The Sumeru Press was recently profiled on the Buddhistdoor website, thanks to an interview with Justin Whitaker. Here’s a link to the article…
Sumeru author Innen Ray Parchelo speaks with Ted Meissner of the Secular Buddhist podcast…
Chances are if you are on a silent meditation retreat, the primary focus is sitting practice. Not just on retreats, either; sitting has a dominant focus in contemplative practice, interspersed with periods of short walking which seem geared to loosen up the body in order to… support more sitting. Walking and other movement practices themselves have more to them than just relief for stressed joints with a little exposure to mindful awareness of lifting, placing, shifting. Instead, contemplative walking can be a heartwood of practice.
Innen Ray Parchelo has studied, taught and practiced Buddhism for more than 50 years. He is Canada’s first Tendai priest and acts as both the Priest to the Red Maple Tendai Sangha and Director of Tendai Canada. He is the coordinator of Red Maple Centre for Mindful Living and of The Padakun Centre for Contemplative Walking. He began his formal dharma practice in 1974 and has been a member of several Buddhist centres, first taking refuge in 1994. In 2008, he renewed his refuge-vows and in 2010 was ordained a Tendai priest. Special thanks to John Negru of Sumeru Press for help with today’s interview.
So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Cloud Walking tea.
Innen Ray Parchelo is the author of Walk Like a Mountain: The Handbook of Buddhist Walking Practices (Sumeru, 2012)
Here’s a review from Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly of A THOUSAND HANDS: A Guide to Caring for Your Buddhist Community, edited by Nathan Jishin Michon and Daniel Clarkson Fisher (Sumeru, 2016).
We are pleased to announce that Sumeru has made a $618 donation to the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation of Canada (Toronto branch), on behalf of the many Canadian Buddhist teachers, practitioners, and scholars who contributed to our book Lotus Petals in the Snow: Voices of Canadian Buddhist Women. Thank you to these noble bodhisattvas.
Thank you to the many readers who purchased a copy of the book. All profits from sales of the book are donated to charity. If you would like to purchase a copy of the book (and contribute to a future donation of royalties), here is more information about it: http://www.sumeru-books.com/dd-product/writings-canadian-buddhist-women/
The funds will assist with Tzu Chi’s longterm commitment to Chantel’s Place, the Trillium Health Partnership’s Sexual Assault Care and Domestic Violence Services in Peel Region.
The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation is a non-denominational, global organization. Mr. Wang was kind to share several books with me about the charity, the remarkable nun who is its founder, and its work.
Presented by the Buddhist Education Network of Ontario – Compassionate Care Project
30-hour Community and Palliative Care Education Program for Volunteers
9325 Yonge Street (Yonge and 16th Ave.)
Email email@example.com or call 416-800-8032 or 416-910-4858 for more information/registration
(Instructions in Cantonese)
8 Saturdays starting April 29, 2017
April 29 (Saturday) 9:30 am – 1:00 pm Introduction & Background
May 6 (Saturday) 9:30 – 3:00 pm Medical Care & Personal Care
May 13 (Saturday) 9:30am – 1:00 pm Psychosocial Care
May 27 (Saturday) 9:30 – 1:00 pm Spiritual Care
June 3 (Saturday) 9:30 – 1:00 pm Loss, grief & bereavement
June 10 (Saturday) 11:30 am – 3:00 pm Communication
June 17 (Saturday) 9:30 am – 3:00 pm Ethics and Volunteer panel
June 24 (Saturday) 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Field Trip: visiting a nursing home
Presented by University of Toronto Buddhist Contemplative Care Society & the Sumeru Press
A talk by John Gendo Wolff Sensei, author of The Driftwood Shrine: Discovering Zen in American Poetry
Presented by the Great Compassion Bodhi Prajna Temple
Summer overnight camp for kids and youth ages 10-18
19 Hidden Forest Drive, Stouffville
Conducted by Dharma Masters Miao Jing and Miao Yin and a group of instructors
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
We have received notice that the summer issues of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly will be reviewing A Thousand Hands: A Guidebook to Caring for Your Buddhist Community, edited by Nathan Jishin Michon and Daniel Clarkson Fisher.
Look for them soon!
We recently received the INCOGNITO buddhist fiction blog review from Kimberley Beek.
