• About This Booklist

    People often ask me for guidance about books to read, particularly those that would enhance the curriculum outlined in Wake Up To Your Life.

    I will post new titles each week, along with brief comments outlining the main topic, level of practice for which it is appropriate, and how you might use the book. Each entry is also categorized according to the chapter of Wake Up To Your Life it might relate to.

    If you are familiar with a given title and have something to say about it, please add your comments as they will help other viewers find books that will be helpful to them.
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Peacock in the Poison Grove (Sopa Geshe Lhundub)

Peacock in the Poison GroveFull Title: Peacock in the Poison Grove: Two Buddhist Texts on Training the Mind
Major Topic:
Level:
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Translations of and commentaries on two Kadampa texts, the Wheel-Weapon and the Poison-Destroying Peacock. Mind training involves cultivating a way of approaching and experiencing life that rubs against our ordinary self-centered attitudes. The key point here is to experience the friction, the tension between what is being presented and how we ordinarily view things. When we hold the two together, we see things differently and new possibilities open, internally and externally.

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Essential Rumi (Coleman Barks)

Essential RumiFull Title: Essential Rumi
Major Topic: ecstatic spiritual poetry
Level: all levels
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Rumi’s poetry always illuminates and inspires. Ecstatic, loving and devotional in tone, beautiful and inspiring for the heart and mind. Read a stanza or two. Then read it aloud. You will find that it often elicits an emotional response in you, or precipitates a gap in the conceptual mind. In either case, rest in that experience for a moment or two. When read this way, Rumi puts you in touch again and again with aspects of experience that can be known, but cannot be put into words.

As It Is (Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche)

As It IsFull Title: As It Is: Volumes 1 and 2
Major Topic: Using traditional practices and methods to know mind nature directly.
Level: all levels
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Urgyen Tulku, even among Tibetans, had a special gift for leading people into the experience of mind and explaining in simple language how to practice deeply. In these two volumes, he describes traditional vajrayana teachings in terms of mind and mind nature. Read a chapter or a few pages carefully and then do some meditation. Experiment with the methods and find the ones that work for you. (Note: It can be hard to find without the ISBN: for Volume 1 is 9627341355; for Volume 2 it is 9627341398)

Denial of Death (Ernest Becker)

Denial of DeathFull Title: Denial of Death
Major Topic:
Level:
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Classic discussion of the psychology of the fear of death, including the construction of social reality. Many people have found this detailed discussion highly illuminating, shedding light on many of the problems we create for ourselves when we endeavor to ignore the fact that life has an end. Read this to augment and deepen your practice and reflections on death and impermanence. You may also find this book helpful in questioning the way that we, as social animals, construct a reality and then find ourselves imprisoned by it.