Book picks similar to
Bad Dog!: A Memoir of Love, Beauty, and Redemption in Dark Places by Lin Jensen
Spiritual Graffiti: Finding My True Path
M.C. Yogi - 2017
But at eighteen his life dramatically changed. After graduating from that program, he was introduced to yoga. When his feet landed on the mat that first time, MC describes it as a "coming-home experience."Deeply moved by this powerful occurrence, he devoted himself to learning everything he could about the ancient discipline. Ultimately, yoga would revolutionize his life, putting him on the path to becoming a successful hip-hop musician and inspirational yogi to thousands of people.Spiritual Graffiti is his dramatic story—a moving and inspiring chronicle of a troubled teen who would become a headlining yoga star, layered throughout with wisdom, and told in MC YOGI’s signature style. A blend of Rumi, Noah Levine, Gabby Bernstein, and Rob Bell, this is a hopeful, moving, and uplifting story of the remarkable power for transformation within us all.
What Is God?
Jacob Needleman - 2009
I n this new book, philosopher Jacob Needleman? whose voice and ideas have done so much to open the West to esoteric and Eastern religious ideas in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries?intimately considers humanity?s most vital question: What is God? Needleman begins by taking us more than a half century into the past, to his own experience as a brilliant, promising, Ivyeducated student of philosophy?atheistic, existential, and unwilling to blindly accept childish religiosity. But an unsettling meeting with the venerated Zen teacher D. T. Suzuki, combined with the sudden need to accept a dreary position teaching the philosophy of religion, forced the young academician to look more closely at the religious ideas he had once thought dead. Within traditional religious texts the scholar discovered a core of esoteric and philosophical ideas, more mature and challenging than anything he had ever associated with Judaism, Christianity, and the religions of the East. At the same time, Needleman came to realize?as he shares with the reader?that ideas and words are not enough. Ideas and words, no matter how profound, cannot prevent hatred, arrogance, and ultimate despair, and cannot prevent our individual lives from descending into violence and illusion. And with this insight, Needleman begins to open the reader to a new kind of understanding: The inner realization that in order to lead the lives we were intended for, the very nature of human experience must change, including the very structure of our perception and indeed the very structure of our minds. In What Is God?, Needleman draws us closer to the meaning and nature of this needed change?and shows how our present confusion about the purpose of religion and the concept of God reflects a widespread psychological starvation for this specific quality of thought and experience. In rich and varied detail, the book describes this inner experience?and how almost all of us, atheists and ?believers? alike, actually have been visited by it, but without understanding what it means and why the intentional cultivation of this quality of experience is necessary for the fullness of our existence.
Entering the Diamond Way: My Path Among the Lamas
Ole Nydahl - 1985
This is the genuinely compelling story, and spiritual odyssey, of Ole and Hannah Nydahl, who in 1968 became the first Western students of the great Tibetan master, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Their exciting travels on the worn path between the green lowlands of Europe to the peaks of the Himalayas, led them to experience the skillful teachings of numerous Tibetan lamas who helped transform their lives into "limitless clarity and joy." From their first contact with Tibetan Buddhism in Kathmandu in the form of a lama with extraordinary psychic powers, Ole and Hannah encountered the full spectrum of the Buddhist "view." Their aim in writing this book is "to form a bridge between two worlds, and especially to share with all who are looking for their true being ... an introduction to a time-proven way to Enlightenment." "One cannot really transmit anything, except what one has directly experienced, and the reason many of you will be able to identify with what happened to us is that, deep within, we are so very much alike."
Love & Death: My Journey through the Valley of the Shadow
Forrest Church - 2008
In that remarkable letter, he wrote: "In more than one respect, I feel very lucky." He went on to promise that he would sum up his thoughts on the topics that had been so pervasive in his work-love and death-in a final book. Church has been justly celebrated as a writer of American history, but his works of spiritual guidance have been especially valued for their insight and inspiration. As a minister, Church defined religion as "our human response to the dual reality of being alive and having to die." The goal of life, he tells us "is to live in such a way that our lives will prove worth dying for." This last book in his impressive oeuvre is imbued with ideas and exemplars for achieving that goal. The stories he offers-drawn from his own experiences and from the lives of his friends, family, and parishioners-are both engrossing and enlightening. Forrest Church's final work may be his most lasting gift to his readers.
