Tuesday, November 13, 2018

November Classic of the Month: The Art of Money-Getting by P. T. Barnum

As the holiday season quickly approaches, money, budgeting, and overspending will likely be on many minds. The Art of Money-Getting by P. T. Barnum, our November Classic of the Month, can help guide you through this gifting season, savings account intact!

First published in 1880 by P.T. Barnum, The Art of Money-Getting is a short book encouraging the general public to aspire to wealth through proper economic means: building a savings, collecting on interest, operating business with integrity, learning the true value of money, working for what you earn, and foregoing extravagances in order to live a more modest lifestyle where saving money is the goal.

Based on P.T. Barnum's own experiences as a showman and businessman, he outlines a way of life rather than a get-rich-quick scheme. Despite its 19th-century publication date, his advice is remarkably relevant, and will be of interest to young and old readers alike who desire to be more responsible with their finances.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Cosimo!


About the Author
Phineas Taylor ("P.T.") Barnum (1810-1891) is one of the most peculiarly famous personalities in American history. A consummate showman and entrepreneur, Barnum was famous for bringing both high and low culture to American audiences. From the melodious opera singer Jenny Lind to the bizarre hoax of the Feejee Mermaid, from the clever and quite diminutive Tom Thumb to Jumbo the Elephant, Barnum's oddities, spectacles, galas, extravaganzas, and events tickled the fancies of Americans of all ages.






Thursday, November 8, 2018

November Series of the Month: The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll

We are shining the spotlight on this controversial election month, midterms, and America politics, by reading The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll as our Series of the Month.

Ingersoll was a notorious radical whose uncompromising views on religion and slavery (they were bad, in his opinion), women's suffrage (a good idea, he believed), and other contentious matters of his era made him a wildly popular orator and critic of 19th-century American culture and public life. 

Legendary as a speaker—he memorized his speeches and could talk for hours without notes—and as a proponent of freethought, Ingersoll is an American original whose words still ring with truth and power today. His most important works are gathered in this 12-volume collected edition, first published posthumously in 1901.

Go out and vote! Not sure where you stand? Check out this handy tool here.

The paperback retail list price for this series is: $215.88, but now our price is: $174.99 (you save $40.89 or a 19 percent discount)

The hardcover retail list price for this series is: $407.88, but now our price is: $324.99 (you save $82.89 or a 20 percent discount)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November Book of the Month: Trauma Room One by Charles A. Crenshaw

This November, we are presenting Trauma Room One: The JFK Medical Coverup Exposed by Charles A. Crenshaw with a foreword by Oliver Stone, as our Book of the Month.

In this gripping account, Dr. Charles Crenshaw, one of the several Dallas surgeons who worked on JFK in Trauma Room One, shares what really happened within those walls.

In November of 1963, the doctors who tried to save President John F. Kennedy at Parkland Hospital agreed---either out of respect or fear---not to publish what they have seen, heard, or felt. But in 1990, Charles Crenshaw stepped forward and decided that the American people ought to know the truth.

In 1992, when the first edition of this book was published under JFK: Conspiracy of SilenceCrenshaw revealed what he never had the opportunity to tell the Warren CommissionCrenshaw states, "The wounds to Kennedy's head and throat that I examined were caused by bullets that struck him from the front, not the back, as the public has been lead to believe."

Shortly after publication, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) called Crenshaw's book a fabrication. But in court, the claim did not hold up, and Crenshaw subsequently prevailed in a defamation suit against JAMA. In the process, a number of new medical disclosures have emerged on the startling medical cover-up of the JFK assassination.

Cosimo offers this title in both hardcover and paperback at leading online bookstores including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, as well as in eBook format.





Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October Quote of the Month: "Mothman...is more terrifying than we ever knew"


"Mothman, one of America’s most haunting monsters , is more terrifying than we ever knew."
 - Richard Hatem, The Mothman Prophecies screenwriter

Our October Quote of the Month is so spooky, it refers to not one, but two books! Mothman and Other Curious Encounters and Mothman: Evil Incarnate, both by Loren Coleman are our featured titles for this month's quote from Richard Hatem.

