Buddhist Cultivation

  1. The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation

    "The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation" is a classic Buddhist meditation instruction manual deeply rooted in the Indian Buddhist "calming-and-insight" meditation tradition. Within its tradition, it is the universally-acknowledged standard beginning-to-intermediate meditation manual, one which offers perhaps the most reliable, comprehensive, and practically-useful Buddhist meditation instruction currently available in English.

  2. Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond

    The Meditator’s Handbook is a complete, stem-to-stern guide to the subject, with precise step-by-step instructions for traversing the stages of practice and overcoming obstacles. Drawing on his working-class roots, Brahm explains difficult concepts clearly and easily, so that beginners understand them, while those who already meditate gain new insight. Full of surprises, delightfully goofy humor, and entertaining stories that inspire, instruct, and illuminate, The Meditator’s Handbook encourages novices and gives a shot in the arm to more experienced practitioners.

  3. Buddhism Is Not What You Think

    Bestselling author and renowned Zen teacher Steve Hagen penetrates the most essential and enduring questions at the heart of the Buddha's teachings: How can we see the world in each moment, rather than merely as what we think, hope, or fear it is? How can we base our actions on reality, rather than on the longing and loathing of our hearts and minds? How can we live lives that are wise, compassionate, and in tune with reality? And how can we separate the wisdom of Buddhism from the cultural trappings and misconceptions that have come to be associated with it?

  4. Peaceful Action, Open Heart

    Peaceful Action, Open Heart shines 60 years of study and practice upon one of the crowning scriptures of the path of the Buddha, and is destined to be known as one of the most significant writings by Thich Nhat Hanh. The Lotus Sutra is one of the most revered of Mahayana sacred texts and is sometimes called "the king of sutras." Despite this fact, there are very few commentaries in English available today. Thich Nhat Hanh explores the Sutra’s main theme-- that everyone has the capacity to become a Buddha, and that Buddha-nature is inherent in everything--but he also uniquely emphasizes the sutra’s insight that Buddha-nature is the basis for peaceful action. Since we all will one day become a Buddha, he says, we can use mindfulness practices right now to understand and find solutions to current world challenges. In his interpretation of the sutra, he suggests that if the practices, views, and insights of the Lotus Sutra would find application not only by individuals but also by nations, it would offer concrete solutions to transform individual suffering and the global challenges facing the world today.

  5. A Rose for Your Pocket

    In A Rose for Your Pocket, Thich Nhat Hanh invites children of all ages to reflect on the question: Have you loved your mother enough? This lovely prose poem, a gentle reminder of the qualities embodied by mothers, leads the reader to a new and deeper appreciation of his or her mother, whether she is still alive or has passed away. Nhat Hanh shows how motherhood is celebrated in different cultures and shares the story of how his desire to become a monk affected his relationship with his own mother.

  6. Beyond the Self

    One of the Buddha's most central ideas is the importance of transcending “either/or” thinking to avoid the trap of extremist views. In Beyond the Self Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that we can find tranquility by embracing all aspects of life, instead of focusing on what we like and dislike. The book contains Nhat Hanh's original translation of the Sutra on the Middle Way, as well as his commentary on how we can use this teaching to better understand how to navigate our difficulties and find peace of mind. By changing how we see the world, Beyond the Self helps us transform ourselves.

  7. Happiness

    Encouraging readers to be intelligent and skillful in their practice, this new collection by Thich Nhat Hanh outlines the essential steps by which we can all obtain real and lasting happiness. Each day, we perform the tasks of everyday life without thought or awareness — walking, sitting, working, eating, driving, and much more. But Hanh points out that if we remain truly aware of our actions, no matter the task we’re performing, we can stay engaged in our lives and better our outlook through mindfulness. This key practice is the foundation for this accessible, easy-to-understand volume, and an invaluable tool for change for both seasoned Buddhist practitioners and lay readers interested in bettering their lives through full awareness.

  8. Reconciliation

    An exciting contribution to the growing trend of applying Buddhist practices to encourage wellness and balance mental health. Reconciliation focuses on mindful awareness of our emotions and offers concrete practices to restore damaged relationships through meditations and exercises to help acknowledge and transform the hurt that many of us may have experienced as children. Reconciliation shows how anger, sadness, and fear can become joy and tranquility by learning to breathe with, explore, meditate, and speak about our strong emotions. Written for a wide audience and accessible to people of all backgrounds and spiritual traditions.

