"Meditation is a bit like mental acid, it eats away at whatever you put it on." Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Hi this is Emerald and welcome to The Diamond Net. Today I'm going to be giving a book review on the book "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Bhante Gunaratana who is a Sri Lankan Buddhist Monk, and in this book he covers the topic of mindfulness meditation in a very thorough straight forward way.
Now the Sanskrit term for mindfulness is Vipassana which means to see into in a special way. So, mindfulness meditation is the act of focusing on one object of mediation and seeing it exactly as it is.
Now, most often practitioners of mindfulness meditation use the sensation of the breath on the nostrils as their focus of meditation. However, you can use any type of sensation that you can feel or any type of raw experience that you have as your point of focus.
The main idea here is just to see reality exactly as it is without creating any concepts or thoughts attached to it. Now, like the title "Mindfulness in Plain English" suggests, Gunaratana actually goes into mindfulness meditation in a very nuts and bolts, very pragmatic, practical way.
Now, Gunaratana at the beginning of the book, gives a little bit of basic Buddhist philosophy
about how human suffering is caused by our attraction and aversion responses to things and how we get attached to particular outcomes. He then states that the way out of this trap
and the way out of this suffering is to employ mindfulness which helps us see reality as
it is which is a lot less bleak when looked at from that expanded perspective of mindfulness
as opposed to our conceptual cartoonish kind of way we conceptualize things from the mundane human mindset.
He then uses the remainder of the chapters to explain mindfulness in a very thorough way down to what you should do with your mind, what you should do with your body, how to create a mindfulness practice, dealing with distractions, and just about every other basic thing that you can think of that might come up in the process of mindfulness meditation.
Now, one thing that really impressed me about this book was just how accurate Gunaratana
was with the mindsets that come up whenever you're meditating. So, for me, when I first
read this book two years ago when I first started to dabble in meditation was that I
was always having a hard time focusing on the breath.
That's very very common but you kind of get these ideas like "Oh, I'm not meditating" or "I'm not doing this right" or "I'm not good at this" or "What if I'm sitting here wasting my time and it doesn't have any benefit." And he says that those type of mindsets are just grist for the mill
and to work through those mindsets is when you're actually able to get steps closer to
So, I found this book incredibly reassuring and like that "Oh, I'm not bad at meditation. And in fact I'm not wasting my time. Here are the benefits. And actually these mindsets are normal and really just gives me more things to work on while I'm sitting in meditation.
Now, the layout of the book is also very very simple. So, if you're ever having any kind of issue with meditation later on or you want to look something back up it's very simple to do so. So, if you're having trouble with being distracted during mediation, just look at he chapter titled "Dealing with Distractions."
Now, I recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in meditation. I especially recommend this for beginners but I think even a seasoned meditator who has been meditating for 20 years could get substantial benefit from it.
So, I give Mindfulness in Plain English five lotus blossoms out of five. Well that's all I have for you today. I hope that you enjoyed this video. If you did go ahead give it a big thumbs up and click the subscribe button below.
Also, check back every other Wednesday for more book reviews. I'm also putting out new videos twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, So check those out too.
Other than that, that's all that I have for you today.
And until next time, keep becoming more you.