Sunday, 15 February 2015

WHEN THINGS FALL APART - PEMA CHODRON


WHEN THINGS FALL APART - PEMA CHODRON

RATING:B-

A 22-chapter book collection coming from some of Pema Chodron's talks. Various aspects of life in the Western world and Buddhist attitudes and applications to assist us to deal with matters are given in an everyday language with a scattering of explained Tibetan words. If you simply read the book, as I did, it is a fairly quick read - but if you plan to work with each topic it can extend the length of time needed to cover a thorough reading.

I personally found the book a quick read, as whilst relating to various parts of the text I did not actually stop to practice, being mostly familiar with these practices already. However, I am still glad that i chose to read the book, as every new view on topics is helpful in the long run.

I would recommend the book to Westerners interested in a general Buddhist source of inspiration and assistance with their practice, along with those wishing to work with the various topics covered.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

BREAKING FREE - SRIMALA


BREAKING FREE - SRIMALA

RATING: C

A rather strange book, I found. The book details the life of an English woman as she goes through various stages of living her life and how learning and practicing Buddhism alters her direction. That the author spent most of their life in England and was sincerely practicing Buddhism might lead one to assume that my having been born here, spent a little more than half of my life so far living in England, and being a serious practitioner of Buddhism would allow me to find multiple connections. However, I found that there were very few similarities.

The actual autobiographical aspect was simple enough to understand, but the Buddhism it contained was so very different to the Buddhism that I practice, it was confusing and hard to find any common ground. I found it more geared towards a Hinayana than Mahayana path, although apparently it was the latter. Giving one example, the book leads one to see the practices more as stages one can struggle towards in order to succeed, rather than stages one naturally reaches due to ones practice.

I would recommend the book to those interested in general Buddhism, English Buddhism, and Western Buddhism - rather than those engrossed in Dzogchen studies or a developed practice of Tibetan Buddhism. I would also recommend this book to those who wish to read of how Buddhism can change ones life in the Western world, and those interested in reading Buddhist biographies.

Monday, 26 January 2015

WHOLESOME FEAR - LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE & KATHLEEN McDONALD


WHOLESOME FEAR - LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE & KATHLEEN McDONALD

RATING: B-

A book dealing with death, dying, how we tend to view such, and how we can learn to face such bravely. A guide to basic meditation is included to enable us to begin the journey away from fear and into understanding.

Although I have personally dealt with my own attitudes towards death prior to reading the book, I would recommend this read to those who have not yet reached a place of peace and acceptance on the subject of death.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

FEARLESS SIMPLICITY - TSOKNYI RINPOCHE


FEARLESS SIMPLICITY - TSOKNYI RINPOCHE

RATING: A

The book is divided into courses, as if one is going to eat rather than read the words. The first course relates to shamatha practice and is the best explanation of this practice that I have as yet come across. The book continues with main course and dessert, covering Dzogchen practice.

Whilst it is no substitute for a real-life master in the actual pointing out procedure, it offers extremely useful pointers, pieces of advice, and analogies to ensure one is on the correct track as one progresses with Dzogchen practice. One point that particularly stood out to me is the opportunity we have now to connect to many others, in order to remain connected so as to be of assistance in preparation for when/if we become fully enlightened.

I would recommend this book to those interested in continuing and advancing their Dzogchen practice, those wondering if the are on the right track, and those seeking additional guidance.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Books for sale... (ideal for Christmas gifts)

A few of my blog readers may be aware that I have spent almost a decade writing books as well as reading them for several decades. As a reminder to those readers, and introduction to those unaware, there follows a list of the books written and published to date:
(NB A new book is awaiting a local history publisher's decision, while 2 more books are in the process of being edited/typed up ready for publication via Winterbear)

Brand new Books for sale:

* Autobiography/spiritual philosophy.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/sand-dee-rose-waybill/from-the-spring-of-fall/paperback/product-380152.html
* Sci-fi.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/madeliaette-winterbear/cemithualtin/paperback/product-583230.html
*Poetry.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/sand-dee-rose-waybill/your-world-my-words/paperback/product-561377.html
* Fiction.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/madeliaette-winterbear-and-jennifer-a-smith/men-making-music/paperback/product-830382.html
* Diary style/partial autobiography.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/sand-dee-r-waybill/the-fortieth-year-of-a-wollongong-woman/paperback/product-3375718.html
* Fiction.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/madeliaette-winterbear/village-shake/paperback/product-4780357.html
* Concerning the music scene in San Francisco during the 2000-2005 era.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/sand-dee-waybill/san-francisco-music-vibes-of-the-2000s/paperback/product-561383.html
* Poetry.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/sand-dee-waybill/third-eye-thru-open-mouth/paperback/product-677162.html
* Ornithology book concerning the Illawarra region of NSW, Australia.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/sand-dee-r-waybill/our-australian-feathered-friends/paperback/product-2332014.html
* Poetry.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/sand-dee-r-waybill/bowling-cherries-blowing-raspberries/paperback/product-3532746.html
* Support in making the most of/giving purpose to our lives.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/sand-dee-r-waybill/life-appreciation/paperback/product-5383659.html

These books are also available as Ebooks (cheaper) - just click thru to locate them from the links given.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

LIGHT OF FEARLESS INDESTRUCTIBLE WISDOM - KHENPO TSEWANG DONGYAL


LIGHT OF FEARLESS INDESTRUCTIBLE WISDOM - KHENPO TSEWANG DONGYAL

RATNG: B


A complete biography, from former lives to left behind students, of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, an extremely important figure in the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Written predominantly by one of his students, the book contains verses from HH himself, along with details of his life and teachings given, and embellished with poetic verses written by the author.

I would recommend this book to Nyingma students, Tibetan Buddhists interested in learning more about HH Dudjom Rinpoche, and those who were his students.


Saturday, 8 November 2014

LIGHT COMES THROUGH - DZIGAR KONGTRUL


LIGHT COMES THROUGH - DZIGAR KONGTRUL

RATING: B-

Personally, several pointers to assist my practice and a couple of new Tibetan words and their Buddhist meaning are contained within this book. In general, a book covering three main topics each in its own section - 5 negative emotions, relating to others, and emptiness. These tie together to explain the title.

I would recommend this book to students of DKR, along with people interested in knowing more about/practising any or all of the three sections.