  9. The Energy of Prayer

    In order to understand why people pray, The Energy of Prayer examines the applications and effectiveness of prayer in Buddhist and other spiritual traditions. Arguing that prayer is not about asking some external force for what we need, but about creating an internal environment in which it is easier to get what we want, the book introduces several methods of prayer. These methods are meditative in nature and reenvision prayer as an inclusive, accessible practice that is not tied to a particular religious or spiritual affiliation, but rather that can help anyone create a healthy life through the power of awareness and intention.

  10. The Wisdom of Imperfection

    If you have been practicing Buddhism for a while, why do you still have problems? And how do you balance the sometimes different needs of spiritual and psychological perspectives? Rob Preece draws on his personal experience - over two decades as a psychotherapist and many years as a meditation teacher - to explore and map the psychological influences on our struggle to awaken. Wisdom does not always come as a flash of inspiration, but from the slow-often painful-working of experience. As we detach from our ideals of perfection and develop our acceptance of imperfection, our love and compassion can grow, and with this, our psychological and spiritual health will benefit as well. The Wisdom of Imperfection delves into this journey of individuation in Buddhist life, looking at the psychological process beneath the traditional path of the compassionate-minded Bodhisattva.

  11. The Doctrine of Awakening

    In a probing analysis of the oldest Buddhist texts, Julius Evola places the doctrine of liberation in its original context. The early teachings, he suggests, offer the foremost example of an active spirituality that is opposed to the more passive, modern forms of theistic religions. This sophisticated, highly readable analysis of the theory and practice of Buddhist asceticism, first published in Italian in 1943 , elucidates the central truths of the eightfold path and clears away the later accretions of Buddhist doctrine. Evola describes the techniques for conscious liberation from the world of maya and for achieving the state of transcendence beyond dualistic thinking. Most surprisingly, he argues that the widespread belief in reincarnation is not an original Buddhist tenet. Evola presents actual practices of concentration and visualization, and places them in the larger metaphysical context of the Buddhist model of mind and universe.

  12. Open to Desire

    It is common in both Buddhism and Freudian psychoanalysis to treat desire as if it is the root of all suffering and problems, but psychiatrist Mark Epstein believes this to be a grave misunderstanding. In his controversial defense of desire, he makes clear that it is the key to deepening intimacy with ourselves, each other, and our world. Proposing that spiritual attainment does not have to be detached from intimacy or eroticism, Open to Desire begins with an exploration of the state of dissatisfaction that causes us to cling to irrational habits. Dr. Epstein helps readers overcome their own fears of desire so that they can more readily bridge the gap between self and other, cope with feelings of incompletion, and get past the perception of others as objects. Freed from clinging and shame, desire’s spiritual potential can then be opened up.

  13. Dharma Moments

    At home and at work, we struggle every day with hope and fear- living in the past, anxious about the future. Is there an end to suffering? Dharma Moments captures the essence of Buddhist practice to help us thrive in the modern world. With sound advice about its relevance in today's busy world, Dharma Moments places the wisdom of the Dharma at the center of our lives, examining both personal and global challenges. This wide-ranging collection of deeply personal insights and real-life stories reveals the Buddha's most enduring principles.

  14. Cognitive Humanistic Therapy

    Cognitive Humanistic Therapy describes a new approach to psychotherapy and self-development, based on an understanding of what it means to be “fully human.” In a unique integration of theory and practice, the book synthesises ideas from the cognitive and humanistic domains of psychotherapy and the religious worlds of Buddhism and Christianity.

  15. No Death, No Fear

    Zen master Nhat Hanh turns his hard-earned wisdom as a survivor of war, persecution, and exile to the age-old dilemma of what happens when one dies. If the greatest fear is, as he suggests, that one becomes nothing, then how is one to live with this threat of complete annihilation? Using Buddhist parables and anecdotes, Nhat Hanh offers an alternative perspective. Buddhists see birth and death as mere concepts, not manifestations of reality. When someone dies, they are still with us, just in a different form.

  16. Buddhism without Beliefs

    As in all the major religions, there is a wisdom behind the theology of Buddhism that informs the believer in daily life. Stephen Batchelor would argue that the difference with Buddhism is that the wisdom is in fact independent of the theology and is not informative to believers only, but to everyone. In Buddhism Without Beliefs Batchelor lays out the major tenets of Buddhist wisdom, commenting on their relevance to modern life. The Buddha said that seekers must find the Truth for themselves, and Batchelor offers this book as a roadmap.

