By Taigen Dan Leighton (Author), Joan Halifax Roshi (Foreword)

Faces of Compassion introduces us to enlightened beings, the bodhisattvas of Buddhist lore. they don't seem to be otherworldly gods with superhuman characteristics yet shining examples of our personal maximum power. Archetypes of knowledge and compassion, the bodhisattvas of Buddhism are robust and compelling photographs of awakening. pupil and Zen instructor Taigen Dan Leighton engagingly explores the imagery and lore of the seven most vital of those archetypal figures, bringing them alive as mental and religious wellsprings.

Emphasizing the universality of non secular rules, Leighton unearths points of bodhisattvas expressed in numerous prevalent smooth personages - from Muhammad Ali to Mahatma Gandhi, from Bob Dylan to Henry Thoreau, and from Gertrude Stein to mom Teresa. This version includes a revised and improved advent that frames the ebook as a fascinating and broad-scoped view of Mahayana Buddhism. it truly is up to date all through to make it of extra use to students and an ideal better half to survey classes of worldwide religions or a 200-level direction on Buddhism.

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Extra resources for Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression - An Introduction to Mahayana Buddhism

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3’4213—dc23 2012003645 ISBN 9781614290148 eBook ISBN 9781614290230 16 15 14 13 12 5 4 3 2 1 Grateful acknowledgement is made for permission to reprint the following copyrighted works: Poem by Daigu Ryōkan, translated by Taigen Dan Leighton and Kazuaki Tanahashi, from Essential Zen, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi and Tensho David Schneider. Copyright © 1994 by HarperCollins Publishers. By permission of HarperCollins Publishers. org. Excerpt from “Maitreya Poem” from Ring of Bone by Lew Welch. Copyright © 1979 by permission of Grey Fox Press.

Their sacrifice touches us and has inspired millions for thousands of years. And their presence is in our very time pointing to guiding principles for a more compassionate and sane world. Though bodhisattvas are mythic figures, they also are functions within the psyche, archetypes of compassion; and myth and psychology fuse in the presence and activity of these compassionate beings. Tibetan Buddhists call bodhisattvas “Awakened Warriors,” for they manifest great strength of character and virtue for the sake of others.

But commitment over innumerable lifetimes is also understood in terms of bodhisattvas’ rebirth. The historic reach of the Mahāyāna Buddhist viewpoint includes vast stretches of time. Śākyamuni Buddha is not regarded as having originated a brand-new teaching or practice, but rather, as one who rediscovered something very ancient and fundamental to existence. A series of seven buddhas, culminating in Śākyamuni Buddha, are commonly named in the Mahāyāna liturgy. These seven are the buddhas of our own age, or kalpa, but they represent a great number of other buddhas before them, in previous kalpas.

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