On November 15, 1966, a huge, red-eyed creature with wings appeared over Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Thus began thirteen months of otherworldly mystery, madness, and mayhem for the people of Point Pleasant, culminating in the collapse of the Silver Bridge, which left 46 dead.

But contrary to popular belief, Mothman is not a one-off phenomon. Leading cryptozoologist and investigator Loren Coleman looks at the precursors of Mothman, like the Flatwoods Monster of 1952, then brings the story up to date, detailing the sightings of the spawn of Mothman at the beginning of this century. Coleman also examines the impact on investigations into the unknown by John Keel, the newsman who spend a year in Point Pleasant looking into the Mothman story and lived to write about it.

Mothman: Evil Incarnate, by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, is the new companion title to the late John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies (1975), which investigated the sightings of a winged creature called Mothman and became popularized in the 2002 movie of the same name starring Richard Gere.

With new material by Loren Coleman, extensive annotations on each chapter of The Mothman Prophecies, a detailed Mothman death list, and a gallery of images, Mothman: Evil Incarnate comprises the most up-to-date information on Mothman phenomena. In addition to providing context to John Keel's cult classic, Coleman expands on missing details from the movie, explores the deaths that followed the West Virginia incident, describes the recent Chicago Mothman sightings, and delves into the life of John Keel. This companion book should find its place on every Mothman aficionado and cryptozoology fan's bookshelf. The mystery continues!

About the Author
Loren Coleman is one of the world's leading crypozoologists. In 1960 he started his fieldwork, and after years pursuing cryptozoological mysteries, he began writing. He is the author of numerous books on cryptozoology, including Bigfoot: The True Story of Apes in America and Mothman and Other Curious Encounters. Coleman is the founder and director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine (www.cryptozoologymuseum.com) and 2018 marks his 58th year investigating. Loren Coleman can be followed on Twitter at @CryptoLoren and on his blog, www.cryptozoonews.com







Thursday, October 25, 2018

Happy Birthday Theodore Roosevelt, Author, Explorer, Soldier, Naturalist, and Politician

Happy birthday to Theodore Roosevelt! In honor of the birth of the 26th President on October 27th, 1858, Cosimo would like to highlight some of his classic books.


A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open
As much a symbol of the nation's adventurous past as he was the very picture of booming 20th-century progress, Theodore Roosevelt, politician and soldier, naturalist and historian, was still a young man when he left the Oval Office, and he spent the decade after his presidency exploring the world -- and sharing his experiences in his inimitable prose. In this 1916 book, he leads us: on a cougar hunt on the rim of the Grand Canyon, trekking across the Navajo Desert, to a Hopi snake dance, across the Andes and Northern Patagonia, through bird reserves at the mouth of the Mississippi, and much more! Roosevelt's rip-roaring, real-life exploits are just as entertaining today as they were a century ago, and serve as a stirring reminder of the breathtaking beauty and lurking danger of the natural world.



Theodore Roosevelt's Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail 
Before he ascended to the highest office in the land as the United States' youngest president, Theodore Roosevelt, though a New York City man born and bred, was a devotee of the Old West. In 1888, he published this charming ode to the American frontier, from the rewarding hard work of a rancher on the open plains to the pleasures of hunting the big game of mountains high. Today, the inimitable prose and infectious enthusiasm of Roosevelt's writing here serves as much to describe a unique aspect of the character of the nation as it sings an elegy for a disappearing way of life. Includes numerous illustrations by Frederic Remington.




Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children
Remembered today for his expansive personality and grand sense of adventure, Theodore Roosevelt -- politician and soldier, naturalist and historian -- was also a devoted, doting father and husband. This beautiful selection of the letters he wrote to his children over the courses of their lives, as well as a few written to other correspondents about the children, reveal a man deeply in love with his family and with the joys of fatherhood. The tales of Christmases at the White House and whistle-stop tours through the American countryside offer a cozy glimpse into one of the greatest American presidencies -- and Roosevelt's tenderness with his sons and daughters as he treats them as friends, confidantes, and equals -- creates a warm and intimate portrait of one of the great American characters.



