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Religion

Becoming Women of the Word: How to Answer God's Call with Purpose and Joy

Becoming Women of the Word: How to Answer God's Call with Purpose and Joy

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Winner of a 2020 Catholic Press Association book award (third place, scripture-popular studies).


The women God called to bring his chosen people into the world were ordinary women who struggled with emptiness, oppression, infertility, and loss--yet who found strength and hope in God. In her first book, Sarah Christmyer--codeveloper of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program--pairs the stories of key Old Testament women with stories of women she has known to show us how we can hear God, say yes to his call, and share him with the world just as they did.

Breaking open the scriptures to reveal the historical, cultural, and biblical context in which Old Testament women lived, Sarah Christmyer breathes new life into their stories and makes their lives surprisingly relatable. In the process, she shares stories from her own faith journey and the lives of family and friends to show how the same principles that turned ordinary women into heroines of the faith are true for our lives today.

Each chapter of Becoming Women of the Word highlights the spiritual legacy of one or more women in the Old Testament. Their world was vastly different from ours, yet they faced the same questions we do: when we can't feel God's presence, where do we find help? When our world is collapsing, where is God? Why should we trust him? How can we trust him? Christmyer simply and clearly draws from the lives of these women important principles that help us to trust--even as we struggle with doubt. For example:

  • Through Eve, we learn to hold on to God's promise even when we fail.
  • Sarah reminds us to wait on God's timing to make us fruitful.
  • Miriam, the sister of Moses, shows how to lead by example.
  • Ruth and Esther challenge us to see womanhood as a gift.
  • Hannah and Judith inspire us to trust God even in matters of life and death.
  • These unforgettable portraits create a colorful mosaic of faith, encouraging us to mine God's Word for spiritual treasure and to pass on the gift.

    Before You Say "I Do"

    Before You Say "I Do"

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    Is marriage on your mind? Have you found "the one"? This popular and helpful interactive workbook is designed to strengthen your love relationship and deepen your bond. You'll find all you need for fun and thoughtful discussions as you explore vital areas, including: What does the Bible teach about marriage?What makes you feel loved?How do you handle conflicts?Do you plan to have children? Why or why not?What are your priorities when it comes to money?

    Drawn from years of marriage preparation seminars and counseling sessions, these insightful questions will help you build a solid future together. With Jesus as your cornerstone, your partner and you can create a loving, successful marriage.More than 500,000 couples helped!

    Beginner's Grace Bringing Prayer to Life

    Beginner's Grace Bringing Prayer to Life

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    Prayer is an ancient and simple way to prepare yourself for grace, or love, and to learn to recognize it when it comes. Even the briefest "grace" spoken before dinner offers its time-honored wisdom. Yet in spite of hundreds of traditions and teachings and books about prayer, millions of Americans have become ambivalent about it. They are unsure how, when, where, and even why they might pray, afraid they'll do it wrong, or worried that they won't be heard.

    Writing in the beautiful, funny, honest narrative style that moved and inspired readers of her first book, "Here If You Need Me, "Kate Braestrup explains what prayer is and the many ways we can pray. With an approach that is both personal and inclusive, "Beginner's Grace "is a new kind of prayer book. Even if you don't pray and don't consider yourself religious, there's room in this book for you. In these pages, Braestrup explains how and why the practice of prayer can open a space in our busy lives for mindfulness, gratitude, contentment, and a wider compassion toward others.

    Inspired by her work as a chaplain, Braestrup includes many examples of prayers to draw from--beginning with grace, a brief prayer of thanks. She provides clear models and practical suggestions for making your own and your family's prayers meaningful and satisfying, and offers prayers for situations in which words might fail: times of anxiety, helplessness, or grief. And she invites you to explore forms of prayer that extend into the wider community, including prayer with and for people we don't like or with whom we disagree.

    A welcoming modern guide to the simplest, most effective way to satisfy a universal spiritual hunger, "Beginner's Grace "is for the religious and nonreligious and even irreligious in its generous, good-humored approach to spirituality. With its insight and warmth, "Beginner's Grace "is sure to become a spiritual touchstone for people of all faiths

    Beginners Guide to Meditation

    Beginners Guide to Meditation

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    A practical, accessible guide to the fundamentals of Buddhist meditation, with pointers from some of today's most respected Buddhist teachers, including Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, Cyndi Lee, and Sharon Salzberg.