  17. What Is Meditation?

    What Is Meditation? explains the Buddhist worldview and the age-old practice it perfected to unfold our innate qualities of compassion, self-acceptance, and inner peace. Rob Nairn gives step-by-step instructions for beginning your own meditation practice, including three simple exercises—"Bare Attention," "Remaining in the Present," and "Meditation Using Sound"—to help get you started.

  18. Mae Chee Kaew

    This book presents the life and the practice of a woman who reached the pinnacle of Buddhist practice. She was known as Mae Chee Kaew. Mae Chee Kaew felt the calling to a spiritual life at an early age. Blessed as a girl with the good fortune to meet some of the most renowned meditation masters of her era, she took their teachings on meditation to heart and, with youthful enthusiasm, earnestly put them into practice. Due to a favorable disposition, she soon developed into a child prodigy, skilled in the art of samādhi meditation.

  19. Virtuous Bodies

    Virtuous Bodies breaks new ground in the field of Buddhist ethics by investigating the diverse roles bodies play in ethical development. Traditionally, Buddhists assumed a close connection between body and morality. Thus Buddhist literature contains descriptions of living beings that stink with sin, are disfigured by vices, or are perfumed and adorned with virtues.

  20. The Venerable Phra Acariya Mun Bhuridatta Thera, Meditation Master

    The aim of spiritual liberation must be accomplished by appropriate means: The Middle Way as taught by Buddha. Although the Buddha forbade the use of self-mortification as a means to gain enlightenment, he authorized and encouraged specialized ascetic practices, known as Dhutangas. The true Middle Way is not the smooth path of least resistance negotiated with easy compromises and happy mediums; but rather, it is that path of practice which most effectively counters the mental defilements that impede progress by resisting the aspirant every step of the way.

  21. The Doctrine of Awakening

    In a probing analysis of the oldest Buddhist texts, Julius Evola places the doctrine of liberation in its original context. The early teachings, he suggests, offer the foremost example of an active spirituality that is opposed to the more passive, modern forms of theistic religions. This sophisticated, highly readable analysis of the theory and practice of Buddhist asceticism, first published in Italian in 1943 , elucidates the central truths of the eightfold path and clears away the later accretions of Buddhist doctrine.

  22. Patipadā

    Patipadā is a translation of the Dhutanga Kammaṭṭhāna practices of Venerable Ajaan Mun Bhūridatta Thera. This book includes many things that may not be easy to understand for the reader who is not familiar with the theory and practice of Theravada Buddhism. For this reason the reader may find that for the first reading it is better to skip over many of the deeper explanations of the Dhamma teaching, and to go on to the methods and practices of the Ācariyas which are related herein.

  23. You Were Never Born

    John's fourth book, You Were Never Born, addresses the perennial and compelling question of our true identity. With his usual clarity and focus he answers questions from seekers in over seventy concise chapters of dialogues and in a departure from the format of his previous published collections, John has written an introductory set of prose pieces as well as a summary of 'pointers' toward the end of the text. Also included as an addendum is an extended one-to-one interview with John. A clear and beautiful guide to any aspirant of self-knowledge.

  24. Can Killing a Living Being Ever Be an Act of Compassion?

    In the Theravdin exegetical tradition, the notion that a intentionally killing a living being is wrong involves a claim that when certain mental states (such as compassion) are present in the mind, it is simply impossible that one could act in certain ways (such as to intentionally kill). Contrary to what Keown has claimed, the only criterion for judging whether an act is “moral” (kusala) or “immoral” (akusala) in Indian systematic Buddhist thought is the quality of the intention that motivates it.

  25. Four Illusions

    This book provides the first English translation of Candrakirti's commentary (ca. 6-7th century C.E.) on four illusions that prevent us from becoming Buddhas. Lang's translation captures the clarity of Candrakirti's arguments and the lively humor of the stories and examples he uses. Lang's introduction explores the range of Candrakirti's interests in religion, philosophy, psychology, politics, and erotic poetry.

  26. Zen and the psychology of transformation

    Most Zen masters refuse to discuss the discipline or explain it. Hubert Benoit takes the opposite, and for intellectually-inclined Westerners, the more accessible path, and discusses Zen in exhaustive detail in terms of psychology and philosophy--especially phenomenology and existentialism. Benoit writes at an extremely high level of abstraction (something quite alien to traditional Zen, which deals mainly in parables) but any experienced meditator will concur that practically every word Benoit writes rings with utter truth and fidelity to the workings of consciousness.

  27. Psychoanalysis & Buddhism

    Psychoanalysis and Buddhism pairs Buddhist psychotherapists together with leading figures in psychoanalysis who have a general interest in the role of spirituality in psychology. The resulting essays present an illuminating discourse on these two disciplines and how they intersect. This landmark book challenges traditional thoughts on psychoanalysis and Buddhism and propels them to a higher level of understanding.

