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Instinct for Freedom: Finding Liberation Through Living

Clements, Alan

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ISBN 10: 1577312120 / ISBN 13: 9781577312123
Published by New World Library, 2002
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

First printing (complete number line) hardcover INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR to the first owner, in excellent, otherwise unmarked condition (slight handling, slight page rippling), with good dust jacket (only slightly worn, but there is a discoloration on the underside near the bottom of the spine, not visible from the outside). 270 pages. [1.3 lbs]. Bookseller Inventory # 52303

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Instinct for Freedom: Finding Liberation ...

Publisher: New World Library

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Alan Clements was the first American to become a Buddhist monk in the country of Burma, where he lived for the good part of a decade. Since leaving the monastery, he has become a spiritual maverick, working for global human rights and teaching his contemporary understanding of liberation to audiences around the world.

After twenty years of leading retreats, Instinct for Freedom is Clements's first book of spiritual exploration, a visionary blend of adventurous autobiography and radical inquiry. Here he presents what he calls World Dharma, an approach to spiritual development that mirrors the narrative of Clements's visionary life. He gives voice to an essential spirituality that can be common to all people — an engaged mysticism based in one precious human value: freedom, the liberation from fear, ignorance and dogma, and the elevation of dignity, conscience, and beauty.

For Clements, freedom is rooted in real life experience, in holding life's complexities in balance with its wondrous gifts, and in the transformational power of relationships with other people and with the world. Exploring the nature of consciousness and our place in the mysterious cosmos may be the key to our freedom, he says. In detailing the early years of his Dharma life living in silence in a Burmese monastery, Clements presents a rare, beautiful, and nuanced account of the actual experience of intensive meditation and what it can offer.

Yet Clements's approach is not a doctrine. It is an intuitive process realized through deep inner trust, gentle self-inquiry and naturalness of spirit and expresses itself in daily acts of courage and love. No amount of spiritual practice or meditative training can adequately prepare us for life, he says. We must find our liberation through living, in this very moment, now, in whatever circumstances we face.

About the Author:

Alan Clements was the first American to pioneer the dharma from the remote South East Asian Buddhist country of Burma, where he lived in a Buddhist monastery during the 1970s and 80s, five years of which he spent as a monk. During this time he trained in classical Buddhist psychology and Vipassana (insight) meditation with two of the most respected meditation masters of our era, the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, and his successor Sayadaw U Pandita.

Since 1989, Clements has expanded his teaching beyond classical Buddhism to become an evocative spokesperson for the transformation of consciousness as the basis of freedom and dignity, lecturing and teaching retreats worldwide. His contemporary understanding of "engaged mysticism," and its expression through social and political activism, have brought him international recognition. His efforts on behalf of oppressed peoples worldwide have led Mr. Jack Healy, the former director of Amnesty International, to call Alan "one of the most important and compelling voices of our times."

Alan has lived in some of the most highly volatile areas of the world. In the jungles of Burma, in 1991, he witnessed and documented the genocide of the ethnic minorities by the military dictatorship, which he wrote about in his first book, Burma: The Next Killing Fields? He then lived in the former-Yugoslavia for nearly a year during the war where he wrote "Burning" (a screenplay). Back in Burma he co-authored The Voice of Hope (Seven Stories Press) the internationally acclaimed book of conversations with Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace laureate and leader of her country's non-violent struggle for freedom. Clements is also co-author of Burma's Revolution of the Spirit, with a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In addition, Clements was the script revisionist and advisor for Beyond Rangoon, a feature film depicting Burma's struggle for democracy, directed by John Boorman. Alan has been interviewed on ABC Nightline, CBS Evening News, Talk to America, CBC, VOA, BBC, and by the New York Times, London Times, Time and Newsweek magazines, and scores of other media worldwide.

Presently, Alan focuses his efforts on evolving his vision: WorldDharma, a spiritually-edgy, non-sectarian community of seekers, artists, writers and activists dedicated to exploring the link between our inner journey and engagement with our outer journey through, creativity, service and activism. In addition, Alan is a spoken word artist who regularly performs his highly acclaimed one man show Spiritually Incorrect, described by Lloyd Kandall at Taboo Recordsas as "Krishnamurti meets Michael Moore." Clements also leads World Dharma retreats - speaking to audiences on the fundamental importance of trusting one's own instinct for freedom - the natural urge of the heart to know itself and seek its liberation from all obstacles, real and imagined.

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