How do we begin to practice? Even by asking this question, have we already begun? In these selections, teachers, poets, and practitioners—from today and centuries past—offer their reflections on beginning practice. Travel on a freighter to Tahiti with Tibetan scholar Jeffrey Hopkins as he recounts his first awakening experience—and travel to the places that scare you with lay practitioner Paige Arnoldson. Have you ever thought about practicing instead of actually doing it? So has longtime Vipassana teacher Sharon Salzberg. Do you think, “My life is good as it is?” Bhante Henepola Gunaratana has some words of wisdom for you. Tangle your eyebrows with your ancestral teachers and Robert Aitken Roshi and laugh at Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s unexpected counsels to beginning students. But whatever you do, as ancient Tibetan mystic Godrakpa warns, don’t be too late to practice the divine dharma.


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