Today’s Recommendation:
A Wild Love for the World

A Wild Love for the World:
Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Time
★★★★ 1/2

Joanna Macy is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology whose decades of writing, teaching, and activism have inspired people around the world. In this collection of writings, leading spiritual teachers, deep ecologists, and diverse writers and activists explore the major facets of Macy’s lifework. Combined with eleven pieces from Macy herself, the result is a rich chorus of wisdom and compassion to support the work of our time.

“Being fully present to fear, to gratitude, to all that is—this is the practice of mutual belonging. As living members of the living body of Earth, we are grounded in that kind of belonging. Even when faced with cataclysmic changes, nothing can ever separate us from Earth. We are already home.”— Joanna Macy

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Principles of Effortless Power

Cheng Hsin:
The Principles of Effortless Power
by Peter Ralston
★★★★

The Principles of Effortless Power is the quintessential work of of the deepest principles in martial arts, in particular the more intelligent and graceful martial arts. The principles apply to many other fields as well. The invention of effortless power by Peter Ralston is central to the Art of Effortless Power but it is not the only thing. Many other principles and elements aligned with a non-restant and effortless approach to interactive skill.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Understanding Our Mind

Understanding Our Mind:
51 Verses on Buddhist Psychology
by Thich Nhat Hanh
★★★★ 1/2

Understanding Our Mind, is Thich Nhat Hanh’s profound look at Buddhist psychology with insights into how these ancient teachings apply to the modern world. Based on the fifty verses on the nature of consciousness taken from the great fifth-century Buddhist master Vasubandhu and the teachings of the Avatamsaka Sutra, Thich Nhat Hanh focuses on the direct experience of recognizing, embracing, and looking deeply into the nature of our feelings and perceptions. Presenting the basic teachings of Buddhist applied psychology, Understanding Our Mind shows us how our mind is like a field, where every kind of seed is planted—seeds of suffering, anger, happiness, and peace. The quality of our life depends on the quality of the seeds in our mind. If we know how to water seeds of joy and transform seeds of suffering, then understanding, love, and compassion will flower. Vietnamese Zen Master Thuong Chieu said, "When we understand how our mind works, the practice becomes easy."

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh

The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh
★★★★★

A treasury of writings and teachings from the beloved Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

Since Thich Nhat Hanh’s exile from his native Vietnam in 1966, this Zen Buddhist monk has gone on to become one of the most influential and beloved spiritual masters of our age. The seeming simplicity of his words belies the power of this teaching to touch the heart and mind and to inspire spiritual practice. These selections, taken from his many published works, together make up a concise introduction to all his major themes and distill his teachings on the transformation of individuals, relationships, and society.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Wisdom Wide and Deep

Wisdom Wide and Deep:
A Practical Handbook for Mastering
Jhana & Vipassana
by Shaila Catherine
★★★★ 1/2

Wisdom Wide and Deep is a comprehensive guide to an in-depth training that emphasizes the application of concentrated attention (jhana) to profound and liberating insight (vipassana). With calm, tranquility, and composure established through a practical experience of jhana meditators are able to halt the seemingly endless battle against hindrances, eliminate distraction, and facilitate a penetrative insight into the subtle nature of matter and mind. It was for this reason the Buddha frequently exhorted his students,

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Today’s Recommendation:
Practical Zen for Meditation and Mindfulness for Health

Practical Zen for Meditation and Mindfulness
for Health, Wellbeing and More
by Julian Daizan Skinner & Sarah Bladen
★★★★ 1/2

Bringing the body-mind insights of Rinzai Zen from the mountains of Japan to the Western world, Zen master Julian Daizan Skinner and Sarah Bladen present simple meditation techniques to help achieve health, wellbeing and success.

Taking the reader through the first 100 days of practice, the book then shows how to adapt the new learned techniques to the rest of your life.

