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Memoir / Biography

A life well lived—or interestingly lived—is a perennial source of interest. And such a life well described makes one of the most satisfying reading experiences there is. Lose yourself in one of the intriguing lives described in these books.

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  1. Single White Monk

    Single White Monk

    Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex (Although Not Necessarily in That Order)

    • by
    • Shozan Jack Haubner
    Fans of the hilarious essays that made up the author’s first book, Zen Confidential, will find even more hilarity here—along with Zen insight applied to the things that happen in this thing called daily life. Whereas Shozan Jack Haubner’s first book presented the Zen teaching in terms of outhouse-building, oyroki-bowl-stacking, and anatomy adjustment as one takes one’s seat on the zafu, this book goes deeper into experiences of love, death,… Read More

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    $14.95
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  2. The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa

    The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa

    A New Translation

    • by
    • Tsangnyon Heruka
    Powerful and deeply inspiring, there is no book more beloved by Tibetans than The Hundred Thousand Songs, and no figure more revered than Milarepa, the great eleventh-century poet and saint. An ordinary man who, through sheer force of effort, faith, and perseverance, overcame nearly insurmountable obstacles on the spiritual path to achieve enlightenment in a single lifetime, he stands as an exemplar of what it is to lead a spiritual… Read More

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    $39.95
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  3. Enlightened Vagabond

    Enlightened Vagabond

    The Life and Teachings of Patrul Rinpoche

    • by
    • Matthieu Ricard
    • edited by
    • Constance Wilkinson
    The life and teachings of the wandering yogi Patrul Rinpoche—a highly revered Buddhist master and scholar of nineteenth-century Tibet—come alive in true stories gathered and translated by the French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard over more than thirty years, based on the oral accounts of great contemporary teachers as well as written sources. Patrul’s life story reveals the nature of a highly realized being as he transmits the Dharma in everything… Read More

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    $24.95
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  4. The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi

    The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi

    British Feminist, Indian Nationalist, Buddhist Nun

    • by
    • Vicki Mackenzie
    She was the first Western woman to become a Tibetan Buddhist nun—but that pioneering ordination was really just one in a life full of revolutionary acts. Freda Bedi (1911–1977) broke the rules of gender, race, and religion—in many cases before it was thought that the rules were ready to be challenged. She was at various times a force in the struggle for Indian independence, spiritual seeker, scholar, professor, journalist, author,… Read More

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    $16.95
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  5. Milarepa

    Milarepa

    Lessons from the Life and Songs of Tibet’s Great Yogi

    • by
    • Chogyam Trungpa
    • edited by
    • Judith L. Lief
    He went from being the worst kind of malevolent sorcerer to a devoted and ascetic Buddhist practitioner to a completely enlightened being all in a single lifetime. The story of Milarepa (1040–1123) is a tale of such extreme and powerful transformation that it might be thought not to have much direct application to our own less dramatic lives—but Chögyam Trungpa shows otherwise. This collection of his teachings on the life… Read More

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    $19.95
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  6. A Guided Tour of Hell

    A Guided Tour of Hell

    A Graphic Memoir

    • by
    • Samuel Bercholz,
    • Pema Namdol Thaye
    Take a trip through the realms of hell with a man whose temporary visitor’s pass gave him a horrifying—and enlightening—preview of its torments. This true account of Sam Bercholz’s near-death experience has more in common with Dante’s Inferno than it does with any of the popular feel-good stories of what happens when we die. In the aftermath of heart surgery, Sam, a longtime Buddhist practitioner and teacher, is surprised to… Read More

    Hardcover
    $24.95
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  7. The Butterfly Hours

    The Butterfly Hours

    Transforming Memories into Memoir

    • by
    • Patty Dann
    Sometimes all it takes is a single word to spark a strong memory. Bicycle. Snowstorm. Washing machine. By presenting one-word prompts and simple phrases, author and writing teacher Patty Dann gives us the keys to unlock our life stories. Organized around her ten rules for writing memoir, Dann’s lyrical vignettes offer glimpses into her own life while, surprisingly, opening us up to our own. This book is a small but… Read More

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    $16.95
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  8. Coming Home to Tibet

    Coming Home to Tibet

    A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Belonging

    • by
    • Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
    In this beautifully written memoir, a daughter travels to her mother's Tibetan homeland and finds both her own deep connections to her heritage and a people trying to maintain its cultural integrity despite Chinese occupation.After her mother dies in a car accident in India, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa decides to take a handful of her ashes back to her homeland in Tibet. Her mother left Tibet in her youth as a… Read More

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    $18.95
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  9. Writing Down the Bones

    Writing Down the Bones

    Freeing the Writer Within

    • by
    • Natalie Goldberg
    For more than thirty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. In her groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice—“it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind.”This thirtieth-anniversary edition includes new forewords by Julia Cameron and Bill… Read More

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    $14.95
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  10. Seeds for a Boundless Life

    Seeds for a Boundless Life

    Zen Teachings from the Heart

    • by
    • Zenkei Blanche Hartman
    • edited by
    • Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
    Zenkei Blanche Hartman is an American Zen legend. A teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, she was the first female abbot of an American Zen center. She is greatly revered, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has lived and taught for many years. This, her long-awaited first book, is a collection of short teachings taken from her talks on the… Read More

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    $16.95
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