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Artillery of Heaven

Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East

by Ussama Makdisi

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9780801475757 / 0801475759
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The complex relationship between America and the Arab world goes back further than most people realize. In Artillery of Heaven, Ussama Makdisi presents a foundational American encounter with the Arab world that occurred in the nineteenth century, shortly after the arrival of the first American Protestant missionaries in the Middle East. He tells the dramatic tale of the conversion and death of As'ad Shidyaq, the earliest Arab convert to American Protestantism. The struggle over this man's body and soul--and over how his story might be told--changed the actors and cultures on both sides.
In the unfamiliar, multireligious landscape of the Middle East, American missionaries at first conflated Arabs with Native Americans and American culture with an uncompromising evangelical Christianity. In turn, their Christian and Muslim opponents in the Ottoman Empire condemned the missionaries as malevolent intruders. Yet during the ensuing confrontation within and across cultures an unanticipated spirit of… Read More
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The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk

The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk

by Palden Gyatso

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9780802135742 / 0802135749
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Palden Gyatso was born in a Tibetan village in 1933 and became an ordained Buddhist monk eighteen years later. Through sheer determination, he won a place as a student at Drepung Monastery, one of Tibet's "Three Greats", where he came to spiritual and intellectual maturity. However, Tibet was enduring political changes that would soon alter his life irrevocably. When Communist China invaded Tibet in 1950, it embarked on a program of land reform and "thought reform" that would eventually affect all of Tibet's citizens and nearly decimate its ancient culture. In 1959, along with thousands of other monks, Palden Gyatso was forced into labor camps and prisons. He would spend the next thirty-three years of his life being tortured, interrogated, and persecuted simply for the strength of his beliefs, for being a monk. In 1992 Palden Gyatso was released from prison and escaped across the Himalayas to India, smuggling with him the instruments of his torture. Since then, he has devoted himself to revealing the… Read More
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The Awakening of the West

The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture

by Stephen Batchelor

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9780938077695 / 0938077694
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From Greek kings to nineteenth-century adventurers, from missionaries to monks, the encounter of Buddhism and the West is filled with intriguing personalities in Awaking of the West.
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Be Water My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee

Be Water My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee

by Shannon Lee

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9781250206688 / 1250206685
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Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless like water.
Bruce Lee is a cultural icon, renowned the world over for his martial arts and film legacy. But Lee was also a deeply philosophical thinker, learning at an early age that martial arts are more than just an exercise in physical discipline--they are an apt metaphor for living a fully realized life.
Now, in Be Water, My Friend, Lee's daughter Shannon shares the concepts at the core of his philosophies, showing how they can serve as tools of personal growth and self-actualization. Each chapter brings a lesson from Bruce Lee's teachings, expanding on the foundation of his iconic "be water" philosophy. Over the course of the book, we discover how being like water allows us to embody fluidity and naturalness in life, bringing us closer to our essential flowing nature and our ability to be powerful, self-expressed, and free.
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Bhagavad-Gita

Bhagavad-Gita

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The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata (chapters 23–40 of Bhishma Parva), commonly dated to the second century BCE.
The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna. At the start of the Dharma Yudhha (righteous war) between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is filled with moral dilemma and despair about the violence and death the war will cause in the battle against his own kin. He wonders if he should renounce and seeks Krishna's counsel, whose answers and discourse constitute the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna counsels Arjuna to "fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty to uphold the Dharma" through "selfless action". The Krishna–Arjuna dialogues cover a broad range of spiritual topics, touching upon ethical dilemmas and philosophical issues that go far beyond the war Arjuna faces.
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Bones of the Master

Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia

by George Crane

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9780553379082 / 0553379089
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In 1959 a young monk named Tsung Tsai (Ancestor Wisdom) escapes the Red Army troops that destroy his monastery, and flees alone three thousand miles across a China swept by chaos and famine. Knowing his fellow monks are dead, himself starving and hunted, he is sustained by his mission: to carry on the teachings of his Buddhist meditation master, who was too old to leave with his disciple.
Nearly forty years later Tsung Tsai — now an old master himself — persuades his American neighbor, maverick poet George Crane, to travel with him back to his birthplace at the edge of the Gobi Desert.
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Chuang Tzu Basic Writings

