Saturday, 20 September 2014

MANUAL OF INSIGHT - LEDI SAYADAW


MANUAL OF INSIGHT - LEDI SAYADAW

RATING: B+

A well laid out book giving detailed explanation of insight meditation basics. If you require precise details and explained lists, this is a good guide. Although coming from Theravada/Pali texts, the book was written many decades ago by a learned man additionally aware of Mahayana practices for a Western audience. For once, I do not have to decipher the Westernization to understand the book.

I would recommend this book to all Buddhist practitioners seeking to follow a sensible course of insight meditation.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

SATIPATTHANA VIPASSANA - MAHASI SAYADAW

SATIPATTHANA VIPASSANA - MAHASI SAYADAW

RATING: B

A descriptive account of mindfulness meditation. I sometimes practice Theravada meditations alongside my usual practices in order to refine and improve areas of mindfulness and insight. This is a helpful book in such respect.

I would recommend this book to Theravada practitioners along with those wishing to improve their mindfulness meditation.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

FOREST MEDITATIONS - BHIKKHU KHANTIPALO








FOREST MEDITATIONS - BHIKKHU KHANTIPALO

RATING: B

This book covers the verses of Arahant Talaputa Thera along with a commentary given to explain them. One of the first book on Buddhism I read was the life story of Acariya Mun, which is mentioned within this book. Yet again, as explained in recent posts, to hear a new version of an already known Dharma point can often be helpful for both revision and continuation of practice.

Theravada monks use a different language, based on Pali translations, for explaining Buddhism which I find easier to understand than many of the Western commentaries that use modern Western terminology that I have some difficulty with. It is therefore helpful for me to hear the same points rendered in different ways so I can pick up any point that I might have missed due to Sanskrit/Tibetan translation into modern English/American terms. This book also taught me a new word in my own language - I had never heard of 'horripilation' before.

I would therefore recommend this book to Buddhist practitioners seeking clarification or elaboration from another viewpoint on Buddhist basics as well as Theravada Buddhists.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

THREE CARDINAL DISCOURSES OF THE BUDDHA - NANAMOLI THERA


THREE CARDINAL DISCOURSES OF THE BUDDHA - NANAMOLI THERA

RATING: B

Another short book dealing with Theravada Buddhist scriptures. From time to time, I like to refresh my knowledge and practice of the roots of Buddhism and find such books as this one useful for this purpose. I never know what basic truths I might have missed before and like to have a concrete understanding of the core topics.

I would recommend this book to those wanting to learn the main root beliefs of Buddhism, simplify their practice to the basics, or as a refresher.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES - E J THOMAS






BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES - E J THOMAS


RATING: B

A short collection of Theravada scriptures following an extensive introduction. The book covers the birth and passing of the Buddha along with several major teachings.

I would recommend this book to those curious about Buddhism, practitioners seeking a basic overview, and those wishing to compliment their studies with a review of the Buddha's own wording.




Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A TASTE OF FREEDOM - AJAHN CHAH


A TASTE OF FREEDOM - AJAHN CHAH

RATING: B

A short collection of transcribed talks given by Ajahn Chah. Thai Forrest monks may be far removed in style from that of my own Tibetan Nyingma lineage, but offer teachings that can clarify various fuzzy points with simple explanations. A relaxing read that provided new viewpoints on much-studied subjects.

I would recommend this book to those starting to take an interest in Buddhist theory and practice, those interested in Thai Forrest teachings, and those interested in refining their own meditation practices.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

SPACIOUSNESS - (LONGCHENPA) KEITH DOWMAN








SPACIOUSNESS - (LONGCHENPA) KEITH DOWMAN

RATING: B+

A complex read that stretched my comprehension. Whilst there is still much I will one day be able to learn from this text, at least I have made some progress already. Three specific points towards the latter half of the book stand out as particularly helpful to me - the second paragraph of Canto Eleven, the first paragraph on page 86, and the experience/phenomena explanation in Appendix 2.

I would recommend this book to Nyingma-Dzogchen students, those interested in reading Longchenpa's texts, and those who have taken a few steps in practice and seek clarification on misty matters.