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in search of wisdom

In Search of Wisdom

A Monk, a Philosopher, and a Psychiatrist on What Matters Most
$21.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Sounds True
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781683640240
In stock now: 5

In Search of Wisdom is a book born of the friendship of three gifted teachers, exploring the universal human journey and our quest for meaning and understanding. This translation of the French bestseller brings readers an intimate, insightful, and wide-ranging conversation between Buddhist monk and author Matthieu Ricard, philosopher Alexandre Jollien, and psychiatrist Christophe André.

Join these three luminaries as they share their views on how we uncover our deepest aspirations in life, the nature of the ego, living with the full range of human emotion, the art of listening, the temple of the body, the origin of suffering, the joy of altruism, true freedom, and much more.

We don't pretend to be experts on the subject matter or models in accomplishing the work or overcoming the obstacles involved in it. We are only travelers in search of wisdom, aware that the path is long and arduous, and that we have so much still to discover, to clarify, and to assimilate through practice… Our dearest wish is that when you cast your eyes on these pages, you will discover subjects for reflection to inspire you and brighten the light of your life.

Highlights of In Search of Wisdom

Discovering our deepest aspirations

The ego: friend or impostor?

Learning to live with the full spectrum of our emotions

The art of listening

The body: burden or idol?

Suffering and its origins

The joy of altruism

The school of simplicity

Guilt and forgiveness

True freedom

Daily practice

This is not intended to be a book of moral lessons but rather an opportunity to share our views and our experience with you. It seemed to us that our very different paths in life, our three ‘trades’—philosopher, monk, and psychiatrist—might lead to a fertile exchange of ideas on the big subjects that all human beings must reflect upon in considering how to lead our lives.

“Delightfully stimulating for the mind plus full of soulful and practical suggestions for a happier and more loving life. Wow. Highly recommended.” —Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain

mindful of race

Mindful of Race

Transforming Racism from the Inside Out
By: Ruth King
$20.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Sounds True
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781683640813
In stock now: 4

“Racism is a heart disease,” writes Ruth King, “and it’s curable.” Exploring a crucial topic seldom addressed in meditation instruction, this revered teacher takes to her pen to shine a compassionate, provocative, and practical light into a deeply neglected and world-changing domain profoundly relevant to all of us.

With Mindful of Race, Ruth King offers:

Tend first to our suffering, listen to what it is trying to teach us, and direct its energies most effectively for change.

Here, she invites us to explore: 

Ourselves as racial beings, the dynamics of oppression, and our role in racism

The power of paying homage to our most turbulent emotions, and perceiving the wisdom they hold

Key mindfulness tools to understand and engage with racial tension

Identifying our “soft spots” of fear and vulnerability—how we defend them and how to heal them

Embracing discomfort, which is a core competency for transformation

How our thoughts and emotions “rigidify” our sense of self—and how to return to the natural flow of who we are

Body, breath, and relaxation practices to befriend and direct our inner resources

Identifying our most sensitive “activation points” and tending to them with caring awareness

“It’s not just your pain”—the generational constellations of racial rage and ignorance and how to work with them

…and many other compelling topics.

King helps readers of all backgrounds examine with fresh eyes the complexity of racial identity and the dynamics of oppression. She offers guided instructions on how to work with our own role in the story of race and shows us how to cultivate a culture of care to come to a place of greater clarity and compassion.

“Ruth King, a deeply wise and caring meditation teacher and diversity consultant, not only helps us understand the complexity of our great racial divide, she offers a core of practices, reflections, and actions that gives us hope for transformation. Our world needs this book. We need this book. Please read with a receptive heart and share with al you know!” —Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance

no time like the present

No Time Like the Present

Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are
$22.00 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781451693706
In stock now: 3

In his first big book in several years, mindfulness meditation teacher Jack Kornfield (author of A Path with Heart, Bringing Home the Dharma, etc.) invites us into a new awareness. Through his wise, warmhearted, poignant, often funny stories, with their Aha moments and O. Henry-like outcomes, Jack shows how we get stuck and how we can free ourselves, wherever we are and whatever our circumstances. Renowned for his mindfulness practices and meditations (he is a teacher of teachers), Jack provides these keys for opening gateways to immediate shifts in perspective and clarity of vision, allowing us to see how to change course, take action, or—when we shouldn’t act—just relax and trust.