Dharma Road: A Short Cab Ride to Self Discovery
Brian Haycock - 2010
During the course of his career as a cabdriver, he learned that each fare provided an opportunity to learn the life lessons of the Buddha. So, hop in and buckle up; we'll be making several stops on this trip. We're off on our journey to self-discovery, passing through the precepts, the four noble truths, taking a hard left to stop and get coffee--where we'll learn a few breathing techniques to bolster our patience--all the while watching for ambulances and bikers, focusing our attention and awareness so that we can arrive at our destination in good time and in one piece. Here are stories from everyday life that demonstrate how we can all benefit from a little Buddhist philosophy or practice. With each chapter focusing on a specific topic, readers will learn to coast their way to building a life routine, focusing the mind, calming themselves with breathing exercises, and much much more.
By His Grace: A Devotee's Story
Dada Mukerjee - 2001
Mukerjee was one of the first Indian followers of Maharaj-ji Westerners met in the late 60s and early 70s when they came seeking this Neem Karoli Baba that Ram Dass wrote about. Dada was fluent in English. He?d been a professor of economics at Allahabad University, editor of a prestigious economics journal, and a political activist. It was the women in his family who were interested in religion and spiritual matters until Maharaj-ji moved into Dada?s home. Dada gave up all his worldly activities then to follow Maharaj-ji. Westerners learned surrender from their acquaintance with Dada, that is did not enslave but frees. They saw there was no space between when Maharaj-ji spoke and Dada acted. His level of service to his Baba while hard for Westerners to understand was beautiful in its simplicity and acceptance of the moment.After Maharaj-ji?s death Westerners began gathering at Dada?s house, eager to hear his stories about Maharaj-ji. They couldn?t get enough and would keep Dada up late talking about his Baba. Now we have this delightful book containing Dada?s stories of the great Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba. Readers will find themselves captivated by Dada?s remembrances, informed, and challenged. Dada opens wide for us a window into Indian spiritual culture as you begin to understand what it is that happens when Guru calls and the devotee replies ?yes.? ? Paperback, 224 pages. Published by the Hanuman Foundation, 1990. The story of one of Neem Karoli Baba?s Indian devotees about his time living in Maharaj-ji?s shadow. Rich with numerous photos of Neem Karoli Baba and Mukerjee and Indian ashram life. Mukerjee often served as Neem Karoli Baba?s translator and writes in a manner easily understood by Westerners, as he leads readers into an understanding of Indian spiritual values.
The Buddha from Brooklyn
Martha Sherrill - 2000
Out of the blue, a monastery in India for which she had raised some money contacted Burroughs and asked her to host His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, one of the highest-ranking lamas of Tibetan Buddhism, on his first visit to America. After meeting Burroughs, and observing her and her followers for a period of five days, he told her that she was a "great, great bodhisattva," and already, unbeknownst to her, practicing Buddhism. Later, in India, he officially recognized this Jewish-Italian woman from Brooklyn as the reincarnation of a sixteenth-century Tibetan saint, making her the first American woman to be named a tulku, or reborn lama.The Buddha from Brooklyn tells the complex and fascinating story of how Catharine Burroughs, now known as Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo, embarked on a journey to build the largest Tibetan Buddhist center in America. With boundless enthusiasm but precious little formal training in Buddhist practices and traditions, Jetsunma and her students bought an estate in Poolesville, Maryland, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., and founded Kunzang Palyul Choling (Fully Awakened Dharma Continent of Absolute Clear Light). Under Jetsunma's tutelage, the group memorized sacred texts and held all-night prayer vigils. They asked venerable Tibetan lamas to visit and give them "empowerments." Many took Buddhist vows and became monks and nuns. And as word of this remarkable place spread, others came to see the new lama for themselves and joined her community.Martha Sherrill, a writer at The Washington Post, heard about Jetsunma in 1993. She visited the center and was charmed by both its charismatic lama, the only Western woman in the male-dominated hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhism, and by the monks and nuns (all Americans) living there. They seemed, for the most part, like a remarkably happy group of people whose lives had been transformed by this exotic, imported faith—and by Jetsunma. At the beginning of The Buddha from Brooklyn, as the group is breaking ground for a sacred monument called a stupa, Sherrill commences her own journey to discover for herself what makes this unlikely lama—who enjoys clothes shopping and manicures, Motown music and Star Trek reruns—such a magnetic spiritual leader. And as the story unfolds, so do the secrets of this seemingly idyllic sanctuary.Compassionate and clear-eyed, Sherrill takes her readers on a breathtaking exploration inside the monastery at Poolesville, a place where idealistic but flawed human beings struggle with their devotion every day. She demystifies monastic life and Tibetan Buddhism, and amends the simplified view that most Americans have of this 2,500-year-old faith. Weaving together the stories of the believers into a narrative structure that is as moving and beautiful as the stupa they are building, Sherrill has created a brilliant work of investigative journalism that raises profound, provocative questions about religious faith and its price. The Buddha from Brooklyn is a monument to the miracles and failures that stem from the deepest human longings.
