Becoming Kuan Yin: The Evolution of Compassion

Becoming Kuan Yin: The Evolution of Compassion


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In his long career as a poet, Buddhist teacher, spiritual advisor, and writer, Stephen Levine has changed our understanding of death and dying. In Becoming Kuan Yin, Levine's first new book in many years, he turns to the legend of Kuan Yin, the Bbodhistitva venerated by East Asian Buddhists for her compassion.

In Becoming Kuan Yin, Levine shares the tale of Miao Shan, born centuries ago to a cruel king who wanted her to marry a wealthy but uncaring man. This is the story of how Miao Shan refused to follow the path her father had in mind and, instead, became Kuan Yin, the first acknowledged female Buddha who watches over the dying and those who work with them.

Levine weaves together story and practice and helps readers discover their own infinite capacity for mercy and compassion under difficult circumstances. This book will have resonance for Kuan Yin's millions of followers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578635559
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 09/01/2013
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 536,232
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Stephen Levine is an American poet, author ,and teacher best known for his work on death and dying. He is one of a generation of pioneering teachers who, along with Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Ram Dass, and Sharon Salzberg, who have made the teachings of Theravada Buddhism more widely available to students in the West. He is the author of Who Dies?, Healing into Life and Death, and Turning Toward the Mystery. Visit him at

Ondrea Levine and Stephen Levine are close collaborators in teaching, in practice, in life. Together they are the authors of more than eight books, some of which bear Stephen's name only as author, but all of which Ondrea had a hand in. Together they are best known for their work on death and dying. They are also the parents of Buddhist teacher and writer Noah Levine. Visit them online at

Table of Contents

Foreword Ondrea Levine ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

1 Kuan Yin and the Beginning of the World 1

2 Buddha Comes to China 3

3 The Origin of Kuan Yin 9

4 Miao Shan at the Gate 17

5 Miao Shan Observing 23

6 Miao Shan in Hell 33

7 Exiled to Paradise 43

8 The Origin of Song 49

9 Kuan Yin and the Dragons 61

10 The Sorrow of the Dragon King 67

11 Many Buddhas 73

12 Healing in Our Dreams 77

13 For Pain's Sake 87

14 The Belly of Compassion 95

15 Pure Land 99

16 The Emissaries of Compassion 103

17 Long Nu 107

18 Shan Tsai 115

19 Reflection on the Mother of Mercy 123

20 Forgiveness 125

21 The Gradual Maitreya 131

22 Devotion to Compassion 137

23 Lost and Found 139

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