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This project explores the integration of Zen Buddhist contemplative practices with practices entailed in academic, especially literary, reading. The mindfulness cultivated through Zen practices, and the ethical awareness that can spring from that mindfulness can inspire an academic reading practice that is both faithful to the particulars of a text’s form and sensitive to its ethical and political implications.

"The practice of contemplation is one of the great spiritual arts," writes Martin Laird in A Sunlit Absence. "Not a technique but a skill, it harnesses the winds of grace that lead us out into the liberating sea of silence." In this companion volume to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird focuses on a quality often overlooked by books on Christian meditation: a vast and flowing spaciousness that embraces both silence and sound, and transcends all subject/object dualisms. Drawing on the wisdom of great contemplatives from St. Augustine and St. Teresa of Avila to St. Hesychios, Simone Weil, and many others, Laird shows how we can uncover the deeper levels of awareness that rest within us like buried treasure waiting to be found. The key insight of the book is that as our practice matures, so will our experience of life's ordeals, sorrows, and joys expand into generous, receptive maturity. We learn to see whatever difficulties we experience in meditation--boredom, lethargy, arrogance, depression, grief, anxiety--not as obstacles to be overcome but as opportunities to practice surrender to what is. With clarity and grace Laird shows how we can move away from identifying with our turbulent, ever-changing thoughts and emotions to the cultivation of a "sunlit absence"--the luminous awareness in which God's presence can most profoundly be felt. Addressed to both beginners and intermediates on the pathless path of still prayer, A Sunlit Absence offers wise guidance on the specifics of contemplative practice as well as an inspiring vision of the purpose of such practice and the central role it can play in our spiritual lives.

Translated by Agurme Dorje. Edited by Graham Coleman with Thupten Jinpa. Introductory Commentary by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

In the present review of recent empirical research, the authors point to ways by which meditation may complement the traditional goals of the academy by helping to develop traditionally valued academic skills as well as help to build important emotional and interpersonal capacities that foster psychological well-being and the development of the whole person.

Creator's Description: Tibetan Buddhist lists and collections of Indian Great Seal (Phyag rgya chen po, Mahāmudrā) texts consist almost exclusively of works found in the Translation of Treatises (Bstan ’gyur). There are, however, two Translation of the Word (Bka’ ’gyur) texts that appear in a collection of Ten Dharmas of Mahāmudrā (Phyag rgya chen po’i chos bcu) transmitted by the eleventh-century Indian teacher Vajrapāṇi: the Noble Mahāyāna Sūtra Called “The Gnosis of the Moment of Passing Away” (’Phags pa ’da’ ka ye shes shes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo, Ārya-​ātajñāna-​nāma-​mahāyāna-​sūtra) and the Royal Tantra on the Glorious Unpolluted (Rgyud kyi rgyal po dpal rnyog pa med pa zhes bya ba, Śrī-​anāvila-​tantra-​rāja). In exploring these two texts, rarely discussed by either Tibetan or Western scholarship, this article provides a translation and discussion of the Gnosis of the Moment of Passing Away (Ātajñāna, ’Da’ ka ye shes) and a synopsis and discussion of the Unpolluted (Anāvila, Rnyog pa med pa). It concludes that although neither text is an obvious choice for a Great Seal canon, each contains terminology and themes that are consonant with the Great Seal discourse of later Indian, as well as Tibetan, Buddhism, each appears to have been sufficiently prominent to come to the attention of Vajrapāṇi, and each can serve to provide the necessary authority of the word of the Buddha (Buddhavacana; Sangs rgyas kyi bka’) to lists of Indian Great Seal texts utilized by Tibetans.

Research suggests that mindfulness practices offer psychotherapists a way to positively affect aspects of therapy that account for successful treatment. This paper provides psychotherapists with a synthesis of the empirically supported advantages of mindfulness. Definitions of mindfulness and evidence-based interpersonal, affective, and intrapersonal benefits of mindfulness are presented. Research on therapists who meditate and client outcomes of therapists who meditate are reviewed. Implications for practice, research, and training are discussed.

Bringing together leading scholars, scientists, and clinicians, this compelling volume explores how therapists can cultivate wisdom and compassion in themselves and their clients. Chapters describe how combining insights from ancient contemplative practices and modern research can enhance the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse, suicidal behavior, couple conflict, and parenting stress. Seamlessly edited, the book features numerous practical exercises and rich clinical examples. It examines whether wisdom and compassion can be measured objectively, what they look like in t.

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