Articles (PDFs)

We recommend the following free articles (for now these are all PDFs), which can be read on your computer or printed out. We have many more free PDFs to share which will be gradually published. 

Related Traditions:     Related Teachers:



  • “One Aesthetic Illumination:” Thomas Merton and Buddhism by

    An essay by Bonnie B. Thurston titled “One Aesthetic Illumination:” Thomas Merton and Buddhism. According to Bonnie, “… Buddhism introduced Merton to the possibility of being “all eye.” And that profoundly affected what he framed with his lens …”


  • 3 ways science can inform good leadership

    We’ve all had “those days” at work where nearly everything seems to go awry. From that traffic jam delaying your first meeting to opening an inbox full of bad news, our patience and well-being are tested more often than we’d like.


  • A Buddhist Life in America {WIT Lectures}

    “THE WIT LECTURES AT HARVARD DIVINITY SCHOOL are an exploration of living a spiritual life in the contemporary world, a subject of great importance today as we see the suffering of so many beings in the face of human greed, hatred, and confusion.

    This book by Joan Halifax tells us about a life that touches both suffering and joy. It is the story of a Western woman’s journey to compassion. It is also a book that explores engaged spirituality, a way of practicing compassionate action in the world.” – excerpt from the Foreword by Thich Nhat Hanh

    “WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL IN THE MODERN WORLD? It does not mean being a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Let us look at one person’s story to see if there is a partial answer in a life. And perhaps we can consider how a spiritual tradition from Asia has led some of us to a way of being that is closer to home.

    Buddhist practice, psychology, and philosophy are touching the lives of many in the Western world. For some of us, Buddhism offers a way of contemplation and seeing that is helping to work with the inheritance of our era. It has touched me for thirty years, first through books, and for more than twenty years through meditation practice.

    Twenty years after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the sixties exploded in our hearts and minds. Many of us wanted to expand our inner and outer horizons as well as to commit ourselves to human rights and simple living close to the earth.Thirty years later, the nineties seem to be a time when we are renewing our vows and putting them to work in a practical way. This new but old path is called “engaged spirituality,” a way for us to bring our spiritual practice into the everyday world.

    What follows are fragments of a life that are pieces of a quilt, not a whole cloth. I tell the story to you in the hope that you will see how the inevitable struggles along the way, the passage of time, and a spiritual practice can lead one home. Although this lecture series is about spirituality and everyday life, I hesitate calling myself spiritual. My sense is that the spiritual flows between beings, be they with humans or other beings.” ~ excerpt from Joan’s opening remarks in Chapter 1

    ——–
    This limited edition of A Buddhist Life in America: Simplicity in the Complex by Joan Halifax Roshi was presented to her by Charles Daishin Rue Woods on August 14, 2000, at the Omega Institute Rhinebeck, New York.

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • A Course In Consciousness

    A free version of Stanley Sobbotka’s systematic course about consciousness where he brings together Quantum Physics and Nonduality. It is offered courtesy of http://faculty.virginia.edu/consciousness.


  • A Walk with Dogen: An Interview with Kaz Tanahashi and Peter Levitt on Their New “Essentials” Book

    “I think Dogen can be a very good introduction for people who want to meditate in whatever way, whether it’s yoga, qigong, or Tibetan. It can help widen and deepen anyone’s meditation experience.”

    – excerpt from article


  • Absent – Wolter Keers

    This article is taken from ‘Jnana yoga — advaita vedanta’ by Wolter Keers, and is published with permission from uitgeverij de Driehoek {as noted in the PDF itself}.


  • Actually with Wolter Keers

    … a conversation with Wolter Keers in Gent, April 25, 1973.


  • After Awareness – The End of the Path Book Summary

    Greg Goode’s latest book titled After Awareness – The End of the Path is about “the direct path, which is the teaching first given by Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon (1883-1959). It is a way of reaching lasting love and happiness undisturbed by conditions.”

    This book summary (includes an overview of each chapter) is written by Greg who has graciously provided it to Stillness Speaks – for free download as a PDF.


  • Afterword to Philip Kapleau’s The Three Pillars of Zen, by Bodhin Kjolhede

    The Afterword, written by Bodhin Kjolhede, of Philip Kapleau’s Three Pillars of Zen provides a compelling discussion about Zen Buddhism’s impact on modern western society. Kjolhede is the current Abbot of the Rochester Zen Center which was founded by Philip Kapleau in 1966.

    Kjolhede begins his essay noting Kapleau’s surprise at the rapidly growing popularity of Zen practice in America. “When Philip Kapleau returned to the United States in 1966 after thirteen years of Zen training in Japan, he became one of only a few Zen teachers living in North America. He had no idea that in his lifetime so many Americans would take up the practice of Zen…. He could not have foreseen the explosion of interest in Zen Buddhism since then, or that his own book would be a major detonator of that explosion.”

    Kjolhede explores the profound impact that occurs when Zen penetrates western culture… “What happens when an ancient, non-theistic, contemplative religion rooted in agrarian Asian culture is transplanted to highly mobile, urban Western countries dominated by consumer culture? Many of us are watching, as wide-eyed as Bodhidharma, to find out. We are involved in a colossal shift, unprecedented in either Buddhism or the West, and while the cultural forces in motion are largely beyond our control, we need to be as watchful as possible.” Kjolhede’s comprehensive Afterword explores this shift.

    The Afterword to the Three Pillars of Zen is from the Rochester Zen Center’s website.


  • All Else is Bondage – Excerpts

    All Else is Bondage is an essential Zen Buddhist classic and is one of the eight volumes by Wei Wu Wei. In this volume, the author offers a guide to “non-volitional living” or “… the ancient understanding that our efforts to grasp our true nature are futile…”  With thirty-four essays, Wei Wu Wei explains the Taoist and Buddhist spiritual traditions “in the context of modern experience” and conveys “… their profound insight into the very nature of existence …”

    This free excerpt includes the first ten essays.


