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The Bodhicaryavatara: A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life
The Pursuit of Happiness: The Art of Not Taking Offence & Going with the Flow
The Essence of Buddhism
Ebook series9 titles

Buddhism Series

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About this series

If you can observe your thoughts, who exactly is doing the observing? It is not the ‘I’ that has a name and a life history -- your egoic self. This simple question is at the centre of the great religions and spiritual traditions in the world. Mindfulness in the Buddhist tradition is one source of answers.

Beyond the spiritual benefits, there are numerous health benefits for the mindfulness practitioner. At the physical level, mindfulness has been proven by recent research to help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, treat heart disease, reduce chronic pain, help you sleep soundly, alleviate gastro-intestinal problems to name a few.

At the mental level, psychotherapists are using mindfulness as an effective therapy. It is showing good results in helping with depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The techniques outlined in this concise, plain-language eBook are easy to understand. You have nothing lose and everything to gain by learning this ancient healing technique to help you towards a happier, healthier life.

It is surprising how many folks in the world around you are operating at a largely unconscious level, which is to say they are driven by habit and instinct; displaying the same stimulus-response behavior time after time.

I am not suggesting that people are unconscious in the sense of being asleep. If they are driving cars and walking about, they have enough awareness to avoid accidents -- most of the time. They are unconscious in the sense that they allow their social conditioning and innate drives to determine how they live and act. When something happens, they react in their usual way without much awareness of what they are doing. This explains why people make the same mistakes over and over.
In this habit-driven state, a person is unlikely to be aware of the web of cause and effect in the world around them. They are unaware of how their actions in the past have created their present circumstances, so they have little sense of control over their lives.

Mindfulness changes all of that, allowing you to consciously choose your actions, moment by moment, in order to create the future you want. It confers on you that uniquely human privilege of free will; the ability to transcend the primitive instincts that still reside not very far below the surface of your otherwise civilized life.
Mindfulness opens the door to higher consciousness. For the traveller on the spiritual path or simply someone who want a higher quality life, this eBook can help.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateSep 29, 2010
The Bodhicaryavatara: A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life
The Pursuit of Happiness: The Art of Not Taking Offence & Going with the Flow
The Essence of Buddhism

Titles in the series (9)

  • The Essence of Buddhism

    3

    The Essence of Buddhism
    The Essence of Buddhism

    This eBook allows you to grasp the basic principles of Buddhism in just a few minutes. Much has been written about Buddhism and how to practice it. Readers will have no difficulty finding hundreds of books on the topic. It simply focuses on the essence of Buddhism, as expressed in the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. It is what the Buddha first talked about after he became enlightened – this is what makes it the essence. Reading this eBook should not conflict with your existing religious belief, since strictly speaking, Buddhism is not a religion. It does not extol belief in an external God. It does not seek to replace your existing religious beliefs, only to supplement them with a practical but profound set of psychological principles. The Buddha, in all likelihood, would rather his followers describe themselves simply as Followers of The Way.

  • The Bodhicaryavatara: A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life

    4

    The Bodhicaryavatara: A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life
    The Bodhicaryavatara: A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life

    The Bodhicaryavatara is an ancient text written in Sanskrit around 700 CE by Santideva, Buddhist monk and scholar who lived at the Nalanda Monastic University in India. The Bodhicaryavatara roughly translates to A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. A Bodhisattva is an enlightened being on their way to attaining full Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. The text has ten chapters that explain how to develop bodhicitta, or the enlightened mind. Earlier English translations of this text are accurate but difficult to understand for many readers living in the 21st Century. The mode of expression and the figures of speech are the product of that far-off time. This book faithfully re-expresses in modern day language the underlying message of the original text. Every effort has been made to preserve the underlying spirit of the message. There will be those who object to the changing of the outward form of this much-loved classic. While the author respects the beauty of the original text, the governing principle is to bring the even greater beauty of the underlying message to a whole new audience in the modern world who might otherwise find the original less than easy to fully understand. If you are embarking on the path to enlightenment, or just curious, this slim little book could be just the change agent you have been looking for. It is said to be one of the Dalai Lama's favorite texts. Chapter 1 The Benefit of the Spirit of Awakening Chapter 2 The Confession of Error Chapter 3 Adopting the Spirit of Awakening Chapter 4 Attending to the Spirit of Awakening Chapter 5 Guarding Introspection Chapter 6 The Perfection of Patience Chapter 7 The Perfection of Zeal Chapter 8 The Perfection of Meditation Chapter 9 The Perfection of Wisdom Chapter 10 The Post-Dedication

  • The Pursuit of Happiness: The Art of Not Taking Offence & Going with the Flow

    10

    The Pursuit of Happiness: The Art of Not Taking Offence & Going with the Flow
    The Pursuit of Happiness: The Art of Not Taking Offence & Going with the Flow

