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Buddhadharma : Winter 2017
book briefs 121 In mIndFully FacIng dIsease and deaTh (Windhorse 2016), Bhikkhu Analayo brings his usual blend of scholarly erudition and practical vision to the morbid inevitabilities of human life. Fram- ing suffering as a disease, he draws on early Buddhist texts to chart a “cure” in the form of mindful living, starting with the four truths and the eightfold path. He argues that these foundational Buddhist teachings allow us to cultivate a healthy mind in spite of a sick body, remaining aware of the “fluctuating physical sensations of pain” without succumbing to the natural impulse to own this pain as “mine.” He also looks to early Buddhist works for guidance on palliative care. In one passage, the Buddha offers advice to laypeople on how to care for the sick and dying: help them gradually let go of their attachments to family, friends, and possessions and stay by their side to encourage them as they make progress. Analayo notes that this process can happen naturally if the dying allow the full implications of mortality to work on their minds. Is realization cultivated over time, or does it happen in an instant? In Robert Buswell’s numInous awareness Is never dark (Hawai’i 2016), the answer from Korean master Chinul (1158–1210) is not as simple as selecting one or the other. Chinul’s Excerpts, which Buswell introduces, translates, and calls “the single most influential work ever written by a Korean author,” offers an approach that involves both sudden awakening and gradual cultivation. Chinul argues that an ini- tial moment of insight occurs when we recognize that our own nature is identical to that of all the buddhas; however, our practice is usually too underdeveloped to sustain such an enlightened perspective. Train- ing and moral cultivation therefore become essential for removing our “residual proclivities” and applying the understanding gained from this first moment of awakening to our everyday experience. Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959) mastered a vast number of practice traditions from across Tibetan Buddhism’s lin- eages and mentored many of the lamas who would work to establish Tibetan Buddhism in exile. The lIFe and TImes oF Jamyang khy- enTse chökyI lodrö (Shambhala 2017) brings us personal stories about this influential figure collected by Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche as well as a translation of Chökyi Lodrö’s spiritual biography authored by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, complete with archival photographs. From his early years as a recognized reincarnation of the Rime master Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (something he denied and deemed impos- sible), to his establishment of the now legendary Khamje Shedra monastic college in eastern Tibet, to his controversial taking of a con- sort, the stories in this volume reveal (to echo Dzongsar Khyentse’s introduction) the man as much as they do the master, making this a fascinating and intimate read.