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Lions Roar : November 2015
By Lindsay Kyte THE SAFFRON ROAD A Journey with Buddha’s Daughters By Christine Toomey Portobello Books 2015; 370 pp., $24.95 (paper) In The Saffron Road, reporter Christine Toomey embarks on a 60,000-mile quest to uncover why contemporary women choose to become Buddhist nuns. She traces the history of women monas- tics from fifth century BCE India, to the Zen of the Beat era, to today’s Western practitioners. Not shying away from the tragedies that so often lead to transformation, Toomey talks to “kung fu” nuns, an acclaimed novelist, a princess, a concert violinist, a former BBC journalist, and a one-time Washington political aide. “In a world numbed by the amount of attention paid to violence, terrorism, and political and religious power struggles,” she writes, “I find it profoundly refreshing to come across women whose lives are dedicated to nurturing the opposite.” BOUNCING FORWARD Transforming Bad Breaks into Breakthroughs By Michaela Haas ENLIVEN 2015; 385 pp., $26.99 (paper) Written for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, Michaela Haas examines the science of post-trauma recovery with an eye to the similarities between Buddhist mind training and Western trauma psychology. Twelve survivors share how adversity led them to new awareness—from award-win- ning author and poet Maya Angelou, who healed deep child- hood trauma, to renowned autistic pioneer Temple Grandin, who overcame crippling panic attacks, to jazz guitarist Coco Schumann, who played for his life at Auschwitz. Haas suggests how Buddhism and science can reshape the way we think of trauma and offers techniques that survivors have used to ben- efit from their experiences. Bouncing Forward focuses on devel- oping a deeper perspective through mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom when life seems too hard to bear. Supporting Your Spiritual Practice The Monastery Store meditation cushions Buddhist statues incense and malas dharma books and audio Mountain Record journal Donate your old meditation cushions monasterystore.org •