By Paula Moss

(Part One)
His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama
Mystic Fire Video, Inc.
Opening with an introduction by Robert A.F. Thurman, Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, this one-hour video is the first part of the July 1996 conference held by the Dalai Lama in London, England.

The lecture centers around the explanation of the basic foundation of Buddha's enlightenment, the knowledge of The Four Noble Truths. Namely: Suffering, The Origin of Suffering, The Cessation of Suffering, and the Path That Leads to the Cessation of Suffering.

Lest I seem to be making this concept appear to be too simple, realize this is the foundation upon which the house is added. Having said that, the Buddha was reported to have attained perfect peace when he came to the knowledge that suffering is caused by the disparity (or gap) between the way things really are (reality) and the way they appear to us (illusion) and the emotional response (misapprehension) we generate in answer to that belief. He also came to the realization that nothing exists in isolation, but everything exists because of interdependent causes and conditions, many of which we are not aware.

Our responsibility to this awareness of the interdependency of all things should be nonviolence and helping, or at the very least, non-harming of others. This will naturally lead one to the laws of Karma (or basically, what goes around, comes around).

Well, if I tell you anymore, I'll spoil the punchline. It is really a beautiful little truth that may help untangle some knots. It will at the very least open the door of understanding toward what Buddhism is, or can be.

This video is available from Mystic Fire Video by calling (800) 292-9001. Worth checking out!




A Half-Hour of Peace

Written and Narrated
by Susie Mantell
Relax . . . Intuit
I know, I know, another guided meditation tape! But . . . I like this one. Not that I haven't liked other tapes, I have. There's always room for one more.

So what is it about this tape that I like? Well, I am not exactly sure. Is her voice soothing? Yes. Is the message relaxing? Yes. Is it the uniqueness of the narration? Yes and no. On the surface this seems pretty much like the standard, but something about it isn't.

I think some of it may be the flexibility she offers. For example, the listener has the choice of awakening refreshed and energized, or relaxed and quiet, or you may even choose to fall asleep. She will remind you of your choice when the tape is ending (isn't that nice!) Susie's tape is full of that kind of thing, little choices, and gentle handholding. When it comes right down to it, she's nice! You perceive she cares, and well, I don't know but . . . it's nice!

Of course, it does have the prerequisites: soothing voice, unobtrusive background music and sounds, ability to flow, and reasonable length (36 minutes). It does contain a bit of an introduction which usually is a drawback, but frankly in this tape I don't believe it is. I listened to it several times and it did not hinder or bore me.

Another "feature" is the entire narration is on side A and it is duplicated on side B. That may come in handy. In addition, it would make a delightful gift as it is packaged quite nicely.

This tape is available from Relax . . . Intuit, P.O. Box 261, Chappaqua, NY 10514, or you may phone in your order at (914) 769-1177, or FAX (914) 769-1122.

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