  • An Interview with Buddhist Scholar John Dunne on Mindfulness

    What do we think of when we hear the word mindfulness? Does it change depending on the context? How has the term been understood in the past? Is its popularity significant to Buddhism’s future? John Dunne, associate professor of religion at Emory University and a fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, has both the technical Buddhist philosophical background and connection to contemporary scientific research exploring mindfulness necessary to address these questions. During a visit in October 2013 to Maitripa College in Portland, Oregon, US, John spent a half-hour summing up for Mandala readers the many centuries of meaning that have collected around the word “mindfulness.”


  • An Outline of Practice

    Have you ever noticed that sometimes Buddhist practitioners seem sort of stiff or zombie-like in life? I
    went through a long period of that. What cured me was my encounter with Zen.

    Zen puts a big emphasis on acting, speaking, and thinking from a place of dynamic spontaneity. Zen spontaneity
    might be thought of as the motor analog of what I call flow.

    Click the link below to access this full article on Shinzen’s website.


  • Atma Bodha – Francis Lucille Translation

    This is Francis Lucille’s translation of the classic Vedantic text written by Adi Shankara in the Eighth Century. Francis translates the 67 verses without any additional commentary.


  • Becoming Real: Essays on the Teachings of a Master

    “Eleven rare essays on the teachings of German spiritual teacher and transpersonal psychologist, Karlfried Graf Durckheim. These writings are from primary students of Durckheim, all key leaders in their fields.” ~ from the book description at Amazon.


  • Being Met by the Reality Called Mu

    Of Koans : “R. H. Blythe said that Zen is poetry. What does he mean by poetry? Certainly he did not use the word poetry in the sense of what we commonly call verse. Rather, he meant that the essence of Zen, like the world of poetry, comes from the spontaneous, natural, unfabricated energy of meeting reality directly. This quality of immediacy is in our every day practice, and is also reflected in the so-called literary body that we call koans. T

    he mystery of koans and their poetic veracity comes about because they are non-discursive, based in life, full of allusions, and nonlinear. They invite us not to use the thinking mind but to allow the thinking mind to drop away by being absorbed completely into the koan body so that a genuine experience of intimacy can present itself. Practicing with a koan is like a muscle that moves us into the reality, something that gathers us up and releases into the present.” ….

    “… sometimes we think we have to solve life, and we hear inside ourselves the phrase: My life is a koan. After some years with my first teacher, I came to realize that the point is not to solve the problem but to be informed by the spirit of the question. If one is looking for a solution, an outcome: the right relationship, practice, teacher – a perfect world – disappointment 7 will surely follow. That’s not what life is about. That’s not what this practice is about.

    This practice is not about being in an ideal or idea; it cannot be about trying to get anything or anywhere. Maybe through the friction of the koan, the habit skins begin to drop off, or maybe the habit skins are the very richness that gives life to life. Which ever, a koan can show us what we are wearing and what is underneath.

    That is why the first koan {Mu} in the Mumonkan is so demanding and precious. There is No solution.

    ~ excerpts from this article by Roshi Joan Halifax  (2005)

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • Bliss

    Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon visited Europe (Switzerland) twice in the early nineteen fifties. During his second visit, by request, he allowed a tape recording to be made – of a short summary of his approach or views. This is a retranslation into English from the Dutch translation. The material between parentheses is from the original translator(unknown).


  • Cardiovascular and Nervous System Changes During Meditation

    A number of benefits have been described for the long-term practice of meditation, yet little is known regarding the immediate neurological and cardiovascular responses to meditation. Wireless sensor technology allows, for the first time, multi-parameter and quantitative monitoring of an individual’s responses during meditation. The present study examined inter-individual variations to meditation through continuous monitoring of EEG, blood pressure, heart rate and its variability (HRV) in novice and experienced meditators.


  • Chapter 1: Non-Dualism, by Philip Renard

    The first chapter of Philip Renard‘s book Non-Dualism: Eastern Enlightenment in the World of Western Enlightenment provides an in-depth exploration of non-duality. Renard begins his discussion by framing man’s basic problem as “the tormenting voice.” Then, he describes the essence of non-separateness, discusses the Buddhist notion of two-truths and compares and contrasts non-dualism with mysticism.

    Non-duality is what remains when the seeking stops, when there is ‘finding’. This happens when the inner struggle is realized as being not based on reality, and in this realization the whole body-mind relaxes. I am not two.

    Philip Renard was born in Amsterdam in 1944. After a period of studying the original teachings of Ch’an Buddhism, he started practicing his spiritual life in Subud (a Java based brotherhood), in which the surrender practice called latihangave him a foundation for all further insight, that is: freedom from concept or method. (See Philip’s website for more details about Philip and his work)


  • Chapter 5: Hallmarks of Non-Dualism, by Philip Renard

    The fifth chapter of Philip Renard‘s book Non-Dualism: Eastern Enlightenment in the World of Western Enlightenment explores in detail the five characteristics of of non-dualism.

    According to Renard…

    Just as I looked for the most appropriate and unifying term for the different forms of the direct way of liberation, and came to the term ‘non-dualism’, so I have also looked for the hallmarks with which non- dualism is inextricably connected. Marks that apply for all true, radical schools of non-dualism, and which highlight how non-dualism differs from other ways.

    The five characteristics are:

    1. Awareness (chit)
    2. No-mind (& emptiness, shûnyatâ; conceptlessness)
    3. Immediacy (pratyaksha)
    4. Changelessness (kûtastha)
    5. Naturalness (sahaja)

    Download the article for Philip Renard’s exploration.

    Philip Renard was born in Amsterdam in 1944. After a period of studying the original teachings of Ch’an Buddhism, he started practicing his spiritual life in Subud (a Java based brotherhood), in which the surrender practice called latihangave him a foundation for all further insight, that is: freedom from concept or method. (See Philip’s website for more details about Philip and his work)


  • Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Research on Mindfulness and Meditation

    Both basic science and clinical research on mindfulness, meditation, and related constructs have dramatically in- creased in recent years. However, interpretation of these research results has been challenging. The present article addresses unique conceptual and methodological problems posed by research in this area.


  • Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death …

    … An Interview with Roshi Joan Halifax By David Jay Brown.

    “I interviewed Joan on December 16, 2009. I felt a lot of gratitude that she took time from her busy schedule to speak with me, and she was very kind and gracious. We spoke about her work with people who are dying, some of the most important lessons that she learned from this work, and how the LSD research that she participated in during the early 70s helped to motivate her to do more work with dying people.” ~ from the interview transcript – David’s opening remark before the Q&A

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • Dr. Jean Klein by Andrew Rawlinson

    This free excerpt offers a brief biography of Dr. Jean Klein from The Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers in Eastern Traditions, by Andrew Rawlinson. It also provides a glimpse into Dr. Klein’s teachings through his direct comments or answers.


  • Eating for Peace

    “All things need food to be alive and to grow, including our love or our hate. Love is a
    living thing, hate is a living thing. If you do not nourish your love, it will die. If you cut
    the source of nutriment for your violence, your violence will also die. That is why the
    path shown by the Buddha is the path of mindful consumption.”
    – excerpt from  A talk by the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on Mindful Consumption

  • Evan Thompson’s ‘Waking, Dreaming, Being’

    In the endless public wars between science and religion, Buddhism has mostly been given a pass. The genesis of this cultural tolerance began with the idea, popular in the 1970s, that Buddhism was somehow in harmony with the frontiers of quantum physics. While the silliness of “quantum spirituality” is apparent enough these days, the possibility that Eastern traditions might have something to say to science did not disappear. Instead, a more natural locus for that encounter was found in the study of the mind. Spurred by the Dalai Lama’s remarkable engagement with scientists, interest in Buddhist attitudes toward the study of the mind has grown steadily.

    Click the link below to read the full NY Times article on Evan Thompson’s book ‘Waking, Dreaming, Being’:


  • Exploring Vedic Archetypes: How to Get Started

    We are surrounded by archetypes: those recurrent symbols found in art, literature, modern-day movies, television soap operas, tabloid newspapers, mythology, and even regular everyday people.

    These archetypes—including those found in the Vedic tradition—can be valuable assistants in your life. An archetype can be anyone who has traits that you admire or would like more of in your life. And they play valuable roles in your relationships and spirituality as well as help shape your values and true potential.

    Archetypes can be a source of inspiration or act as a role model as you set out to achieve a particular goal or make a lifestyle change. You can call upon an archetype that you identify with or look up to in times of need or to help in your meditation or yoga practice.


  • Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi

    Enchanting and Uplifting Reminiscences of 202 persons. Compiled and Edited by Professor Laxmi Narain, published by Sri Ramana Kendram, Hyderabad, India, 2009.

    First edition was published in 2005 with 160 individuals and the Second edition, published in 2009, was augmented with additional 42 persons bringing the total to 202.

    This PDF was sourced from The Internet Archive.


  • Fact: Consciousness is What the Present Is

    Consciousness Is All, by Peter Dziuban, is “… a book on Absolute Reality, sometimes called Infinite Reality. It shows clearly why only Consciousness Itself – also known as the One Self, I Am, Love, Life, the Divine, God, and other terms – is being conscious right here, now …”

    Peter has kindly allowed us to offer chapter twelve for free download .. of course, you can buy this book from Amazon.


  • Fact: There Is Nothing Greater Than Consciousness

    Consciousness Is All, by Peter Dziuban, is “… a book on Absolute Reality, sometimes called Infinite Reality. It shows clearly why only Consciousness Itself – also known as the One Self, I Am, Love, Life, the Divine, God, and other terms – is being conscious right here, now …”

    Peter has kindly allowed us to offer this chapter one for free download .. of course, you can buy this book from Amazon.


  • Five Ways to Know Yourself

    Basic Mindfulness is a way to think about, practice, and teach mindful awareness. It is but one system
    among many that are currently available. Each approach to mindful awareness has strong points and
    weak points. The strong point of Basic Mindfulness lies in its conceptual clarity and
    comprehensiveness.

    Its weak point is its complexity. Also the large number of focus options it offers
    can be a bit overwhelming at first. It may be helpful to remember that you don’t have to try all or even
    most of those focus options. If you can find one or two that really work for you, that’s all you need.


  • Francis Lucille: Love in the Other

    Francis Lucille on What is Love?


  • Free Medicine: Meditations on Nondual Awakening – 3 Chapters

    Free Medicine is a collection of forty intimate meditations written by Sufi teacher Pir Elias Amidon. Whether describing a naked dive into a pond in the middle of the night, or a confrontation with soldiers in a Burmese temple, these meditations can serve as companions for those whose deepest desire is to know first-hand “the good news at the heart of reality.” Human, accessible, and tender, Free Medicine has the power to open us up in ways we never expected.

    This PDF includes the Author’s opening Note (to “those who open this book”) plus the first three Chapters of Free Medicine:

    1. Homage to the One.
    2. The Desire to Be at the End of Distances
    3. The Everyday Practice.

    This content was graciously provided to Stillness Speaks through the generous courtesy of Connie Shaw, the publisher (Sentient Publications). The book contains forty chapters, one for each meditation.


  • Fundamentals of Dogen’s Thoughts

    “CIRCLE OF THE WAY
    The “way” is a common image in many religious traditions for the process of spiritual pursuit. It often implies that a seeker is bound to toil on a long path, wandering about and overcoming numerous obstacles before arriving at the final destination. There is a huge distance between the starting point and the goal. In the context of the Mahayana or Great Vehicle teaching—a developed form of Buddhism that spread through North and East Asia—this process represents the journey a seeker, or bodhisattva, takes to become a fully awakened one, a buddha. The time span between the initial practice and the achieved goal—enlightenment—is described in scriptures as ‘hundreds and thousands of eons.'”

