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Lions Roar : January 2019
REVIEWS AGING FOR BEGINNERS By Ezra Bayda, with Elizabeth Hamilton Wisdom Publications 2018; 208 pp., $17.95 (paper) In the face of aging, we’re told we can maintain our vitality by exercising, social- izing, and engaging in meaningful activity. This practical advice, which hinges on a can-do attitude, is often very useful. Yet there are sticky issues around growing older that aren’t so easily addressed, and in fact applying a can- do attitude to them can be detrimental. As husband-and-wife team Ezra Bayda and Elizabeth Hamilton put it, “Fighting to change the things we cannot change is never helpful—such things as the loss of our strength and physical abilities, the loss of our friends, the objective fact that we will one day surely die. But learning to relate to these objective difficulties in a new way is both possible and meaningful.” Aging for Beginners takes a deep, contemplative look at anxiety, depression, loss, loneliness, helplessness, and physical pain. It urges us to explore our inten- tions, reflect on death, and—ultimately—find renewal. THE BUDDHIST SWASTIKA AND HITLER’S CROSS Rescuing a Symbol of Peace from the Forces of Hate By T. K. Nakagaki Stone Bridge Press 2018; 200 pp., $18.95 (paper) When I moved to Japan to teach English, I was horrified by the swastikas I saw on buildings and signs. Fortunately, I soon learned that they were the mirror image of the Nazi symbol, their meaning was peace, and they marked temples. Though I still have an aversion to the swastika, I’m fascinated by Buddhist priest T. K. Nakagaki’s reflections on why symbols hold such power; how the swastika has been used for good across the globe, including as a motif in synagogues; and why Hitler adopted it to symbolize his own hateful philosophy. “We all have the potential to do evil as well as good,” says Nakagaki. “Genocide is possible anywhere at any time and will continue as long as humans fail to recognize their own monsters within. As a result of WWII, the swastika, once a worldwide symbol of peace and good will, now as a symbol rep- resents both the sages and monsters within us.” ♦ Find the best Buddhist books at store.lionsroar.com—and support our non-profit mission. https://summer.nitarthainstitute.org/lionsroar Nitartha Summer Institute 2019 July 5 – August 3, 2019 3 9-day sessions in beautiful Oregon at Willamette University with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen Deepen Your Meditation, Enrich Your View for Higher Buddhist Studies Announcing a New 3-Year Program Study & Meditation in Union LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2019 80