bib1Essence of the Heart Sutra:
The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Wisdom Teachings
By Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Wisdom Publications; Boston, 2002
192 pp.: $22.95 (cloth)

In the spring of 2001, the Dalai Lama gave teachings on the Heart Sutra, the seminal Buddhist text on the nature of emptiness, to an audience of eight thousand in California. This book presents the complete text of those teachings, in which His Holiness emphasizes that emptiness and selflessness lead to compassion rather than to nihilism. The book also includes background information on Buddhism anddiscussions of bodhicitta, or “awakened mind,” and the place of religion in today’s world.

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Being Zen:

Bringing Meditation to Life
By Ezra Bayda
Shambhala Publications Boston. 2002
144 pp.; $21.95 (cloth)

Ezra Bayda steers clear of Buddhist terminology and grounds his advice in life as it’s actually lived. In his practice-oriented book, Bayda provides advice for cultivating this active awakening, from beginning a meditation practice, to integrating practice into our emotional lives, to developing compassion. The willingness to be present, he argues, is not a passive resignation but rather a readiness to examine our beliefs as we embrace each moment of our lives. “For isn’t this what we all want” Bayda asks, “to develop equanimity that arises when we can willingly be with our life as it is?”

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