    – excerpt from article


  • Guided Meditations

    Meditation can remove stress and replace it with a dose of inner peace. It’s one of the best tools we have to balance our emotions, deal with physical and psychological distress, and promote the peace of the present moment. But it can be tough to meditate without a teacher or guide. Enter guided meditations. Meditating on your own requires some effort, while guided meditations literally walk you through a meditation and help you find a calm and peaceful state—one step at a time. Try one of these guided meditations, each with a unique theme. Meditations below range from five minutes to one hour.


  • Guru Vachaka Kovai

    Guru Vachaka Kovai (translated as The Series of Guru’s Sayings or less precisely as The Garland of Guru’s Sayings), is a comprehensive collection of the sayings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, as recorded (in Tamil) by Sri Muruganar. The original Tamil was translated by Sadhu Om and Michael James and the well known biographer, David Godman, wrote the introduction.


  • Happiness and The Art of Being

    Happiness and The Art of Being, by Michael James, is a brilliant overview of the true philosophy and spiritual practice which Sri Ramana Maharshi taught, bringing forth the Ultimate Truth that Happiness lies deep within us, not in the gross and subtle objects that we ceaselessly pursue in the hopes of completing ourselves.

    Ramana’s great gift was his simple and direct method for discovering and confirming this Truth for ourselves through rational and logical analysis of our own direct experience with reality.This approach, called Atma Vichara in Sanskrit is, thus, science and not a philosophy.

    Michael James’s work is unique in that its clarity and authenticity are impeccable. Like this author, James came to believe that many of the people who translated Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teachings into English did not have a clear understanding of their practice which he taught. In fact, Michael classified some of the more popular texts as “confusing and misleading”, particularly in their discussions of Atma Vichara, the method of self inquiry, which he felt had been mercilessly reduced to the over simplified mantra, “Who am I?”

    To his great credit, Michael James translated from Tamil and published many works by Ramana ( including what many consider his most important work, “Nan Yar?”, meaning, ‘Who am I?’ available at this website here under The Ramana Maharshi Books Section) and English translations of books of some of his students, including the remarkable Sri Sadhu Om, who studied with Ramana for more than five years and later with Sri Muruganar .

    Happiness and The Art of Being will help you begin one of the clearest journey into the remarkable teachings of Ramana Maharshi. You can either download a free e-book by clicking here  OR you can buy your own copy at Amazon. Please visit www.happinessofbeing.com for all of the other books written by Michael James, Sri Sadhu Om, Muruganar, and the elusive Michael Langford.


  • Health Care in the Himalayas – The New Yorker

    Delivering basic care to the remote Himalayas.

    “We are a team of committed volunteers who make an annual month-long journey into the most remote regions of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau to provide medical and humanitarian aid. We train local healthcare providers and meet the healthcare needs of those who live in these isolated mountain communities.” ~ excerpt from the Nomads Clinic – their work is the primary subject of this article.

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center. It was authored by Rebecca Solnit and published in the December 21, 2015 issue of The New Yorker.


  • Hudson Valley Healing Buddha

    Published by www.insideouthv.com, this article finds Robert Thurman discussing his lifelong dedication to Buddhism and Tibet.

    Thurman’s interest in Tibetan medicine and healing was piqued during his early days as a monk when his guru told him to study with the physician to the Dalai Lama. At rst, the young Thurman balked – “’Me study medicine? I’m, like, a yogi, I want to meditate, I want to be a monk, like forget it. You study medicine.’ But he gave me that guru’s command. That thing.” And so he began to learn.


  • I Am Unborn – Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

    I Am Unborn – Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  is compiled by Vijayendra Deshpande and edited by Pradeep Apte. It is the product of the notes, taken by Damodar Lund (a disciple of Maharaj), during the satsangs at Maharaj’s residence.


  • Impact Study/BWD: Supportive & Palliative Care (2009)

    “Health care professionals report a lack of skills in the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of caring for dying people and high levels of moral distress, grief, and burnout. To address these concerns, the “Being with Dying: Professional Training Program in Contemplative End-of-Life Care” (BWD) was created. The premise of BWD, which is based on the development of mindfulness and receptive attention through contemplative practice, is that cultivating stability of mind and emotions enables clinicians to respond to others and themselves with compassion. This article describes the impact of BWD on the participants.” ~ excerpt from the study

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • Indifference Not Acting – Wolter Keers

    Wolter Keers on indifference and not taking action.


  • Infinity is a synonym for being

    This free excerpt (downloadable as PDF) is from Peter Dziuban’s The New, True Infinity, a 27-page essay that “… discusses a “new” definition of infinity that has not been thoroughly investigated by scientists, mathematicians and philosophers …”

    You can purchase this essay on this page under the Articles section at Peter’s site.


  • Introduction to Non-Dualism by Philip Renard

    This comprehensive Introduction to Philip Renard‘s book Non-Dualism: Eastern Enlightenment in the World of Western Enlightenment is a sweeping exploration of self-realisation and non-duality.

    “Nowadays the notion of Self-realisation is more popular than ever. Many books are devoted to this theme. The time seems ripe to offer a view that is more in-depth than most of the books now available, more informative about sources and intricacies of this issue. Otherwise ‘Self-realisation’ could be discarded by people more thoroughly inclined, as being something trivial or trendy.”

    Philip Renard was born in Amsterdam in 1944. After a period of studying the original teachings of Ch’an Buddhism, he started practicing his spiritual life in Subud (a Java based brotherhood), in which the surrender practice called latihangave him a foundation for all further insight, that is: freedom from concept or method. (See Philip’s website for more details about Philip and his work)

    This Introduction presents the three primary non-dual traditions,

    1. Advaita (in Vedanta as well as in advaitic-tantric Shaivism)
    2. Ch’an (& Zen)
    3. Dzogchen

    “These three traditions distinguish themselves by strongly and explicitly emphasizing, more than other traditions do, the non- conceptual as the ultimate truth, and the necessity of the immediate experience of this truth”

    This article explores the nature of non-dual reality and how it relates to awakening. Topics included: Hierarchy, Love, Sexual Relationships, Real Understanding, and Interpretations of Enlightenment.


