Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Resources & Library => Book Recommendations => Topic started by: Matthew on April 13, 2010, 07:46:13 AM

Title: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: Matthew on April 13, 2010, 07:46:13 AM

In his latest book Bhante Gunaratana addresses the lack of Shamatha and Jhana in modern Buddhism, as it has transitioned to the west. He is one of the few people starting to place an emphasis on such practice.
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: not me on September 21, 2010, 07:52:40 PM
This book is my current subject of study. I find its contents more challenging to comprehend than its predecessor, but no less compelling.
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: Matthew on September 21, 2010, 09:52:36 PM
Steve,

There is never an experience that can replace the experience itself - not reading a book, hearing a story - or anything else. If you have understood the purpose of Shamatha practice and followed closely the instruction of the Buddha (which differ from Bhante Gunatarana's), then Jhana arises and is transcended to Vipassana. What goes up must come down. No point reading books that point to Mars when you haven't seen the Moon!

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: sage_caveman on January 12, 2011, 05:25:01 PM
Hello,

My first post here:)

Mindfulness In Plain English is the only book about meditation I've read so far. I'm keen to read a book which elaborates on Shamatha. I've researched this forum, many comments on amazon.com and came to the conclusion that Bhante Gunatarana is reliable source of information about meditation.

"If you have understood the purpose of Shamatha practice and followed closely the instruction of the Buddha (which differ from Bhante Gunatarana's)(...)"

 Now I'm shocked and don't know what to think? What do you mean? Could you write more? What would you recommend a newbie after reading above-mentioned book?:)

Regards
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: Matthew on January 12, 2011, 11:20:01 PM
Welcome sage - or do you prefer caveman?

I do recommend the book. Just ignore everything about your nose.

The Buddha taught, "The monk having taken himself to a secluded spot, sits on the floor. Having established mindfulness to the fore, he breathes in sensitive to the entire body and calming the entire body. He breathes out sensitive to the entire body and calming the entire body."

If you want to know why search the forum for Vagus Nerve and read my posts on it.

Warm regards, and have no fear - Bhante Gunaratana is a good teacher. The Buddha never mentions noses though. The word used in Pali is Paramukham which could mean "about" or "fully" + "face" or "facing". The correct interpretation is "fully facing the object of meditation"  (always an aspect of self) - it is the beginning, the middle and the end of meditation.

(Here comes the spoiler - at the end you realise there is no one to face because you have removed the conditioning that leads to the sense of self "I, me and mine".) Then you are truly alive.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: Morning Dew on January 13, 2011, 10:00:10 AM
Quote
(Here comes the spoiler - at the end you realise there is no one to face because you have removed the conditioning that leads to the sense of self "I, me and mine".) Then you are truly alive.

Man, that would be the day to celebrate  :D  

BTW I have the book but feel it is not right time to read it.
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: atalero on January 13, 2011, 07:04:28 PM
Thanks for spoiling the ending Matthew...Sheeeesh!

Kidding, of course :)
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: Morning Dew on January 13, 2011, 09:15:50 PM
Cut off the nose! No nose, you hear!

LoL ha ha ha

Man too much dopamine Im telling ya. I better go to sleep now and calm down.

Good night ya all

Che freindly
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: sage_caveman on January 15, 2011, 06:29:51 PM
Thanks for an interesting answer(s) :) My mistake though, I've just read a topic about Shamatha....:)

I ordered the book, but I'll postpone reading it for a few weeks/months, cause I already got too many informations about meditation in my head. It turned out that the more the better principle is not applicable to meditation :)

Regards

P.S I'm a sage caveman :)
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: Matthew on January 20, 2011, 02:27:48 PM
sage caveman

My practice, orientation, school or tradition tells you my take on this: "Keep It Simple".

Words can cloud or aid understanding. In the beginning there is calm abiding practice as the first stage towards change. This leads to a reduction of words swimming round your head so less reading is often a wise choice once you have enough confidence to actually practice and work with the technique.

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English
Post by: Jhana4 on February 05, 2011, 11:31:02 AM
I never would have heard about this book if not for this thread, thanks for posting.