Apr 25, 2011
My friend Cecily recently lost her brother to illness. He had just turned 50 the week before he died. She is devastated.
Cecily is one of my best friends from college. We’ve known each other for 32 years. It’s that rare kind of friendship where even if months pass without connecting, we still pick right up where we left off. We’ve never lived anywhere near each other since graduation, but we’ve stayed in touch through all our ups and downs. It’s a friendship I treasure.
Oct 01, 2010
Given the fact that we’re all going to die, it’s remarkable how little thought most of us give to the actual process of dying. In Lessons For The Living Stan Goldberg seeks to illuminate this most universal of experiences by sharing the lessons he learned during his time as a hospice volunteer.
What drew Goldberg into volunteering was the discovery that he himself was living with an incurable cancer. Part memoir and part practical guide, this book should be of interest to us all, and in particular to those of us wondering how to best help our loved ones as they approach the end of life.
Sep 28, 2010
In a sense we all live in a prison, but a life of literal confinement can force us to confront our existential situation — and our need for change — with unflinching honesty.
As the subtitle indicates, this is a collection of writings; of the nine chapters comprising the body of this text five appear to be written while the author was still in prison. A sixth chapter appears to have been composed within two weeks of his release. The remaining three chapters recount the nature and experience of the author in relation to practicing the Buddha’s path.
Chapter one carries the book’s title and also expands on the theme with the subheading …
Jul 29, 2010
Trungpa Rinpoche was a deeply flawed man, but an inspiring teacher. A new book gives Suriyavamsa a chance to reflect on Trungpa’s genius, and on the visceral and striking teaching it gave rise to.
I remember studying with my teacher Sangharakshita in a group of Triratna Buddhist centre teachers a couple of years ago. He expressed his admiration for Chogyam Trungpa and, using Gurdjieff’s distinction between the narrow saint and the broad genius, considered Trungpa to be a flawed genius of intelligence, flair and imagination. Sangharakshita went on to encourage us all to become ‘geniuses’ – to be broad and other regarding, and to develop …
Oct 01, 2009
There can be few things more painful than the death of a child. Can Buddhist practice help us cope even with this level of suffering? Siddhisambhava reviews a new book chronicling loss and letting go.
The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed is the tragic story of Kathleen Willis Morton and her husband, Chris having a longed for baby boy who dies seven weeks later. The story is extraordinarily difficult to read sometimes because it’s so painful. It’s also a very tender book, so you don’t want to rush it.
It’s hard to write about grief well. In writing The Blue Poppy, Morton joins a canon of grief and bereavement …
Rev. Danny Fisher
Mar 23, 2009
As the exceptional, essential new anthology The Best of Inquiring Mind: 25 Years of Dharma, Drama, and Uncommon Insight underscores for us, Inquiring Mind journal has been both a vital and heroic effort in English-language Buddhist media.
At a quarter-century in age, the biannual is one of the longest-standing publications for Dharma practitioners in North America—a survivor, a keeper, and an example. As publisher Alan Novidor so aptly puts it in his preface, the journal is generally regarded as “beautiful, honest, provocative, and simply presented.”
Co-founded and co-edited by Barbara Gates and Wes Nisker (who also put the book together), Inquiring Mind is staffed by six part-timers and a lot of …
Dec 10, 2008
Ursula K. Le Guin: “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new.”
Everything’s impermanent, but rather than be depressed by this fact we can use it to our advantage. Bodhipaksa looks at the Buddhist practice of developing lovingkindness and offers six lessons that can help us keep love alive.
Buddhism teaches that everything’s impermanent, which can seem like a real downer until you look more closely into what that means. At first glance it can seem rather depressing: I’m impermanent, and everything I love is impermanent too. I’m going to die. Everything I love is going to die. Love itself is impermanent. Oh, oh! Here comes bleak existential despair!
But the fact that everything is impermanent is actually the most wonderful thing about life. …