Mindfulness in Plain English: 20th Anniversary Edition Paperback – Sep 6 2011
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If you'd like to read about meditation and then go back to your regular life, don't get this book. Henepola Gunaratana, a monk from Sri Lanka and venerated teacher of Buddhism, warns us that vipassana meditation is "meant to revolutionize the whole of your life experience." In one of the best nuts-and-bolts meditation manuals, he lays out the fundamentals of basic Buddhist meditation, the how, what, where, when, and why, including common problems and how to deal with them. His 52 years as a Buddhist monk make Mindfulness in Plain English an authority on a living tradition, and his years of teaching in America and elsewhere give it the clarity and straightforwardness that has made it so popular. If you'd like to learn the practice of meditation, you can't do better. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A masterpiece." (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
"A classic--one of the very best English sources for authoritative explanations of mindfulness." (Daniel Goleman)
"Of great value to newcomers... especially people without access to a teacher." (Larry Rosenberg, author of Breath by Breath)
"This book is the bible of mindfulness." (Barry Boyce, editor of Mindful magazine and The Mindfulness Revolution)
"Wonderfully clear and straightforward." (Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace)
"Pithy and practical." (Shambhala Sun)
"Jargon-free." (USA Today)
"Among the very best." (Tricycle)
"A classic." (Inquiring Mind)
"Profound...a classic interpretation of Vipassana meditation practice." (The Middle Way)
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Top Customer Reviews
But, in addition to providing the detailed nuts and bolts the author also explains why you should meditate and what you can get out of it.
The specificity of the instruction is what sets this book apart. Yes, his is not the only way to do it. But, if you are starting out new this is exactly the type of book that will provide a road map for you. As you read more, attend classes, or a sitting group you can modify your practice. But even with such this book provides much helpful and specific advice of how to do it and what to do when problems arise. Which they will.
In addition, the author's explanations of the whys of meditation have a surprising depth on re-read. Surprising because of their straight forward presentation. I've found revisiting the book most helpful.
In "Mindfulness" you will gain an understanding of what mindfullness is, how to cultivate it both during sitting practice and the rest of the time, tips on how to sit and how to overcome some of the most common distractions (including your feet going to sleep and your back hurting), and what to look for and what to avoid. I have not been practicing meditation for long, and this book was of enormous value in helping me identify the things I was doing that served as barriers to effective insight meditation, as well as giving me ideas on how to enhance the effectiveness of my meditation.
This is an extremely practical book for the western practitioner. It draws heavily upon the Buddhist paradigm, but the techniques for effective meditation cross all sect boundaries, and the beginning practitioner of any faith will find this book of enormous benefit. I would strongly encourage the reader to suppliment this book with "The Miracle of Mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hahn. The two together are a delightfully easy to read but complete and well rounded introduction to the practices of Insight Meditation. If you want to know how but don't want to hire a Yogi to translate, this book is the place to start.
While the "how-to" content was sufficient, the author's rambling was distracting. After a while, I found myself ultimately having to skim for the morcels of good stuff.
To the author: Please, next time, spare the editorialising and overuse of adjectives. I also purchased, but have yet to read, "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness : Walking the Buddha's Path" (by this author). I hope it does not contain as many words serving only to fill space. I shall review that book after I read it.
Most recent customer reviews
Great book that teaches the meditation 101 with a very deep understanding, easy to read and so encouraging to obtain results thru meditation. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gilles
What a beautiful book. The language is simple, but rich and uplifting. I feel peaceful and inspired reading through any of the sections. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Bee
a masterpiece in meditation book. I read it in Korean and English two version and both are goodPublished 17 months ago by Roy
Venerable Henepola Gunaratana has written a book that is free of all the mumbo jumbo that I have found in many books on meditation. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Denis Beauchamp
I read a lot of Meditation books, including most of those on Daniel Ingram's interateddaniel website. This is one of my favourites to which i'm eager to pick up again. Read morePublished 22 months ago by AlexLimion
This book exposed some of my most basic and stupid mistakes, like confusing stupification with depth, or treating concentration as an end in itself. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2013 by Brian Griffith