The World Could Be Otherwise: Imagination and the Bodhisattva Path



by Norman Fischer

An imaginative approach to spiritual practice in difficult times, through the Buddhist teaching of the six paramitas or "perfections" — qualities that lead to kindness, wisdom, and an awakened life.

In frightening times, we wish the world could be otherwise. With a touch of imagination, it can be. Imagination helps us see what’s hidden, and it shape-shifts reality’s roiling twisting waves. In this inspiring reframe of a classic Buddhist teaching, Zen teacher Norman Fischer writes that the paramitas, or “six perfections” — generosity, ethical conduct, patience, joyful effort, meditation, and understanding — can help us reconfigure the world we live in.

Ranging from our everyday concerns about relationships, ethics, and consumption to our artistic inspirations and broadest human yearnings, Fischer depicts imaginative spiritual practice as a necessary resource for our troubled times.

Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications (April 30, 2019)

A powerful exploration of the Buddhist practice of the Six Perfections, this extraordinary book points toward the great possibilities of goodness resting at the center of the human heart.
— Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying
A gentle, brilliant, and inspiring road map to a life of happiness and integrity for us individualistic and subversive thinkers who are weary of dogma and preaching.
— Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis
With poetic gesture and prompts from the Buddha’s teachings, beloved spiritual teacher Norman Fischer leads us on a well-seasoned path toward a kind of imagining of our world that goes far beyond our minds. In fact, we might fall into our own hearts along the way.
— Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, author of The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender
This book illuminates the difference between unimaginative religion and the open vision of possibility that authentic religion enables. A unique contribution to a vital dimension of Buddhism, written by someone who has long practiced what he is teaching.
— Dale S. Wright, author of The Six Perfections and What Is Buddhist Enlightenment?

Available from Shambhala Publications by clicking the ‘Find’ button, above.
Also available at Amazon & Indiebound and other booksellers.

See also:

Readings & Workshops

Reviews & Interviews