Month: August 2016

Teens and Drug Rx Permission

Trojan to the rescue!

[Another older article – too bad I can’t say we don’t see this type of behavior or measures being presented around the U.S.]

There’s an article in the Arizona Daily Star about a bill being presented by another one of our fine state congressional representatives that would provide additional male control over women.

The Daily Star article reports that State House Representative (Phoenix Republican, Stephen Tully) is proposing with HB 2707 that females 18 and under must have parent permission before they can get a drug prescription filled. An thinly veiled attempt to limit teen girls’ access to birth control pill prescription. Actually, this is not veiled at all! Some red-neck father, who probably doesn’t want to share his daughter’s ass with anyone else outside of the family, was incensed that his daughter had a birth control prescription. How dare she give it up to someone else!

This Tully is just another dumb-ass white guy who apparently hasn’t read teen pregnancy stats (LINK= TITLE: We’re number 2 with a bullet) lately — some report that Arizona is second highest in teen pregnancy, some report AZ as number 3 (Planned Parenthood.) He for sure hasn’t paid any attention to teen drop-out rate for Arizona teen girls. Tully is reported as saying that teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted disease infections are not as important as a parent’s right to know (read control) their daughter’s sexual health. White guy speak, “Our daughters aren’t sexually active, they’ve all taken the Abstinence Pledge and signed a holy contract with us not to drop trou at the first chance they get.” But they’re free to watch all the sex programming on TV, watch girls getting rubbed up in MTV videos; these impressionable teen girls won’t be affected by overt sexuality on TV, in fashion and lifestyle magazines, sex acts in school bathrooms.

Not that Tully, or the majority of the other Arizona legislators give a rat’s ass about education. They certainly don’t fund school districts throughout Arizona (well, qualify that as districts outside of the Phoenix area.)

So, here we are again with men dominating their women folk, telling women how they can take care of their bodies, what women are permitted to do with their bodies. There’s that bumper sticker again, “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” Keep the laws off of women’s bodies!

Tucson Housing Issues

Living Within Our Means

[An older post, from the pre-Obama Presidency, of some thoughts about the current state of life in Tucson and future possibilities.]

Central Tucson neighborhoods, around where I live, are changing and I think there are some very serious repercussions for my fellow citizens, especially folks who don’t own their own home.

Some of the current rash of TV shows on HGTV are all about the purchase of a home, doing some low budget renovations, and then selling for a significant profit with a quick turnover of houses (I’ve only recently seen the term, “flipping” used to describe this practice.) There was also an article in a recent (early August 2005) in the Tucson Daily Star where the “flipping” term was also used.

I’ve seen this happen before, but back then was known as real estate speculation and the gentrification of lower end neighborhoods. I saw this when I lived in San Francisco back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Housing costs went through the roof and low income folks where driven out of blue collar neighborhoods, resorting to residing in extremely high-crime, intense poverty ridden neighborhoods.

Everyone has a right to decent housing: to be safe and have a sense of security. Does everyone have a right to profit at the expense of their less fortunate citizens?

There’s the mindset of living with what you have, living within your means, being happy with your present situation of a comfortable life. Do we need the bigger house? Do we really need to drive the bigger car? the luxury car? Do we really have to accumulate more stuff? No, we don’t! The advertisers on TV and radio aren’t looking out for our best interests or even give a rat’s ass about our well-being or level of indebtedness–they just want to push a product, only pay attention to their corporate bottom line.

Is the concept of living in manner of being happy with what we have un-American? Are we here as citizens so we can help increase the earnings levels on the stock market? Is it our responsibility to keep General Motors, Ford, Archers-Daniel Midland, Beatrice Foods in business?

What if we turned things around and decided that American citizens, the very people who live here (and I mean all the people: poor, white, people of color, the rich, the middle income), were the most important and not our government’s policies or our President’s (GW Bush) values (or lack, thereof.) Novel thought, what?

Buddhism Bio

pre-Buddhist Years

buddha-sarnathA timeline of sorts about my discovery and connection to Buddhism and the Dharma.

Where do I begin? What attracted me to Buddhism? What drew me to continuing my study of the Dharma? Well, maybe a bit of personal history/background would provide a foundation for more historical info.