    Happiness is an elusive quality for many people in today’s complex, often stressful world. There is however a powerful but little known secret in the pursuit of happiness. It can take a moment to learn and a lifetime to perfect. It is simply this; to not mind what happens and not react. The key to not minding what happens is to learn the gentle art of not taking offence at the things that happen to you in the course of your daily life, and not reacting to the provocation. Seen from another angle, the idea is to have low expectations. In a world where many people grow up with a sense of entitlement, this is much easier said than done because we have base-lined our expectations at a high level. Adding to this is the commercial world that sets a high standard of customer service as the necessary price of selling you something ahead of their competitors. We all enjoy good customer service, and feel we have a right to it, but consider how this might be distorting your perception of reality. They are only being nice to you so you will give them some money. The world is really not that nice in actual fact. Some of the time, even most of the time, our high expectations are met. But there will always be times when they are not met, and then you will be offended and aggrieved and trouble will inevitably follow. How dare you treat me this way? On the other hand, when your expectations are low, you are seldom disappointed and often delighted. There is an enormous pay-off for people who manage to not take offence. Not only do they not go through life feeling angry and aggrieved, they start to see the world in a much more positive light. When you allow the world to be what it is without trying to change it, you access an enormous wealth of intuitive knowledge that you can enjoy and use to live a happy, harmonious life. This is strategic non-action, and it is a powerful yet under-rated method of living and being effective in the world. In cultures where action is favoured over inaction, like in many western countries, direct action is considered a virtue while inaction is little more than laziness or cowardice. There is an advantage in being more subtle and nuanced in our understanding. There is a time for both action and inaction. Non-action gives access to a deeper intuitive awareness than that gained through action, since knowledge that comes through action is obscured by situation-specific reactions. Settle in for the ride as I reveal to you the secret of strategic non-action in the pursuit of happiness.

  • The Art of Strategic Non-Action: Learning to Go with the Flow

    7

    The Art of Strategic Non-Action: Learning to Go with the Flow
    The Art of Strategic Non-Action: Learning to Go with the Flow

    Strategic non-action is a powerful yet under-rated method of influencing worldly affairs. In cultures where action is favoured over inaction, like in many western countries, direct action is considered a virtue while inaction is little more than laziness or cowardice. Let us be more subtle and nuanced in our understanding. There is a time for both action and inaction. Non-action gives access to a deeper intuitive awareness than that gained through action, since knowledge that comes through action is obscured by situation-specific reactions. Non-action can be understood as an aspect of going with the flow, not resisting the larger forces that govern a world of which you are a small part. Non-action acknowledges that events are governed by the laws of Nature, and it is often best to simply allow those laws to operate and play out in their own time, in their own way. Taking action often amounts to interference which creates its own problems. Non-action can help us towards our goals by encouraging patience and taking the long-view. Humanistic Psychology says that it is within our reach to create the life we want for ourselves. As we think and believe, so we create our world. This is indeed true, but only up to a point. We can transform our lives in goal fulfilling ways, but the transformation is relatively slow, its progress measured in months and years. We know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; at least we know this is true in Physics if we did not sleep through that class in school. Less recognised is the truth of Newton’s Third Law of Physics in human affairs. Just as in the world of inanimate objects, when we do things to people, we get a reaction. This then causes its own reaction, and a pendulum-like cycle is set up. Think of how people and tribes get into feuds with each other. Strategic non-action recognises the danger of this pattern of behavior and offers the only means of avoiding it. Non-action gives others nothing to react against. The ideas in this book derive from the ancient Chinese concept of Wu Wei, as expressed in Lao Tzu’s classic Tao Te Ching*. First published around 2,500 years ago, it is probably the oldest book still in print, a testimony to the force of its message. Wu Wei literally means without effort. It describes natural action that occurs without contrivance or effort. It simply happens. Think of how plants and animals grow, rivers flow and planets orbit. No-one makes them do this, it just happens without effort or control in accordance with the laws of Nature. Such action is what we should strive for, while avoiding the kind of action that causes counter-reactions.

