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Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master

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4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  208 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
This biography of one of the few women in her generation to devote herself entirely to the pursuit of meditation also includes Dipa Ma's spiritual teachings, which have made her a major figure in contemporary Buddhism.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by BlueBridge
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Mike
Mar 24, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it
This book is a series of stories written by people who knew Dipa Ma, a renowned meditation master within the Theravada tradition. Dipa Ma was acknowledged to have fully developed the 'supranatural powers'. She continued through cultural and institutionalized obstacles along her path as a female meditator, housewife, mother, eventual meditation master and fully engaged teacher within her community.

Dipa Ma was taught by Munindra, and many well known meditation instructors in the US, including Sha
...more
Sparrow Knight
Largely a collection of reminiscences from her students. Very warm & heartfelt. Inspiring.
Roberta
Feb 09, 2012 Roberta rated it really liked it
Lovely book, really a tribute to a woman who was a Buddhist saint and had a powerful effect on many. Dipa Ma (meaning mother of Dipa) was born in 1911, a descendant of the original Buddhists of India. At 12, she was married to a man of 25. Though she was drawn to meditation at an early age, she lived the life of a "householder," being a wife and mother, making her life her practice. Her meditation continued in earnest, and she attained enlightenment in an astonishingly short time, becoming the t ...more
Mike
Jan 27, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meditation, buddhism
This book is a series of stories written by people who knew Dipa Ma, a renowned meditation master within the Theravada tradition. Dipa Ma was acknowledged to have fully developed the 'supranatural powers'. She continued through cultural and institutionalized obstacles along her path as a female meditator, housewife, mother, eventual meditation master and fully engaged teacher within her community.

Dipa Ma was taught by Munindra, and many well known meditation instructors in the US, including Sha
...more
Clara
Mar 05, 2012 Clara rated it liked it
Dipa Ma, someone to whom I was introduced through this book, was a much-loved and respected Buddhist practitioner and meditation teacher. Her story is an excellent example of what tenacity, dedication, and lovingkindness can accomplish, even under very trying circumstances. Dipa Ma ("mother of Dipa," her daughter's name) was prevented from learning and practicing meditation until she was in her forties. Her husband had died of a heart attack, she was poor and a single mother, and a woman in an e ...more
Sydney
Apr 04, 2015 Sydney rated it it was amazing
It might seem cheesy, but when reading about Dipa Ma, I always get chills. I tend to air on the side of secularism and rationality... ok, actually maybe not always... But here's the thing: it doesn't really matter that Dipa Ma may or may not have been able to levitate, be in two places and once and perform other magical feats. It just makes this book more fun to read. Here's what matters: when asked what she remembers most about Dipa Ma, Sharon Salzberg said "Dipa Ma really loved me." If hearing ...more
Lawrence Rao
Jul 14, 2015 Lawrence Rao rated it really liked it
In a lineage where you find mostly men, Dipa ma was a female householder, a mother, a grandmother.......and an enlightened master...excelling her teachers. This short frail woman who is virtually unknown to the general public....has been the teacher of many of the zen masters who originally brought Buddha's teaching to the West.

Dipa Ma's life is very inspiring and it gives great hope for householders like me. The fact that Dipa Ma was able to bring mindfulness to everyday mundane activities fro
...more
Juergen
May 06, 2013 Juergen rated it it was amazing
A short read but an absolute gem. Along with "Living this Life Fully," about Anagarika Munindra, this book is indispensable in understanding modern Dharma transmission in the West. Munindra and Dipa Ma were two of the most important influences for teachers such as Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg and a host of others.

Dipa Ma's personal story of suffering is heart breaking, relatable and ultimately inspiring. The short chapter on attainments along the path of insight is golden. It seems in the
...more
Jo
Jun 27, 2016 Jo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, buddhism
So happy to learn more of Dipa Ma, a rare female Buddhist master. She opened up the teachings to householders in Calcutta, especially to women, whom she advised to meditate as much as they could (even just 5 minutes) and to practice mindfulness throughout the day. Thus, there was a pathway to awakening even for these hard working women. She taught Joseph Goldstein, Sylvia Boorstein, Sharon Salzberg, and Jack Kornfield in India in the '70s, and taught retreats at Insight Meditation Society in Mas ...more
Michele
Jan 12, 2014 Michele rated it it was amazing
The hope and optimism of the life of Dipa Ma is wonderfully captured in this short and inspirational biography. While she was an extraordinary woman and overcame many obstacles to reach a state of peace, the stories of the people she touched and the lives she transformed is most extraordinary to me and very stirring.

The constant practice of metta (loving-kindness) by Dipa Ma is beautiful and has made me examine my own, often frustrated, interactions with my surroundings. She overcame tragedy an
...more
Jason
Jan 24, 2011 Jason rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible and inspiring book that radiates with the beauty of meditation, Buddhist practice, and the possibility of enlightenment. There are a lot of books that emphasize how much work it can be to meditate and be mindful; this is a book about the fruits of practice as realized in the life of one woman. If you're looking for a book on Buddhism that is most of all inspiring, I would recommend this book first. Many stories of Dipa Ma from those who knew her and were touched by her life ...more
Darren
Nov 20, 2014 Darren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The website dipama.org at end of book is no longer available. Would be nice if someone with money and resources to start new website would do that. The more you give the more you receive. I would do it myself, but it would be many lifetimes before I would accomplish it.