I come from a Catholic upbringing, the last of six kids, baptized as a Catholic, attended Catholic parochial schools until the end of my freshman year of high school. I was an altar boy during my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years and was never molested! Imagine that! I must be in the minority. So, never a squeal session under the cassock. I even had thoughts of becoming a Maryknoll missionary, going off to Africa (or some such) and being a priest. I went so far as to receive the Maryknoll’s propaganda magazines and attend some of the local seminary altar boy picnics. How exciting those were! Not! Imagine if you will… a bunch of pubescent, goody-goody boys running around playing softball, eating watermelon with priests and brothers. Zow! Ahh… the Age of Innocence.

Move forward to 8th grade graduation… I am awarded the “Most Religious” award from the pastor of the local church. His words to me as I accepted the little medal, “This is only the beginning.” A bit ominous, but true in many ways. What did he see in me?

In a word, warped! Not especially broken, but slightly bent, a little twisted. I went to an all-male Catholic college prep high school for my freshman year. One year was enough! Too damned much testosterone for my tastes. I stopped attending Catholic services my sophomore year of high school and rarely ever set foot in a Catholic church since then.

I grew up during the Vietnam war and was vehemently against the killing and destruction happening every day. My older brother was shipped off to ‘Nam and served during 1968-1969 year. I requested that a prayer be said for him and for his safety every day during my 8th grade school year. It was a horrible time. (He survived and returned physically unharmed.) I was classified 1-H in my senior year of high school. The 1-H classification is a “holding” category, my number would be up and I would have been put between a rock and a hard place, having to make a decision of serving (not freakin’ likely) or taking a little road trip to Canada.

My first real encounter with any teachings that was outside Catholic doctrine was when I read “Be Here Now” and “Grist For The Mill” by Ram Dass (Richard Alpert.) This was circa 1974. I was a little afraid of what I was reading, mostly concerned that Ram Dass’ words were somehow sacrilegious, I had no real previous exposure to teachings outside the scope of accepted Catholic doctrine. Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t a total innocent nor completely clueless. I had read Eldridge Cleaver’s “Soul on Ice” in 8th grade–the nuns were a little taken aback! I had attended anti-war demonstrations in my little home town, had numerous incidents of being chemically altered during my sophomore year in high school. I was deeply touched with Ram Dass’ obvious spirituality, how in touch he was with his connection to humanity; my lack of being totally cynical put me in a space where I was able to see the truth of his words. Ram Dass wrote beautifully and touched my heart, but I didn’t discern that he was providing any methods or practices I could use to make sense of my life and my place in the world.

A little side trip that was a real life-altering experience: my older brother, Michael, had AIDS and was seriously ill from AIDS-related opportunistic diseases. His partner received help with day-to-day care taking from a local San Francisco AIDS-support organization known as Shanti. I helped with respite care for my brother on a number of weekends and my heart was opened again, I rediscovered my compassion (or metta as it is known in Buddhism.)

I bring up Shanti because I later went through their volunteer/HIV-AIDS support training in my home town around 1992. This training was another vehicle that helped to open my heart, see beyond myself. I finished the training (one weekend of a Friday night, all-day Saturday, and the majority of a Sunday, and then an additional training session each week for eight weeks) and was chosen to be a volunteer. I was assigned my first HIV/AIDS client shortly thereafter. I worked with my client, Bo, being a listener, being an advocate for his health care, helping with errands, and finally being present while he died. My presence with Bo while he died was why I trained: he would have died alone.

I put my training to use again a year later when my mother was diagnosed with lymphoma, colon cancer and ended up in a coma in the hospital after surgery. She passed away right as I passed her a rosary: she closed her hand around the rosary and took her last breath and expired. I was fortunate to be with her and to help her move along.

Flash forward about two years… I picked up a small book by the Nobel Peace Prize winner Buddhist monk/teacher from Viet Nam named Thich Nhat Hanh. I found a great introduction to Buddhism and mindfulness in his The Long Road Turns to Joy guide to walking meditation.

The Great Auto Alliance

[An older story, but still quite relevant considering how little we’ve progressed in fuel efficiency.]

“Look at what we’re doing!”, says GM, Daimler/Benz, and BMW

The big boys are making nice-nice and pooling their smarts and monies together to develop foundation systems for future vehicles. But, about these vehicles: GM and Chrysler/Daimler-Benz just don’t get the point about conservation, fuel efficiency, being responsible corporate citizens helping to reduce greenhouse gases and the effects of global warming.

“We believe that our two-mode hybrid is the best of the hybrid systems,” Truckenbrodt said. “I think all three of us can say it’s truly amazing what you can get out of if you bring wild, dedicated engineers together.”