    As countless meditators have learned firsthand, meditation practice can positively transform the way we see and experience our lives. This practical, accessible guide to the fundamentals of Buddhist meditation introduces you to the practice, explains how it is approached in the main schools of Buddhism, and offers advice and inspiration from Buddhism's most renowned and effective meditation teachers, including Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Sharon Salzberg, Norman Fischer, Ajahn Chah, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Sylvia Boorstein, Noah Levine, Matthieu Ricard, Judy Lief, and many others.

    Topics include how to build excitement and energy to start a meditation routine and keep it going, setting up a meditation space, working with and through boredom, what to look for when seeking others to meditate with, how to know when it's time to try doing a formal meditation retreat, how to bring the practice "off the cushion" with walking meditation and other practices, and much more.

    Being Both

    Being Both

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    A book on the growing number of interfaith families raising children in two religions

    Susan Katz Miller grew up with a Jewish father and Christian mother, and was raised Jewish. Now in an interfaith marriage herself, she is one of the growing number of Americans who are boldly electing to raise children with both faiths, rather than in one religion or the other (or without religion). In Being Both, Miller draws on original surveys and interviews with parents, students, teachers, and clergy, as well as on her own journey, to chronicle this controversial grassroots movement.

    Almost a third of all married Americans have a spouse from another religion, and there are now more children in Christian-Jewish interfaith families than in families with two Jewish parents. Across the country, many of these families are challenging the traditional idea that they must choose one religion. In some cities, more interfaith couples are raising children with "both" than Jewish-only. What does this mean for these families, for these children, and for religious institutions?

    Miller argues that there are distinct benefits for families who reject the false choice of "either/or" and instead embrace the synergy of being both. Reporting on hundreds of parents and children who celebrate two religions, she documents why couples make this choice, and how children appreciate dual-faith education. But often families who choose both have trouble finding supportive clergy and community. To that end, Miller includes advice and resources for interfaith families planning baby-welcoming and coming-of-age ceremonies, and seeking to find or form interfaith education programs. She also addresses the difficulties that interfaith families can encounter, wrestling with spiritual questions ("Will our children believe in God?") and challenges ("How do we talk about Jesus?"). And finally, looking beyond Judaism and Christianity, Being Both provides the first glimpse of the next interfaith wave: intermarried Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist couples raising children in two religions.

    Being Both is at once a rousing declaration of the benefits of celebrating two religions, and a blueprint for interfaith families who are seeking guidance and community support.

    Being Catholic Now

    Being Catholic Now

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    For Kerry Kennedy, who grew up in a devoutly Catholic household coping with great loss, her family's faith was a constant source of strength and solace. As an adult, she came to question some of the attitudes and teachings of the Catholic Church while remaining an impassioned believer in its role as a defender of the poor and oppressed. Generations ago, says Kennedy, the search for spirituality came predefined and prepackaged. The Church] not only gave us all the answers, it even gave us the questions to ask. Now many of the old certainties are being reexamined. In an attempt to convey this sea change, Kennedy asked thirty-seven American Catholics to speak candidly about their own faith--whether lost, recovered, or deepened--and about their feelings regarding the way the Church hierarchy is moving forward. The voices included here range from respectful to reproachful and from appreciative to angry. Speaking their minds are businesspeople, actors and entertainers, educators, journalists, politicians, union leaders, nuns, priests--even a cardinal. Some love the Church; some feel intensely that the Church wronged them. All have an illuminating insight or perspective. Kerry Kennedy herself speaks of the joy of growing up as one of Robert and Ethel Kennedy's eleven children, of the tragedies that eventually befell her family, and of how religion was deeply woven through good times and bad. Journalist Andrew Sullivan talks about reconciling his devout Catholicism with the Church's condemnation of his identity as a gay man. TV newswoman Cokie Roberts recalls the nuns who taught her and took girls seriously when nobody else did. Comedian Bill Maher declares, I hate religion.It's the worst thing in the world--and goes on to defend his bold assertion. Writer Anna Quindlen depicts a common parental challenge: passing along traditions and values to a younger generation sometimes deaf to spiritual messages. Through these and many other voices that speak not only to Catholics but to all of us, Being Catholic Now redefines an ancient institution in the most contemporary of terms. From Being Catholic Now When my mom asked if I wanted to be a nun, I said I'd rather be a priest. . . . The nuns were always wonderful, but the power was with the priest. --Nancy Pelosi There are aspects of studying the saints, with the candles, incense, and Latin Masses and some of the pageantry of the Church that, as an American historian, make me feel part of a larger wave of history. That it's not a newfangled religion, which some people get great solace from. I feel that I'm connected to places. --Douglas Brinkley Faith isn't like picking courses off a menu. It's a journey, and it's a path. If your path and journey have been within one structure your entire life, then simply leaving isn't an option. --Andrew Sullivan Why stay Catholic? Because the hierarchy is not the Church. . . .We the people of God] are the Church. They can't take that away from us. --Cokie Roberts I was told very early on by the nuns that I had an 'overabundance of original sin.' I was a quiet kid, but I was curious. I asked the wrong questions. --Susan Sarandon I don't believe you can be authentically Catholic without being committed to the social doctrine of the Church. When I was in grammar school, we had these little boxes to help the poor. That was good, but that is half of it. The other half is to find out why there are so many poor people and how we can do something to help them. --Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick I am reconciled to the oblivion that is coming. I see no proof of anything else, if it is a matter of faith. I admire people who have faith in God. It must be a great comfort to them, but I had to get out from under the fear and the guilt. --Frank McCourt I went to church and the door was locked. I was knocking and ringing the bell. I waited and waited and nobody came. The priest thought] there was an emergency, because of all the banging and ringing. He looked down at me and said, 'What is it?' I said, 'I'm sorry to bother you, Father, but I've been away from the Church many, many years and I'd like to come back. I'd like to go to confession.' He looked at me and something behind his eyes said, 'You came to the right place.' He knew that it was an important moment for me; he got it instantly. --Martin Sheen
    Being Catholic Now: Prominent Americans Talk About Change in the Church and the

