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The fully unfolded fan on the cover Bravery evokes feelings of openness and spaciousness that are inherent to the mind of meditation.  It reminds us of the peace we cultivate in meditation practice, which allows the energy of thoughts and emotions to arise without suppressing or blocking anything. It is a symbol of the living Buddha within each of us.

Looking directly and honestly at your human experience requires bravery.  While you attempt to wrap yourself securely in the comfort of familiarity, life is asking more of you. It is asking you to come more fully alive, and to release your mind into the vastness and vividness of things as they really are.

To accept this invitation is to squarely face your hope and fear, and all that stands in the way of your authentic joy. This book presents timeless methods for overcoming the obstacles to your full possession of your human birthright—the living Buddha within you.

Why People Meditate (from Chapter 6)

The vast majority of human beings who now share the earth with you have never made any kind of connection with meditation.

Frank reads the chapter, Meditation and the Breeze of Delight

Falling in Love with a Buddha

Frank Berliner came of age in the turbulent and exciting era of 1960s America, and met the authentic spiritual master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche just as the Western cultural door opened to receive the ancient wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism. In Falling in Love with a Buddha, Frank recalls the world of Rinpoche’s life and teachings. In vivid and often humorous first-person accounts of the founding and evolution of Shambhala, he evokes the powerful and enigmatic presence of this unique teacher.

Photograph by Cynthia McAdams       

Listen to Frank read the chapter Empowerment from Falling in Love with a Buddha:

“Frank Berliner’s spiritual memoir is a tale about love, and the great longing that springs from there—to learn, to grow, to be real, and to forge a genuine connection with oneself and others, with life, and with death. I highly recommend it. - John Welwood, author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening

“With sensibilities at once romantic and coolly analytic, Frank Berliner trains his considerable powers of observation, recollection, and composition on three principal subjects: his spiritual father Trungpa Rinpoche, his biological father, and himself. The book swells with wry humor, sex, death, and other compulsively readable stories of a real spiritual encounter. It is a profoundly moving volume—one that also looks, without embarrassment, at the work that men must do to love. - –Acharya David Schneider, author of Street Zen

Frank has written an exquisite and heartfelt memoir, full of the experience of Dharma woven together with the Western literary stream. This book is a quintessential and lively portrayal of Buddhism coming to America, seen through the eyes of a young man falling in love with a Buddha and taking him to "meet the parents", literally and figuratively, with always unpredictable and surprising results. The pages radiate with what Chogyam Trungpa described as the experience of "nowness" --  living fully in and for the present moment, but thoroughly appreciative of one's own lineage and heritage.

--John W. Cobb, former president of Naropa University and author of Footnotes of the Inexplicable.

“This book is one of the most comprehensive and clear-eyed expositions of the teachings of the Buddha by a Westerner. Frank Berliner has drunk deep from the wells of the Buddhadharma, as well as Western philosophy, psychology and literature to explain the path with crystalline clarity. This is a must-read book.“

—Fleet Maull, founder of Prison Mindfulness Institute and author of Dharma in Hell and Radical Responsibility

    “Mr. Berliner has given us a personal, compelling, and very accessible account of the practice of meditation and the authentic spiritual journey it unlocks. Beautifully written, with warmth, humor, and clarity, this is a book that will be widely read and treasured by many.”

—Reggie Ray, Spiritual Director, Dharma Ocean Foundation, author of Touching Enlightenment and Mahamudra for the Modern World.

At the same time, Frank tells the moving personal story of a father and son. Their relationship is marked by great tenderness, by conflict, and by strokes of mutual insight as Frank’s father encounters the inscrutable force-field of Chogyam Trungpa. As the cycles of life and death inevitably ripen, the passing of each of these men marks Frank indelibly with their abiding presence in his own life.

This book brings to life again a potent moment in cultural history, and helps us more fully appreciate this revolutionary teacher and his profound impact on the lives of his students. Finally, it deepens our understanding of a genuine, heartfelt spiritual path by revealing the intimate ways our personal awakening can touch those closest to us.

Photograph Berliner family collection.

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Read the rest of Chapter 6 from Bravery

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Journey without Goal: A Life Review Written for My 50th Yale Class Reunion