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Be an Island

The Buddhist Practice of Inner Peace

Published by Wisdom Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

From the best-selling author of Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, Ayya Khema's Be an Island guides us along the path of Buddhist meditation with direct and practical advice, giving us contemplative tools to develop a healthy sense of personal being. Be an Island is at once an introduction to the teachings of Buddhism and a rich continuation of Ayya Khema's personal vision of Buddhist practice.

About The Author

Born in Berlin in 1923 to Jewish parents, Ayya Khema was educated in Scotland and China and later emigrated to the United States. The author of twenty-five books, she was ordained as a nun in Sri Lanka in 1979 and established several Buddhist centers, including Wat Buddha Dhamma in Australia, Parapuddua Nun's Island in Sri Lanka, and Buddha Haus in Germany. In 1987 she coordinated the first-ever International Conference of Buddhist Nuns. She passed away in 1997.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (March 1, 1999)
  • Length: 160 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861719099

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Raves and Reviews

"Real warmth of heart pervades the Ayya's expositions which in their directness and fresh immediacy also touch the heart of the interested reader."

– The Middle Way

"She was a woman of great heart and vision, and unshakable courage. She was one of the Buddha's lions. May her roar echo in these pages and out across the world to generations of followers-of-the-way to come."

– Sandy Boucher, from her Foreword

"This book offers guidance along the path of Buddhist meditation with direct and practical advice. Ayya Khema's words are clear and straightforward, conveying depth and insight."

– The Beacon

"An inspiring guide to the timeless wisdom of the Buddha's teaching...Be an Island is the kind of book that, sentence by sentence, can be the subject of profound reflection or be lightly read... This indeed is a book that is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good at the end."

– The Middle Way

"In her strongly feminine voice she covers such topics as harmonious living and controlling the mind. An accessible guide for integrating practice into daily life."

– Library Journal

"[A]n articulate, informative, and inspiring work on the Buddhist practice of meditation...Be an Island is a tremendous and much appreciated contribution to Buddhist studies."

– Wisconsin Bookwatch

"Offers practical advice and helpful tips on meditation along with an introduction to the major principles of Buddhism."

– Publishers Weekly

"[This] calm, soberly written treatise reviews the path to enlightenment as a form of the search for personal and inner peace."

– Library Journal

"Like her namesake, this popular Western-born follower of the Dhamma brings an exceptional facility with words to 24 essays, accessible to the seasoned practitioner and neophyte alike...Khema offers direct and practical wisdom...Her words, simple and direct without being sharp, expertly peel away the veils of illusion to reveal the calm island of inner peace that resides within."


"In Be an Island, [Khema] writes of taking refuge in the Three Jewels 'as a kind of love affair,' recommends 'stretching the mind to the impossible,' and points out the path to achieving liberation in the present moment. There is sage advice in this book for beginners and advanced practitioners alike."

– Tricycle

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