This book offers a superb distillation of Buddhist belief, practice and art. The book presents a fascinating kaleidoscope of all aspects of Buddhism, including Tantra, Zen and the Pure Land beliefs of Japan. The emphasis throughout is on the wisdom, healing power and beauty of Buddhism and on its relevance to those who seek an alternative to secular materialism. Buddhism has given immeasurable riches to the West--a collection of profound and life-enhancing ideas, a host of beautiful works of art (from statues of the Buddha to Zen gardens) and a repetoire of spiritual practices from mantras to mindfulness that can change all our lives for the better.
Tom Lowenstein is an anthropologist, cultural historian and poet. His previous books include Buddhist Inspirations and several collections of poetry. In addition to the chapters on Symbol and Belief and The Poet's World, he has written more than 50 new translations of haiku poems for Haiku Inspirations.Dr. Victoria James, co-author of the book, is a journalist. She lived in Tokyo for five years, working as Arts Editor of The Japan Times and spending two years studying Japanese as a Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation scholar. She contributed the chapters on Society and Court Life, Nature, and Arts and Culture.