Josh Bartok is an ordained Zen teacher, pastoral counselor, and editor of Dharma books with over twenty years of experience at Wisdom Publications and hundreds of books to his credit. He has a degree in Cognitive Science from Vassar College, and in Mental Health Counseling from University of Massachusetts—Boston. He’s the author of the popular Daily Wisdom series, which includes Daily Wisdom, More Daily Wisdom, Nightly Wisdom, and Daily Doses of Wisdom; and are the co-author (with Ezra Bayda) of Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts). He’s also an abstract expressionist photographer, and served as the founding spiritual director of the Greater Boston Zen Center, in Cambridge, Mass.
“Like Dr. Seuss, Josh Bartok has mastered the art of reaching directly into a child’s heart and mind, translating a profound teaching on love into playfully whimsical rhythm and rhyme. The ability to inspire children—to really connect and awaken young hearts—is rare. And Demi’s paintings are amazingly detailed; warm, inviting and fun to explore! Together, Bartok and Demi have created one for the ages. This is truly wonderful!”
—Kerry Lee MacLean, author of Moody Cow Meditates and Peaceful Piggy Meditation
“A magical book. Poetic, playful, and psychologically adept.”
—Sumi Loundon Kim, author Sitting Together: A Family-Centered Curriculum on Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhist Teachings
“I wish I’d had this book when I was small and the world was so . . . big. It would have meant so much to me to have received this message as a child. Beautiful and touching—a balm for the heart.”
—James V. Cordova, PhD, author of The Marriage Checkup and The Story of Mu
“With its uplifting lyrical rhyme and pictures that dance off the page, I See You, Buddha brought tears to my eyes. Its simplicity and profound message of respect for all will delight children and adults alike.”
—M. LaVora Perry, actor and author of Taneesha Never Disparaging
“A book to be cherished—its child-friendly message is buoyed by the wonder of Demi’s iconic artistry. Illuminating, heartwarming, and uplifting of hearts and minds.”
—Lauren Alderfer, author of Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda
“This charming, sweet book is a beautifully illustrated guide for living with kindness to oneself and all beings. A lovely book for children of all ages. I bow to the authors and all its readers.”
—Taigen Dan Leighton, author of Faces of Compassion and Zen Questions
“I truly love this book—I fell in love with it from the very first page. The illustrations are stunning and the author’s gentle yet profound words go straight to the heart. Children will immediately understand how, right here and now, they can start being kind to others as well as to themselves. I’m an adult—and I benefited tremendously from this book. It’s become one of my favorites.”
—Toni Bernhard, author of How to Be Sick and How to Live Well
“An excellent children’s book that teaches the spirit of the bodhisattva.”
—Shohaku Okumura, author of The Mountains and Waters Sutra
“Through lovely images and lively poetry, I See You, Buddha reminds us that the most important truths are those even a child can understand.”
—John Brehm, editor of The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy
I SEE YOU, BUDDHA
An instant classic, this book will help children (and their parents) learn patience and to see the good in everyone—including themselves! It will also help children meet difficult circumstances, such as being sick, doing chores, and not getting everything they want—and help them overcome low self-esteem and negative self-talk.
I See You, Buddha is based on a chapter in the Lotus Sutra, one of the most influential Buddhist texts worldwide—a classical scripture that has inspired a whole genre of works, especially in Japan, known as Lotus Literature. The Lotus Sutra teaches the way of the bodhisattva—a being engaged in compassionate, enlightened activity in the service of all—by offering examples of what this activity might look like in the world. One such model in the text is Bodhisattva Never Disrespectful (or Never Disparaging), who, despite troubling encounters with and even harsh treatment from others, bows down respectfully to everyone, recognizing their Buddha nature and honoring their own journeys along the bodhisattva path to enlightenment—whether they know they’re future buddhas or not!
Listen to author Josh Bartok as he reads I See You, Buddha in this video reading.
- 32 pages
- ISBN 9781614296959
- 32 pages, 9 x 9 inches
- ISBN 9781614296942
Demi is the award-winning author and illustrator of over 130 bestselling children’s books, including The Empty Pot, Jesus, Buddha, The Dalai Lama, One Grain of Rice, The Boy Who Painted Dragons, and The Legend of Saint Nicholas. For Wisdom Tales Press, she has written and illustrated Saint Francis of Assisi and The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna and illustrated The Conference of the Birds (retold by Alexis York Lumbard), The Pandas and Their Chopsticks: and Other Animal Stories, Mahavira: The Hero of Nonviolence by Dr. Manoj Jain, and a children’s biography of Abraham Lincoln titled President Lincoln: From Log Cabin to White House. Demi’s most recent books for Wisdom Tales are Gifts of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Patroness of Latin America, and Talking to God: Prayers for Children from the World’s Religions. Her latest, Hildegard of Bingen: Scientist, Composer, Healer & Saint, is another glowing picture-book for children, this time about a multitalented woman who was a mystic, abbess, scientist, doctor, composer, author, linguist, and artist, whose influence has extended throughout the centuries since her death.