Wish she would have started meditation earlier than 45 even if in secret. I hope things have or will change in India to prevent something like this from happening again. She could have changed so many more lives if only the time
...more
Craig Bergland
A nice, if somewhat brief, look at Buddhist teacher Dipa Ma. Perhaps the most fascinating part of her story is that she was a householder who taught that it was possible to awaken no matter how busy we are. Having been exposed to some stories about Dipa Ma prior to reading this book, I thought there were some holes in the narrative - but it still makes a nice introduction to her life and teaching.
Ojaiandrew
May 14, 2013 Ojaiandrew rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite books - one of the very few that I return to over and over. It is the incredibly inspirational story of one woman's tragedies and her journey toward awakening. She became teacher to many well known western meditation teachers. I've given many copies away to friends. My only regret is that I gave my copy with color photos away and the new ones are black and white. Highly recommended.
Laura
Feb 17, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
I loved this book despite the fact that it seemed to be written at an 8th grade reading level. It is the story of a rare female Buddist master, Dipa Ma (1911-89) explaining her path from being a 12-year-old bride to a revered practioner and teacher. Most of the book is a collection of memories shared by people she taught and influenced during her lifetime. Through reading this, Dipa Ma has inspired me to practice meditation more diligently, and to continue my efforts at spiritual growth.
Carol
Jul 11, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book. It really makes you feel connected to Dipa Ma, and inspired by her. Dipa Ma shows how we can deepen our practice even as a householder, a mother, a grandmother, a widow, without lots of money, any condition a woman can find herself in is not an obstacle to living the dharma.

Highly recommended.
Sunshine
Great overall. The section that talks about her being in multiple places and what-have-you was a little too out of the realm of reliability/belief for me to rate this any higher than three stars. If that part was excluded the whole book would have been better as a whole. Forget the crazy parts and it was decent!!!
Stefan
Jul 21, 2013 Stefan rated it really liked it
A simple and straightforward read, consisting mostly of quotes and stories from a variety of people about Dipa Ma. Very inspiring to feel the zest and energy this little lady brought into her practice. Recommended reading for meditators and aspiring Buddhas.
Pake Hall
May 05, 2015 Pake Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zen
A very loving portrait of Dipa Ma, a Buddhist meditation master and "Saint" or bodhisattva. Her example is truly inspiring, we can all wake up in whatever circumstances we live. Her words strike a chord in me and I am grateful that this book gives me a chance to connect to her life and teachings.
Aditya
May 21, 2012 Aditya rated it it was amazing
A huge dose of inspiration for those who want to practice while being laity. Every visit to this book is a shot in the arm. Every page of this book is bright light.
Ian Birlem
Jun 11, 2013 Ian Birlem rated it it was amazing
my daily inspiration, a householder who surmounted staggering personal tragedy to gain the highest levels of enlightenment
Jmp
Mar 11, 2015 Jmp rated it really liked it
Wonderful biography. Good photographs. lovely life.
Mary
May 28, 2007 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: political, biography
I like memoirs. This is an inspiring picture of a deeply spiritual Buddhist practitioner.
Bethany Weathersbee
Jun 02, 2015 Bethany Weathersbee rated it it was amazing
I found this book just as I was wondering if there were any woman Buddhist monks to read about. She really seemed lovely.
Michelle Koen
Nov 10, 2016 Michelle Koen rated it really liked it
Dipa Ma's boundless love shines through in this book. There are some beautiful accounts of her life but the continuous quotes from her students became tiresome towards the end of the book.
Gary
Oct 27, 2012 Gary rated it it was amazing
A super inspirational book. I "heard" Dipa Ma's voice while reading, encouraging me to practice MORE! Totally entertaining read.
Sarah
Mar 08, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
A very simple collection of memoirs and stories from Dipa Ma's students, but very enjoyable and inspirational to read about this extraordinary-yet-ordinary person.
Jennifer
Feb 04, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
The book is a 4, but Dipa Ma is a 5: the Nike spokeswoman of meditation: JUST DO IT!
em
Jan 12, 2016 em rated it it was amazing
Very touching story of Dipa Ma. Inspiring even for non-Buddhists. Recommended for anyone who wants to be inspired, without feeling the weight of religion.
Joan
Joan rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2013
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“Sự giác ngộ -- sự giải thoát hoàn toàn của tâm và trí -- là mục đích của đời sống con người và là lý do căn bản của việc tu tập thiền định. Bà nhắc đi nhắc lại, chẳng hề mệt mỏi, với các học viên của bà: "Các bạn phải thực tập cho đến ít nhứt là giai đoạn đầu của sự chứng ngộ. Bằng không, các bạn đã phí mất cuộc sống làm người.” 0 likes
“Kinh nghiệm về giác ngộ là sự xả bỏ cái "tự ngã". Qua bao năm, tôi đã từng thấy nhiều người đã thể nghiệm sự chứng ngộ và dùng nó để tạo thêm tự ngã. Họ bám vào kinh nghiệm đó và tự đồng hoá với nó. Ðó là đã lạc mất mục tiêu rồi, và gây thêm ra rất nhiều đau khổ.” 0 likes
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