  • Inventory to the Stanislav Grof Papers, circa 1955-2008

    Inventory to the Stanislav Grof Papers (circa 1955-2008) – Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections, West Lafayette, Indiana July 29, 2009 – PDF/34 pages

    This collection contains writings that document the career and research interests of psychiatrist and author Stanislav Grof. It consists primarily of published research articles and clippings discussing the therapeutic effects of psychoactive substances as well as some first-hand accounts of transcendental experiences.

    Sourced from Stan’s website at http://www.stanislavgrof.com/.


  • Listening In With… Robert Thurman

    Provided by unity.org, this a great interview with Robert Thurman discussing friendship and communication.

    “I first met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Buddhist monk Tenzin Gyatso for short, in November, 1964, in Sarnath, India. His Holiness, 29 at that time, accepted this 23-year-old American boy who was seeking to continue his Buddhist studies and practice, and if possible to become a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition, as his student and protégé.

    Recently, we met in Delhi and he laughed, remembering those days, and said, “You and I have had a long time chatting in my broken English and your broken Tibetan—but we still communicate! Friendship can make it work!” His Holiness knows perhaps thousands of people all over the world, but I do feel blessed to have been an American friend of his now for these past 51 years.” ~ excerpt from this article

    This article (PDF) is sourced from unity.org.


  • Love In The Other

    Francis Lucille on What is Love? – offered freely with his permission.


  • Love of Uncertainty – Excerpt

    This is an excerpt (the first chapters) Steven Harrison’s book, The Love of Uncertainty and is offered for free downloads courtesy of Sentient Publications.


  • Meister Eckhart’s Sermon 87 – Francis Lucille Translation

    Francis Lucille’s translation of Meister Eckhart’s Sermon 87 on “Beati pauperes spiritu, quia ipsorum est regnum coelorum  or Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).” 


  • Menla Mountain Retreat Interview with Robert Thurman

    This interview took place at Menla Mountain Retreat, which also is known as The Land of the Healing Buddha, one of the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan medicine healing centers, on August 14, 2010, during a workshop with Dr. Thurman and psychiatrist/author Mark Epstein, M.D., “Integrating Buddhism and Psychotherapy.”

    Conducted by David Bullard, published on his site as well as on popular Buddhist website tricycle.


  • Mindfulness for Cancer and Terminal Illness, 2011

    Summary from the paper: “… more research is warranted into the efficacy of mindfulness interventions for people who have serious illness. However, the indications from 21 existing research and anecdotal evidence lead us to surmise that mindfulness as an intervention has great potential benefits for those who are suffering from a catastrophic illness. MBCR {Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery} is a group-based mindfulness training program that has empirical support for its benefits in terms of improving coping, quality of life, decreasing stress, improving mood and enhancing qualities of spirituality and personal growth in the face of cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • Mystical Poems by Susan Kahn

    A free sampling Susan Kahn’s mystical poetry: Song of Emptiness,  The Mist of Being, and Undying Self.


  • Nan Yar? ( Who Am I?)

    Nan Yar? (Who am I?) is a publication by one of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s devotee, Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai. It is a compilation of the many Q&A sessions between Sri Ramana and Sri Pillai.


  • Natural Perfection

    Natural Perfection “… presents the radical precepts of Dzogchen, pointing the way to absolute liberation from conceptual fetters and leading the practitioner to a state of pure, natural integration into one’s true being …”

    Keith Dowman’s “illuminating translation of this remarkable work of wisdom provides clear accessibility to the profound path of Dzogchen in the here-and-now.”

    This PDF is sourced from Promienie – a resource (CC BY-SA 4.0) for Buddhism and more.


  • Nondualism in Western Philosophy

    Greg Goode offers “… a series of pointers to how the Western approach can assist with one’s self-inquiry. It is less a historical survey, and more a collection of Western views that might serve as tools for inquiry, along with suggestions on how these tools might be used….”


  • Notes on Spiritual Discourses

    These voluminous “Notes” are a collection of spiritual discourses by Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon, a living representative of the tradition of Advaita Vedanta and one of the great sages of the modern world. The discourses were recorded during the period of 1950 to 1959 by Nitya Tripta, a trusted disciple. The “Notes” consist of 1451 questions and answers along with Atmananda’s “spiritual statements.” They are short and masterful talks on realizing the Truth through a recognition that our nature is always pure Consciousness. This free PDF version is available courtesy of Non-Duality Press.


  • Parmenides’ On Reality

    Francis Lucille’s translation of Parmenides’ single poem On Reality  (or On Nature).


  • Preface to A New Map of Reality: the Worldview of 21st CenturyScience

    Stanislav Grof’s Foreword to Ervin Lazlo’s new book, A New Map of Reality: the Worldview of 21st CenturyScience. (PDF/13 pages).

    Sourced from Stan’s website at http://www.stanislavgrof.com/.


  • Prior to Consciousness

    Stillness Speaks is pleased to offer Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s perspective on Awareness & Consciousness as part of our continuing exploration of this topic. As a start, we are sharing a book, Prior to Consciousness, based on talks given by Nisargadatta available as a FREE downloadable PDF. The contents of this book are transcribed from tape recordings made during the question and answer periods of 1980 and 1981 which occurred regularly until Sri Maharaj’s death from cancer in September, 1981, at the age of 84.


  • Realizing the unreal: Dharmakı ̄rti’s theory of yogic perception, by John D Dunne

    The Buddhist epistemologist Dharmakı ̄rti(fl.ca.7thcenturyC.E.) developed a theory of yogic perception that achieved much influence among Buddhist thinkers in India and Tibet. His theory includes an odd problem: on Dharmakı ̄rti’s view, many of the paradigmatic objects of the adept’s medita- tions do not really exist. How can one cultivate a meditative perception of the nonexistent? This ontological difficulty stems from Dharmakı ̄rti’s decision to construe the Four Noble Truths as the paradigmatic objects of yogic perception. For him, this ontological problem manifests in an epistemological corollary: ‘‘impermanence’’ (anityata ̄) and other features of the Noble Truths are conceptual, but the adept’s meditative perception of them must be non- conceptual. How can a nonconceptual cognition apprehend a conceptual object?

