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Religion

Bewilderments

Bewilderments

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Through the magnificent literary, scholarly, and psychological analysis of the text that is her trademark, Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg tackles the enduring puzzlement of the book of Numbers. What should have been for the Israelites a brief journey from Mount Sinai to the Holy Land becomes a forty-year death march. Both before and after the devastating report of the Spies, the narrative centers on the people's desire to return to slavery in Egypt. At its heart are speeches of complaint and lament. But in the narrative of the book of Numbers that is found in mystical and Hasidic sources, the generation of the wilderness emerges as one of extraordinary spiritual experience, fed on miracles and nurtured directly by God: a generation of ecstatic faith, human partners in an unprecedented conversation with the Deity. Drawing on kabbalistic sources, the Hasidic commentators depict a people who transcend prudent considerations in order to follow God into the wilderness, where their spiritual yearning comes to full expression.

Is there a way to integrate this narrative of dark murmurings, of obsessive fantasies of a return to Egypt, with the celebration of a love-intoxicated wilderness discourse? What effect does the cumulative trauma of slavery, the miracles of Exodus, and the revelation at Sinai have on a nation that is beginning to speak? In Bewilderments, one of our most admired biblical commentators suggests fascinating answers to these questions.

Beyond All Religion:

Beyond All Religion:

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This book is about the consequences of religion more than whether Christ rose from the dead (Krishna, Mithras, Osiris, Attis of Phrygia, Dionysus, all of whom besides being born on December 25th from a virgin mother, died and were resurrected, except for Mithras - who ascended directly without dying!) or whether the text of the verses of the Qur'an correspond exactly to those revealed to Muhammad directly as the words of God, delivered to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel.. It is more focused on how religious scriptures and writings have been misused to harm, torture or kill others who don't believe, or used for justification to do what most rational persons would consider evil. How is this for religious intolerance? Rabbi Yaacov Perrin said, "One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail." Muhammad married a 6 year old girl. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism had 24 wives, one was 14 years old. Smith was convicted of fraud (of being an "imposter"- a con man), in a court of law.. Then he wrote "The Book of Mormon..". The story of Moses is patterned after the story of Sargon the Great. Moses did not exist. Christianity was invented for political purposes by the Roman Emperor Constantine ("The Great") in 325 A.D. based on the myth of Mithra (Persian savior god born on December 25th).. Do a web search on: "How Christianity was Invented: The Truth!", without the quotes. Constantine's friend, Eusebius (Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine) has been described as "the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity". He is also described as "The Father of Church History."Destruction of previous conflicting documents and edifices followed, including the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria. This book is an attempt to create awareness of the true origins and the fraudulent and forged self-serving writings of the main religions. Their purpose is to control and mislead us to follow them, without question, essentially putting us in a prison in our own minds. Like the elephant with the rope around one foot, it is easy for us to break free, but we don't know it. This book is an attempt to encourage us to follow an alternative, a humanitarian secular ethical road moving beyond all religion. The orgins of the main religions are shown to be copycats of previous myths, with outrageous fraud and forgeries exposed. Covers all four major religions.
Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief

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Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org--the church's highest ministry, speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

In this tell-all memoir, complete with family photographs from her time in the Church, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider's profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood's brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief

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Beyond Belief addresses what happens when women of extreme religions decide to walk away.

Editors Susan Tive (a former Orthodox Jew) and Cami Ostman (a de-converted fundamentalist born-again Christian) have compiled a collection of powerful personal stories written by women of varying ages, races, and religious backgrounds who share one commonality: they've all experienced and rejected extreme religions. Covering a wide range of religious communities--including Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Calvinist, Moonie, and Jehovah's Witness--and containing contributions from authors like Julia Scheeres (Jesus Land), the stories in Beyond Belief reveal how these women became involved, what their lives were like, and why they came to the decision to eventually abandon their faiths.

The authors shed a bright light on the rigid expectations and misogyny so often built into religious orthodoxy, yet they also explain the lure--why so many women are attracted to these lifestyles, what they find that's beautiful about living a religious life, and why leaving can be not only very difficult but also bittersweet.

Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief

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In Beyond Belief, renowned religion scholar Elaine Pagels continues her groundbreaking examination of the earliest Christian texts, arguing for an ongoing assessment of faith and a questioning of religious orthodoxy.

Spurred on by personal tragedy and new scholarship from an international group of researchers, Pagels returns to her investigation of the "secret" Gospel of Thomas, and breathes new life into writings once thought heretical. As she arrives at an ever-deeper conviction in her own faith, Pagels reveals how faith allows for a diversity of interpretations, and that the "rogue" voices of Christianity encourage and sustain "the recognition of the light within us all."

