Collection of stories about ordinary practitioners

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Collection of stories about ordinary practitioners

Postby Zenda » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:05 pm

Hi all.

I've always found stories about the lives of previous masters inspiring (Masters of Miracles and Meditation; Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems, etc). I'm wondering if there are any good books or collections of stories about "regular" practitioners... Those who practiced their whole lives without becoming renowned teachers or Rinpoches. People who screwe up or even gave up but managed to pull it together and keep going. I'm feeling like I need inspiration from a source that's more relatable.

Thanks!
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Re: Collection of stories about ordinary practitioners

Postby greentara » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:00 pm

The three pillars of zen by Roshi Philip Kapleau has some excellent stories of ordinary people you have struggled for a glimpse of the absolute. It's a classic!
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Re: Collection of stories about ordinary practitioners

Postby Yudron » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:05 pm

What I think of is close, but not exactly, what you are looking for.

They are the two books of interviews and bios of contempory Buddhists. They are all Buddhist pioneers of the 20th century, but you may not of heard of them. They are not namthars, and some will reveal their imperfections.

Meetings with Remarkable Women by Lenore Friedman
Walking on Lotus Flowers by Martine Batchelor
Street Zen (Bio of Issan Dorsey)
Finding Freedom by Jarvis Jay Masters. (prisoner)
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Re: Collection of stories about ordinary practitioners

Postby Zenda » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:26 pm

Thanks! :D
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Re: Collection of stories about ordinary practitioners

Postby ToddR » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:00 pm

I actually stumbled upon this book a few days ago and it has really inspired me. http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/go1-1.htm#Chapter%20One It's an account of a regular guy who becomes a Theravadin monk, basically on a whim. His experiences and challenges are so mundane (and he is so candid) that I really connect with it. Not a collection of stories, just one detailed one, but hope you like it.

My other recomendation is "Blue Jean Buddha". It's a collection of essays from everyday practitioners. Once again, not solely Vajrayana, but there are a couple stories in there e.g. the Canadian Tulku one springs to mind.
Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, meditating deeply on Perfection of Wisdom, saw clearly that the five aspects of human existence are empty, and so released himself from suffering.
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Re: Collection of stories about ordinary practitioners

Postby greentara » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:46 am

toddR, Yes I've read books of this genre. In a way it reminds me of Sangarakshita's book 'Thousand petalled lotus' it's an exuberant yarn.
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