This is a group in which we can share information about what we are currently reading or have read and discuss emerging themes..

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Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier on Saturday. 3 Replies

Iris Murdoch, 1978. The Sea, The Sea. Panther. Fiction. 502 pages. Winner of the Booker Prize. Last night I started reading The Sea The Sea  by Iris Murdoch. This is the third or fourth of her novels that I have read - maybe the fifth. They are each…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Vajrapala Lut Moerman Feb 7. 3 Replies

A new book by…Continue


Started by David Brazier Jan 27. 0 Replies

Submitted by Attila MislaiEveryman by Philip RothThere is a silent desperation that keeps haunting the main character in Roth's excellent novel. Nothing dramatic, nothing hysterical,…Continue

The Incantation of Frida K.

Started by Alexi Francis Jan 27. 0 Replies

I'm about halfway through The Incantation of Frida K. by Kate Braverman. I was a little reluctant to read about the life of Frida Kahlo again - there seems to be a lot about her. I'm struggling with the book because of this but what makes it a very…Continue

GRASMERE JOURNAL ~ Dorothy Wordsworth

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Mat Osmond Jan 24. 3 Replies

Lying in bed nursing my damaged knee I have been reading Dorothy Wordsworth's Journals in Moorman, M. Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth. OUP 1971. Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855) was the sister of William, the poet, and they were close friends of Samuel…Continue


Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Carol English Jan 24. 1 Reply

I have just finished reading An Unofficial Rose by Iris Murdoch.…Continue

Tags: novel, duty, and, desire, romantic


Started by David Brazier Jan 16. 0 Replies

Purser, R.E., Forbes,D. & Burke,A. (editors) 2016. Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, context, and social engagement, Switzerland: Springer International. 514 pages. 33 chapters, including one by myself.My copy of this large collection arrived in…Continue

MY LATEST (In French)

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Jan 5. 3 Replies

The French translation of The Feeling Buddha has just been…Continue


Started by David Brazier Oct 7, 2016. 0 Replies

I have just read: Constance: The tragic and scandalous life of Mrs Oscar Wilde by Franny Moyle published by John Murray, London 2011Moyle has done her homework and researched as much as we know, especially from the surviving correspondence between…Continue

Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind

Started by Charlene Diane Jones Dec 9, 2015. 0 Replies

This easy to read book explores the seam between Neuroscience…Continue

Tags: Neuroscience, Visualization, Meditation, Brazier, David

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Comment by Attila Mislai on January 27, 2017 at 10:17

Everyman by Philip Roth

There is a silent desperation that keeps haunting the main character in Roth's excellent novel. Nothing dramatic, nothing hysterical, not even conscious for the most part, still, it proves to be enough to deprive him slowly the capacity to enjoy the tastes of his nonchalant, easygoing life. Nothing seems to help, neither his proudly professed stoicism ("Just take it as it comes. Hold your ground and take it as it comes. There is nothing more we can do."), nor the graceful, epicurean wantonness in which he was never idle to splash about ("God is death, so why not take the world as being a playground for me.")

As we see him through the events of his life that turns out every bit impeccably ordinary, an awkward, grim suspicion begins to gradually nestle itself in the reader: the story is actually a harrowing parable about what immensely estranged man could grow when putting all his energy into multifarious attemps to escape from the truth of mortality.

The cost is high. Everything that makes life liveable and authentic (relationship, creativity, compassion) will lost. This perspective can help us grasp the highly symbolic significance of the protagonist's seemingly common death: he dies unexpectedly in a senseless, comatose state (condition of avydia per excellence) while being operated on because of his ailing heart (the failing centre of his being).

If one tried to enter this sad, meaningless, barren odyssey - where the hero falls through the adventures of his life, one after the other, without becoming able to come any nearer to his true home - with some therapeutic intention (though it sounds pathetic and somewhat ludicrous in terms of a fictional character) one could take as a starting point the story of how as a child he first confronts with death: he chances upon the body of a soldier washed ashore. (I don't think it would be overwrought parallelling this with the narrative of how his bumping into the a corpse set the Buddha going.) The path of recovery that may lead everyman to "reclaiming the rapport with himself" (Epstein) runs along the train of his losses. Healing cannot take place without "befriending our disown parts" (Caldwell).

