The Buddhist Review

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Summer 1992

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In This Issue



Shakyamuni Buddha: A Life Retold

The Man Who Woke Up

Buddhism begins with a man. In his later years, when India was afire with his message and kings themselves were bowing before him, people came to him even as they were to come to Jesus asking what he was. How many people have provoked this question—not “Who are you?” with respect to name, origin, or ancestry, […]

By Huston Smith


Books in Brief

History of Indian Buddhism: from the Origins to the Saka Era By Etienne Lamotte. Translated by Sara Webb-Boin, under the supervision of Jean Dantinne. Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain: Louvain, 1991. 870 pp. $95.00 (paperback). Etienne Lamotte (1903-1983) was a renowned scholar of Buddhism and disciple of La Vallee-Poussin, the founder of the Belgian school […]

By Stuart Smithers


Money and the Meaning of Life

Money and the Meaning of LifeBy Jacob Needleman. Doubleday: New York, 1991. 321 pp. $20.00 (hardcover). “Tether your camel, then talk of God,” goes the old desert saying. Perhaps you know people who could use that advice—people who are afraid of the marketplace and find it distasteful. They are uneasy with its compromises and distracted by […]

By Paul Harris


MindScience: An East-West Dialogue

MindScience: An East-West DialogueEdited by Daniel Goleman and Robert A. F. Thurman. Wisdom Publications: Boston, 1991.126 pp. $12.50 (paperback).   In the spring of 1991, East met West in a one-day symposium on the nature of mind. Intended as a first step in promoting dialogue among Buddhist scholars—including His Holiness the Dalai Lama—and Western psychologists, psychiatrists, educators, […]

By Barbara Graham


The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentary on the Therigatha

The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentary on the Therigatha By Susan Murcott Parallax Press: Berkeley, 1991. 219 pp. $15.00 (paperback). The First Buddhist Women, Susan Murcott’s translations and commentary on the Therigatha, is a compelling and poignant record of the poems of the Therigatha. (Literally, Therigatha is “verses of old women,” but Murcott suggests that theri here translates not simply […]

By George-Thérèse Dickenson


The Code of the Warrior: In History, Myth, and Everyday Life

The Code of the Warrior: In History, Myth, and Everyday LifeBy Rick Fields. HarperCollins: New York, 1991. 339 pp. $15.00 (paperback). An ancient Chinese curse says “May you be born in an interesting time!” This epithet hangs over the inhabitants of the twentieth century, an era where not only war threatens our existence, but pollution, greed, overpopulation, […]

By Pat Gorman


Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber

Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber By Ken Wilber. Shambhala Publications: Boston, 1991.413 pp. $25.00 (hardcover). When Ken Wilber and Treya Killam met in 1983, it was “love at first touch.” They married shortly thereafter, and almost immediately learned that Treya had breast cancer. Grace and Grit is the story of […]

By Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker


The Whole World Is A Single Flower: 365 Kong-ans for Everyday Life

The Whole World Is A Single Flower: 365 Kong-ans for Everyday LifeWith questions and commentary by Zen Master Seung Sahn. Edited by Jane McLaughlin and Paul Muenzen. Charles E. Tuttle Company: Rutland, Vermont, 1992.244 pp. $16.95 (paperback). A kong-an (Korean for koan) collection does not exactly lend itself to a conventional book review. And merely creating a […]

By Lou Nordstrom

Dharma Talk

The First Precept

To refrain from killing is the first Buddhist precept. The Theravada tradition of Southeast Asia interprets this precept in terms that parallel a Western sense of morality: there is a clear-cut distinction between killing and not killing in which the existence of a breathing, moving being either comes to its end—or doesn’t. In this view, […]

By Sulak Sivaraksa


Narrow Road to the Interior

Narrow Road to the InteriorBy Matsuo Basho. Translated by Sam Hamill. Shambhala Publications: Boston, 1991.105 pp. $10.00 (paperback). As Sam Hamill reminds us in the preface to this lucid and engaging translation, Basho’s haibun—brief prose combined with haiku—is a “return to natural, spiritual, and literary origins.” Hamill’s translation, a gift of careful attention, does not separate poetry […]

By Margaret Gibson


The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism

The Nyingma School of Tibetan BuddhismBy Dudjom Jigdal Yeshe Dorje Volume 1: The Translations, 973 pp. Book 1: Fundamentals of the Nyingma School Book 2: History of the Nyingma School Volume 2: Reference Material, 485 pp. Translated and edited by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein. Wisdom Publications: Boston, 1991. 132 line drawings, 88 color plates, 11 […]

By Steven D. Goodman


Thai Women in Buddhism

Thai Women in Buddhism By Chatsumarn Kabilsingh.  Parallax Press: Berkeley, 1991. 110 pp. $12.00 (paperback) Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, professor of Religion and Philosophy at Thammasat University in Bangkok, has written a book as skillful as a surgeon’s knife, and with the healing potential of ancient herbalist lore. In this case, the troubled body is nothing less than […]

By Diana N. Rowan


Monkey: A Journey to the West

Monkey: A Journey to the WestRetold by David Kherdian. Shambhala Publications: Boston, 1992. 184 pp. $10.00 (paperback). Good things aren’t as hard to come by as our current economic gloom may suggest. A beautiful retelling of Monkey, the remarkable sixteenth-century Chinese fable, can be had virtually for the price of a movie ticket. The most familiar version […]

By Janwillem van de Wetering

In the News

In the News Summer 1992

AMNESTY TAKES ON CHINA Amnesty International, the human rights advocacy group, is launching a campaign in May to bring greater attention to the atrocities cited by Tibetan prisoners of conscience. Amnesty has evidence of over one hundred prisoners of conscience in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, including Buddhist monks and nuns incarcerated for peacefully advocating Tibet’s independence […]

By Tricycle


Letters to the Editor Summer 1992

TAKEN TO TASK I had thought one of the commitments of Tricycle was to document and extend the presence of women in Buddhism. Of the ten feature articles in your third issue, only one, the editor’s piece on abortion, has anything to do with women. Granted, Buddhism is a male tradition. At this rate, I […]

By Tricycle

Editors View

Speaking of Silence

Recently I had the happy occasion to introduce two old friends whose lives had been informed by the Cistercian monk, Father Louis, better known as Thomas Merton. Both had grown up in Episcopalian families; one had converted to Catholicism and later became a Tibetan Buddhist, and the other is in training to be a Zen teacher […]

By Helen Tworkov


Tasting Darkness

Whenever I sith with a bowl of soup before me, listening to the murmur that penetrates like the far-off shrill of an insect, lost in contemplation of flavors to come, I feel as if I were being drawn into a trance. The experience must be something like that of the tea master who, at the sound […]

By Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
calligraphy of the bodhisattva vows

On Translation

The Bodhisattva Vows

  The Great Vows, known as the Bodhisattva Vows, probably originated in China around the sixth century and may have been derived from an earlier Sanskrit gatha (a four-line verse that sums up an aspect of the dharma, and is often a vow). At the turn of the eighth century we find Chinese Zen master […]

By Robert Aitken
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