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πŸ“š Books

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“š Books

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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Backflushed

πŸ“˜ Happiness – by Thich Nhat Hanh

This is Thich Nhat Hanh’s best book, in my opinion. It is the most concise description of the two greatest gifts of his teaching. Firstly, a gentle and simple way to practice mindfulness in everyday life. Secondly, mindful activities that can be used to build a sangha, a meditating community.

“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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