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The Skill of Release

Posted on | December 11, 2014 | No Comments

The Skill of ReleaseThe Skill of Release – Teachings of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo.This book is written to be read for reflection, a little at a time. Many of the short passages, in particular, will reveal their meaning after repeated thought. Some of the passages will challenge many current ideas on how a Dhamma practitioner ought to communicate. As Ajaan Lee cautioned his listeners, Dhamma teachings should not be accepted or rejected right off hand. Instead, they should be listened to with an open mind and then put to the test in experience to see if they can help uncover unwitting preconceptions. The Skill of Release consists of teachings on two major themes. The first, which has provided the book with its title, is Ajaan Lee’s frequent portrayal of Buddhism as a skill. This skill involves mastery not only of the techniques of meditation, but also of adroit ways of viewing the world and events in daily life so that one can gain freedom from the burdens that the unskillful mind places on itself. This approach culminates in what he calls the skill of release, the awareness that brings about the mind’s total liberation. The second theme concerns the central role that breath meditation plays in developing this skill. For Ajaan Lee, Buddhist doctrines show their true meaning only when one refers them to the practice of keeping the breath in mind. Download The Skill of Release here (68 pages/1 MB):

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Philosophy is not a Luxury

Posted on | November 29, 2014 | No Comments

Philosophy is not a LuxuryPhilosophy is not a Luxury by Jeff Carreira. The philosophical ideas discussed in this book mainly belong to the classical American philosophers Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. These three minds were the originators of the philosophy called pragmatism, which remains to this day America’s most significant contribution to world philosophy.

The essays represent a general progression of thought, each building upon the last. They are suggested to be read as complete in themselves in order to see what questions and avenues for further inquiry they open up for you. Each essay is a snapshot, a glimpse into an extraordinary perspective on reality. They are seeds for contemplation, starting points for your own inquiry.

Jeff Carreira is the director of education at the nonprofit organization EnlightenNext. In that position he creates and organizes a global network of spiritual and philosophical education programs. Download his book here (52 pages/6.6 MB):

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The Stillness of Being

Posted on | November 26, 2014 | No Comments

Stillness of Being The Stillness of Being by Viradhammo Bhikku was published in 2005. It consists of teachings based on talks given at different monasteries in the 1980’es. Viradhammo was born in Esslingen in Germany in 1947 and while living in India he discovered Buddhism and met his teacher Samanera Bodhesako. He later travelled to Thailand to become a novice at Wat Mahathat in 1973 and took bhikkhu ordination the following year at Wat Pah Pong with Ajahn Chah. After four years in Thailand, he went to Canada to visit his family in 1977 and he was asked by Ajahn Chah to join Ajahn Sumedho at the Hampstead Vihara in London. Later, he was involved in the establishment of both the Chithurst and Harnham monasteries in the UK. In 1985 he moved to New Zealand, where he lived for 10 years, setting up Bodhinyanarama monastery. Download The Stillness of Being here (97 pages/320 Kb):

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Message from Shivette about Holybooks.com

Posted on | November 26, 2014 | 3 Comments

 

 

Right Mindfulness – Memory & Ardency on the Buddhist Path

Posted on | November 25, 2014 | No Comments

Right Mindfulness Right Mindfulness – Memory & Ardency on the Buddhist Path by Thanissaro Bhikku (Geoffry De Graff). A growing flood of books has advanced two theories about the practice of mindfulness (sati). The first is that the Buddha employed the term mindfulness to mean bare attention: a state of pure receptivity—non-reactive, non-judging, non-interfering—toward physical and mental phenomena as they make contact at the six senses. The second theory is that the cultivation of pure attention alone can bring about the goal of Buddhist practice. The premise of this book is that these approaches are highly questionable and seriously misleading. The main aim of this book is to show that the practice of mindfulness is most fruitful when informed by the Buddha’s own definition of right mindfulness and his explanations of its role on the path. As he defined the term, right mindfulness (samma-sati) is not bare attention. Instead, it’s a faculty of active memory, adept at calling to mind and keeping in mind instructions and intentions that will be useful on the path. Download Right Mindfulness here (178 pages/1.2 MB):

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Living from the Heart

Posted on | November 23, 2014 | No Comments

Living from the heartLiving from the Heart by Nirmala was written in 2008 and it is presented here with the kind permission of the author. Living from the Heart consists of three pieces exploring living from the spiritual Heart. Part One offers simple ways to drop awareness into the Heart and thereby shift into a more open, allowing perspective. It goes on to explore dropping awareness into the belly and ultimately into the larger spiritual Heart, which includes the mind, heart and belly. It turns out it doesn’t matter what you experience, what matters is where you experience it from. Part Two, The Heart’s Wisdom, explains how the Heart is a wise guide to the truth. The truth is whatever opens your Heart and quiets your mind. This definition cuts through any confusing ideas and beliefs to the direct source of wisdom and guidance available in your own Heart. Part Three, Love Is for Giving, points to the true source of love in your own Heart. The essence of love is the spacious, open attention of our awareness. It touches everything but doesn’t impose or make demands. Surprisingly, this awareness, or love, is experienced most fully when you give it to others, not when you get it from others. Download Living form the Heart here (147 pages/600 KB):

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The Buddha – The Social-Revolutionary Potential of Buddhism

Posted on | November 19, 2014 | No Comments

The Buddha - The Social-Revolutionary Potential of BuddhismThe Buddha – The Social-Revolutionary Potential of Buddhism is written by Trevor Oswald Ling. He was born in England in 1920 and during The Second World War he went to India to become a Baptist clergyman. Instead he became a student of Sanskrit, Pali and Classical Indian Literature and he had a distinguished academic career in India and England. This book was written with the intention to shake its readers into awareness of the social-revolutionary potential of Buddhism. It has two major themes. Firstly it argues that the Buddha’s message is intrinsically social, political and progressive. Secondly it implies that the message of the Buddha despite of the age, it offers us a workable guidance towards the future. Download the book here:

The Buddha – The Social-Revolutionary Potential of Buddhism

 

Fistfull of Sand & The Light of Discernment

Posted on | November 18, 2014 | No Comments

Fistfull of Sand Fistfull of Sand & The Light of Discernment are based on teachings by Phra Ajaan Suwat Suvaco. The first part, Fistfull of Sand was given during a two week retreat in 1989 with about 100 people. Throughout the retreat, Ajaan Suwat led small group interviews in the afternoon and then met with all the gathered retreatants in the evening, either to give a Dhamma talk or to answer questions. It was all recorded and transcribed in this book. This edition of Fistful of Sand also includes the talk, “The Strategy of a Peaceful Mind,” and the collection of Ajaan Suwat’s talks, The Light of Discernment, that was printed in his honor after his death on April 5, 2002. Download the book here (79 pages/612 KB):

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Approaching the Dhamma

Posted on | November 16, 2014 | No Comments

Approaching the DhammaApproaching the Dhamma is a serie of essays from the foremost scholars in Buddhism and especially the buddhist practices of Southeast Asia.  In three parts the book describes in a number of academic essays “Interpretation and Understanding”, “Ritual and Cosmology” and “Rebirth and Mental Culture. Approaching the Dhamma a is a collection of essays in honor of the late Godwin Samararatne. Although he was involved in various scholarly works, Godwin became best known as a meditation teacher, a role into which he grew over a prolonged period of time during the 1970s. Download Approaching the Dhamma here:

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Sufis of Sindh by Jotilal Jotwani

Posted on | November 15, 2014 | No Comments

Sufis of Sindh The ideal of futuwwa, or brotherhood, which was at the basis of many associations devoted to the spread of ‘purity, generosity, service of neighbouror stranger” in the pre-Islamic Arabia seems to have been adhered to the Arabian mystics before the end of the second century or in the beginning of the ninth century A.D. These mystics came to be called Sufis. The etymology of the term “Sufi” is not certain. According to some scholars, the word is connected with safi, the pure. The more general view refers it to suf or coarse wool, as these mystics used to wear woollen garments. The Sufis, being in the general framework of the shari ‘ah, the correct practice of the Quranic beliefs, followed different individual paths, or tariqah, for their spiritual endeavour. These individual differences clearly shows in this book portraying a number of Sufis from the Sindh region. The author, Dr. Jotwani was considered as one of the great research scholars of Sindhi language in India and Pakistan. He had received many awards for his literary works. Download Sufis of Sindh here (228 pages/12 MB):

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Daily Reflections – Advice from Khen Rinpoche Geshe Thubthen Chonyi

Posted on | November 14, 2014 | No Comments

Daily ReflectionsThis book then is a compilation of Khen Rinpoche’s opening remarks and motivations at a five year study program launched at Amitabha Buddhist Centre, an affiliate of the FPMT, in August 2003 at the request of its spiritual director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. These teachings offer valuable advice related to our Dharma studies and practice: how to check whether our practices are Dharma, the need for study and constant reflection on the Buddha’s teachings, and how to overcome our afflictions and problems so that we can truly benefit others. Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi has been the resident teacher of Amitabha Buddhist Centre since October 1999. He was born in Nepal in 1962 and was ordained by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 1974 at the age of twelve. Khen Rinpoche holds a Geshe Lharampa degree, which is the highest Tibetan Buddhist doctorate awarded to monks from Sera Je Monastic University. Download the free ebook here (68 pages/1.8 MB):

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Purity of Heart – Essays on the Buddhist Path by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Posted on | November 13, 2014 | No Comments

Purity of heartPurity of Heart – Essays on the Buddhist Path by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. The Buddha never placed demands on anyone’s faith. For people from a culture where the dominant religions do make such demands, this is one of Buddhism’s most attractive features. It’s especially appealing to those who—in reaction to the demands of organized religion—embrace the view of scientific empiricism that nothing deserves our trust unless it can be measured against physical data. In this light, the Buddha’s famous instructions to the Kalamas are often read as an invitation to believe, or not, whatever we like.

Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, “This contemplative is our teacher.” When you know for yourselves that, “These mental qualities are skillful; these mental qualities are blameless; these mental qualities are praised by the wise; these mental qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness”—then you should enter and remain in them. (AN III.65)

Pointing to this passage, many modern writers have gone so far as to say that faith has no place in the Buddhist tradition, that the proper Buddhist attitude is one of skepticism. Download the free ebook here:

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