Including case studies at the end of each chapter to show how people's lives have been transformed through their meditation journeys, this is an accessible and practical guide to adapting Eastern meditation into busy Western lives.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Yoga for Seniors

Relax into Yoga for Seniors:
A Six-Week Program for Strength,
Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief
by Kimberly Carson et. al.
★★★★ 1/2

Relax into Yoga for Seniors presents twelve principles of yoga practice for seniors, including those with limited mobility. This evidence-based workbook will guide you safely—step-by-step, and with posture illustrations—on a six-week program for improved balance, flexibility, and overall well-being.

Managing the emotional and physical challenges that come with aging can be difficult. Seniors face a number of age-related issues, such as chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and anxiety and depression. And while some people may consider yoga a young person’s practice, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests yoga can be beneficial for a wide variety of age-related ailments.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Buddhism through American Women's Eyes

Buddhism through American Women's Eyes
by Karma Lekshe Tsomo
★★★★

The Buddha's path to human transformation declares women and men equally capable of spiritual realization, yet throughout history most exemplars of this tradition have been men. Now, as Buddhism is transmitted to the West, women are playing a major role in its adaptation and development. The conversation presented here takes place among experienced practitioners from many Buddhist traditions who share their thoughts on the Buddhist outlook, its practical application in everyday life, and the challenges of practicing Buddhism in the Western world. Thirteen women contribute a wealth of thought-provoking material on topics such as bringing Dharma into relationships, dealing with stress, Buddhism and the Twelve Steps, mothering and meditation, the monastic experience, and forging a kind heart in an age of alienation.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Single White Monk

Single White Monk:
Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex
(Although Not Necessarily in that Order)
by Shozan Jack Haubner
★★★★

Think the life of a Zen monk is all serenity, peace, and austerity? Think again. Here, Shozan Jack Haubner gives an often-hilarious, always-candid account of what it’s really like behind those monastery walls. Haubner’s adventures include memories of his dysfunctional Midwestern family that drove him ultimately to declare, “I think I should be a monk!” to a madcap account of the night he got stoned and snuck out of the monastery, alongside more sobering accounts such as his life-threatening brush with illness, the profound impact of a dear friend’s death, and reflections on the controversy that rocked his Zen community. That he finds timeless wisdom in both the tragic and the absurd is a tribute to Haubner's gifts as a writer and humorist, and to his clear insights into the nature of self and what the practice of Zen is all about.

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Mindful Education Workbook

The Mindful Education Workbook:
Lessons for Teaching Mindfulness to Students
by Daniel Rechtschaffe
★★★★★

A structured curriculum of classroom-ready lessons, practices, and worksheets for actualizing a powerful new educational paradigm: student mindfulness.

This workbook offers a step-by-step curriculum of classroom-ready mindfulness lessons for personal and professional development. It’s a trove of fun, easy activities specially designed to help educators engage K-12 students and cultivate mindful attributes like attention, compassion, and well-being. Rich with simple and effective tips, techniques, worksheets, and guided exercises developed through extensive on-the-ground experience with real students and teachers, The Mindful Education Workbook empowers readers with all the tools they need to integrate mindful education in the school day.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Tibetan Buddhist Art and Practice

The Art of Awakening:
A User's Guide to
Tibetan Buddhist Art and Practice
by Konchog Lhadrepa
★★★★

A presentation on the Tibetan Buddhist path to enlightenment, through the lens of an artist's eye and experience.

The sacred arts play an essential, intrinsic role in Tibetan Buddhist practice. Here, one of the great practitioners and master artists of our time presents a guide to the Tibetan Buddhist path, from preliminary practices through enlightenment, from the artist's perspective. With profound wisdom, he shows how visual representations of the sacred in paintings, sculptures, mandalas, and stupas can be an essential support to practice throughout the path. This work, based on the author's landmark Tibetan text, The Path to Liberation, includes basic Buddhist teachings and practices, clearly pointing out the relevance of these for both the sacred artist and the practitioner, along with an overview of the history and iconography of Buddhist art.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Mindfully Facing Disease and Death

Mindfully Facing Disease and Death
by Analayo
★★★★ 1/2

This book provides a practical guide for those facing disease and death by helping them to access the ageless wisdom of the Buddha's teaching.