Beyond Distraction: Five Practical Ways to Focus the Mind

Beyond Distraction: Five Practical Ways to Focus the Mind

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Learn how to overcome distraction in meditation practice and develop clarity in your relationships, work, and activities with this new guide from a beloved meditation teacher.

The mind can be a potent tool, used to guide extraordinary achievements, inspire good works, and incline your spiritual path toward peace and awakening. But the mind can also produce thoughts that lead to suffering. For many people, thoughts run rampant and seem to oppress or control their lives. Even the Buddha tells us that before his enlightenment, he sometimes found his mind preoccupied by thoughts connected with sensual desire, ill will, and harm. But he figured out how to respond to thoughts skillfully and developed a step-by-step approach to calm the restless mind. Now, Insight Meditation teacher Shaila Catherine offers an accessible approach to training the mind that is guided by the Buddha's pragmatic instructions on removing distracting thoughts. Drawing on two scriptures in the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Shaila shows you how to overcome habitual modes of thinking, develop deeper concentration, and discover the insights into emptiness that are vital for a liberating spiritual path.

Following the Buddha's pragmatic approach, Shaila guides you through five steps for overcoming distraction and focusing the mind:

1. Replace unwholesome thoughts with wholesome thoughts. For example, if you find yourself thinking thoughts of ill will toward a person, try thinking instead of their good qualities as an antidote.

2. Examine the dangers of distracting thoughts. Weigh the costs of allowing thoughts of ill will, lust, greed, and so forth to obsess your mind. The costs of dwelling on distracting thoughts nearly always outweigh any supposed benefits.

3. Avoid it, ignore it, forget it. Develop the skill to turn your attention away from habitual distractions. Remove the fuel and let the fires of distraction die out.

4. Investigate the causes of distraction. By understanding the conditions that perpetuate habitual thoughts, you can learn to free yourself from those patterns.

5. Apply determination and resolve. Supported by wisdom, you can make a firm decision to stop dwelling on patterns of thought that are not supporting your deepest values and goals in life.

Each chapter includes exercises and reflections to help you cultivate the five steps to deeper concentration. You'll learn about your mind and develop your ability to direct your attention more skillfully in meditation and daily activities.

And ultimately, you'll discover for yourself how these five steps boil down to one key realization: In the moment you recognize that a thought is just a thought, you will find yourself on the path to a life of remarkable freedom.

Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World

Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World

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An unprecedented event: a beloved world religious leader proposes a way to lead an ethical, happy, and spiritual life beyond religion and offers a program of mental training for cultivating key human values
Ten years ago, in his best-selling "Ethics for a New Millennium," His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. Now, in "Beyond Religion," the Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, elaborates and deepens his vision for the nonreligious way.

Transcending the mere "religion wars," he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that gives full respect to religion. With the highest level of spiritual and intellectual authority, the Dalai Lama makes a stirring appeal for what he calls a "third way," a path to an ethical and happy life and to a global human community based on understanding and mutual respect.

"Beyond Religion" is an essential statement from the Dalai Lama, a blueprint for all those who may choose not to identify with a religious tradition, yet still yearn for a life of spiritual fulfillment as they work for a better world.

Beyond the Pews: Breaking with Tradition and Letting Go of Religious Lockdown

Beyond the Pews: Breaking with Tradition and Letting Go of Religious Lockdown

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Intuitive life coach Jillian Backman explores the shift that is currently changing the state of organized religion and provides an essential guide to spiritual fulfilment for those in search of a balance between religious dogma and transcendent awareness.
Beyond the Self

Beyond the Self

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Converging and diverging views on the mind, the self, consciousness, the unconscious, free will, perception, meditation, and other topics.

Buddhism shares with science the task of examining the mind empirically; it has pursued, for two millennia, direct investigation of the mind through penetrating introspection. Neuroscience, on the other hand, relies on third-person knowledge in the form of scientific observation. In this book, Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk trained as a molecular biologist, and Wolf Singer, a distinguished neuroscientist--close friends, continuing an ongoing dialogue--offer their perspectives on the mind, the self, consciousness, the unconscious, free will, epistemology, meditation, and neuroplasticity.