CANADIAN PUBLICATION Incognito: The Astounding Life of Alexandra David-Neel by Dianne Harke (Toronto: The Sumeru Press, Inc., 2016) Reviewed by Kimberly Beek
Dianne Harke’s first novel, Incognito: The Astounding Life of Alexandra David-Neel is a fictional biography that might not have been completed but for the curiosity and encouragement of John Negru, Publisher at The Sumeru Press, Inc. As Harke explained in a recent interview, Negru read the first few chapters on Wattpad and offered to publish the finished manuscript. The Sumeru Press, Inc. is one part of Sumeru Books, a Canadian publishing company that focuses on Buddhist books, art and news. It is an important hub on the Canadian Buddhism landscape: “In addition to [their] publishing activities, [they] also maintain Canada’s leading Buddhist news blog (accessible at the bottom of [the] home page), and a directory of more than 580 Canadian Buddhist organizations (www.canadianbuddhism.info).” Sumeru also promotes a space for Canadian Buddhism on the international cultural landscape, as evidenced in this recent letter to the editor of Tricycle Magazine, Spring 2017 entitled “Northern Neighbor Neglect.” So when John Negru contacted me about Incognito, I knew I was in for a treat.
Alexandra David-Neel was an early 20th-century French explorer, spiritual seeker and feminist who travelled throughout Asia. Her journeys into sometimes dangerous areas were attempted during times of great turmoil, such as the onset of WWII and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, so she often had to travel incognito. Her travels would have made for a good spy novel but she travelled in earnest search of various forms of enlightenment. Through her travels and the application of her keen intellect, she became a revered scholar of Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Tibetan Buddhism. She was revered by lamas and tulkus and the European academy as well.
Harke’s book is not merely a straightforward biography of Alexandra’s life. An author’s note both begins and sets the tone for this special biography. In the note, Harke relates that there is an invisible line between fiction and non-fiction. Even though she has done substantial research for the biography on the extraordinary life of Alexandra David-Neel, the book is a work of fiction. As support for her assertion, Harke cites Alexandra herself who advised that Tibetan authors use their imaginations to a measure that finds its equal in Western fairy tales, except that all of the “extravagant wonders that abound in their narratives” are taken as authentic events. While the subject matter of Harke’s biography may suggest that this is a book filled with imaginary adventures, it is actually the author’s writing style that pushes the work across the threshold of fiction. Harke’s rigorous research and choice of both first and third person points of view narratives simultaneously generate and situate the voice of Alexandra. The author fairly channels Alexandra to give the reader a backstage pass into the spiritual seeker’s internal and external worlds.
Were it not for Harke’s rigorous research grounding this story, the life of Alexandra would be difficult to believe simply because it is so very astounding, as the title of the novel suggests. Over the course of her life and travels, Alexandra met with European and Asian dignitaries and ambassadors, befriended a Sikkim Prince, and discussed Buddhist concepts with the both the Panchen Lama and the 13th Dalai Lama. These meetings helped to nurture her scholarly pursuits to learn and translate Sanskrit and Tibetan and to better understand Buddhist concepts. But her experiences travelling incognito allowed her a spiritual development which augmented her education in a way that traditional scholarship could never replicate. Harke’s first person narratives of Alexandra’s time in China, India and Nepal and subsequent journey to Lhasa, Tibet are peopled with a variety of savoury characters, from helpful shepherds and villagers to cave-dwelling hermits. In travelling incognito, Alexandra learned and lived her own version of Tibetan Buddhism. For example, she developed and used the fire of tumo, a meditative method of physiologically warming the body that was useful in the extreme conditions of the Himalayas (p. 101). In one side adventure, Alexandra was witness to a powa recitation, the “mystic incantation” that is chanted at the deathbed of a Buddhist to assist with the transference of consciousness to the next life (p. 113). And she experienced dream yoga after an encounter with a mysterious lama who insisted that she stop travelling incognito so that she could once again wear the rosary and rings of an initiate of Tibetan Buddhism (pp. 135 – 136). The effect of the first person narratives reads like a first-hand description of lived Tibetan Buddhism during the mid-twentieth century.
