Wisdom’s Blossoms: Tales of the Saints of India by Doug Glenner and Sarat Komaragiri

Listening to one of Tara Brach’s podcasts, I heard her saysomething to the effect of, “for teachers, good stories are like gold”. She went on to say how she and her colleauges read and study trying to dig up the best stories for their classes. There is even a bit of lighthearted competition, to see who can find the best story first.

I also find my self diving into media both sacred and secular, attempting to glean something valuable, something I can sit with and savor, and something that I can share with my students.

I was thrilled to find “Wisdom’s Blossoms” in the used bookstore the other day. A lovely collection of short biorgraphies, it gives us a glimpse into the lives of many great saints, and yogis. We are treated to delightful portraits of pivotial movents that shaped our spiritual ancestors.

The authors took inspiration for this book from the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita itself is amazingly fantastic guide to yoga lifestyle and practice. A yoga teacher will probably want a couple of different translations, just to be able to look at it from different perspectives. Anyway, in Chapter 16, Krishna tells Arjuna that the devout and successful practitioner possesses certain qualities, such as “ Fearlessness, purity of heart, perserverance in aquiring knowledge and in practicing yoga, charity…Non-injury, truthfulness, freedom from wrath…radiance of character, forgiveness, patience…” (God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita, Paramahamsa Yogananda).

Krishna lists 26 qualities, and there are 26 corresponding stories in ‘Blossoms’. Milarepa’s life exlemplifies perserverence, and The Buddha teaches nonviolence. Jnaneshwar, a great saint who, coincidentally, penned an inspired translation of the Bhagavad Gita, offers a lesson in modesty. The Great Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur, embodies fearlessness. In a very beautiful way, the authors include both men and women, and masters from many traditions. The book is structured so that we can enjoy a single story at a time, or devour the whole book at once. Its a really nice addition to my library, and it might be to yours, as well. Enjoy!

Pick up your copy today by clicking here!

New Year, New Aquisitions

New Aquisitions

A few new books made their way into The Library recently, under some fairly auspicious circumstances.  The first two books, The Play of God: Visions of the Life of Krishna and There Are No Secrets: Professor Cheng Man Ch’ing and His T’ai Chi Chuan,  I found one fine morning strolling the streets of Brooklyn.  After a delightful breakfast with a dear old friend, we wandered past three big boxes of books on the street.  There were a few other book hounds rifling through, and I just couldn’t help but take a moment.  How delightful that these two books jumped out!

I have only had the chance to briefly go through them, but it appears that ‘The Play’ takes a comprehensive view of Krishna’s entire life, sharing his exploits from His Childhood stealing butter, to his part in the fierce battle of the Mahabharata.

‘No Secrets’ is one of those totally cool spiritual memoirs written about a teacher by one of their students.  These books are fun; the students love to raise the teacher up to superhuman status, with great wisdom and mystical powers.  The Professor in this story does not disappoint.  Very enjoyable, so far.

 

The Third book, Chod in the Ganden Tradition: The Oral Instructions of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, I found at a bookstore 50% off. Not as magical as finding it in a box on the street, but still very fortunate. I enjoy delving into the depths of Chod, in both practical and theoretical ways, and this text seems to fit the bill. Its author, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, seems to be qualified. He is pictured above, playing the traditional Chod Drum.

You can find these books here:

The Play of God: Visions of the Life of Krishna
There Are No Secrets: Professor Cheng Man Ch’ing and His T’ai Chi Chuan
Chod in the Ganden Tradition: The Oral Instructions of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche