Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" (book)

Just finished reading "Mastering The Core Teachings of the Buddha" by Daniel Ingram.. man, was I impressed. I had head DI speak on various podcasts, but hadn't found the time to purchase and read his book.

I could write so much, but will just paste a review I wrote on it.

This book has really fired me up to take another serious look at simple Insight meditation practices (such as Mahasi Sayadaw Noting), and also work on the Concentration Jhanas a little more.

It also confirms much of what I had already concluded related to the absolute uselessness of probably 80% of what is found on the nonduality and modern spirituality circuit- even hardcore would-be teaching schools actually aiming at 'self-realization' or 'enlightenment'.

I'm really looking forward to a Second Edition, and with hopefully a few more practical exercises detailed.

Anyhow, here's some review material:

One of the best contemporary dharma/meditation/spiritual practice books and commentary written in modern times. This book really gets at the core of what Buddhism _should_ be about and focus on with its practices- however, this book could easily apply to any of the major religions or practical spiritual paths aiming at self-transformation and 'enlightenment'. I like the direct advice given, and also the conceptual mappings throughout the book detailing possible stopping places along the spiritual developmental route. This book really strikes at some of the core problems inherent in a lot of spiritual paths, and explains exactly why these paths and people following them just aren't effective in attaining what they set out to achieve.

 If I had any criticism with this book, it would probably be that it needs some more time spent on detailing the actual practices involved in both concentration and insight meditation. Yes, the instructions are given, but even these I find are a little too vague (i.e just focus intensely on sensations being perceived right now and see the three characteristics inherent in them etc. etc.; or find an object and focus on it intensely, and then extent the time period). 

I know the author is working on a Second Edition, so I look forward to that! Overall, great work, and in my Top 5 books.

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