There is one more success in Harke’s first novel that I wish to mention in case it is overlooked. Whether intentional or not, her renderings of the European cultural contexts behind Alexandra’s story are instructive. The glimpses into the modus operandi of the Theosophical Society gave me a sense of how Theosophy and Spiritualism dovetailed with Buddhism and Hinduism at the turn of the twentieth century. Further, the systemic Orientalism that pervaded (and still permeates) Western societies’ perspectives of the “other” are evident in the form of descriptions of Protestant Buddhism: an idea of a “pure” Buddhism interpreted from the Pali canon that discredits and excludes any “folk ritual” and “superstition.” Orientalist representations are described in some of Alexandra’s surprised reactions to her early experiences of Buddhism outside of Europe. For example, in a scene rendered from 1891, Alexandra was in Colombo and for the first time attended a Buddhist temple only to be greeted with “a huge Buddha lacquered in a hideous canary yellow, like something in a lurid carnival. By its side supplicants had placed a package of toothpicks and a glass jar containing preserved carrots and peas. Do they really think that the Buddha nibbles pickled vegetables as he meditates? (p. 35).” Decades later, after living as a Buddhist in Tibet, her reactions to such forms of lived religion were conveyed as quite the opposite. Lastly, the juxtaposition of Alexandra’s feminism poised against European culture at the fin de siecle is played out beautifully in her patronly marriage to her husband “Mouchy” and her adoptive “parenting” of a Tibetan Buddhist lama, Yongden.
You can find Incognito: The Astounding Life of Alexandra David-Neel through Sumeru Books http://www.sumeru-books.com/dd-product/incognito-the-astounding-life-of-alexandra-david-neel/
Dianne Harke, author of INCOGNITO: The Astounding Life of Alexandra David-Neel (Sumeru, 2016), was recently interviewed by Betty Jane Hegerat, a Canadian literary blogger.
Catholicism and Zen print edition
Here’s the product page link: http://www.sumeru-books.com/dd-product/catholicism-and-zen/
Ever since Catholic priests from Portugal and Spain entered Japan in the 1500’s on missions to convert the Japanese to Christianity, a quiet transformation has been taking place, beginning among those Jesuit missionaries and spreading into the present day among American and European Catholics, lay and ordained alike. As Rick McDaniel writes in this important book, in seeking to understand the Japanese mind so as to know better how to convert the Japanese to Christianity, these early – and later – priests undertook Zen practice.
Although there are a number of books written on Christianity and Zen, including several by Catholic clergy, this is the first to take it from its origins with the Jesuit missionaries sent to Japan, to interviews with the many contemporary Catholic clergy – priests and nuns both – who maintain their Catholic faith and practice and find it enhanced by their Zen training. Many of these men and women have done extensive Zen practice under recognized Zen masters and have become authorized themselves to teach Zen practice – and see no conflict with their Christian faith. The author himself was raised Catholic and has practiced Zen for several decades, thus having a unique background through which to explore the congruencies between the two, and his research has resulted in some fascinating insights into the accord between the two religions. Read on! – From the foreword by Ven. Mitra Bishop, Abbot, Mountain Gate
Overture in Montreal
Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle & Koun Yamada
William Johnston & Thomas Merton
Intermezzo: A Conversation with Bodhin Kjolhede
Maria Reis Habito
Day Star Zendo
Oak Tree in the Garden
Finale in Oaxaca
Rick McDaniel’s Catholicism and Zen offers a glimpse into the experience of Zen through the eyes of Catholic teachers, lay, clergy, and religious. Based on a series of interviews with Catholic practitioners of Zen, it offers insight into a complementary relationship that can exist between Zen and the Catholic spiritual experience. For the Catholic who has little experience of Zen, this work provides an accessible introduction. Father John Jennings, Dept of History (Ret.), Saint Thomas University, Fredericton
Rick McDaniel’s study, interviews, and writing shed an abundance of light on all that many of us have learned thus far from the West. Deep gratitude is offered to Rick as we continue to make use of much of what he has unearthed from the East. Sr. Pascaline Coff, OSB, Benedictine Sisters Our Lady of Rickenbach
Reading Catholicism and Zen you’ll hear categories collapsing – Christian/Buddhist, East/West, and mysticism/daily life. Rick McDaniel brings to life a most remarkable development in religion through the real-life stories and perspectives of women and men engaged in the spiritual quest who discover and enliven the meaning and form of awakening beyond traditional constrictions. Dosho Port Roshi, Nebraska Zen Center
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Bryan McDaniel taught at the University of New Brunswick and Saint Thomas University before starting a 27-year career in International Development and Fair Trade. He is the creator of the YMCA Peace Medallion. A long time Zen practitioner, he lives in Fredericton, NB. This is his fifth book in a series on the evolution of Zen Buddhism as it moved from China to Japan and the West.
His other two books published by Sumeru are The Third Step East: Zen Masters of America and Cypress Trees in the Garden: The Second Generation of Zen Teaching in America.
Visit him at: https://rickmcdaniel.blogspot.ca/