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Lions Roar : May 2014
BY ANDREA MILLER Books in Brief eaTinG wiLDLy Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal By Ava Chin Simon & Schuster 2014; 256 pp., $25 (cloth) Don’t read Eating Wildly when you’re hungry. Ava Chin has such a luscious knack for describing anything steamed, sautéed, or deep-fried that you’ll be left with your mouth watering and your stomach grumbling. She recreates the dishes of her Chi- nese-American childhood, such as lobster Cantonese with lacy egg whites and soy sauce chicken wings dripping in brown-sugar glaze, but foraging in New york and other urban jungles is her specialty. She takes us on her hunts for savory lambsquarters, mellow-sweet mulberries, and morels infused with the taste of earth and springtime. For Chin, foraging is a moving meditation that has a healing quality. Bit by bit, bite by bite, she comes to terms with her romantic failures, her grandmother’s death, and the long-lingering pain of her father’s abandonment. This story of self-discovery is complete with recipes. The PaTh TO awakeninG how Buddhism’s seven Points of Mind Training Can Lead you to a Life of enlightenment and happiness By Shamar Rinpoche, edited and translated by Lara Braitstein Delphinium Books 2014; 178 pp., $14.95 (paper) While the Tibetan term lojong translates into English as “mind training,” the practice transforms the heart as well. It was established in Tibet by the celebrated yogi-scholar Atisha (c. 982–1054) and for years was only taught orally. Then Chekawa yeshe Dorje (1101–1175) wrote The Root Text of the Seven Points of Mind Training, in which he summarized lojong into fifty-nine pithy aphorisms or slogans and divided them into seven sections. One way that lojong can be practiced is to memorize these slo- gans so they will pop into your mind when you need them. “Train uninterruptedly” and “Do not hold on to anger” are two that seem fairly straightforward. Others are quite obscure, such as “guard the two even at the cost of your life” and “Make the three insepara- ble.” generation after generation of teachers have commented on The Root Text of the Seven Points of Mind Training, and The Path to Awakening is the kagyu figure Shamar Rinpoche’s contribution. The MinDFULness sUrViVaL kiT Five essential Practices By Thich Nhat Hanh Parallax Press 2014; 208 pp., $12.95 (paper) Do not kill, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or take intoxi- cants. Thich Nhat Hanh recognized the timeless wisdom of these traditional Buddhist precepts but wanted to make them more accessible for people today. So he rewrote them using fresh, contemporary language, taking into account the realities of this modern world, including the Internet, video games, television, and climate change. In his version, Thich Nhat Hanh calls the five precepts “the five mindfulness trainings,” and he lists them as: reverence for life, true happiness, true love, deep listening and loving speech, and nourishment and healing. In The Mindfulness Survival Kit, he delves deeply into the trainings and offers con- crete practices for each. He emphasizes that the trainings are free of dogma, religion, and sectarianism, and they can be adopted by anyone, not just Buddhists. seLFLess LOVe Beyond the Boundaries of self and Other By Ellen Birx Wisdom Publications 2014; 248 pp., $15.95 (paper) “Our lives are constrained,” says Zen teacher Ellen Birx, “because we have a limited view of who we are and who god is.” For Birx, the word “god” refers to the unknowable, the ineffable. In short, shambhala sun may 2014 79