Our New Reviews

Viewing 1 - 10 of 281
lost connections

Lost Connections

Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression ! and the Unexpected Solutions
$24.00 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: December, 2019
ISBN: 9781632868312
In stock now: 0

From the author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, here’s a radical new exploration. Journalist Johann Hari suffered from depression as a child and started taking antidepressants as a teenager. He was told that his problems were caused by a chemical imbalance in his brain. As an adult, trained in the social sciences, he began to investigate whether this was true—and he learned that almost everything we have been told about depression and anxiety is wrong.

Across the world, Hari found social scientists who were uncovering evidence that depression and anxiety are largely caused by key problems with the way we’re living. Hari is a bracing and fluid writer; he researched widely and deeply. And Big Pharma will not like his conclusions.

Depression, I realized, is itself a form of grief—for all the connections we need, but don’t have…  You have to turn now to all the other wounded people around you, and find a way to connect with them, and build a home with these people, together…

We have been tribeless and disconnected for so long now. It’s time for us all to come home…

We need to stop trying to muffle or silence or pathologize that pain. Instead, we need to listen to it, and honor it. It is only when we listen to our pain that we can follow it back to its source—and only there, when we can see its true causes, can we begin to overcome it.

wake up to what matters

Wake Up to What Matters

A Guide to Tibetan Buddhism for the Next Generation
$22.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: December, 2019
ISBN: 9781611806601
In stock now: 0

This unique and fresh presentation of Tibetan Buddhism provides all the tools a millennial needs to navigate the Buddhist path in a modern world. The twenty-five-year-old lama, Avikrita Vajra Sakya, was born and raised in America and now lives in a monastery in India, training in and teaching meditation and Buddhist philosophy to hundreds of monks and nuns. He has thousands of students all over the world, with over 100,000 people following him on Facebook. His style of writing is frank and open, hitting straight to the heart of young people's concerns for why they should bother with a spiritual path in the age of cell phones and shopping malls.

There is no other book like this available that makes such a direct argument for being a twenty-first century Buddhist, whether you are living in Seattle or in a Himalayan hermitage. Fundamentally, we all have the same hang-ups and all equally have the potential to become buddhas ourselves by cultivating loving-kindness, compassion, and wisdom. And this book teaches readers to do just that.

If we remember to check in every day with what’s happening on Planet You with full, open awareness, even if it’s just a few minutes between our everyday activities, we’ll really notice positive changes. Otherwise, we’re just left with the story lines playing out on our inner movie screens… Awakening calm and insigh means we can remember where the off switch is.

way of a pilgrim

Way of a Pilgrim

$14.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: November, 2019
ISBN: 9781611807011
In stock now: 0

This classic work of spiritual literature is the firsthand account of a pilgrim's journey as he endeavors to live out Saint Paul's instruction to “pray without ceasing.” The narrator, an unnamed nineteenth-century peasant, sets out on his pilgrimage with nothing but a Bible, rosary, and some dried bread. As he walks, he recites the Jesus prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”)—a prayer that is said to quiet anxiety and fill the heart with love for all creation. With this prayer constantly on his lips, the pilgrim undergoes a profound spiritual education. These pages offer practical advice for every spiritual practitioner, translated in a way that is relevant, fresh, and inspiring.

After about three weeks I began to experience a soreness in my heart, followed by the most delightful kind of warmth, joy and peace. This increasingly stirred me and kindled my desire to practice this prayer more diligently, so that I thought about nothing else and was filled with an immense joy. From then on, at times I would experience different sensations in my heart and in my mind. Sometimes my heart would bubble over with such sweet delight and was filled with such lightness, freedom, and consolation that I was totally transformed and enraptured.... Sometimes the sweet warmth in my heart would overflow and spread through my entire being, so that I tenderly experienced the presence of God all about me.

“One of the most influential spiritual books of the last hundred years. It is one of those rare books that can make a difference in a person’s life.” —Jacob Needleman, author of Lost Christianity

tsongkhapa

Tsongkhapa

A Buddha in the Land of Snows
$39.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: November, 2019
ISBN: 9781611806465
In stock now: 0

The new standard work and definitive biography of Tsongkhapa, one of the principle founders of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism—the school of the Dalai Lamas.

In this groundbreaking addition to the Lives of the Masters series, Thupten Jinpa, a scholar-practitioner and long-time translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, offers the most comprehensive portrait available of Jé Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), one of the greatest Buddhist teachers in history. A devout monastic, Tsongkhapa took on the difficult task of locating and studying all of the Indian Buddhist classics available in Tibet in his day. He went on to synthesize this knowledge into a holistic approach to the path of awakening. In an achievement of incredible magnitude, he integrated the pivotal yet disparate Mahayana teachings on emptiness while retaining the important role of critical reason and avoiding the extreme of negating the reality of the everyday world.