The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd
Mary Rose O'Reilley - 2000
For Mary Rose O’Reilley a year tending sheep seemed a way to seek a spirituality based not on “climbing out of the body” but rather on existing fully in the world, at least if she could overlook some of its earthier aspects. The Barn at the End of the World follows O’Reilley in her sometimes funny, sometimes moving quest. Though small in stature, she learns to “flip” very large sheep and help them lamb. She also visits a Buddhist monastery in France, where she studies the practice of Mahayana Buddhism, dividing her spare time between meditation and dreaming of French pastries.
The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo
Kosho Uchiyama - 1981
Instead, he lived a traveling, "homeless" life, going from temple to temple, student to student, teaching and instructing and never allowing himself to stray from his chosen path. He is responsible for making Soto Zen available to the common people outside of monasteries. His teachings are short, sharp, and powerful. Always clear, often funny, and sometimes uncomfortably close to home, they jolt us into awakening. Kosho Uchiyama expands and explains his teacher's wisdom with his commentary. Trained in Western philosophy, he draws parallels between Zen teachings and the Bible, Descartes, and Pascal. Shohaku Okumura has also added his own commentary, grounding his teachers' power and sagacity for the contemporary, Western practitioner. Experience the timeless, practical wisdom of three generations of Zen masters.
Afterzen: Experiences of a Zen Student Out on His Ear
Janwillem van de Wetering - 1999
Van de Wetering gives them his own distinctive touch of humor, down to earth reality, and tough spirituality in the context of meeting and adventures with personalities "collaged from bits and pieces of teachers and fellow students who kindly came my way."In this third book of the trilogy, van de Wetering is at his accessible, honest, funny, and genuinely spiritual best.
Diary of a Psychic
Sonia Choquette - 2003
The author differs from other psychics in that she has developed her skills to see beyond predicting the future ...she works with her clients to help them identify their specific soul path to ensure that they make the most of all the opportunities that are available and helps them dissolve the blocks that stop them being who they truly are.
Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography
Richard Rodríguez - 2013
Rodriguez is a homosexual who writes with love of the religions of the desert that exclude him. He is a passionate, unorthodox Christian who is always mindful of his relationship to Judaism and Islam because of a shared belief in the God who revealed himself within an ecology of emptiness. And at the center of this book is a consideration of women—their importance to Rodriguez’s spiritual formation and their centrality to the future of the desert religions.Only a mind as elastic and refined as Rodriguez’s could bind these threads together into this wonderfully complex tapestry.
Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic's Journey to Mindfulness
Rachel Neumann - 2012
Scenes with Thich Nhat Hanh and the author’s two vividly exuberant older parents, illustrate how the author adapts mindfulness techniques for the busyness of her life, without losing her edge. With honest and vivid stories about dealing with difficult relationships with family members, death, illness, vanity, exhaustion, and creating a safety net of joy, the author explores and offers guidance for three key mindfulness practices: Knowing When You're Available and When You're Not; Full-Attachment Living; and Interbeing (Other People are Not a Hobby).This book is designed for adults who are new to mindfulness practice, Buddhism, curious skeptics, people familiar with the practice who want a personal story, and those interested in memoir.
Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Tulku Urgyen - 2005
A memoir in the form of tales told by Rinpoche toward the end of his life, the book spans his lifetime — a lifetime rich in adventures of both spirit and body. His reminiscences weave a rich tapestry of family history and also describe the lives of some of the most realized and genuine practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism.