Eastern Philosophy Voices of Insight

ISBN 13: 9781570623981

Voices of Insight

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9781570623981: Voices of Insight

The founding of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in 1975 heralded a fresh expression of Theravada Buddhism among lay practitioners in the West. Today this flourishing tradition offers a path to liberation suited to people of our own time and place, amidst our own families and communities. Here is the first collection of writings by leading teachers of insight meditation who have taught at IMS: Joseph Goldstein on "The Science and Art of Meditation," Jack Kornfield on "Path of Parenting, Path of Awakening," Larry Rosenberg on "Moving into Deep Silence," Sylvia Boorstein on "Perfecting the Heart," Carol Wilson on "The First Buddhist Women," and many others. In all, seventeen men and women—hailing from North America, Hawaii, England, Australia, and South Africa—share their intimate experiences of the practice of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation; their understanding of the basic teachings of the Buddha; the lessons they learned from their own teachers; and advice on following the Buddha Dharma in relationships, work, and spiritual practice. Contributors include: Steve Armstrong, Sylvia Boorstein, Christina Feldman, Joseph Goldstein, Narayan Liebenson Grady, Bhante Gunaratana, Gavin Harrison, Jack Kornfield, Kamala Masters, Michele McDonald-Smith, Larry Rosenberg, Sharon Salzberg, Rodney Smith, Steven Smith, Ajahn Sumedho, Christopher Titmuss and Carol Wilson. All royalties from this book will be donated to Ram Dass—author of Be Here Now and other modern spiritual classics, who recently suffered a major stroke—in gratitude for his teachings and in support of his ongoing medical needs.

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Review:

You don't have to be a practicing Buddhist to thoroughly appreciate these informative and engaging essays written by members of The Insight Meditation Society. Like a carefully prepared cup of green tea, each of these pieces is quieting to the psyche while energizing to the soul.

The teachings of IMS revolve around Theraveda Buddhism, which in the West translates into a commitment to insight, moral integrity, and compassion. As a result, these themes resonate throughout. For example, Steven Smith speaks about the insight he gained from the death of a friend--it helped him grasp the sacredness of friendship. In another essay, Michele McDonald-Smith talks about accidentally locking her car keys and her other sandal in her car. From this anecdote she begins to ponder what it would be like "to live like a guesthouse"--always ready to receive the unexpected guests and situations that come to us in everyday life. It is the use of personal stories that make these Buddhist gleanings so satisfying and accessible. As editor Sharon Salzberg explains in her introduction, "We are unfolding a tradition that speaks of current challenges, our own triumphs, and our unique lessons.... It is a significant step in the transmission of a living truth." --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Sharon Salzberg is one of America's leading spiritual teachers and authors. A practitioner of Buddhist meditation for over thirty years, she is a co-founder of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Insight Meditation Society, and she directs meditation retreats throughout the United States and abroad.

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