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  1. The Five Houses of Zen

    The Five Houses of Zen

    For all its emphasis on the direct experience of insight without reliance on the products of the intellect, the Zen tradition has created a huge body of writings. Of this cast literature, the writings associated with the so-called Five Houses of Zen are widely considered to be preeminent. These Five Houses—which arose in China during the ninth and tenth centuries, often referred to as the Golden Age of Zen—were not… Read More

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  2. Mango Elephants in the Sun

    Mango Elephants in the Sun

    How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin

    • by
    • Susana Herrera
    When the Peace Corps sends Susana Herrera to teach English in northern Cameroon, she yearns to embrace her adopted village and its people, to drink deep from the spirit of Mother Africa—and to forget a bitter childhood and painful past. To the villagers, however, she’s a rich American tourist, a nasara (white person) who has never known pain or want. They stare at her in silence. The children giggle and… Read More

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  3. Nothing Holy about It

    Nothing Holy about It

    The Zen of Being Just Who You Are

    • by
    • Tim Burkett
    According to legend, when the founder of Zen Buddhism was asked about the main principle of his holy teaching, he replied that there was “nothing holy about it!” Now, a millennium and a half later, Tim Burkett reveals how and why the wisdom of nonholiness is the key to a joyful heart. You don’t need to go looking for something sacred—the happiness you seek is right where you are. In… Read More

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  4. Nothing on My Mind
  5. Gone Beyond

    Gone Beyond

    The Prajnaparamita Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, and Its Commentaries in the Tibetan Kagyu Tradition (Volume 2)

    The Abhisamayalamkara summarizes all the topics in the vast body of the Prajnaparamita Sutras. Resembling a zip-file, it comes to life only through its Indian and Tibetan commentaries. Together, these texts not only discuss the "hidden meaning" of the Prajnaparamita Sutras—the paths and bhumis of sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas—but also serve as contemplative manuals for the explicit topic of these sutras—emptiness—and how it is to be understood on the… Read More

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  6. The Heart of Unconditional Love

    The Heart of Unconditional Love

    A Powerful New Approach to Loving-Kindness Meditation

    • by
    • Tulku Thondup
    The unconditional love that we all long for can be experienced in the practice of loving-kindness. In this popular form of meditation, the love inherent to our own nature is gradually expanded until it embraces infinite beings. Tulku Thondup introduces a new four-stage format for this practice, rooted in the traditional teachings of Tibetan Buddhism: We first meditate on the Buddha of Loving-Kindness as a body of unconditional love and… Read More

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  7. King of the Empty Plain

    King of the Empty Plain

    The Tibetan Iron-Bridge Builder Tangtong Gyalpo

    • by
    • Cyrus Stearns
    King of the Empty Plain is familiar to every Tibetan yet nearly unknown in the rest of the world. Tangtong Gyalpo's incredible lifespan, profound teachings, unprecedented engineering feats, eccentric deeds, and creation of Tibetan opera have earned this fascinating figure a unique status in Tibetan culture. Believed to be the great Indian master Padmasambhava appearing again in the world to benefit living beings, he discovered techniques for achieving longevity that… Read More

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  8. Mind at Ease

    Mind at Ease

    Self-Liberation through Mahamudra Meditation

    • by
    • Traleg Kyabgon
    In this uniquely insightful overview and practice guide, Traleg Kyabgon presents a thorough introduction to the Kagyu lineage's Mahamudra tradition. The author's approach is straightforward—he presents the Mahamudra teachings as a means of seeing things in, as he says, "a positive and open light. Even things we might normally regard as bad and undesirable can be interpreted in a more uplifting way due to the expansiveness of the Mahamudra vision."… Read More

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  9. Sex, Health, and Long Life

    Sex, Health, and Long Life

    Manuals of Taoist Practice

    The benefits of sexual bliss were not lost on the ancients, who knew well its powers to enhance health, concentration, and peace of mind. These ancient Chinese Taoist texts explain the transformative effects sex can have when properly and wisely practiced, demonstrating Taoism’s emphasis on cultivating life’s “three treasures”—vitality, energy, and spirit—in all the activities of daily life. The texts are part of the famous Mawangdui finds, Han Dynasty tombs… Read More

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  10. Enthronement

    Enthronement

    The Recognition of the Reincarnate Masters of Tibet and the Himalayas

    • by
    • Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye
    Even the most casual contact with the culture, politics, or religion of Tibet and the surrounding region brings outsiders face to face with the institution of reincarnate spiritual masters. Past masters are identified as small children installed in their predecessor's monastery in a ceremony called "enthronement" and educated to continue the work of their former incarnation. This custom has provided a principal source of spiritual renewal for Himalayan Buddhists… Read More

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