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Buddha's Daughters - Book Review #873198
08/02/14 09:10 PM
08/02/14 09:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Lisa - Buddhism  Offline OP

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Chipmunk

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Los Angeles, CA
Great new book out from an editor of the Shambhala Sun, one of the premiere Buddhist magazines in the West, called Buddha's Daughters: Teachings from Women Who are Shaping Buddhism in the West. Here's my review:

Buddha's Daughters - Book Review


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Buddha's Daughters - Book Review [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #875775
08/28/14 12:27 AM
08/28/14 12:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Chipmunk

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Los Angeles, CA
When I started this thread, I intended to quote each chapter in sequence - they are in alphabetical order by each teacher's last name. It has taken me awhile to get back to this, but I'll be more regular now that my kids are back in school!

This first passage is from Lama Tsultrim Allione, my own current teacher, describing her process Feeding Your Demons, which is based on the Tibetan practice of Chod:

"The process of feeding our demons is a method for bringing our shadow into consciousness and accessing the treasures it holds rather than repressing it. If the shadow is not made conscious and integrated, it operates undercover, becoming the saboteur of our best intentions as well as causing harm to others. Bringing the shadow to awareness reduces its destructive power and releases the life energy stored in it. By befriending that which scares us most, we find our own wisdom. This resolution of inner conflict also lessens the evil produced by the unconscious that contributes to dangerous collective movements.
In the practice of feeding our demons, we offer what is most precious (our own body) to that which is most threatening and frightening (our demons), and in doing so we overcome the root of all suffering..."
- Tsulrim Allione, excerpted from Meeting the Demons in Buddha's Daughters


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Buddha's Daughters - Book Review [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #876197
09/02/14 06:50 PM
09/02/14 06:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

BellaOnline Editor
Lisa - Buddhism  Offline OP

BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
The next essay in Buddha's Daughters is 'The Joy of Mindful Eating' by Zen teacher Jan Chozen Bays. One of the premises of this essay is that when we don't eat mindfully, we don't experience satisfaction from our food, and then...

"If we don't feel satisfied, we'll begin to look around for something more or something different to eat. Everyone has had the experience of roaming the kitchen, opening cupboards and doors, looking vainly for something, anything, to satisfy. The only thing that will cure this, a fundamental kind of hunger, is to sit down and be, even for a few minutes, wholly present."
"If we eat and stay connected with our own experience and with the people who grew and cooked the food, who served the food, and who eat alongside us, we will feel most satisfied, even with a meager meal. This is the gift of mindful eating, to restore our sense of satisfaction no matter what we are or are not eating."
- Jan Chozen Bays, 'The Joy of Mindful Eating' from Buddha's Daughters


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Buddha's Daughters - Book Review [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #878309
09/22/14 07:54 PM
09/22/14 07:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Lisa - Buddhism  Offline OP

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Chipmunk

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Los Angeles, CA
The third teaching in Buddha's Daughters is called 'False Generalizations' by Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck. It is about what it really means to move into the specific experiences and emotions arising in the moment, rather than living at the level of generalizations, which is what our mind by default tends to do. She notes:

"...our lives are often based upon false generalizations that have little to do with reality...We say, for example, "I love people," or "I love my husband." The truth is that no one loves everyone all of the time, and no one loves a spouse all the time. Such generalities obscure the specific, concrete reality of our lives, what is happening for us at this moment."

"One may, of course, love one's husband most of the time. Still, the flat generalization leaves out the shifting, changing reality of an actual relationship. Likewise with "I love my work" or "Life is hard on me." When we begin practice, we usually believe and express many generalized opinions. We may think, for instance, "I'm a kind person" or "I'm a terrible person." But in fact, life is never general. Life is always specific: it's what's happening this very moment. Sitting [meditation] helps us cut through the fog of generalization about our lives. As we practice, we tend to drop our generalized concepts in favor of more specific observations. For example, instead of "I can't stand my husband," we notice "I can't stand my husband when he doesn't pick up after himself" or "I can't stand myself when I do such and such." Instead of generalized concepts, we see more clearly what's going on."

- excerpt from 'False Generalizations' by Charlotte Joko Beck in Buddha's Daughters

While this insight may seem very easy to understand, it is really very profound when realized in practice. As we practice mindfulness (sitting or in our day) we can begin to see the ways our mind wants to jump to a 'broad stroke' view of things - 'this is a bad day' or 'that guys is a jerk' etc. instead of just focusing in on what is actually arising in this moment. When we begin to let go of the generalizations, they don't become self-fulfilling prophecies, and we don't allow our experiences to snowball (especially negative ones.) And we can respond to just what is arising NOW, in this moment, rather than projecting forward what might happen. Generalizations are often just another way we move out of the present.


Last edited by Lisa - Buddhism; 09/22/14 08:00 PM.

Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Buddha's Daughters - Book Review [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #878842
09/30/14 03:26 PM
09/30/14 03:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
The next teacher featured in Buddha's Daughters is Sylvia Boorstein, one of my favorites, partly because an interview with her was one of my very first BellaOnline articles. She helped found the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. The following paragraph is from her essay 'The Three Marks of Existence' and talks about her first direct experience of anatta, or no-self:

"...it was a complete surprise to me, some years into my retreat practice, to be practicing walking meditation, sensing physical movements and sights and smells and heat and cool, and realizing that everything was happening all by itself. No one was taking that walk: 'I' wasn't there. I was there a few seconds later, recovering my balance after the 'uh-oh' feeling of 'if no one is here, who is holding me up?' I thought, 'This is wild! There really isn't anyone in here directing the show. It is all just happening...'
- Sylvia Boorstein, 'The Three Marks of Existence', Buddha's Daughters


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Buddha's Daughters - Book Review [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #881631
10/29/14 12:15 PM
10/29/14 12:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Chipmunk

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Los Angeles, CA
Tara Brach is featured in the next chapter, and she is also someone whose work I have covered here. She is a clinical psychologist and author of Radical Acceptance, and has worked with mindfulness and trauma, which is how I came to her work. However, in the chapter here she presents a universal understanding of the 3 parts of refuge - dharma, sangha and Buddha as truth, love, and awareness. She does this through the story of Maria, a client stuck in a 'trance of fear' due to an abusive childhood:

"The challenge in facing fear is to overcome the initial reflex to disassociate from the body and take refuge in racing thoughts. To combat this tendency to pull away from fear, you awaken mindfulness by intentionally leaning in. This means shifting your attention away from the stories - the planning, the judging, worrying - and fully connecting with your feelings and the sensations in your body. By gently leaning in instead of pulling away, you discover the compassionate presence that releases you from the grip of fear."

She later goes on to share Maria's own story of working in this way. She and her husband had just had an argument and gone to bed angry with each other:

"Filled with agitation, Maria got up, went into her office, and sat down on her meditation cushion. As she had done so often with me, she became still, pausing to check in and find out what was going on. There was a familiar swirl of thoughts: "He's ashamed of me. He doesn't really want to be with me." Then she had an image of her father, drunk and angry, walking out the front door, and she heard a familiar inner voice saying, "No matter how hard I try, he's going to leave me." She felt as if icy claws were gripping her heart. Her whole body was shaking."

"Taking a few deep breaths, Maria began a whispering prayer: "Please may I feel held in love." She called to mind her spirit allies - her grandmother, a close friend, and me - and visualized us circling around her, a presence that could help keep her company as she experienced the quaking in her heart. Placing her hand gently on her heart, she sensed compassion pouring through her hand directly into the core of her vulnerability."


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Buddha's Daughters - Excerpts [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #884188
12/23/14 02:39 PM
12/23/14 02:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Lisa - Buddhism  Offline OP

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Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
The next chapter is Pema Chodron, and three essays are included, including one entitled 'When Things Fall Apart', also the title of one of her most well-known books. She talks here of the difficult parts of the path, when our self-perceptions are challenged. She talks about her first few months at Gampo Abbey, in which her self-perception that she was flexible and obliging were revealed to her as a self-deception, and she was left floundering and unhappy:

"Everything that I had not been able to see about myself before was suddenly dramatized. As if that weren't enough, others were free with their feedback about me and what I was doing. I felt that bombs were being dropped on me almost continuously, with self-deceptions exploding all around. In a place where there was so much practice and study going on, I could not get lost in trying to justify myself and blame others. That kind of exit was not available."

She goes on to talk about how we make friends with this groundless, this shakiness, and with ourselves - all of ourselves, going inward, rather than lashing outward looking for blame. This is really the part of the path that Pema is so excellent at sharing with others, and why she become such a popular author and teacher. She ends the chapter this way:

"To stay with that shakiness - to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge- that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic - this is the spiritual path. Getting the knack of catching ourselves, of gently and compassionately catching ourselves, is the path of the warrior. We catch ourselves one zillion times as once again, whether we like it or not, we harden into resentment, bitterness, righteous indignation - harden in any way, even into a sense of relief, a sense of inspiration.

"Every day we could think about the aggression in the world, in New York, Los Angeles, Halifax, Taiwan, Beirut, Kuwait, Somalia, Iraq and elsewhere. All over the world, everybody always strikes out at the enemy, and the pain escalates forever. Every day we could reflect on this and ask ourselves,"Am I going to add to the aggression in the world?" Every day, at the moment when things get edgy, we can just ask ourselves, "Am I going to practice peace, or am I going to war?"

I think this is such a perfect quote to contemplate as we head into a New Year. And BTW, I am offering this book was one of three in a giveaway I am doing at my blog, just comment for a chance to win:

New Years Book Giveaway


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Buddha's Daughters - Excerpts [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #913921
09/16/16 01:46 AM
09/16/16 01:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2016
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Trichakra Offline
Amoeba
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Amoeba

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Posts: 74
I really like the review of this book and i will read book too.


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