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In the last 50 years, Buddhism, the philosophy that complements all traditions and competes with none, has become an American cultural phenomenon earning its own annual anthology. The 2008 volume, fifth in the series, reveals again through breadth and elegance the watersheds and rivulets of the ancient practice as it joins America's mainstream. The luminaries are here: Thich Nhat Hanh, Sylvia Boorstein, the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödrön, Natalie Goldberg, John Daido Loori and five distinguished rinpoches, among others. Their guidance in texts and concepts is rich for varied stages of practice. Most touching, though, and most indefinably American, are first-person accounts of responses to life and its constant changes: James Kullander loses a former spouse; Aidan Delgado becomes a conscientious objector to the war in Iraq; Hannah Tennant-Moore confronts cadavers. These private views make it especially easy to see Buddhism's current flowing with grace into everyday lives. Finally, revered teacher Joanna Macy's short piece "Gratitude," from her updated classic World as Lover, World as Self, lights a way for us to live with our planet, an essay not to be missed. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.