The Dharma of Star Wars by Matthew Bortolin (Author)

Is Yoda a Zen Master? What might Jedi training be like? Is the story of Luke Skywalker a spiritual epic?

The answers–as well as excitement, adventure, and a lot of fun–are here!

The Dharma of Star Wars uses George Lucas’ beloved modern saga and the universal discoveries of the Buddha to illuminate each other in playful and unexpectedly rewarding ways. Bortolin even reveals satisfying depths to the second trilogy of movies-the ones that met with what can understatedly be called a less-than-warm critical reception. The Dharma of Star Wars gives you an inpsiring and totally new take on this timeless saga, from A New Hope all the way up to 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. Great fun for any Star Wars fan. Imagine The Power of Myth… with lightsabers!

Includes instruction in The Jedi Art of Mindfulness and Concentration and The Padawan Handbook: Zen Contemplations for the Would-Be Jedi.

Fun for all ages, The Dharma of Star Wars is also a perfect way for Buddhist parents to bridge the generation gap.

Bortolin, an ordained member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Buddhist community, may be the ideal person to write about the Buddhist themes in Star Wars: he camped out for tickets to all of the movies-even the less than stellar ones-and possesses his very own set of Jedi robes. In short, consistent chapters, Bortolin explores themes such as suffering, mindfulness, karma and transcending the dark side. One especially helpful chapter examines what nirvana is, comparing it to the all-pervasive Force of Star Wars, and clarifying that nirvana isn’t a sort of Buddhist heaven or a blissed-out mental condition. Rather, Bortolin asserts, it is “the very absence of ideas and conceptualization.” Bortolin looks to Jedi meditation as a parallel discipline to the Buddhist practice of mindfulness meditation. In this state, Jedi knights “get in touch with reality as it truly is,” observing their minds with calm compassion and allowing greater understanding of the present moment. One of the book’s greatest strengths is Bortolin’s stubborn determination to find something redeeming about the two most recent Star Wars films, and he does actually recover enough of these nuggets to make some fans take a second look at those overhyped flicks. With humor, strong examples and timeless wisdom, Bortolin offers a new way to think about a pop culture phenomenon. Lead us to Yoda, he does. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Look Inside

Bortolin Matthew’s interview.

The Dharma of Star Wars by Matthew Bortolin. Interviewed on Good Morning America.

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Moksha and Nirvana: Should We Seek It?

Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mindfulness by Rachel Neumann

Overview

The book is a memoir of how a skeptical, fast-talking New Yorker became Thich Nhat Hanh’s editor, turned forty, realized she was aging, and slowly and reluctantly started to absorb mindfulness practice and grow up. Scenes with Thich Nhat Hanh and the author’s two vividly exuberant older parents, illustrate how the author adapts mindfulness techniques for the busyness of her life, without losing her edge. With honest and vivid stories about dealing with difficult relationships with family members, death, illness, vanity, exhaustion, and creating a safety net of joy, the author explores and offers guidance for three key mindfulness practices: Knowing When You’re Available and When You’re Not; Full-Attachment Living; and Interbeing (Other People are Not a Hobby).

This book is designed for adults who are new to mindfulness practice, Buddhism, curious skeptics, people familiar with the practice who want a personal story, and those interested in memoir.


Rachel Neumann has worked with a number of leading Buddhist and mindfulness authors, including His Holiness the Dalai Llama, Sylvia Boorstein, Sulak Sivaraksa, and others. For the past ten years, she has been the primary editor for the bestselling author and Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Her writing focuses on the intersection of mindfulness, parenting, and the poli- tics of everyday life. She is a regular contributor to AlterNet and has written for various newspapers and magazines including Shambhala Sun, The Village Voice, and The Nation. Read her blog at http://www.peaceandsleep.org.

Buddha Speaks to the Buddha Nature Within by Rashmi Khilnani

Designed to provide powerful transformational healing through the words of the Buddha,”the Indian spiritual leader who lived more than two thousand years ago” this book explores how the wisdom of the past can be understood and applied in the here and now, providing important insights into our world.

Author Rashmi Khilnani, an expert on the Ascended Masters, emphasizes many of the historical Buddha’s teachings on detachment and the causes of pain, suffering, and ignorance, placing them in a contemporary context for the modern reader. Topics include bringing meditation into every aspect of your life, including eating, sleeping, and waking; and becoming centered in detached awareness.

Buddha Speaks is a simple, highly accessible, down-to-earth road map for everyone who seeks spiritual wisdom.

Rashmi Khilnani – Buddha Speaks to the Buddha Nature Within

Ultimately the Buddha is not a person with a small “i” or a big “I”; the Buddha is a force field of wisdom energy, a wisdom available within the deepest inner space of silence that exists within each and every one of us.

This books provides powerful transformational healing through the keys of the Buddha teachings, and brings deep insights into the present time about how the wisdom of the past can be translated into the here and now. It emphasizes many of the historical Buddha’s teachings on detachment and the causes of pain, suffering and ignorance, while placing them in a contemporary context. If you wish to bring meditation into your eating, sleeping, waking states of being; inf your intention is to become centered in detached awareness in all realms of your life; if you wish for practical down-to-earth and simple ways in which to walk your talk and bring spiritual wisdom into the here and now, this is the book for you.

For all students of the Buddha teachings, for those who seek peace and conscious awareness, and for all souls seeking grounded enlightenment in the run-up to the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, here is the road map to follow.

RASHMI KHILNANI is the author of The Divine Mother Speaks: The Healing of the Human Heart. She is an international teacher of Usui, Tibetan, Karuna, Raku Kei, and Original 7 Degree Reiki Master Teachers and practitioners. She has been channeling the Ascended Masters for the last fifteen years, and making these teachings simple and accessible to people at all levels.

Samsara and Nirvana – Peter Russell

Samsara means “to wander on endlessly”. Peter Russell discusses how we wandering on through life seeking one transient satisfaction after another, not realizing that that which we seek is our true nature. Nirvana means “to extinguish” as in blowing out a flame. Knowing our true nature blows out the flame of desire that drives the endless wandering on.

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