    Being Catholic Now: Prominent Americans Talk About Change in the Church and the

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    Some of America's most extraordinary celebrities, artists, and thinkers reveal what they believe Catholicism is-and what it should be

    In this illuminating collection that redefines an ancient institution in the most contemporary of terms, human-rights activist Kerry Kennedy asks thirty-seven American Catholics to speak candidly about their own faith-whether lost, recovered, or deepened-and about their feelings regarding the way the Church hierarchy is moving forward.

    "Has something to say to almost every Catholic, or even one-time Catholic, who cracks open its pages. . . . One finishes the book feeling grateful for [Kennedy's] subjects' honesty and moved in a hundred different ways by what they reveal of their aspirations and struggles."-National Catholic Reporter

    "Revealing . . . offers an unusually intimate view of how much being raised Catholic shapes the identity of many prominent Americans, but also how much tension many feel with the institutional church."-Boston Globe

    Being Jewish Today

    Being Jewish Today

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    This is a book which understands and faces the impact of modernity on the Jewish community today.

    Being Jewish Today gives an account of both the journey of a particular British Jew and the journey of millions of women and men through today's perplexing and difficult world. With honesty and integrity Rabbi Tony Bayfield breaks new ground in exploring the meaning of Jewish identity and its relationship to Jewish tradition and belief. He does so from the perspective of a person fully integrated into the modern Western world. The rigorous questions he asks of his Jewishness, Judaism and the Jewish God are therefore substantially the same as those asked by all faiths and none.

    Beginning with an account of the journey of Jewish people and thought from ancient times to the present day, Bayfield goes on to consider Jewish identity, Israel as land and the scourge of anti-Semitism. He then turns to the twin concerns of Torah: Halakhah - practice, and Aggadah - ethics, along with the matter of belief in a world faced with global extinction. Finally, in addressing the manifest injustice of life, Rabbi Bayfield confronts the widely evaded questions of universal suffering and divine inaction.

    Drawing on key religious and secular thinkers who contribute to the force of his argument, Bayfield's masterful, challenging and urgent book will appeal to all Jews, whether religious or cultural, and to anyone curious about the nature of Judaism and religion today.

    Being Peace

    Being Peace

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    A bestseller with over 250,000 copies sold, Being Peace is the seminal founding work by Zen Master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh. With a new introduction by Jack Kornfield and the first update since its release over fifteen years ago, this eloquent meditation on being peace in order to make peace is more relevant than ever. A book for everyone concerned about the state of the world and the quality of our lives, it has lost none of its timeliness since it was first published in 1987. It is filled with practical suggestions how to create a more peaceful world right in the moment we are alive. Contains Thich Nhat Hanh's key practices, including a guide to the practice of reconciliation which has become a peacemaking tool in many other religious traditions.

