Jun 08, 2009
Thich Nhat Hanh can be a brilliant communicator, finding fresh and direct ways of reaching the heart. Can be. Find out why Gloria Chadwick was less than thrilled by his latest book.
When Bodhipaksa asked me to review Thich Nhat Hanh’s new book, Answers from the Heart: Practical Responses to Life’s Burning Questions, I immediately said yes. I’ve read many of his books and found them to be loving and peaceful.
In the spirit of honesty, I must say that I was disappointed with this book. It seems vague; most of the responses to questions asked are answered with an all-encompassing response of basically to be mindful of the emotion …
Mar 12, 2009
Susan Blackmore’s Ten Zen Questions may at first glance seem silly or pointless — “Where is this?” for example — but when approached with a focused mind they can be used to push back our assumptions and let us have a glimpse at what’s really going on.
Susan Blackmore is justifiably something of a superstar in the small but important and expanding world that exists where science and Buddhism overlap.
She’s well-known on the TED circuit for her work on “memes” — ideas and cultural phenomena understood as viral-like entities that “infect” our minds and compete for dominance.
She is a psychologist by training, has 25 years of Zen practice under her belt, …
Feb 15, 2009
So far there’s only been one episode of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, so perhaps it’s a bit early to be talking about overarching themes, leitmotifs, or its deeper meaning, but this is a show I’ve been long anticipating and so my mind was primed right for the start to resonate with any thematic elements to do with identity and selfhood – for that (I confidently announce, based on one episode and a trailer) is what Dollhouse is about.
But first to step back a little. Joss Whedon, the show’s creator, is most famous as the creative force behind (in chronological order) the seven seasons of the hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the …
Dec 23, 2008
There are many paths to Awakening, including the path of Zen Coffee, Gloria Chadwick’s hip new take on Zen mindfulness.
Zen meditation is pure and simple; it’s accomplished by sitting quietly, clearing and stilling your conscious mind by not allowing your thoughts to wander or intrude while letting your mind empty itself. If a conscious thought enters your awareness, you acknowledge it as merely a thought and gently let it go, without attaching any feelings to it, giving it any importance, or thinking about it. You simply allow your mind to be quiet. The objective is to reach a state of nirvana [the attainment of enlightenment and the freeing of yourself …
Jun 17, 2008
Avant-garde musician John Cage; Catholic mystic Thomas Merton; Beat writers Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac; psychotherapists Carl Jung and Erich Fromm; Zen teachers Robert Aitken and Philip Kapleau, philosophers Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger: 20th century giants all, and all have one thing in common — they were deeply influenced by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, a gentle scholar-practitioner from Japan.
This litany of names is merely suggestive of the massive impact that D. T. Suzuki had on western culture — an influence that is documented in a new film, A Zen Life — because so far we haven’t mentioned the 100 or so books that have found their way (by now) into …
Mar 19, 2008
Saccanama has heard Vajrasattva’s bell calling him to realize his own innate purity, and is on a return journey to reconnect with his own stainless nature.
At the beginning of the Purgatorio, the second great canticle of Dante’s Divine Comedy,
Dante and Virgil emerge from the darkness of the Inferno to see “the tender tint of orient sapphire.” It is dawn, and Venus, “the lovely planet kindling love in man,” lights up the eastern sky. To the West lie the four stars of the four cardinal virtues. As they
proceed towards the mountain they are to climb on their pilgrimage, the two men stop:
Feb 22, 2008
Parami reviews a new book highlighting that ethical living does not consist of following rules, but rather involves taking awareness into the moment before action so that we can choose how to respond creatively.
Waking Up to What You Do: A Zen Practice for Meeting Every Situation With Intelligence and Compassion, by Diane Eshin Rizzetto
“A precept can be thought of as a beacon of light, much like a lighthouse beacon that warns sailors that they are entering dangerous waters and guides them on course. It can show us the way but also warns us to Pay Attention! Look! Listen! Sometimes we will change course, other times, if we must reach …
Dec 21, 2007
Zen and Christianity may have much to offer each other and to learn from each other. But is it possible to be both a Christian and a Zen Buddhist? Author Ruben Habito seems to think so. Reviewer Samayadevi is more skeptical.
Ruben L F Habito was for many years a Jesuit priest serving in Japan. He studied with both Father Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle, a spiritual pioneer in inter-religious dialog and with Koun Yamada, a renowned Zen teacher. He thus brings a fascinating perspective on the interplay of Christianity, as experienced in Catholicism, and the practice of Zen.
Healing Breath is aimed at those seeking a healing spirituality in their own lives and guidelines for …