They’re so wild and thinking outside the box, huh? Wow, hybrid SUVs getting high 20/low 30s MPG – what innovation! Howz ’bout giving people an alternative to the huge death machines rolling down the road?

DaimlerChrysler plans to use the new hybrid system in its 2008 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle.

Ah-hemm… Durango?!? Really? This is our answer to the U.S. scaling back and becoming more fuel efficient?

GM will use the hybrid in versions of the Tahoe and Yukon SUVs it plans to make available at the end of 2007.

Again, these are huge beasts! Have you ever seen one of these muthas roll on top of a compact car?

BMW has not committed to a timetable for using the new engine system, but has said that it will make vehicles available with the upcoming hybrid engine system over the next three to five years.

BMW will kick both of GM and Chrysler/Daimler-Benz’ ass with a high performance and efficient vehicle.

TEP Methane From Landfill

Here’s a link to a story published in the Arizona Daily Star on 11/27/2005. The story really surprised me because the idea seems so simple, so novel, so forward-thinking, thinking outside the box. Who thought this idea up? Will TEP be a good citizen and use more of its resources to help make Tucson a better place to live?

Methane-gas use lets TEP cut back on coal

By Eric Swedlund
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.27.2005

In the six years since TEP began producing electricity from methane produced at the city’s Los Reales Landfill, the program has saved 100,000 tons of coal, the utility says.

The program launched in August 1999 when Tucson Electric Power reached an agreement to purchase the methane gas from the city. The methane, a natural emission created by decomposition in the landfill, is captured and piped about three miles to TEP’s H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station on East Irvington Road, said Joe Salkowski, a utility spokesman.

The program is mutually beneficial, with TEP cutting its coal use by burning methane and the landfill operators not having to deal with the hazardous byproduct.

TEP generates 5.5 megawatts of energy from burning the methane gas, enough power to serve 5,500 homes.

The boiler that TEP uses to burn both gas and coal generates 120 megawatts of power, so the methane program cuts coal consumption by 4.6 percent.

By burning less coal, TEP can reduce its emissions. The methane program has reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 870 tons and avoided the production of more than 145,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

And unlike other renewable energy sources, methane isn’t any more expensive than coal, Salkowski said. The city by law has to control landfill gas and assisting in providing clean energy is a benefit, said Nancy Petersen, deputy director for environmental services.

An Inconvenient Truth

[Here’s another older post from the time “An Inconvenient Truth” came out in the theaters. There does seem to be more and more acceptance for the theories Gore presented in the movie, fewer nut-jobs still refuting the solid evidence.]

nuke_cattenom-france_ccI originally viewed Vice-President Al Gore’s feature movie version of his PowerPoint-like presentation and book on global warming. I was stunned and was in awe at the information presented in “An Inconvenient Truth” and applaud our elected non-President Gore for his courage and fortitude in making all of the information covered in “Truth” available to us all and in an entertaining, yet thought-provoking manner.

The data presented in “Truth” was terrifying – melting glaciers all over the world, rising ocean levels, the intensity of storms. I was simply browsing through the RSS feeds of the Librarian Internet Index tonight and came across this article in the Global Warming section on the New Scientist web site about the Siberian tundra bogs turning into big slushy areas and open water lakes in an area the combined size of France and Germany.

The one point Gore made that spoke volumes was how of all the scientific reports about global warming not one refuted the data and scientific facts about the seriousness of global warming. Not one!

I was at a friends house the other night and a guest out-n-out stated that global warming is a myth, there’s no real proof — just a bunch of paranoids and whiners. No, the guest wasn’t George W.

The movie is available via different streaming services – highly recommend viewing it if you haven’t already seen it.

Mass Transit Options

I’ve had this vision in my head about buses, light-rail vehicles (LRVs), electric trolley buses running up and down the streets of Tucson. I expound upon my vision to anyone who will listen. Could that be why I don’t have many friends? Be a witness to my vision…

120px-sfrancisco_trolleyI lived in San Francisco for almost nine years from 1977 to 1986. I didn’t own a car for almost six years during that time and I loved it! I lived and worked and went to school in San Francisco, taking street cars, light rail, electric buses and diesel buses all over The City. I could stay out late, get home in the middle of the night and still be able to catch a bus. I visited S.F. for a few days this fall and rediscovered how creative San Francisco is, how much of a “can do!” kind of spirit is still alive. This is cool and totally awesome!

