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Original Goodness: Eknath Easwaran on the Beatitudes (Anglais) Broché – 6 décembre 1996

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Original Goodness Love, compassion, meaning, hope, and freedom from fear are not qualities we need to acquire. We simply need to uncover what we already have. "Original goodness" is Eknath Easwaran's phrase for this spark of divinity hidden in every one of us, regardless of our personal liabilities or past mistakes. And in this book he shows how this spark of divinity can energize our lives - beginning with instruc... Full description

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Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999) is respected around the world as one of the twentieth century's great spiritual teachers and an authentic guide to timeless wisdom. Although he did not travel or seek large audiences, his books on meditation, spiritual living, and the classics of world mysticism have been translated into twenty-six languages. More than 1.5 million copies of Easwaran's books are in print.

His book Meditation, now titled Passage Meditation, has sold over 200,000 copies since it was first published in 1978. His Classics of Indian Spirituality - translations of The Bhagavad Gita, The Dhammapada, and The Upanishads - have been warmly praised by Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions, and all three books are bestsellers in their field. The Nilgiri Press editorial team, under the supervision of Easwaran's wife, Christine Easwaran, continues to publish new books and talks, drawing on the vast archive of Easwaran's unpublished transcripts.

A gifted teacher who lived for many years in the West, Easwaran lived what he taught, giving him enduring appeal as a teacher and author of deep insight and warmth.

Easwaran's mission was to extend to everyone, "with an open hand," the spiritual disciplines that had brought such rich benefits to his own life. For forty years he devoted his life to teaching the practical essentials of the spiritual life as found in every religion. He taught a universal message that although the body is mortal, within every creature there is a spark of divinity that can never die. And he taught and lived a method that any man or woman can use to reach that inborn divinity and draw on it for love and wisdom in everyday life.

Whenever asked what religion he followed, Easwaran would reply that he belonged to all religions. His teachings reached people in every faith. He often quoted the words of Mahatma Gandhi, who influenced him deeply: "I have not the shadow of a doubt that every man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith."

Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999) was born into an ancient matrilineal family in Kerala state, South India. There he grew up under the close guidance of his mother's mother, Eknath Chippu Kunchi Ammal, whom he honored throughout his life as his spiritual teacher. From her he learned the traditional wisdom of India's ancient scriptures. An unlettered village woman, she taught him through her daily life, which was permeated by her continuous awareness of God, that spiritual practice is something to be lived out each day in the midst of family and community.

Growing up in British India, Easwaran first learned English in his village high school, where the doors were opened to the treasure-house of English literature. At sixteen, he left his village to attend a nearby Catholic college. There his passionate love of English literature intensified and he acquired a deep appreciation of the Christian tradition.

Later, contact with the YMCA and close friendships within the Muslim and Christian communities enriched his sense of the universality of spiritual truths. Easwaran often recalled with pride that he grew up in "Gandhi's India" - the historic years when Mahatma Gandhi was leading the Indian people to freedom from British rule through nonviolence. As a young man, Easwaran met Gandhi and the experience of sitting near him at his evening prayer meetings left a lasting impression. The lesson he learned from Gandhi was the power of the individual: the immense resources that emerge into life when a seemingly ordinary person transforms himself completely.

After graduate work at the University of Nagpur in Central India, where he took first-class degrees in literature and in law, Easwaran entered the teaching profession, eventually returning to Nagpur to become a full professor and head of the department of English. By this time he had acquired a reputation as a writer and speaker, contributing regularly to the Times of India and giving talks on English literature for All-India Radio.

At this juncture, he would recall, "All my success turned to ashes." The death of his grandmother in the same year as Gandhi's assassination prompted him to turn inward.

Following Gandhi's inspiration, he became deeply absorbed in the Bhagavad Gita, India's best-known scripture. Meditation on passages from the Gita and other world scriptures quickly developed into the method of meditation that today is associated with his name.

