"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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"Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven Henepola Gunaratana

Post by retrofuturist » 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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Reviews by Amazon members
http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Plain ... 0861710649" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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

Post by 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.
"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

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

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

Post by DNS » 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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.

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5

"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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

Post by 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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