Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community (Paperback)

Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community By Larry Yang, Jan Willis (Foreword by), Sylvia Boorstein (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Larry Yang, Jan Willis (Foreword by), Sylvia Boorstein (Foreword by)
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Description


Awakening Together combines the intimately personal, the Buddhist and universal into a loving, courageous, important work that will benefit all who read it. For anyone who longs to collaborate and create a just and inclusive community, Larry provides a brilliant guidebook.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart


How can we connect our personal spiritual journeys with the larger course of our shared human experience? How do we compassionately and wisely navigate belonging and exclusion in our own hearts? And how can we embrace diverse identities and experiences within our spiritual communities, building sanghas that make good on the promise of liberation for everyone?

If you aren’t sure how to start this work, Awakening Together is for you. If you’ve begun but aren’t sure what the next steps are, this book is for you. If you’re already engaged in this work, this book will remind you none of us do this work alone. Whether you find yourself at the center or at the margins of your community, whether you’re a community member or a community leader, this book is for you.

About the Author


Larry Yang teaches meditation retreats nationally and has a special interest in creating access to the Dharma for diverse multicultural communities. Larry has practiced extensively in Burma and Thailand, with a six month period of ordination as a Buddhist monk under the guidance of meditation master Ajahn Tong. Larry is one of the core teachers and leaders of the East Bay Meditation Center and is on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. He is one of the coordinating teachers of the Spirit Rock Teacher Training program and their Community Dharma Leader program. He lives in San Francisco.

Jan Willis is the author of Dreaming of Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist—One Woman’s Spiritual Journey. She teaches at Wesleyan University, and lives in Connecticut.

Sylvia Boorstein is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and is the author of It’s Easier than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness, as well as several other books

Praise For…


“I don’t see how Awakening Together could be better. It is so wise, thoughtful, dedicated to our healthful growth, ease, and enlightenment through the Dharma that I know I will be reading it for years to come. Larry Yang seems to have thought of everything we will need as we venture bravely forward—through racism, prejudice, and ignorance—into the free spiritual beings we were meant to be. Together.”
— Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple

“Larry Yang’s voice, heart, and insight in Awakening Together can be both trusted and radically illuminating.  We do indeed need each other for any of us to awaken to our true nature as human beings. Mindfulness practice has to be about inclusivity and diversity and justice if it is to be kind and compassionate and wise.  If we truly “inter-are” as Thich Nhat Hanh asserts, then, as this book shows, we have to widen our scope of what is worthy of our attention. Parts of this book may make some people in the greater mindfulness community uncomfortable. It certainly was true in my case. That is precisely why it is particularly valuable to read and reflect upon and learn from. We need trusted others to show us our blind spots, our tacit assumptions, and our ignorance. I highly recommend this elegant, highly personal, and hopefully profoundly influential book.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living

“What a gift Awakening Together (a timely and essential offering) gives, to learn how, through the lessons of past experience and the lens of future needs, we can build sanghas that represent the illuminating and joyous presence that true diversity brings.” 
— Gina Sharpe, Co-Founder, New York Insight Meditation Center

Awakening Together combines the intimately personal, the Buddhist and universal into a loving, courageous, important work that will benefit all who read it. For anyone who longs to collaborate and create a just and inclusive community, Larry provides a brilliant guidebook.”
— Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart

Awakening Together is essential reading as we seek to heal our own hearts, our communities and our world.”
— Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

Awakening Together is filled with love. Larry Yang plants your feet, offers his hand, and without hesitation opens our eyes. His teachings on creating and sustaining communities that welcome the full range of our life experiences, are clear and poignant. He skillfully walks us into a vision of an inclusive spiritual home in which we can unfold and reveal our true selves. As a seasoned, and well-loved dharma teacher, his long-awaited gift satisfies the soul that yearns to be seen. Deep bows, beloved friend, for this offering.”
— Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, author of The Way of Tenderness

“In Awakening Together, Larry Yang shares an in-depth personal journey and his professional experience of wise and actionable guidance for building inclusive Buddhist communities. A must read for anyone interested in understanding the integrities of belonging.”
— Ruth King, dharma teacher, life coach, and author of Healing and Mindful of Race

 “This book is essential reading for anyone interested in building and sustaining a diverse, inclusive, empowered, wise and compassionate community.”
— Kittisaro and Thanissara, authors of Listening to the Heart

“This book is a real treasure, and a map to great awakenings in our worldwide sangha.”
— Myokei Caine Barrett, Shonin, resident priest of Myoken Temple in Houston

“For the first time—a Dharma book that is a roadmap showing collective pathways out of social suffering. In a voice both passionate and wise, Larry Yang guides us to co-create spiritual communities that embrace the pain of oppression and inequity as integral to the ground of compassion and liberatory spiritual practice.”
— Mushim Patricia Ikeda, Buddhist teacher, author, and activist

“Larry Yang’s Awakening Together seamlessly blends the personal with the political. He helps us to see that waking up in all forms is an essential spiritual practice—and that nothing is excluded, including the thorny areas of race, culture, and identity. Larry is a thought leader in this work and his compassionate insight shines through as a guide to us all. This book is a game-changer.”
— Diana Winston, Director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and co-author of Fully Present

“A marvelous book, unstoppable in its promise. The integrity and timeliness of Larry Yang’s teaching has the power of an incoming tide.”
— Joanna Macy, author of Coming Back to Life

“The compassionate, thoughtful, and inclusive teachings in Awakening Together provide guidance for communities seeking to be more diverse, as well as for individuals seeking diverse spaces in which to practice.”
— Foreword Reviews

"Awakening Together is the best book ever written on Buddhist inclusivity, both racially and sexually.”
— The Bay Area Reporter
Product Details
ISBN: 9781614293514
ISBN-10: 1614293511
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
Publication Date: October 24th, 2017
Pages: 280
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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