using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : January 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2009 93 30 Years: The Bestsellers MARCIA Z. NELSON looks at the Buddhist books that have graced bookshelves across the country—including her own. REVIEWS THE PAST THREE DECADES have seen the flourishing of many branches of Buddhism in the West, and one of the most important ways they have transmitted the dharma is through books. Many of the Buddhist books published are for specialists, but a number of them have been exception- ally successful in presenting the jewels of Buddhism to the wider culture. As I set out to spotlight and celebrate the most significant and influential of these, I quickly realized the research would be easy: all I had to do was look at my own bookshelves. Al- though I’m not a Buddhist, my spiritual life has been influenced by Western Buddhism’s major teachers, and so has my profes- sional life as a book review editor. Many of the groundbreaking books I’m presenting here have been on my nightstand—and in the homes and lives of millions of others—in years past. If these are gathering dust on your shelves, breathe out (and blow off the dust) and enjoy your favorite teachers once more. It’s impossible to read just one book by Thich Nhat Hanh. (In my household, my husband and I together have sixteen.) The 82-year-old Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk has generated many books over many years for many audiences. One com- pelling gateway to his body of teachings is Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, published in 1991. It’s a collection of short talks, writings, and conversations about doing everyday activities with mindfulness: washing dishes, eating, answering a phone. Thich Nhat Hanh is a master of simplification, compressing numbered precepts, ag- gregates, truths, jewels, and complexities of Buddhism into a single moment—the present moment—and a single breath, in and out. Thay, as he is affectionately called, is a poet as well as a monk, teacher, and lifelong ardent proponent of peace. The eyes of compassion with which he sees, and about which he teaches, are also art- ist’s eyes seeing everyday details: tangerines and telephones. Thich Nhat Hanh, observes his publisher Travis Masch at Paral- lax Press, personifies the Buddhism he teaches. How could a book about happiness, love, and kindness not be cherished? Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Insight Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg, first published in 1995, graduated first to “classic” status at Shambhala Publications and this spring was also released in mass-market format, making available to a broad audience Salzberg’s highly accessible style of teaching. Loving-Kindness presents the brahmaviharas, the “heavenly homes” afforded by the four qualities of love, compassion, sympa- thetic joy, and equanimity. Salzberg fills the book with meditation exercises, an- ecdotes about friends and travels, and confessions of fears and shortcomings. Her self-effacing honesty reinforces a central message of empowerment: just as the author has grown and overcome, you too can grow in love, compassion, joy, and equanimity. If you are familiar with Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, chances are good you got it while going through a rough time in your life, or you gave it to someone in trying circum- stances. The 1997 book is about the very premises of Bud- dhism—its four noble truths that there is suffering, a cause for suffering, an end of suffering, and a path to achieve that. Chödrön speaks from the heart: she knows what it’s like when things fall apart, as they invariably do, or will. At that point, the student of Buddhism has an opportunity to follow the path, however much kicking, screaming, or clinging she may want to do. With the enlightened suggestion to look at suffering instead of running away from it, the nun proves herself an apt student of her teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. This application of Buddhism’s basics is eminently helpful, and positively friendly—a boon companion for troubled times. Managing editor Dave O’Neal at Shambhala Publications says this book of Chödrön’s spoke loud and wide. “It broke way out of the Buddhist audi- ence,” O’Neal says. Through his pioneering work in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Jon Kabat-Zinn has brought the benefits of medi- tation practice to those sorely in need of mind-body help: the MARCIA Z. NELSON is the religion reviews editor for Publishers Weekly.