I was staying at my brother-in-law’s house in the Bernal Heights area and had taken the bus to that area many times in past years. The bus to that part of town was previously a diesel bus that strained to get up the steep hill to that neighborhood after winding its way through other areas such as the Fillmore, Western Addition, the Castro and Noe Valley, and down to Bayshore Blvd. These latter neighborhoods have fairly narrow streets, some steep hills–very tough on fueled buses. Turns out that S.F. decided to convert the diesel bus line to an electric trolley line–no easy task as I will describe.

An electric trolley bus in San Francisco typically has a set of poles attached to the roof of the bus. Each pole is connected to the rear of the bus via a cable on a reel. (I don’t know the terminology, please bear with me.) Both poles connect to a pair of wires running overhead that provide a connection to the electricity necessary to generate the power for the electric bus. The overhead wires are supported by guides and tracks around corners and intersections with other electric vehicles. The electric trolleys are quiet and clean running. They are quiet inside for passengers and quiet outside for residents of the neighborhoods the trolleys pass through. You hear the wires singing as the bus approaches and occasionally the wires rattling and shaking as the bus passes by. No diesel fumes in the air. No loud diesel engine grinding by while straining up a hill. The electric trolley bus is powerful: a bus full of people and it just plows its way up a hill–piece of cake! Can of corn! Easy as pie!

So, the city of San Francisco decided to retrofit this bus line with electricity and run the trolley through the narrow streets of the neighborhoods. This is sheer gumption! Someone had a huge set of cajones, let me tell you. It is quite a feat of engineering to design the system for this trolley, string up all the wires and support guides, connect all the tracks through the intersections so the bus can pass through and not loose its source of electrical power from the overhead wires. Brilliant! If San Francisco can overcome all of the obstacles in its path and put a clean running, quiet, environmentally sound bus line in place, why the hell can’t a city like Tucson do the same?

Tucson has these ridiculously wide streets for almost all of its arterial surface streets to carry all the cars commuting to work with single passengers. (Look at the lines of cars flying by and count how many of the them have more than one person in the car: 85%? 90%? 95%?) Most of these streets (Broadway, Speedway, 22nd St., Oracle, to name a few) have an existing right lane that is usually marked as a bus lane. How simple it would be to engineer the supports for the wires, string up the electrical system, put a bunch of new, clean buses on those lines. Tucson would have to have the vision of a city with fewer cars on the city streets, a city with a conscience: using less fossil fuels for private citizens to go between home and work. Tucson would have to promote the hell out of a project like this to get an increase in ridership, get people out of their cars for their commute.

So, where is the electrical power coming from? Yeah, Tucson does recover methane gases from the landfills and then uses the methane to be burned and power the turbines that produce electricity. That’s one way. How about passive solar array panels in “fields” around the city or drawing power from the Springerville solar project in the White Mountains that Tucson Electric Power (TEP) owns?

Of course, there will be the whiners and nay-sayers who state that they will loose their views of the surrounding mountains if all these overhead wires are in place. (Like they ever get out of their cars long enough to look for the mountains!) My response to this is: will you be able to see your mountains in a couple of years when all the smog produced by the increasing hordes of cars obscures the view?

What about the stress of driving in traffic? The wear-and-tear on your car taking you to/from work? The expense of your gassing up the car each week (well, hopefully only once a week–you are driving a car that gets over 30 MPG in the city, aren’t you?)

If enough buses are on the street, you won’t wait long for your connection. I lived off a street car line (the J Church line–ran past the Catholic church and school shown in the Whoopie Goldberg movie, “Sister Act”) and I had to wait 4-6 minutes during commute hours in the morning for the next streetcar to come along. The trip home at night was the same. Since I was downtown, other street cars for the other lines distributed throughout the city would come by every 2-3 minutes. Traveling was easy: I could read, look out the window, listen to my headphones. I was never accosted on any ride at any time in the years in which I took mass transit in San Francisco.

Stephen Farley has had a vision to have light rail vehicles in a few lines around Tucson. I say, that’s not bold enough! Tucson needs more and Tucson can do more! I have faith. The people have to hear about this and they have to want this: they have to understand the benefits, they have to understand how their quality of life will improve with fewer cars on the road, how they will meet more of their neighbors while riding the buses, appreciate their city and all it has to offer.

That’s my vision. I haven’t been locked up for it, yet…

Potent Quotes

Here are a number of quotes I’ve collected over the years that I considered “potent” — very significant or simply clarified some finer point of the Dharma.

