Wednesday Reading Group

The reading group is a peer-moderated reading and discussion group. Discussions are informed by the reading material, but all are welcome and can benefit from and contribute meaningfully to the discussion without reading the material. No comments or directions of inquiry are "banned".

Meditation before discussion is open to all, but not required...as is joining the group for late dinner and/or drinks at a local restaurant.

Currently Reading

Heated words, cool malice, deadly feuds, the furious rush of adrenaline-anger is clearly the most destructive of the seven deadly sins. It can ruin families, wreck one's health, destroy peace of mind and, at its worst, lead to murder, genocide, and war.

In Anger, Robert A. F. Thurman, best-selling author and one of America's leading authorities on Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, offers an illuminating look at this deadliest of sins. In the West, Thurman points out, anger is seen as an inevitable part of life, an evil to be borne, not overcome. There is the tradition of the wrathful God, of Jesus driving the money-changers from the temple. If God can be angry, how can men rid themselves of this destructive emotion? Thurman shows that Eastern philosophy sees anger differently. Certainly, it is a dreadful evil, one of the "three poisons" that underlie all human suffering. But Buddhism teaches that anger can be overcome. Indeed, the defeat of anger is not only possible, but also the only thing worth doing in a lifetime. Thurman shows how to recognize the destructiveness of anger and understand its workings, and how we can go from being a slave to anger to becoming "a knight of patience." We discover finally that when this deadliest emotion is transmuted by wisdom, it can become the most powerful force in freeing us from human suffering.

Drawing on the time-tested wisdom of Buddhism, Robert A. F. Thurman ranges from the individual struggle with anger to global crises spurred by dogmatic ideologies, religious fanaticism, and racial prejudice. He offers a path of calm understanding in a time of terrorism and war.


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Reading Schedule for Current Book

DATE PAGES
5/6
Commence Reading Robert Thurman - Anger
5/13"Anger" Chapters 1-3
5/20
"Anger" Chapters 4-6
5/27"Anger" Chapters 7-10
6/3 Commence Reading "Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening" by Joseph Goldstein


Schedule

7:30         Meditation

8:30         Book Discussion

9:30         Community and Food/Drinks at a Local Restaurant

Upcoming Books

The group regularly engages in a democratic peer selection process to determine upcoming books. Selections range throughout the Buddhist Book spectrum. Upcoming (in the order we anticipate reading) are:

  • Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein
  • Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation through Anger by Lama Rod Owens
  • Women of the Way by Sallie Tisdale
  • Mindfulness & Intimacy by Ben Connelly
  • The Heart Sutra by Kazuaki Tanahashi
  • Standing at the Edge by Joan Halifax
  • EcoDharma (Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis) by David Loy
  • Wisdom Rising by Lama Tsultrim Allione
  • Mindfulness of Breathing: A Practice Guide and Translations by Bikkhu Analayo
  • Training in Tenderness: Buddhist Teachings on Tsewa, the Radical Openness of Heart That Can Change the World by Dzigar Kongtrul
  • The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns by Matty Weingast and Bhikkhuni Anandabodhi
  • Awakening the Heart: Essential Buddhist Teachings and Commentaries by Thich Nhat Hanh
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