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dhivan thomas jones

Buddhists and Stoics in the Philosophy Café

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Sat, 12 May, 2018 - 13:22

Buddhists and Stoics in the Philosophy Café

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Sat, 12 May, 2018 - 13:22

We present here a review of a new book exploring common ground between Buddhism and the philosophical tradition of Stoicism:

More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age

by Antonia Macaro

Icon Books, London, 2018. £12.99 hb

review by Dhīvan

I met the author of More Than Happiness, Antonia Macaro, at a mindfulness retreat in 2016 led by Ven Anālayo,[i] and then again in November 2017 at a Bodhi College weekend on ‘Philosophy as a Way of Life’. An encouragingly large number of us listened to Stephen...

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Searching for the Sublime

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Sun, 22 Apr, 2018 - 19:46

Searching for the Sublime

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Sun, 22 Apr, 2018 - 19:46

Here is a review by Ben Atmer of Vajragupta’s new book from Windhorse Publications:

VajraguptaWild Awake: Alone, Offline & Aware in Nature

Windhorse, Cambridge, 2018, £10 pb

review by Ben Atmer

Vajragupta, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order and writer, has had published a new book based on his long and deep immersion in the practice of solitary retreat. He attempts, for the most part remarkably successfully, to convey his sense of intimacy with the natural world, and tries to suggest just what it...

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Information for publishers and contributors

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Fri, 14 Sep, 2012 - 17:45

Information for publishers and contributors

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Fri, 14 Sep, 2012 - 17:45

Publishers and Authors
Contact editor [at] westernbuddhistreview.com to find out if we can review your work. Please send items for review to: WBR Editor, 34 Cornwallis Crescent, Bristol BS8 4PHUK.

Reviews
We welcome reviews of between 1,000 and 3,000 words, prepared according to the style guide below. Please contact editor [at] westernbuddhistreview.com with your ideas and proposals for reviews, or to offer to review works...

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More Advice From the Zen Master – Read Dōgen!

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Tue, 5 Dec, 2017 - 18:27

More Advice From the Zen Master – Read Dōgen!

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Tue, 5 Dec, 2017 - 18:27

We present another review by Vidyavajra, this one of Brad Warner’s second book re-interpreting the great Zen Master Dōgen for the present day:

Brad Warner, It Came From Beyond Zen! More Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan’s Greatest Zen Master, New World Library, 2017 (£15 pback)

review by Vidyavajra

As I start a review of another book by Brad Warner, I am conscious that, should I be so inclined, I could just rehash my previous review of Don’t Be A Jerk. Comment on the pulp sci-fi...

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Metta for Everyman

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Mon, 21 Aug, 2017 - 11:36

Metta for Everyman

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Mon, 21 Aug, 2017 - 11:36

We are pleased to present a review of a new book from Windhorse Publications on the therapeutic use of mettā or kindness by Paramabandhu and Jed Shamel – reviewed by Paul Wielgus, himself a mindfulness teacher.

Mindful Emotion: A Short Course in Kindness by Paramabandhu Groves and Jed Shamel, Windhorse Publications, Cambridge, 2017.

review by Paul Wielgus

The first thing that struck me about Mindful Emotion – the book as well as the support on the accompanying website – was its simplicity and sheer accessibility. The book is well-structured and...

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The Chapter of the Eights

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Sat, 21 Jan, 2017 - 17:29

The Chapter of the Eights

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Sat, 21 Jan, 2017 - 17:29

Gil Fronsdal, The Buddha Before Buddhism: Wisdom from the Early Teachings, Shambhala, Boulder, 2016, paperback £15, 180 pages.

reviewed by Dhivan Thomas Jones

Gil Fronsdal’s new book is a translation of and commentary on ‘The Chapter of the Eights’ (Aṭṭhakavagga), the fourth chapter of the Sutta-nipāta, itself a miscellaneous collection of Pāli Buddhist verses (including such classics as the Karaṇīya-metta sutta and the Ratana sutta). I was excited when I heard about this new translation, because The Chapter of the Eights is a fascinating...

