Saturday, December 10, 2016

Quote from A River Flows from Eden

A River Flows From Eden: The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar

by Melila Hellner-Eshed, translated from the Hebrew by Nathan Wolski

Stanford University Press, Berkeley, California        ©2009      469 pp.



"The world of mystical experience in the Zohar transpires amid the adventures of its heroes: Rabbi Shim'on bar Yahai and his circle of students. Through these figures and their stories, we are acquainted with the religious-emotional spirit that motivates and arouses them to create, expound, and act. In order to understand this world of experience, we first need to be familiar with the composition's heroes, and with the way they understand themselves and their destiny.  (p. 29)


-- quote submitted by Jennifer Knight






To visit the blog and see more reviews and quotes from books in the collection of Center for Sacred Sciences' Library, click here https://centerforsacredscienceslibrary.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I Give You My Life

I Give You My Life: The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist Nun

by Ayya Khema

Shambala Publications, Boston, Massachusetts    ©1998    200 pp.


Ay yi yi, Ayya Khema! Whadda Life! She did/had it “all”, before she became, at age 58, the first Western woman to be ordained as a Theravadin Buddhist nun.

Born Isle Kussel, in 1923, in Berlin, into a prosperous Jewish family, she fled the Nazis to Scotland in 1938, then later rejoined her family in China, where she survived the Japanese invasion. She was married twice, had two children, lived as a suburban housewife in L.A., traveled up the Amazon, built a power plant in Pakistan, did organic farming in Australia, and traveled the world over - among other things!

In her forties, meetings with spiritual masters in India led her to a spiritual life. After becoming a nun, she founded a monastery, the “Nuns Island” in Sri Lanka. Finally, coming full circle, she returned to Germany and founded the Buddha-haus im Allgau near Munich, where she died in 1997 at the age of 74.

Ayya Khema published 25 books from her talks, the two best-known in English being Where the Iron Eagle Flies and Being Nobody, Going Nowhere (both also in the CSS library). Her teachings focus on the “meditative absorptions” (see Iron Eagle) and how we can live our lives fraught with Buddhist compassion and wisdom.

About becoming a nun, she says “. . . I had more or less had and tried everything. What did the world still have to offer me? The world does not bring one inner peace and inner happiness, because everything that happens in the world is impermanent." This recognition was undoubtedly gleaned at an early age from her experiences of the suffering implicit in loss when she and her family fled Germany.

Few spiritual teachers have led such a full and varied life before embarking on their paths. Khema’s story is fascinating - a great spiritual autobiography!

— reviewed by Karen Fierman

To visit the blog and see more reviews and quotes from books in the collection of Center for Sacred Sciences' Library, click here http://centerforsacredscienceslibrary.blogspot.com  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Quote from The Legend of Saint Nicholas

The Legend of Saint Nicholas

by Demi

Margaret K. McElderry Books, New York, New York        © 2003     40pp. 


Nicholas was born to noble
Christian parents, Johanna and
Epiphanes, in around the year
A.D. 280 in Patara, Lycia, in
Asia Minor, which is now Turkey.

As soon as he was born,
Nicholas showed amazing and
miraculous powers. On his very
first day he stood up in his bath
and prayed to God!




-- submitted by Jennifer Knight 


To visit the blog and see more reviews and quotes from books in the collection of Center for Sacred Sciences' Library, click here http://centerforsacredscienceslibrary.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quote from Seeds for a Boundless Life

Seeds for a Boundless Life: Zen Teachings from the Heart

by ZenKei Blanche Hartman

Shambhala Publications, Boston, Massachusetts    © 2015     192 pp.  


"Beginner's mind is Zen practice in action. It is the mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgments and prejudices. Beginner's mind is just present to explore and observe and see 'things as they are.' I think of beginner's mind as the mind that faces life like a small child, full of curiosity and wonder and amazement. 'I wonder that this is? I wonder what that is? I wonder what this means?' Without approaching things with a fixed point of view or a prior judgment, just asking 'What is it?'

I was having lunch with Indigo, a small child at City Center. He saw an object on the table and got very interested in it. He picked it up and started fooling with it: looking at it, putting it in his mouth, and banging on the table with it -- just engaging with it without any previous idea of what it was. For Indigo, it was just an interesting thing, and it was a delight to him. You and I would see it and say, 'It's a spoon. It sits there and you use it for soup.' It doesn't have all the possibilities that he finds in it.

Watching Indigo, you can see the innocence of 'What is it?'

Can we look at our lives in such a way? Can we look at all of the aspects of our lives with this mind, just open to seeing what there is to see? I don't know about you, but I have a hard time doing that. I have a lot of habits of mind -- I think most of us do. Children begin to lose that innocent quality after a while, and soon they want to be 'the one who knows.'

We all want to be the who knows. . . "  (p. 3)


-- submitted by Jennifer Knight

To visit the blog and see more reviews and quotes from books in the collection of Center for Sacred Sciences' Library, click here https://centerforsacredscienceslibrary.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Book Club - December 1st: Ramana Maharshi


Book Club -- December 2016 -- Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge by Arthur Osborne

Hosted by the Center for Sacred Sciences Library
When: Thursday, December 1, 2016
Time: 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Where: 5440 Saratoga Street, Eugene, OR 97405 USA



Description: For December's meeting we will discuss the life of Sri Ramana Maharshi. The best book on his life is by Arthur Osborne, and some alternate selections include:









The Life and Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
by T. S. Anantha Murthy
 




The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words Paperback

 






The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, forward by C.G. Jung





Feel free to read something else related and bring it with you to discuss and share with others. New members welcome.

To visit the book club page and see what we've read and are thinking of reading click here http://centerforsacredscienceslibrary.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_9.html

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Start Where You Are


Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
by Pema Chodron 

Shambhala Publications, Boston, Massachusetts   © 1994   154 pp.



An American Buddhist nun, and director of Gampo Abbey, the first Tibetan monastery established for westerners, Pema draws on her long association with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and the ancient but ever-relevant practice of tonglen meditation and accompanying lojong slogans to teach us how to open our hearts. Geared especially to those “living in times of darkness,” this book is indispensable to anyone on a spiritual path. Readers are gently invited to connect with their own suffering, embrace the “messy” parts of their lives, drop the story-lines, and lighten up!

-- reviewed by Megan Greiner



To visit the blog and see more reviews and quotes from books in the collection of Center for Sacred Sciences' Library, click here http://centerforsacredscienceslibrary.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Quote from The Road to Emmaus

The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life

by Jim Forest

Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, New York     © 2007     190 pp.






One could spend long hours making lists of great human achievements--from the wheel to the great cathedrals to the discovery of DNA and the development of computers--and yet leave out one of the most important attainments because it is too obvious, too ordinary, and too ancient: the road.   (p. 1)

-- review submitted by Jennifer Knight









To visit the blog and see more reviews and quotes from books in the collection of Center for Sacred Sciences' Library, click here https://centerforsacredscienceslibrary.blogspot.com