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Lions Roar : May 2016
Lama calls “innermost awareness,” the basic and ever-present nature of mind we can discover right now in the gaps between our thoughts. BECOMING WISE An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living By Krista Tippett Penguin 2016; 304 pp., $28 (paper) In Becoming Wise, Krista Tippett distils the insights she has gleaned from asking questions of extraor- dinary thinkers over the course of her career as a broadcaster, with a focus on conversations from her NPR show On Being. “I’m a person who listens for a living,” she says. “I listen for wisdom and beauty, and for voices not shouting to be heard.” In conversation with scientists, theologians, poets, and activists, Tippett explores the many dimensions of what it means to be human .—“places where we pay essential human- ity an attention unmatched in our other disciplines—our capacities to love and take joy, our capacities to damage and deceive, the inevitability of failure and finitude, the longing to be of service.” WHAT IS ZEN? Plain Talk for a Beginner’s Mind By Norman Fischer and Susan Moon Shambhala 2016; 208 pp., $15.95 (paper) In What Is Zen?, Buddhist teacher Zoketsu Norman Fischer and author Susan Moon survey Zen philosophy and practice in a reader-friendly, question-and-answer format. Both playing with and challenging each other, Moon and Fisher discuss his- tory, theory, meditation, and Zen wisdom on contemporary issues. “This book is a conversation between old dharma friends,” writes Moon, “but it’s not sym- metrical; it’s a question-and-answer conversation. I’m the Q and Norman is the A.” Moon’s line of questioning is simple, direct, and personal, which allows Fischer to more deeply and thoroughly examine his long-held beliefs, resulting in a more intimate dialogue. With something for both beginners and longtime practitioners, this book is a window into today’s Zen. LION’S ROAR | MAY 2016 79