James William Coleman - The Buddha's Dream of Liberation

Explore the three great teachings of the Buddha:

  • The First Turning of the Wheel - Insight into the nature of suffering—and the way out of it—from the four noble truths and the eightfold path
  • The Second Turning of the Wheel - Teachings on emptiness from the Heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra
  • The Third Turning of the Wheel - Guidance for practitioners and teachings on awakened Buddha nature

In clear language, James William Coleman, professor of sociology at the California Polytechnic State University, guides us through the ancient sutras that preserve the Buddha's message, illuminating their meaning for today's world and tying the Buddha's wisdom together for us. The book concludes with chapters from two great teachers, Reb Anderson from the Zen tradition and Lama Palden from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, on how to use meditation to bring the Buddha's wisdom into our daily lives.

"There are many books on Buddhist philosophy, but James Coleman's book, The Buddha's Dream of Liberation, accomplishes the rare feat of inspiring the reader to explore the mind in meditation with fresh and clear ideas. So often meditation practice is muddied by rules and dogma, and here is a book that gets at the living intersection of philosophy and meditation. People wishing to explore Buddhism within their meditation practice will find new depths of appreciation for how well the Buddha, and those adept meditators in the history of Buddhism, have understood the human mind." —Jason Siff, author of Unlearning Meditation

"I am delighted with this marvelous guidebook on the profound topic of the three turnings. The book skillfully conveys this area of vast knowledge in a manner that is succinct, comprehensive, and engaging. Coleman's voice has the authority and depth of a scholar and the accessibility and friendliness of a fellow traveler on the path of Buddhist practice. This work provides a wonderful introduction to Buddhism." —Rose Taylor Goldfield, author of Training the Wisdom Body

"In The Buddha's Dream of Liberation, James William Coleman, author of The New Buddhism, writes with power and precision on a subject of great contemporary importance: the three turnings of the Dharma wheel. This beautifully written meditation on the great sutras is both a succinct explanation of the founding tenets of Buddhism and a profound reflection upon the evolution of those ideas through time. Novices and religious scholars alike will be both taught and inspired by this wonderful book. Buddhism brought up-to-date and returned to its sources!" —Robert Inchausti author of Thomas Merton's American Prophecy and Subversive Orthodoxy

"James Coleman has written a lucid, concise and insightful exploration of the three primary waves of Buddhism. If you wish to get a sense of some of the key tenets and distinctions of each lineage, this brilliantly written book, draws on key texts that beautifully express both the distinctions and coherence found within all Buddhist traditions. A must read for anyone wishing to understand Buddhist teachings more fully." —Mark Coleman, author of Awake in the Wild

"This marvelous book offers a pith, cogent description of the arc of the Buddha's teachings. James William Coleman provides clear, simple language to describe some of the most complex ideas within the Buddhist cannon and offers practical interaction for how to bring those teachings alive in practice and daily life. Chapters by Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi and Lama Palden Drolma provide a rich invitation into the paths of Zen and Vajrayana. The book is a gem for both beginning and seasoned practitioners." —Pamela Weiss founder of Appropriate Response

"A clear presentation of the three turnings of the wheel of the Buddha's teachings. James William Coleman draws on textual references in the sutras, his experience in both the Zen and Vajrayana traditions, and his western academic training to lay out in modern language and with sensitivity to a modern audience this easy to read and approachable overview of the Buddhist path and practice." —Lama Drupgyu Tenzin, Vice President of the Tsadra Foundation

James Coleman has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is currently a professor of sociology at the California Polytechnic State University. He is one of the founders of the White Heron Sangha in San Luis Obispo, California.

Reb Anderson Roshi is a lineage-holder in the Soto Zen tradition and a senior Dharma teacher at the San Francisco Zen Center. Born in Mississippi, he grew up in Minnesota and left advanced study in mathematics and Western psychology to come to Zen Center in 1967. He practiced with Suzuki Roshi, who ordained him as a priest in 1970 and gave him the name Tenshin Zenki ("Naturally Real, The Whole Works"). He received Dharma transmission in 1983 and served as abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center's three training centers (City Center, Green Gulch Farm, and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center) from 1986 to 1995. Tenshin Roshi continues to teach at Zen Center, living with his friends and family at Green Gulch Farm. He is author of Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains: Dharma Talks on Zen Meditation, Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts, and The Third Turning of the Wheel: Wisdom of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra.

Lama Palden Drolma is the founder and spiritual director of Sukhasiddhi Foundation and a cofounder of the Feminine Wisdom School. She completed the traditional Tibetan Buddhist three-year retreat in the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu lineages under the previous Kalu Rinpoche's guidance in 1985. In 1986 she became one of the first Western women to be authorized as a lama in the Vajrayana tradition. In addition to Kalu Rinpoche, she has studied with many of the great Tibetan masters from all lineages, including the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Tai Situ Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Dezhung Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, and the Dalai Lama. Lama Palden was profiled in Shambhala Sun magazine as one of the women "changing the face of Buddhism."

The Buddha's Dream of Liberation: Freedom, Emptiness, and Awakened Nature Cover Image
ISBN: 9781614293583
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Wisdom Publications - June 27th, 2017