Ricard and Singer's wide-ranging conversation stages an enlightening and engaging encounter between Buddhism's wealth of experiential findings and neuroscience's abundance of experimental results. They discuss, among many other things, the difference between rumination and meditation (rumination is the scourge of meditation, but psychotherapy depends on it); the distinction between pure awareness and its contents; the Buddhist idea (or lack of one) of the unconscious and neuroscience's precise criteria for conscious and unconscious processes; and the commonalities between cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation. Their views diverge (Ricard asserts that the third-person approach will never encounter consciousness as a primary experience) and converge (Singer points out that the neuroscientific understanding of perception as reconstruction is very like the Buddhist all-discriminating wisdom) but both keep their vision trained on understanding fundamental aspects of human life.

Beyond the Self: Teachings on the Middle Way

Beyond the Self: Teachings on the Middle Way

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One of the Buddha's most central ideas is the importance of transcending "either/or" thinking to avoid the trap of extremist views. Here, Hanh suggests that tranquility is found by embracing all aspects of life, instead of focusing on what we like and dislike.
Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

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The Bhagavad Gita is the best known of all the Indian scriptures, and Eknath Easwaran's best-selling translation is reliable, readable, and profound.

Easwaran's 55-page introduction places the Bhagavad Gita in its historical setting, and brings out the universality and timelessness of its teachings. Chapter introductions clarify key concepts, and notes and a glossary explain Sanskrit terms.

Easwaran grew up in the Hindu tradition in India, and learned Sanskrit from a young age. He was a professor of English literature before coming to the West on a Fulbright scholarship. A gifted teacher, he is recognized as an authority on the Indian classics and world mysticism.

The Bhagavad Gita opens, dramatically, on a battlefield, as the warrior Arjuna turns in anguish to his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, for answers to the fundamental questions of life. Yet, as Easwaran points out, the Gita is not what it seems - it's not a dialogue between two mythical figures at the dawn of Indian history. "The battlefield is a perfect backdrop, but the Gita's subject is the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious."

Arjuna's struggle in the Bhagavad Gita is acutely modern. He has lost his way on the battlefield of life and turns to find the path again by asking direct, uncompromising questions of his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, the Lord himself. Krishna replies in 700 verses of sublime instruction on living and dying, loving and working, and the nature of the soul.

Easwaran shows the Gita's relevance to us today as we strive, like Arjuna, to do what is right.

"No one in modern times is more qualified - no, make that 'as qualified' - to translate the epochal Classics of Indian Spirituality than Eknath Easwaran. And the reason is clear. It is impossible to get to the heart of those classics unless you live them, and he did live them. My admiration of the man and his works is boundless." - Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions.

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

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A new translation of the great spiritual classic.

Widely hailed as the single most important text to emerge from India, the Bhagavad Gita has inspired countless readers--sages, students, yogis, and seekers. A part of the great Hindu classic, the Mahābhārata, this text is presented as a dialogue between the skillful warrior Arjuna and the god Krishna, as Arjuna faces a crisis about dharma and prepares for a great battle with no defenses other than Krishna's divine guidance.
Dr. Ravindra's fresh prose translation stands out from the many other versions by presenting the Bhagavad Gita as a call to action. It is at heart a universal guide to navigating the battle of life required of each and every one of us.

The Bhagavad Gita: A Guide to Navigating the Battle of Life, from which this book derives, contains commentary from the translator, along with a selected bibliography and index.

This book is part of the Shambhala Pocket Library series.

The Shambhala Pocket Library is a collection of short, portable teachings from notable figures across religious traditions and classic texts. The covers in this series are rendered by Colorado artist Robert Spellman. The books in this collection distill the wisdom and heart of the work Shambhala Publications has published over 50 years into a compact format that is collectible, reader-friendly, and applicable to everyday life.

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

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A new translation of the great classic--with wide-ranging, multi-traditional commentary that emphasizes its practical advice for living with integrity.

"All there is is Krishna."

Upon hearing this famous and enigmatic line from the Gita's seventh chapter when he was a boy, Ravi Ravindra embarked on a journey to understand its deep meaning. The search led him far beyond the tradition from which the text originally arose to an exploration of world mystical wisdom, including Zen, Christianity, Yoga, and particularly the teachings of J. Krishnamurti and G. I. Gurdjieff. Dr. Ravindra's fresh prose translation with wide-ranging commentary, is the fruit of that lifelong process. It stands out from the many other versions with its assertion that the Bhagavad Gita is at heart a universal guide to navigating the battle of life required of each and every one of us. It is through that navigation, he shows, that we can discover and connect with the Krishna deep within ourselves: The Eternal Witness who is above the battle, and who is, ultimately and joyfully, all there is.