Chuang Tzu Basic Writings

by Burton Watson

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Only by understanding Dao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in its unity can humankind achieve true happiness and freedom, in both life and death. This is the central tenet of the philosophy that was to become Daoism, espoused by the person -- or group of people -- known as Zhuanzi (369?-286? B.C.), in the text of the same name. In order to be free, individuals must discard rigid conventions that distinguish good from bad, right from wrong, and follow a course of action not founded on motives of gain or striving. When one ceases to judge events as good or bad, man-made suffering disappears and natural suffering is embraced as part of life.
Elucidating a mystical philosophy dedicated to the spiritual nourishment of the individual, Zhuangzi makes many points through humor. He also uses parable and anecdote, non sequitur and even nonsense, to jolt the reader into awareness of truth outside the pale of ordinary logic. With inspired, unconventional language and visionary ideas, the Zhuangzi seems to float… Read More
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Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

by Stephen Batchelor

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9780385527064 / 0385527063
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A renowned Buddhist teacher's magnum opus, based on his fresh reading of the tradition's earliest texts
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The Crone

The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power

by Barbara G. Walker

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9780062509345 / 0062509349
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A probing account of the honored place of older women in ancient matriarchal societies restores to contemporary women an energizing symbol of self-value, power, and respect.
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Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

by Chogyam Trungpa

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9780877730507 / 0877730504
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The now classic Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism is the record of two series of lectures given by Trungpa Rinpoche in 1970-71. First discussed are the various ways in which people involve themselves in spiritual materialism, the many forms of self-deception into which aspirants may fall. After this tour of the sidetracks along the way, the broad outlines of the true spiritual path are discussed. The approach presented is a classical Buddhist one--not in a formal sense, but in the sense of presenting the heart of the Buddhist approach to spirituality. Although the Buddhist way is not theistic, it does not contradict the theistic disciplines. Rather the differences between the ways are a matter of emphasis and method. The basic problems of spiritual materialism are common to all spiritual disciplines.
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The Dream of the Earth

The Dream of the Earth

by Thomas Berry

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9780871566225 / 0871566222
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This landmark work, first published by Sierra Club Books in 1988, has established itself as a foundational volume in the ecological canon. In it, noted cultural historian Thomas Berry provides nothing less than a new intellectual-ethical framework for the human community by positing planetary well-being as the measure of all human activity.Drawing on the wisdom of Western philosophy, Asian thought, and Native American traditions, as well as contemporary physics and evolutionary biology, Berry offers a new perspective that recasts our understanding of science, technology, politics, religion, ecology, and education. He shows us why it is important for us to respond to the Earth's need for planetary renewal, and what we must do to break free of the "technological trance" that drives a misguided dream of progress. Only then, he suggests, can we foster mutually enhancing human-Earth relationships that can heal our traumatized global biosystem.
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Encountering Kali

Encountering Kali: In the Margins, at the Center, in the West

by Rachel Fell McDermott

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9780520232402 / 0520232402
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"Encountering Kali "explores one of the most remarkable divinities the world has seen--the Hindu goddess Kali. She is simultaneously understood as a blood-thirsty warrior, a goddess of ritual possession, a Tantric sexual partner, and an all-loving, compassionate Mother. Popular and scholarly interest in her has been on the rise in the West in recent years. Responding to this phenomenon, this volume focuses on the complexities involved in interpreting Kali in both her indigenous South Asian settings and her more recent Western incarnations. Using scriptural history, temple architecture, political violence, feminist and psychoanalytic criticism, autobiographical reflection, and the goddess's recent guises on the Internet, the contributors pose questions relevant to our understanding of Kali, as they illuminate the problems and promises inherent in every act of cross-cultural interpretation.
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The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom

The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom: The Celtic Shaman's Sourcebook

by Caitlin and John Matthews

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9781852305611 / 1852305614
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A guide to Celtic spiritual traditions. It contains translations of primary Celtic texts, including stories, poems and prose pieces, some dating as far back as the 7th century. Topics covered include: shamanic memory; Druidic divination and prophecy; shapeshifting, soul-loss and restoration; and magic and healing. These ancient texts are accompanied by detailed commentaries, background material and practical shamanic insights.
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Food for the Heart

Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah

by Achaan Chah

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9780861713233 / 0861713230
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A collection of Ajahn Chah's most powerful teachings, including those on meditation, liberation from suffering, calming the mind, enlightenment and the living dhamma.
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For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life

For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life

by Thich Nhat Hanh

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9781888375664 / 1888375663
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The Five Mindfulness Trainings to not kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or take intoxicants are the basic statement of ethics and morality in Buddhism. In this fully revised edition, Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh argues eloquently for their universal applicability in daily situations. Nhat Hanh discusses in depth the value and meaning of each precept, offering insights into the roles that they could play in our changing society. In a world marked by moral and spiritual emptiness, he says, The Five Mindfulness Trainings offer a path to the restoration of meaning and value. The author calls the trainings a diet for a mindful society" that transcends sectarian boundaries, and he presents simple yet powerful ways that people can come together around them to explore and sustain a sane, compassionate, and healthy way of living.
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For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life

For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life

by Thich Nhat Hanh

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9780938077657 / 0938077651
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The Five Mindfulness Trainings to not kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or take intoxicants are the basic statement of ethics and morality in Buddhism. In this fully revised edition, Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh argues eloquently for their universal applicability in daily situations. Nhat Hanh discusses in depth the value and meaning of each precept, offering insights into the roles that they could play in our changing society. In a world marked by moral and spiritual emptiness, he says, The Five Mindfulness Trainings offer a path to the restoration of meaning and value. The author calls the trainings a diet for a mindful society" that transcends sectarian boundaries, and he presents simple yet powerful ways that people can come together around them to explore and sustain a sane, compassionate, and healthy way of living.
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The Golden Bough

The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion

by James George Frazer

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9780020955702 / 0020955707
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The Golden Bough describes our ancestors' primitive methods of worship, sex practices, strange rituals and festivals. Disproving the popular thought that primitive life was simple, this monumental survey shows that savage man was enmeshed in a tangle of magic, taboos, and superstitions. Revealed here is the evolution of man from savagery to civilization, from the modification of his weird and often bloodthirsty customs to the entry of lasting moral, ethical, and spiritual values.
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The Great Transformation

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions

by Karen Armstrong

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9780375413179 / 0375413170
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In the ninth century BCE, the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day: Confucianism and Daoism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Later generations further developed these initial insights, but we have never grown beyond them. Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, for example, were all secondary flowerings of the original Israelite vision. Now, in The Great Transformation, Karen Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal "Axial Age" can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times.Armstrong traces the development of the Axial Age chronologically, examining the contributions of such figures as the Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the mystics of the Upanishads, Mencius, and Euripides. All of the Axial Age faiths began in principled and… Read More
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Holy War

Holy War

by Karen Armstrong

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9780385721400 / 0385721404
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In 1095, with the tomb of Jesus still in the hands of infidels and the Byzantine empire overrun by Muslim Turks, Pope Urban II summoned Christian warriors to take up the cross and their swords against the Turks and then recover the holy city of Jerusalem from Islam. It was to be the first of the Crusades, a holy war that would focus the power of the European kingdoms against a common enemy. The Crusades became the stuff of romantic legend, but in reality they were a series of rabidly savage battles carried out in the name of Christian piety to advance the power of the Western Church. Their legacy of religious violence is felt today as the age-old conflict of Christians, Jews, and Muslims persists.
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Honen's Senchakushu

Honen's Senchakushu: Passages on the Selection of the Nembutsu in the Original Vow (Senchaku Hongan Nembutsu Shu (Classics in East Asian Buddhism)

by Honen

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9780824821104 / 0824821106
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Honen Bo Genku (1133-1212), or simply Honen, is one of the outstanding figures in the history of Japanese Buddhism. This is a translation of Honen's seminal work, Senchakushu, which was compiled over a period of intense devotion to Amida Buddha.
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