Download The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana PDF

By Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Bhante Gunaratana, in his trademark kind, renders in undeniable English what the Buddha acknowledged approximately mindfulness, offering transparent directions on how those rules can be utilized to enhance way of life, deepen mindfulness, and flow towards non secular pursuits. even though his presentation relies on a vintage textual content, the Satipatthana Sutta, it really is completely smooth. The perform of considering the 4 Foundations—mindfulness of the physique, emotions, brain, and phenomena themselves—is steered for individuals at each degree of the non secular direction. because the Buddha says, every body “should be exhorted, settled, and confirmed within the improvement of those 4 Foundations of Mindfulness.”

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It may seem natural to infer from this that happiness consists of the opposite, in getting what we want and not getting what we do not want. Happiness, in this view, is acquisition of all that we try to gain and security from all that we seek to avoid. The Buddha taught that this understanding of happiness is a mistake. We can never achieve true and complete happiness in these terms, and there is another, far better form of happiness that we can achieve. To revert to our earlier analogy, someone who holds the first view is like an alcoholic who reasons that, since he is unhappy when he is not drinking, he will be truly happy only if he is always drinking.

The world is more accurately thought of as a complex of mutually interdependent processes of change. The not-self doctrine is part of this more general position. An analogical depiction of this doctrine may be helpful. There is a reality that corresponds to what we call a sandbar, but that reality is not a distinct, unchanging thing. Rather, it is an aspect of a mixture of interdependent and ever-changing processes. So too is what we call the self. There is much in the Buddha’s not-self teaching that should concern and perplex stream-observers.

Here is the description of the disease and its symptoms: First Noble Truth. Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering. (C II 1844) The key term here and throughout is dukkha. It is ordinarily translated into English as ‘suffering’.

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