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"Dharma Readers" - Minneapolis Buddhist Book Club Message Board › Book selections to choose from

Book selections to choose from

user 9130795
Albuquerque, NM
Post #: 8
The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation by Thich Nhat Hanh

In The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh introduces us to the core teachings of Buddhism and shows us that the Buddha's teachings are accessible and applicable to our daily lives. With poetry and clarity, Nhat Hanh imparts comforting wisdom about the nature of suffering and its role in creating compassion, love, and joy--all qualities of enlightenment. Covering such significant teachings as the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Three Doors of Liberation, the Three Dharma Seals, and the Seven Factors of Awakening, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching is a radiant beacon on Buddhist thought for the initiated and uninitiated alike.

The Path of Serenity and Insight by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

In the oldest scriptures of Theravada Buddhism much attention is given to the jhanas, high levels of meditative attainment distinguished by powerful concentration and purity of mind. Ven. Dr. Gunaratana examines these jhanas within the context of Buddhist teaching as a whole and particularly within the meditation disciplines taught by the Buddha. Beginning with the ethical foundation for meditation, the role of the teacher, the classical subjects of meditation, and the appropriateness of these subjects to individual practitioners, the author traces the practice of meditation to the higher reaches of realization. The eight stages of jhana are individually analyzed and explained in terms of their relation to one another and to the ultimate goal of the teaching.

The author makes the critical distinction between the mundane jhanas and supermundane jhanas, pointing out that the lower four, while leading to various mental powers and psychic attainments, are not necessary to full enlightenment and may be developed or bypassed as the meditator wishes. The author goes on to explain the place of the jhanas among the accomplishments of an arahat and elucidate their usefulness for a dedicated meditator.
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