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Lions Roar : March 2018
THE PURE JOY OF BEING An Illustrated Introduction to the Story of the Buddha and the Practice of Meditation By Fabrice Midal Shambhala Publications 2017; 176 pp., $24.95 (cloth) French philosopher and medita- tion teacher Fabrice Midal is well aware that the life of the Bud- dha, as it’s traditionally told, is heavily mixed with myth. None- theless, Midal believes that it has a profound spiritual meaning, one that can guide us in our own lives and practice. Part one of The Pure Joy of Being unpacks Siddhartha Gautama’s life and those of his first disciples. Part two explores the significance of bodhisattvas, “the heroes of enlightenment,” including Kannon, Tara, and Samantabhadra. Part three presents the Buddha not as someone who lived long ago, but rather as a state that can be discovered through meditation. And finally, part four focuses on some of the greatest Buddhist masters in history, showing us how the teachings live on. This book includes meditation prac- tices, questions to ponder, and stunning examples of Buddhist art. The foreword is by Jack Kornfield. REVIEWS AGING WITH WISDOM Reflections, Stories & Teachings By Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle Monkfish Book Publishing Company 2017; 218 pp., $16.95 (paper) There are inevitable aches and pains involved with growing old. But today in the West, old age is made even more painful by the way our culture glorifies youth, does not respect its elders, and studiously avoids facing illness and death. In Aging with Wis- dom, Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle helps us navigate the path of overturning ageism, contemplat- ing the trajectory of our lives, and finding beauty and mean- ing in our later years. We can age consciously, she teaches, by cultivating an inner spiritual life that enables us to weather the changes and challenges of growing old. Aging with Wisdom is informed by Hoblitzelle’s forty-plus years of practice in psy- chology and Buddhist meditation. Hoblitzelle is also the author of Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows, a moving mem- oir about losing her husband to Alzheimer’s. LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2018 80