    This beautiful, newly revised edition is the perfect starting point for those who are getting their first introduction to Buddhism as well as a must-have for those already engaged in the tradition.

    With illustrations by Mayumi Oda.

    Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts

    Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts

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    Being Upright takes us beyond the conventional interpretation of ethical precepts to the ultimate meaning that informs them. Reb Anderson first introduces us to the fundamental ideas of Zen Buddhist practice. Who was Shakyamuni Buddha and what was his central teaching? What does it mean to be a bodhisattva and take the bodhisattva vow? Why should we confess and acknowledge our ancient twisted karma? What is the significance of taking refuge in Buddha, dharma, and sangha? The author explores the ten basic precepts, including not killing, not stealing, not lying, not misusing sexuality, and not using intoxicants. A gifted storyteller, Anderson takes us to the heart of situations, where moral judgments are not easy and we do not have all the answers. With wisdom and compassion, he teaches us how to confront the emotional and ethical turmoil of our lives.
    Belief Book

    Belief Book

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    What is belief and why is it so important? Where did it come from and what does it do? This book answers all of those questions and more! David G. McAfee, an author who studies religions, teamed up with writer and illustrator Chuck Harrison to create The Belief Book. No matter how old or how young you are, this easy-to-read book can help you learn more about religions and gods and beliefs in general. It will also teach you about something called The Scientific Method, which is how we learn new things about the world! By the time you're done reading you will know the answers to some of life's biggest questions, but more importantly, you will see why your questions, and all questions for that matter, are so important. This book is the first in a series of books all about belief, gods, and religion
    Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith

    Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith

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    "A brilliant, wide ranging and powerful series of readings on the possibilities, problems and mysteries of faith. This book belongs on the shelf of every believer--and every serious skeptic." -- Rabbi David Wolpe, author of Why Faith Matters

    "This life-giving, faith-filled and hard-nosed collection reveals why, as St. Anselm wrote, true faith always seeks to understand." -- Rev. James Martin, author of My Life with the Saints

    From Dr. Francis Collins, New York Times bestselling author of The Language of God, comes the definitive reader on the rationality of faith.

    Believers

    Believers

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    Believers is a scientist's answer to attacks on faith by some well-meaning scientists and philosophers. It is a firm rebuke of the "Four Horsemen"--Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens--known for writing about religion as something irrational and ultimately harmful. Anthropologist Melvin Konner, who was raised as an Orthodox Jew but has lived his adult life without such faith, explores the psychology, development, brain science, evolution, and even genetics of the varied religious impulses we experience as a species.

    Conceding that faith is not for everyone, he views religious people with a sympathetic eye; his own upbringing, his apprenticeship in the trance-dance religion of the African Bushmen, and his friends and explorations in Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and other faiths have all shaped his perspective. Faith has always manifested itself in different ways--some revelatory and comforting; some kind and good; some ecumenical and cosmopolitan; some bigoted, coercive, and violent. But the future, Konner argues, will both produce more nonbelievers, and incline the religious among us--holding their own by having larger families--to increasingly reject prejudice and aggression.

    A colorful weave of personal stories of religious--and irreligious--encounters, as well as new scientific research, Believers shows us that religion does much good as well as undoubted harm, and that for at least a large minority of humanity, the belief in things unseen neither can nor should go away.

    Belonging

    Belonging

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    Announcing a new series: FAITH IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

    This series of books explores what it means to live and worship among the many faiths unique to America's neighborhoods. Each book in the series illuminates the questions Christians have about other faiths such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Baha'i, Zoroastrianism, Afro-Caribbean religions, Native-American religions, Confucianism, and Shinto. Different faiths have different ideals of community, and different kinds of rules. In Belonging Lucinda Mosher explores the vocabulary of America's many religions, the theologies and rituals that create a sense of belonging, and how these religions handle life's stages--welcoming babies, rites of passage for adolescents, initiation, and conversion.

    Interwoven with interviews and personal stories, Belonging is intended for interfaith education of all kinds. A quick guide to each religion, a glossary, and recommended reading are included.

