Posted on | September 30, 2014 | No Comments
The Sublime Attitudes (brahmaviharas) are the Buddha’s primary heart teachings — the ones that connect most directly with our desire for true happiness. They’re the qualities of heart that motivated the Buddha to find awakening and then to teach the path of awakening to others. At the same time, they function as part of the path itself. This means that the wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings—its “head” aspect—has to be understood in terms of these heart qualities. At the same time, though, these heart qualities have to be understood in terms of the “head” teachings on how cause and effect, in our actions, can bring about genuine happiness. Only when head and heart are brought together in this way can the path yield its full results.
Download The Sublime Attitudes – A Study Guide on the brahmaviharas here (111 pages/660 Kb):
Posted on | September 28, 2014 | No Comments
Life and Teachings of Tukaram, written J. Nelson Fraser and J.F. Edwards was initially published in India in 1922. Saint Tukaram (believed born in 1577) was brought up as a farmer near Pune in Maharashtra, India. He is known mainly for his poetry in praise for the aspect of Vishnu, Vithobe and involvement in the Bhakti Movement, a hindu reform movement challenging the caste system and limitations on religious and educational practices established by leading castes. Many translations of Tukaram were done by Mahatma Gandhi in Yerwada Central Jail between 15-10-1930 to 28-10-1930. This book is both a biography and an introduction to Tukaram’s art and teaching.
Download the free pdf ebook here (367 pages/ 37 MB):
Posted on | September 25, 2014 | No Comments
The Buddha’s path consists of three trainings: training in heightened virtue; in heightened mind, or concentration; and in heightened discernment. Although all three are essential for Awakening, the Buddha often singled out the second training for special attention. Ajaan Lee does the same in the talks translated here.
In previous collections of Ajaan Lee’s talks, the main focus has been on technique. Here the focus is more on attitudes to bring to the practice of concentration. In some cases, Ajaan Lee shows the importance of concentration by exploring its role in the path of practice as a whole. Download The Heightened Mind here (92 pages/1 MB):
Posted on | August 10, 2014 | No Comments
Beyond Coping with the subtitle: A Study Guide on Aging, Illness, Death, & Separation consist of five passages derived from the Pali Canon. The book gives specific advice on how to deal with problems of aging, etc. The Buddha’s teachings on kamma provide an important underpinning for how problems of pain and illness can be approached. Thus some of the passages focus on how practicing the Dhamma can cure a person of illness, whereas others focus on how the Dhamma can ensure that, even though a person may die from an illness, the illness will make no inroads on the mind.
Posted on | August 9, 2014 | 1 Comment
The Basic Method of Meditation by Ajahn Brahmavamso is a guide to getting started with meditation practice. Unlike many of the books here it is for the absolute beginner. Ajahn Brahmavamso writes in the foreword that meditation is the way to achieve letting go: In meditation one lets go of the complex world outside in order to reach the serene world inside. In all types of mysticism, in many traditions, this is known as the path to the pure and powerful mind. The experience of this pure mind, released from the world, is very wonderful and blissful. Often with meditation there will be some hard work at the beginning, but be willing to bear that hard work knowing that it will lead you to experience some very beautiful and meaningful states. They will be well worth the effort!
Posted on | August 3, 2014 | 1 Comment
Concentration and Meditation was written by Swami Paramananda (1884–1940) and published in USA in 1912. He was a practitioner and teacher of vedanta. He was a pupil of the better known Swami Vivekananda and he became a member of the Ramakrishna order on his seventeenth birthday. A few years later he assisted in establishing the first vedanta center in USA. It still exists today. In Concentration and Meditation he outlines the fundamental mindset necessary in order to initiate meditation:
“As long as we identify ourselves with conditions, we suffer ; but when we cease to identify ourselves with these passing conditions, we never really suffer.”
Download Concentration and Meditation here (88 pages/4.13 MB):
Posted on | August 3, 2014 | No Comments
Meditations VOL I-V by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) in an impressive collection of dhamma talks held at the Metta Forest Monastery over years on a range of topics. The talks are very readable for both the experienced monk and the layman. As the foreword to the fifth volume states: the Buddha himself taught the Dhamma in very simple terms. And all the teachings derived from a few very basic, very commonsensical principles. You might call it wisdom for dummies: the kind of wisdom that comes from looking at what’s actually going on in your life, asking some very basic questions, and applying a few very basic principles to solve your big problems.
Posted on | August 1, 2014 | No Comments
With each and every breath – A guide to meditation by Thanissaro Bhikku. The meditation techniques taught in this book are skills aimed at solving the mind’s most basic problem: the stress and suffering it brings on itself through its own thoughts and actions. Even though the mind wants happiness, it still manages to weigh itself down with mental pain. In fact, that pain comes from the mind’s misguided efforts to find happiness. Thanissaro states that meditation helps to uncover the reasons for why the mind does this and, in uncovering them, helps you to cure them. In curing them, it opens you to the possibility of genuine happiness, a happiness you can rely on, a happiness that will never change or let you down.keep looking »