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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. Lotus in the Fire

    Lotus in the Fire

    The Healing Power of Zen

    • by
    • Jim Bedard
    In 1995, Jim Bedard, a martial artist and Zen student, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and given ten days to live. This is the story of how he used his spiritual strength to bring himself into full contact with a death sentence as well as with painful medical treatment, including chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. It is also the inspiring story of how the faith of his family,… Read More

    Paperback
    $19.95
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  2. I Give You My Life

    I Give You My Life

    The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist Nun

    • by
    • Ayya Khema
    Ayya Khema (1923-1997) was the first Western woman to become a Theravadan Buddhist nun. As such, she has served as a model and inspiration for women from all the Buddhist traditions who have sought to revive the practice of women's monasticism in modern times. Though her renown as a teacher is widespread, few know the truly amazing details of her life before her monastic ordination at the age of fifty-eight.… Read More

    Hardcover
    $23.00
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  3. Nine-Headed Dragon River

    Nine-Headed Dragon River

    Zen Journals 1969-1982

    • by
    • Peter Matthiessen
    In August 1968, naturalist-explorer Peter Matthiessen returned from Africa to his home in Sagaponack, Long Island, to find three Zen masters in his driveway—guests of his wife, a new student of Zen. Thirteen years later, Matthiessen was ordained a Buddhist monk. Written in the same format as his best-selling The Snow Leopard, Nine-Headed Dragon River reveals Matthiessen's most daring adventure of all: the quest for his spiritual… Read More

    Paperback
    $29.95
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  4. Nothing on My Mind
  5. Hard Travel to Sacred Places

    Hard Travel to Sacred Places

    • by
    • Rudolph Wurlitzer
    Hard Travel to Sacred Places is the record of a personal odyssey through Southeast Asia, an external and internal journey through grief and the painful realities of a decadent age. Wurlitzer—novelist, screenwriter, and Buddhist practitioner—travels with his wife, photographer Lynn Davis, on a photo assignment to the sacred sites of Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia. Heavy Westernization, sex clubs, aging hippies and expatriates, and political dissidents provide a vivid contrast… Read More

    Paperback
    $19.95
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  6. House of the Turquoise Roof

    House of the Turquoise Roof

    • by
    • Dorje Yudon Yuthok
    • edited by
    • Michael Harlin
    Mrs. Dorje Yuthok's frank and fascinating account of life in upper-class Lhasa before the Chinese occupation is also a quiet, dignified description of a noblewoman's status in the family and the community. She moved in the highest government circles—both her father and her husband were cabinet ministers, and her brother served as prime minister. Yet her outlook on life is grounded in the Buddhist practice she learned as a close… Read More

    Paperback
    $24.95
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  7. Princess in the Land of Snows

    Princess in the Land of Snows

    The Life of Jamyang Sakya in Tibet

    • by
    • Jamyang Sakya,
    • Julie Emery
    This is the story of a determined woman who overcame great obstacles in order to achieve religious freedom. Born in eastern Tibet, Jamyang Sakya married into the powerful Sakya family, spiritual advisers of Kublai Khan and for years rulers of much of Central Asia. Her engaging personal story evokes a rich vision of Tibet's traditional culture, customs, and religious practices. Jamyang Sakya tells of being the only girls in… Read More

    Paperback
    $27.95
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  8. City of Lingering Splendor

    City of Lingering Splendor

    A Frank Account of Old Peking's Exotic Pleasures

    • by
    • John Blofeld
    In his early twenties, John Blofeld spent what he describes as "three exquisitely happy years" in Peking during the era of the last emperor, when the breathtaking greatness of China's ancient traditions was still everywhere evident. Arriving in 1934, he found a city imbued with the atmosphere of the recent imperial past and haunted by the powerful spirit of the late Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi. He entered a world of… Read More

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    $24.95
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  9. The Wheel of Life

    The Wheel of Life

    The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist

    • by
    • John Blofeld
    The Wheel of Life is the spiritual autobiography of John Blofeld (1913-1987), a world-renowned British scholar and writer who devoted his life to the study of Eastern traditions, especially Buddhism and Taoism. With wit, honesty, and humility, Blofeld portrays his search for wisdom and his discovery of a genuine spiritual path. He describes in vivid detail his life in Peking and his travels in Tibet, Mongolia, China, India, and… Read More

    Paperback
    $25.95
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  10. Alexandra David-Neel

    Alexandra David-Neel

    Portrait of an Adventurer

    • by
    • Ruth Middleton
    This unique biography explores the inner journey of a woman whose outer life was a thrilling story of passion and adventure. Alexandra David-Neel (1868–1969), born in Paris to a socially prominent family, once boasted, "I learned to run before I could walk!" In the course of a lifetime of more than one hundred years, she was an acclaimed operatic soprano, a political anarchist, a religious reformer, an intrepid explorer who… Read More

    Paperback
    $24.95
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