Staff Book Picks – July 2017

Every month, each member of the Samadhi Cushions team recommends  a different meditation book of their choice.

By Bill Porter

“Bill Porter has a number of these books which combine travelogue, pilgrimage, history, and a report on the current state of dharma in China, which are all good reads. Road to Heaven is the first of them. In 1972, Mr. Porter moved from the United States to Taiwan, where he lived several years in a monastery and then moved to a hermitage of his own devising. Here he studied and worked on translations of texts from China’s hermit tradition by teachers and poets such as Cold Mountain, Stonehouse, and Bodhidharma (his translation work is published under the name Red Pine). In 1987, travel restrictions between Taiwan and mainland China were eased, and in 1989, Mr. Porter and a photographer friend made their way to the Chungnan Mountains where, contrary to official statements, Taoist and Buddhist practitioners still maintained the hermit tradition. In this book Mr. Porter combines a travelogue of their voyage, enough history of Taoism and Buddhism to provide context, and descriptions of and interviews with, the practitioners he met. Who give quite a variety of character, temperament, motivation, and discipline, combining the ordinary and the extraordinary and the practical.

There is a tie-in movie of sorts: some ten or so years later, a young man, inspired in part by this book, traveled to the same area to find and study with his teacher, and produced a documentary film, Amongst White Clouds, about the teachers, students, recluses, and hermits he met there.”

— Sumner Bradley

By Grant MacLean

“This book may come as a surprise. We think of Buddhist teachers as living quiet lives—meditating, studying, giving talks. But From Lion’s Jaws tells a different story. It describes the desperate journey of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as he leads a band of Tibetans across the Himalayas to escape the Communist Chinese take-over of their country in 1959. For nine months they are challenged by harsh weather and dangerous terrain, and Rinpoche helps them as they endure cold and hunger and struggle with fear and dissension.

It is a tragic but heroic adventure—one that shows us that even in the desperate moments people can find courage, compassion, and even humor within themselves.”

— Mark Wilhelmi

Meditation Books

Samadhi Store is a nonprofit supporting mindfulness practice. Online we offer over 500 titles on buddhist meditation and related topics. We have many more titles in our retail store. Almost all of our titles are discounted.  We ship promptly and expertly. And we read what we sell. Feel free to contact us for advice about a book or CD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *