Ezra Bayda has been meditating since 1970. He was authorized to teach Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck in 1998, and now lives, writes and teaches at the Zen Center of San Diego.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
Saying Yes To Life
Presented in simple yet strikingly memorable language, the messages in Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts) provide inspiration for each day, and invitations to go more deeply into the spiritual life. These gems of wisdom range from page-long reflections to simple aphorisms. The themes presented emphasize the importance of making peace with life’s paradoxes, opening to the unwanted, finding the happiness in difficulty, and living always with what’s here. Page after page reveals truths that can be put into action in the moment, yet also unfold ever more deeply with thorough examination. Insightful and never convoluted, Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts) is a great companion for life’s long journey.
Aging for Beginners
We’re all beginners when it comes to aging. And although the fact that we are in new territory can certainly contribute to the difficulties in dealing with getting older, it can also have a very positive side. Aging can be seen as a new phase of our life: a phase of renewal. Nowhere is this more evident than in our opportunity to devote more time to reflection and inner exploration. The result, regardless of whatever physical limitations we may be experiencing, is the possibility of cultivating and living increasingly from kindness and gratitude—two of the essential qualities of a life of satisfaction and equanimity.
With techniques that are both simple and richly unfolded, this book will help readers:
• learn the subtle art of being with pain
• uncover the fears that amplify suffering
• tap into the true sources of meaningfulness and joy
- Academic & Translations
- Children's Books
- Tibetan Buddhism
- All Topics
The Zen of R2-D2
Coming November 2019
Did you ever wonder why R2-D2 is
- always calm and cool under pressure,
- the key to the rebellion’s survival, and
- the one who never fails to save the day?
Could it be because he’s secretly a Zen master?
Discover your inner R2—and the truth about who you really are!
This delightful and illuminating romp unfolds in the form of a fictional dialogue between the author—a die-hard Star Wars devotee with a deep connection to Zen—and two cosplayers dressed as C-3PO and R2-D2 who insist on being called by their character names. Along the way, you’ll come to see what everyone’s favorite astromech can teach us about peace, happiness, and life’s true meaning.
The Death of You
If you might someday die,
if you know someone who will . . .
Join Miguel Chen for a wild ride where we get real about death—and even have a few laughs at its expense. In plainspoken, kind, and encouraging language, Miguel will show you how to transform your relationship with death—and in doing so, get to know your life in a whole new way. Today is the perfect day to start. Don’t wait . . . you’re not gonna live forever.
Creativity, Spirituality, and Making a Buck
Available Fall 2019
“How do I make a living doing what I love?”
“Am I a sellout as an artist if I want to be successful?”
“How do I integrate my spiritual principles with the art of running a business? And actually, um, how do I run a business?”
Are you struggling to reconcile your calling with your need to make a living wage? Are you wondering what to do once your art starts selling, or how to achieve success in your field, or what it even means to be successful?
In Creativity, Spirituality, and Making a Buck, David Nichtern—a beloved Buddhist teacher and successful musician, composer, and producer who has worked with the likes of Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Garcia, and Lana Del Rey—offers his lived, learned experience as an entrepreneur, musician, and Buddhist teacher to first help you figure out what “success” means to you and then show you how to get there. If you’re trying to align your spiritual, creative, and financial pursuits and discover what it means to truly live well, this book is for you.
“Everybody has a hungry heart. We are hungry for so many different kinds of food. The table is set and the meal is laid out for us…but how do we put that food into our mouths and TASTE IT? In this book, David Nichtern guides us with wisdom, joy, and humor to make our whole lives a tasty meal to be enjoyed and shared with others.”—Krishna Das, author of Chants of a Lifetime and Grammy-nominated kirtan artist
What Makes You So Busy?
Khenpo Sodargye, a world-famous Tibetan Buddhist lama and scholar, offers guidance on an issue that troubles so many of us in the modern world: What is true happiness, and how do we achieve it?
Bombarded with information, endlessly pursuing possessions—we look for happiness in all the wrong places. Khenpo Sodargye, one of the busiest Buddhist teachers in the world, shows us how to redirect our attention away from such distractions and instead calm our minds and find true contentment.
“Intimacy is based on the willingness to open ourselves to many others, to family, friends, and even strangers, forming genuine and deep bonds based on common humanity. Koshin Paley Ellison’s teachings share the way forward into a path of connection, compassion, and intimacy.”
—His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Each of us has an enormous capacity for love—a deep well of attention and care that we can offer to ourselves and others. With guidance that is both simple and wholly transformative, Koshin Paley Ellison, Zen teacher and psychotherapist, shows us how to uncover it: pay attention, be of service, and be with others.
With this inspiring and down-to-earth book, drawn from the Zen precepts and illustrated with anecdotes from Koshin’s own life and practice, you’ll learn how to
- explore and investigate with your own core values,
- identify the mental habits that could be unconsciously hurting yourself and others, and
- overcome isolation.
Each chapter closes with a contemplation to help integrate the teachings into your life.
This book is about getting back in touch with your values, so you can live energetically, authentically, and lovingly. This is an invitation to close the gaps we create between ourselves and others—to wake up to ourselves and the world around us.
It’s time to live wholeheartedly.
Sharon Salzberg: Loving-Kindness: More than Just a Concentration Practice
In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned meditation teacher and practitioner, and New York Times bestselling author. Sharon is also cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre Massachusetts, the first ever western meditation center established in the United States. In this episode, you’ll hear Sharon discuss one of her all-time favorite topics: the practice of metta, or loving-kindness. Sharon talks about what initially drew her to the practice and its transformational effects over the course of her lifetime. In her down-to-earth style, Sharon explains the practical application of loving-kindness in daily life. As more than just a concentration practice, loving-kindness can function as an antidote to fear, anxiety, and emotional withdrawal. It can heighten a sense of connection with others, help us be more assertive, and even transform the most difficult of relationships. She compares it to what the Buddha taught as “gladdening the mind,” or ways of cultivating a loving mental environment in which to navigate the more difficult aspects of life and practice. If you’re interested in hearing more from Sharon, be sure to check out our first podcast with her, Sharon Salzberg: Faith and Doubt.
Chen-Chiu: The Original Acupuncture
Chen-Chiu: The Original Acupuncture is based on an historic Chinese acupuncture text that remains vital to this day: the Ling-Shu-Jing. Dr. Claus Schnorrenberger, who has produced a well-known translation of Ling-Shu-Jing, here applies his personal medical experience—as a lecturer, and moreover, as an orthodox Western physician and Chinese acupuncturist/herbalist—to the principles of the text.
The result is a new view of the prevailing Western perceptions of Chinese medicines. The author calls into question such concepts as Chi, the meridians, and even acupuncture itself, in order to correct erroneous translations still in use by many to this day. Chen-Chiu provides an epistemological reflection on what Chinese medicine and acupuncture really mean, and adds new contrast and insight into Western and Eastern views of healing. This, the author rightly contends, is essential for the successful integration of Chinese medicines in the West.
Schnorrenberger’s book is well-balanced and much-needed, appropriate not only as a reference for students and practitioners of Chinese medicine, but also as a learning aid for patients, health-care workers and administrators, Western physicians, and more.
Business and the Buddha
When it comes to business, everyone wants to do well. But can we do good at the same time? Lloyd Field (and, indeed the Dalai Lama, who provides the foreword here) says, unequivocally, Yes. Field’s Business and the Buddha lays out the guidelines for putting ideas about individual and corporate social responsibility into practice without sacrificing the bottom line.
No longer can business—big or small—afford to focus solely on profit. Real assessment of a business’s worth must take into account its consideration of our shared human values, and the realities of our shared planet. That doesn’t mean a business can’t or shouldn’t compete; it means that investing in efforts to build a better society can be, on many levels, an asset.
Drawing in a substantial and sophisticated way on traditional Buddhist teachings, Lloyd Field shows how decision-makers and entrepreneurs can achieve new levels of happiness and security both inside and outside the company, and take a power-position as a force for positive global change.
Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved
Since its beginning, Buddhism has been intimately concerned with confronting and understanding death and dying. Indeed, the tradition emphasizes turning toward the realities of sickness, old age, and death—and using those very experiences to develop wisdom and liberating compassion. In recent decades, Buddhist chaplains and caregivers all over the world have been drawing on this tradition to contribute greatly to the development of modern palliative and hospice care in the secular world at large. Specifically Buddhist hospice programs have been further developing and applying traditional Buddhist practices of preparing for death, attending the dying, and comforting the bereaved.
Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved contains comprehensive overviews of the best of such initiatives, drawn from diverse Buddhist traditions, and written by practitioners who embody the best of contemporary Buddhist hospice care programs practiced all over the world today.
