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  Double Mirror
By: Butterfield, Steven T.




 
Our Price: $14.95
Members Price: $13.46
Author: Butterfield, Steven T.

Product Code: 5292
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A Skeptical Journey into Buddhist Tantra
The Aim of the Buddhist path is to free ourselves from the confusion of the ego. Tibetan tantric, or Vajrayana, Buddhism seeks to accelerate this process through practices that bring about a total involvement of body, speech, and mind. Vajrayana Buddhism has in recent history taken root strongly in the West, carrying with it the imprint of Tibetan sociopolitical and cultural elements. In this staged system of spiritual development, devotion to one's guru (teacher) is considered essential. But to Americans, steeped in a culture of individuality and democratic principles, the practices and methods of Vajrayana Buddhism may sometimes resemble cult-like indoctrination techniques.-
In The Double Mirror, the author's personal history -- as a student of the late Tibetan master Chogyam Trungpa, known for his unconventional lifestyle and "crazy wisdom" teaching style -- is the framwork for an incisive and eloquent examination of a profound spiritual journey. Writing both from a critical perspective and from his direct experience of Vajrayana practice, the author looks at Buddhist tantric teachings and practices and their expression in Vajradhatu, Trungpa's organization. While discussing how the institution may sometimes function like a "cult," Butterfield nonetheless experiences Buddhist tantra as an authentic system of profound spiritual transformation.
The Double Mirror explores the effects of Buddhist practice on personality, autonomy, perception, and health, and discusses what Buddhism has to offer Americans. With skeptical intelligence, Butterfield illuminates the stages, teachings, and assumptions of the Tibetan Buddhist path, offering a frank and insightful portrayal of the ideal and reality of spiritual life.

The Double Mirror, Stephen T. Butterfield, 245 pp, North Atlantic Books, $14.95

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