    Beloved Disciple in Conflict?: Revisiting the Gospels of John and Thomas

    Beloved Disciple in Conflict?: Revisiting the Gospels of John and Thomas

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    Was the Gospel of John written in critical response to the Gospel of Thomas, an early collection of Jesus's sayings? Or was it directed to the Christians among whom Thomas originated? Ismo Dunderberg challenges these views, arguing that the two gospels were written at about the same time but without knowledge of each other. He also offers a thorough discussion of the identity and functions of the enigmatic Beloved Disciple in the Gospel of John, throwing new light on this figure by comparing it to other `beloved' disciples of Jesus in early Christian literature.
    Best Buddhist Writing 2008

    Best Buddhist Writing 2008

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    A thought-provoking collection of the most notable, enjoyable, and insightful Buddhism-inspired literature published in the last year. The Best Buddhist Writing 2008 includes:

    - Short meditative practices for peace from Thich Nhat Hanh
    - Sylvia Boorstein on how equanimity supports kindness
    - Kate Wheeler on meditating in a cave in India
    - Norman Fischer on how all language is a form of prayer
    - Aidan Delgado on being a Buddhist conscientious objector in Iraq
    - "Dharma punk" Noah Levine on learning how to forgive
    - Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche on cultivating compassion through training the mind
    - The Dalai Lama on the mythical "self"
    - Sister Chan Khong's memoir of campaigning for peace and social justice during the Vietnam War era alongside her teacher Thich Nhat Hanh
    - Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, on the importance of a "beginner's mind"
    - Pema Chodron on choosing peace rather than conflict
    - Bhikkhu Bodhi, Darlene Cohen, Shinzen Young, and Reginald Ray on the valuable lessons of pain
    - "Prince of the Ascetics," a short story by Charles Johnson
    - Natalie Goldberg on koan practice
    - And much more

    Best Buddhist Writing 2009

    Best Buddhist Writing 2009

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    A treasury of the most notable, profound, and thought-provoking Buddhism-inspired writing published in the last year.

    The Best Buddhist Writing 2009 includes:

    - An interview with novelist Tom Robbins


    - Guiding principles for a new ecospirituality from Thich Nhat Hanh


    - Jack Kornfield on basic human goodness


    - Pico Iyer's portrait of the Dalai Lama

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    Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle on a couple's journey through Alzheimer's disease

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    The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche on the true, enlightened nature of mind

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    Wendy Johnson on bringing the beginner's mind to gardening

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    A mindfulness practice from Pema Chodron to help us wake up to the world around us

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    Joan Halifax on approaching death with fearlessness and compassion

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    Peggy Rowe-Ward and Larry Ward with stories, meditations, and exercises for experiencing love in a new and deeper way

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    Natalie Goldberg on the art of writing personal memoir

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    Dzigar Kongtrul on our search for happiness

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    Sharon Salzberg on overcoming passion, aggression, and ignorance in our relationships

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    Stephanie Kaza on making environmentalism a spiritual path, not just a change in lifestyle

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    Meshuga-wisdom from Rabbi Rami Shapiro

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    John Welwood on how we can use our relationships for profound spiritual growth

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    And much more

    Best Buddhist Writing 2010

    Best Buddhist Writing 2010

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    Here is this year's installment in the series Publishers Weekly says "does a great service by highlighting views and themes as they modulate with each passing year." The Best Buddhist Writing 2010 is an eclectic, inspiring collection of writings from the Buddhist perspective. Selected by the editors of the Shambhala Sun, North America's leading Buddhist-inspired magazine, the essays, articles, and interviews in this anthology offer an entertaining mix of writing styles and reflect on a wide range of issues.

    The Best Buddhist Writing 2010 includes:

    - A question and answer session between children and Thich Nhat Hanh
    - Stan Goldberg on becoming a hospice volunteer, shortly after his own diagnosis of prostate cancer

    - Buddhist author and death-row inmate Jarvis Jay Masters on experiencing a few unexpected hours of freedom

    - Jan Chozen Bays on eating mindfully

    - Norman Fischer contemplates the death of his best friend

    - Meditation instructions from Tibetan teacher Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

    - Sylvia Boorstein on the deep human connection that emerges when we engage with the joy and suffering of others

    - Carolyn Rose Gimian on the late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's advice to "smile at fear"

    - Gaylon Ferguson on recognizing our natural wakefulness

    - Pema Chodron on being open to the opportunities that arise when we experience pain and discomfort in our lives

    - Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche on finding joy in the midst of life's difficulties

    - Steve Silberman's account of love, prejudice, Buddhism, and marriage

    - Mary Pipher on moving past despair

    - Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche on meditation that directs our thoughts and intentions in a positive direction

    - Jaimal Yogis on his misguided attempt to use Zen to improve his surfing

    - Lauren Fraser on the Zen-inspired cooks who have influenced the way we cook and eat

    - And much more