Included in this volume is a discussion of Tsongkhapa’s early life and training; his emergence as a precociously intelligent Buddhist mind; the composition of his Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, Great Exposition of Tantra, and many other important works; and his founding of the Lhasa Prayer Festival and Ganden Monastery. This is a necessary resource for anyone interested in Tsongkhapa’s transformative effect on the understanding and practice of Buddhism in Tibet in his time and his continued influence today.

naked in the zendo

Naked in the Zendo

Stories of Uptight Zen, Wild-Ass Zen, and Enlightenment Wherever You Are
$22.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: November, 2019
ISBN: 9781611806564
In stock now: 0

A collection of charming and funny stories on how to turn the awareness we find on the meditation cushion into wisdom for every day.

We need to remove our ego's clothing to truly see ourselves and the world as they are. Grace Schireson's stories about her Zen journey—from child to grandmother—share deep insight about how we can find awareness, feel it in our bodies, and experience it wherever we are. Grace's path is at times ordinary—with stories of youthful naiveite ("Will Zen Get You High?"), parenting ("You Exist; Therefore, I Am Embarrassed"), and pets ("The Honorable Roshi Bully Cat")—and groundbreaking—with stories of her studies with Suzuki Roshi ("What's Love Got to Do with It?"), Keido Fukushima Roshi ("Don't Bow"), and more. Each story, whether humorous or poignant, highlights the power of awareness to transform our lives and the remarkable work of this pioneering woman in American Zen.

“Feisty and strong-minded, Grace Schireson has been a force in American Zen for a long time. In Naked in the Zendo she tells her story with verve, humor, and deep wisdom. You will enjoy her many real-life teaching stories, as well as the bracing experience of meeting an honest-to-god, life-as-it-is Zen teacher, who happens also to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, psychotherapist, and feminist activist. This is a book for our Zen moment. For sure.”—Norman Fischer, author of The World Could Be Otherwise

standing at the edge

Standing at the Edge

Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet
$24.50 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: November, 2019
ISBN: 9781250101358
In stock now: 0

 Over many decades, Zen teacher Joan Halifax has collaborated with neuroscientists, clinicians, and psychologists to understand how contemplative practice can be a vehicle for social healing. Exploring how we can transform our experience of suffering into the power of compassion for the benefit of others, Joan identifies five psychological territories she calls Edge States—altruism, empathy, integrity, respect, and engagementthat epitomize strength of character. Yet each of these states can also be the cause of personal and social suffering. In this way, these five psychological experiences form edges, and it is only when we stand at these edges that we become open to the full range of our human experience and discover who we really are.

Recounting the experiences of caregivers, activists, humanitarians, politicians, parents, and teachers, incorporating the wisdom of Zen traditions and mindfulness practices, Standing at the Edge is a powerful guide on how to find the freedom we seek for others and ourselves.

When we learn to recognize the Edge States in our lives, we can stand on the threshold of change and see a landscape abundant with wisdom, tenderness, and basic human kindness. At the same time, we can see a desolate terrain of violence, failure, and futility. Having the strength to stand at the edge, we can draw lessons from places of utter devastation—the charnel grounds—of refugee camps, earthquake-destroyed areas, prisons, cancer wards, homeless encampments, and war zones, and at the same time be resourced by our basic goodness and the basic goodness of others. This is the very premise of coming to know intimately the Edge States: How we develop the strength to stand at the edge and have a wider view, a view that includes all sides of the equation of life. How we find life-giving balance between oppositional forces. How we find freedom at the edge. And how we discover that the alchemy of suffering and compassion brings forth the gold of our character, the gold of our hearts.

“A deep and detailed plunge into the positive as well as the difficult aspects of active engagement in the world of suffering. She weaves in illustrative examples,  and, most importantly, practices that can be taken up to help all of us, no matter where in this troubled world we work, to restore much-needed balance, kindness and sanity, both for ourselves and those we serve."Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindfulness on the Go

flame

Flame

Poems and Selections From Notebooks
$22.00 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: November, 2019
ISBN: 9780771024443
In stock now: 0

The Flame is Leonard Cohen’s eloquent farewell, a final collection of lyrics and poems that maps his singular creative journey. In addition to new poems about war, desire, regrets, lamb chops, and hummingbirds, and lyrics from his last three albums, including the final “You Want It Darker,” The Flame includes carefully selected excerpts—both writing and drawings— from Cohen’s voluminous notebooks, which he kept faithfully, in poetic form, all his life. Listeners will hear about the subjects that have always preoccupied Cohen: the dimensions of love, the secret code of existence, and the hope for transcendence in a broken world.

In the words of Cohen’s longtime manager and friend, Robert Kory, The Flame “reveals to all the intensity of his inner fire” to the end. By turns devastatingly sad and winningly strange, these are the works of a poet and lyricist who has plumbed the depths of our darkest questions and come up wanting, yearning for more.

So I’ve come here to revisit
What happens to the heart
I was selling holy trinkets
I was dressing kind of sharp
Had a pussy in the kitchen
And a panther in the yard
In the prison of the gifted
I was friendly with the guard…
 

It ain’t pretty, it ain’t subtle
What happens to the heart…
I was always working steady
But I never called it art…
 

Sure it failed my little fire
But it’s bright the dying spark
Go tell the young messiah
What happens to the heart

      (June 24, 2016)

“This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet,” writes Cohen’s son, Adam Cohen, in his foreword. “It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end… Each page of paper that he blackened was lasting evidence of a burning soul.”

