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Reflections on Silver River: Tokme Zongpo's Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva by [McLeod, Ken I.]
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Reflections on Silver River: Tokme Zongpo's Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 186 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Ken McLeod has been studying Buddhism since 1970. In 1985, he became authorized as a teacher and in 1988 developed a new model for working with students that was later used as the basis for "Unfettered Mind". His group curriculum was published in 2001, titled "Wake Up to Your Life: Discovering the Buddhist Path of Attention". He has narrated several audiobooks by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3407 KB
  • Print Length: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Unfettered Mind Media; 1 edition (21 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K00WZAI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #173,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully lucid guide to living a better life. Ken McCleod interprets each stanza of the poem Silver River written by a Tibetan Buddhist monk centuries ago - ideal for reading one small chapter before sleep!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8e1f8660) out of 5 stars 51 reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f745f84) out of 5 stars Reflections of a former monk 10 Jan. 2014
By Stephen Schettini - Published on Amazon.com
I am nowadays reluctant to open the pages of traditional Tibetan teachings. They ring with superlatives, and talk too easily of perfection and wonders. Ken McLeod's translation and commentary on the thirty-seven practices of the bodhisattva does none of that. His writing is raw, a plain example of how to negotiate life with dignity rather than pride, with questions rather than answers, with humanity rather than sainthood. He demonstrates the fragility of self-knowledge and the grace of striving in the face of emptiness and death.

Many have been drawn to the `esoteric' teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Doctrines and practices are handed down by secret initiation among an exclusive class. There are dire warnings. It's exciting, but intimidating. What happens if you don't get it right?

At the other end of the Buddhist scale lie the teachings of a man who walked the roads of North India at about the same time literature was being invented in Greece. He questioned life itself, not as a concept but as a painful experience. His way diverged from the philosophers, soothsayers and religious teachers of his time. Rather than perfecting practices and following rules, the Buddha exemplified the way of self-knowledge.

In this book by a lifelong Buddhist practitioner we are not instructed on what is correct. No secret knowledge is revealed. Instead, the author exposes his fears, doubts and qualms. He uses his own disappointments and pain to explore the cryptic, ambiguous verses of the fourteenth century Tibetan monk Tokmé Zongpo.

This book offers glimpses of a very human Togmé Zongpo, not the holy Tibetan lama who never made a misstep. I relate to it personally, a little differently each time I pick it up. Once you're familiar with the contents, you'll go back to select each chapter like an old friend, just the one you need to consult on a particular life problem, who will not tell you what to do, but what is possible.

This lovely, heartfelt testament is not just a book; it's a companion.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e2a13a8) out of 5 stars Pragmatic and Authentic 12 Jan. 2014
By Andy Kokuu McLellan - Published on Amazon.com
Ken McLeod is one of the few western teachers in a position to be able to offer an authentic translation and commentary on this wonderful Tibetan text. His pragmatic approach to traditional teachings and 40+ years of experience as a Buddhist teacher and student are very much in evidence here.

Togme Zangpo's '37 Practices of a Bodhisattva' is a less well known text than 'Seven Points for Training the Mind' or 'Eight Verses on Mind Training' but is very much part of the same lojong (mind training) tradition. Beginning with traditional warnings against wasting our precious human life and the dangers of attachment, Togme Zangpo continues by setting out how a bodhisattva ('awakened being') should behave and his advice is no less relevant to today's world than it was in 14th century Tibet.

Being a lojong text, '37 Practices' goes on to explain how to deal with anger and criticism from others and transform these into loving kindness and a wish to free all beings from suffering. The final verse summarises this aim:

To dispel the suffering of beings without limit,
With wisdom freed from the three spheres
Direct all the goodness generated by these efforts
To awakening — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Ken McLeod's commentary goes straight to the heart of the matter with examples that speak to our own lives as they are today, while diluting none of the message from the original text. He offers practice advice on how to use the difficult areas of life as part of the path and the same straightforward and no-nonsense approach to the teachings evident in his earlier work 'Wake Up to Your Life'.

There are many commentaries on Tibetan texts by Tibetan teachers but books such as 'Reflections on Silver River' in which an experienced western teacher acts as a guide through traditional teachings are much rarer. Ken McLeod understands both the western mind and Tibetan teachings and that makes this book a gem for modern Buddhist practitioners.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fa82ec4) out of 5 stars Approachable and Pragmatic Verse 11 Jan. 2014
By Edward A. Meissner - Published on Amazon.com
Ken McLeod has taken his experience with the Tibetan branch of the Buddhist tree, to translate one of the more obscure writings not typically available in English. The book is fairly small, patterned with a digestible introduction to the topic and its original author, presents the verses on their own, and then takes each packet again with a story and explanation.

This is the golden part of the book, as one might typically not find much resonance as a contemporary Westerner. McLeod demonstrates a deep insight to a seemingly shallow verse, and deftly unfolds the intricate meaning otherwise lost. Rather than simply providing a translation with notes, he brings the verse to life with situations that resonate with his modern audience, ties them to the underlying meaning, and makes it a pragmatic teaching moment while honoring the original author's tone and history.

Thought provoking, this book is great to have on hand to savor in pieces over time, preserving the richness of these age old messages from the past that are every bit as valid today.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e2a1420) out of 5 stars Direct and Unmistaken 17 Jan. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Couple this book with a consistent sitting practice.

Reiterate other reviews--Ken McLeod's writing style is well suited for today's practitioners. No need to translate the translation. Leaves you ready to start down the path and if you've already started the path to take the next step.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Ketchum life - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent. Enough said. Except that Amazon demands prolixity in review!. More words required: Wonderful. Digestible. Luminous. Inspiring. Practical. Simply utterly worthwhile reading and contemplation....
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