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

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This new verse translation of the classic Sanskrit text combines the skills of leading Hinduist Gavin Flood with the stylistic verve of award-winning poet and translator Charles Martin. The result is a living, vivid work that avoids dull pedantry and remains true to the extraordinarily influential original. A devotional, literary, and philosophical masterpiece of unsurpassed beauty and imaginative relevance, The Bhagavad Gita has inspired, among others, Mahatma Gandhi, J. Robert Oppenheimer, T. S. Eliot, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley. Its universal themes--life and death, war and peace, sacrifice--resonate in a West increasingly interested in Eastern religious experiences and the Hindu diaspora.
Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

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The Bhagavad Gita is the best known of all the Indian scriptures, and Eknath Easwaran's best-selling translation is reliable, readable, and profound.

Easwaran's 55-page introduction places the Bhagavad Gita in its historical setting, and brings out the universality and timelessness of its teachings. Chapter introductions clarify key concepts, and notes and a glossary explain Sanskrit terms.

Easwaran grew up in the Hindu tradition in India, and learned Sanskrit from a young age. He was a professor of English literature before coming to the West on a Fulbright scholarship. A gifted teacher, he is recognized as an authority on the Indian classics and world mysticism.

The Bhagavad Gita opens, dramatically, on a battlefield, as the warrior Arjuna turns in anguish to his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, for answers to the fundamental questions of life. Yet, as Easwaran points out, the Gita is not what it seems - it's not a dialogue between two mythical figures at the dawn of Indian history. "The battlefield is a perfect backdrop, but the Gita's subject is the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious."

Arjuna's struggle in the Bhagavad Gita is acutely modern. He has lost his way on the battlefield of life and turns to find the path again by asking direct, uncompromising questions of his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, the Lord himself. Krishna replies in 700 verses of sublime instruction on living and dying, loving and working, and the nature of the soul.

Easwaran shows the Gita's relevance to us today as we strive, like Arjuna, to do what is right.

"No one in modern times is more qualified - no, make that 'as qualified' - to translate the epochal Classics of Indian Spirituality than Eknath Easwaran. And the reason is clear. It is impossible to get to the heart of those classics unless you live them, and he did live them. My admiration of the man and his works is boundless." - Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

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"[It] will remain the standard text of this marvelous Song for years to come, if indeed it is ever superseded."
--Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions Graham M. Schweig's translation of the Bhagavad Gita--the "Bible of India"--is an elegant, highly accessible version of one of the most important sacred scriptures in world religion. This beautiful translation of the famous conversation between the Hindu god Krishna and the young prince Arjuna includes a glossary, a pronunciation guide, and expert commentary for greater ease of understanding.
Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

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A fresh, new prose translation of the classic Indian poem, ideally focused for students and teachers and for yoga teacher training

The Bhagavad Gita, a small section of the massive Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata, is one of the central texts of Indian culture and philosophy, and one of the great works of world literature. It has been translated into English many times since 1785, and has had a profound influence in America, beginning with the transcendentalists and continuing today. It is taught in introductory world literature, religion, and Eastern religion courses, and is often prescribed in yoga teacher training courses because it explains the core principles of Vedic philosophy, which are central to yoga practice.

Some of the currently available translations are in verse and, while well crafted, often do not accurately reflect the forms, sounds, and rhythms of the original. Older scholarly translations convey little feel for language. George Thompson's intention is to be as accurate and engaging as possible, and to create a translation that has scholarly bona fides, literary sensibility, and greater accuracy than previous translations. He emphasizes the social, historical, literary, and philosophical contexts surrounding the text. His introduction explains the development of Hindu thought and where the philosophy of the Gita fits historically, along with a history of the text and its place in Indian literature and philosophy and history..

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita

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The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God Retold in Simplified English is the latest title in the Essential Wisdom Library. This unique edition of the timeless epic is designed to be accessible for readers without any prior experience of Hinduism. Not simply a translation of the original, Viljoen has simplified and restated the Gita's complex ideas, so that a first-time reader can fully appreciate the scope and beauty of this magnificent Indian classic. Written in concise, modern language the retelling vividly captures the power and depth of the original work.

Part of the Mahabharata, the Gita is a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna. Its verses contain some of the key ideas of Hindu philosophy--Dharma, Moksha, and various yogic practices. Originally written well over a thousand years ago, the Gita has proven to be a timeless source of wisdom, inspiring philosophers and revolutionaries alike in the millennia since it was written.

In addition to the retelling of the text, this edition includes a character list, a glossary of important terms, and chapters exploring the back-story from the Mahabharata and the impact and meaning of the Bhagavad Gita itself. The Bhagavad Gita is an approachable way for today's readers to engage with one of history's richest spiritual epics.