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The Art of Listening by Sarah Shaw
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The Art of Listening

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The Art of Listening by Sarah Shaw
Paperback $18.95
Jun 15, 2021 | ISBN 9781611808858

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  • Jun 15, 2021 | ISBN 9781611808858

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  • Jun 15, 2021 | ISBN 9780834843578

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“For many years I regarded the Dīgha Nikāya, the Buddha’s Long Discourses, as of little personal relevance, seeing it as primarily aimed at enhancing the status of Buddhism in the social and cultural milieu of ancient India. Sarah Shaw’s book has radically transformed my assessment of this collection. Beautifully written and rich in observations, her inspired work shows the Digha to be perhaps the boldest and most majestic of the four Nikāyas. In Shaw’s treatment of the text, the Digha merges two contrasting perspectives in a tense but happy harmony: a panoramic vision of the vast cosmic significance of the Buddha and his teaching, and an earthy view of the Buddha’s concrete physical presence in this world. This contrast, she argues, is seen most poignantly in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the long narrative on the Buddha’s final journey and passage into nirvana, where he himself exemplifies his teaching of universal impermanence. I believe that for others, too, this book will have a lasting impact on their appreciation of the Digha, offering many new ways of looking at this fascinating collection of early Buddhist texts.”—Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, author of Reading the Buddha’s Discourses in Pāli

“In this quietly revolutionary book, Sarah Shaw shows us that Buddhist sutras are also Buddhist practices, and that listening can be a form of meditation. She shows that our modern habits of skim reading and skipping ahead in texts are very different from the way the sutras have been appreciated in the past, and that if we can better understand the way the dharma has been recited and listened to over so many generations, it will allow us to engage with it more fully. Cultivating a quiet and attentive practice of listening seems more necessary than ever and this is a book that shows us how it can be done.”—Sam van Schaik, author of Buddhist Magic and Tibetan Zen

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