Demi’s books have sold over half a million copies and her work has been appreciated by many diverse people across the globe, such as the Dalai Lama and the Pope. The Empty Pot, her best-selling title, was selected by former First Lady Barbara Bush as one of the books to be read on the ABC Radio Network Program Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, sponsored by the Children’s Literacy Initiative. Demi’s book Gandhi was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.
A Peaceful Piggy’s Guide to Sickness and Death, Sadness and Love
When someone we love gets sick, we little piggies worry! It can feel scary when a person we care about is sick or in a hospital. Luckily, there is one good thing we peaceful piggies can do: meditate.
This is a story about love.
Experiencing a loved one’s illness or death is challenging for both children and their grownups. With three distinct sections to choose from—when someone we love is sick, dying, or has died—this guide will help you easily find soothing and practical mindfulness activities focused on what your young one needs in order to guide them through their big emotions and questions. These practices will help calm and empower children—and their grownups—as they discover they can still be with their loved ones through their heart connection, no matter where they are.
“A gorgeous, colorful picture book…this read is equally light and profound.”
—Bonnie Nadzam, Lion’s Roar
“It’s true that we are all different squashes . . . some are bigger and some are smaller . . . some are rounder and some are longer. But even if we are different, we are all connected. We are all growing together. We don’t have to be such squabbling squashes.”
Squabbling Squashes is a story for children of all ages about interconnection and learning to live in harmony amid differences, from a leading light of contemporary Zen—based on a parable from Kosho Uchiyama’s classic bestseller Opening the Hand of Thought.
“An essential teaching for all children, told with delightful, relatable warmth.”
—Sumi Loundon Kim, author Sitting Together: A Family-Centered Curriculum on Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhist Teachings
“Super enjoyable to hear, read, and savor for people of all ages, Squabbling Squashes helps our future generations to be aware of a universal mutual tie in society and nature.”
—Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis
“An ancient tale cultivating mindfulness today.”
—Lauen Alderfer, author of Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Zen
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Zen offers a comprehensive overview of Soto Zen Buddhism in a delightfully captivating way. Complete with dynamic, detailed illustrations, Soto Zen Priest Seigaku Amato uses a semi-narrative style to take you on a visual tour of Buddhism and, using specifics to illuminate universals, dives deep into the practices and forms of Soto Zen.
Whether you are just taking your first step or have been practicing Zen for years, this creative and profound book will be a constant companion and guide on your journey as it explores topics such as:
- A brief history of Buddhism
- An iconographic overview of various buddhas and bodhisattvas
- An introduction to the various practices of Zen including meditation (zazen), work practice (samu), and meditative eating (oryoki)
- A what’s what of holidays, ceremonies, temple instruments, and religious vestments
- A how-to guide for setting up a home altar
“This is a cute book! But it’s not just cute, it’s also deep and profound, and is one of the best guides to Zen practice I have ever come across. The illustrations are delightful and the written sections are clear and easy to understand. I give it a million zillion stars!”—Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen
“I loved this book and smiled the whole way through. But don’t be fooled by its whimsy! There’s a wealth of experience, knowledge, and devotion behind these illustrations. This book is a perfect guide for a beginning Zen student and makes a delicious snack for the more advanced practitioner.”—Gesshin Greenwood, author of Bow First, Ask Questions Later
Meditations on the Trail
Meditations on the Trail offers a rich array of do-anywhere meditations that will help you explore and deepen your connection to nature, and yourself, in new ways, making the most of your time on the trail.
This small book—perfect for throwing in a daypack or a back pocket as you head out for the trail—is filled with practices to take you into the heart of the natural world and uncover your most vibrant self. You’ll return home grateful, more aware of interconnection, and maybe just a little wiser.
Thank You, Percival
What happens if you don’t take the time to train your new puppy?
Things can go very badly!
What happens if you don’t take the time to train your own mind?
Things can go even worse!
This is the story of Percival the puppy and his housetraining. Learn alongside Percival how to juggle your emotions and distractions and find inner peace.
Grieving is Loving
A new book of poems, quotations, reflections, and stories from the author of one of the most beloved books on grief & loss.
This book is a companion to carry with you throughout your day, to touch in with and be supported by when bearing the unbearable pain of a loved one’s death—whether weeks or years since their passing.
In the style of a quote-a-day collection, this book from Wisdom’s bestselling author Joanne Cacciatore distills down the award-winning book Bearing the Unbearable into easy-to-access small chunks, and includes much brand-new material, including new prose and poems from Dr. Jo and other sources.
If you love, you will grieve—and nothing is more mysteriously central to becoming fully human.
Our culture often makes the bereaved feel alone, isolated, broken, and like they should just “get over it”—this book offers a loving antidote.
Open to any page of Grieving Is Loving and you’ll find something that will instantly help you feel not alone, while honoring the full weight of loss.
This book is comprised of quotations from Bearing the Unbearable, and other sources as well, plus an enormous amount of new material from Dr. Jo. Especially well-suited for the grieving mind that may struggle with concentration, just 30 seconds on any page will empower, hearten, and validate any bereaved person—helping give strength and courage to bear life’s most painful losses.
“Grieving Is Loving is a wise, moving, and compassionate book. Reading it brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of the loss of loved ones 30 and 45 years ago. Not only should its message be read and internalized by those suffering the loss of a beloved, but also by those with friends who have lost or are likely to lose someone in the future—in other words, by everyone.”
—Irving Kirsch, PhD, Harvard Medical School, University of Connecticut, University of Hull, author of The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth
The Grand Delusion
In The Grand Delusion, bestselling author Steve Hagen drills deeply into the most basic assumptions, strengths, and limitations of religion and belief, philosophy and inquiry, science and technology. In doing so, he shines new light on the great existential questions—Why is there Something rather than Nothing? What does it mean to exist? What is consciousness? What is the nature of truth?—and does so from an entirely unexpected direction.
Ultimately, this book reveals how all of our fundamental questions stem from a single error, a single unwarranted belief—a single Grand Delusion.
Upcoming Author Events
Steve Hagen will be leading a weekly online Grand Delusion study group beginning January 6 at 7:30 p.m. CST, providing a chance for readers to consider in greater detail subtleties in the text that might not be immediately apparent. These observations will include additional material that was culled from the original text in preparation for publication. Depending on how many are in attendance, this study may also provide an opportunity for readers to take on the role of ANYONE and question the author. Visit the study group website for access to live Zoom meetings and for audio archives of the study group. Please contact the Dharma Field Zen Center office for more information.
The Zen Master’s Dance
A fresh take on how to read Dōgen.
In The Zen Master’s Dance, Jundo Cohen takes us deep into the mind of Master Dōgen—and shows us how to join in the great and intimate dance of the universe. Through fresh translations and sparkling teaching, Cohen opens up for us a new way to read one of Buddhism’s most remarkable spiritual geniuses.
Peaceful Piggy Bedtime
“It’s time to go to sleep, but some friends are sleepy, and some are not. Some are already nodding off, and some want to bounce around. Now it’s time to go from busy to peaceful. These mindful bedtime exercises will help us have a good night’s sleep.”
Bedtime can be a joy; a quiet time, a nice cuddle—a sleepy angel. Bedtime can also be a challenge; riled energy, hidden anxieties—a restless little monster! This book draws on modern science and time-tested wisdom to provide children with an effective bedtime ritual to relax the body, settle the mind, and drift into a peaceful sleep. Parents may find they sleep better, too!
Zen and Psychotherapy
This book is an intimate dialogue that examines the interplay of emotional and spiritual development through the lens of Zen Buddhism and psychotherapy. Zen and Psychotherapy artfully illuminates the intrinsic connections between the two practices, and demonstrates how the traditions can be complementary in helping to live a truly fulfilled and contented life.
Zen teacher and psychologist Joseph Bobrow deftly shows how the major themes of trauma, attachment, emotional communication, and emotional regulation play out in the context of Zen and of psychotherapeutic practice, and how, in concert, both provide a comprehensive, interactive model of fully functioning human life.
The Zen of R2-D2
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.
Sculpting the Buddha Within
Sculpting the Buddha Within is the first major biography of Shinjo Ito, the founder of the Shinnyo-en tradition of Buddhism and one of the twentieth century’s most innovative spiritual teachers. Ito was schooled in Shingon, the millennium-old esoteric Buddhism of Japan, and used that as the basis for developing a unique lay practice grounded in the principles and concepts of the Mahayana version of the Nirvana Sutra.
Ito’s wish was to help his practitioners see their own potential for goodness so that they, too, would be inspired to work diligently to shape and give form to their inner buddha. Rather than encouraging his followers to believe in a fixed system of practice or beliefs, Ito taught how to live life in accordance with one’s buddha nature—and the gratitude, creativity, and happiness latent within it.
The Illustrated Lotus Sutra
The Lotus Sutra is regarded as one of the world’s great religious scriptures and most influential texts. It’s a seminal work in the development of Buddhism throughout East Asia and, by extension, in the development of Mahayana Buddhism throughout the world. Taking place in a vast and fantastical cosmic setting, the Lotus Sutra places emphasis on skillfully doing whatever is needed to serve and compassionately care for others, on breaking down distinctions between the fully enlightened buddha and the bodhisattva who vows to postpone salvation until all beings may share it, and especially on each and every being’s innate capacity to become a buddha.
This illustrated edition features more than 110 full-page and two-page illustrations by a world-renowned and award-winning artist, and brings the fantastical and image-filled world of the Lotus Sutra vividly to life. Demi’s illustrations are both classical and contemporary in feel, perfectly complementing Reeves’s masterful and modern translation.
Entangling Vines (Paperback)
The most contemporary of the the classic koan collections—representing centuries of practical refinement by Zen masters working with their students.
Entangling Vines is a translation of the Shumon Kattoshu, the only major koan text to have been compiled in Japan rather than China. Most of the central koans of the contemporary Rinzai koan curriculum are contained in this work. Indeed, Kajitani Sonin (1914–1995)—former chief abbot of Shokoku-ji and author of an annotated, modern-Japanese translation of the Kattoshu—commented that “herein are compiled the basic Dharma materials of the koan system.”
A distinctive feature of Entangling Vines is that, unlike the Gateless Gate and Blue Cliff Record, it presents the koans “bare,” with no introductions, commentaries, or verses. The straightforward structure of its presentation lends the koans added force and immediacy, emphasizing the Great Matter, the essential point to be interrogated, while providing ample material for the rigors of examining and refining Zen experience.
Containing 272 cases and extensive annotation, the collection is not only indispensable for serious koan training but also forms an excellent introduction to Buddhist philosophy.
The concept of nonduality lies at the very heart of Mahayana Buddhism. In the West, it’s usually associated with various kinds of absolute idealism in the West, or mystical traditions in the East—and as a result, many modern philosophers are poorly informed on the topic. Increasingly, however, nonduality is finding its way into Western philosophical debates. In this “scholarly but leisurely and very readable” (Spectrum Review) analysis of the philosophies of nondualism of (Hindu) Vedanta, Mahayana Buddhism, and Taoism, renowned thinker David R. Loy extracts what he calls “a core doctrine” of nonduality. Loy clarifies this easily misunderstood topic with thorough, subtle, and understandable analysis.
“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.
Buddhism of the Heart
Jeff Wilson started his walk on the Buddha’s path as a Zen practitioner—taking up a tradition of vigorous self-effort, intensive meditation, and meticulous attention to rectitude in every action. But in Jeff’s case, rather than freeing him from his suffering, he found those Zen practices made him nothing short of insufferable. And so he turned to Shin Buddhism—a path that is easily the most popular in Zen’s native land of Japan but is largely unknown in the West.
Shin emphasizes an “entrusting heart,” a heart that is able to receive with gratitude every moment of our mistake-filled and busy lives. Moreover, through walking the Shin path, Jeff comes see that each of us (himself especially included) are truly “foolish beings,” people so filled with endlessly arising “blind passions” and ingrained habits that we so easily cause harm even with our best intentions. And even so, Shin holds out the tantalizing possibility that, by truly entrusting our foolish selves to the compassionate universe, we can learn to see how this foolish life, just as it is, is nonetheless also a life of grace.
Buddhism of the Heart is a wide-ranging book of essays and open-hearted stories, reflections that run the gamut from intensely personal to broadly philosophical, introducing the reader to a remarkable religious tradition of compassionate acceptance.
The Banyan Deer
An Elephant Journal “Best Reads of 2010” selection.
This inspiring tale reminds us that no one can be truly at peace unless all beings have a chance for peace, freedom, and happiness. The Banyan Deer is a wonderful, heart-warming gift for anyone who loves a great story. This beautiful hardcover edition will delight both adults and children alike.
“For too long, there have been few examples to express good character in a Buddhist way for very young readers. This book captures the powerful story of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging found in the Lotus Sutra, and also points to the natural way children are able to share love and joy.
“Bodhisattva Never Disparaging exemplifies the simple act of loving respect; sharing this story with children is an endorsement of their natural ability for love, well illustrated by the simple gesture of palms together.
“This gentle, loving book would be a wonderful addition in any child’s library—a delight in hearing the story told and in its telling. I imagine many nights of bedtime stories with this book, I See You, Buddha. We should all hear this every day.”
—Bishop Myokei Caine-Barrett, Nichiren Shu Order of North America
“Full of joy and beauty—and deep truths about how to live our lives.”
—Matty Weingast, The First Free Women and Awake at the Bedside
“An elegantly simple yet deeply profound story.”
—Sara Marlowe, author of No Ordinary Apple