    From the article’s Abstract.


  • Reasons for Retranslating the Heart Sutra

    “Dear Family,
    The reason Thay must retranslate the Heart Sutra is because the patriarch who originally recorded the Heart Sutra was not sufficiently skillful enough with his use of language. For this reason, it has caused much misunderstanding for almost 2,000 years. Thay would like to share with you two stories: the story of a novice monk that paid a visit to a Zen master, and the story of a Bhikkhu who came with a question to the Eminent Master Tue Trung.”

    – excerpt from article


  • Reflections on Receiving Jukai

    “What is this life really about? Many people throughout space and time have asked this question. As Buddhist practitioners, we have a vehicle for reflecting on this question — the Precepts or Jukai. In Japanese, Kai means ‘vow’ and Ju conveys ‘to let go.’ Daido Loori Roshi offered a story to illustrate how he interprets the meaning of Jukai. One day, his young son was standing on a dresser and just threw himself from that height into his father’s arms. This is a wonderful description of what Jukai feels like. Receiving Jukai is letting go, letting go into the best of who you really are, no longer restrained or confused by a false sense of the lessness of things.”…. ” ~ excerpts from this article by Roshi Joan Halifax and Irene Joko Bahker, Jisen McFarland, Beate Stolte, Jean Wilkins (August 2007)

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • Richard Sylvester: Non-Duality Questions, Non-Duality Answers

    Stillness Speaks is excited to offer this excerpt from Richard Sylvester’s latest book, Non-Duality Questions, Non-Duality Answers.

    Richard Sylvester is a humanistic psychologist, therapist and lecturer. In addition to Non-Duality Questions, Non-Duality Answers, he has written four books about non-duality including  I Hope You Die Soon, The Book Of no One, and Drink Tea, Eat Cake.

    Richard holds regular meetings in London about non-duality and also gives talks in Munich, Berlin and Paris. He is currently writing a book about his years of spiritual seeking called Confessions Of A Seeker. Publication of this book is planned for late 2017 or early 2018. If you would like to know more you can visit Richard’s website: www.richardsylvester.com.

    Enjoy this excerpt, available for download in pdf form and reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc., copyright (c) 2016 Richard Sylvester.


  • Shobogenzo: The Treasure House of the Eye of the True Teaching

    This is a translation, of Dogen’s Spiritual Masterpiece, by a trainee, Rev. Hubert Nearman.


  • Some Teachings from Sri Atmananda (Krishna Menon)

    This document was created as a result of a discussion on the Advaitin E-group during Nov 2003 to Jan 2004. The discussion was led by Ananda Wood; and the extraction is largely the work of Dennis Waite. We are able to offer this document for free download courtesy of Dennis Waite.


  • Tantrasara

    Translation of Abhinvagupta’s Classic by Pt. Hemendra Nath Chakravarty. Tantrasara is a shorter prose version of Tantraloka. Abhinavagupta compiled (as verses) all of the Kashmir Shaivism “branches” into a single, extensive (~5900 verses), treatise – known as Tantraloka.

    This PDF was sourced from The Internet Archive.


  • The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success

    Many of us grew up with the belief that achieving success requires relentless hard work, grim determination, and intense ambition. As a result, we may have struggled for years and even reached some of our goals but wound up feeling exhausted, our lives out of balance.


  • The Altruist – Mind & Life Spring 2014

    “Much has been made over the past several years about the state of American health care. What it needs, what it does not, and who is responsible for both. Lost in that discussion, however, is the very nontheoretical and yet everyday experience of becoming ill, or facing mortality, and engaging the clinician in hospital rooms that do not distinguish between red and blue states. What happens when politics are trumped by diagnosis?” … Curious? … then check the full article by downloading the PDF.

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center. It first appeared in the Mind and Life Spring 2014.


  • The Awakening West: Interview with Robert Rabbin

    In their book, The Awakening West: Conversations with Today’s New Western Spiritual Leaders, the authors Lynn Marie Lumiere and John-Lumiere Wins suggest  that “… Western Spirituality has come into its own, drawing on the rich philosophies of Zen, Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta, Kashmiri Shaivism, Judaism, and Christianity …” and they explore awakening or enlightenment with many spiritual teachers including : Adyashanti, Gangaji, Francis LucilleEckhart Tolle, and Robert Rabbin (it’s a much longer list).

    This article (PDF) is the transcript of the interview with Robert – sourced from  the free downloads page on Robert’s website.

    Here’s an excerpt from the interview’s opening summary: “Robert has had a lifelong interest in the nature of the human mind and consciousness. He studied with Swami Muktananda in India, and subsequently his spiritual inquiry has been profoundly influenced by Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj.”

     


  • The Book of Listening – Excerpt

    The Book of Listening is a “compilation of Volumes 1 – 10 of Jean Klein´s journal Listening, published by the Jean Klein Foundation on a limited basis between 1989-1995.” Each volume covers a theme, e.g., “Love and Marriage, The Guru and Disciple, and includes a previously unpublished private discussion or a transcription of a public talk with Jean Klein.”

    This free excerpt includes the Introduction, the full Table Of Contents, and the first 3 chapters of Volume 1. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.


  • The Circle of the Way

    “On the great road of buddha ancestors there is always unsurpassable practice, continuous and sustained. It forms the circle of the way and is never cut off. Between aspiration, practice, enlightenment and nirvana, there is not a moment’s gap. Continuous practice is the circle of the way. This being so, continuous practice is unstained, not forced by you or others. The power of continuous practice confirms you as well as others. It means your practice affects the entire earth and the entire sky in the ten directions. Although not noticed by others or by yourself, it is so.” ~ Zen Master Eihei Dogen

    This article is Roshi Joan’s commentary on The Circle of the Way … “… can we understand that “monastery time” is every minute we live? The vision of the circle of the way is that everything we do is practice. Underlying everything, there is a deep continuity in all our thoughts and actions and beneath our thoughts and actions. Western people find it very difficult to comprehend the continuous way. We like to separate things into pieces and take them apart. It is how science is practiced, how business is done, and how we see the world. It’s the genius of Zen Master Dogen to bring us into seeing how we don’t have to structure our lives into cells, that instead we can experience “being” in flow, and shift our perspective on time into time-being.