The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses
Of all the many sides of Theodore Roosevelt, politician and soldier, naturalist and historian, today he remains a grand symbol of booming American progress in the 20th century. Indeed, he is largely responsible for setting the nation on the course it has followed over those hundred years, as this 1904 volume handily demonstrates. This collection of speeches Roosevelt gave and essays he wrote from 1899 through 1901 illuminates his keen image of America as a nation strong of character, honest of leadership, and rich in material and moral wealth, and represents the splendid challenge he extended to the American people to match him in action and in spirit, and to create a political and social life for the country as robust as his own personal and public life was. This is, in the aggregate, a revealing picture of the character of one of the great American personalities.


Please visit our website to view all of our books written by Theodore Roosevelt, or visit our reports and history sections to learn more about the politics and the past events of that time.

Happy Birthday Roosevelt!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October Organization of the Month: International Cryptozoology Museum

Cosimo is excited to announce International Cryptozoology Museum as our Organization of the Month for October!

Cryptozoologist and Cosimo author Loren Coleman is the founder and director of the International Cryptozoology Museum, one of the world’s only cryptozoology museums.


The ICM offers guests a wide range of exhibitions from rare, one-of-a-kind scientific specimens to popular cultural homages to sightings, encounters, art, and research. The museum's mission is not only to educate, but to entertain as well! A gift shop with unique souvenirs (and maybe even a few books or two!), conferences and trips, as well as many talks and speeches are also available throughout the year.

The museum is open every day but Tuesdays, and is located at 4 Thompson’s Point Road, in Portland, Maine.

To learn more about Loren Coleman and the International Cryptozoology Museum, watch the museum's trailer, or visit the website.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman has been investigating cryptozoological evidence since the Abominable Snowmen caught his interest more than five decades ago. Today, as one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, Coleman is an honorary member of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, a life member of the International Society of Cryptozoology, and an inaugural inductee of the Roger Patterson Memorial Bigfoot Museum in Oregon. He is the author of Mothman and Other Curious Encounters, Bigfoot! : The True Story of Apes in America, Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nations Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures, and The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrows Headlines, as well as the curator of the Loren Coleman Presents series, a collection of cryptozoology classics.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

October Classic of the Month: Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life

After our very humid summer, all of us at Cosimo are ready to curl up with a good book and dream about winter. Join us this October with our Classic of the Month Abominable Snowmen - Legend Come to Life by Ivan T. Sanderson, with an introduction by Loren Coleman.

Scottish zoologist Ivan Terrance Sanderson coined the word cryptozoology and first used it in print in this hard-to-find 1961 work, the story of "hairy hominids" across the planet from the very beginnings of human civilization until the mid 20th century.

With its scientific, anthropological approach, this is one of the first books to treat the phenomenon of "Bigfoot" seriously, and introduced a groundbreaking classification system for the spectrum of subhumanoids. 

"I am happy that a whole new generation of cryptozoologists-in-training will be able to read Ivan T. Sanderson's classic book," says cryptozoologist Loren Coleman in his new introduction. "This book opened the minds of many to the vastness of the hominoid reports. and spotlighted for people that Bigfoot/Sasquatch research was the next area for exploration in North America."
Cosimo is proud to offer Abominable Snowmen - Legend Come to Life by Ivan Terrance Sanderson with an intro by Loren Coleman in both hardcover and paperback.

For those interested in learning more about this elusive creature. Check out all of our Cosimo titles for even more information on the fascinating topic of cryptozoology.

About Loren Coleman
Today, Loren Coleman, as one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, is an honorary member of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, a life member of the International Society of Cryptozoology, and an inaugural inductee of the Roger Patterson Memorial Bigfoot Museum in Portland, Oregon. He travels extensively for fieldwork and lectures and writes a daily blog at the Internet’s most popular cryptozoology news site, Cryptomundo. Coleman is the director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.







Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October Book of the Month: Mothman: Evil Incarnate by Loren Coleman

May we suggest getting dressed up as the Mothman from our Book of the Month for Halloween? Pick up a copy now and get all those costume ideas ready!

