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.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

VIVID AWARENESS - KHENCHEN THRANGU


VIVID AWARENESS - KHENCHEN THRANGU

RATING: A+

This text matches my level of understanding and backs up my findings so far. Matters are simply explained that I have already fully or partially discovered. What is written, I too have learned to be the truth. I can relate above averagely to this book, which both confirms my learning and gives new guidance for my next steps. Chapter six clears up a major quandary for me. The practices in chapter 17 are helpful. They remind me of when I was a child, staring at the bedroom light and watching colored blobs issue out...

I would recommend the book to the serious student/practitioner. I would also recommend it to those who practice Vajrayana and seek clarification or to deal with uncertain matters.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

GESTURE OF AWARENESS - CHARLES GENOUD



GESTURE OF AWARENESS - CHARLES GENOUD


RATING: B-

This appears to be a book of verse, if glancing through without reading. It turned out to be a strange collection of words assembled more to twist the mind from normal understandings than to teach in a traditional way. I particularly admired the environmental quotation on page 75 & chapters 'Red Sunflower', 'Nagarjuna', and 'Hopi' were meaningful to my current level of comprehension.

I would recommend this book to those interested in philosophical expansion, opening up the mind to new ways of seeing things, and contemplative awareness as well as those seeking a 'different' sort of book to read.



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

EMOTIONAL AWARENESS - HHDL & PAUL EKMAN







EMOTIONAL AWARENESS - HHDL & PAUL EKMAN

RATING: B-

I related well to HHDL's side of the conversation, probably as I have read so many Buddhist books and have never been in touch with my own Western culture. I can answer the question posed regarding whether or not it is possible to change ones emotional profile - YES! (I did). I enjoyed the analogy on page 68-9 regarding kindergarten/doctorate. I found the mention of emotional resonance and meta attention relatable - in that these are two areas with which I have personal experience. I give the thumbs up to the Darwin quote on page 149. In the section referent to recognition of/avoidance of emotions, I tend to find the hardest part easy and easiest part hard - as usual.

I would recommend the book to those interested in Buddhist psychology, HHDL's views, or understanding emotions.