Eknath Easwaran was Professor of English Literature at the University of Nagpur when he came to the United States on the Fulbright exchange program in 1959. Soon he was giving talks on India's spiritual tradition throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. At one such talk he met his future wife, Christine, with whom he established the organization that became the vehicle for his life's work. The mission of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, founded in 1961, is the same today as when it was founded: to teach the eight-point program of passage meditation aimed at helping ordinary people conquer physical and emotional problems, release creativity, and pursue life's highest goal, Self-realization.

After a return to India, Easwaran came back to California in 1965. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area the rest of his life, dedicating himself to the responsive American audiences that began flowing into his classes in the turbulent Berkeley of the late 1960s, when meditation was suddenly "in the air." His quiet yet impassioned voice reached many hundreds of students in those turbulent years.

Always a writer, Easwaran started a small press in Berkeley to serve as the publishing branch of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation. Nilgiri Press was named after the Nilgiris or "Blue Mountains" in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where Easwaran had maintained a home for some years. The press moved to Tomales, California, when the Center bought property there for a permanent headquarters in 1970. Nilgiri Press did the preproduction work for his first book, Gandhi the Man, and began full book manufacturing with his Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living in 1975.

In thousands of talks and his many books Easwaran taught passage meditation and his eight-point program to an audience that now extends around the world. Rather than travel and attract large crowds, he chose to remain in one place and teach in small groups - a preference that was his hallmark as a teacher even in India. "I am still an educator," he liked to say. "But formerly it was education for degrees; now it is education for living." His work is being carried forward by Christine Easwaran, who has worked by his side for forty years, by the students he trained for thirty years, and by the organization he founded to ensure the continuity of his teachings, the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.

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These words, addressed to ordinary people in a quiet German-speaking town almost seven hundred years ago, testify to a discovery about the nature of the human spirit as revolutionary as Einstein's theories about the nature of the universe. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Wonderful Book of Surpassing Wisdom 2 janvier 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is simply one of the finest and most inspiring books I've ever read. It takes the famous Beatitudes of Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" and shows how we can train ourselves mentally and spiritually to be living embodiments of their wisdom in our everyday lives. Easwaran begins with the premise that our innermost core or essence is one with the divine ground of all being. It is timeless, indestructible, and purely good. And he shows us how we can cultivate a spiritual path which lets this goodness shine through our conventional, constricted, egoic selves. His path is based on the "perennial philosophy" that he and many religious scholars and sages say forms the heart of all the great religious traditions. But while he quotes liberally from mystics of various traditions, his focus here is on Christian mysticism. Meister Eckhart and St. Teresa of Avila figure prominently in the book, and their words grace the reader with profound wisdom and inspiration. The chapter on love alone is worth many times the price of the book. It has impacted my life more than I can say.
Do yourself a favor and get this book, make it a part of your life, and share the sweet fruits of your efforts with those around you. Thw world will be a better place because of it.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Unconditional Love, Deep Wisdom 23 avril 2001
Par Dianne L Coin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This boook is profound in that the author's voice exemplifies the universal values and principles espoused in his book--clearly he has lived his words. Sri Easwaran's familiarity with world religious traditions, his compassionate nature, and his love for all living beings make his words nonsecular and completely applicable to anyone's life. I felt I was embraced by love as I read this book. It inspired me to rededicate myself to living the higher values of humankind.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Non-Dogmatic Treatment 21 février 2007
Par A. Whitlock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Eknath Easwaran is one of my favorite authors on spiritual subjects. His style is engaging and his approach non-dogmatic. From his own experience, he is able to see the core teachings of every faith and lead the reader to a greater understanding and tolerance of other paths. This book will be equally appreciated by Christians and those of an Eastern bent wishing to find a bridge with their Christian acquaintances.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Original Goodness: A Review 6 décembre 2011
Par Jessica Mokrzycki - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Drawing from the deep spiritual well of the world's Christian mystics, author and spiritual leader Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999), carves out a pathway to inner peace for his readers in his transforming book "Original Goodness". Easwaran uses the Beautitudes of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount to provide a framework in which he introduces the themes of purity, humility, simplicity, patience, love, mercy, peacemaking, and desire. Inspiring passages from mystics like Meister Eckhart, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Teresa of Avila, and John Ruysbroeck fill each page with insight and wisdom adding beautifully to Easwaran's rich reflections.