Each chapter presents a path to a different kind of freedom—freedom from fear, freedom to start over, to love, to be yourself, and to be happy—and guides you into an active process that engages your mind, heart, and spirit, awakens your spirit, and brings real joy, over and over again.

Drawing from his own life as a son, brother, father, and partner, and on his forty years of face-to-face teaching of thousands of people, Jack presents a stirring call to be here, in the power of the now, the present, as we work through life’s passages. His keys to life will help us find hope, clarity, relief from past disappointments and guilt, and the courage to go forward.

If not now, when?

“With its incomparable blend of deep wisdom, evocative stories, and powerful meditations, No Time Like the Present is the fruit of a lifetime of spiritual teaching. Jack Kornfield’s message is, we don’t have to wait. Love, peace, freedom… it’s all available right here, in this very heart.”

Tara Brach, author of True Refuge

“A consommé of goodness, heart, laughter, tears, and breath, nourishing and delicious. Rich in hope and deep wisdom for these revved up, rattling times." — Anne Lamott author of Grace (Eventually)

real love

Real Love

The Art of Mindful Connection
$22.50 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781250076519
In stock now: 5

Real Love will help you to truly engage with your present experience and create deeper love relationships with yourself, your partner, friends and family, and with life itself. Senior meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg encourages us to strip away layers of negative habits and obstacles, helping us to experience authentic love based on direct experience, rather than preconceptions.

The how of this book is based on a tool kit of mindfulness techniques and other practices cultivating lovingkindness and compassion that I have been teaching for over forty years. Mindfulness practice helps create space between our actual experiences and the reflexive stories we tend to tell about them (e.g., “This is all I deserve”). Lovingkindness practice helps us move out of the terrain of our default narratives if they tend to be based on fear or disconnection. We become authors of brand-new stories about love.

 

There are meditations, reflections, and interactive exercises designed to be suitable for anybody. They outline a path of exploration that is exciting, creative, and even playful… The meditations in particular area meant to be done more than just once—over time, practicing them will create a steady foundation in mindfulness and lovingkindness in our lives.

With positive reflections and practices, Sharon teaches us how to shift the responsibilities of the love that we give and receive to rekindle the powerful healing force of true connection. By challenging myths perpetuated by popular culture, we can undo the limited definitions that reduce love to simply romance or passion, and give the heart a much needed tune-up to connect ourselves to the truest experience of love in our daily lives.

The book is divided into four sections, each addressing a distinct experience of “real love”: love for the self, love for another individual, love for all beings, and love for life itself.

Working from the inside out, the first step on the journey is to learn to love yourself And it is only when we are truly engaged with present experience that we not only are able to feel more connected to our own core selves, but also to those around us.

Among Sharon Salzberg’s other books are Lovingkindness and Real Happiness.

calming the fearful mind

Calming the Fearful Mind

A Zen Response to Terrorism
$22.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Parallax Press
Publication Date: May, 2018
ISBN: 9781941529942
In stock now: 0

In a time of terrorism and uncertainty, how can any of us feel truly safe? In Calming the Fearful Mind, Thich Nhat Hanh examines the roots of terrorism and fear, showing how both can be overcome through compassion and an open heart. He teaches that we will only be safe when we acknowledge our real enemies, not other human beings, but our own ignorance, discrimination, fear, craving, and and violence. With clarity and gentleness, he offers step-by-step instructions for calming the mind and looking deeply into our own misperceptions. Only with the practice of compassion, deep listening, and mindful communication can terrorism be transformed and uprooted.

Calming the Fearful Mind offers key teachings designed to help heal the misunderstanding, fear, and hatred that divide us as individuals, groups, and nations. An invaluable book for anyone who has wondered how to deal with anger and the desire for retaliation, Calming the Fearful Mind takes Thich Nhat Hanh’s signature mindfulness practices and reveals how they can help us address our most challenging and most deeply rooted fears.

The roots of terrorism are misunderstanding, fear, anger, and hatred. They cannot be located by the military. Bombs and missiles cannot reach them, let alone destroy them. Only by calming our mind and looking deeply will we have the insight to identify the roots of terrorism. Only with the practice of compassion, deep listening, and restoring communication can terrorism be transformed and uprooted.

 

Our enemy is never another person. Our enemy is the wrong perceptions and suffering within him, within her. When a doctor sees a sick person, she tries to identify and remove the sickness in the patient. The role of a doctor is not to kill her patient, but to cure the illness within him. It is the same with a person who has suffered so much and who has made us suffer—the solution is not to kill him but to try to help him out of his suffering. This is the guidance we receive from the Buddha, Jesus, Moses and Muhammad; this is the wish of our spiritual teachers. It is the practice of understanding and love. Without understanding, you cannot love.

