Dancing With Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering

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9781594863530: Dancing With Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering

  Why do we suffer? Is there a purpose to our pain? Noting that human beings have wrestled with such questions for thousands of years, Phillip Moffitt has found answers for his own life in Buddhist philosophy and meditation. Reflecting on his own journey from Esquire magazine editor-in-chief to Buddhist meditation teacher, Moffitt provides a fresh perspective on the Buddha's ancient wisdom, showing how to move from suffering to new awareness and unanticipated joy.  In this deeply spiritual book that is sure to become a Buddhist classic, Moffitt explores the twelve insights that underlie the Buddha's core teaching--the Four Noble Truths--and uses these often neglected ideas to guide readers to a more meaningful relationship to suffering. Moffitt write: "These twelve insights teach you to dance with both the joy and pain, finding peace in a balanced mind and calm spirit. As the most specific, practical life instructions I have ever encountered, they serve as an invaluable tool for anyone who seeks a life filled with meaning and well-being." Practicing these twelve insights, as Moffitt suggests, will help readers experience life's difficulties without being filled with stress and anguish, and they will enhance their moments of happiness.  With engaging writing and a strong message of self-empowerment, Dancing with Life offers a prescriptive path for finding joy and peace that will appeal to meditation students and readers of "Dharma Wisdom," Moffitt's column in Yoga Journal, as well as anyone searching for a more authentic life.

FREE Online Study Materials are available to accompany the book and assist you in deepening your understanding and practice of the Four Noble Truths. Receive a free on line Study Guide or Teacher Guide and Free Weekly Teachings & Reflections based on the material from the book. 
These are available at dancingwithlife.org

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From the Author:

I'm pleased to introduce you to Dancing with Life. It is my hope that by reading this book you will discover a new relationship to suffering that allows you to live more fully.

Even under the best of circumstances, life is challenging, and much of the time it is difficult. It is always uncertain, constantly changing, and mostly out of your control. Whether it is taking you on a wonderful ride or stepping on your toes, life will move you with the rhythm and in the direction of its own unfolding, regardless of your best intentions. Life dances and you must dance with it. This is the necessary price and mysterious gift of being alive.

If life is going to dance with you, then what kind of dance partner do you wish to be? Finding a way to be at ease with the dance itself is a crucial skill in finding freedom and meaning in life.   Dancing with Life teaches you how to move from suffering to joy in your life.

This book does not offer academic theories or vague promises of finding happiness. Rather it presents a practical approach for dealing with pain and hardship based on the Buddha's teaching of the Four Noble Truths. It leads you along the path of exploring suffering--all suffering, but yours in particular--in order to reach a destination where you can experience what is called a "direct" or intuitive knowledge of the meaning of suffering in your own life. Through this intuitive knowledge, you can find a new relationship with your suffering that will bring you increased meaning, joy, and liberation, no matter how difficult your life may be.   

Other spiritual teachers have offered advice on how to deal with pain and hardship, but it was the Buddha who specifically focused on liberation from suffering as the path to liberation in life. In order to take the Buddhist approach, it is not necessary for you to adopt a creed, sacrifice your religion, or transform yourself into some new person. You simply must have faith in the possibility that understanding your suffering can bring about a radical change in how you experience life.

I feel confident that the Buddha's wisdom provides a way--not the way, mind you, but a way--into a more meaningful relationship to life. I base this judgment on my own life experiences, as well as the experiences of my students. May this book help you learn to dance with life--your life just as it is.

With Metta,

Phillip Moffitt

About the Author:

Phillip Moffitt walked away from his highly successful post as chief executive and editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine in 1987 to live the inner life. Founder and president of the Life Balance Institute, a nonprofit organization devoted to the study and practice of spiritual values in daily life, Moffitt teaches vipassana meditation at retreat centers around the country and holds a weekly meditation class in Marin County, California. He is an award-winning essayist and is a regular contributor to Yoga Journal. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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