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J. N. Carter "John Carter" (Bristol, England)

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Zen at War (2nd Edition) (War and Peace Library)
Zen at War (2nd Edition) (War and Peace Library)
by Brian Daizen Victoria
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.87

5.0 out of 5 stars A modern koan, 10 May 2014
Reading this book, as a committed "zennie" in the Soto Zen tradition, was a tremendous wake up call. Zen at War engagingly and passionately tells the story of how an allegedly peaceful tradition became so embroiled in Japanese militarism that a prominent Nazi bemoaned Germany's lack of a "truly facist religion". Just few years later the "beat generation" was adopting Zen as part of a peaceful rejection of mainstream Western traditions. Since then Zen has become established in popular Western culture as a much admired, but little understood, spiritual "brand".

Should Zen be ditched as a "facist religion" dressed in "Guardian readers" clothing? Only if you believe that Zen defies Siddatha Gotama, aka the buddha's, teaching of contingency - that nothing has an enduring essence but is part of its ongoing time and place. The Zen we practice in 21st century Europe is different from that practiced in early 20th century Japan. With a critical appreciation of history we can revisit our understanding of what Gotama taught and come to our own understanding of what zen practice is.

The Last Testament
The Last Testament
by Don Cupitt
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing take on religion, 22 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Last Testament (Paperback)
Don's take on religion, a solar outpouring of life, of connectedness without the stale dogmas that encrust most established traditions makes this a thoroughly satisfying experience on all levels. His zest for life, knowledge and good humour make this a thoroughly enjoyable book even as it puts the onus on us to enjoy and express this life to the full. Don't be put off by the title or the subject matte - this is a life affirming read.

PRIMAL CONNECTION (Sustainable Agriculture)
PRIMAL CONNECTION (Sustainable Agriculture)
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.85

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thought provoker, 27 Feb 2013
This is an excellent thought provoking book, linking many aspects of our modern life and how we might consider our evolutionary heritage to become happier more fulfilled humans. As a dyed in the wool vegetarian I might not be an obvious fan of primal when it comes to the emphasis on eating meat but please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. I have adapted my diet to be more focused on nuts and seeds, less on grains & beans, and feel better, more energised for it. Brief intense exercise is fun - no more drudgery of prolonged agony on an exercise bike. Primal posture(TM) has released me from 20 years of debilitating chronic back pain, so much so I now teach the Gokhale Method. My love of sailing, gardening and walking has new significance. We all like neat tidy answers - primal thinking has topedoed many of my old certainties, raised new questions, new possibilities. Enjoy the challenge of this new way of thinking and take from it what resonates for you. Our evolution continues.

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot (Remember When It Didn't Hurt)
8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot (Remember When It Didn't Hurt)
by Esther Gokhale
Edition: Paperback

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does what it says on the cover, 7 July 2009
There are so many bad backs, and so many ways of tackling the problem. What marks this book out is that it works! The 8 steps are described in 8 chapters showing simple effective ways to stand, sit, lie down and walk in a back friendly way. Numerous pictures and diagrams make understanding the text easy, and the book a pleasure to read and refer to again and again.

The approach taken is based on observing people in cultures where back pain is virtually unheard of. This results in an approach that might not be exactly the same as you've encountered before, but from personal experience I know how effective it is. If you want to get a flavour of the Gokhale method try looking on youtube for a video of Esther teaching. Give it a go, and if you like it, do buy the book.

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