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Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of…
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"Evolving Dharma is a next-generation book about meditation, Buddhism, and the contemplative path. It explores how the dharma (the path, the way, the teachings of the Buddha) has evolved in astonishing ways and how dharma practice evolves in one's own life. Instead of approaching the dharma as spirituality, therapy, or self-help, scholar and practicing Buddhist Jay Michaelson presents it as a set of technologies for upgrading the brain, for physically enhancing its capacity for wisdom and compassion. In the last twenty years, Buddhism has exploded well beyond its former boundaries. Meditation is being taught to prisoners, cancer patients, and children. It is being practiced online--by geeks, hipsters, and punks; by atheists, Christians, and Jews; by people who are not "spiritual." It's not even "Buddhism" anymore, having evolved out of its original religious context and into dozens of new ones. Evolving Dharma is the first book to take stock of these trends, and to speak in real-life terms about how they affect the practice of meditation and the path to upgrading the mind. Michaelson is fearless, unorthodox, and irreverent, yet his book is also based on his decade of meditation practice and teaching as well as his ten years of work as an LGBT activist. Including forays into neuroscience and cultural criticism and Michaelson's personal stories of his five months spent in silent retreat, life-changing realizations, pain, joy, and insight, this is not an ironic, wading-into-spirituality memoir but a thoughtful, important work that takes its subject seriously, both as discipline and as individual narrative. Chapter titles include "The Dharma Evolves By Disappearing," "The Evolution of Enlightenment," and "When Every Mystical State You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough.""--
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