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The Great Jizo Book Giveaway

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To continue the one-year blogging birthday celebration, I’m giving away one copy of the book Not Turning Away: The Practice of Engaged Buddhism (Shambhala, 2004). This is an anthology of articles from Turning Wheel magazine, edited by Susan Moon. Writers featured in the book include Robert Aitken Roshi, Jan Chozen Bays, Fleet Maull, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, Joanna Macy, and Diana Winston. (Oh yeah, and one of my articles is in there too.)

Here’s what you need to do to be eligible:

1) Take a look at the new Amazon book store that I created to go along with The Jizo Chronicles, and enjoy browsing through it. There are three categories: books on socially engaged Buddhism, general Buddhist books, and books on activism and politics.

2) Then, let me know what books you would suggest adding to the store by making a comment at the bottom of this post, by November 30. If the comment doesn’t automatically include a link back to you, make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. (To protect yourself from the obnoxious robots that crawl through the Internet, put your address in this format: maia [at] gmail [dot] com )

3) For extra credit! Send an email to a friend (or many friends!) who you think might enjoy the bookstore. Let me know that you did this in your comment and you’ll get an extra chance to win!

On December 1, I’ll write down the names of everyone who left a comment, put it into a hat, pull a name, and then I’ll contact the winner so I can ship the book to you. I’ll even autograph it for you, if you want.

Does that make sense? So it’s a giveaway with a randomly chosen winner, but you can increase your odds of winning by telling your friends about the book store. Pretty simple. No purchase necessary, as they say. Go to it and have fun!

About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

19 responses »

  1. This is tough. Your store is pretty comprehensive (and pithy!) so I’m hard-pressed (pun intended) to add to it.

    My personal go-to books are

    Transformation and Healing by Thich Nhat Hanh
    Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization by Analayo

    Everything is Broken: a Tale of catastrophe in Burma by Emma Larkin (on my next to read list – rave reviews by my daughter who is the Burma political scene maven
    Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: the uncertain fate of Afghanistan’s women by Sally Armstrong

    Engaged Buddhism:
    Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism by Sallie B. King
    Heart of Being by Daido Loori

    Thanks for the great opportunity to reflect and practice!

  2. Hi Maia,
    Just one thought: Everybody uses Amazon because they’re the biggest. They’re not particularly politically beneficial – for instance, they’ve been accused of discriminating against openly LGBT books and authors. You could try Powell’s or probably many other bookstores that have a conscience – which would do two good things (and still produce some money for your site) – support them, and make more people aware of the alternatives to Amazon.

    Best wishes,

  3. First, some book recommendations. Because I’m a newbie, I’ll suggest When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron. Also, because I’m a newbie, I’m reading Buddhism for Dummies (yes, an actual Dummies book). When I mentioned it to some Zen friends, they asked to borrow it. I guess the basics are good for everyone.

    Second, I agree with Shodo that there are alternatives to Amazon. Main Street Books is one (; Better World Books is another ( If you’re sending people to the site, they will learn about the alternatives. However, your point might be to educate people on Amazon about Buddhism. Either way, thank you for the good work you do.

  4. Hi,

    I’d include Ken Jones’ The New Face of Socially Engaged Buddhism, and perhaps even Keown’s ‘Nature of Buddhist Ethics’, and ‘Bio-Ethics’

    Also a book by ….. her name escapes me, Thich Nhat Hanh’s most senior disciple who writes about her work in Vietnam.

  5. Hi Maia,

    This is a wonderful and helpful list … how about adding it to Upaya’s Buddhist Teachings list ?


  6. Secundra Beasley

    I have nothing to add. I do have a huge thank you for putting this list together. I been craving for books like these but did not know where to begin. Thanks again.

  7. For more ethical book buying, check out – not ethical per-se but Abe is a datebase of books sold by real (bricks and mortar) independent book stores rather than one giant monopoly.

  8. Okay just thought to look on the reading list for the Masters in Buddhist Chaplaincy I’ve begun….so these are aimed at that kind of inter-personal engagement – but might be useful.

    For practical advice

    Brazier, C 2009 Listening to the Other O-Books UK & US
    Dass R. & Bush M. 1992 Compassion in Action London: Rider
    Dass R. & Gorman P. 1985 How can I help. London: Rider

    On Death and Dying

    Watts, J and Tomatsu, Y 2008 Never Die Alone JSRI Japan
    Brazier, D 2007 Who Loves Dies Well O-Books UK & US
    Sogyal Rimpoche 1992 Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Harper Collins UK

    And finally, and most relevant (apologise if there are any repeats here), on social engagement:

    Altman N. 1988. The Nonviolent revolution, a comprehensive guide to Ahimsa. Element
    Chappell D.W. 1999 Buddhist peacework, wisdom
    McConnell J.A. Mindfull Mediation, Buddhist researsh institute.
    Dogen & Uchiyama 1983 Refining your life, Weatherhilk
    Fujii G. 1997 Buddhism for world peace, Sterling
    Glassman B. 1998 Bearing witness, Bell tower
    Glassman B. & Fields R. Instructions to the cook. Bell tower
    Gorin J. 1993 Choose love, Parallax
    Gyatso T (Dalai Lama). 1999, Ancient wisdom, modern world . Little Brown
    Hanh N. 1990 Transformation And Healing Parallax
    Hanh N. 1993 Love in action Parallax
    Harrison G. 1994 In the lap of the Buddha. Shambhala
    Jones K, 2003 The New Social Face of Buddhism. Wisdom
    Kyi, Aung San Suu.1991, Freedom from fear, Penguin
    Khong C 1993 Learning True Love: How I learned and practised Social Change in Vietnam Parallax US
    Macy J. 1993 World As Lover World As Self. Rider
    Padmasuri 1990, but little dust, windhorse
    Page T. 1999 Buddhism and animals. Ukavis
    Pilchink T 1988 Jai Bhim. Windhorse
    Queen C.S. & King S.B. 1998 Engaged Buddhism, New York state university
    Queen C.S. 2000 Engaged Buddhism in the West, Wisdom
    Sivaraksa S. 1987 Religion and development, Bangkok TICD
    Sivaraksa S. 1999 Socially engaged Buddhism for the new millenium. (l.a. Payutto), Sathirakoses

  9. I would definitely add “At Hells Gate” by Claude Anshin Thomas, a really powerful book.

    Also the book by a student of Thich Nhat Hanh mentioned by Kaspalia above is “Learning True Love” and her name is Chan Khong (also a really good book).

    I have a copy of “Not Turning Away” so need to put my name in the hat.

    Peace and blessing to you and your inspiring work, Maia!


  10. Thanks for all these great suggestions, everyone! I’ll definitely be adding a good many of these to the store.

    Remember — you can get an extra chance to ‘win’ if you tell your friends about the store. If you do that, post another comment to let me know.

    Thanks also for the heads up about the Powells website and the drawbacks of using Amazon. I’ll definitely check into that for a future iteration of this bookstore.

  11. My suggestion is the following:
    Lopez, Donald: “Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed”

  12. Hi Maya,

    As I’m coming from the old-timey Japanese Zen world, my picks are heavily under the General Buddhism category:

    Philip Kapleau, “The Three Pillars of Zen” (Perhaps the best!)
    Robert Aitken, “Taking the Path of Zen”

    Detailing the transition to America (and the seeds of Engaged Buddhism):

    Helen Tworkov, “Zen in America”
    James Ishmael
    Ford, “Zen Master Who?”
    Stephen Bachelor, “Awakening of the West”
    Rick Fields, How the Swans Came to the Lake”


    Robert Thurman, “Essential Tibetan Buddhism”
    Sogyal Rimpoche, “Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”

    Buddhist Ecology:

    Badiner, et al. “Dharma Gaia”

  13. Hi Maia,

    The Amazon store has some nice selections. Here’s a few books I would suggest. Not sure if all are suitable, but they’re all great books.

    1. “Living Buddha Zen” by Lex Hixon

    2. “Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Lessons in Living a Life That Matters.” by Bernie Glassman & Rick Fields.

    3. “Kukai: Major Works.” by Yoshito S. Hakeda

    4. “Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart” by Ram Dass and Rameshwar Das.

    5. “How Can I Help? Stories and Reflection on Service” by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman

    6. “Sacred Koyasan: A Pilgrimage to the Mountain Temple of Saint Kobo Daishi and the Great Sun Buddha” by Philip Nicoloff.

    7. “Mother of the Buddhas” by Lex Hixon.

    8. “The Flower Ornament Scripture: A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra” by Thomas Cleary.

    9. “Kensho: The Heart of Zen” by Thomas Cleary.

    10. “How to Practice : The Way to a Meaningful Life” by Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins.

    11. Introducing Spirituality into Counseling and Therapy by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.

    12. Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears by Pema Chodron

    13. The Way of Mountains and Rivers: Teachings on Zen and the Environment by John Daido Loori



    • p.s. Forgot to include this in my original post. I’m sending emails to my dharma friends & posting it on Twitter, etc. 🙂

  14. I found these to be very thought provoking.

    Hooked!: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume edited by Stephanie Kaza

    The Practice of the Wild: Essays by Gary Snyder

    Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place edited by
    Melvin McLeod

  15. I would add:

    Engaged Buddhist Reader [Paperback]
    Arnold Kotler

    A language older than words
    Derrick Jensen

    Bearing Witness
    Bernie Glassman

    Anything by the peace pilgrim

    How to be a help instead of a nuisance

    mindfulness in plain english

    how can i help
    ram dass

  16. Hi there,

    Like some others above I don’t feel I have read enough to add much to this, but thanks for providing this as a useful resource.

  17. Pingback: Going Into Rohatsu… Odds and Ends « The Jizo Chronicles

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