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Responses

Ratnaprabha's picture

Thanks Dhivan, an interesting review. Ratnaprabha

Bernat's picture

Dear Dhivan,

I have a question about one of your comments on Fronsdal’s translation. If we break the dvanda compound bhavābhava as bhava-bhava, how do we account for the long a? At first sight it looks like a contraction, if we break the compound as bhava-abhava, which would be correctly translated as “existence and/or non-existence”, “becoming and/or non-becoming”, etc.

dhivan thomas jones's picture

Dear Bernat,

Thanks for this intelligent question. I would say that of course Fronsdal’s translation is based on taking bhavābhava as bhava-abhava as this is how we would expect to analyse the compound. However, as I mentioned in a note in my review, the commentary analyses it bhava-bhava ,’various existences’, and interprets it accordingly. KR Norman calls the ā an example of ‘rhythmical lengthening’ – see Group of Discourses p.150 n.6. Rhythmical lengthening is a feature of Pāli phonology.

Having said this, I am aware that sometimes bhavābhava should be taken to mean bhava-abhava. See for instance Tse-fu Kuan’s discussion in Mindfulness in Early Buddhism n.30.

So perhaps in some instances of bhavābhava we should translate ‘existence and/or non-existence’. But which instances? Fronsdal might have started by taking Norman’s interpretations and translations as guides in this respect, as they are at least based on the commentarial tradition.

Hoping this is helpful, Dhivan

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Finding Out More About Early Buddhist Women

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Wed, 28 Dec, 2016 - 12:52

Finding Out More About Early Buddhist Women

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Wed, 28 Dec, 2016 - 12:52

With this post we present another fine review by Sarah Clelland of a recent work of scholarship on women monastics in early Buddhism.

Alice Collett, Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns: Biographies as History, Oxford University Press, India, 2016

Review by Sarah Clelland

In Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns Alice Collett, now lecturer at Nālanda University in India, explores changing attitudes to women in Buddhism through the stories of six early nuns: Dhammadinnā, Khemā, Kisāgotamī, Paṭācārā, Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā and Uppalavaṇṇā. In the first half...

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Mrigendra Pratap's picture

Thank you for sharing this information.

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dhivan thomas jones

Online Pāli School

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Thu, 6 Oct, 2016 - 11:17

Online Pāli School

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Thu, 6 Oct, 2016 - 11:17

Prof Richard Gombrich is running another of his online Pāli schools, this coming 7–26 November, recommended as an introduction to the Pāli language. Full details at http://ocbs.org/courses/pali-online-school/.

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What was it like for early Buddhist women?

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Sat, 1 Oct, 2016 - 13:30

What was it like for early Buddhist women?

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Sat, 1 Oct, 2016 - 13:30

Here, Dharmacārinī Vajratārā reviews a collection of scholarly essays exploring how it was for women in early Buddhism – at a time before feminism when nevertheless women were taken seriously as dharma practitioners.

Women in Early Indian Buddhism: Comparative Textual Studies

essays by various scholars, edited and introduced by Alice Collett

Oxford University Press, USA, 2014, 274pp., hback and ebook

Reviewed by Vajratārā

What were the attitudes towards women in early Indian Buddhism? Does textual analysis of early Buddhist texts corroborate the idea that early Buddhists saw women...

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Responses

Ratnaprabha's picture

Hi, typos: para 4 “One might the case.”

Para 5: criteria for criterion.

Metta, Ratnaprabha

dhivan thomas jones's picture

Thanks Ratnaprabha, I’ve corrected the mistakes now. It’s always problematic being one’s own proof-reader!

Padmadrishti's picture

How strange not to mention that Alice Collett is ordained in Triratna with the name of Dharmacharini Manishini. Or have I missed that?

padmadrishti

dhivan thomas jones's picture

Hi Padmadrishti. You’re right, it might seem strange. But as far as we are aware, Alice Collett is presently not active as an Order member, so we did not presume to mention her Order name (Munishini); rather we reviewed her scholarly work on its merits.

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dhivan thomas jones

Faith and Imagination in Pure Land Buddhism

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 - 12:05

Faith and Imagination in Pure Land Buddhism

Posted by dhivan thomas jones on Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 - 12:05

Dharmacārī Saccanāma reviews a ground-breaking new book on Pure Land Buddhism, with new translations of sūtras, and finds much to appreciate and enjoy:

Ratnaguna & Śraddhāpa

Great Faith, Great Wisdom: practice and awakening in the Pure Land sūtras of Mahāyāna Buddhism

Windhorse Publications, Cambridge 2016, £14 pback, also in ebook

Review by Saccanāma

There is a debate going on in Buddhist publishing at present: titles such as Buddhism Without Beliefs, After Buddhism and Buddhism is a Religion: You can Believe It indicate the nature of that debate. On one...

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Responses

Dharmabandhu's picture

Thank you Saccanama for this thoughtful and insightful overview and introduction to the Pure Land tradition and especially to Ratnaguna’s book Dharmabandhu