Disease and death are undeniably integral parts of human life. Yet when they manifest we are easily caught unprepared. To prepare for these, we need to learn how to skillfully face illness and passing away. A source of practical wisdom can be found in the early discourses that record the teachings given by the Buddha and his disciples

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Today’s Recommendation:
Aikido and the Harmony of Nature

Aikido and the Harmony of Nature
by Mitsugi Saotome
★★★★ 1/2

Here is a unique approach to the teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, as interpreted by his direct student of fifteen years. Mitsugi Saotome examines the spiritual philosophy of the Founder, the warrior ideals of feudal Japan as the basis of his martial arts philosophy, and the scientific principles underlying the philosophy of Aikido technique.

The author shows that the physical movement of Aikido is the embodiment of principles of the spirit. Negative force is not countered with aggression but is controlled and redirected through the power and balance of spiral movement. This is the shape of Aikido and the dynamic shape at the foundation of all energies of existence. Aikido movement can only be understood from its roots in universal law and the processes of nature. The sincere practice and study of Aikido deepens our appreciation for the perfection of nature's balance and brings us back into harmony with our environment, other people, and ourselves.

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Wisdom of the Buddha

The Wisdom of the Buddha:
Heart Teachings in His Own Words
by Anne Bancroft
★★★★

A treasury of teachings, stories, and sayings in the words of the Buddha himself.

In their essence, the Buddha’s teachings are concerned with a clear-eyed understanding of the reality of our suffering and pointing the way to freedom from that suffering. Here in all their power, as memorized word-for-word by his disciples and written down a millennium and a half ago, are the core teachings of the Buddha in his own words. These selections deal with the search for truth, the way of contemplation, life and death, living in community, and many other topics, serving as an excellent introduction to the Buddhist path. Clear, uplifting, and potent, the Buddha’s teachings are as freshly relevant today as they were when first presented.

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Zen Canon

The Zen Canon:
Understanding the Classic Texts
by Dale S. Wright
★★★ 1/2

Bodhidharma, its first patriarch, reputedly said that Zen Buddhism represents "a special transmission outside the teaching/Without reliance on words and letters." This saying, along with the often perplexing use of language (and silence) by Zen masters, gave rise to the notion that Zen is a "lived religion," based strictly on non-linguistic practice and lacking a substantial canon of sacred texts. Even those who recognize the importance of Zen texts commonly limit their focus to a few select texts without recognizing the wide variety of Zen literature. This collection of previously unpublished essays argues that Zen actually has a rich and varied literary heritage. Among the most significant textual genres are hagiographic accounts and recorded sayings of individual Zen masters, koan collections and commentaries, and rules for monastic life. During times of political turmoil in China and Japan, these texts were crucial to the survival and success of Zen, and they have for centuries been valued by practitioners as vital expressions of the truth of Zen. This volume offers learned yet accessible studies of some of the most important classical Zen texts, including some that have received little scholarly attention (and many of which are accessible only to specialists). Each essay provides historical, literary, and philosophical commentary on a particular text or genre. Together, they offer a critique of the "de facto canon" that has been created by the limited approach of Western scholarship, and demonstrate that literature is a diverse and essential part of Zen Buddhism.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Sitting with Lao-Tzu

Sitting with Lao-Tzu:
Discovering the Power of the Timeless,
the Silent, and the Invisible
in a Clamorous Modern World
by Andrew Beaulac
★★★★★

This book is about a way of return to one’s own true life.

In any society, ancient or modern, which has made busyness a virtue, lost itself in pursuing the accumulation of power, knowledge, and material goods, and finds its only way forward to be into increasing complexity and a one-sided quest for incessant growth, people find their lives displaced, and long for a return to authenticity, freedom, and simplicity. Returning to one’s true life is returning to pure being-ness. This book will introduce anyone newly exposed to Lao Tzu to a wisdom that we already know on at our deepest level, but seem to have forgotten on the turbulent and distracted level of everyday living. Includes a new translation of the Tao Te Ching with attention to the recently discovered Ma-Wang-Dui texts.

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