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Voices of Insight: Teachers of Buddhism in the West Share Their Wisdom, Stories and Experiences of Insight Meditation Hardcover – 31 Jan 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; First Edition edition (31 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570623988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570623981
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,865,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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WE BEGIN MEDITATION RETREATS by taking refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the first of which is the Buddha himself. Read the first page
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adam Khan on 29 Aug. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Each chapter of Voices of Insight is written by a different author, and almost all of them were born and raised in the United States. Then they trained and became ordained and legitimate lamas, abbots, Zen masters, and Buddhist teachers in India, Thailand, Japan, etc., and came back to the U.S. to teach. Buddhism is different in every country and in every historical period, and in this book we can see what modern American Buddhism is like. I think you're going to like it. I am not British, but I believe this book would be equally interesting to you.
Voices of Insight is also a good Buddhist primer. One author tells the history of Siddhartha Gotama Buddha and explains important basic ideas like nirvana and samsara. Another author covers the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Joseph Goldstein's chapter on the science and art of meditation explains what meditation is for and what you should be doing when you're meditating more clearly than anything I've ever come across, and all by itself makes the book worth getting.
This book is helpful. It will help you develop your practice. It is not merely interesting and educational; it is practical. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, so I'm sort of an expert on applicable information. Voices of Insight is not only illuminating and enjoyable to read, it is thoroughly applicable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Insightful and Tasty Teachings 31 Dec. 1999
By Ruth Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Voices of Insight" is a collection of essays by a variety of western Buddhist teachers, all of whom teach at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass. I have practiced with many of them, and so for me this book contains the familiar voices of friends. And so I was especially delighted by the fresh taste and the heartfulness of this book, and by how much I learned from reading it. There is a breadth and depth in this collection that can provide inspiration and spiritual nourishment for a wide variety of circumstances and with a wide variety of personal styles. Many of the essays emphasized daily life practice, cultivating awareness and compassion in the midst of washing dishes, working, shopping, etc. It is inspiring to read these personal anecdotes about the teaching available in everyday moments. A few of them describe the depth of the spiritual journey, the cultivation of deep states of silence and concentration, and the effort and joy of following this spiritual path to complete liberation of the heart.
Some of the teachers writing in this book are monastics; most lead their lives as laypeople; some talk about their families, some describe their teachers in Asia or the West; and some discuss experiences of deep silence and awareness. The diversity of the teachings feels very inclusive, and it is delightfully balanced by the clarity and thoughtfulness with which this book is organized. There are sections focussing on the Buddha, representing both the historical Buddha and the various Teachers; the Dharma, or the reality of the teachings as they can be experienced; and the Sangha, the support and teaching we receive from being in relationship with others on a spiritual path. In each of these, the writers express their individual styles in a way that makes their stories accessible and alive. I continually found connections between the experiences described in this book and my own life, whether the teachers were describing formal meditation practice or the practice of being a mother.
This book is not a meditation handbook or a guide for one's practice; it is more of an inspirational book and a demonstration of the teachings that are available. Fortunately, several of the authors, including Sharon Salzberg, have also written books of their own. After tasting their style in "Voices of Insight", it's great to be able to go on and learn more from them.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Buddhism as it is practiced in the United States. 6 July 2002
By Adam Khan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Each chapter of Voices of Insight is written by a different author, and almost all of them were born and raised in the United States. Then they trained and became ordained and legitimate lamas, abbots, Zen masters, and Buddhist teachers in India, Thailand, Japan, etc., and came back to the U.S. to teach. Buddhism is different in every country and in every historical period, and in this book we can see what modern American Buddhism is like. I think you're going to like it.
Voices of Insight is also a good Buddhist primer. One author tells the history of Siddhartha Gotama Buddha and explains important basic ideas like nirvana and samsara. Another author covers the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Joseph Goldstein's chapter on the science and art of meditation explains what meditation is for and what you should be doing when you're meditating more clearly than anything I've ever come across, and all by itself makes the book worth getting.
This book is helpful. It will help you develop your practice. It is not merely interesting and educational; it is practical. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, so I'm sort of an expert on applicable information. Voices of Insight is not only illuminating and enjoyable to read, it is thoroughly applicable.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An inspiring introduction to Buddhist principles and teachings 10 Dec. 2009
By Steve Pavilanis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I happened upon "Voices of Insight" at a local bookstore, I was overworked, depressed, and suffering from severe anxiety disorders. I had always been intrigued by Buddhism and the Eastern approach to life, and was hopeful to find something that could help me. This book opened my eyes and changed my life.

This collection of insightful short stories demonstrates real world applications of the Buddhist approach to life. The fact that it is written from the perspective of Americans in the Far East learning from true Buddhist masters makes it a truly wonderful introduction to new ways of thinking for those of us in the Western world.

The teachings of this book have been so influential in my life that I have included several passages in my own book about overcoming anxiety problems. I often find myself referring back to its pages for inspiring passages. It is also this book that got me interested in reading more about Ajahn Chah, one of the greatest Buddhist teachers in recent history.

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to gain a healthier perspective on life.

Steve Pavilanis
A Life Less Anxious: Freedom from panic attacks and social anxiety without drugs or therapy (Volume 1)
Informative and inspirational 17 Mar. 2014
By Anne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The essays in Voices of Insight give the reader an idea of what insight meditation is all about and how it can benefit their lives. I've read the book straight through twice and have dipped into it for a few pages of encouragement many times over the years. It never fails.
Best Book 22 Oct. 2010
By Chem Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you really want to begin to understand Buddhism on a personal as well as intellectual level, this is the book for you.
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