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Suggested summer reading from the faculty 2020

Hoping to spend time reading in the sunshine this summer?
Here are some recent book recommendations from our faculty:

 

Stephen Batchelor: The Art of Solitude, Yale University Press, 2020

Stephens lovely and moving book reminds us of the freedom and sufficiency we can find in true solitude. /Christina Feldman

 

 

 

Ajahn Sucitto: Buddha-Nature, Human-Nature, Amaravati Publications – can be downloaded free here, 2019

In his new book Ajahn Sucitto offers a comprehensive Dharma perspective on the environmental crises of our time, looking at the relationship between the ‘human’ and the ‘natural’ world as it has evolved historically – shaped by political, societal and economical dynamics and their underlying ideologies. He shows how a domination paradigm has driven the pollution and destruction of the planet and needs to be overcome if we want to heal our relationship with nature. This book is challenging and stirring to read, but also offers profound wisdom,  inspiration and guidance on how we – as individual practitioners and communities – can meet the ecological crises. Highly recommended. /Yuka Nakamura

 

David Loy: The World is Made of Stories, Wisdom Publications, 2010

Light to carry, easy to read, full of good quotes and wonderfully thought provoking.  /Jaya Rudgard

 

 

 

 

Mingyur Rinpoche, Yongey: In Love with the World. What a Buddhist Monk Can Teach You About Living from Nearly Dying, Penguin, 2019

A very moving and personal account of a highly respected abbott who set out for four years of a wandering retreat – leaving behind the safety and comfort of a monastery for a life on the streets of India. Mingyur Rinpoche candidly describes the challenges and difficulties of adjusting to his new situation like begging for food, sleeping in a train station and how he practiced with all of it. The book culminates in the description of a dramatic near-death experience that had a profound effect on him and that also opens up a new perspective to us as readers. Highly recommended. /Yuka Nakamura

 

Alexander Nehamas: The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault, University of California Press, 1998

A reflection on philosophy as a way of life as exemplified in the figure of Socrates followed by reflections on how Michel de Montaigne, Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault embody in their own way the example set by Socrates in antiquity. /Stephen Batchelor

 

 

 

Alexander Chee: How to Write an Authobiographical novel, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018

Beautiful writing, deep reflections. /Martine Batchelor

 

 

 

 

Robert Wright: Why Buddhism Is True, Simon & Schuster, 2017

Behind the presumptuous title (which the author explains) is a very personal account of someone starting to meditate at IMS (recounting personal conversations with people we know) who has a background in evolutionary psychology and philosophy. I found it interesting and sometimes entertaining. /Christoph Köck

 

 

 

Barry Magid: Ending the Pursuit of Happiness, Wisdom Publications, 2008

He draws on his practice of Zen and Psychoanalysis to support a critical perspective on our notions of Enlightenment and Awakening. /Jake Dartington

 

 

 

 

Evan Thompson: Why I Am Not a Buddhist, Yale University Press, 2020

A critical reflection on Buddhist modernism and the attempt to provide scientific validation for Buddhist doctrines by a philosopher who has been exposed to Buddhism since childhood and remains sympathetic to its core ideas and practices. /Stephen Batchelor