"Dharma Readers" - Minneapolis Buddhist Book Club Message Board › Book #6 Voting Information
Welcome to the Book #6 voting information page! Following is information about the four books up for vote this time. Af the very bottom of this page is a LINK to the page where you will actually place your vote.
In "Making Friends with Death", Buddhist teacher Judith Lief, who's drawn her inspiration from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, shows us that through the powerful combination of contemplation of death and mindfulness practice, we can change how we relate to death, enhance our appreciation of everyday life, and use our developing acceptance of our own vulnerability as a basis for opening to others. She also offers a series of guidelines to help us reconnect with dying persons, whether they are friends or family, clients or patients. "Making Friends with Death" will enlighten anyone interested in coming to terms with their own mortality. More specifically, the contemplative approach presented here offers health professionals, students of death and dying, and people who are helping a dying friend or relative useful guidance and inspiration. It will show them how to ground their actions in awareness and compassion, so that the steps they take in dealing with pain and suffering will be more effective.
This compelling collection of essays, talks, and seminars by Chögyam Trungpa presents the basic teachings of Buddhism as they relate to everyday life. The book is divided into three parts. In "Personal Journey," the author discusses the qualities of openness, inquisitiveness, and good humor that characterize the enlightened Buddha-nature in everyone. In "Stages on the Path," he presents the three vehicles—Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana—that carry the Buddhist practitioner toward enlightenment. In "Working with Others," he describes the direct application of Buddhist teachings in such areas as relationships, children, and money. Chögyam Trungpa's great appreciation of Western culture combined with his deep understanding of the Tibetan tradition makes these teachings uniquely accessible to Western readers.
Batchelor's Buddhism Without Beliefs (1997) described a secular approach to the Eastern philosophy stripped of doctrines such as karma and rebirth; how a young British monk ordained in the Tibetan tradition turned into a Buddhist atheist is revealed in this new book. On the dharma trail in India and Korea, and later as a lay resident at the nonsectarian Sharpham community in England, Batchelor was beset by doubts about traditional Buddhist teachings. Finally convinced that present-day forms of Buddhism have moved far beyond what founder Gotama had intended, Batchelor embarked on a study of the Pali canon (very early Buddhist texts) to find out what the Buddha's original message might have been. Batchelor's own story of conversion is woven effortlessly with his analysis of Buddhist teachings and a 2003 pilgrimage to Indian sites important in the Buddha's life. He is candid about his disillusionments with institutionalized Buddhism without engaging in another new atheist broadside against religion. While Batchelor may exaggerate the novelty of his Buddhism without beliefs stance, this multifaceted account of one Buddhist's search for enlightenment is richly absorbing.
Author, psychologist and pioneering Buddhist teacher Kornfield writes his best book yet (and his previous ones were pretty good). His newest uses the same sweet narrative voice, provides convincing and illustrative anecdotes and stories, and reaches into world traditions and literature as well as contemporary scientific research. This book offers a systematic and well-organized view of Buddhist psychology, complete with occasional diagrams. Concepts and practices are placed in a framework that explains and connects them. It's all done with an eye toward application; most chapters end with exercises. Kornfield has been practicing Buddhism for close to 40 years, a lasting discipline that has produced this masterful book and a seasoned view of life that acknowledges a lot of oopses. As a mediator and psychologist, he has also witnessed some serious angst, including his own, and draws on it for illustrative power. Not everything here is new, least of all the title, but then the Buddha isn't either. The best is left for last: joy you can seek for yourself and others. Just keep your meditative seat, and this book by your bed. Kornfield comes across as the therapist you wish you'd had.
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