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Buddhadharma : Win 2012
WINTER 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 81 image from the Sri Lankan Theravada tradition is that of the Buddha as a mother, breastfeeding the milk of the dharma to her suckling sangha children. Ohnuma also touches upon the roles of the Buddha’s mother and foster mother in his life, as well as how motherhood itself was understood as a spiritual practice within early Buddhism. The Essential Journey of Life and Death (Dharma Samudra 2012) is a two-volume com- panion set compiled from teachings that were given over two decades by the late Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche on Tibetan practices for dying and moving beyond death. Volume one includes remembrances of the life and teachings of Khenchen Palden Sherab, who passed away in June 2010. Together, the two volumes cover four main top- ics: the six bardos, or interme- diary states between this life and the next; the zhitro practices of recogniz- ing peaceful and wrathful deities in the bardo; dream yoga; and phowa, or the transference of consciousness at the moment of death. The authors both instruct and invite their audience to contemplate these teachings. In discussing dream yoga, for instance, they ask the reader to consider what it would be like if there were no difference between daydreams and night dreams. They describe medi- tations such as lying the body on its side in the “lion’s pos- ture” and visualizing a fat red lotus emerging in full bloom. Teachings such as these, spe- cific to the Nyingma lineage of the Longchen Nyingtik, are explained in great detail throughout the two volumes and are comple- mented by visualization aids, as well as translated sadhana texts in the appendixes. The Ceasing of Notions (Wisdom 2013) is a translation of an early Zen text along with com- mentary by the late Japanese Rinzai Zen master Soko Morinaga Roshi (1925–1995). Discovered as a manuscript buried in the Dunhuang Caves along the Silk Road in western China, this text originated from the Ox-head school of early Chan Buddhism and was important for Japa- nese Zen. In the same genre of Zen writing as the Blue Cliff Record and the Gateless Gate, this work is presented as a dialogue in a series of koans. Questions about the practice of Buddhism are put forth by a novice named Emmon and are followed by enigmatic responses by his teacher, Nyuri. This set of direct and stimulating queries allows the novice to shed his notions about what is real and recognize his ever-present buddhahood. As Soko Morinaga Roshi metaphorically points to in his commentary, once “the dirt of delusions” is washed off with the “soap of the teachings,” there is “no smell of Zen, no ideology, no phi- losophy, no Buddha.” How to Practice Dharma (Lama Yeshe Wis- dom Archive 2012) is a collection of teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on the eight worldly dhar- mas: pleasure and pain, praise and blame, fame and disgrace, gain and loss. Renouncing these eight worldly dharmas, Lama Zopa suggests, is the core message of Buddhism. These worldly dharmas serve as parameters or guideposts for the Buddhist practitioner to avoid falling into extremes. Throughout the book, Lama Zopa makes the point that not only does looking for happiness under the sway of these dharmas fail to bring happiness but it is also often self-destructive. Maitreya’s Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes (AIBS 2012) is a study and translation of the classic Indian Buddhist scripture, the Mad- hyantavibhaga, along with its commentary by Vasubhandu. It is one of The Five Treasuries that was received by the fourth-century Indian master Asanga from the future Buddha Maitreya and is a seminal Mahayana Buddhist canonical work. The text itself details in its verses some of the key doc- trines found in the Yogacara school of Buddhist philosophy. These include the understanding that there is an underlying “storehouse” conscious- ness that serves as a repository for karmic seeds that eventually blossom into the fruits of ordinary waking delusions. Although terse and technical, Mario D’Amato’s introduction elucidates the major themes of this work, making his translation of the root text and its commentary more enjoyable. ALSO NEW AND NOTEWORTHY Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh (Harper One) The First Karmapa translated by David Karma Choepel and Michele Martin (KTD) Thunderous Silence by Dosung Yoo (Wisdom) Hunger Mountain by David Hinton (Shambhala) Excursions into the Thought-World of the Pali Discourses by Bhikkhu Analayo (Pariyatti) How Buddhism Acquired a Soul on the Way to China by Jungnok Park (Equinox) Splendid Presence of the Great Guhyagarbha by Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal (Dharma Samudra) Bright Moon, White Clouds: Selected Poems of Li Po translated by J.P. Seaton (Shambhala) Introducing Tibetan Buddhism by Geoffrey Samuel (Routledge) Consciousness, Knowledge, Ignorance by Bina Gupta (AIBS)