"Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Paul Davy
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"Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby Paul Davy » Mon May 11, 2009 11:53 pm


I was wondering who has read "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana, and what they thought of it?

Online PDF version
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/mindfuln ... nglish.pdf

Reviews by Amazon members
http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Plain ... 0861710649

Retro. :)
What is the final conviction that comes when radical attention is razor-edge sharp? That the object of the mind is mind-made (manomaya). (Ven. Ñāṇananda)

Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'.
(Snp 3.6)

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Re: "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby Tex » Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am

Read it twice and will again. If you get the revised edition it has an additional chapter on metta, about twenty pages, at the end.

I also recently picked up his Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness and am looking forward to it.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement." -- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

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David N. Snyder
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Re: "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue May 12, 2009 12:30 am

Excellent book, straight to the point, to the nuts-and-bolts of practice. I highly recommend it. 88 five star ratings out of 99 total ratings at Amazon.com.

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Re: "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby Nadi » Tue May 12, 2009 1:21 am

Read it a few years ago and loved it. It was an easy read, and was very informative.
With Metta,

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Re: "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby zavk » Tue May 12, 2009 3:35 am

It's a great book--certainly one to recommend to those just learning about meditation and Buddhism.

I think what makes it so popular is Ven. Gunaratana's delivery. His sincerity, humility and gentleness really comes across in his writing.
With metta,

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Re: "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue May 12, 2009 4:59 am

have it, never read it... in fact have 2 books by him i've never read... :shrug:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby pink_trike » Tue May 12, 2009 4:59 am

It is one of the best - clear and direct, in plain English. I recommend it frequently.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen


Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby bodom » Tue May 19, 2009 8:52 pm

There is NO better introduction to vipassana than this book. It was also my introduction to Theravada Buddhism.

The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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Re: "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Postby AdvaitaJ » Wed May 20, 2009 1:30 am

It was one of the first books I read, probably only a couple of weeks at most after I started seriously studying. I have to say that I think I would have gotten more out of it had I been practicing a bit longer as I had to frequently re-read sections. In the end, I think I arrived at an intellectual understanding, but not a real understanding. It's on my list to read again now that I've got a few months behind me. I strongly suspect it will be much more meaningful the second time around.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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