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After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path Paperback – Oct 2 2001


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After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path + A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life + The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (Oct. 2 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553378295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553378290
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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What is it that draws a person to spiritual life? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wieczorek on Feb. 2 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
I wrote a review of this book in April of 2001. Here it is January 2002 and I'm writing a second review for this book.
I haven't re-read or revisited it, but it's wisdom stays with me. I'm concerned with my thinning hair, have troubled relations with friends, am pulled into politics at work. My apartment is a mess, my finances aren't in much better shape, I don't go out as much as I would like, I'm not making art as much as I would like. I get angry, tired, frustrated, upset, bored, all within the course of a day.
There's a book out there "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A book that changes lives." I read it despite it's silly name and silly cover. It didn't do much to change my life.
Then there's "After the Ectacy the Laundry." Has it changed my life? No, it hasn't either.
I can almost see you, the reader of this review saying "It didn't change your life? And you're still giving it 5 stars?" and in that, I see myself a just a year ago.
Our society makes too much of escaping the every day: The Laundry, the chores, work, commuting, cooking, cleaning, strained relationships with parents, family, and friends, guilt, anger, frustration, fear, and worry. We seek to escape these things into the magical world of unlimited money and advanced spirituality.
Advertising is based almost entirely on this aspect of our lives. "Buy my product and your life will change" each commercial seems to say. Buy a book by Dan Millman to become a Peaceful Warrior. Buy a sneaker by Nike and escape into a world of physical perfection and love of challenge. Buy some real estate (or a book on buying real estate by Robert Kiyosaki) and become financially independant. Everyone, every single one of us wants to escape.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written, clear and comprehensive guide to the ethics of Buddhism complete with personal experiences and the words of great masters, past and present.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Adam Khan on July 9 2002
Format: Hardcover
Zen stories and Buddhist tales all seem to end with someone becoming enlightened. What happens after that? You never find out. You get the impression that they live in bliss and happiness forever after, and yet you know somehow that can't be true. Jack Kornfield interviewed a lot of people who have awakened, most of them highly accomplished teachers and abbots and lamas, most of them born and raised in the West (but trained in the East), and you get to hear them tell you what life is like after enlightenment. I thought an enlightened person never got angry or afraid or sad. I didn't even realize I held such perfectionistic misconceptions until I noticed this book shattering them.
After the Ecstasy is generously sprinkled with the actual words, sometimes half a page or a page long, of people who have been meditating 15, 30, even 40 years. You'll find out what brought them to the meditative path to begin with, and what they've learned along the way. It's fascinating.
There are lots of good anecdotes in this book; interesting and illuminating anecdotes (most of them are true stories). In many Buddhist and Zen books, you read the same stories again and again in different books, but here you find fresh stories, some ancient, some modern, and all very good.
Jack Kornfield is first and foremost a meditation teacher, so woven throughout the book is plenty of good coaching. The meditative path is difficult, and good teaching is vital. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, so I've specialized in knowing the difference between teachings that help and those that are merely interesting. In After the Ecstasy, you'll find interesting reading material AND coaching that will truly help you in your practice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Park on July 25 2010
Format: Paperback
Something that anyone who has even had a glimpse of ecstasy will enjoy. Details the spiritual path and the responsibilities that entail.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "whovian222" on May 9 2001
Format: Hardcover
Even though I admire jack's skill as a vipassana teacher, He seems to becoming progressivly warm and fuzzy. His writing style is grating and over sweet and he doesn't seem to have an ounce of critical thought to contribute. This book just seem to continue his slide from vipassana teacher into wayne dyer style new age teacher. I can't recommed this book, But I did like the tape set "The inner art of meditation."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nurcan Kozanli on June 9 2003
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. I have read many books on philosophy, religion, and spirituality, but this one stands out as one of my all time favorites. I too have been blessed with many moments of grace and insight throughout my life, but was unsure if these epiphanies were getting me "anywhere", as I sometimes tended to grumble about the laundry. It was wonderful to know that others, even those who are highly regarded spiritual teachers, also grumble about their laundry (and maybe wonder about the missing socks?). I have dropped the unrealistic expectations of enlightenment for its own sake, and continue as before, slowly applying the knowledge and insight that I am gaining to all aspects of my life. Jack Kornfield's anecdotes and poems made me laugh and cry with the joy and pain of the human condition. Make this book part of your library!
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Format: Paperback
The typical spiritual-illumination story ends with enlightenment. But Buddhist teacher and clinical psychologist Jack Kornfield goes beyond, asking the question we're dying to have answered: And then, what? Kornfield's is a voice you can trust - humble, wise, and deeply mature. In this, his fourth book, he explores what leads us to the spiritual life, how enlightenment is attained, and what lies beyond. Through the use of story, he repeatedly brings us to a place of openness and non-judgement, a place where life is inherently workable and enlightenment possible for all. This is a self-help, wise-living, equanimity-finding book, a work that will benefit Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. It's a source book, a treasury of quotes and anecdotes by people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and times - the narratives and words of sages, saints, and ordinary folks. The work's combination of readability, leisurely pace, and stories invite the reader to pause and reflect -- just as well, for its wisdom can't be grasped in a single, or even a second, reading. A book you'll want to dip into again and again.
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