Today’s Recommendation:
Buddhist Writings of Nyanaponika Thera
by Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Buddhist Writings of Nyanaponika Thera
by Bhikkhu Bodhi
★★★★ 1/2

The distinguished German scholar-monk Nyanaponika Thera explains some of the core issues in the teachings of the Buddha in lucid and accessible language. His "The Vision of Dhamma, an intuitive look into the real nature of existence," is a modern "Guide for the Perplexed." Nyanaponika incorporates a deep and rich knowledge of the recorded teachings of the Buddha with his native understanding of issues of importance to the modern Western mind in an exploration of topics such as Kamma (Karma), Nibbana (Nirvana), Devotion in Buddhism, and the Way to Freedom from Suffering.

Written by a Westerner whose life experience was as a Buddhist monastic, this collection of essays conveys a friendly spirit, in the manner of a wise and practical teacher.

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Sun My Heart by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Sun My Heart:
Reflections on Mindfulness,
Concentration, and Insight
by Thich Nhat Hanh
★★★★★

The Sun My Heart is one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s most beloved books. It was written as a sequel to Miracle of Mindfulness and contains the journey, on the path of everyday practice, from mindfulness to insight in an informational, conversational manner. Using the objects and events of everyday life in his hermitage in Plum Village—the gradual settling of the pulp in a glass of apple juice or the wind blowing into the room and scattering papers about—Thich Nhat Hanh draws from Buddhist psychology, epistemology, and the world of contemporary literature and science to guide the reader along the path of clarity and understanding.

This book can be read straight through, but is also designed to be opened randomly and experienced chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests in the Introduction that The Sun My Heart "prefers to be a friend rather than a book. You can take it with you on the bus or subway as you do your coat or your scarf. It can give you small moments of joy at any time.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Wisdom Rising by Lalma Tsultrim Allione

Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala
of the Empowered Feminine
by Lalma Tsultrim Allione
★★★★★

Through her own story of loss and spiritual seeking, paired with mandala meditations and rituals, bestselling author of Feeding Your Demons Lama Tsultrium Allione teaches you how to embody the enlightened, fierce power of the sacred feminine—the tantric dakinis.

“Ordained as one of the first Western Buddhist nuns and recognized as a reincarnation of a renowned eleventh century Tibetan yogini, Lama Tsultrim nonetheless yearned to become a mother, ultimately renouncing her vows so she could marry and have children. When she subsequently lost a child to SIDS, she found courage again in female Buddhist role models, and discovered a way to transform her pain into a path forward. Through Lama Tsultrim’s story of loss and spiritual seeking, paired with her many years of expertise in mandala meditation, you will learn how to strengthen yourself by following this experiential journey to Tantric Buddhist practice.

The mandala was developed as a tool for spiritual transformation, and as you harness its power, it can serve as a guide to wholeness. With knowledge of the mandala of the five dakinis (female Buddhist deities who embody wisdom), you’ll understand how to embrace the distinct energies of your own nature.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
Foundations of Buddhism
by Rupert Gethin

The Foundations of Buddhism
by Rupert Gethin
★★★★ 1/2

"Buddhism is a vast and complex religious and philosophical tradition with a history that stretches over 2,500 years, and which is now followed by around 115 million people. In this introduction to the foundations of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin concentrates on the ideas and practices which constitute the common heritage of the different traditions of Buddhism (Thervada, Tibetan, and Eastern) which exist in the world today. From the narrative of the story of the Buddha, through discussions of aspects such as textual traditions, the framework of the Four Noble Truths, the interaction between the monastic and lay ways of life, the cosmology of karma and rebirth, and the path of the bodhisattva, this books provides a stimulating introduction to Buddhism as a religion and way of life, which will also be of interest to those who are more familiar with the subject.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
Taoism for Beginners
by Elizabeth Reninger

Taoism for Beginners:
Understanding and Applying
Taoist History, Concepts, and Practices
by Elizabeth Reninger
★★★★★

"Ancient practices for modern lives—the perfect taste of Taoism.