"We do not have to figure out how to make ourselves good; all we need do is remove what covers the goodness that is already there...The spark that burns in you, in me, is lit by the fires of heaven." p. 12/229

Easwaran's idea of original goodness comes from the truth that within each one of us there lies a core of goodness, buried and hidden, waiting to be discovered. "...before original sin was original innocence...that is our real nature." This core of goodness is the very essence of God and has been experienced the world over by mystics throughout all religions. Once discovered, the fruit of pure love is born, having encountered the Divine. "...all the treasures and pleasures of this world are worth nothing if one has not found the uncreated light at the center of the soul.", Easwaran reflects.

This transforming reality can only be accessed and spurred onwards to flourish and grow by developing an awareness of what lies within. An awareness that can be achieved through the training of our minds; namely the repetition of a mantram (or mantra) ,the practice of meditation and acts of love and kindness. As our practices deepen and we begin to unravel the layers of consciousness that cover up and dim the light emanating from the eternal spark buried beneath layers and layers of conditioned ego, our encounters with others then become transformed, now centered in love. Easwaran urges that to change the world, we must first change ourselves.

" As our desire to draw closer to the Lord within us deepens, it draws self-centered desires into it like tributaries into a great river. The power of that love swells until it becomes cataclysmic; we begin to inspire other people through the transformation we have wrought in ourselves." p. 166

Within "Original Goodness" are reminders of the hurried lifestyle that permeates much of our largely ego-centered modern life today. Called to the reader's attention is the fact that we are being consumed and destroyed by the very tools of technology and industry whose purposes were originally intended to create an increased quality of existence. Easwaran emphasizes our need to realize the interconnectedness that we share with all living things, human and non-human and to consider and be mindful of how our choices as consumers effects the lives and welfare of others. Such an awareness of the unity that we share with all that is around us is realized through our spiritual disciplines. This sense of unity fills us with a deep empathy and compassion, allowing us to be troubled when others are troubled around us, and spurring us to put others before ourselves in acts of love to relieve the pain we sense in them.

"For those who love God, when anyone dies, a part of them dies too. In the highest sense, this is the meaning of the Passion, the reason why the Messiah was called "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Living in all, you suffer whatever they suffer. But this awareness of unity is also the source of the greatest joy, because it brings the love, compassion, and creativity to relieve suffering wherever you go." p. 153

Easwaran has a very positive view of humanity. The rare kind of hope that is fueled only be experiencing the tangible results of the principles of which he speaks. There is no doubt the profound impact Mahatma Gandhi had in the shaping of his spiritual path. Easwaran first met him while in college and had the privilege of listening to him teach as well as see him in action. Through his interactions with Gandhi, Easwaran shares how he witnessed firsthand how the humble power of one man could transform violence into peace, hatred into reconciliation, all by the power of love. Easwaran's inspiring message is that in discovering our original goodness we too, can have a transforming impact on the world around us.
One of my all-time favorite books 23 juin 2015
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is one of my all-time favorite books. and I turn to in again and again for inspiration. Mr. Easwaran's translation work is well known, and it is well known because it is excellent, and it is excellent because he has such a solid grasp of the concepts (grasp of concepts makes it sound too abstract) of the tradition from which the translated books emerged. I am thinking of his translations of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads, and the introductions to them which are worth the price of the books. He brings this grasp of both the Indian and Western traditions of mysticism to works such as this, Original Goodness, which is brilliant. He has an unbelievable ability to be succinct in his expression of complex ideas, and I feel that the reader new to his work will experience what I have in reading him; "so THAT'S what maya means," for example. I am writing this review in part because I saw so few reviews of it and was surprised by this. This is an outstanding, stand alone work that opens with a quote by Eckhart on the seed of goodness inherent in all creation and flows from there to such topics as getting rid of the stuff in our minds that get in the way of the perception of that divine spark. This is a great book. You'll love it.
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