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Lions Roar : May 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2006 94 At times, presentations of Buddhism from a Western scholarly perspective can seem to dry up a living, breathing tradi- tion. On the other hand, the best of the scholarly books on Buddhism (often by people who practice Buddhism as well) can help to bridge the enormous cultural chasm that Western readers need to cross in order to understand ancient Buddhist literature. Books like Charles Prebish’s Buddhism, A Modern Perspective or Rob- inson, Johnson, and Thanissaro’s Buddhist Religions, A Historical Introduction help us to sort out the teachings we encounter from so many different sources and to as- sess what is cultural and historical arti- fact and what is essential to the teaching. Even a book like Karen Armstrong’s Bud- dha, a modern-style biography, while not scholarly per se, benefits from putting the Buddhist movement into a Western his- torical perspective. NATURALLY, THE LINES BETWEEN these categories blur. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s early books, for example, com- bine elements of all of them. And these few categories also cannot possibly ex- haust the many variations on the Buddhist theme that exist on Buddhist bookshelves. There’s devotional literature, poetry, art, psychology, aphorisms, lineage history, and a whole raft of books on “Buddhism and ...” (science, politics, feminism, Chris- tianity, child rearing, the twelve steps, etc.). The possibilities are endless. One can also approach the world of Buddhist books by visiting the websites or reading the catalogs of its prominent publishers, such as Snow Lion, Shambhala, Wisdom, and Parallax, or one of the many university presses, such as the University of Hawaii or State University of New York Press, that have substantial Buddhist lists. A few years ago, Buddhism enjoyed a fad status with mainstream publishers (known as trade publishers in the business) but that seems to be on the wane, which is a mixed blessing. Trade publishers put a lot of umph behind a book but they are also wary of anything that might not be popu- lar, and some of Buddhism’s messages (e.g., All life is suffering) defy popularity. ♦ Menla Mountain Retreat & Conference Center 2006 TIBET HOUSE US RETREATS in the NY CATSKILLS Sharon Salzberg & Krishna Das • April 28-30 • Awakened Mind and Open Heart Sharon Salzberg & Robert Thurman • May 25-29 • Fierce Compassion Cyndi Lee & Robert Thurman • June 15-18 • Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy & Equanimity Jivamukti Yoga, Sharon Gannon & David Life • July 7-9 The Yoga of Compassionate Living Mark Epstein & Robert Thurman • July 27-30 Toward a Buddhist Psychotherapy: Investigating Self and Selflessness Eddie Stern, John Campbell, & Robert Thurman • August 11-16 • The Buddha & the Yogis Sharon Salzberg & Robert Thurman • October 4-9 • Peace Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa & Gurushabd Singh Khalsa • October 20-22 Yoga, Meditation, & Dialogue on Yogic & Buddhist Philosophy Call 212.807.0563 or visit www.menla.org for complete information about these and other programs at Menla. We also welcome group events. www.tibethouse.org • www.menla.org H.H. Dalai Lama, 1998, Karnataka, India, by Richard Avedon. The Blade Wheel of Mind Transformation This teaching helps each person to overcome his or her self-centered mental and emotional habits through gradually transforming the mind to attain balance and happiness. This teaching was originally written by the 10th-century Indian Buddhist master Dharmarakshita. Beacon Theatre, NYC September 23-25, 2006 10am–12pm & 2-4pm daily SPONSORED BY TIBET HOUSE U.S. General tickets are $285 through Beacon Theater Box Office 212.496.7070, www.ticketmaster.com, or Ticket Master Phone Charge 212.307.7171. For Sponsor Level tickets, information, and hotel discounts call 212.807.0563 or visit us at: www.tibethouse.org His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama SUBSCRIBER SERVICES Subscribe, Renew, Give a Gift, Order a back issue, Change your address, Replace an issue, Inquire about a subscription CALL TOLL-FREE 8am-4pm ET weekdays: 1-877-786-1950, Overseas: 01-902-422-8404, Fax: 1-902-423-2701 ONLINE ORDERS and INQUIRIES: Visit www.shambhalasun.com/ and click on Subscribe. EMAIL: