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Lions Roar : March 2016
THE GREAT SPRING Writing Zen, and This Zigzag Life By Natalie Goldberg Shambhala 2016; 224 pp., $22.95 (cloth) In Zen, the “Great Spring” is a metaphor for enlightenment. “Obstructions shatter. Pain cracks open. The previously resisted truth releases,” writes author and writing teacher Natalie Goldberg. “In this huge terrain, we can find our- selves.” In her book of the same name, Goldberg reflects on the crooked, zigzagging writer’s journey and how it has opened her up to life—from getting lost in the wilderness of New Mexico, to playing ball with her father as a child in Long Island, to the begin- nings of Zen in the American Midwest, to a shocking health diagnosis. The book presents twenty-two essays—many published for the first time in this magazine—with titles such as “Dog-Bite Enlightenment,” “Lost Purse,” and “A Time of No Place.” FOR A LITTLE WHILE New and Selected Stories By Rick Bass Little, Brown and Company 2016; 480 pp., $28 (cloth) Author and environmental activist Rick Bass is renowned for his elegant and personal writings about life and nature. For a Little While is a collection of thirty years of his sto- ries, both old and new, presenting a large swath of human experience, with remarkable characters in situations push- ing them to the outer limits: a couple escaping from a bliz- zard by traversing a frozen lake beneath the ice; a young boxer fleeing from a charging horse to train for bar fights; and an alcoholic logger seeking absolution amid ancient ruins. There is a story for every season of humanity, as noted in “The History of Rodney”: “Through the summer, butterflies swarm in the front yard, drunk on the smell of the tree. But it in the winter it rains.” SATIPATTHANA SUTTA DISCOURSES By S.N. Goenka Vipassana Research 2015; 126 pp., $10.95 (paper) The Satipatthana Sutta is the Buddha’s most important discourse on the practice of mindfulness. In it, the Buddha describes the four foundations of Buddhist meditation: mindfulness of the body; mindfulness of feelings or sensa- tions; mindfulness of mind or consciousness; and mindful- ness of dharmas, or phenomena. Each chapter in this book, now out in a new edition, is a discourse on the Satipatthana Sutta delivered by the renowned vipassana teacher S.N. Goenka during a mindfulness course in Australia in 1990. “Liberation can only be gained by practice, never by mere discussion,” writes Goenka, offering an insight into the reason for these discourses—and for Buddhist medita- tion altogether. You’ll find more on Goenka’s key role in the transmission of vipassana (insight) meditation to the West in our profile of Sharon Salzberg in this issue. REVIEWS Pema and the Pema Chödrön Foundation support: THE BUDDHIST MONASTIC TRADITION Pema is dedicated to help guide and support her home monastery, Gampo Abbey, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. NUNS IN THE HIMALAYAS The Pema Chödrön Foundation’s support helps ensure that nuns in Nepal, Bhutan and India have the same equal opportunities for deep practice and study as monks have always had. THE BOOK INITIATIVE Pema’s books and recorded teachings are offered to underserved individuals and the organizations that serve them, around the world, free of charge. pemachodronfoundation.org All proceeds from the PCF bookstore support Pema’s work. Free Shipping in the USA LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2016 74