Putting the Buddha’s discovery into practice is no quick fix. It can take years. The most important qualification at the beginning is a strong desire to change your life by adopting new habits and learning to see the world anew.
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Tricycle Fall 2001

Right now we have the ability to receive teachings and practice the Dharma. Isn’t this the right time? Wouldn’t that be better than continuing to act like an animal, concentrating only on eating and sleeping and letting time run out? Why not take your future into your own hands?
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Tricycle, Fall 2001

“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” conveys the message that no teacher can do our work for us and that extreme reverence for a teacher or a set of beliefs may keep us from reaching our own truth.
Sandy Boucher
Opening The Lotus, pg 9

Offering your body and mind to emptiness, or in other words, to the pure sense of human action.
Dainin Katagiri, Roshi
Returning To Silence (pg 9)

If you study Buddhism thinking that it will help you, that means that you use Buddhism for your ego, for selfishness. No matter how long you do this, it is egocentric practice. If you continue to practice like this you will never be satisfied, because desire is endless.
Dainin Katagiri, Roshi
Returning To Silence (pg 9)

…Do not use Buddhism for yourself. Offer your body and mind to the Buddha-dharma. Buddha is not divine. Buddha is your daily life.
Dainin Katagiri, Roshi
Returning To Silence (pg 9)

Certainty is our lens to interpret what’s going on, and, as long as our explanations work, we feel a sense of stability and security. But in a changing world, certainty doesn’t give us stability; it actually creates more chaos. As we stay locked in our position and refuse to adapt, the things we’d hoped would stay together fall apart. …By holding on, we destroy what we hope to preserve; by letting go, we feel secure in accepting what is.
Margaret Wheatley
Shambhala Sun, Nov. 2001, pg 17

The nature of ignorance is to lack deep communication with nature or with the universe. It is to separate, to isolate, to create discrimination and differences, so that finally we cannot communicate as a harmonious whole. These differences we create appear as fighting, anger, hatred, and war.
Dainin Katagiri, Roshi
Returning To Silence (pg 17)

An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t. It’s knowing where to go to find out what you need to know; and it’s knowing how to use the information once you get it.
William Feather

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Good Earth tea

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967

The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.

Renunciation does not have to be regarded as negative. I was taught that it has to do with letting go of holding back. What one is renouncing is closing down and shutting off from life. You could say that renunciation is the same thing as opening to the teachings of the present moment.
Pema Chodron
Tricycle Fall ’91 (pg 50)

Renunciation is realizing that our nostalgia for wanting to stay in a protected, limited, petty world is insane.
Pema Chodron
Tricycle Fall ’91 (pg 50)

“When I am accused of something that I didn’t do, I bow in acknowledgement of all the things that I did do.”
–quote attributed to R. H. Blythe
Tricycle, Fall ’91, (pg. 69)

….Evil is just deep unconsciousness–a terrible inability of people to comprehend the oneness of humanity. The willingness to war against other people is a consequence of this.
Bruce Joel Rubin
Tricycle Fall ’91 (pg. 79)

Three axioms arising from practice:

  1. The situation is not other than your mind;
  2. You don’t choose the situation, but can choose how to practice it;
  3. Any situation can take the form of wisdom and compassion.

Bonnie Myotai Treace, Sensei
Zen Mountain Monastery

…If we don’t see the end we don’t know what to do, or if the end is far away we become upset. When we think of how to master zazen or attain enlightenment or try to understand zazen as taught by the Buddha, we become exhausted. We can’t practice. Sometimes, when we feel lazy, we should think of those questions.
Dainin Katagiri, Roshi
Returning To Silence (pg 116)

They do not lament over the past, they yearn not for what is to come, they maintain themselves in the present, thus their complexion is serene
Samyutta Nikaya I, 5

To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify one’s mind-this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
Dhammapada 183

Look not to the faults of others, nor to their omissions and commissions. But rather look to your own acts, to what you have done and left undone.
Dhammapada 50

Buddhism teaches absolute equality which stemmed from Buddha’s recognition that all sentient beings possess this innate wisdom and nature. Therefore, there is no inherent difference among beings.
Rev. Chun Kin
“Buddhism Education”

A person’s true character is revealed by what he does when no one is watching.
Good Earth tea

When people say they are bored, often they mean that they don’t want to experience the sense of emptiness, which is also an expression of openness and vulnerability. … Fearlessness is a question of learning how to be. Be there all along…
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche<
Shambhala Sun, (pg 30)