Begin your journey toward spiritual exploration and deepen your connection with the earth. Taoism for Beginners is your easy-to-understand guide to a rich, spiritual Chinese religion and a new holistic perspective.

Discover the core principles and traditions of Taoism with straightforward language and simple exercises you can do anywhere. Adopting aspects of Taoism into your everyday life can bring you into peace and harmony with yourself and the world around you—a practice that's more vital than ever in our busy modern-day lives.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Theravada Abhidhamma
by Y. Karunadasa

The Theravada Abhidhamma:
Inquiry into the Nature of Conditioned Reality
by Y. Karunadasa
★★★★★

"A lucid explanation of the basic contours of the Theravada Abhidamma system for serious students of Buddhist thought.

The renowned Sri Lankan scholar Y. Karunadasa examines Abhidhamma perspectives on the nature of phenomenal existence. He begins with a discussion of dhamma theory, which describes the bare phenomena that form the world of experience. He then explains the Abhidhamma view that only dhammas are real, and that anything other than these basic phenomena are conceptual constructs. This, he argues, is Abhidhamma’s answer to common-sense realism—the mistaken view that the world as it appears to us is ultimately real.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
Rinzai Zen Way by Meido Moore

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
by Meido Moore
★★★★★

The first accessible beginner's guide to Rinzai Zen practice.

“The recognition of the true nature of oneself and the universe is the aim of Rinzai Zen—but that experience, known as kensho, is really just the beginning of a life of refining that discovery and putting it into practice in the world. Rinzai, with its famed discipline and its emphasis on koan practice, is one of two main forms of Zen practiced in the West, but it is less familiar than the more prominent Soto school. Meido Moore here remedies that situation by providing this compact and complete introduction to Zen philosophy and practice from the Rinzai perspective. It’s an excellent entrĂ©e to a venerable tradition that goes back through the renowned Hakuin Ekaku in eighteenth-century Japan to its origins in Tang dynasty China—and that offers a path to living with insight and compassion for people today.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Language of Yin Yoga
by Gabrielle Harris

The Language of Yin: Yoga Themes, Sequences
and Inspiration to Bring Your Class to Life
by Gabrielle Harris
★★★★★

Finalist in the Prestigious Ashton Wylie Award for Excellence in the Mind Body Spirit Category

'The Language of Yin' is more than a book on themes. It is a comprehensive guide to becoming the type of teacher that inspires and moves people beyond the skin and bones.

Starting with some proven techniques for teaching, the book moves into setting the beginning scenes to connect students to their practice. The book then presents over 40 universal themes that will provide inspiration for both you and your students.

Long after the poses have faded, the students will remember how you made them feel using the descriptive and connected language provided.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Art of Zen by Stephen Addiss

The Art of Zen:
Paintings and Calligraphy
by Japanese Monks 1600-1925
by Stephen Addiss
★★★★ 1/2

"Examines the paintings and calligraphy created by Japanese monks as an aid to meditation, a tool for teaching Zen principles, and an expression of enlightenment.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
Zen Naikan by Leonardo Anfolsi

Zen Naikan: The Ancient Energy Alchemy
of the Rinzai Zen Monks.
Including 21 Traditional Exercises
by Leonardo Anfolsi
★★★★★

"While we have invented technological prostheses external ourselves, thanks to the current materialist mentality, Zen Naikan encourages us to become our own internal source of passion, strength, awareness and freedom. The word naikan was used by Master Hakuin Ekaku only three centuries ago to define expressly a method of cultivating energy associated with a new concept of dynamic meditation practice, suited both to laymen leading a life active in society as well as to practicing monks. Zen Naikan brings to those who practice it harmonious well-being, continuous joy, and the most solid aid to healing, encouraging the highest form of spiritual realization. Zen Naikan is a gift of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism, from the monks and laymen dedicated to developing spiritual, mental, and physical strength.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Book by Alan Watts

The Book: On the Taboo
Against Knowing Who You Are
by Alan Watts
★★★★ 1/2

"In The Book, Alan Watts provides us with a much-needed answer to the problem of personal identity, distilling and adapting the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta. At the root of human conflict is our fundamental misunderstanding of who we are. The illusion that we are isolated beings, unconnected to the rest of the universe, has led us to view the “outside” world with hostility, and has fueled our misuse of technology and our violent and hostile subjugation of the natural world. To help us understand that the self is in fact the root and ground of the universe, Watts has crafted a revelatory primer on what it means to be human—and a mind-opening manual of initiation into the central mystery of existence.