Comment by David Brazier on January 11, 2017 at 8:16

I like the look of Myokei's reading list. Buddhism as social liberation is a vitally important theme. I hope you will write something about it for us Myokei, when you get time. Best wishes - D.

Comment by Myokei Caine-Barrett on January 11, 2017 at 8:12

Several on my shelf at the moment--I generally read several at one time!

Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, with Jasmine Syedullah, PhD, North Atlantic Books. Black dharma teachers/practitioners engaging race, gender [and intersectionality] and class.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Speigel & Grau A writer's candid conversation with his son about being a black male.

The Great Awakening:A Buddhist Social Theory by David Loy, Wisdom Publications. Explores the interaction of Buddhism and [post]modernity and how Buddhism can help to develop "liberative possibilities".

Comment by David Brazier on January 9, 2017 at 23:10

Making gardens is a wonderful practice.

Comment by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on January 8, 2017 at 17:35

Today I planted the Rosa glauca I ordered recently in the Pure Land inspired garden I am making on our allotment. I was really excited about this. It has red stems in winter, red-tinged leaves in spring, pink flowers in summer and purple hips in autumn. It attracts polinators and birds. The perfect Pure Land plant, making me think of Amida, the changing seasons, and attracting Amida's insects and birds into the garden to sing the Nembutsu with me. The climax vegetation in Leicester is forest, so I'm managing the garden as forest-edge. Projects for this year include changing some of the ground cover to clover and adding a small pool and rocks. I'm very excited about it.

Comment by David Brazier on January 4, 2017 at 17:29

The moss gardens are especially impressive. Then, I was once in a glade in Northumberland and came across something very similar made by nature - magical.

Comment by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on January 4, 2017 at 17:05

I am pleased to hear that you have been in some of these wonderful gardens. I am particularly impressed with the care I see in the images which has gone into placing stones, water and plants. There is a seamlessness about them, a lack of hard edges, which helps with experiencing co-dependent origination, I think.

Comment by David Brazier on January 4, 2017 at 10:52

Responding to Andrew, on my visits to Japan one of the most wonderful things has been spending time in the temple gardens. Making such places of tranquility and beauty is surely one of the noblest of occupations.

Comment by David Brazier on January 4, 2017 at 10:51

Responding to Annette

- I know that my philosopher friend Mary Midgley who is well into her nineties thinks that eternal life would be rather trying.

- 'enhancing' human nature: who is so wise as to know what such an enhancement would be?

Comment by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on January 4, 2017 at 10:07

At the moment I am reading The Essential Shinran, Edited by Alfred Bloom. I find it very soothing. I have been spending a lot of time sitting with Dad in hospital and when he is tired or asleep, I read this book. I like the multi-layered nature of Shinran's thought and all the unwritten possibilities it opens up. At the same time, I have just finished reading Conundrum by Jan Morris. I read that at home. I found it fascinating. I could only read one chapter at a time as it's like rich fruit cake. I refresh my reading by reading one chapter each of The Temples of Kyoto and Kyoto Gardens. I'm making a Pure Land inspired garden on our allotment and I find these books very useful for ideas. I'd like it to have a little tea hut eventually.


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ITZI Conference 2017

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Posted by David Brazier on February 8, 2017 at 11:55 1 Comment

These are the courses that I am planning to offer in Seoul, S. Korea this summer.


7-11 August 2017 ~ Workshop 1


In this workshop we shall introduce and review important aspects of Buddhist psychology including the conditioned and unconditioned mind,…


Communication? Quelle communication?

Posted by Tamuly Annette on February 6, 2017 at 19:00 3 Comments

J'ai toujours pensé que la véritable communication  ne pouvait se faire qu'en face-à-face et que les communications virtuelles - si communes aujourd'hui sur les réseaux sociaux - ne sont que de déplorables pis-aller. Pourtant, à la réflexion, il me semble qu'il convient de corriger ce point de vue par trop simpliste. Certes, rien ne vaut la richesse d'une rencontre réelle où les paroles ne sont qu'un élément d'un ensemble où tout peut devenir signifiant. Les mots s'accompagnent de toute une…



Posted by David Brazier on January 31, 2017 at 15:13 4 Comments



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