Mothman: Evil Incarnate, by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, is the new companion title to the late John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies (1975), which investigated the sightings of a winged creature called Mothman and became popularized in the 2002 movie of the same name starring Richard Gere.

With new material by Loren Coleman, extensive annotations on each chapter of The Mothman Prophecies, a detailed Mothman death list, and a gallery of images, Mothman: Evil Incarnate comprises the most up-to-date information on Mothman phenomena. In addition to providing context to John Keel's cult classic, Coleman expands on missing details from the movie, explores the deaths that followed the West Virginia incident, describes the recent Chicago Mothman sightings, and delves into the life of John Keel. This companion book should find its place on every Mothman aficionado and cryptozoology fan's bookshelf. The mystery continues!

About the Author
Loren Coleman is one of the world's leading crypozoologists. In 1960 he started his fieldwork, and after years pursuing cryptozoological mysteries, he began writing. He is the author of numerous books on cryptozoology, including Bigfoot: The True Story of Apes in America and Mothman and Other Curious Encounters. Coleman is the founder and director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine (www.cryptozoologymuseum.com) and 2018 marks his 58th year investigating. Loren Coleman can be followed on Twitter at @CryptoLoren and on his blog, www.cryptozoonews.com




Thursday, October 11, 2018

October Series of the Month: Loren Coleman Presents Cryptozoology Classics

We are excited to highlight our popular Loren Coleman Presents Series as our October Series of the Month, just in time for all Hallows Eve!

Loren Coleman is one of the world's leading cryptozoologists and has been seeking evidence and folklore since the Abominable Snowmen caught his interest more than five decades ago. 

Loren Coleman has selected some of the most fascinating and also rare books from the time when the term 'cryptozoology" did not yet exist. This series brings to light some of the curiosities and wonders from zoology but also from myths and folklore. Coleman provides each title with a reflective introduction explaining the context and meaning of each of those significant works of cryptozoology. From werewolves to dragons, from sea monsters to unexplained myths, Coleman explores it all.


The series includes the following titles, both in paperback and hardcover:

Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life by Ivan Anderson

Curious Creatures in Zoology by John Ashton

Curiosities of Natural History (in four volumes) by Francis Buckland

Dragons and Dragons Lore by Ernest Ingersoll

Gleanings From the Natural History of the Ancients by Rev. Morgan Watkins

Mythical Monsters by Charles Gould

Natural History, Lore and Legend by Frederick Hulme

Oddities: A Book of Unexplained Facts by R.T. Gould

Sea Fables Explained by Henry Lee

Sea Monsters Unmasked by Henry Lee

Snakes: Curiosities and Wonders of Serpent Life by Catherine Hopley

The Book of Werewolves by Sabine Baring-Gould

The Dragon, Image and Demon by Hampden DuBose

The Dragon in China and Japan by M.W. de Visser

The Great Sea Serpent by A.C. Oudemans

The Romance of Natural History by Philip Gosse

The Unicorn: A Mythological Investigation by Robert Brown

The Werewolf by Montague Summers

Thunderbirds: America's Living Legends of Giant Birds by Mark Hall



About Loren Coleman
Today, Loren Coleman, as one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, is an honorary member of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, a life member of the International Society of Cryptozoology, and an inaugural inductee of the Roger Patterson Memorial Bigfoot Museum in Portland, Oregon. He travels extensively for fieldwork and lectures and writes a daily blog at the Internet’s most popular cryptozoology news site, Cryptomundo. Coleman is the director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.



Cosimo offers this series by individual volume at leading online bookstores or as a volume set in hardcover and paperback. If you are interested in purchasing the full set, please contact us.

Our special set price for this unique series in hardcover is $499.99 (from the combined official list price of $668.82you save $168.83 or a 25 percent discount and you get free shipping)

Our special set price for this unique series in paperback is: $249.99 (from the combined official list price of $332.79: you save $82.80 or a 25 percent discount and get free shipping)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October eBook of the Month: The Supermarket Sorceress by Lexa Rosean

In celebration of Halloween and all things spooky, Cosimo is happy to present The Supermarket Sorceress: Spells, Charms, and Enchantments Using Everyday Ingredients to Make Your Wishes Come True by Lexa Roséan as our October eBook of the Month.

