"Living compassionately is rarely convenient and often downright challenging," writes Joyce Rupp, bestselling and award-winning author and retreat leader. The definitive Christian guide to compassion, Boundless Compassion is the culmination of Rupp's research and work as codirector of the Servite Center of Compassionate Presence. Through this six-week personal transformation process for developing and deepening compassion, Rupp nudges, encourages, and inspires you to grow in the kind of love that motivated Jesus’ life and mission for his disciples. With master teacher Joyce Rupp, you will learn to develop compassion as never before. You will discover compassion from science, medicine, theology, spirituality, sociology, and psychology. You will be encouraged to explore personal and professional expressions of compassion, and to re-energize your ability to offer loving kindness to those around you. Rupp has felt the call to walk with others in their suffering since she was a young member of the Servants of Mary, whose charism is compassion. She eventually cofounded the Boundless Compassion program with Sr. Margaret Stratman, O.S.M. Based on the format and theme of Rupp’s bestselling books like Open the Door and her popular workshops conducted by the Center of Compassionate Presence, Boundless Compassion has the power to transform your life, giving you wisdom, confidence, understanding, and inspiration to be a more caring presence. It will help you build on relational skills, learn self-care, gain wisdom for incorporating loss and suffering into your active life, and find ways to show compassion at work. By the book's end, you will feel prepared to live with a renewed commitment to a compassionate presence for yourself and those who are in the midst of pain, struggle, and transition.
Drawing on stories from the lives of the saints, scripture, and everyday life, Jim Forest opens up the mysteries of the Beatitudes. These ancient blessings, with which Christ began his Sermon on the Mount, are all aspects of communion with God. As Forest shows, they are like rungs on a ladder, each one leading to the next. They appear at the doorway of the New Testament to provide an easily memorized summary of everything that follows, right down to the crucifixion ("Blessed are you who are persecuted") and the resurrection ("Rejoice and be glad").
Interest in Buddhism continues to grow throughout North America, and more and more readers are moving beyond the familiar Zen and Tibetan traditions to examine other types of Buddhism. In Shin Buddhism, Taitetsu Unno explains the philosophy anc practices of "Pure Land" Buddhism, which dates back to the sixth century C.E., when Buddhism was first introduced in Japan. While Zen Buddhism flourished in remote monasteries, the Pure Land tradition was adopted by the common people. With a combination of spiritual insight and unparalled scholoarship, the author describes the literature, history, and principles of this form of Buddhism and illuminates the ways in which it embodies this religion's most basic tenet: "No human life should be wasted, abandoned, or forgotten but should be transformed into a source of vibrant life, deep wisdom, and compassionate living." As a practice that evolved to harmonize with the realities of everyday life, Shin Buddhism will be particularly attractive to contemporary Western readers.
The Thirty-seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva
Author: Dilgo Khyentse
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
What would be the practical implications of caring more about others than about yourself? This is the radical theme of this extraordinary set of instructions, a training manual composed in the fourteenth century by the Buddhist hermit Ngulchu Thogme, here explained in detail by one of the great Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twentieth century, Dilgo Khyentse. In the Mahayana tradition, those who have the courage to undertake the profound change of attitude required to develop true compassion are called bodhisattvas. Their great resolve—to consider others’ needs as paramount, and thus to attain enlightenment for the sake of all living creatures—carries them beyond the limits imposed by the illusions of "I" and "mine," culminating in the direct realization of reality, transcending dualistic notions of self and other. This classic text presents ways that we can work with our own hearts and minds, starting wherever we find ourselves now, to unravel our small-minded preoccupations and discover our own potential for compassion, love, and wisdom. Many generations of Buddhist practitioners have been inspired by these teachings, and the great masters of all traditions have written numerous commentaries. Dilgo Khyentse’s commentary is probably his most extensive recorded teaching on Mahayana practice. For more information about the author, Dilgo Khyentse, visit his website at www.shechen.org.
A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice
Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
A radical approach to studying the mind. Renowned Buddhist philosopher B. Alan Wallace reasserts the power of shamatha and vipashyana, traditional Buddhist meditations, to clarify the mind's role in the natural world. Raising profound questions about human nature, free will, and experience versus dogma, Wallace challenges the claim that consciousness is nothing more than an emergent property of the brain with little relation to universal events. Rather, he maintains that the observer is essential to measuring quantum systems and that mental phenomena (however conceived) influence brain function and behavior. Wallace embarks on a two-part mission: to restore human nature and to transcend it. He begins by explaining the value of skepticism in Buddhism and science and the difficulty of merging their experiential methods of inquiry. Yet Wallace also proves that Buddhist views on human nature and the possibility of free will liberate us from the metaphysical constraints of scientific materialism. He then explores the radical empiricism inspired by William James and applies it to Indian Buddhist philosophy's four schools and the Great Perfection school of Tibetan Buddhism. Since Buddhism begins with the assertion that ignorance lies at the root of all suffering and that the path to freedom is reached through knowledge, Buddhist practice can be viewed as a progression from agnosticism (not knowing) to gnosticism (knowing), acquired through the maintenance of exceptional mental health, mindfulness, and introspection. Wallace discusses these topics in detail, identifying similarities and differences between scientific and Buddhist understanding, and he concludes with an explanation of shamatha and vipashyana and their potential for realizing the full nature, origins, and potential of consciousness.
For the millions of people who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. From bestselling author, neuroscientist, and “new atheist” Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the increasingly large numbers of people who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds. Throughout the book, Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives—and, therefore, that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow. Waking Up is part seeker’s memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous sceptic—could write it.