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Endless Path: Awakening Within the Buddhist Imagination: Jataka Tales, Zen Practice, and Daily Life
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Endless Path: Awakening Within the Buddhist Imagination: Jataka Tales, Zen Practice, and Daily Life

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  8 reviews
***WINNER, 2011 Storytelling World Resource Award – Best Storytelling Collection

The jataka tales—stories of the Buddha’s past lives (in both human and animal form)—were first said to have been told by the Buddha himself 2,500 years ago. Five hundred and fifty jataka tales comprise part of the oldest Buddhist text, the Pali Canon. From this wealth of folklore, award-winning
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by North Atlantic Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jataka tales are the stories that reveal the Buddha’s previous births as a bodhisattva (one who has attained enlightenment, but who chooses not to pass into Nirvana [the state of supreme bliss, tranquility, and purity, when the fires of desire are extinguished], opting to remain in the world to help lesser beings attain enlightenment) working towards the goals of Buddhahood. Martin naturally relates to stories, having children of his own. Interest in stories is with us from an early age, with ta ...more
Caleb Winebrenner
This is an incredible collection. As both an aspiring Buddhist and a storyteller, I read this book with a mixture of appreciation and awe. In essence, this book is a collection of ten of the Jataka tales, stories of the Buddha’s past lives. In some he is an animal, and in others, a wise human (a boddhisattva). Each story is followed by a dharma talk from the author, applying its message to Buddhist practice and life as a whole.

My favorite of the stories, “Great Joy,” I loved so much that I wro
Wonderful little book. This may seem too fable-like and outlandish to those who would read these stories without seeing the density and layers of discourse and direction they hold. If one would look past the simplicity of the stories as presented there is a lot of stuff here! For that we should be grateful to Rafe Martin who provides a thoughtful discourse on the tales in the form of Buddhist and human dissection. Having said that please don't feel these are exclusively the realm of the Zen mast ...more
Rome Doherty
Interesting introduction, a little too much explanation, not enough tales
Adam Levi
This book is absolutely amazing! It provides an informative and insightful wealth of knowledge for anyone with a limited background in Jataka tales or Buddhist culture. Endless Path is the perfect book for beginners and experts.

Check out a great by moonpointer, a great Buddhist blog, here!.

This is the best book on the Jataka tales I've read. Rafe Martin is an excellent storyteller, and his discussion is framed by the 10 paramitas and his Zen perspective, plus some pop culture references like to the Talking Heads. Interesting illustrations, and an interesting final chapter of personalized pithy summaries of the basic Buddhist teachings.
Linda Hollingsworth
Fascinating telling of the a selection of the Jataka tales followed by an insightful discussion. Well worth reading for those interested in the context and philosophy.
Leo Deveau
Myth and imagination, all endless paths that circle back to more paths, at once leading than following. Round and round we go!
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This professional storyteller lives in Rochester, New York.
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