The greatest challenge is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Books can be clutter.

 Mark Epstein & Steven Pinker

Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings
--Stephen Levine

Meetings at the Edge: Dialogues with the Grieving and the Dying, the Healing and the Healed
--Stephen Levine

In This Very Life: The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha 
- Sayadaw U Pandita

This is a classic work of Theravadan Buddhism by the great Burmese meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita.   The dharma world owes this teacher so much, because through his teachings and unstinting efforts to share the Buddhadarma. Indeed, U Pandita was higly instrumental in establishing Vipassana in the West, especially through his work with the teachers at the Inisght Meditation Center in Barre, MA, and founding teachers Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, and Joseph Goldstein.

By the way, U Pandita's other great published work, On The Path to Freedom is available as a free e-book in PDF format at:

Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness

- by psychotherapist and Buddhist teacher Mark Epstein.

Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life-Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy - Mark Epstein. 

Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective - Mark Epstein. 

Going on Being: Buddhism and the Way of Change-A Positive Psychology for the West -Mark Epstein.

 The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature.
- Steven Pinker

Pinker is one of the world's great cognitive scientists and linguists:
 How the Mind Works and The Language Instinct. 

"Our conception of human nature affects every aspect of our lives, from child-rearing to politics, from morality to our appreciation of the arts. However, just as science is providing a clearer understanding of human nature, many people are viscerally opposing the very idea. They fear that discoveries about an innate human nature can be used to justify inequality, subvert social change, dissolve personal responsibility, and trip life of meaning and purpose.

In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker explains why many of today's intellectuals deny the existence of human nature, claiming that each of us is born a blank slate upon which the environment writes, and that these inscriptions define every aspect of who we are. Pinker shows that this thesis is no longer tenable, nor is it particularly desirable.

By disentangling the moral and political issues from the scientific facts, Pinker rationally exmaines who and what we are. He shows that our commitments to equality, compassion, responsibility and purpose can be strengthened by a clear conception of human nature. Indeed, the doctrine of the blank slate may be doing more harm that good: it denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, it replaces hardheaded analysis of social problems with feel-good slogans, and it turns govenment, parenting, and the arts into clusmy social engineering.

With wit, lucidity, and startling insight, Steven Pinker explains who the new sciences of mind, brain, genes, and evolution, far from being corrosive of human values, complement observations about the human condition made by millenia of artists and philosophers. Essential reading for the new century, The Blank Slate helps define who we are for the coming age."