Overview

To read this book is to encounter the essence of our lives and our everyday concerns. Toni Packer shines her gentle light on fear, compassion, impermanence, attraction, prejudice, enlightenment, and much more as she invites us into our own light of discovery. As she says, "In truth we are not separate from each other, or from the world, from the whole earth, the sun or moon or billions of stars, not separate from the entire universe. Listening silently in silent wonderment, without knowing anything, there is just...

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The Light of Discovery

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Overview

To read this book is to encounter the essence of our lives and our everyday concerns. Toni Packer shines her gentle light on fear, compassion, impermanence, attraction, prejudice, enlightenment, and much more as she invites us into our own light of discovery. As she says, "In truth we are not separate from each other, or from the world, from the whole earth, the sun or moon or billions of stars, not separate from the entire universe. Listening silently in silent wonderment, without knowing anything, there is just one mysteriously palpitating aliveness."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Light of Discovery is clear wisdom, accessible to people of all walks of life. Toni Packer's words should be sipped like a good wine."—Arthur Braverman, author of Mud and Water: A Collection of Talks by Zen Master Bassui
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780834824676
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 865,632
  • File size: 460 KB

Meet the Author

Toni Packer (1927–2013) began studying Zen at the Rochester Zen Center in 1967 with Roshi Philip Kapleau (author of The Three Pillars of Zen). She taught and led retreats at Springwater Center in Springwater, New York.

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Read an Excerpt


Nothing Spectacular

There is the wind, the sound of rustling leaves, the brightness of the room, the breathing, the color of the wooden floor, the hands resting, the heart beating. There is saliva gathering in the mouth, and the swallowing of it. What's so hard about being in touch with what is real, with what is actually here this moment, unspectacular though it may be?

Is this one of our problems? That to be in touch with reality we expect something spectacular, something out of the ordinary? So we fail to be with our feet on the most ordinary of grounds, a soggy path or a wooden floor, a rug.

Last night in the meeting room there was a lamp on the table, and just beneath it a small plant with the greenest of leaves, like tongues unfolding out of the little pot, and a few red flowers, as red as red can be, with yellow dots inside. That simple. Can we see it and not expect this to do something for us? Can we just see it, hear it, feel it completely?

At the same time there is the breathing, the sound of the wind, the ticking of a clock, and the beating of the heart. A feeling of uncertainty or calm may also be there. The entire universe is there—the wonder of it, not the concept. Just the air, the ground, the sky, the night, the stars, and the lights of Springwater.

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Table of Contents


Foreword     ix
To the Reader     xiii
Expectation     1
Why Attach a Name to What Is?     4
Action Without Effort     8
What Is This Work?     11
Nothing Spectacular     24
How Is One to Look?     25
Yearning for Completion     29
Grieving     31
Fear of Silence     37
Images in Relationship     39
Attraction     44
Fact and Story Line     50
Prejudice     55
Awareness and Fear     58
Being Here Now: An Interview     63
Observing What Is     71
Thought     74
The Quest for Enlightenment     75
Psychotherapy and Spiritual Practice     76
Bringing the Unseen to Light: Therapy and Awareness     80
Continuing the Dialogue: Defenses and Awareness     89
Religious Emotions     99
Religious Institutions     103
Schooling     105
Relationships in the Workplace     110
Motives for Performing     113
Right Livelihood     117
Compassion and Impermanence     121
HelpingOthers     124
End of Retreat     126
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