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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: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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: 0

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.

courage to love the world

Courage to Love the World

Discovering Compassion, Strength, and Joy through Tonglen Meditation
$34.50 CAD
Spoken Word CD
Publisher: Sounds True
Publication Date: April, 2018
ISBN: 9781683641414
In stock now: 5

In The Courage to Love the World, Pema Chodron shares her most recent teachings on tonglen, a revered Tibetan Buddhist meditation for connecting with our own suffering and that of others. While it may seem counterintuitive, Pema teaches that by welcoming suffering, we are able to transform it as we overcome our fear of pain and dissolve the armour of self-protection around our hearts. “Breathe in for all of us and breathe out for all of us,” teaches Pema. "Use what seems like poison as medicine, as a path to compassion for all beings." 

Pain, loss, shame, sadness—suffering is an unavoidable part of being human. The practice of tonglen offers us a way to transform our relationship with suffering—our own and that which is all around us. In The Courage to Love the World, beloved teacher Pema Chödrön shares insightful and heartfelt stories about tonglen, along with direct instruction and guided practice. Recorded on retreat with an intimate group of students, this four-part series presents:

  • Pema’s step-by-step guidance in the formal practice of tonglen
  • The importance of becoming a “Modern-Day Bodhisattva”—awaken your heart and be of benefit to beings
  • The practice of “compassionate abiding” in everyday life
  • Q&A with retreat participants addressing the most common questions that arise with practice
  • Tonglen as a practical skill for survival in today’s world

The practice of tonglen is one of bravery. It takes courage to develop a new relationship with suffering.

 

Now, each of us can immerse ourselves in this ancient Tibetan practice for cultivating kindness and compassion under the guidance of one of our most beloved teachers.

Among Pema’s books are When Things Fall Apart and How to Meditate.

standing at the edge

Standing at the Edge

Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet
$34.99 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: April, 2018
ISBN: 9781250101341
In stock now: 0

Joan Halifax has enriched thousands of lives around the world through her work as a humanitarian, a social activist, an anthropologist, and as a Buddhist teacher. Over many decades, she has also collaborated with neuroscientists, clinicians, and psychologists to understand how contemplative practice can be a vehicle for social transformation. Through her unusual background, she developed an understanding of how our greatest challenges can become the most valuable source of our wisdom—and how we can transform our experience of suffering into the power of compassion for the benefit of others.

Halifax has identified 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, it is a book that will serve us all.

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 resource 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.

 “An important, thorough book. Halifax covers every angle of our interactions with compassion, even willing to tread on its dark side. As I read I found myself excited, inspired, nodding my head at its clear truth. Written in precise, beautiful prose, this is not an abstract tome—it’s backed by Halifax’s years of experience, close observation, and honest scrutiny. This needs to be read by everyone so we have a new language for love.” —Natalie Goldberg, author of The Great Spring

“A clearly written labor of love, 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, relevant research from neuroscience and social psychology, 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