New Books in the Bookshop

In our fast moving world many people can feel their time is wound tight, their lives constantly hassled and hectic. ‘Fast-forward’ seems to be the collective default setting. So often we can be over busy and over stimulated, and this can send stress levels higher and higher.

In Free Time! Vajragupta Staunton shows us that investigating our experience of time, and considering our relationship with it, can be deeply and powerfully transformative. He looks at our actual day-to-day experience of time and applies a variety of Buddhist ideas and teachings in order to understand what time really is. He also offers practical ways of helping us live in a way that is relaxed and open, in a way that is not oppressive and restrictive, but free and flowing.

 

From his three decades of teaching Buddhist meditation, Paramananda offers an approach that is a challenge both to the way we experience ourselves, and the way in which we see and ‘be’ in the world. He contends that the historical Buddha offered not a panacea for the ills of his time but rather a radical alternative way of living in the world, still as valid today as it was 2500 years ago. At the very heart of this radical vision is the art of meditation.

Engaging in this art is what Paramananda outlines in The Myth of Meditation. Enlivened by his love of both the natural world and poetry, he guides us in a threefold process: grounding meditative experience in the body, turning towards experience in a kindly and intelligent way, and seeing through to another way of understanding and being in the world.

 

Genjō Kōan is the most important chapter in Zen master Dōgen’s principal major work, the Shōbōgenzō. Although Genjō Kōan has been translated into English many times, and is familiar to Buddhists both east and west, it is still not well understood. This new commentary by Buddhist teacher and author David Brazier draws back the curtain revealing the deeper meaning of the text in language that will be as transparent to the general reader as it is informative to the specialist.