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Mindfulness in Plain English

Book Notes

I f'ing love this book. If I could, I would have this as required reading for every school-aged kid (not just this country, every country). Well, no, I'd have it required reading for everyone, not just kids. Yeah. That.

I read this book a number of years ago after having it recommended to me by Tom Croucher. He had a stack of them at his place, and would hand them out when someone asked him for recommendations for books on how to meditate. I read the book, enjoyed it, practiced a bit, but wasn't nearly the student of the process that Tom is. Not then, likely not yet.

But when the student is ready, the teacher arrives. I've been more than a bit lost these last few years. I had the luck of being at the right place at the right time to help a friend through a rough patch, and he's returned the favor, reminding me that I will change only when I choose to change. And so, I picked up this book again.

Love this book. Highly recommended.

As is my way recently, parts of the book that caught my attention. This was hard, as pretty much the whole book had my engrossed attention.

It allows you to blow aside the illusions and free yourself from all the polite little lies you tell yourself all the time. What is there is there. You are who you are, and lying to yourself about your own weaknesses and motivations only binds you tighter to them.

Somewhere in this process, you will come face to face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pellmell down the hill, utterly out of control and helpless. No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday. It has always been this way, and you just never noticed. You are also no crazier than everybody else around you. The only real difference is that you have confronted the situation; they have not. So they still feel relatively comfortable. That does not mean that they are better off. Ignorance may be bliss, but it does not lead to liberation.
What to Do with Your Mind, Page 75 · Location 1080

You must remember that you practice loving friendliness for the purification of your own mind, just as you practice meditation for your own attainment of peace and liberation from pain and suffering.

We humans are very odd beings. We like the taste of certain poisons, and we stubbornly continue to eat them even while they are killing us.
Dealing with Distractions II, Page 135 · Location 1903

Related: sugar.

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