Contributors include Carl B. Becker, Moichiro Hayashi, Yozo Taniyama, Mari Sengoku, Phaisan Visalo, Beth Kanji Goldring, Caroline Prasada Brazier, Joan Jiko Halifax, and Julie Chijo Hanada.
Buddhism is famous for bringing inner peace, but what about social harmony, human rights, and environmental balance? We have a responsibility today to work directly with our own suffering and the suffering in our communities, the world, and the environment.
Buddhist Peacework collects—for the first time in one place—first-person descriptions of the ideas and work of eminent Buddhist leaders such as the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Maha Ghosananda, A.T. Ariyaratne, Daisaku Ikeda, Shih Cheng-yen, Sulak Sivaraksa, and Robert Aitken. These 18 essays are divided into three sections that explore the newest Buddhist social developments, the principles that guide Buddhist peacework, and the importance of ongoing inner peacework in developing a sense of kinship with all people.
A table of contents for this book can be found here.
The Buddha’s Apprentices
Sumi Loundon’s Blue Jean Buddha was hailed by the New York Times Review of Books as “a bellwether anthology”—mapping the spiritual trails followed by a generation of American Buddhist youths. The Buddha’s Apprentices examines that territory in fuller detail, telling twenty-six more stories of this powerful spiritual path, including the stories of many teenagers. The book shows us the common challenges that spiritually hungry young adults of today might face, with a focus on the identity issues around personality, profession, and lifestyle. Also included are several affirming essays from prominent older Buddhists, recalling their first encounters with Buddhism. The Buddha’s Apprentices inspires, examining the tectonic shifts that young, spiritually-inclined people undergo as they leave home, search for partners, consider commitment and marriage, and build their lives. Furthermore, they tell of how Buddhism changes and enhances their abilities to face life’s difficulties.
Sumi Loundon’s rich and youthful commentary lets us appreciate each contributor’s individual voice, and helps us to see how they contribute to the always-evolving chorus of modern Buddhism.
The Buddha’s Apprentices can be considered a sequel to Sumi Loundon’s Blue Jean Buddha, but goes beyond that work by giving extra attention to teens and young adults and including pieces from Thich Nhat Hanh, Lama Surya Das, and a truly diverse array of younger author/contributors.
Buddhism and Psychotherapy Across Cultures
As both Buddhism and psychotherapy have grown and diversified in Asia, as well as in the West, so too has the literature dealing with their interaction. Today, Japan and the United States are the two largest psychotherapeutic cultures in the world, and this volume brings together seminal contemporary thinkers in both disciplines on both sides of the Pacific. Both Buddhism and psychotherapy are cultural institutions that evolved over time as their native cultures evolved, as the configurations of the self evolved, and as new cultures assimilated them. And both have transformed the cultures in which they have evolved. Cross-cultural interaction occurs not only between the two disciplines of Buddhist and psychotherapeutic practice (involving various schools and approaches within each) but also across geographical and ethnic boundaries, within the practitioner him- or herself.
Contributors explore the creative possibilities emerging from the synergy of Buddhism and psychotherapy. Many conference participants came from a Pure Land Buddhist background (the largest stream of Buddhism in East Asia), specifically that of Jodo-shin (commonly known as Shin Buddhism), although Buddhist teachers and scholars of the Zen, Tibetan, and Vipassana traditions were also well represented. This volume in particular brings together world-class specialists from the United States and Japan, including Jack Engler, Anne Klein, Jeremy Safran, Naoki Nabeshima, Yasunobu Okada, Taitetsu Unno. They are versed in various forms of psychotherapy and counseling including clinical practice, therapist training, the care of the terminally ill, and in the practice of Tibetan, Zen, Vipassana and Pure Land Buddhism. This ground-breaking volume offers rich reflections at many levels.
The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed
After the death of her six-week-old son, Liam, Katie Willis Morton embarked on a courageous search for solace and understanding. The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed invites readers to share in her voyage as she travels the world and the landscapes of her own experience. Interweaving what she witnesses—simple rituals like children’s baths and picnics, and birth and death rites—with her own recovery and growth, she discovers that the pain she has experienced is both unavoidable and necessary, a pivotal part of the process of healing that can lead to “a victorious kind of joy, of acceptance.” In discovering herself, Morton speaks to readers suffering similar tragedies, and indeed to all of us, in an intimate and inspiring story about enduring world-shattering pain and coming out whole.
