Mindfulness in Plain English

Author: Bhante Gunaratana, Henepola Gunaratana
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by Citta_Viveka   2017-08-19

>In other words: 'don't worry about it, worry about it'

What do you think about the sentence after what you quoted?

>Whatever there is that arises in the mind, just watch it.

If that didn't resonate with you, here is another example, in a slightly different context but maybe more thorough — from 'Mindfulness in Plain English' page 115:

>When you first sit down to concentrate on the breath, you will be struck by how incredibly busy the mind actually is. It jumps and jibbers. It veers and bucks. It chases itself around in constant circles. It chatters. It thinks. It fantasizes and daydreams. Don't be upset about that. It's natural. When your mind wanders from the subject of meditation, just observe the distraction mindfully.

>[...]

>Make the distraction a temporary object of meditation. Please note the word temporary. It's quite important. We are not advising that you switch horses in midstream. We do not expect you to adopt a whole new object of meditation every three seconds... What is it? How strong is it? and, how long does it last? As soon as you have wordlessly answered these questions, you are through with your examination of that distraction, and you return...

by mindful_island   2017-08-19

Always glad to discuss!

I learn a lot as I try to articulate my understanding and experience. That is one of the reasons I started teaching mindfulness practice.

I've listened to a lot of Alan Watts. I love that he described himself as a "spiritual entertainer" and a "philosophical entertainer". I could listen to him talk for hours. :D

I've also listened to many videos of Tolle, he is a great guy. I haven't read books from either of them.

I've read a little about Huang Po back when I hung out in /r/zen a little. I've since moved on from that place. BTW if you ever go there, maybe you already have, take them all with a grain of salt. I think there is more to learn from the zen texts and meditation than the toxic people in that forum.

'Taking the Path of Zen' by Robert Aiken is really good. https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0865470804

'Mindfulness in Plain English' may be the best intro to mindfulness I've read. https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0861719069

'Focused and Fearless' is a very direct and simple guide to Jhana practice, or absorption concentration meditation. It describes very specifically how to reach and identify every level of Jhana. https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0861715608

'The Posture of Meditation' is a great guide to the role your body plays in meditation. It is the most in depth guide on posture, but it can be an intro to meditation in itself. The author teaches that you can read deep mindful states with only correct posture. https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1570622329

Most of those talk about actual practice, which I think is the most important.

For philosophy and understanding what is going on I highly recommend this course:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/science-of-meditation

It is a serious and lengthy course for which you will need patience to sit through lectures. An evolutionary psychologist from Princeton - Robert Wright evaluates Buddhism through the lens of modern psychology.

That was a defining course for me and gave me a lot of motivation to practice whole heartedly.

by ExitAscend   2017-08-19

Mindfulness in Plain English In a lot of ways this was like my Red Pill before the Red Pill. To quote: > “There you are, and you suddenly realize that you are spending your life barely getting by. You keep up a good front. You manage to make ends meet somehow and look okay from the outside. But those periods of desperation, those times when you feel everything caving in on you – you keep those to yourself. Meanwhile, way down under all of that, you just know there has to be a better way to live. A better way to look at the world, a way to touch life more fully. You click into it by chance now and then: you get a good job. You fall in love. You win the game. For a while, things are different. Life takes on a richness and clarity that makes all the bad times and humdrum fade away. The whole texture of your experience changes and you say to yourself. “Okay, now I’ve made it; now I will be happy.” You are left with just a memory – that, and the vague awareness that something is wrong. You fell that there really is a whole other realm of depth and sensitivity available in life; somehow you are just not seeing it. You wind up feeling cut off. You feel insulated from the sweetness of experience by some sort of sensory cotton. You are not really touching life. You are not “making it” again. Then even the vague awareness fades away, and you are back to the same old reality. The world looks like the usual foul place. It is an emotional roller coaster, and you spend a lot of your time down at the bottom of the ramp yearning for the heights”