance the story of two teenagers from London who on October 3, 1799, by mistake ate a meal prepared on, most likely, Psilocybe semilanceata picked from St. James’s Green Park resulting in visions of death, delirium and laughter. Magic Mushrooms Around the World is a scientific journey with lots of notes and precise references but it is still highly readable for casual readers. Read more
Posted on | December 11, 2014 | No Comments
The Skill of Release – Teachings of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo.This book is written to be read for reflection, a little at a time. Many of the short passages, in particular, will reveal their meaning after repeated thought. Some of the passages will challenge many current ideas on how a Dhamma practitioner ought to communicate. As Ajaan Lee cautioned his listeners, Dhamma teachings should not be accepted or rejected right off hand. Instead, they should be listened to with an open mind and then put to the test in experience to see if they can help uncover unwitting preconceptions. The Skill of Release consists of teachings on two major themes. The first, which has provided the book with its title, is Ajaan Lee’s frequent portrayal of Buddhism as a skill. This skill involves mastery not only of the techniques of meditation, but also of adroit ways of viewing the world and events in daily life so that one can gain freedom from the burdens that the unskillful mind places on itself. This approach culminates in what he calls the skill of release, the awareness that brings about the mind’s total liberation. The second theme concerns the central role that breath meditation plays in developing this skill. For Ajaan Lee, Buddhist doctrines show their true meaning only when one refers them to the practice of keeping the breath in mind. Read more
Posted on | November 29, 2014 | No Comments
Philosophy is not a Luxury by Jeff Carreira. The philosophical ideas discussed in this book mainly belong to the classical American philosophers Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. These three minds were the originators of the philosophy called pragmatism, which remains to this day America’s most significant contribution to world philosophy.
The essays represent a general progression of thought, each building upon the last. They are suggested to be read as complete in themselves in order to see what questions and avenues for further inquiry they open up for you. Each essay is a snapshot, a glimpse into an extraordinary perspective on reality. They are seeds for contemplation, starting points for your own inquiry.
Posted on | November 26, 2014 | No Comments
The Stillness of Being by Viradhammo Bhikku was published in 2005. It consists of teachings based on talks given at different monasteries in the 1980’es. Viradhammo was born in Esslingen in Germany in 1947 and while living in India he discovered Buddhism and met his teacher Samanera Bodhesako. He later travelled to Thailand to become a novice at Wat Mahathat in 1973 and took bhikkhu ordination the following year at Wat Pah Pong with Ajahn Chah. After four years in Thailand, he went to Canada to visit his family in 1977 and he was asked by Ajahn Chah to join Ajahn Sumedho at the Hampstead Vihara in London. Later, he was involved in the establishment of both the Chithurst and Harnham monasteries in the UK. In 1985 he moved to New Zealand, where he lived for 10 years, setting up Bodhinyanarama monastery. Read more
Posted on | November 26, 2014 | 8 Comments
Posted on | November 25, 2014 | No Comments
Right Mindfulness – Memory & Ardency on the Buddhist Path by Thanissaro Bhikku (Geoffry De Graff). A growing flood of books has advanced two theories about the practice of mindfulness (sati). The first is that the Buddha employed the term mindfulness to mean bare attention: a state of pure receptivity—non-reactive, non-judging, non-interfering—toward physical and mental phenomena as they make contact at the six senses. The second theory is that the cultivation of pure attention alone can bring about the goal of Buddhist practice. The premise of this book is that these approaches are highly questionable and seriously misleading. The main aim of this book is to show that the practice of mindfulness is most fruitful when informed by the Buddha’s own definition of right mindfulness and his explanations of its role on the path. As he defined the term, right mindfulness (samma-sati) is not bare attention. Instead, it’s a faculty of active memory, adept at calling to mind and keeping in mind instructions and intentions that will be useful on the path. Read more« go back — keep looking »