  • The Four Sublime States: The Brahmaviharas

    8

    The Four Sublime States: The Brahmaviharas
    The Four Sublime States: The Brahmaviharas

    The Four Sublime States were a subject very dear to the heart of the Buddha. He spoke of them often. A person can achieve rebirth in a Brahma realm through the practice and attainment of the Four Sublime States; unconditional love, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. Sometimes called the Brahmaviharas (or divine abodes) they describe an attainable divine state in which your mind, imbued with the virtues of the four states reaches out to embrace the entire world and all of the sentient creatures within it. The Four Sublime States are the best possible relationship with the world and everyone in it. They also offer the possibility of liberation from the cycle of re-birth when your time comes to leave this life. Could there be a more worthy goal in life than this? The Buddha urged people to adopt these sublime states as their habitual state of mind. This book outlines a way for you to cultivate these states of mind which have great practical value for how you relate to the world. They engender harmony and good-will with others and with society as a whole. They act as levellers of social barriers, and makes us feel generous towards others as we widen our circle of care to include everyone in the world, not just our immediate family and friends. A mind that has attained the four states is untroubled by random thoughts and petty considerations. The consciousness that flows through it is calm and majestic, like a mighty river fed from pure mountain springs. The river flows into the sea but the sea level does not rise because an equal amount of water has evaporated, become clouds, and then fallen as rain on the mountain again. This dynamic process illustrates the essence of equanimity. With the four sublime states firmly established and working in dynamic harmony, mindfulness blends with faith, courage with serenity, and insight with strength of purpose. They combine to make you an unstoppable force of nature. You are no longer prone to being trapped in the labyrinth of your own base nature, you have risen above it. Your mind becomes like a facetted jewel. The light that comes into it is reflected back out to the world as a beautiful focussed beam of light; healing, dynamic, divine.

  • The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva

    The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva
    The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva

    Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva is an ancient text written in the 14th Century BCE by Tokme Zangpo, a Buddhist monk and scholar who was born in Puljung, south west of the Sakya Monastery in Tibet. Thirty-seven Practices seeks to make clear the day-to-day behavior of a Bodhisattva (an enlightened being on their way to attaining full Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings). It serves as a practical guide for those people seeking to travel the path of enlightenment. Though short in length, a person could spend a lifetime perfecting the practices. The work can be seen as a companion to Santideva’s classic work the Bodhicaryavatara. While there are English translations of this text, they are a little difficult to understand for many readers living in the 21st Century. The mode of expression and the figures of speech are the product of that far-off time. This book faithfully re-expresses in modern day language the underlying message of the original text. Every effort has been made to preserve the underlying spirit of the message. While I respect the beauty of the original text, my greatest wish is to bring the even greater beauty of the underlying message to a whole new audience in the modern world who might otherwise find the original text less than easy to fully understand. Tokme Zangpo dedicates the text to: The Bodhisattva Lokesvara whose compassion extends to all sentient beings and whose example inspires me*. - Those who perceive that the physical world is but an illusion and have entered the path to enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. - All the venerable mentors who have shown me the path to enlightenment. - All the realised Buddhas. To achieve the fullest realisation of the Dharma, one must live in full awareness of the correct practices that lead to such realisation. This text humbly attempts to explain what any Bodhisattva has done, and any would-be Bodhisattva must do in order to achieve enlightenment. * Throughout this book, the first person “I” “me” and “my” refers to the author Tokme Zangpo. Sample Practice (20) Our inner demons are our most formidable enemy, greater than any external enemy. Struggling with our inner enemies makes them stronger and greater in number. This is not the way to defeat them. Until and unless we learn to master our inner enemies they will continue to thrive and they will open the way for negative forces outside of ourselves to invade us. These enemies can only be mastered through mercy and love; therefore we work to cultivate these. When negativity arises in our mind-stream, we are mindful of its rising and immediately neutralise it with love. This is the way of the Bodhisattva. Commentary: The mental afflictions that derive from unevolved behavior can be neutralised by noticing when they arise, and mindfully replacing them with kindness and a loving attitude generally. The unevolved behavior mentioned here is how our distant ancestors behaved in a savage, uncivilised world. Being proud and competitive, fighting over sexual partners, property and land was once a helpful way to survive in the distant past. Have you noticed how many people still act this way today when it is unnecessary? This might be our instinctive behavior, but it is no help whatever for the one travelling the path to enlightenment. You must transcend this “normal” behavior and in the process transcend your base self. Identify with your highest self, not your inner caveman.

  • Every Moment Is The Best Moment: The Essence of Enlightenment

    11

    Every Moment Is The Best Moment: The Essence of Enlightenment
    Every Moment Is The Best Moment: The Essence of Enlightenment

    'Every Moment is the Best Moment' is for anyone seeking a richer, deeper experience of life beyond our pre-occupation with material wealth and consumerism. There is nothing wrong with having a good standard of living, but when wealth and status becomes an end in themselves, we have lost sight of what is most important in life. This eBook is a short how-to guide that can help you to cultivate a higher awareness while continuing to live in the world. The phrase 'every moment is the best moment' is the essence of Enlightenment. It captures the feeling you have when you are so fully engrossed in the moment that you have no thought for anything else. The barriers between your inner and outer worlds dissolve and you feel a sense of connectedness with everything. Every moment is the best moment because it is the only moment. Moments recalled from the past, or anticipated in the future are products of your imagination. They have no substance in the outer world. The challenge is to feel this way about the ordinary things in your life, the things that many would consider mundane or even unpleasant. The enlightened person learns how to take great satisfaction in doing one thing at a time, focussing their full attention upon it and getting into a state of ‘Flow’ (discussed in more detail later). They understand that the virtue is not so much in what you are doing, but how you are doing it.

