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The Body Incantatory: Spells and the Ritual Imagination in Medieval Chinese Buddhism

by Paul Copp Columbia University Press (September 09, 2014)

Whether chanted as devotional prayers, intoned against the dangers of the wilds, or invoked to heal the sick and bring ease to the dead, incantations were pervasive features of Buddhist practice in late medieval...


Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

by Evan Thompson & Stephen Batchelor Columbia University Press (November 11, 2014)

A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian...


Love and Liberation: Autobiographical Writings of the Tibetan Buddhist Visionary Sera Khandro

by Sarah H. Jacoby Columbia University Press (September 16, 2014)

Love and Liberation reads the autobiographical and biographical writings of one of the few Tibetan Buddhist women to record the story of her life. Sera Khandro Künzang Dekyong Chönyi Wangmo (also called Dewé...


Paving the Great Way: Vasubandhu's Unifying Buddhist Philosophy

by Jonathan C. Gold Columbia University Press (November 11, 2014)

The Indian Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (fourth–fifth century C.E.) is known for his critical contribution to Buddhist Abhidharma thought, his turn to the Mahayana tradition, and his concise, influential...


Dying: What Happens When We Die?: A Selection from Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

by Evan Thompson Columbia University Press (September 02, 2014)

In the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata, the Lord of Death asks, “What is the most wondrous thing in the world?”, and his son answers, “It is that all around us people can be dying and we don’t believe...


Spells, Images, and Mandalas: Tracing the Evolution of Esoteric Buddhist Rituals

by Koichi Shinohara Columbia University Press (August 05, 2014)

Koichi Shinohara traces the evolution of Esoteric Buddhist rituals from the simple recitation of spells in the fifth century to complex systems involving image worship, mandala initiation, and visualization...


The Mystique of Transmission: On an Early Chan History and Its Contexts

by Wendi L. Adamek Columbia University Press (May 06, 2007)

The Mystique of Transmission is a close reading of a late-eighth-century Chan/Zen Buddhist hagiographical work, the Lidai fabao ji (Record of the Dharma-Jewel Through the Generations), and is its first English...


Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: History, Semiology, and Transgression in the Indian Traditions

by Christian K. Wedemeyer Columbia University Press (December 04, 2012)

Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism fundamentally rethinks the nature of the transgressive theories and practices of the Buddhist Tantric traditions, challenging the notion that the Tantras were “marginal” or...


Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China

by Gray Tuttle Columbia University Press (April 26, 2005)

Over the past century and with varying degrees of success, China has tried to integrate Tibet into the modern Chinese nation-state. In this groundbreaking work, Gray Tuttle reveals the surprising role Buddhism...


Zongmi on Chan

by Jeffrey Lyle Broughton Columbia University Press (May 14, 2009)

Japanese Zen often implies that textual learning ( gakumon) in Buddhism and personal experience ( taiken) in Zen are separate, but the career and writings of the Chinese Tang dynasty Chan master Guifeng Zongmi...


When a Woman Becomes a Religious Dynasty: The Samding Dorje Phagmo of Tibet

by Hildegard Diemberger & Marilyn Strathern Columbia University Press (December 10, 2007)

In the fifteenth century, the princess Chokyi Dronma was told by the leading spiritual masters of her time that she was the embodiment of the ancient Indian tantric deity Vajravarahi, known in Tibetan as Dorje...


Head, Eyes, Flesh, Blood: Giving Away the Body in Indian Buddhist Literature

by Reiko Ohnuma Columbia University Press (December 26, 2006)

Head, Eyes, Flesh, and Blood is the first comprehensive study of a central narrative theme in premodern South Asian Buddhist literature: the Buddha's bodily self-sacrifice during his previous lives as a bodhisattva....


Indian Esoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement

by Ronald M. Davidson Columbia University Press (December 18, 2002)

Despite the rapid spread of Buddhism -- especially the esoteric system of Tantra, one of its most popular yet most misunderstood forms -- the historical origins of Buddhist thought and practice remain obscure....


Tibetan Renaissance: Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan Culture

by Ronald M. Davidson Columbia University Press (September 21, 2005)

How did a society on the edge of collapse and dominated by wandering bands of armed men give way to a vibrant Buddhist culture, led by yogins and scholars? Ronald M. Davidson explores how the translation and...


Buddhism in America

by Richard Hughes Seager Columbia University Press (July 03, 2012)

Over the past half century, Buddhism has grown from a transplanted philosophy to a full-fledged religious movement in America, rich in its own practices, leaders, adherents, and institutions. Long favored as...


Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness

by B. Alan Wallace Columbia University Press (August 28, 2007)

B. Alan Wallace introduces a natural theory of human consciousness that has its roots in contemporary physics and Buddhism. Wallace's "special theory of ontological relativity" suggests that mental phenomena...


The Buddhist Visnu: Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture

by John C. Holt Columbia University Press (December 29, 2004)

John Holt's groundbreaking study examines the assimilation, transformation, and subordination of the Hindu deity Visnu within the contexts of Sri Lankan history and Sinhala Buddhist religious culture. Holt argues...


The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

by Philip B. Yampolsky Columbia University Press (April 03, 2012)

The Platform Sutra records the teachings of Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch, who is revered as one of the two great figures in the founding of Chan (Zen) Buddhism. This translation is the definitive English version...


Food of Sinful Demons

by Geoffrey Barstow Columbia University Press (October 24, 2017)

Tibetan Buddhism teaches compassion toward all beings, a category that explicitly includes animals. Slaughtering animals is morally problematic at best, and, at worst, completely incompatible with a religious...


Buddhism and Medicine

by C. Pierce Salguero Columbia University Press (September 26, 2017)

From its earliest days, Buddhism has been closely intertwined with medicine. Buddhism and Medicine is a singular collection showcasing the generative relationship and mutual influence between these fields across...


Love Letters from Golok

by Holly Gayley Columbia University Press (November 15, 2016)

Love Letters from Golok chronicles the courtship between two Buddhist tantric masters, Tare Lhamo (1938–2002) and Namtrul Rinpoche (1944–2011), and their passion for reinvigorating Buddhism in eastern Tibet...


The Splendid Vision: Reading a Buddhist Sutra

by Richard S. Cohen Columbia University Press (April 24, 2012)

Featuring the first-ever English translation of the “Splendid Vision Sutra,” a sixth-century Indian Mahayana Buddhist scripture known for its rich ritual magic and worship of bodhisattva-goddesses, this volume...


Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind

by Dan Arnold Columbia University Press (May 15, 2012)

Premodern Buddhists are sometimes characterized as veritable “mind scientists” whose insights anticipate modern research on the brain and mind. Aiming to complicate this story, Dan Arnold confronts a significant...


Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice

by B. Alan Wallace Columbia University Press (December 06, 2011)

Renowned Buddhist philosopher B. Alan Wallace reasserts the power of shamatha and vipashyana, traditional Buddhist meditations, to clarify the mind's role in the natural world. Raising profound questions about...


Theos Bernard, the White Lama: Tibet, Yoga, and American Religious Life

by Paul G. Hackett Columbia University Press (April 10, 2012)

In 1937, Theos Casimir Bernard (1908–1947), the self-proclaimed “White Lama,” became the third American in history to reach Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. During his stay, he amassed the largest collection...


Readings of the Platform Sutra

by Morten Schlütter & Stephen F. Teiser Columbia University Press (February 07, 2012)

This anthology of secondary readings of The Platform Sutra is designed to introduce the undergraduate to one of the most popular and influential Chan (Zen) Buddhist texts. The sutra purportedly contains the...


Speaking for Buddhas: Scriptural Commentary in Indian Buddhism

by Richard F. Nance Columbia University Press (November 29, 2011)

As with many religious and philosophical traditions, Buddhist intellectual discourse owes its development to a dynamic interplay of primary source material and subsequent interpretation, yet until now Buddhist...


Mind and Life: Discussions with the Dalai Lama on the Nature of Reality

by Pier Luigi Luisi & Zara Houshmand Columbia University Press (December 13, 2010)

For over a decade, a small group of scientists and philosophers—members of the Mind and Life Institute—have met regularly to explore the intersection between science and the spirit. At one of these meetings,...


Reading the Mahavamsa: The Literary Aims of a Theravada Buddhist History

by Kristin Scheible Columbia University Press (November 01, 2016)

Vam?sa is a dynamic genre of Buddhist history filled with otherworldly characters and the exploits of real-life heroes. These narratives collapse the temporal distance between Buddha and the reader, building...


Altered States: Buddhism and Psychedelic Spirituality in America

by Douglas Osto Columbia University Press (April 26, 2016)

In the 1950s and 1960s, Americans combined psychedelics with Buddhist meditation to achieve direct experience through altered states of consciousness. As some practitioners became more committed to Buddhism,...


The Gathering of Intentions: A History of a Tibetan Tantra

by Jacob P. Dalton Columbia University Press (March 29, 2016)

This unique study reads a single Tibetan Buddhist ritual system through the movements of Tibetan history, revealing the social and material dimensions of a seemingly timeless tradition. By subjecting tantric...


Deathpower: Buddhism's Ritual Imagination in Cambodia

by Erik W. Davis Columbia University Press (December 08, 2015)

Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Cambodia, Erik W. Davis radically recasts attitudes toward the nature of Southeast Asian Buddhism’s interactions with local religious practice and, by extension,...


Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asia: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon

by Jiang Wu & Lucille Chia Columbia University Press (December 08, 2015)

A monumental work in the history of religion, the history of the book, the study of politics, and bibliographical research, this volume follows the making of the Chinese Buddhist canon from the fourth century...


The Science of Chinese Buddhism: Early Twentieth-Century Engagements

by Erik J. Hammerstrom Columbia University Press (August 11, 2015)

Kexue, or science, captured the Chinese imagination in the early twentieth century, promising new knowledge about the world and a dynamic path to prosperity. Chinese Buddhists particularly embraced scientific...


Realizing Awakened Consciousness: Interviews with Buddhist Teachers and a New Perspective on the Mind

by Richard P. Boyle Columbia University Press (June 02, 2015)

If, as Buddhism claims, the potential for awakening exists in all human beings, we should be able to map the phenomenon with the same science we apply to other forms of consciousness. A student of cognitive...


Religion and Sports: An Introduction and Case Studies

by Rebecca T. Alpert Columbia University Press (May 05, 2015)

Like religion, playing and watching sports is a deeply meaningful, celebratory ritual, enjoyed by millions across the world. The first scholarly work designed for use in both religion and sports courses, this...


Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers

by N. Harry Rothschild Columbia University Press (June 16, 2015)

Wu Zhao (624–705), better known as Wu Zetian or Empress Wu, is the only woman to have ruled China over the course of its 5,000-year history. How did she rise to power, and why was she never overthrown? Exploring...


The Dalai Lama and the Emperor of China: A Political History of the Tibetan Institution of Reincarnation

by Peter Schwieger Columbia University Press (March 31, 2015)

A major new work in modern Tibetan history, this book follows the evolution of Tibetan Buddhism’s trülku (reincarnation) tradition from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, along with the Emperor...


Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet

by Janet Gyatso Columbia University Press (January 20, 2015)

Critically exploring medical thought in a cultural milieu with no discernible influence from the European Enlightenment, Being Human reveals an otherwise unnoticed intersection of early modern sensibilities...