    The Buddha says, “To practice the dharma is swimming upstream.” For Westerners, it’s not just swimming upstream—it’s swimming against a tsunami. We have to change the view from it’s my life to this is our life. As one man dying of prostate cancer said to me: “We belong to each other.” We belong to the earth, we belong to the sky. We inter-are. Wisdom, compassion, body, mind are not separate. The same applies to our very moment-to-moment experience, to our experience of time, which is not separate from being. Each moment is causally intertwined with all other moments. We are intertwined with each other in a causal flow of multiplicities and multiple processes that Dogen calls time-being.

    Dogen teaches, “Continuous practice is the circle of the way.”…. ” ~ excerpts from her commentary

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • The Complete I AM Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

    The complete ‘I am’ quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, is compiled by Pradeep Apte from the following 10 books. These books cover almost all the recorded dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

    1. I Am That edited by Maurice Frydman
    2. Seeds of Consciousness edited by Jean Dunn
    3. Prior to Consciousness edited by Jean Dunn
    4. Consciousness and the Absolute edited by Jean Dunn
    5. The Experience of Nothingness edited by Robert Powell
    6. The Nectar of Immortality edited by Robert Powell
    7. The Ultimate Medicine edited by Robert Powell
    8. Beyond Freedom edited by Maria Jory
    9. I am Unborn edited by Pradeep Apte
    10. Gleanings from Nisargadatta edited by Mark West

    We are able to offer this PDF for free download courtesy of Pradeep Apte.


  • The Complete Red Book by Carl Jung

    “The most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology. When Carl Jung embarked on an extended self-exploration he called his “confrontation with the unconscious,” the heart of it was The Red Book, a large, illuminated volume he created between 1914 and 1930. Here he developed his principle theories—of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation—that transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with treatment of the sick into a means for higher development of the personality.”

    A full color copy of Carl Jung’s The Red Book, including the complete English translation by Shamdasani is available for free download as a PDF.


  • The Consciousness Revolution: New Perspectives in Psychiatry, Psychology, and Psychotherapy

    The Consciousness Revolution: New Perspectives in Psychiatry, Psychology, and Psychotherapy Full version of a paper presented in an abridged form at the XVIIth International Transpersonal Conference in Moscow on June 24, 2010. (PDF/37 pages)

    Sourced from Stan’s website at http://www.stanislavgrof.com/.


  • The discipline of disappearance

    An article compiled by Pradeep Apte about Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s cardinal question in self-inquiry : What were you before you were born?


  • The Four Keys to Well-Being

    Well-being is a skill. All of the work that my colleagues and I have been doing leads inevitably to this central conclusion. Well-being is fundamentally no different than learning to play the cello. If one practices the skills of well-being, one will get better at it.


  • The Fourth Precept: Deep Listening and Loving Speech

    “Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I vow to cultivate loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I vow to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.”

    – excerpt from article


  • The heart of the world – Wolter Keers

    Wolter shares the story about his odyssey to India including how he heard of Ramana Maharshi.


  • The Impersonal Life

    “While in India, I met a self realized teacher, Ajati, who turned me onto a document {The Impersonal Life} which blew my mind. It contained fundamental Truth in a simple, direct manner. The teaching was in complete harmony with all that I have discovered in the East and the West but was written by a western psychiatrist, anonymously in Europe. It fascinates me that, while deeply immersed in India, I discovered this key to life written in 20th century Europe. Read 20 pages of this now; if it doesn’t fit, throw it away. Otherwise, get ready for a life-changing read. It’s a real winner.” ~ Chris Hebard

    The Impersonal Life “… is one of the key books written on the topic of self-discovery and leading a spiritual life…” (Amazon) If interested, you can purchase a copy via Amazon.


  • The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore

    “All Buddhas in the past, present and future

    by practicing
    the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
    are all capable of attaining
    Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.”

    – excerpt from article


  • The Keys to Ultimate Freedom

    Many authentic teachers of the ultimate Truth and happiness have credited the work of Lester Levenson. A successful businessman from the United States, Lester had a “dark night of the soul” experience, finding himself both miserable and at the brink of death from a second heart attack, chronic jaundice, migraine headaches, perforated ulcers, and kidney stones. The doctors had given up on him.

    Lester sensed that the stress, unhappiness and circumstances of his life were self created. Armed only with this intuition, he discarded all that he knew and asked himself the fundamental question: what was it that made him happy? As the Truth began to unfold for him, his attention turned to the more primary question: who or what, exactly, is it that I call “I”.

    Lester’s remarkable recovery and ultimate liberation resulted in the creation of the “Sedona Method,” a remarkable and popular road map to true happiness, peace, love, and beauty. The work is continued today by the equally remarkable Hale Dwoskin, author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Sedona Method,” one of the teachers in the popular movie, “The Secret,” and CEO of Sedona Training Associates. Visit him at sedona.com.

    Less known is Lester’s book, “The Keys to Ultimate Freedom,” long out of print and highly sought after by mature seekers throughout the world. For those interested in paperback, you can purchase a copy via Amazon.

    One of Lester’s students gave us a copy of the original manuscript in Word to distribute freely to seekers of Truth. With great deference to those still involved with Lester’s work, and in the hope that this free document will help others on the path to self discovery, we offer you this masterful work by an American for Americans (PDF).


  • The Nisargadatta Gita

    The Nisargadatta Gita consists of 231 condensed quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj along with a short commentary on each quote. These 231 quotes have been taken from a collection of 572 quotes from “The Complete I AM Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.”


  • The Old Woman’s Rice Cakes

    Roshi Joan’s commentary (2-pages) on the koan “The Old Woman’s Rice Cakes.”

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • The Rabbit In The Hat – Wolter Keers

    Wolter Keers’ Q&A re enlightenment. … From: Yoga and Vedanta, June 1976.


