Mindfulness in plain English

by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Paperback, 2002




Boston : Wisdom Publications, 2002.


Presents an introduction to meditation according to Buddhist principles, describing the advantages of the practice and addressing some of the difficulties that can come up.

User reviews

LibraryThing member RaviSankrit
This book tells what meditation is and what it is not. The meanings of meditation practice and mindfulness are explained with remarkable clarity. The book is structured around the practice of vipassana (insight) meditation and contains practical instructions for beginners.
LibraryThing member bookczuk
This was my second-favorite of three books on meditation, lent to me by guyczuk. There are some useful tips and info there. It's got a stronger bent reminiscent of some of the Indian spiritual works I have read, and has a lot about Buddhism in it, which is also interesting reading. I felt it worthwhile and made some notes of certain things in case I actually have to return the book.… (more)
LibraryThing member ftong
A fascinating introduction to Buddhist meditation and philosophy. Though the author's explanations sometimes border on repetitive, they are, true to word, clear and direct.
LibraryThing member chaghi
I wanted to read something, preferably practical, short and straight to the point about meditation in general, and this concept of "mindfulness" in particular, directed to westerners, without going into the religious and spiritual aspects (or at least, without primarily approaching the subject from that point of view). And every source pointed me to this book. So I read it.

Henepola Gunaratana claims to have written exactly what I wanted, and I must confess he mostly succeeds. The book is short, it gives some theory, explains what mindfulness is and what it isn't, and provides a methodology and a series of ideas and exercises aimed at beginners. It's quite repetitive in several aspects, though. It's not devoid of its share of "preaching" and subjective and semi-religious concepts, but it keeps them rather on the side. It's a pity that the new and revisited version of the book expands precisely on those aspects, as if the author had regretted not having gone deeper with them in the original version. In my opinion, the new edition is a step back from the original goals of the book.

Having said that, vipassana meditation comes from Buddhism, so I suppose it is impossible to study it or read about it or explain it completely isolated and detached from Buddhism, and then it's impossible to avoid completely the religious, spiritual and metaphysical aspects.
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