Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom” as Want to Read:
The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In this “masterwork of an authentic spirit person” (Thomas Berry), Buddhist teacher and anthropologist Joan Halifax Roshi delves into “the fruitful darkness”—the shadow side of being, found in the root truths of Native religions, the fecundity of nature, and the stillness of meditation. In this highly personal and insightful odyssey of the heart and mind, she encounters Ti...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 15th 2004 by Grove Press (first published 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fruitful Darkness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fruitful Darkness

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 257)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Trishuwa Trishuwa
I read The Fruitful Darkness when it was first published in 1993. Since then I have opened its pages hundreds of times thinking I will read just one chapter and find myself reading into the early hours of morning. Prose like poetry capturing the mind, spirit and heart, easy to read and yet Joan Halifax's words invite you to think deeply and harvest new awarenesses. Just reading the capture titles take you on a journey: The World Wound, The Way of Silence, The Way of Tradition, The Way of the Mou...more
Gwendoline Van
Probably the most influential book I've read this year, if not to date. I've turned over Joan Halifax's wisdom since first picking up the book and as I continue to reread favorite passages.

How she weaves together Buddhism, elder culture worldviews, and nature-based traditions is brilliant, provocative, and utterly vital. We do suffer an existential crisis of severe disconnection, and The Fruitful Darkness paves the way for a close listen, communion, and a life lived as one.

A must read for anyo...more
Leela Francis
Excellent book, one of my favorites for journeying into the heart and psyche of a deeply spiritual woman.
Taylor Ellwood
This is a semi-autobiography that also explores Buddhist and Shamanic practices. I found it to be an insightful read, with many statements that caused me to pause and ponder them in relationship to my own life and spiritual practice. I especially liker the author's thoughts on stillness and silence, and found them quite useful to consider during a time when I'm in a period of transition. This is a book you'll read again and discover new insights each time.
I heard about this book in the bibliography of another, and almost returned it without reading as I thought this would be another dry academic tome. I am so glad that I decided to give it a try instead. In this book, Joan's wisdom shines through in the same crystalline manner as that of Thich Nhat Han, John Fire Lame Deer, and Annie Dillard. This is a book I will return to again and again as it holds a powerful message of unity and love for all reality. Drawing on Joan Halifax's decades of exper...more
"Benedicto:May your trails be crooked,
dangerous, leading to the most amazing
where something strange and more beautiful
and more full of wonder than your deepest
waits for you~~~
beyond the next turning of the canyon

edward abbey
Stace ginsburg
before she became a roshi she was a psychodelic explorer of altered realities. through shamanism, tibetan buddhism and earth-based spirituality, halifax speaks from experiential understanding.
Amanda Wilch
Amanda Wilch marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2014
Andrew Dekkinga
Andrew Dekkinga marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
William Hall
William Hall marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2014
Steady Motion
Steady Motion marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
Ryan is currently reading it
Sep 27, 2014
Nichole marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2014
Daniel Prasetyo
Daniel Prasetyo marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
Sophie marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2014
Jorge Gómez
Jorge Gómez marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
Zeno marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2014
Diana marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2014
Naila Hashmi
Naila Hashmi marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2014
Jack marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2014
Kristen marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2014
Shawn marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Joan Halifax is a Zen Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, ecologist, civil rights activist, hospice caregiver, and the author of several books on Buddhism and spirituality. She currently serves as abbot of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Halifax has received dharma transmission from both Bernard Glassman and Thich Nhat Hanh, and studied under Korean master Seung Sahn. In the 1970s she coll...more
More about Joan Halifax...
Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death Shamanic Voices: A Survey of Visionary Narratives Shaman: The Wounded Healer (The Illustrated library of sacred imagination) A Buddhist Life in America: Simplicity in the Complex Seeing Inside

Share This Book

“Being vegetarian here also means that we do not consume dairy and egg products, because they are products of the meat industry. If we stop consuming, they will stop producing. Only collective awakening can create enough determination for action.” 39 likes
“This stuff of a past not worthily lived is also medicine.” 7 likes
More quotes…