Among Thich Nhat Hanh’s books are No Death, No Fear and Creating True Peace.

training in tenderness

Training in Tenderness

Buddhist Teachings on Tsewa, the Openness of Heart That Can Change the World
$19.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: May, 2018
ISBN: 9781611805581
In stock now: 7

Here’s a little guide to cultivating tsewa: the loving warmth of heart from which the awakened mind arises—from the popular Buddhist teacher and author of The Intelligent Heart.

The Tibetan term tsewa is difficult to define, but it can be translated, according to Dzigar Kongtrul, as “an open heart, a tender heart, or a warm energy that we express and receive in relation to others, especially those closest to us.” This is his compact guide to developing this wonderful quality in yourself—it’s a quality that leads not only to a transformation in our attitude toward ourselves and those around us, but that we can actually use to heal the world.

According to Buddhist teaching, tsewa is, along with the perception of nonduality, one of the two elements of the heart-mind of enlightenment known as bodhicitta. Learning tsewa can be challenging, Rinpoche teaches, but if we want to be truly happy, there’s no alternative, for tsewa is the purest and deepest form of happiness. The other kinds of happiness that we seek are more superficial. They don't mean much if we lack the joy of an open heart. The good news is that we all have the capacity for it, and it's a habit that can be cultivated.

“Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche is one of the most highly qualified people I know… I am hopeful that Rinpoche’s new book will help many of us get to know and make the best of our own warmth of heart. May Training in Tenderness help to heal the anxiety and polarization of our world!” —Pema Chödrön, author of When Things Fall Apart

“Let this gem of a book be your faithful guide and companion in opening your heart to others. It unlocks the door to that most precious human quality of all: unconditional tenderness for all beings.”
—Matthieu Ricard, author of Altruism and Happiness

wisdom rising

Wisdom Rising

A Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine
$35.99 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: Atria/Enliven Books
Publication Date: May, 2018
ISBN: 9781501115035
In stock now: 36

One of the first American Buddhist nuns and recognized as an incarnation of the Mother of Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Tsultrim has a unique perspective on female strength and enlightenment. In Wisdom Rising, she shares from a deep trove of personal experiences as well as decades of practice as one of the core teachers of the mandala of the five dakinis.

Dakinis are a type of Buddhist female spirit comprised of five families, each with a set of unique qualities, as well as an encumbered pattern or emotional block that gets in the way of its brilliance:

  • Buddha dakini—ignorance to the all-encompassing wisdom
  • Vajra dakini—anger to the mirror-like wisdom
  • Ratna dakini—pride to the wisdom of equanimity
  • Padma dakini—craving to the wisdom of discernment
  • Karma dakini—envy to the all-accomplishing wisdom.

As a Buddhist nun, Tsultrim yearned to become a mother, renouncing her vows so she could marry and have a child. When she subsequently lost her first child to SIDS, she was overcome with grief… and  once again found courage through Buddhist female role models and meditations, and, using the mandala of the dakinis, she transformed her pain into faith.

Tantric Buddhism developed the mandala as a meditational tool for transformation—a map for integration and wholeness. And through the mandala of the five dakinis, we learn how to embrace the fierce feminine energy of the dakinis. Rather than trying to remove or repress their patterns in our lives, you will instead discover how to transform them into wisdom through meditation, sound, visualization, and other practices. Both practical and inspiring, Wisdom Rising offers a powerful gateway of awakening for men and women alike into the deep feminine.

“Our most essential work is awakening the sacred feminine. In her timely and groundbreaking book, Lama Tsultrim shows us a pathway that transforms emotions into illuminating wisdom, and empowers us to bring healing to our world. These teachings are medicine for our times—please read and let them free your heart.” Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance

A stunning call to women to trust our bodies and beings to manifest the energy, vision, and spirit to heal and transform these terrible times. A book full of wisdom, experience, stories, dakinis, mandalas, practices, and possibility.” Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues

Also by Tsultrim Allione is Feeding Your Demons.

why buddhism is true

Why Buddhism is True

The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment
$23.00 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May, 2018
ISBN: 9781439195468
In stock now: 2

Robert Wright famously explained in The Moral Animal how evolution shaped the human brain. The mind is designed to often delude us, he argued, about ourselves and about the world. And it is designed to make happiness hard to sustain.

