An Ancient Path

Paul R. Fleischman


The talks collected in this book were given to varying audiences under unique circumstances that partly shaped what was said. I hope some of the pleasant ambience of these occasions comes over in print.

This is not a collection of essays. The talks stand side by side, all having the same center, which is reached from a dif- ferent angle each time. The Boston talk was to mental health professionals in the USA. The Freiberg talk was given to “Mind- fulness” researchers in Germany. The Madrid talk was given in a hospital, with a translator, that slowed and limited its length. Before the Vienna talk, I was advised to speak as if the audi- ence had a pre-existing, intellectual knowledge of Buddhism, and I was asked to specifically address the topic of “Karma  and Chaos.” Before the Dublin talk I was admonished to give a literary and intellectual cast to the presentation. In Ghent I was asked to speak to a University audience with a more philosophi- cal background.

To me each talk was a memorable mingling with new places and people, and an echo of dozens of other talks that either were never recorded, or that lacked anything specifically differ- ent enough to be worth presenting alongside of what is written here. Because every introductory talk, regardless of the angle of approach, has to cover some similar material, not all talks are worth saving, and there is a lot of repetition in this book.

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