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Lions Roar : September 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2007 86 is deepened every time they take note of their senses and become aware of how their thoughts are forming. The knowledge acquired through this first-person inquiry is illustrated skillfully by Groopman: If each time one hears the sound of hoofbeats one forms thoughts only of horses and not of zebras, there is a risk of excluding other explanations for the sounds. This simple example serves as a reminder to the busy clinician of the tendency for the thought formations to lead rather than to serve. When that happens, the clinician may be led away from less common, although very possible, alternative diagnoses. Finally, mindfulness of phenomena (dharmas), as in the objects of mind, returns the practitioner back to the truth of the patient’s dilemma and the suffer- ing inherent in the separation felt by both the patient and the physician. This leads to the very real experiences of interdepen- dence, impermanence, and compassion. This is no doubt experienced by every physician through regular contact with aging, illness, and death. The awareness brought about through the application of mindfulness leads the physician and patient together toward the uncovering of truth, the recognition of the cognitive errors inherent in the medical encounter, their prevention, and ultimately toward the relief of suffering. Marcel Proust said that the real voy- age of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. The physician’s task is one of discovery of the patient’s illness, of the patient’s sense of meaning and coherence, of the patient’s being. In How Doctors Think, Groopman shows us the ways in which the Hippocratic relationship is fraught with hazards and unseen dangers, many of them a result of the cognitive errors in the unexamined mind of the phy- sician. But through the cultivation of self-awareness and the opportunity to realize the interconnectedness between physician and patient, new eyes and new vision can form, helping both physician and patient to see more clearly into this multifaceted, awesome, and immensely beautiful crystal of life. ♦ New from FONS VITAE — World Spirituality (502) 897-3641 phone/fax www.fonsvitae.com 49 Mockingbird Valley Dr. Louisville, KY 40207 FONS VITAE Merton & Buddhism Wisdom, Emptiness & The Everyday Mind Edited by: Bonnie Bowman Thurston “A beautiful, rich and well considered dialogue of mystics, artists and scholars. Merton would be pleased.” – Jack Kornfield “Thomas Merton is the saintly man who caused the Dalai Lama to come to admire Christianity as the equal of his beloved Buddhism. This book finally gives us a clear look at how that happened, how Merton understood Buddhism, how it moved him, and how tragically his premature death cost us the feast of insight he would surely have provided us.This book has solid scholarship, beautiful illustrations, and enlightening commentary. It is a rare door to deeper understanding of both Buddhism and Christianity and a pleasant companion on the great way!” – Robert Thurman “I’m just in bliss over what has been achieved for the further understanding of Merton and Buddhism. I think this volume reveals a path or a means Christians can use to understand Buddhism, and for everybody to better understand both Buddhism and Christianity.The book, with its photographs of Buddhas, is one of the finest works on Buddhism to have been published in the past decades.” – Harold Talbott In 1968, Harold Talbott introduced Merton to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, along with some of the other great lamas, who took Merton to profound levels of the practice of Dzogchen. Finally all the pieces of Merton’s life and work – seem to fall perfectly into place through this volume of scholarly essays. Merton & Buddhism is a true summing up of his var ied talents and his spiritual transfor mation. Included samples of his photography, poetry and painting help to flesh out a more complete portrait. The ideas Merton was drawn to in Buddhism provide inspiration for readers of any practice. We are introduced to the masters and their teachings which most affected his thinking:The Dalai Lama, Chatral Rinpoche, Karlu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Khamtrul Rinpoche, as well as Thich Nhat Hanh. This book contains a plethora of previously unpublished photography as well as new material from persons who were with Merton in Asia in the weeks preceding his untimely death in 1968. A profusion of places and people in his life’s journey, as well as images from a variety of cultures which made up his Buddhist sojourn, invite us into a wider experience, closer to what Merton himself saw. NEW • $26.95 • ISBN 1887752846 • 272 pages • 96 black & white and 28 color photographs. SEPT 72-99.indd 86 SEPT 72-99.indd 86 6/25/07 5:30:39 PM 6/25/07 5:30:39 PM