The Logic of Faith: A Buddhist Approach to Finding Certainty Beyond Belief and Doubt

Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel. Shambhala, $16.95 (135p) ISBN 978-1-61180-230-6
In this lovely book, Namgyel (The Power of an Open Question), Buddhist retreat master at Longchen Jigme Samten Ling in Colorado, explores the possibilities of the Buddhist concept of pratityasamutpada (roughly translated as “dependent arising”), understood as the idea that everything leans on, or is interdependent with, everything else. “Dependent arising” is a key concept in Middle Way Buddhist teaching, the tradition in which Namgyel was trained and teaches. Ideally, the student’s exploration and use of pratityasamutpada allows for the understanding of impermanence, nonattachment, and the illusion of appearances, which Namgyel illustrates with a striking—and very funny—story about a messy roommate. She also offers an in-depth discussion of the ramifications that acceptance of pratityasamutpada may entail for the practitioner, including feelings of loneliness and disconnection in addition to feelings of transcendence. Namgyel offers guided meditations designed to help the reader explore and experience interconnected reality; these are also available on the Shambhala Publications website for those who prefer audio guidance. Namgyel’s handling of a complex, potentially intimidating topic is exquisite, and students of all levels will find something useful in her teaching. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2018
Release date: 02/27/2018
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