Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin (Shambhala Dragon Editions)


John Blofeld - 1977
    John Blofeld’s classic study traces the history of this most famous of all the bodhisattvas from her origins in India (as the male figure Avalokiteshvara) to Tibet, China, and beyond, along the way highlighting her close connection to other figures such as Tara and Amitabha. The account is full of charming stories of Blofeld’s encounters with Kuan Yin’s devotees during his journeys in China. The book also contains meditation and visualization techniques associated with the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and translations of poems and yogic texts devoted to her.

The I Ching or Book of Changes


Anonymous
    It has exerted a living influence in China for 3000 years and interest in it has spread in the West. Set down in the dawn of history as a book of oracles, the Book of Changes deepened in meaning when ethical values were attached to the oracular pronouncements; it became a book of wisdom, eventually one of the Five Classics of Confucianism, and provided the common source for both Confucianist and Taoist philosophy. Wilhelm's rendering of the I Ching into German, published in 1924, presented it for the 1st time in a form intelligible to the general reader. Wilhelm, who translated many other ancient Chinese works and who wrote several books on Chinese philosophy and civilization, long resided in China. His close association with its cultural leaders gave him a unique understanding of the text of the I Ching. In the English translation, every effort has been made to preserve Wilhelm's pioneering insight into the spirit of the original.This 3rd edition, completely reset, contains a new forward by Hellmut Wilhelm, one of the most eminent American scholars of Chinese culture. He discusses his father's textual methods and summarizes recent studies of the I Ching both in the West and in present-day China. The new edition contains minor textual corrections, bibliographical revisions and an index.

Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God


Caitlín Matthews - 1991
    Caitlin Matthews' scholarship connects us to past, present, and future in the very depths of our femininity. ----Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst and author of Bone: Dying into Life. Sophia, or "wisdom" in Greek, has been revered in many forms throughout history--from the Dark Goddess of ancient Anatolia; to her Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, and Cabalistic manifestations; to her current forms as Mary and the orthodox St. Sophia. In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Sophia sits with God until the creation. Then she falls into matter and becomes manifest in every atom, permeating all things "like the sparks that run through charcoal," as Matthews says. While God is "out there," the Goddess is "in here"-- the mother-wit of practical inspiration and compassion at the heart's core. This definitive work comprehensively establishes a realistic Goddess theology for Westerners in the twenty-first century: grounding spirituality in daily life and the natural world; learning to work playfully and play seriously; ending the gender war to enjoy sacred marriage.

The Way of Zen


Alan W. Watts - 1957
    With a rare combination of freshness and lucidity, he delves into the origins and history of Zen to explain what it means for the world today with incredible clarity. Watts saw Zen as “one of the most precious gifts of Asia to the world,” and in The Way of Zen he gives this gift to readers everywhere.

Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen


DōgenLew Richmond - 1985
    Moon in a Dewdrop contains the key essays of the great master, as well as extensive background materials that will help Western readers to approach this significant work. There is also a selection of Dogen's poetry, most of which has not appeared in English translation before.Dogen's thought runs counter to conventional logic, employing paradoxical language and startling imagery. It illuminates such fundamental concerns as the nature of time, existence, life, death, the self, and what is beyond self.

The Sun My Heart


Thich Nhat Hanh - 1988
    Rooted in Buddhist understanding, The Sun My Heart is at once an intellectual adventure and an inspiration to practice.

The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path


Ethan Nichtern - 2015
    Drawing from contemporary research on meditation and mindfulness and his experience as a Buddhist teacher and practitioner, Nichtern describes in fresh and deeply resonant terms the basic existential experience that gives rise to spiritual seeking—and also to its potentially dangerous counterpart, spiritual materialism. He reveals how our individual quests for self-awareness ripple forward into relationships, communities, and society at large. And he explains exactly how, by turning our awareness to what's happening around us and inside us, we become able to enhance our sense of connection with others and, at the same time, change for the better our individual and collective patterns of greed, apathy, and inattention.In this wise and witty invitation to Buddhist meditation, Nichtern shows how, in order to create a truly compassionate and enlightened society, we must start with ourselves. And this means beginning by working with our own minds—in whatever state we find them in.

The Way of the Sufi


Idries Shah - 1968
    Sufism, the mystical aspect of Islam, has had a dynamic and lasting effect on the literature of that religion. Its teachings, often elusive and subtle, aim at the perfecting and completing of the human mind. In contrast to certain other beliefs and philosophies, Sufism is continually evolving and progressing and is consequently always relevant to the contemporary world. "His work is as exciting as a good novel"--The Times Literary Supplement

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior


Chögyam Trungpa - 1984
    In ancient times, the warrior learned to master the challenges of life, both on and off the battlefield. He acquired a sense of personal freedom and power—not through violence or aggression, but through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. The Japanese samurai, the warrior-kings of Tibet, the knights of medieval Europe, and the warriors of the Native American tribes are a few examples of this universal tradition of wisdom. With this book the warrior's path is opened to contemporary men and women in search of self-mastery and greater fulfillment. Interpreting the warrior's journey in modern terms, Trungpa discusses such skills as synchronizing mind and body, overcoming habitual behaviors, relaxing within discipline, facing the world with openness and fearlessness, and finding the sacred dimension of everyday life. Above all, Trungpa shows that in discovering the basic goodness or human life, the warrior learns to radiate that goodness out into the world for the peace and sanity of others. The Shambhala teachings—named for a legendary Himalayan kingdom where prosperity and happiness reign—thus point to the potential for enlightened conduct that exists within every human being. "The basic wisdom of Shambhala," Trungpa writes, "is that in this world, as it is, we can find a good and meaningful human life that will also serve others. That is our true richness."