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
Jack London

Contentment, unlike happlness, is not dependent upon our circumstancs. It is an inner perspective from which we are aware of the difficulties or problems of our lives without being emotionally controlled by them. Contentment is an experience of inner peace.
Matthew Flickstein
“Journey to the Center”, (pg 15)

I’ve learned that it’s better not to wait for a crisis to discover what’s important in your life.
“Live & Learn Pass It On”

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
Good Earth tea bag

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person-to-person.
Mother Teresa

Make an island of yourself, make yourself your refuge; there is no other refuge. Make truth your island, make truth your refuge; there is no other refuge.
Digha Nikaya, 16

The devil often cites Scripture for his purpose.
William Shakespeare
Rules For Writers, pg 475

May all creatures, all living things,
all beings one and all,
experience good fortune only.
May they not fall into harm.
Anguttara Nikaya II, 72

With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart:
Above, below, & all around,
unobstructed, without hostility or hate.
Sutta Nipata I, 8

“As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I.”
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.
Sutta Nipata 705

Buddhism Books

Here are some books on Buddhism I have read and recommend for visitors who are interested in furthering their knowledge and understanding of Buddhism. I’ve formatted this list as a table with a clickable link to the book offering on

Title Author ISBN # Description Amazon URL
Journey to the Center

Matthew Flickstein


This is your guide to deeper
insight and contentment. Using hands-on exercises, journal
entries, guided meditations, and stories, Matthew Flickstein
combines Eastern meditation techniques and methods of Western
psychotherapy to offer you this practical workbook for realizing
your greatest potential.

Link to “Journey to the Center”

A Path with Heart Jack Kornfield


One of my favorite books. Based on
Jack Kornfield’s dharma talks: full of great stories, insights,
observations, and recommendations about living in the modern
world and living an authentic life, following the path with
connections to our heart.

link to “A Path With Heart”
After the Ecstasy, the Laundry Jack Kornfield


This book offers a uniquely
intimate and honest understanding of how the modern spiritual
journey unfolds – and how we can prepare our hearts for

link to “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry”

A Heart as Wide as the World Sharon Salzberg


Sharon Salzberg reveals how our own happiness is found in the
capacity to open our hearts to others – and shows that this
capacity is far more vast than we may ever have thought possible.
Through meditation and the practice of lovingkindness, Salzberg
shows how we can discover our intimate connection to those around
us and to the world as a whole.

link to “A Heart as Wide as the World”

Lovingkindness : The Revolutionary Art of Happiness Sharon Salzberg


Sharon Salzberg shows us how we might systematically cultivate
lovingkindness in our lives. Given the pain and turmoil that we
often experience, the endemic misperceptions of the human mind
regarding who and what we are, and how we relate to the stress
and pain of our lives, practicing lovingkindness is an arduous
discipline – no less so than attending to one’s breathing or
observing the stream of one’s thought.

link to “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness”

Swallowing the River Ganges

Matthew Flickstein


A practical guide to the Path of Purification Amazon
link to “Swallowing the River Ganges”
The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching

Thich Nhat Hanh


One of my favorite dharma teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh.
Transforming suffering into peace, joy, and liberation.
link to “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching”
Awakening the Buddha Within : Tibetan Wisdom for the
Western World

Lama Surya Das


Lama Surya Das shows how we can awaken to who we really are in
order to lead a more compassionate, enlightened, and balanced
link to “Awakening the Buddha Within”
Selling Water by the River

Jiyu Kennet


Here is a fascinating inside view of the religious side of Zen
through a comprehensive manual of instruction for trainees.
link to “Selling Water by the River”
How to Meditate : A Practical Guide

Kathleen McDonald


What is meditation? Why practice it? Which technique is best
for me? How do I do it? The answers to these often-asked
questions are contained in this down-to-earth book.
link to “How to Meditate”
Phra Farang

Phra Peter Pannapadipo


Tells the story of Peter Robinson, a successful businessman,
who at forty five, gave up his comfortable life in London to
ordain as a Buddhist monk in Bangkok. But the new path he had
chosen was not always as easy or as straightforward as he hoped
it would be.
link to “Phra Farang”
Buddhism: A Way of Life and Thought

Nancy Wilson Ross


A great book that provides a clear, concise overview of
Buddhism, the different traditions and locations. Highly

link to “Buddhism – A Way of Life and Thought”

