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Lions Roar : May 2016
REVIEWS volumes are meant to inspire a sense of connection to the tra- dition while encouraging a quiet contemplation of one’s own essential nature through coloring. A BUDDHIST GRIEF OBSERVED By Guy Newland Wisdom 2016; 120 pp., $14.95 (paper) A Buddhist Grief Observed is the map of a Buddhist scholar and teacher’s trajectory through deep grief following the death of his wife. In chapters such as “Pain” and “Taking Care,” Guy Newland recounts his journey to make sense of his life after loss by putting Bud- dhist teachings into action, drawing on Dogen, the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödrön, and ancient Pali texts. Newland’s goal with this book is to transform what we usually consider “the private pain of grief ” into an awakening that feelings of fear and loss are shared by all—that in our anguish, we are not alone. “Grief is the process of adjusting to unwanted change,” Newland writes, “and since change is unrelenting, we bear every day unrecognized micro-griefs.” The book ends with a eulogy for the author’s late partner. THE HEART OF MEDITATION Discovering Innermost Awareness By the Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins Shambhala 2016; 168 pp., $22.95 (paper) “We have to work to change the basic perspectives on which our feelings depend.” It’s on this thought that the Dalai Lama builds his narrative in The Heart of Meditation. Using as his starting point a vision- ary poem by the great nine- teenth-century master Patrul Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama offers his teachings on Dzogchen, the advanced meditation practice of the Nyingma school. Buddha scholar Jeffrey Hopkins interweaves private teachings given to him by His Holiness with the Dalai Lama’s semi- nar lectures at the Camden Centre, resulting in a book that focuses on the identification and cultivation of what the Dalai LION’S ROAR | MAY 2016 78