In this enchanting book, experienced psychic, witch, and high priestess Lexa Roséan offers spells for every occasion in an amusing, magically effective, and easy-to-follow guide. Formulating spells based on history and legend, Lexa tailors tried-and-true Ancient Magick to the modern reader, substituting hard-to-find wild ingredients with their supermarket counterparts, resulting in spells that are simple and inexpensive. By following some simple rules--performing spells at a certain time of month, using fresh ingredients, with a specific intent--Lexa makes it possible for even the most inexperienced spell caster to successfully perform magick and get results. Lexa's philosophy is based on using your wishes and her spells to make positive things happen in your life, whether it's attracting success or improving your love life.

The Supermarket Sorceress was the first in a series of four books offering spells and enchantments using simple grocery-store ingredients. Originally published in 1996, this updated version includes new and revised spells and an introduction looking back 20 years and reflecting on the circumstances that inspired the original publication and launched the "Supermarket Sorceress" identity.

About the Author 
Lexa Roséan is a Wiccan High Priestess and has been counseling clients for more than thirty years through the medium of psychic Tarot and astrology. She also holds a master's degree in psychoanalysis. A leading pagan author, Lexa has published eight books on magick and the occult. She wrote the astrology column for CosmoGirl and worked as an astrology consultant for Seventeen magazine. The Village Voice named Lexa NYC's Best Witch and she has made numerous television appearances, including CNN, Fox News, and MTV. She has been written about in various news media including the New York Times, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly, among others. For more information see her website.


All Cosimo ebooks are available at the following retailers:


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

September Classic of the Month: Becoming an American

"We are a nation of immigrants, dedicated to the rule of law. That is our history - and it is our challenge to ourselves....It is literally a matter of who we are as a nation and who we become as a people. E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. One people. The American people..."

— Barbara Jordan, Chairwoman of the U.S. Commission of Immigration Reform, 1995

During this time of upheaval, migrant children separation, and the unknown governing surrounding ICE and the border patrol, we thought it was a good time to showcase Becoming an American: Immigration and Immigrant Policy, Including Executive Summary of U.S. Immigration Policy: Restoring Credibility as our Classic of the Month this September. 

Since President Ronald Reagan's 1986 amnesty of millions of illegal immigrants, immigration has been on the political agenda without any meaningful progress. The United State's illegal immigrant population increased to over 11 million. Economic inequality worsened, and crime and terrorism have entered the immigration conversation. In this contentious environment, President Trump proposed a wall at the Mexican border and decided a review of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that offers protection to those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Politicians who again are speaking of "comprehensive immigration reform" should read Becoming an American: Immigration and Immigrant Policy from the U.S. Commission Of Immigration Reform (a.k.a. the Barbara Jordan Commission), headed by the late Barbara Jordan. This 1997 report contains many guiding principles that are still relevant:

- The rule of law is paramount, therefore illegal immigration is unacceptable and must be deterred;
- Lawful immigrant admission needs to be reduced;
- Call for the Americanization of new immigrants, i.e. the cultivation of a shared commitment to the American values of liberty, democracy, and equal opportunity.

Students of immigration, politicians, journalists, and anyone interested in the history of U.S. immigration and solutions for 21st century America will find this vital background reading.

About the Author
Barbara Jordan (1936-1996), a national icon of the Democratic party, the first African-American woman in the Texas Senate (1966), and the first woman to represent Texas in Congress (1972), was the driving force behind this report. Unfortunately, she died just before the release of this report and few of her Commission's recommendations were implemented. Now twenty years later, it is time is to honor her legacy and learn from this report.

Other Jordan Commission's reports are: U.S. Immigration Policy: Restoring Credibility (1994) and Legal Immigration: Setting Priorities (1995)--executive summaries are included in this publication--and U.S. Refugee Policy: Taking Leadership (1997).




Thursday, September 20, 2018

September Organization of the Month: Banned Books Week Coalition

Cosimo is celebrating banned books this September with our Organization of the Month, The Banned Books Week Coalition!

