May the Force — and Luke Skywalker’s wisdom — “Awaken” with you

Star Wars Dharma Lion's Roar

The trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has just been released (watch it here), and to celebrate, we're sharing an excerpt from Matthew Bortolin's book, The Dharma of Star Wars. In the book, Bortolin, an ordainee of Thich Nhat Hanh, sorts through the films' spiritual themes and applies Buddhist teachings to George Lucas' epics. Bortolin writes in the book: "In Star [...]

Pico Iyer on “The Art of Stillness”

Pico Iyer TED Book Lion's Roar Stillness Quote

Pico Iyer – renowned author and world traveler – has written a new book called The Art of Stillness, which Kirkus Reviews has described as “[not] a meditation guide or a New-Age tract but rather a celebration of the age-old practice of sitting with no goal in mind and no destination in sight.” We reached out to the frequent Shambhala Sun contributor (see below for some links to [...]

Books in Brief

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Waking Up A Guide to Spirituality without Religion By Sam Harris Simon & Schuster 2014; 256 pp., $26 (cloth) The author of The End of Faith, Sam Harris is a scathing critic of religion and anything that he deems superstition. Yet he considers himself to be spiritual and has spent many years practicing meditation. As he explains it, human beings experience altered [...]

Ruth Ozeki’s musings on herself — and no-self

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Andrew Sullivan, prolific blogger and former editor the The New Republic, gave a shout-out to award-winning novelist, filmmaker, Zen priest (and, Shambhala Sun contributor) Ruth Ozeki on Sunday. Sullivan noted how Ozeki weaves Buddhism into her writing in natural, subtle ways, and also her "shifty" concept of self. The interview, from the LA Review of Books, is an [...]

Summer books: Looking for a fun and meaningful new read?

Then look no further -- in our new, September 2014 magazine, Andrea Miller tells you about the latest books from Tom Robbins and Peter Matthiessen, a re-release of Nyanaponika Thera's classic Heart of Buddhist Meditation, and more. Click here to read. (And once you're there, click any book's bibliographical information to purchase directly from its publisher.)   [...]

Extreme Detox: How Buddhist monks led me to humility and freedom from alcohol addiction

Author Paul Garrigan tells how Buddhist monks in a Thai temple helped him to drop his drinking, and even the very idea that he was an addict. In 2006, I entered an addiction treatment program in Thailand. I did this in the hope of curing a problem that had been making my life miserable for almost two decades. I felt full of despair and saw the monastery as my last chance. That [...]

Pema Chödrön on the power of love, gratitude, loneliness, embarrassment, and inadequacy

"Without realizing it, we continually put up protective walls made of opinions, prejudices, and strategies, barriers that are built on a deep fear of being hurt. These walls are further fortified by emotions of all kinds: anger, craving, indifference, jealousy, and arrogance. "But fortunately for us, the soft spot — our innate ability to love and to care about things — is like [...]

Buddha’s Daughters: An interview with dharma teacher and author Judy Lief

When I was putting together the anthology Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West, Judy Lief was one of the first teachers I thought to include, as her teachings are some of today’s most remarkably insightful, relatable, and also just plain enjoyable. A frequent contributor to the Shambhala Sun, Lief is the author of Making Friends with [...]

What’s new for book lovers?

Looking for a fun read, but one that's meaningful, too? Andrea Miller's got you covered. Her Books in Brief roundup this issue features books on yoga, parenting, and our connections to animals, as well as The Good Luck of Right Now, the new novel by Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick. Read Andrea's reviews now, here. [...]

Video: Karen Maezen Miller takes us to “Paradise in Plain Sight”

In this short, lush book trailer, you'll meet Karen Maezen Miller, author of the new release, Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden. Karen is of course a frequent contributor to the Shambhala Sun, and in fact, you'll find her article, "The Heart of a Garden" in our new, July magazine. As Karen says, "Keep your eyes open, and see what there is to see." As ever, [...]