Bearing Witness: A Zen Master’s Lessons in Making Peace

Bernie Glassman


A wonderful book rich with practical and spiritual wisdom for
making peace in our hearts and in the world. How Glassman Roshi
was moved to start the Zen Peacemaker Order.
link to “Bearing Witness”
The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and

Philip Kapleau Roshi


This rich source book on Zen Buddhism includes Yasutani
Roshi’s Introductory Lectures on Zen practice and his private
instructions to ten Westerners studying Zen.
link to “The Three Pillars of Zen”
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Shunryu Suzuki


The mind of the beginner is needed throughout Zen practice. It
is the open mind, the attitude that includes both doubt and
possibility, the ability to see things always as fresh and new.
It is needed in all aspects of life. Beginner’s mind is the
practice of Zen mind.
link to “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”
Returning to Silence

Dainin Katagiri


Offers a basic understanding of Zen Buddhism. Special emphasis
on discovering the experience of enlightenment in the midst of
everyday life.
link to “Returning to Silence”
Opening the Lotus: A Woman’s Guide to Buddhism

Sandy Boucher


Do women take a unique approach to spirituality? What are the
elements of the Buddhist path, and what particular challenges
might a Western woman face in beginning a Buddhist practice? What
profound benefits does Buddhist practice offer to contemporary
link to “Opening the Lotus”
Everyday Zen

Charlotte Joko Beck


Offers a warm, engaging, uniquely American approach to using
Zen to deal with the problems of daily living – love,
relationships, work, fear, ambition, suffering. Beck shows how to
live each moment to the fullest.
link to “Everyday Zen”
The Miracle of Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh


This lucid and beautiful guide to Eastern meditation provides
Westerners with a method of learning the skills of mindfulness – of
being awake and fully aware.
link to “The Miracle of Mindfulness”
Touching Peace

Thich Nhat Hanh


Thich Nhat Hanh continues to develop the teachings on
practicing the art of mindful living begun in Being Peace.
link to “Touching Peace”
Nine-Headed Dragon River

Peter Matthiessen


This moving, highly personal story attempts to convey the
essence of the Zen experience as the journal shuttles between an
account of modern Zen masters in America, details of the Buddha’s
life, lyrical introspection and poetic recollections of Nepal,
Tibet, India and Japan.
link to “Nine-Headed Dragon River”
Zen Flesh Zen Bones

Paul Reps, Nyogen Senzaki


The essence of Zen–as a way of life, a religion, an
aesthetic–can be found in the works of the Zen canon. Reps draws
short stories and vignettes from such classic works as The
Gateless Gate and 101 Zen Stories to help listeners come closer
to answering the question: What is Zen?
link to “Zen Flesh Zen Bones”
Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

Jack Kornfield


Buddha’s simple instructions have helped people to find
wholeness and peace amid life’s crises and distractions for more
than 2,500 years.
link to “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book”
Awakening Loving-Kindness

Pema Chodron


Small, pocket (abridged) edition that contains great lessons
and methods of practicing. This book, and any of Pema Chodron’s
books are highly recommended.
link to “Awakening Loving-Kindness”
The Jewel in the Lotus

Stephen Batchelor


This is the first book in English to bring together a clear
and down to earth introduction to Tibetan Buddhism with
selections of teachings from each of the traditions that have
flourished in Tibet, and now in the West, for more than a
thousand years.
link to “The Jewel in the Lotus”
Introduction to Buddhism

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso


An explanation of the Buddhist way of life, a compelling
introduction to the life and teachings of Buddha. Those new to
Buddhism and meditation will find this book an ideal guide to the
Buddhist way of life.
link to “Introduction to Buddhism”
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chogyam Trungpa


Drawing from the teachings of Tibet’s age-old warrior culture,
Chogyam Trungpa shows us how to use the principles of enlightened
warriorship in our own lives to conquer the self-doubt,
negativity, and aggression that keep us from genuine happiness
and total fulfillment.
link to “Shambhala-The Sacred Path of the Warrior”
Taking the Path of Zen

Robert Aitken


Robert Aitken presents the practice, lifestyle, rationale, and
ideology of Zen Buddhism with remarkable clarity. Taking the Path
of Zen will serve as orientation and guide for anyone who is
drawn to the ways of Zen.
link to “Taking the Path of Zen”
Only Don’t Know

Seung Sahn


The first Korean Zen Master to teach in the West, Seung Sahn
challenges his students with kong-ans, encourages them in their
practice, and teaches them by holding before them the clear
mirror of his own mind.
link to “Only Don’t Know”
Imagine All The People

