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πŸ“˜ Seeing That Frees – by Rob Burbea

Seeing That Frees leads the meditator through layers of practice. It approaches the Buddha’s teaching at increasingly deeper levels. Starting from first principles, Rob Burbea explains the various terms and practices.

“It is a book about practice, and about the profoundly freeing insights that anyone who practices can discover and unfold from themselves first hand.”

Rob Burbea

The reader should have an established meditation practice with exposure to cultivation and insight techniques. However, it could be used as a navigation aid for someone starting to practice using other resources.

One of Rob Burbea’s qualities as a teacher was his ability to start from where the student was, and find the practices that were helpful to them in that moment, while never putting a limit on what they might ultimately be capable of as they developed.

β€œIt is rare to find a book that explores so deeply the philosophical underpinnings of awakening at the same time as offering the practical means to realize it”.

Joseph Goldstein‘s introduction to Seeing That Frees

β€œThis great book can inspire us to the highest goals of spiritual awakening”.

Joseph Goldstein‘s introduction to Seeing That Frees

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πŸ“˜ A Fearless Heart – by Thupten Jinpa

Of all the Buddhist traditions, the Tibetans seem to be the masters of compassion practice. I notice this in The Dalai Lama, Matthieu Ricard and, here, in Thupten Jinpa.

I hope to bring compassion down from the pedestal of a high ideal and make it an active force in the messy reality that is everyday human life.

Jinpa Thuptenβ†—οΈŽA Fearless Heartβ†—οΈŽ

Thupten Jinpa first met the Dalai Lama when he was six years old and became a monk at the age of eleven. His intelligence and his fluency in English led to him becoming the Dalai Lama’s interpreter. He nows lives in Canada and he has helped to pioneer the CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training) program, which is the basis of this book.

Whatever good emerges from the creation of this book, may each one of us experience the warmth, courage, and lasting joy of genuine compassion.

Jinpa Thuptenβ†—οΈŽA Fearless Heartβ†—οΈŽ

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πŸ“˜ Zen, The Art of Simple Living – by Shunmyo Masuno

To be embarrassingly honest, I was attracted to this book by the picture on the cover. It’s the feeling of simplicity combined with beauty that really did it for me. It made me feel like I could breathe.

Zen, in this case, means the teaching of the Zen masters as expressed through Japanese spirituality. There is the appreciation of simplicity and beauty, and the performing of actions in a way that mirrors the qualities we are trying to cultivate.

Try not to be swayed by the values of others, not to be troubled by unnecessary concerns, but to live an infinitely simple life, stripped of wasteful things. That is ‘Zen style’.

Shunmyo Masunoβ†—οΈŽ

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πŸ“˜ Loving-Kindness – by Sharon Salzberg

Loving-kindness, or Metta, is the Buddhist practice of inclining the mind towards goodwill.

When I wanted to add this quality to my mindfulness practice, my friends instantly recommended that I read Sharon Salzberg. This is the book that I started with.

Sharon Salzberg is one of the founders of the Insight Meditation Society, which seeks to bring the teaching of the Buddha to the West, without the culture clash of Buddhist religion.

This is what should be done, by those who are skilled in goodness, and who know the path of peace.

The Buddha – from the Metta Sutraβ†—οΈŽ

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πŸ“˜ The Book of Joy – by The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu are highly qualified to speak about finding joy in the face of suffering. They spent a week together to discuss this subject, and this book is the result.

The light-hearted friendship between these two spiritual leaders reinforces the practices of warmth and joy that they have to teach us.

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πŸ“˜ Mindfulness for Beginners – by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn has bridged the gap between the meditation practices of Buddhism and the western, science-based treatment of mental suffering.

In the first two years of my own practice, I followed guided meditations from Jon Kabat-Zinn. This laid a foundation of mindfulness for understanding many other meditations.

The audio guided meditations that come with Mindfulness for Beginners are a perfect way to start meditating. The book itself contains short chapters that help to deepen a practice once it has started to take root.

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πŸ“˜ Happiness – by Thich Nhat Hanh

I think this is Thich Nhat Hanh’s best book. It’s a great place to start practicing mindfulness according to his teaching.

“All these practices have the same basic purpose: to bring our minds back to our bodies, to produce our true presence, and to become fully alive so that everything happens in the light of mindfulness.”

Happiness – by Thich Nhat Hanh

The book is short and to the point, but it’s rich with practice tips. It gives a real flavour of the style of practice and how it changes our experience of life. After explaining how to practice as an individual, he covers the group or sangha practices of the Plum Village tradition that he has created.

“We can recognize that we have a treasure of enlightenment, understanding, love, and joy inside us. It’s time to go back to receive our inheritance. These practices can help us claim it.”

Happiness – by Thich Nhat Hanh

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