Jesus the Man: Decoding the Real Story of Jesus and Mary Magdalene


Barbara Thiering - 1992
    He was not of virgin birth. He did not die on the Cross. He married Mary Magdalene, fathered a family, and later divorced. He died sometime after AD 64. In this controversial version of Christ's life, theological scholar and bestselling author Barbara Thiering presents, after more than twenty years of close study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gospels, a revolutionary theory that, while upholding the fundamental faith of Christianity, challenges many of its most ingrained supernaturalist beliefs. Jesus the Man will undoubtedly surprise those for whom a traditional understanding of biblical history is immutable and unchallengeable. But for the throngs who have been fascinated by new interpretations of this history, Thiering's work will be an essential and thrilling read.

Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and the Beat Generation


Carole Tonkinson - 1995
    Essays, poems, photographs, and letters explore the link between Buddhism and the Beats--with previously unpublished material from several beat writers, including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, and Diane diPrima.

Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians


Tim Freke - 2001
    In addition, the book explores the many myths of Jesus and the Goddess and unlocks the lost secret teachings of Christian mysticism, which promise happiness and immortality to those who attain the state of Gnosis, or enlightenment. This daring and controversial book recovers the ancient wisdom of the original Christians and demonstrates its relevance to us today.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead


Padmasambhava
    Unlike other translations of the Bar do thos grol, the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead , Robert Thurman's takes literally the entire gamut of metaphysical assumptions. The Bar do thos grol, or as Thurman translates, The Great Book of Natural Liberation through Understanding in the Between, is but one of many mortuary texts of Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is commonly recited to or by a person facing imminent death. Thurman reproduces it for this purpose, explaining in some depth the Tibetan conception of post-mortem existence. Over as many as 12 days, the deceased person is given explanations of what he or she sees and experiences and is guided through innumerable visions of the realms beyond to reach eventual liberation, or, failing that, a safe rebirth. Like a backpacker's guide to a foreign land, Thurman's version is clear, detailed, and sympathetic to the inexperienced voyager, including background and supplementary information, even illustrations (sorry, no maps). Don't wait until the journey has begun, every page should be read and memorised well ahead of time. --Brian Bruya

Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology


Devdutt Pattanaik - 2006
    They also have 330 million gods: male gods, female gods, personal gods, family gods, household gods, village gods, gods of space and time, gods for specific castes and particular professions, gods who reside in trees, in animals, in minerals, in geometrical patterns and in man-made objects. Then there are a whole host of demons. But no Devil. In this groundbreaking book Dr Devdutt Pattanaik, one of India’s most popular mythologists, seeks an answer to these apparent paradoxes and unravels an inherited truth about life and death, nature and culture, perfection and possibility. He retells sacred Hindu stories and decodes Hindu symbols and rituals, using a unique style of commentary, illustrations and diagrams. We discover why the villainous Kauravas went to heaven and the virtuous Pandavas (all except Yudhishtira) were sent to hell; why Rama despite abandoning the innocent Sita remains the model king; why the blood-drinking Kali is another form of the milk-giving Gauri and why Shiva wrenched off the fifth head of Brahma. Constructed over generations, Hindu myths serve as windows to the soul, and provide an understanding of the world around us. The aim is not to outgrow myth, but to be enriched and empowered by its ancient, potent and still relevant language

The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God Retold in Simplified English


Edward Viljoen - 2019
    This unique edition of the timeless epic is designed to be accessible for readers without any prior experience of Hinduism. Not simply a translation of the original, Viljoen has simplified and restated the Gita's complex ideas, so that a first-time reader can fully appreciate the scope and beauty of this magnificent Indian classic. Written in concise, modern language the retelling vividly captures the power and depth of the original work.Part of the Mahabharata, the Gita is a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna. Its verses contain some of the key ideas of Hindu philosophy--Dharma, Moksha, and various yogic practices. Originally written well over a thousand years ago, the Gita has proven to be a timeless source of wisdom, inspiring philosophers and revolutionaries alike in the millennia since it was written.In addition to the retelling of the text, this edition includes a character list, a glossary of important terms, and chapters exploring the back-story from the Mahabharata and the impact and meaning of the Bhagavad Gita itself. The Bhagavad Gita is an approachable way for today's readers to engage with one of history's richest spiritual epics.