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Eight Gates of Zen
John Daido Loori

The Eight Gates of Zen: A Program of Zen Training
by John Daido Loori
★★★★ 1/2

"This accessible introduction to the philosophy and practice of Zen Buddhism includes a program of study that encompasses practically every aspect of life. The American Zen teacher John Daido Loori shows us that Zen practice should include not only meditation, the study of Zen literature and liturgy, and moral and ethical action, but should also manifest in work, artistic, and everyday activities. The Eight Gates are ...”

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Today’s Recommendation:
Xunzi: The Complete Text

Xunzi: The Complete Text
by Xunzi
★★★★★

"This is the first complete, one-volume English translation of the ancient Chinese text Xunzi, one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and elegant works in the tradition of Confucian thought. Through essays, poetry, dialogues, and anecdotes, the Xunzi articulates a Confucian perspective on ethics, politics, warfare, language, psychology, human nature, ritual, and music, among other topics. Aimed at general readers and students of Chinese thought, Eric Hutton’s translation makes the full text of this important work more accessible in English than ever before.”

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Today’s Recommendation:
Resilient by Rick Hanson

Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable
Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness
by Rick Hanson
★★★★ 1/2

"These days it’s hard to count on the world outside. So it’s vital to grow strengths inside like grit, gratitude, and compassion—the key to resilience, and to lasting well-being in a changing world.”

True resilience is much more than enduring terrible conditions. We need resilience every day to raise a family, work at a job, cope with stress, deal with health problems, navigate issues with others, heal from old pain, and simply keep on going.

With his trademark blend of neuroscience, mindfulness, and positive psychology, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Rick Hanson shows you how to develop twelve vital inner strengths hardwired into your own nervous system. Then no matter what life throws at you, you’ll be able to feel less stressed, pursue opportunities with confidence, and stay calm and centered in the face of adversity.

This practical guide is full of concrete suggestions, experiential practices, personal examples, and insights into the brain. It includes effective ways to interact with others and to repair and deepen important relationships.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Sayings of the Buddha

Sayings of the Buddha:
New translations from the Pali Nikayas
by Rupert Gethin
★★★★ 1/2

"'As if someone were to hold up a lamp in the dark so that those with eyes could see - in exactly the same way Gotama has made the truth clear in various ways.'

Gotama the Buddha, who lived the life of a wandering ascetic in northern India during the fifth century BCE, is looked to as the founder of one of the world's major religions. One of the main sources for knowledge of his teachings is the four Pali Nikayas or 'collections' of his sayings. Written in Pali, an ancient Indian language closely related to Sanskrit, the Nikayas are among the oldest Buddhist texs and consist of more than one and a half million words. This new translation offers a selection of the Buddha's most important sayings reflecting the full variety of material contained in the Nikayas: the central themes of the Buddha's teaching (his biography, philosophical discourse, instruction on morality, meditation, and the spiritual life) and the range of literary style (myth, dialogue, narrative, short sayings, verse).”

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Today’s Recommendation:
The First Free Women

The First Free Women:
Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns
by Matty Weingast
★★★★★

"A radical and vivid rendering of poetry from the first Buddhist nuns that brings a new immediacy to their voices.”

The Therigatha ("Verses of the Elder Nuns") is the oldest collection of known writings from Buddhist women and one of the earliest collections of women's literature in India. Composed during the life of the Buddha, the collection contains verses by early Buddhist nuns detailing everything from their disenchantment with their prescribed roles in society to their struggles on the path to enlightenment to their spiritual realizations. Among the nuns, a range of voices are represented, including former wives, women who lost children, women who gave up their wealth, and a former prostitute.

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