Books by Tom Swiss
Thanks for your interest in my books. If you're considering purchasing please consider this: I get a small royalty if you buy directly from the publisher (or printer, for Lulu books), or a much smaller royalty if you buy from a retailer like Powell's or Amazon or the independent bookseller of your choice. But you can also order signed copies from me for just a few dollars more. Click on a title to go to that book's own page.
Why Buddha Touched the Earth
Zen Paganism for the 21st Century
"Swiss has clearly done his research, but he maintains a friendly tone reminiscent of Zen koans as he covers centuries of history.... It’s a thought-provoking, fascinating read, and one that I am likely to revisit in the future." – Jen McConnel, The Busy Witch (Patheos)
"As Western Pagans seek to reflect on what it might mean to seek “awakening” within their traditions, the type of conscious syncretism that Tom is proposing provides an interesting starting point. This is a highly readable and at times iconoclastic book that provides a good insight into the journey of a spiritually creative explorer. Dear reader, I commend it to you!" – Steve Davies, The Blog of Baphomet
Shortly before his death, John Lennon called himself a “Zen Pagan.” With this he gave an excellent name to a religious trend that goes back at least as far as Henry David Thoreau, who wrote of his love and respect for both the ancient nature god Pan and the Buddha.
The connection between Buddhism and nature spirituality is ancient. According to legends of the Buddha's enlightenment, in his hour of need he asked the Earth to bear him witness rather than appealing to a heavenly deity. Over the centuries Buddhism influenced and was influenced by nature religions like Taoism and Shintō, while its introduction to the West came partly through spiritual nature writers like Thoreau and Gary Snyder. Occultists Aleister Crowley and H.P. Blavatsky played key roles in both Buddhist and Neopagan history.
Why Buddha Touched the Earth investigates the rise of Buddhism as a world religion during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, its relationship to the Neopagan movement, and how both are related to the extraordinary changes civilization has seen since the Industrial Revolution. It combines rigorous history with lively and practical discussions of mysticism, magic, meditation, ethics, and the future of religion in a scientific age.
What Does It Mean For The Gods To Exist?
and other essays
What is a god? What does it mean to exist?
Can one be both an atheist and a Pagan?
Do ancient spiritual traditions have any lessons relevant to the Ferguson and Baltimore Uprisings?
Could the Buddha legitimately be called a humanistic Pagan?
Is nudity – going “skyclad” – too wild for modern spiritual seekers?
Does the culture of Burning Man share values with the modern Pagan revival?
Explore these and other questions in this collection by one of the most original and outspoken writers in contemporary Paganism. Includes twenty-six pieces by Tom Swiss, including his complete run on the Patheos Pagan “Agora” blog.
Free Ebook!: What Does It Mean For the Gods to Exist is also avavailable in a free-of-charge, CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 edition for you to share and enjoy. This Creative Commons edition contains all of the original text, but also interrupts you several times to ask you to support the author — sort of like a public television or radio pledge drive.
More information, or