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Recommended summer reading from the faculty 2023 - Bodhi College

Books in English:

Martine Batchelorbell hooks: All About Love, New Vision 2016
This book is an essential inspiration towards cultivating the dharma of relationships.  It is filled with striking passages relevant to a life of practice:
“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving.  We can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape”
“When we value the delaying of gratification and take responsibility for our actions, we simplify our emotional universe.  Living simply makes loving simple.”
“in a world without love the passion to connect can be replaced by the passion to possess.” /Martine Batchelor

 

Noble Truths, Noble Path: the Heart Essence of the Buddha’s Original Teachings, compiled, introduced and translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications 2023
A beautiful compilation of sutta excerpts from the Samyutta Nikaya organised around the matrix of the Four Noble Truths. Chapters cover the four noble truths, five khandhas, six sense bases, dependent origination, and the path and the way (satipatthana, awakening factors, eightfold path) with very clear summaries and explanations at the start of each section. Reading it is gladdening my heart. It’s expensive, but worth it, and portable even in hardback, and will be travelling with me for years to come. /Jaya Rudgard

 

John PeacockGlenn Wallis: A Critique of Western Buddhism: Ruins of the Buddhist Real, Bloomsburg Academic 201
This is a fascinating examination of what the author thinks has gone wrong with Western Buddhism. Wallis is an extremely good Pali scholar, and in fact has put together a good Pali workbook. Whilst not always agreeing with some of his arguments, this book advances the case that contemporary Buddhism has de-radicalized Buddhist thought and made it complicit with neoliberal thinking. Radical Buddhism, on the other hand, has the power to address contemporary issues in a profound way. He refers to this ‘radical Buddhism’, as non-buddhism. That is, a Buddhism that has to abandon its religious trappings and initiate a practice that is a ‘deautomatization’ that is a ‘liberation from infection’.  The ‘infection’ referred to is the blind reproduction of the unexamined. It is difficult to do justice in a few words to what is both a densely argued and highly stimulating book. /John Peacock

Y. Karunadasa: Early Buddhist Teachings, Wisdom Publications 2018
This is one of the best introductions to early Buddhist teachings that I have come across. Whilst it is an introduction it is also a sustained and original reflection on those teachings that, even if you are familiar with the teachings with the Pali Canon, offers new insights into the nature of the Buddha’s psychology of liberation. I would recommend this to both new and experienced practitioners. /JP

Frieda Hughes: George: A Magpie Memoir, Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster 2023
For all of you who are interested in creatures of the furred and feathered variety this is the ideal summer companion. The George of the title refers to a baby magpie that Freida Hughes rescues and brings up in her farmhouse in Wales. Freida Hughes, a poet in her own right, is the daughter of the poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, and also poetry editor for the ‘Times’ newspaper. The book is written as a series of diary entries that charts the trials and tribulations, and also the sheer joy of her interactions with George. It is both hilarious and extremely poignant, as she has to eventually release the bird back into the wild. Throughout the book is illustrated with Hughes’ own sketches illustrating the various incidents that occur in the course of George investigating and learning about his new environment. /JP

 

Christina FeldmanVanessa Sassoon: The Gathering: A Story of the First Buddhist Women, Equinox Publishing 2023
Writing on early Buddhist women. /Christina Feldman

Margaret Heffernan: Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, Walker and Co 2012
Reflecting on why we don’t want to see what is in front of us. /CF

Books in German:

AkincanoThomas Strässle: Gelassenheit: Über eine andere Haltung zur Welt, München: Carl Hanser 2013
Ein geistreiches kleines Buch über *upekkhā*, die missverstandenste der vier Herzensverfassungen. Thomas Strässles schlanker – und gänzlich unbuddhistischer – Band versammelt knappe und funkelnde Reflexionen philosophischer, literarischer und sprachlicher Art zum Thema Gelassenheit, lotet in großer Eleganz Tiefsinniges aus und bringt Erkenntnisse zum Leuchten.  Eine schöne und kluge Lektüre! /AW

Ajahn Sucitto: Buddha Natur, Menschen-Natur, Kandersteg: Dhammapala Verlag 2021 (Übersetzung Catherine Felder und Yuka Nakamura)
Eine dichte, gewichtige, immer wieder überraschende Bestandesaufnahme historischer und geistesgeschichtlicher Perspektiven auf menschlichen Umgang mit der nicht-menschlichen Welt aus der Sicht eines aufgeklärten und menschenzugewandten Bhikkhus : „… ein Buch über unsere Umwelt und die Auswirkungen, die der Buddhismus auf diese gehabt hat und weiterhin haben kann.” – Dringliche Betrachtungen eines der feinsten kontemplativen Lehrers dieser Zeit zum menschlichen Uns und zu unserem Verhältnis zu Natur, Um- und Mitwelt. /AW
Nicht im Handel erhältlich.Zu beziehen als physisches Buch im Kloster Dhammapala (bitte mit entsprechender Spende für Buch und Porto). Oder in elektronischer Fassung hier erhältlich.

Thomas Metzinger: Bewusstseinskultur: Spiritualität, intellektuelle Redlichkeit und die planetare Krise, Berlin Verlag, 2023
In schnellen Schnitten und geraffter Form wirft Thomas Metzinger einen harten Blick auf die plantare Krise – und sucht nach einer Vision für intelligentes Krisenmanagment. Mit der Ausbildung einer bestimmten Form von innerer Bewußtheit als Ansatzpunkt, skizziert er Wege für ein neues Leitbild und eine ,Bewußtseinskultur’ die individuell und auch gesellschaftlich funktionieren: „Wir brauchen etwas, das im tatsächlichen Leben einzelner Menschen und Länder auch dann trägt, wenn die Menschheit als ganze scheitert.” /AW