Banned Books Week happens once a year and celebrates the freedom to read. The week is sponsored by a host of great organizations dedicated to free expression, including: American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, The Authors Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, Index on Censorship, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN America, and many more.

According to the Banned Books website, limiting access to controversial titles is not the answer for tough questions or broaching controversial topics. Many titles that continue to be removed from shelves, taken away from schools, or eliminated from classroom reading lists include stories about or subjects on LGBTQ, explicit content, witchcraft, swearing, suicide, and much more.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. The 2018 celebration will be held September 23 - September 29. To find an event near you, please visit the Banned Books website.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September Quote of the Month: The evidence is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling

"The evidence is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling."

— Daniel Patrick Moynihan


In honor of our Book of the Month, The Moynihan Report, we are highlighten this poignant quote from the lead author, Daniel Moynihan, this September.

Against the backdrop of President Johnson's War on Poverty and the Watts riots in Los Angeles, a young civil servant with the Office of Planning and Research O at the Department of Labor, Daniel P. Moynihan, wrote in 1965 his most controversial study The Moynihan Report - The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.

This report drew widespread attention from critics and supporters alike. It concluded that the conditions under which black children were being raised, generally in single-mother households, were the leading cause of black poverty.

As Moynihan wrote decades later: "The work began in the most orthodox setting, to establish at some level of statistical conciseness what 'everyone knew': that economic conditions determine social conditions. Whereupon, it turned out that what everyone knew was evidently not so."

Although Moynihan was a liberal politician and the report called for jobs programs and vocational training for blacks, many black and civil rights leaders found his report patronizing and that it relied on stereotypes of the black family and black men. 

The 1965 statistics, when approximately 25 percent of black babies were born out of wedlock, have not improved 50 years later, when this percentage has grown to 75 percent; with 50 percent for Hispanic babies and 29 percent for white babies. Also in other areas, such as income, employment, and incarceration, the statistics have deteriorated for blacks. The legacy of The Moynihan Report is that the debate it launched around cultural causes of black poverty is still not settled in modern day America.






Thursday, September 13, 2018

Guest Post from Paul Breiter: Imitating and Pretending - Thoughts from Retreat

We are happy to publish a guest post from Cosimo author and Buddhist Paul Breiter, entitled "Imitating and Pretending - Thoughts from Retreat." Enjoy!

All past masters have followed the path of sublime beings before them. We say in Tibetan, “In life, we imitate others; whoever is the best imitator succeeds.” Similarly, because all Buddhists imitate the Buddha, whoever imitates him best will become a Buddha.
--Lama Tharchin Rinpoche

While doing meditation retreats, I often ask myself, “Where did I go wrong?” The answer that comes is “Everywhere.” But over the years I’ve learned to recognize the patterns of drama that take place in quiet solitude. Disengaged from accustomed busyness and distraction, there is naturally a lot of ferment. During one retreat several years ago, in the first week I saw that I was responsible for the war on Iraq. In the second week I was causing spiritual masters to pass away. In the third week I felt I’d become some kind of non-human life form and worried that the person who brought my groceries would probably drop the bags and run away screaming if she caught sight of me.

And all of that passed, like everything does, and in following years it took less and less time for the dramas to play themselves out. A professional football team once had the motto, “Talk is cheap. Play the game.” I started to think, “Drama is cheap. Do the practice.” (That team went on to win a Super Bowl after printing t-shirts with those words.)

In certain quarters there is talk of the “resultant path” as opposed to a causal path, or “taking the result as the path.” As with many other Buddhist concepts, it can be seen in very practical terms. Trungpa Rinpoche said that all he could do was provide a model of sanity to follow, and that practice is in large part imitation.

Without looking for anything esoteric, just consider sila, ethical conduct. When we resist habitual ways of doing things to follow a moral code, our hearts may not be in it completely, but we imitate the behavior of enlightened beings. Specifically, the complex monastic code of discipline, the Vinaya, could be seen as taking the way of the arhat as the path. Those who follow it for some time usually will realize that rather than being something burdensome and complicated, it actually makes life simple and brings a sense of freedom.

