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The Heart Of The Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra Paperback – 28 Jan 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (28 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1490567305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1490567303
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,539,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Thanissara is Anglo/Irish and originally from London. She was a Buddhist nun for 12 years in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah and has taught meditation internationally the last 25 years. She is co-founder of Dharmagiri, a small meditation center in the Southern Drakensberg in South Africa which also initiates and supports local community engagement projects. Thanissara currently resides between South Africa and the USA. www.dharmagiri.org


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a deep and profound work. I have had it for several months now and have re-read it several times. For me it points to my own bitter almond hedges, and what lies around, within and beyond them. It reminds the personal heart that what defends it is also cuts it off from its connection with all things, and contributes to the creation of bitter hedges everywhere. Piercingly honest, beautifully evocative, it is a poem for anyone who loves the Dharma, who loves Africa, who is concerned about the presence of separation in their communities, or who wants to see over their own spikey hedges.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful book od poetry.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Buddhist poet calls us to love and to action 28 Feb. 2014
By Leslee Goodman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This beautiful book broke open my heart. Thanissara’s poetry rips the civilized veneer off the lives we are living and reveals them for what they are: a brutal lie we have--to our shame--grown accustomed to. A lie that started, at least in this epic poem, with the planting of a bitter almond hedge to keep “us” white settlers apart from “those” Africans.

From this bitter hedge, South Africa’s cancerous apartheid system grew. But, as Thanissara gently points out, we can't simply point fingers at South Africa, because “the ultimate apartheid is the mind’s own division against the heart.” And that apartheid lives everywhere—everywhere we can destroy the earth without feeling; destroy each other without feeling; betray ourselves without feeling so that we can “get along.”

Through the voices of bushmen, through images of wild Africa, through the heartless terrors of warfare, genocide, and ecocide upon which our modern lives are based, Thanissara makes us feel how much we have lost, and makes us grieve our own cold callousness. And then she calls us to wake up.

“There is no suffering, no origin of suffering, no end of suffering, and no path,” the Buddha teaches. So “Allow the cries that tumble across/the peaceful vast veldt/of mountainous struggles/to flow through you. Let the hot sun melt your shield/as you walk the dusty street/of warm, black, skin softly smiles/where the boy with satchel and dreams/wanders the thin, wishful highway/of no jobs.” Is this so hard?

It is the haunting images of this beautiful book that will stay with me. I love how Thanissara juxtaposes them—often heartbreakingly—with the words of the indigenous people who speak before each chapter. And I love how she ultimately calls us to courage: “Move beyond your walled pastimes/to join the Awakening./Time yourself out/from the needle of craving/and boogie down with intense/flamenco, disciplined passion/so we can crash the machine.

“Soar over the edge/on the breath of our heart’s sorrow/and make a beloved circle/outside the wall/where the storehouse of untamed dreams/will decolonize our mind.” May we do so before it’s too late.
5.0 out of 5 stars for the love of poetry 8 May 2014
By Cathy Wickham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find I keep reading the poem many times, in parts, as well an a long read of the whole of it. I encourage anyone interested in Buddhism, Africa, or how to mindfully practice with the ills of the worlds to see yet deeply into life's beauty, or for the love of poetry, to read this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful poetry. 2 Jan. 2015
By K - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
beautifully written
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