Tenzin Gyatso, The XIV Dalai Lama


If you could sit down with The Dalai Lama and talk with him
about anything, what would you discuss? Fabien Ouaki, a prominent
French businessman, was granted such an opportunity and asked The
Dalai Lama what he thinks about the everyday issues that fill our
newspapers and lives.
link to “Imagine All The People”
Beyond Dogma

Tenzin Gyatso, The XIV Dalai Lama


His Holiness responds to a wide range of contemporary social,
political, and religious issues during a series of public
lectures and question-and-answer sessions with political
activists, religious leaders, students, scientists, Buddhist
practitioners, and interfaith organizations.
link to “Beyond Dogma”
Gesture of Balance

Tarthang Tulku


Gesture of Balance urges us to directly experience our own
natures and to find their surprising ways of living full and
worthwhile lives.
link to “Gesture of Balance”
Zen: Dawn in the West

Roshi Phillip Kapleau


This book draws upon Roshi Kapleau’s experience in conducting
intensive retreats, introductory workshops, and lectures, and in
guiding hundreds of Zen students of all ages at the Rochester Zen
link to “Zen: Dawn in the West”
The Mind of Clover

Robert Aitken


Robert Aitken addresses the world beyond the zazen cushions,
illuminating issues of appropriate personal and social action
through an exploration of the philosophical complexities of Zen
link to “The Mind of Clover”
Bring Me the Rhinoceros

John Tarrant


This book offers an unusual path to happiness. It doesn’t
encourage you to strive for things or manipulate people or change
yourself into an improved, more polished version of you. Instead,
it deftly shows that, rather than laboriously building happiness,
you can just unbuild, unmake, toss overboard, and generally
subvert unhappiness.
link to “Bring Me the Rhinoceros”
The Gateless Barrier

Robert Aitken


The Gateless Barrier is generally acknowledged to be the
fundamental koan collection in the literature of Zen. Gathered
together by Wu-men (Mumon), a thirteenth-century master of the
Lin-chi (Rinzai) school, it is composed of forty-eight koans, or
cases, each accompanied by a brief comment and poem by Wu-men.
Aitken has translated Wu-men’s text, supplementing the original
with his own commentary – making the profound truths of Zen
Buddhism accessible to serious contemporary students and relevant
to current social concerns.
link to “The Gateless Barrier”
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Sogyal Rinpoche


In this timely book, Sogyal Rinpoche focuses on how to
understand the true meaning of life, how to accept death, and how
to help the dying, and the dead. … This book offers readers not
just a theoretical account of death and dying, but also practical
measures for understanding, and for preparing themselves and
others in a calm and fulfilling way.
link to “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”
Teachings of the Buddha

Jack Kornfield, editor


Included here are some of the earliest recorded sayings of the
historic Buddha on the practice of freedom, selections from later
Indian Buddhist scriptures on the perfection of wisdom, verses
from the Tibetan masters on the enlightened mind, and songs of
praise by Zen teachers on the great value of meditation.
link to “Teachings of the Buddha”
The Dhammapada

translated The Venerable Balangoda
Ananda Maitreya


The Dhammapada holds a special place of distinction in
Buddhist literature. It is often characterized as the most
representative example of the teachings of the Buddha. It
provides, beautifully and simply, a key to the fundamentals of
early Buddhist philosophy…
link to “The Dhammapada”
One Dharma

Joseph Goldstein


Goldstein’s intention is twofold. First, it is to leave
readers with a path of practice that integrates various teachings
and methods of these several traditions – from the first steps of
entering the path to the transformative experience of sudden
awakening. And second, it is to show that, beneath the
differences of method and philosophy, there is a deep common vein
of liberating wisdom that runs through all the lineages of
link to “One Dharma”
Mountain Record of Zen Talks

John Daido Loori


Based on dharma talks given by John Daido Loori, the book
explores the seven areas of study that are the focus of training
at Zen Mountain Monastery in New York State: meditation, study
with the teacher, liturgy, art practice, body practice, the study
of scriptures, and work practice.
link to “Mountain Record of Zen Talks”
The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation

Thich Nhat Hanh


One of the few books focused completely on mindful walking and walking meditation. This revised edition of the best-selling title (nearly 80,000 copies sold to date) includes over 30 percent new material—including new walking meditation poems and practices—and provides a practical and inspirational introduction to this important practice. Amazon
link to “The Long Road Turns to Joy”