This book is for intermediate and advanced Buddhist practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding by joining practice with study of traditional ideas. It introduces the reader to contemplations that investigate a series of views of reality as they evolved in the Buddhist tradition. These views are explained in plain English, with contemporary metaphors and examples to bring out their meaning for modern Buddhists. Quotations from both historical and living meditation masters and scholars are presented as examples of key principles. Topics include
• Egolessness • Appearances and reality • Methods of investigation • Enlightenment • Tenets of different schools through the centuries • The root of compassion • The origin of thoughts
Guided exercises encourage the reader to trust in experiential understanding through deep contemplation of complex concepts. The book is structured as a guide for the reader’s journey.
"Karr is a friendly teacher of difficult material: exercises offer ways of helping students reach conclusions; demanding chapters of philosophical explication are relieved by quirky "interludes" of poetry and comedy; and appendixes contain helpful biographies of historical Buddhist teachers and a chart of philosophical systems. . . . Contemplating Reality will challenge the advanced student of Buddhism interested in the historical and intellectual richness of this wisdom tradition."—Publishers Weekly
"This book clearly introduces the main points of Buddhist philosophical inquiry and the key methods for how to contemplate them and gain certainty in them."—Dzogchen Ponlop, author of Wild Awakening
"This book will be tremendously helpful for anyone who encounters it."—Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, author of The Joy of Living
"I can't emphasize enough during this transitional time as Buddhism is being established in the West that at least some of us focus on the Buddhist view. I welcome this book as a sign of the dawn of appreciation of Buddhist wisdom, not just for its exotic aspects but as a philosophy that is up-to-date and even more relevant now than ever."—Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, author of What Makes You Not a Buddhist
"A jewel of a book, introducing contemplative meditation in a way that's both close to Tibetan tradition and accessible to a Western meditator. This guide provides the missing link that allows us to deeply personalize the Buddhist teachings."—Judith Simmer-Brown, author of Dakini's Warm Breath