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Lions Roar : January 2018
REVIEWS A FIERCE HEART Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment By Spring Washam Parallax Press 2017, 208 pp., $16.95 (paper) In A Fierce Heart, dharma teacher Spring Washam offers teachings and stories in order to awaken us to the calling of our own hearts and to empower us to live fully and freely. Washam, a core teacher at East Bay Medita- tion Center in Oakland, has been nourished by a wide range of spiritual traditions, and this is made clear in the anecdotes that she tells about her own spiritual journey. At one point in her life, for instance, she spent a year studying the shamanic tradition in Peru, where she climbed a mountain with a pair of young sha- mans and learned her own strength. At another time, she went on a pilgrimage to India and sweated through 1,008 prostrations under the Bodhi tree until she deeply understood that she was bowing to something that could never be destroyed—the innate goodness that she and all of us possess. The foreword of A Fierce Heart is by Washam’s teacher, Jack Kornfield. BEYOND THE SELF Conversations Between Buddhism and Neuroscience By Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer The MIT Press 2017, 296 pp., $29.95 (cloth) Matthieu Ricard has a doc- torate in molecular biology. He’s also a Buddhist monk, photographer, and bestselling author whose books include The Monk and the Philosopher, which he co-wrote with his father, the renowned phi- losopher Jean-François Revel. In Beyond the Self, Ricard joins forces with neuroscientist Wolf Singer in order to understand if and how the states of consciousness that are achieved through meditation and mind training are linked to neuronal processes. What is the unconscious? Is love the highest emotion? What should we make of parapsychological phenomena? These are some of the many questions the two examine in this conversation that looks at the mind and brain through many lenses. LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2018 76