Landscapes of Wonder: Discovering Buddhist Dhamma in the World Around Us

Overview

"To most of us there have come exceptional, unworldly moments, like unsuspected deeps in a stream, when we fell through appearances - fell through ourselves - into an intuition of majesty and wonder."
- Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano in Landscapes of Wonder

Landscapes of Wonder deftly transports the spirit of Buddhist contemplation off the cushion and into the natural world. With a lyricism and spiritual immediacy reminiscent of Thoreau and Emerson, in eighteen meditational essays Bhikkhu...

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Landscapes of Wonder: Discovering Buddhist Dharma in the World Around Us

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Overview

"To most of us there have come exceptional, unworldly moments, like unsuspected deeps in a stream, when we fell through appearances - fell through ourselves - into an intuition of majesty and wonder."
- Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano in Landscapes of Wonder

Landscapes of Wonder deftly transports the spirit of Buddhist contemplation off the cushion and into the natural world. With a lyricism and spiritual immediacy reminiscent of Thoreau and Emerson, in eighteen meditational essays Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano considers Buddhist themes through the prism of nature. The reflections captured in these satisfying literary explorations will appeal to all who appreciate contemplation of the natural world and our place in it.

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Editorial Reviews

WildMind Buddhist Meditation blog
"Nyanasobhano, an American actor/playwright turned Theravadin Buddhist, writes essays and reflections on the Buddhist path that stand well apart from the general run of writing on Buddhism for their sheer literary quality."
Tricycle
"Contemplative, sensitive, and lyrically written... Chock-full of koan-like epiphanies at each turn, this book of eighteen essays is sure to appeal to Western readers. Landscapes of Wonder offers the richness of Theravada Buddhist teachings reinterpreted along with keen observations about what nature can teach us concerning life, change, and death. The essays include reflections on the practice of Buddhism in relation to dharma and the conditions of modern life, and literary observations about nature."
eDharma
"A genuine pleasure and a most useful map and legend to the landscapes of our existence... skillfully blended principles of Buddhist dhamma with the natural drama of the landscape that surrounds us all."
Bhikkhu Bodhi
"American Buddhism has at last found its Thoreau, its rambling, loquacious poet-philosopher who can show us the deepest revelations of truth in the woods, rivers, and fields. This is an eloquent, joyous, and uplifting book, written with consummate skill..."
NAPRA ReView
"[Nyanasobhano] eases into troublesome paradoxes with sensitive writing sustained by an absorbing poetic flow. Sensing our own layers emerging, we find ourselves altered after our readings, and hear the gracious call to read again."
Bhavana Society Newsletter
"Landscapes of Wonder remains with us, long after we shut the book, as an invitation and guide to discover the wonderland right in front of us."
Dharmalife
"The essays in Landscapes of Wonder are prose meditation, and what prose it is! Nyanasobhano describes a country walk and it becomes an investigation of impermanence. He reads the paper, and reflects on the mind and its search for distraction. This book reveals a literary [power] rare among writers on Buddhism. This is an inspiring book, to read with pleasure and contemplate with care."
The Beacon
"Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano writes with a beautiful lyricism of the joys and consummate beauty of the natural world, and not a word is wasted from this master of the pen."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this collection of essays, Nyanasobhano emphasizes that enlightenment comes to us through an appreciation of the natural world. Through his writings about luxuriant woods, destructive floods and even a vase of chrysanthemums, he presents the cycle of life and death as the process we must understand if we are to break free from it and escape rebirth and continued suffering. The writing is often grandly inspiring. For instance, Nyanasobhano is convincing in discussing the shortcomings of romantic love, and he urges us to respect all life no matter how seemingly insignificant. But many of the essays are heavy on the fire and brimstone as he admonishes against sexual immorality. Even so, Nyanasobhano's often exhilarating prose makes for a moving and memorable book. (Sept.)
Library Journal
This well-written and thorough presentation of Buddhism speaks to an American context yet retains universal appeal. Through insightful analysis, the author, an actor and playwright who was ordained in Thailand in 1987, demonstrates how Buddhist teaching can help with the basic problems of modern life and encourages readers to reflect on life experiences while simultaneously learning the meaning of meditation and other Buddhist teachings. Especially poetic and colorful when he uses images from nature as metaphors to present the deepest meanings of the Buddhist conception of "mindfulness," Nyanasobhano nicely blends his analysis with a thorough and practical application of Buddhism. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries looking for a book on Buddhism that goes beyond the introductory level, speaks to Westerners, and is written in a magical kind of prose.--David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernadino
Larry Smith
...[L]ucid and direct....[a] relaxed yet clear style achieves a simple and beautiful transcendence here....In the thoughtful and poetic prose of Bikkhu Nyanasobhano we realize a new and essential voice.
Parabola
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861711420
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2005
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,435,922
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano was an actor and playwright before being ordained in Thailand in 1987. He now lives in the United States.

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk from New York City, born in 1944. He obtained a BA in philosophy from Brooklyn College and a PhD in philosophy from Claremont Graduate School. After completing his university studies he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received novice ordination in 1972 and full ordination in 1973, both under the leading Sri Lankan scholar-monk, Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya (1896-1998). From 1984 to 2002 he was the editor for the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy, where he lived for ten years with the senior German monk, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera (1901-1994), at the Forest Hermitage. He returned to the U.S. in 2002. He currently lives and teaches at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York. Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, either as author, translator, or editor. These include The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya, 1995), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya, 2000), and The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya, 2012). In 2008, together with several of his students, Ven. Bodhi founded Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit supporting hunger relief, sustainable agriculture, and education in countries suffering from chronic poverty and malnutrition.

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