Books from the Shantigar community.
TEA WITH DEMONS: Games of Transformation by Jean-Claude van Itallie
Games of transformation are playful daily practices that flow like a constant brook over the stubborn stones of our old self-destructive patterns, thus slowly wearing them down and washing them away to reveal the stream bed of our basic good nature.
AMERICA HURRAH and OTHER PLAYS by Jean-Claude van Itallie
Published by Grove/ Atlantic, NYC, 2001: plays in this volume include War, America Hurrah, The Serpent, Eat Cake, Bag Lady, The Tibetan Book of the Dead or How Not to Do It Again, and The Traveler.
from the introduction by Bill Coco:
“This collection of Jean-Claude van Itallie’s plays represents a generous overview of a twenty-five-year span in the career of one of the foremost and most original American playwrights of the last half century.”
THE PATH IS THE GOAL by Chogyam Trungpa
The Buddha taught meditation as the essential spiritual practice. Nothing else is more important. These classic teachings on the outlook and technique of meditation provide the foundation that every practitioner needs to awaken as the Buddha did. Chögyam Trungpa here reveals how the deliberate practice of mindfulness develops into awareness, insight, and openness. He also guides us away from the ego's trap: the urge to make meditation serve our ambition.
LIFE ON LAND by Emily Conrad
Emilie Conrad’s approach to movement education, health, and healing is as varied and deeply textured as her life story. In Life on Land, she interweaves the story of her Brooklyn childhood and discovery of dance with the psychic and physical collapse that led to the development of Continuum, her groundbreaking movement and self-realization technique. Readable, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, the book melds Conrad’s unique theories of the body-mind frontier with fearless discussions of Jewish heritage, sexuality, female identity, and social pressures.
YOUR BODY KNOWS THE ANSWER by David I. Rome
Combines mindfulness with the Focusing technique made popular by Eugene Gendlin to tap into your body's subtle wisdom for dealing with all life's challenges.
Your body has an answer to just about any question or challenge that arises. It's simply a matter of learning to recognize and listen to the subtle physical signal that comes from someplace inside you other than your mind. This "felt sense" was first made widely known by the psychologist Eugene Gendlin, whose book on learning to use your felt sense, Focusing, has sold millions of copies since it was first published in 1978. Certified Focusing teacher David Rome here enhances the traditional Focusing techniques with mindfulness and other Buddhist principles learned from his teacher Chögyam Trungpa to provide remarkably effective techniques for learning to access your felt sense--and not only for applying it to problem solving and dealing with challenges, but for kick-starting the creative process in oneself. With its short, accessible chapters and its abundant practical exercises, this may be the most compact and accessible guide to Focusing yet published.
THE PLAYWRIGHT’S WORKBOOK by Jean-Claude van Itallie
America Hurrah, Jean-Claude van Itallie’s groundbreaking anti-war play, opened in 1966 to marvelous reviews, led by NY Times critic Walter Kerr: “I think you’ll be neglecting a whisper in the wind if you don’t look in on America Hurrah. There’s something afoot here.”
Jean-Claude went on to write many plays, translations, operas, and books. Today we’re featuring The Playwright’s Workbook. Through 13 workshops, you’ll learn to create characters, develop stories, write the natural rhythms of human speech, and try out ideas for solo performance. Alone or with a group, discover new pathways and follow your own “whisper in the wind.”
THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD FOR READING ALOUD adapted by Jean-Claude van Itallie
The ancient Tibetan text adapted by Jean-Claude van Itallie. Photos from La Mama performance by Gerry Vezzuso. Tibetan art illustrations selected by Professor Deborah Klimburg-Salter. Introduction by Judith Lief, former Dean of Naropa Institute. Published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 1998.
"Jean-Claude van Itallie, one of our most original playwrights and a longtime practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, has taken Guru Padmasambhava’s 8th century masterpiece, The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo, or as it’s known in the west, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and rendered its essential brilliance into deeply moving and inspiring poems meant to be read aloud. Its sole intent is to pilot us wandering voyagers through the illusory and superstitious realms we call life and death. With constant reminders to pay attention and watch our minds, the poet urges us to come to our senses and remember our Nobly Born true selves completely beyond all designation, all hope and all tears… merging with the clear light bliss, no center, no circumference, an ocean with no boat… I love this little book. Read it aloud!" -Richard Gere
"Jean-Claude van Itallie’s presentation of this old classic brings us face to face with the radiance and emptiness of our own minds. He has made new a relevant — even urgent — text: A guide for the continually arising moments of choice in our living and in dying." -Diane di Prima
CHEKHOV: THE MAJOR PLAYS adapted by Jean-Claude van Itallie
Applause Books, NYC, 1995. Jean-Claude van Itallie’s much acclaimed English versions of Anton Chekhov’s The Sea Gull, The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya.