  28. Mind beyond Death

    An indispensable guidebook through the journey of life and death, Mind Beyond Death weaves a synthesis of wisdom remarkable in its scope. With warm informality and profound understanding of the Western mind, The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche makes the mysterious Tibetan teachings on the bardos—the intervals of life, death, and beyond—completely available to the modern reader.

  29. The Manuals of Ledi Dipani

    The Manuals of Ledi Dipani is written by the Burmese Buddhist monk Maha-Thera Ledi Sayadaw and is actually three books: The Vipassana Dapani – or the Manual of Insight, Niyama Dipani or the Manual of Cosmic Order, and Patthanuddasa Dipani – or the Buddhist Philosophy of Relations. These instructions are meant as initial studies before commencing the Practice of Exercise of Insight also know as vipassana-kammattathana in the Theravada tradition.

  30. Bag of Bones

    The body is thought to be most obviously “me,” what I regard as the most tangible part of myself. Around it therefore are constructed many views, all of them distorted to some extent, which prevent insight arising into the body as it really is. This book is a small anthology relating to the body in various ways, and presents material which, if contemplated by the earnest and sincere student of Dhamma, will eventually provide fruitful insight and, thereby, freedom from the many desires and fears centered on the body.

  31. Amata Dhamma – Six Talks on Dhamma

    Amata Dhamma – Six Talks on Dhamma. From the intro: “The Dhamma of Buddha was expounded correctly and properly. It was not hidden or obscure but was presented according to the truths existing on every level of Dhamma. It proclaims, for example, that virtue and vice, hell, heaven and Nibbãna really do exist, that kilesas are true, that they are real and that they prevail just like the other more apparent things. There are no contradictions, so why are these things a problem for us? The Dhamma was openly presented. There was nothing esoteric and mystical about it.

  32. Clearing the Path

    Clearing the Path is a work book. Its purpose is to help the user to acquire a point of view that is different from his customary frame of reference. Necessarily, an early step in accomplishing this change is the abandonment of specific mistaken notions about the Buddha’s Teaching and about the nature of experience.

  33. Unexpected Freedom

    Unexpected Freedom by Ajahn Munindo. From the intro: “So often we are trying to follow the Buddha’s teaching with the idea of becoming free from something – free from our desires, our personality, our anger, our suffering.

  34. A Burden Off the Mind

    Buddha’s awakening gave him a new perspective on the limitations of words. He had discovered a reality—the Deathless—that no words could describe. At the same time, he discoveredthat the path to Awakening could be described, although it involved a new wayof seeing and conceptualizing the problem of suffering and stress. Because ordinary concepts were often poor tools for teaching the path, he had to invent new concepts and to stretch pre-existing words to encompass those concepts so that others could taste Awakening themselves.

  35. Preparing for Death and Helping the Dying

    Death is a subject that most people do not like to hear about, talk about, or even think about. Why is this? After all, whether we like it or not, each and every one of us will have to die one day. And even before we have to face our own death, we will most probably have to face the deaths of other people our family members, friends, colleagues, and so forth. Death is a reality, a fact of life, so wouldn’t it be better to approach it with openness and acceptance, rather than fear and denial?

  36. Nagarjuna's Precious Garland

    Nagarjuna is renowned for his penetrating analysis of reality. In the Precious Garland, he offers intimate counsel on how to conduct one's life and how to construct social policies that reflect Buddhist ideals. The advice for personal happiness is concerned first with improving one's condition over the course of lifetimes and then with release from all kinds of suffering, culminating in Buddhahood.

  37. Paticcasamuppada

    "Paticcasamuppada is a profound teaching," - said the Buddha - "so profound, in fact, that most people are not able to penetrate the Law of Dependent Origination." The Buddha's words to Ananda are as true today as they were 2,500 years ago. Paticcasamuppada, which is the heart of Buddhism, is difficult to see clearly and, thus, has become the center of grave misunderstandings and distortions.

  38. The Miracle of Mindfulness

    In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. Dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to "mindfulness" - the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality.

  39. Me and mine

    Buddhadasa's "system" of thought, if we may call it that, is not conceived as a scheme to explain all that is worth explaining. Rather, it reflects his continuous effort to interpret the dhamma and make it relevant to particular times, places, persons and events. It begins with such basic questions as "Who am I?", "How can I live a meaningful life?" and "What is true freedom?".