The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom

by Joan Halifax (Author), Thich Nhat Hanh (Foreword)

In this highly personal and insightful odyssey of the heart and mind, she encounters Tibetan Buddhist meditators, Mexican shamans, and Native American elders, among others. In rapt prose, she recounts her explorations—from Japanese Zen meditation to hallucinogenic plants, from the Dogon people of Mali to the Mayan rain forest, all the while creating “an adventure of the spirit and a feast of wisdom old and new” (Peter Matthiessen).

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In this “masterwork of an authentic spirit person” (Thomas Berry), Buddhist teacher and anthropologist Joan Halifax Roshi delves into “the fruitful darkness”—the shadow side of being, found in the root truths of Native religions, the fecundity of nature, and the stillness of meditation. In this highly personal and insightful odyssey of the heart and mind, she encounters Tibetan Buddhist meditators, Mexican shamans, and Native American elders, among others. In rapt prose, she recounts her explorations—from Japanese Zen meditation to hallucinogenic plants, from the Dogon people of Mali to the Mayan rain forest, all the while creating “an adventure of the spirit and a feast of wisdom old and new” (Peter Matthiessen). Halifax believes that deep ecology (which attempts to fuse environmental awareness with spiritual values) works in tandem with Buddhism and shamanism to discover “the interconnectedness of all life,” and to regain life’s sacredness. Grove Press is proud to reissue this important work by one of Buddhism’s leading contemporary teachers.

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