  • The Six Emotional Styles

    You see the glass half full, while your spouse sees it half empty. One of your friends recovers almost immediately after a setback, while another is depressed for weeks. One child intuitively understands other people, while another misses basic social signals. Why are people so very different?


  • The Ten Thousand Things: Awakening and Behavior

    Robert Saltzman discusses what it’s like to live in an awakened state, while still living an ego-based normal life with a regular sense of self.  To begin his exploration, clarifies his meaning of the word “awake” and responds to the opening query “How does awakening impact personal behavior?”  Saltzman shares his views about religion, spirituality and non-duality, all in the context of living an awakened existence in the here and now.

    Awakening and Behavior is the first chapter in Robert’s new book, The Ten Thousand Things.


  • The Ten Thousand Things: Awakening Never Ends

    Robert Saltzman explores the essential nature of self. He looks at the sense of I or me, describing the ways we experience self in any given moment. We live our lives with familiar sense of a flowing stream of awareness: That flow is not happening to me. That flow is me Read Awakening Never Ends, it is a journey into the reality of awareness.

    Awakening Never Ends is the Third chapter in Robert’s new book, The Ten Thousand Things.


  • The Ten Thousand Things: Freedom to Be

    Robert Saltzman explores the concept of free-will within the context of there being no intrinsic permanent self. He explores who or what makes choices and examines what choices really are.  Robert turns many of our basic assumptions about choice and freedom up-side down. Read Freedom to Be for a penetrating but clear look at our cherished notions of freedom.

    Freedom to Be is the sixth chapter in Robert’s new book, The Ten Thousand Things.


  • The Transparency of Things – Excerpt

    This is an excerpt (3 chapters from a total of 44) from Rupert Spira’s book, The Transparency of Things and is offered for free downloads through Rupert’s courtesy.


  • Thoughtless Buddha, Passionate Buddha, by John D Dunne

    Althought Buddhism has been viewed as an exquisitely rational religion, Buddhist philosophershave not failed to create conceptual problems for themselves. Perhaps the most persistent of these problems focus on the nature of a buddha: as truly awakened (buddha), a buddha must embody the utter transcendence of nirvana; but as a compassionate guide, a buddha must also remain completely immanent in sumsara, the world of suffering, so as to show others the way to freedom. This tension between a buddha’s transcendence and immanence-his location within both nirvana and samsura prompted much debate among Buddhist philosophers. This article examines how Dharmakirti and Candrakirti, two prominent Buddhist thinkers of India’s post-Gupta period (sixth to seventh century C.E.), address the question of a buddha’s transcendence and immanence.


  • Utterly One

    Rupert Spira’s simple and profound commentary about our “oneness” – about the “Knowing Presence” we are. This article is offered for free download courtesy of Rupert Spira.


  • Waking Up

    Insightful and humorous story of Roshi Joan’s personal experience from Upaya’s Prison Outreach Project.

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.

     


  • What is Mindfulness?

    It’s important to remember that mindfulness is merely a word in the English language. As such, its meaning has evolved through time and it may denote different things in different circumstances.

    When speaking of non-Western cultures, it is common to distinguish the pre-contact situation from the postcontact situation. Contact, in this case, refers to interaction with modern Europeans.

    Here’s an example. Before contact with Western ideas, the Japanese word kami referred to the local Shinto god(s). Contact with Abrahamic religions caused a semantic broadening. Kami can still refer to a particular Shinto god, but it can also stand for the Western monotheistic notion of God/Deus/Elohim.

    Click the link below to access this full article on Shinzen’s website.


  • Yoga means connection – Jean Klein

    Here is a rare article about Jean Klein reprinted with permission from Amigos. In this article, Johan van der Kooij shares comments about yoga and his teacher Jean Klein followed by Jean’s response to this question: “Yoga means connection, but connection between what and what?”


  • You are YOU

    “One of my students has studied Aikido. He said his teacher told him something that was the most important thing he ever heard. His teacher said, “You are you”. I agree with his teacher and add that because you are YOU, I am you, and you are me.

    I don’t mean that you are the little ego self “you”. I mean YOU are all beings. You are the redwood tree and the rattlesnake. You are a Mexican immigrant illegally crossing the U.S. border. You are a scientist making nuclear weapons at Los Alamos. You are an African-American imprisoned on Death Row, and you are a rich, white, male Republican.

    This practice allows us to be liberated through our differences into the experience of non-separateness. Every time you create an “other”, then you are not YOU. Every time you objectify, there is less of you. Every time there is a self and there is another, you have been diminished.

    If you are YOU, then you are a Bodhisattva. If you are doing good things for others…like serving as a caretaker for the sick, working for community development through the arts or reforming the prison system…then you are one of these enlightened beings who has chosen to live in the burning house of worldly existence. You have chosen to come back and experience birth and death again and again to really serve beings who are suffering. If you realized awakening and then said, “To heck with the rest of the world”, your awakening would not be “You are YOU”.

    Upon awakening, the Buddha said, “I and all creation simultaneously realize the Way.” That was how the Buddha said, “You are YOU.” Bodhisattvas help unawakened beings see that they, too, realize the Way, and that they are YOU…..” ~ excerpt from this article, which was Edited by Marsha Scarborough and Joan Halifax Roshi

    This article (PDF) is sourced from Upaya Zen Center.


  • You Can Change Your Brain

    Neuroscientist Richard Davidson has spent nearly 40 years studying the human brain and emotion. The conclusion he’s reached after all that research? With some effort, you can change the brain circuits governing your emotions and shape your emotional style.


  • Your Guide to Healthy Eating

    On a mission to improve your health? It all begins with the food you put in your body. You can exercise all you want, but if you’re not putting emphasis on healthy eating as a lifestyle, you won’t make strides.  Whether you want to lose weight, improve your health metrics, or just feel your best, revitalize your eating habits—with this guide packed with advice from nutritionists, holistic health coaches, and food aficionados—on how to eat your way to proper health.


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