World Could Be Otherwise: imagination and the Bodhisattva Path
The paramitas or "six perfections"—generosity, ethical conduct, patience, joyful effort, meditation, and understanding—are teachings that have been practiced in different Buddhist schools for millenia. In his warm and accessible style, Zen teacher Norman Fischer writes that these practices can become the focus for cultivating a profound and active use of imagination in our lives. With its balance of philosophical and practical resources, Fischer's interpretation of the paramitas can serve as a basis for practicing the bodhisattva path of living for the benefit of beings, without fixating on the difference between self and other. Fischer draws on his decades of experience as a poet, Buddhist teacher, and interfaith leader to weave together a fascinating range of references and topics—from the Romantic poetry of Coleridge to the provocative teachings of the thirteenth-century Zen master Dogen, and our everyday concerns about relationships, ethics, and consumption to our broadest spiritual yearnings. Depicting imaginative spiritual practice as a largely untapped resource for our troubled times, this book offers hope for Buddhists, practitioners of all religions, and anyone wanting to open their heart and mind to the transformative possibilities of the imagination.