Books on Buddhism may overflow the shelves, but the life story of the Buddha himself has remained obscure despite over 2,500 years of influence on millions of people around the world. In an attempt to rectify this, and to make the Buddha and Buddhism accessible to Westerners, the beloved scholar and author of such sweeping religious studies as A History of God has written a readable, sophisticated, and somewhat unconventional biography of one of the most influential people of all time. Buddha himself fought against the cult of personality, and the Buddhist scriptures were faithful, giving few details of his life and personality. Karen Armstrong mines these early scriptures, as well as later biographies, then fleshes the story out with an explanation of the cultural landscape of the 6th century B.C., creating a deft blend of biography, history, philosophy, and mythology.
At the age of 29, Siddhartha Gautama walked away from the insulated pleasure palace that had been his home and joined a growing force of wandering monks searching for spiritual enlightenment during an age of upheaval. Armstrong traces Gautama's journey through yoga and asceticism and grounds it in the varied religious teachings of the time. In many parts of the world during this so-called axial age, new religions were developing as a response to growing urbanization and market forces. Yet each shared a common impulse-they placed faith increasingly on the individual who was to seek inner depth rather than magical control. Taoism and Confucianism, Hinduism, monotheism in the Middle East and Iran, and Greek rationalism were all emerging as Gautama made his determined way towards enlightenment under the boddhi tree and during the next 45 years that he spent teaching along the banks of the Ganges. Armstrong, in her intelligent and clarifying style, is quick to point out the Buddha's relevance to our own time of transition, struggle, and spiritual void in both his approach-which was based on skepticism and empiricism-and his teachings.
Despite the lack of typical historical documentation, Armstrong has written a rich and revealing description of both a unique time in history and an unusual man. Buddha is a terrific primer for those interested in the origins and fundamentals of Buddhism.
They say: This little book contains the core teachings on Buddhism by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time.
These thought-provoking quotations about the importance of love and compassion, and the need for individual responsibility, fuse ancient wisdom with the awareness of the problems of everyday life.
The biography of the Englishwoman who has become a world-renowned spiritual leader and a champion of the right of women to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Following Tenzin Palmo's life from England to India, including her seclusion in a remote cave for 12 years, leading to her decision to found a convent to revive the Togdenma lineage.
It sounds like a legend out of medieval Tibet: the ascetic who leaves home to join the Buddhist order, then spends 12 years in a cave, 15 hours a day in a meditation box. This is no legend, but you could call Tenzin Palmo legendary in her single-minded pursuit of higher realizations. From the East End of London to halfway up the Himalayas, she is now back in society, attempting to pull medieval Tibetan Buddhism into the modern era--women's rights and all. As biographer Vickie Mackenzie says by way of background, a group of elite women practitioners called "Togdemnas" still existed just decades ago. Tenzin Palmo, having studied with her male counterparts, is now canvassing the planet, welcoming women into full participation in Tibetan Buddhism and building support for an academy of Togdemnas that she plans to establish in the Himalayas. Mackenzie helps raise awareness for women's roles in Tibetan Buddhism by going into some detail about obstacles still faced by women as well as heroines who have overcome those obstacles, such as Yeshe Tsogyel (Sky Dancer) and Machig Lapdron, a mother who started her own lineage. If Mackenzie has it her way, it won't be long before Tenzin Palmo joins that list of heroines. ––
A contemporary and contemplative spiritual exploration of Death, by best selling author, Poet-philosopher, and Zen priest Tai Sheridan, Ph.D. Beneath the surface, many anxieties, worries, and fears are associated with death. ‘Relax, You Are Going to Die’ is an invitation to examine your relationship with death and your ability to live with grace and dynamic vitality.
The question of death and dying is an inseparable part of a spinning two headed coin. One side says “dying”, and the other says “living”. This book was written in order to help you see the spinning coin more clearly and to help you deepen your relationship to the mystery of living and dying, which is the basis of living a wise, kind, and beneficial life.
Laugh aloud even as you look at life anew with these stories from the bestselling author of
In 108 brief stories with titles like “The Bad Elephant,” “Girlfriend Power,” and “The Happiness License,” Ajahn Brahm offers up more timeless wisdom that will speak to people from all walks of life. Drawing from his own experiences, stories shared by his students, and old chestnuts that he delivers with a fresh twist, Ajahn Brahm shows he knows his way around the humorous parable, delighting even as he surprises us with unexpected depth and inspiration.
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