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This new E. book, A Search for Meaning, Connecting with Buddhist Teachers has been published from a paperbook edition (Simon and Schuster) to an E. book on Amazon, Smashwords and Apple. To BUY THE BOOK, scroll to the end of the article for website links. It makes great reading and also is a fabulous present for the upcoming holidays! Read some of the book below.
Would you like to write a review on Amazon and Apple? If so, please do.
This book is about people just like us, tell their stories of discovering the true meaning of Life through meeting a Buddhist teacher. Love, sexuality, relationships, spirituality, money, fame and power are topics that frequently interest us. These are modern, contemporary stories of love and relationships, happiness and devotion grounded in an ancient tradition established 2,500 years ago with the birth of Buddhism. These Buddhist secrets were closed to the rest of the world until 1959. It was thought that Tibet was the hidden land, sometimes called Shangri La, a mythical kingdom which in Tibetan means, ‘the sun and moon in heart.’ In the West we have developed technologically but in the isolated land of Tibet, the mind was developed to a degree unknown to us.
The book includes many nationalities, including African, Asian, Americans and Australians, English, French, German and Swiss etc. The students of Sogyal Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and His Holiness, the Gyalwang Drukpa have a cross section of different backgrounds and jobs, religions, race, sexuality and life situations. They include the author of ‘Facing Death and Finding Hope,’ who was President and Director of a hospice in California. Also a mother who was a caterer and interior designer for George Harrison of the Beatles. There is also an osteopath and naturopath, a translator and editor; a dentist; a designer, a psychotherapist, a television and newspaper columnist and an opera singer.
Michael, an English osteopath say’s;
“I discovered I wasn’t the person I thought I was, but I also didn’t know who I was. The concepts and ideas I held about myself were quite challenged. What I thought I wanted to do in the world and what I expected had all changed. On the surface I appeared to be doing all right but inside there was a volcano of unresolved emotions and confusion about how to live honestly and authentically. For many years I was searching and looking at different psychotherapy models, bodywork therapies and meditation.”
They talk openly and honestly about the joys and challenges of meditation, making mistakes, doubt and anger, being gay in a Buddhist community, the position of women, unpredictability and impermanence and trust and fear. They explain their understanding of the profound love of devotion and compassion, habitual patterns, ego, therapy, relationships and addiction. They describe the journey of their relationship with their teacher and in their communities. They talk about life and death in a heart-warming and sometimes heartbreaking way.
Ross, a well known dentist, who was the Director of Sogyal Rinpoche’s organisation in Sydney for many years is a an intellectual, busy, organised and practical person with a ‘let’s get on with it’ attitude and seemingly quite uncomfortable with emotions. However, talks about when he was going through a difficult time in his life. He went for a run to try and clear his head and had a vision of his teacher in the sky in front of him. In the vision his Buddhist teacher “just looked at me, a big beaming smile on his face, and said something that I had never heard him say before. He said, ‘It’s not so serious.’ Something clicked. It’s not so serious. The whole thing was not so serious, and he just broke it for me there in the vision. From that time on, even though it was a very difficult time in my life, I sorted it out.”
Relationships are often an area where we can experience issues. Mal who had struck me as more suited to the rugby oval, with his height and broad shoulders, rather than chanting sacred texts talks about his dreams and relationships.
“Love is one of the most beautiful emotions but, in its temporal form, it carries with it so much baggage. Love, as we know it in everyday society, is guaranteed to cause suffering, because of our attachment. We only have to break up from a relationship, even amicably, to know how attached we are. The day feels empty, the room is empty, we are unhappy. We don’t want to suffer, we only want the nice side.”
Dominique, an English editor and translator also describes how it helped her in relationships.
I remember when I first discovered how I could actually use the practice to transform my unhappy moods and emotions. I felt for the first time that I had tools in my own hands….This happened for the first time in Paris in 1982. I was in a relationship that was not going very well. I was miserable and crying all the time. We were taught a meditation where as I did this, it was the first time I had ever experienced that it was transforming me. It was so nourishing to feel the blessings coming into me that I stopped crying. It marked a crucial turning point, when I found that you can actually use the methods to help yourself.
Christine who became a pioneer in the hospice movement in America after her husband died now trains people on the care of the dying throughout America, Canada, Europe and Australia. She describes how in meditation there is the feeling of relief and freedom you have when you are able to bring your mind to rest in its true nature. “Imagine your negative patterns and emotional suffering are like being stuck outside on a terrifically hot and muggy day, and the atmosphere is so hot and oppressive that you cannot bear to be in it. Meditation practice is like going through the glass doors of an airport and then ‘Whoosh!’ you are in this wonderful air-conditioned hall. You feel the cool relaxation and ease and all your cares just fall away in this vast and open space.”
Dr Julie Henderson, an American somatic psychotherapist describes how being with a Buddhist teacher flips our card of attention away from ourselves.
Deflecting attention away from me, me, me, and resting it instead in that awakened state as much as we can for as long as we can. Initially when we meet this state in another being, we may indeed be thrilled for us, again me, me, me. How marvelous for me that love is real, how wonderful that love and wisdom are paying attention to me. Fortunately, as we soak more and more in the presence of this state, we begin to be changed by it (as we are changed by whatever we pay persistent attention to). Gradually the whole process becomes less about us and what we want.”
Students openly reveal their experiences with their teachers on their spiritual path. The process of transformation can be a lifelong journey, or paradoxically we can ‘wake up’ in a moment! They talk about developing trust and confidence to do things, as well as get things wrong. Learning to both succeed and to fail. “I regard this as a true gift as, for many of us, the fear of failure is what drives us.”
The book includes stunning photographs of the teachers. The picture on the front cover of the book is of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. The foreword is written by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, a renowned Buddhist Teacher as well as the Director of the award winning movie, ‘The Cup’ and his recent movie, ‘Vara, The Blessing’. Sogyal Rinpoche who wrote ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ and has Buddhist centres all around the world, hand painted the calligraphy for the book. He has sold over 2 million copies of his book in 56 countries.
The Gyalwang Drukpa, Head of the Drukpa Kargyu lineage is the Founder of the acclaimed global Live to Love Charity. He is also the founder and spiritual Director of The Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, India. It is built on ecological principles of sustainability and has received many international awards.
These deeply personal and honest stories are each unique, yet they demonstrate common threads of openness, commitment and willingness to explore and change and be open to exciting challenges.
Rod worked for a number of years in advertising and marketing, until he decided he didn’t like big business very much. He then started a health food store and currently works as a masseur, teaches T’ai Chi and runs stress management courses. He has also developed meditation and relaxation programs for passengers of Qantas Airways He say’s, “Everything seemed to hold a promise of happiness, like mastering a yoga posture or buying a new car or progressing in business. Society kept promising me satisfaction and yet when I’d consumed the next promise, it never fixed it. There was momentary elation in my successes but there was no ongoing feeling of happiness.
BUY THE BOOK
If you wish to buy the original paperback version, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can find the book on Amazon by clicking here.
- For Apple iTunes click here.
- For Smashwords click here.