"...The advantage of using major playwrights to Anglicize foreign classics are obvious. Occasionally they may slip into the pit of primal creativity, but for most of the time, indeed for virtually all of the time they are renewing language rather than translating it. … Mr. van Itallie’s Sea Gull is idiomatic, but it has the overtones of now and then. It is a real past – translation does have its advantages when the right person is translating the right playwright. There is here the soft trampoline of a subtext that original language productions can never aspire to without the risk of desecration of a national monument." -Clive Barnes, New York Times.
ALAN WATTS--HERE AND NOW by Peter J. Columbus
Considers the contributions and contemporary significance of Alan Watts. Alan Watts—Here and Now explores the intellectual legacy and continuing relevance of a prolific writer and speaker who was a major influence on American culture during the latter half of the twentieth century. A thinker attuned to the spiritual malaise affecting the Western mind, Watts (1915–1973) provided intellectual and spiritual alternatives that helped shape the Beat culture of the 1950s and the counterculture of the 1960s. Well known for introducing Buddhist and Daoist spirituality to a wide Western audience, he also wrote on psychology, mysticism, and psychedelic experience. Many idolized Watts as a guru-mystic, yet he was also dismissed as intellectually shallow and as a mere popularizer of Asian religions (the “Norman Vincent Peale of Zen”). Both critical and appreciative, this edited volume locates Watts at the forefront of major paradigmatic shifts in Western intellectual life. Contributors explore how Watts’s work resonates in present-day scholarship on psychospiritual transformation, Buddhism and psychotherapy, Daoism in the West, phenomenology and hermeneutics, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, mysticism, and ecofeminism, among other areas. “Columbus and Rice have put together a volume that is well conceived, well written, well edited, and accessible to undergraduates as well as scholars.” — CHOICE “Watts was a stunningly brilliant writer—far better than almost anyone writing then or now; he clearly had grasped ‘the essence of Zen.’ Every essay in this book throws new light on the relevance of his ideas for today, and the ones written by those who are also historical figures in the circles Watts moved in and wrote out of offer fascinating historical tidbits. I enthusiastically recommend this book.” — Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion Peter J. Columbus is Administrator of the Shantigar Foundation in Rowe, Massachusetts. Donadrian L. Rice is Professor of Psychology at the University of West Georgia. They are also the coeditors of Psychology of the Martial Arts.
THE WALKERS by Josh Adler
A collection of dreams, discourse, poems, caricatures, and attainments, written during a 10-day silent meditation retreat.
IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW by Deb Katz
a sketchbook of grief, by Deb Katz
Deb Katz creates a fresh genre with nearly no words as her offhand but precise drawings capture the savage and singular experience of grief for loss of a dear one.
(Haley's, Athol, April 2014)
THE ELEMENTAL MOVING BODY by Elaine Colandrea and Rori Smith
Elaine Colandrea has led many Continuum workshops at Shantigar and returns this May with her co-leaders Megan Bathory-Peeler and Melanie Gambino. With this guidebook by Elaine and her co-author Rori Smith, you will learn how the four elements essential to life—Air, Earth, Fire and Water—weave together within your body and your environment. Beauty, movement, nature, and art are completely enmeshed in this journey. Through explorations from the somatic practice Continuum, you will investigate movement, breath, sound, and creativity, fostering inquiry in all aspects of your being and awakening you to kinship with the natural world and artistry in all life.
THE RELEVANCE OF ALAN WATTS IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: UNDERSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS AND CONTROVERSIES
edited by Peter Columbus (Routledge 2021)
Shantigar administrator Peter Columbus has edited this collection about Alan Watts (1915-1973), renowned for introducing Buddhism to Western audiences and for his writings on psychology, mysticism, and psychedelic experience. Bridging East and West, his ideas shaped 1950s Beat culture and the 1960s counterculture. These essays explore Watt’s enduring popularity and criticisms, including misreading of Biblical texts and distortion of Asian religions. Scholar, guru or Orientalist appropriator? Watts was a complex figure who called himself a "philosophical entertainer... intellectual, mystic and somewhat of a disreputable epicurean.” A very rich read.