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Lions Roar : March 2014
this, we fall completely in love with the Earth, and as with any- thing we love, we naturally do whatever we can to take care of it. I particularly appreciate Thich Nhat Hanh’s heartfelt description of seeing for the first time photos of the Earth taken from space. He saw a glowing jewel and recognized the Earth’s fragility. “Dear Earth,” he thought, “I didn’t know that you are so beautiful. I see you in me. I see me myself in you.” YOGA The Art of Transformation Edited by Debra Diamond Smithsonian Books 2013; 328 pp., $55 (cloth) Yoga: The Art of Transformation is the sumptuous catalogue of a recent exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smith- sonian Institution. A visual feast, it also offers essays by scholars tackling the convoluted history of yoga. In today’s yoga studios, it’s commonly believed that the earliest evidence we have for yoga is a third-millennium BCE clay seal from the Indus River Valley. According to scholar David Gordon White, however, this depiction of a figure seated in a cross-legged posture is not con- clusive evidence that yoga was practiced at that time. After all, images of figures in this very same posture also hail from ancient Scandinavia and other locales. Additional thought-provoking angles covered in this book include the fact that European body- building influenced modern yoga, and that yoga is not just con- nected to Buddhism and Hinduism but is also deeply connected to Jainism and Islam. Indeed, Muslim interest in yoga dates back a thousand years to the scholar al-Biruni, who translated Patan- jali’s Yoga Sutras into Arabic. EVERYTHING IS WORKABLE A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution By Diane Musho Hamilton Shambhala Publications 2013; 218 pp., $16.95 (paper) When she was growing up, Diane Musho Hamilton’s extended family had parties at her grandmother’s house. By 9 p.m. the conversation was always lively, but by 1 a.m. arguments were brewing and soon someone was storming out the front door. Hamilton was sometimes at the heart of the fray, at times an ally in the fight, and at other times an unbiased observer. Curious about these different roles, she went on to study mediation, and Everything Is Workable comes out of her many years of work in that field. This book offers readers a new way of thinking about conflict. It unpacks what Hamilton believes are the three per- sonal conflict styles and the three fundamental perspectives in any conflict situation. Conflict is an inevitable part of life, Hamilton teaches, and if we try to eradicate it in one area, it will simply manifest elsewhere. What we can do—what we will ulti- mately find more useful and satisfying—is to accept conflict and integrate it into our spiritual path. THE BUDDHA’S APPRENTICE AT BEDTIME Tales of Compassion and Kindness for You to Read with Your Child—to Delight and Inspire By Dharmachari Nagaraja Watkins Publishing 2013; 128 pp., $16.95 (paper) Some monkeys had a penchant for stealing the king’s peaches and plums, and they were so wily that the gardener was never able to catch them. One day, the cook’s daughter suggested lay- ing an enticing trap of cake. Sweets, she said, would make the monkeys sleepy, and sleepy monkeys would be easier to catch. The shoemaker’s son also had an idea: he’d make dazzling high heels, which the vain monkeys would be unable to resist. It’s difficult to run away, he said, when wearing impractical shoes. A few days later, the monkeys slipped into the orchard and found a cake stand weighted down with cream-filled cupcakes and tree branches hung with pumps. Indeed, the monkeys could not resist. They ended up trapped in the king’s zoo and it took them a good long while to escape. “The Monkey Thieves” is just one of the stories from the children’s book The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime. Like every story in the collection, it’s a modern retelling of a Jataka Tale and it exemplifies a principle of the noble eightfold path. Do not be greedy or vain is what this story teaches. ♦ SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2014 76