Stephen Levine has led an extraordinary fife. One of North America's revered spiritual teachers shares the "heart's hunger" of his troubled youth, his work with the seminal figures of the Beat poetry and jazz scene in New York and the psychedelic sixties in San Francisco, and the seeker's journey that led him to encounters with Ram Dass, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and the Dalai Lama.
In this intimate account of compassion and healing, Levine's narrative turns progressively inward as he describes his life's path toward a deeper understanding of "the way of things." A former drug addict become spiritual teacher, Levine describes how he learned to use his life as a jumping-off point from which to teach healing principles and guided meditations. The author lays bare his own understanding of mindfulness, loving kindness, and service (the fundamental pillars of Buddhism) in an account of a life rich with characters immediately recognizable as leaders of the modern Eastern spirituality movement. Levine, through his life and work, embodies the message that personal peace and transcendence are possible for all.
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"I was born a hungry ghost," is the opening line of renowned Buddhist teacher Stephen Levine's memoir Turning Toward the Mystery. By the time Levine was 2 years old he was starving to death because of a doctor's bungled attempt to treat a digestive problem in infancy. This early starvation prepared Levine for stealing candy bars at age 4, toting a gun in his teenage years, and eventually turning his hunger toward the sacred journey into the unknown--that which he calls the mystery. When the drama of Levine's life story (heroin addiction, a stint at Riker's Island penitentiary for drug possession) falls away, we are left with the universal story of human longing. In this way Levine continues to be a teacher, using his life story to speak to the constant desire that feeds addictions, materialism, envy, and self-pity, to name a few collective demons. "The more we want food, love, sex, courage, the greater the feeling of not having them," he writes. "I saw desire as an undulating nausea in the pit of the hungry ghost's belly."
Levine, who has devoted much of his life work to the care of the dying (A Year to Live, Who Dies?), teaches the path of compassion, how suffering is caused by attachment, and how pleasure is the absence of desire. Because of his leanings toward poetry and Buddhism, Levine's writing is vivid, clean, and filled with lots of white space. The layering between personal story and spiritual teaching is well separated on the page, and yet the beauty of this memoir is that they unfold together so perfectly, not unlike the petal-by-petal opening of the lotus. --Gail HudsonAbout the Author:
Stephen Levine is one of the world’s foremost authorities on death and dying and the author of Who Dies?
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Book Description HarperOne. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0062517449 . Bookseller Inventory # HCI4376GGGG072017H0060P
Book Description HarperOne, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0062517449
Book Description HarperOne, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0062517449
Book Description HarperOne, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110062517449
Book Description Harpersanfrancisco, San Francisco, Ca, U. S. A., 2002. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 252p, glossary. New book.500gms weight. Spiritual journey.; 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 10866
Book Description HarperOne. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0062517449 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0020991