  • The Dhammapada: Your Guide on the Path to Enlightenment in the 21st Century

    The Dhammapada: Your Guide on the Path to Enlightenment in the 21st Century
    The Dhammapada: Your Guide on the Path to Enlightenment in the 21st Century

    The Dhammapada is a foundational text of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is a collection of 423 verses, grouped into 26 themes that the Buddha was fond of telling to those who would gather around and listen. They are the oral teachings of the Enlightened One. How delightful it is to imagine him under a shady tree with a group of people around him, telling these gems of spiritual instruction. The collection of verses was compiled soon after the Buddha’s death. Interested parties and disciples met and agreed that the oral teachings of the Buddha should be recorded so they would not be lost or corrupted in the absence of the author himself. The Dhammapada is the result of that worthy effort. The original text was expressed in the language and idiom of an ancient time and place (2,500 years ago in Northern India). After all, the authors wanted to reach the audience that was alive then and there, not at some far distant future world whose language and customs would be very difficult to understand. This edition with a commentary expressed in 21st Century language to make it accessible to a wide range of modern readers, is based on the work of Friedrich Max Müller (1823: –1900) at Oxford University. Müller, who was born in Dessau, Germany, was an notable scholar of comparative religions. While the Dhammapada has been translated many times in the centuries since it was written, Müller’s version is considered one of the best. Every effort has been made in the writing of this commentary to preserve the underlying message that the Buddha wanted to convey. This has been done through careful study of not just the Buddhist writings, but those of other major religions and philosophies. This study has been performed by the author over four decades, the objective of which has been to identify and understand the sub-text, the common underlying message that all religions express regardless of the language in which it is expressed. If an idea, such as the Golden Rule of doing unto others what you would have them do to you exists independently in every religion, regardless of time or place, then we have what is arguably an absolute truth, at least in relation human beings. There are many such truths to be found across various religions. Each verse has a heading and commentary that expresses in 21st century language the essence of the verse. Müller’s translation of the verse then appears in italic script, complete with verse number. Readers are therefore able to easily compare and contrast the verses in this edition with those in other renderings of this classic work.

  • Being Mindful: Living in the Now

    Being Mindful: Living in the Now
    Being Mindful: Living in the Now

    If you can observe your thoughts, who exactly is doing the observing? It is not the ‘I’ that has a name and a life history -- your egoic self. This simple question is at the centre of the great religions and spiritual traditions in the world. Mindfulness in the Buddhist tradition is one source of answers. Beyond the spiritual benefits, there are numerous health benefits for the mindfulness practitioner. At the physical level, mindfulness has been proven by recent research to help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, treat heart disease, reduce chronic pain, help you sleep soundly, alleviate gastro-intestinal problems to name a few. At the mental level, psychotherapists are using mindfulness as an effective therapy. It is showing good results in helping with depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The techniques outlined in this concise, plain-language eBook are easy to understand. You have nothing lose and everything to gain by learning this ancient healing technique to help you towards a happier, healthier life. It is surprising how many folks in the world around you are operating at a largely unconscious level, which is to say they are driven by habit and instinct; displaying the same stimulus-response behavior time after time. I am not suggesting that people are unconscious in the sense of being asleep. If they are driving cars and walking about, they have enough awareness to avoid accidents -- most of the time. They are unconscious in the sense that they allow their social conditioning and innate drives to determine how they live and act. When something happens, they react in their usual way without much awareness of what they are doing. This explains why people make the same mistakes over and over. In this habit-driven state, a person is unlikely to be aware of the web of cause and effect in the world around them. They are unaware of how their actions in the past have created their present circumstances, so they have little sense of control over their lives. Mindfulness changes all of that, allowing you to consciously choose your actions, moment by moment, in order to create the future you want. It confers on you that uniquely human privilege of free will; the ability to transcend the primitive instincts that still reside not very far below the surface of your otherwise civilized life. Mindfulness opens the door to higher consciousness. For the traveller on the spiritual path or simply someone who want a higher quality life, this eBook can help.

Author

David Tuffley

David Tuffley (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics & Socio-Technical Studies at Griffith University in Australia.David writes on a broad range of interests; from Comparative Religion, Anthropology, Psychology, Ancient and Modern History, Linguistics, Rhetoric, Philosophy, Architectural History, Environments and Ecosystems.

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