From Shambhala Sunspace

Featured on the ShambhalaSun.com homepage today is“Annie Mirror Heart,” a chapter from an unfinished novel by Maura O’Halloran. O’Halloran was a young Irish-American woman who took to Zen practice (and how!), as famously recounted in her journals, posthumously published as the book Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint. (O’Halloran was killed in an accident and her novel, of course, never finished. But you can read “Annie Mirror Heart” online here.)

Since her passing, O’Halloran’s story — and the unflinching way in which she told it — has captured imaginations everywhere. She really is even considered a saint of sorts by some. Here, in an Afterword from the expanded edition of Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind (which includes more material from the novel) as published by Wisdom Publications, we get a sense just how widespread Maura’s cultural and inspirational impact has become since the book’s first edition.

Read the rest here.

Find the book here.

Via Shambhala Sunspace

We first discussed the possibility here back in December; would the Dalai Lama soon be retiring some of his duties? It seems that the time has come. In an announcement given this morning, His Holiness said he will formally propose next week that he retire his political role in Tibet. The idea is to strengthen the possibility of a more democratic Tibet via a new generation of leaders.

“My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility. It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run.” For more, see this report by the New York Times.

Video of the Dalai Lama’s speech as it was given in Tibetan (marking the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising day) has been made available. You can watch it here or read a full English transcription after the jump.

Click here for more.

Metaphors, Meaning & Change: Finding Our Way to Mindfulness

Arnold Kozak

Metaphors are often thought of as colorful augmenting features of language. However, a large body of scholarship shows that ordinary “literal” language is infused with metaphors. It is impossible to think, feel, or act without the use of metaphors. In fact, the evolution of the human mind may have depended on the use of metaphors. The words we use are not “dead” and the concepts they point to can contribute to stress, mental suffering, psychopathology, and unhappiness. To be aware of the metaphors we use and develop the skill to generate new metaphors can be part of our creativity and growth. This workshop integrates the use of metaphors with mindfulness practice and Dharma understanding to create a new model for mental health, transcending suffering, and the change process. The source text for the program will be Arnie Kozak’s book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness.
12 CE credits will be available for social workers, LMFTs, national certified counselors, psychologists and nurses.

Dates: February_25-27

Code: 11AK


Cost: 198

Register here.

To check out Arnie’s book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants, click here.

Just a reminder that the public memorial for the late E. Gene Smith is this Saturday February 12th.

public memorial service is planned for February 12, 2011 at 2:00 PM at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, New York.  Interested parties can contactmemorial@tbrc.org for further information.

A pioneer in Tibetan Studies, Gene dedicated his life to preserving the rich literary heritage of Tibet. Gene passed away at his home on December 16. He is survived by his three sisters and countless friends and colleagues around the world.





The new edition of the classic Zen’s Chinese Heritage is now available and the first orders through the Wisdom website will receive a copy of the original “lineage map” that was included in the first edition of this amazing volume.

Visit our website to get your copy.

“A monumental achievement.”—Robert Aitken

Capturing the austere beauty of the Zen masters’ manner of teaching—heir earthy style, humor, and humanity—Zen’s Chinese Heritage is an intimate and profound human portrait of the enlightened Zen ancients, and an unprecedented look into the depths of this rich cultural heritage.

In this new edition with even more valuable material, Ferguson surveys twenty-five generations of Zen masters, moving chronologically through successive generations of ancestral teachers, supplementing their core teachings with history, biography, and starkly beautiful poetry. In addition to giving the reader the engaging sense of the “family history” of Zen, this uniquely valuable book paints a clear pcture of the tradition’s evolution as a religious, literary, and historical force.

Click here for more.

This month Anyen Rinpoche will be discussing his latest book Dying with Confidence on the Tricycle Book Club.

How should we prepare to die? Many of us don’t know where to begin when it comes to death. It scares us. We understand so many things and death remains a great mystery. In some ways, of course, death will always be a mystery—how could anybody ever reallyknow? However, it should also be said that, due to our steadfast refusal to talk about it, death is more mysterious than it has to be. At the Tricycle office we sometimes make jokes about how our readers’ least favorite tweets and blog posts are those that mention death. Why can’t we talk about this? Even though we joke, this is quite serious. Without a deep awareness of death how can one be truly confident about living?

Join the conversation here.

From Madison.com

Cultural clashes, political turmoil, civil war — adventure boils over in Ippolito Desideri’s diaries from his time as an Italian missionary in Tibet. Two Madison scholars have translated the priest’s writings into “Mission to Tibet” from Wisdom Press.

“He was an indomitable figure,” translator Michael Sweet said about Desideri, an Italian Jesuit who traveled to Tibet in 1716 and stayed until 1721. “His writing is wonderful. It’s a very accurate description of the land, the customs, the commerce, the people, the religion,” Sweet said.

Sweet and Leonard Zwilling are the driving forces behind the translated book, a project they embarked on years ago.

Read it all here.

For more on Mission to Tibet click here.

This thangka is a representation of the “Bardo of Ultimate Reality”. The deities in this thangka are associated with the Bardo Thodol, the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead. The deities are seen by those who practice Shitro when they pass into the bardo after death. This thankga originates from Tibet or Northern Nepal  and is from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.

For more on the Tibetan Art Calendar click here.

From the TBRC Blog.

Dear Friends,

It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you that our beloved E. Gene Smith passed away on Thursday December 16, 2010, the year of the Iron Tiger, at around 4:00 PM.  He had not been well since returning from India on Tuesday.  The exact cause of death is not known.

It was very fortunate that Alak Zenkar Rinpoche was present with him for several hours after his passing.  We were fortunate to be with him during this time.

In keeping with Gene’s wishes, I am now in the process of making funeral arrangements with a nearby funeral home that is familiar with the particularities of the Buddhist tradition.  I’ll be in touch with more details as timings and arrangements are made.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene, for a peaceful journey.  May his immaculate benefit to this world remain for a very long time.

With best wishes,

Jeff Wallman
Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center
New York, NY


Update from the TBRC with Memorial Service Info

It is with profound regret and sadness that we announce the passing of E. Gene Smith, our friend, source of inspiration, and founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.  A pioneer in Tibetan Studies, Gene dedicated his life to preserving the rich literary heritage of Tibet. Gene passed away at his home on December 16. He is survived by his three sisters and countless friends and colleagues around the world. A memorial service is planned for early February and interested parties can contact memorial@tbrc.org, Center, for further information.


Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, New York City


All of us at Wisdom are deeply saddened by this loss. Gene was and will continue to be a hugely influential and beloved figure in the history of the transmission of Buddhism to the west. He will be missed by all.

“These guys are my heroes.”—Brad Warner

The revolutionary figures in this book are those innovative, non-conformist masters-Zen “madmen”-whose unorthodox behavior has helped define the radical countercultural movement known simply as Zen.

In Zen Radicals, Rebels, and Reformers you’ll meet Zen boat-rockers that span from early eighth-century China all the way to the bustling streets of modern-day America-with a stop in the middle to visit a courageous Zen master who made the ultimate sacrifice in his resistance to the brutal actions of the Japanese government in World War II.

These remarkable masters show us through their audacious actions and fearlessly lancing words that the pursuit of spiritual awakening must ultimately be a rebellion against the very foundations of suffering in the world.


Click here for more.