At the other end of the spectrum, seemingly abstruse or esoteric deity practices, for example, are explained as a way to develop pure vision, which can lead to recognition of the originally pure true nature of mind and phenomena. Sometimes I think of it as “pretending that things are the way they really are” or “trying to trick yourself into seeing things as they really are.” Such practices are contrived, of course, which raises red flags for some people. And even the pure vision that can come about from deity meditation is still considered illusory (but a great improvement on our usual impure illusory vision). Actually, we are already living in a totally contrived “reality,” one that is distorted by our habitual ways of perceiving and thinking; so antidotes may well be appropriate.

The Buddha taught on the different methods and antidotes for the defilements of mind, and in the case of discursive meditations, he said that whatever the mind takes up again and again it eventually becomes inclined to. And as with any other form of practice, discursive meditations are more suitable for some types of person than for others. They run the full gamut: meditations on the qualities of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha; on renunciation; on lovingkindness and compassion; and on emptiness, to name but a few.

Ajahn Chah said that when the mind is temporarily free of defilements, we could be said to be “temporary arhats.” Scholars of Abhidharma would quibble, but there’s a point to his statement. So when we meditate on love and compassion, we could consider ourselves temporary bodhisattvas, and visualizing ourselves as Buddha-deities, we are temporary Buddhas. Why not encourage ourselves thus? In Soto Zen, the practice of shikan taza, “just sitting,” is spoken of as sitting like a Buddha. Dogen Zenji taught about this extensively and often poetically; in Bendowa, “A Discourse on Doing One’s Utmost in Practicing the Way of the Buddhas,” he says, “Even though it may be merely for a moment, when someone, whilst sitting upright in meditation, puts the mark of the Buddha Seal upon his…body, speech, and thought, the whole physical universe and everything in it becomes and is the Buddha Seal; all of space, throughout, becomes and is enlightenment.”

I think there must have been good reason for the Buddha to have taught all these methods of meditation and guides for conduct. I once heard a talk by the Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, and in  conclusion he said, “You don’t have to worry that I’m trying to deceive you. I’m an old man now, near the end of my life, so I really have no reason to want to trick you.”

“Those who cling to things as truly existing are like animals. Those who cling to things as not existing are worse.”
--Saraha

Paul Breiter

About the Author 
Paul Breiter was born in Brooklyn in 1948. In 1970, he became ordained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, where he met Ajahn Chah and became his student. After disrobing in 1977, Breiter returned to the US and continued Buddhist study with masters in the states. Breiter's books include One Monk, Many Masters, A Still Forest Pool, Venerable Father: A Life with Ajahn Chah, Being Dharma, and Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September Book of the Month: The Moynihan Report - 50 years later

With the upcoming midterm elections, supreme court nominations, and immigration issues on everyone's mind, Cosimo would like to present The Moynihan Report: The Negro Family - The Case for National Action by Office of Policy Planning and Research of U.S. Department of Labor Daniel Moynihan as our Book of the Month for September.

Against the backdrop of President Johnson's War on Poverty and the Watts riots in Los Angeles, a young civil servant with the Office of Planning and Research O at the Department of Labor, Daniel P. Moynihan, wrote in 1965 his most controversial study The Moynihan Report - The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.

This report drew widespread attention from critics and supporters alike. It concluded that the conditions under which black children were being raised, generally in single-mother households, were the leading cause of black poverty.

As Moynihan wrote decades later: "The work began in the most orthodox setting, to establish at some level of statistical conciseness what 'everyone knew': that economic conditions determine social conditions. Whereupon, it turned out that what everyone knew was evidently not so."

Although Moynihan was a liberal politician and the report called for jobs programs and vocational training for blacks, many black and civil rights leaders found his report patronizing and that it relied on stereotypes of the black family and black men. 

The 1965 statistics, when approximately 25 percent of black babies were born out of wedlock, have not improved 50 years later, when this percentage has grown to 75 percent; with 50 percent for Hispanic babies and 29 percent for white babies. Also in other areas, such as income, employment, and incarceration, the statistics have deteriorated for blacks. The legacy of The Moynihan Report is that the debate it launched around cultural causes of black poverty is still not settled in modern day America.