The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed helps us confront the universal truths of love and loss that we all will eventually and inevitably encounter. This book will be a comfort to anyone who has faced a tragic loss, but not only that, it takes us all on a rich journey, through joy, suffering, and ultimately to hope, in a way that is quietly beautiful and, above all, utterly life-affirming.
Blue Jean Buddha
In an age when the Dalai Lama’s image has been used to sell computers, rock stars have used tantra to enhance their image, and for many, Nirvana calls to mind a a favorite band, what does Buddhism mean to twenty-somethings?
Blue Jean Buddha offers real stories about young Buddhists in their own words that affirm and inform the young adult Buddhist experience. This one-of-a-kind book is about the experiences of young people in America-from their late teens to early thirties-who have embraced Buddhism. Thirty-three first-person narratives reflect on a broad range of life-stories, lessons, and livelihood issues, such as growing up in a Zen center, struggling with relationships, caring for the dying, and using marathon running as meditation. Throughout, up-and-coming author Sumi Loundon provides an illuminating context for the tremendous variety of experiences shared in the book.
Blue Jean Buddha was named a finalist in the 2002 Independent Publisher Book Awards (Multicultural Non-Fiction—Young Adult) as well in NAPRA’s Nautilus Awards, in the Personal Journey/Memoir/Biography category.
Beside Still Waters
A compelling question for people of faith today is how to remain committed to one’s own religious tradition while being open to the beauty and truth of other religions. For example, some fear that Buddhism is a threat to Western faith traditions and express grave doubts about interreligious and cross-cultural encounters. Yet, many who have actually broadened their experience profess to have developed a deeper understanding of and a deeper commitment to their tradition of origin.
This is what makes Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha such a new and meaningful contribution. Rather than offering research or lectures, Beside Still Waters takes a deeply personal approach, allowing the reader to delve into the individual experiences of fourteen Jews and Christians whose encounters with Buddhism have truly impacted their sense of religious identity.
As Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography, says in the book’s foreword, “The Buddhist presence in the religious world is far larger than a head-count of Buddhists can reveal.” Beside Still Waters upholds this point by way of the diverse and eloquent authors who lend their perspective in its pages; these include Sylvia Boorstein, John B. Cobb, Norman Fischer, Ruben Habito, and other important members of the Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, and scholarly communities. Their collected anecdotes and interviews amount to an unprecedented and enduring work, sure to deepen our ability to understand each other, and therefore, ourselves.
Awakening the Kind Heart
A Spirituality & Practice “Best Spiritual Books of 2010” winner.
Everyone appreciates kindness. A smile, a few friendly words, a show of concern when we’re troubled or feeling unwell, an offer of help—gestures of kindness like these brighten our day and ease whatever sadness we may feel in our hearts. Feeling that “someone cares” fulfills a very deep need that we all have. And just as we appreciate other people being kind to us, others appreciate it when we are kind to them. That is why it is important to learn to be kind, because it will help make our relationships and interactions with others more satisfying and less problematic.
But it’s not always easy to be kind. Sometimes our hearts are filled with anger, jealousy, or pride, and being kind is the last thing we feel like doing. Or we get so caught up in our work and responsibilities that we find no time to think of others and their needs, no time to be kind and gentle. However, these problems can be remedied. The Buddhist tradition offers a wealth of methods that can be used to overcome whatever prevents us from being kind and gentle.
Some of these methods are explored and explained in this book—in a way that will allow you to practice them in your daily life. Awakening the Kind Heart offers powerful and inviting meditation techniques to activate the heart of kindness within us all—a modern and motivating interpretation of traditional and powerful practices.
The Attention Revolution
As featured in Psychology Today.
Meditation offers, in addition to its many other benefits, a method for achieving previously inconceivable levels of concentration. Author B. Alan Wallace has nearly thirty years’ practice in attention-enhancing meditation, including a retreat he performed under the guidance of the Dalai Lama. An active participant in the much-publicized dialogues between Buddhists and scientists, Alan is uniquely qualified to speak intelligently to both camps, and The Attention Revolution is the definitive presentation of his knowledge.
Beginning by pointing out the ill effects that follow from our inability to focus, Wallace moves on to explore a systematic path of meditation to deepen our capacity for deep concentration. The result is an exciting, rewarding “expedition of the mind,” tracing everything from the confusion at the bottom of the trail to the extraordinary clarity and power that come with making it to the top. Along the way, the author also provides interludes and complementary practices for cultivating love, compassion, and clarity in our waking and dreaming lives.
Attention is the key that makes personal change possible, and the good news is that it can be trained. This book shows how.