I have witnessed many great events, some of which were sorrowful: the birth of children, the death of friends, the ends of time & the intermediate wildernesses. A chill goes down my spine and up, when I reflect how graciously I have been placed in the mazes of creation. My beloved is with me, the wife of my youth, and in the midst of suffering when it is our lot, if I remember to incline my self toward the source of light, I know that I have never strayed too far from my bridal days. As it was promised, I have inherited the gates of my enemy, and I fear with him, rejoice with him, at the irresistible tides of majesty that sweep across the world.

“With Cohen, one feels he knew who he was and where he was going from the beginning, and only digs deeper, deeper, deeper.” —Pico Iyer

welcoming the unwelcome

Welcoming the Unwelcome

Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World
$29.95 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: October, 2019
ISBN: 9781611805659
In stock now: 0

From the beloved author of When Things Fall Apart comes this open-hearted call for human connection, compassion, and learning to love the world just as it is during these most challenging times.

In her first new book of spiritual teachings in over seven years, Pema Chödrön offers a combination of wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and the signature mix of humor and insight that have made her a beloved figure to turn to during times of change. In an increasingly polarized world, Pema shows us how to strengthen our abilities to find common ground, even when we disagree, and influence our environment in positive ways. Sharing never-before told personal stories from her remarkable life, simple and powerful everyday practices, and directly relatable advice, Pema encourages us all to become triumphant bodhisattvas—compassionate beings—in times of hardship.

There’s more at stake in learning about spirituality and meditation than just trying to feel good about yourself or getting better at chilling out. Replacing “us and them” with a feeling of our universal sameness and interconnectedness is becoming a practical requirement for survival…
 

Buddha and many other wise people in this world have given us tools for taking whatever occurs in our lives and using it to cultivate our basic goodness and become more and more able to be there for others. Whatever the future brings—welcome or unwelcome—we can use for our path of awakening. To me, this attitude is the best kind of optimism.

Welcoming the Unwelcome includes teachings on the true meaning of karma, recognizing the basic goodness in ourselves and the people we share our lives with—even the most challenging ones, transforming adversity into opportunities for growth, and freeing ourselves from the empty and illusory labels that separate us. Pema also provides step-by-step guides to a basic sitting meditation and a compassion meditation that anyone can use to bring light to the darkness we face, wherever and whatever it may be.

pocket haiku

Pocket Haiku

$14.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: October, 2019
ISBN: 9781611807004
In stock now: 0

In this dewdrop collection of haiku, translator Sam Hamill has compiled the best from the tradition, spanning the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, with particular focus on the three great masters: Basho, Buson, and Issa. Based on images from nature, the poems address the themes of joy, temporality, beauty, wonder, loneliness, and loss.



Haiku may be the most popular and widely recognizable poetic form in the world. In just three lines a great haiku presents a crystalline moment of image, emotion, and awareness. Elements of compassion, silence, and a sense of temporality often combine to reveal a quality of mystery. Just as often, haiku may bring a startling insight into the ordinary, or a flash of humor. Collected here are over two hundred of the best haiku of Japanese literature—written by the great masters of the genre.

The featured poets are Basho, Buson, Issa, Moritake, Soin, Sanpu, Kikaku, Ransetsu, Kyorai, Raizan, Kakei, Onitsura, Taigi, Chiyo, Sogetsuni, Sogi, Fuhaku, Teiga, Kikusha-ni, Tayo-jo, Socho, Shoha, and Shiki.

zen is right here

Zen Is Right Here

The Wisdom of Shunryu Suzuki
$14.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: October, 2019
ISBN: 9781611807875
In stock now: 0

In 1966 David Chadwick began Zen practice with Shunryu Suzuki, the Zen master whose words form the gristle of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, one of the most widely used books on Zen practice. Suzuki was a pioneer of Buddhism in America, founding San Francisco’s Zen Center, and inspiring a movement that continues today.

Now Chadwick has drawn on his friends and co-practitioners and brought together some touching and instructive memories of this great teacher.  Through these spontaneous, often humorous, and always unexpected exchanges, the reader can experience what it meant to practice Zen with Suzuki from day to day.

Chadwick quotes Suzuki:

We say, to shine one corner of the world—just one corner. If you shine one corner, then people around you will feel better. You will always feel as if you are carrying an umbrella to protect people from the heat or rain.

But this book is not just a collection of sweet reminiscences; it’s a living encounter with Suzuki Roshi’s Zen teaching. The wisdom presented in these stories is poignant, direct, humorous, and enlightening; and the stories’ real-life settings make them wonderfully accessible.

Suzuki Roshi emphasized that the ungraspable spirit of Buddhism is what continues, while the expression of that spirit always changes. Each of the stories presented here is an example of our potential to attain enlightenment right now, in this very moment.

If you pay close attention, you can hear the tide turn. —Shunryu Suzuki

Also by Chadwick is Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki.