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Anapanasati Sutta - Wikipedia
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Thich Nhat Hanh re-inscribes Buddhist dhamma with new meanings that it did not originally have, meanings that are derived from modern-day consciousness and concerns with health, healing, nature, planet, ecology and so on. Such re-inscription is not necessarily undesirable, but if the newly-inscribed meanings write out, confuse or obscure the original meaning and message of the Buddha-dhamma, then one is running the risk of teaching something in which the original soteriologicial meanings to do with insight and liberation have been lost.
Witness instructions such as these given by Thich Nhat Hanh on page "Going home mindfully, we can talk to our wounded child within using the following mantra: "Darling, I have come home to you. I am here for you. I embrace you in my arms. I am sorry that I left you alone for a long time. Presenting the Anapanasati Sutta through a syncretic lens might give it a wider appeal, but at the cost of original Buddhist insights into the nature of life, insights that have the power to liberate. It appears to me that the Buddha did not really teach people to "embrace our pain and sorrow" like a new age guru, he taught something much more profound, which is to see that pain and sorrow is caused by our own ignorant grasping at objects thinking they will give happiness and satisfaction, when in fact they are impermanent, dis-satisfactory and not-self.
I wonder if Thich Nhat Hahn's feel-good meditation instructions are likely to to lead to the knowledge of disgust or aversion nibbidaupasanna-nana to, dispassion towards and giving up on sensory and phenomenal experience, likely to lead to the realization of Nibhaana therefore?
On page 11, there is a mistake in the translation of the Pali Anapanasati Sutta where the once-returner is described as having "cut off the roots of greed, hatred and ignorance.
Thankfully, this mistake is not repeated in the translation of the Anapanasmriti Sutra in the Chinese Agamas which is given in Appendix One, and there the stages of enlightenment are correctly described. In Appendix Two, which gives the author's personal points of view, I find points for disagreement. Specifically, Thich Nhat Hanh refers to the jhanas noting that they are not mentioned in the Anapanasati Sutta and MahaSatipathana Sutta, and therefore concludes that the numerous suttas that mention the jhanas are later additions to the canon and the jhanas are entirely dispensable for practice and realization.
The author might have latched on to the wrong end of the stick however, as scholars who have studied the early buddhist canon have found that the Mahasatipathana appears to be a later sutta, and that the jhanas are implied in the Anapanasati Sutta see for example Dr Tse-fu Kuan's "Mindfulness in Early Buddhism".
In fact, there are so many suttas referring to the importance of jhana in the sutta pitaka e. Thich Nhat Hanh not only considers the jhanas dispensable, he also gives a mundane reading of the second tetrad which is concerned with the jhana factors of Piti rapture which he translates as joy, and Sukkha which he translates as happiness.
His way of cultivating piti and sukkha is a simple form of yoniso manasikara or wise reflection, such as reflecting on the fact that one has two good eyes, or that one's liver is working well, or that one has a sangha to practice with. Reflections like these are indeed very important ways of cultivating wholesome states of mind giving rise to mental contentment, joy and happiness, and this is a technique that is central in Mahayana mind-training e.
Tibetan Lojong , but which has been under-stressed by teachers of meditation in the Theravada tradition. Note, however, that there is the joy and happiness acquired through these reflective means, and then there is the rapture and tranquility that arises as a direct result of deep states of mindful concentration on the breath, when the mind stops engaging in discursive thought and turns its attention away from sensory input. The former and the latter are on entirely different levels of experience, for the former is a mundane kind of joy and happiness, whereas the rapture and tranquility that arise as jhana factors in deep states of meditation, and which function as factors of enlightenment, approach and lead to the supramundane lokuttara realms.
Breathe, You Are Alive
To give rise to stronger or more-refined levels of piti and sukkha, something other than wise reflection is needed, but Thich Nhat Hanh does not lead readers there. This book should serve best as an accessible introductory guide for those who are new to Anapanasati meditation, appealing especially to non-Buddhists who want a more general take on Buddhist breath meditation, and also for people who want a less intensive way of practice that is do-able in everyday life rather than on retreat. Such readers would want to rate this book higher, but as an exposition of the Buddha-dhamma qua buddha-dhamma, I would give it only 3 stars.
This is not a book for purists, and the experienced meditator and the student of early Buddhism might find little here to illuminate or inspire one along the lines of the doctrine and the discipline of early buddhism. It does however provide a comparative perspective on the Pali and Chinese versions of the Anapanasati sutta. Though the comparison is very general and not exactly grounded in good historiography, the attempt to compare versions of the sutta is something one can learn from. This book was really just a follow up to the more detailed and complete "The Heart Of the Buddha's Teaching" by the same author.
It gives the sutra, and offers some commentary, although the commentary was predictable and didn't reveal much beneath the surface of the meditative words. Below is the complete Sutra, with minor paraphrastic revisions. I have since committed it to memory and have use This book was really just a follow up to the more detailed and complete "The Heart Of the Buddha's Teaching" by the same author. I have since committed it to memory and have used it many times in meditation and breathing exercises.
Body 1. I am breathing in and am aware of my whole body. I am breathing out and am aware of my whole body. I am breathing in and making my whole body calm and at peace. I am breathing out and making my whole body calm and at peace. Feeling 1.
I am breathing in and feeling joyful. I am breathing out and feeling joyful. I am breathing in and feeling happy. I am breathing out and feeling happy. I am breathing in and am aware of my thoughts and feelings. I am breathing out and am aware of my thoughts and feelings. I am breathing in and making my thoughts and feelings calm and at peace. I am breathing out and making my thoughts and feelings calm and at peace.
Mind 1. I am breathing in and am aware of my mind [consciousness]. I am breathing out and am aware of my mind.
I am breathing in and making my mind happy and at peace. I am breathing out and making my mind happy and at peace. I am breathing in and concentrating my mind [in the present]. I am breathing out and concentrating my mind. I am breathing in and liberating my mind. I am breathing out and liberating my mind. Concepts 1. I am breathing in and observing the impermanent nature of all dharmas [phenomena and desires]. I am breathing out and observing the impermanent nature of all dharmas.
I am breathing in and observing the fading of all dharmas. I am breathing out and observing the fading of all dharmas.
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I am breathing in and letting go. I am breathing out and letting go. May 31, Silje rated it it was amazing Shelves: yoga. As someone who is a beginner at meditation and just recently embarked consciously on a journey towards stillness, this little book is very valuable. Learning to stop shamata in order to observe vi passant through full awareness of the breath becomes the foundation to build practice on.
The more deeply we observe, the greater mental concentration becomes. Stopping and collecting our mind, we naturally become able to see.
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In observing, th As someone who is a beginner at meditation and just recently embarked consciously on a journey towards stillness, this little book is very valuable. In observing, the mind becomes increasingly still. We do not need to search for anything more. I think I will treasure this little sutra and short commentary for a long time to come.
Jun 27, Jay McNair rated it really liked it. Thich Nhat Hanh has a remarkable plain-and-simple way of writing as if everything he says were just perfectly obvious and apparent and easy. It's even funny at times, though I'm sure unintentionally. He says things like, "Out of forgetfulness, we create internal knots in each other and don't realize it, until one day we can no longer look each other in the eye, and we watch television instead. Oct 03, Kelly rated it really liked it. I enjoyed it very much, as I think I am going to like finding the roots of some of my favorite Thich Nhat Hanh wisdom in the original Pali texts now I need to learn to read Pali and Sanskrit.
I'm reading this as a part of my study group on this Sutta. I could never be a Buddhist, because I don't know how to empty my mind. But the main focus of this book is definitely important for anyone to learn. To stop and breathe, focus on the body, focus on happiness. Beautiful thoughts that are very well written with very grand topics made easy to understand. I need to remember to do that more often. Jul 07, Eric Lecours rated it it was amazing.
If you're interested in meditation, there is arguably no more important sutra than the the sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. Thich Nhat Hanh takes you through the sutra with insightful commentary. Great read. If you a meditator, this is a book I expect you'll return to again and again. Apr 16, Mike rated it it was amazing Shelves: eastern-wisdom. Fantastic guide to conscious breathing and the exercises you can employ to get the most out of your mediation practices.
Breathe! You Are Alive : Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing
Best read when you are actually ready to start practicing meditation, or to strengthen or supplement your current practices. I've given all his books five stars because their wisdom is invaluable, but this might be my favorite. Perhaps the most practical. Awareness is awareness of everything: all that you're thinking and feeling in body and mind. This book gives very practical technology for practicing that. Jun 21, Carol Eshleman rated it it was amazing.
Great reminder of going back to the basics and following the breath. I don't really think this is a book for beginners but I think it's great for people who have been into Zen for a while and need to be reminded of the beginning. Jul 26, Krittima Thammamitr rated it it was amazing. Mar 17, Alohadudenyc rated it it was amazing. Sep 23, Nina rated it liked it. Good instructive book on being aware of your breath to calm and bring mindfulness. Oct 23, Kait Barnard rated it really liked it. Singers, this is book based on Buddism and sutra but it really applies to singing and making breathing enjoyable.
I've gained a lot from it already. Mar 06, Chad rated it liked it Shelves: buddhism.