But if we know our minds are rigged for anxiety, depression, anger, and greed, what do we do? Wright locates the answer in Buddhism, which figured out thousands of years ago what scientists are only discovering now. Buddhism holds that human suffering is a result of not seeing the world clearly—and proposes that seeing the world more clearly, through meditation, will make us better, happier people.

In Why Buddhism is True, Wright leads readers on a journey through psychology, philosophy, and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. With bracing honesty and fierce wisdom, it will persuade you not just that Buddhism is true—which is to say, a way out of our delusion—but that it can ultimately save us from ourselves, as individuals and as a species.

As Morpheus says to Neo [in The Matrix movie], “I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” This book is an attempt to show people the door, give them some idea of what lies beyond it, and explain, from a scientific standpoint, why what lies beyond it has a stronger claim to being real than the world they’re familiar with.

painting peace

Painting Peace

Art in a Time of Global Crisis
$28.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: April, 2018
ISBN: 9781611805437
In stock now: 2

Kaz Tanahashi’s dramatic art, which takes traditional Asian calligraphy in strikingly modern directions, has been widely praised and exhibited throughout the world. But for Kaz, that art has always been in service of a higher good: it has been his own way of bearing witness to peace in a world overcome by war, division, and strife. Here, in a deeply personal work, Kaz provides an account of how he came to be such an artist and how the work of activism continues to progress in his life.

Awakening is to realize the infinite value of each moment of your own life as well as of other beings, then to continue to act accordingly.

This book is the record of a life spent acting accordingly: Through his prose, poetry, letters, lyrics, and art, Tanahashi provides an inspirational account of a what it’s been like to work for peace and justice, from his childhood in Japan to the present day. Included are fascinating vignettes of the seminal figures who refined his views—among them Daniel Ellsberg, Gary Snyder, Mayumi Oda, and Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido—as well as thirty full-colour, striking examples of the art he has so famously used to bear witness to the infinite value of life.

“A maker of monumental works of calligraphy that incorporate but far transcend tradition and founder of international activist organizations like Plutonium Free Future and World Without Armies, Kaz is legendary. With unassuming yet indomitable energy, he has used his imagination to confront global problems like disarmament and climate change. His simple, clear, positive, non-hectoring tone (no doubt a result of his lifetime study and groundbreaking translations of Zen Master Dogen) will give you the feeling that a Ten Millennium Human Future is possible if only we will roll up our sleeves and get to work manifesting our vision of a peaceful world. This book could not have come at a better time.”—Norman Fischer, author of What Is Zen? Plain Talk for a Beginner’s Mind

japanese death poems

Japanese Death Poems

Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death
$19.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Tuttle
Publication Date: April, 2018
ISBN: 9784805314432
In stock now: 2

“A wonderful introduction the Japanese tradition of jisei, this volume is crammed with exquisite, spontaneous verse and pity, often hilarious, descriptions of the eccentric and committed monastics who wrote the poems.” —Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

Although the consciousness of death is, in most cultures, very much a part of life, this is perhaps nowhere more true than in Japan, where the approach of death has given rise to a centuries-old tradition of writing jisei, or the “death poem.” Such a poem is often written in the very last moments of the poet’s life.

And if this were your last afternoon, what would you write... what would you give?

Hundreds of Japanese death poems, many with a commentary describing the circumstances of the poet's death, have been translated into English here, the vast majority of them for the first time. Yoel Hoffmann explores the attitudes and customs surrounding death in historical and present-day Japan and gives examples of how these have been reflected in the nation’s literature in general. The development of writing jisei is then examined, from the longing poems of the early nobility and the more “masculine” verses of the samurai to the satirical death poems of later centuries.

A last fart:

are these the leaves

of my dream, vainly falling?   Kyo’on

 

A journey of no return:

the wanderer’s sack is

bottomless.      Kyoshu

 

Today, then, is the day

the melting snowman

is a real man.      Fusen

 

Spitting blood

clears up reality

and dream alike.     Sunao

 

When it comes—just so!

When it goes—just so!

Both coming and going occur each day.

The words I am speaking now—just so!

                              Musho Josho

Zen Buddhist ideas about death are also described as a preface to the collection of Chinese death poems by Zen monks that are also included. Finally, the last section contains three hundred twenty haiku, some of which have never been assembled before, in English translation and romanized in Japanese.