Tuesday, June 06, 2006

And still more books I have loved

This is the third in a series of articles on books I have loved. I urge you to read my earlier two articles as well. If I have already emailed them to you then do not delete those emails and refer to those mails more than once.

Here are some more of the books have loved.

Sceptical Essays by Bertrand Russell

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Some more books I have loved

I had spoken of my experience with books in a previous article. Enough talk about myself. Here are my comments on some of them.

I will be writing more than just this one article because I have loved many books and there is much that I want to say.

In no particular order they are:

The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant

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Books I have loved

I have spent a lot of time with books in my life and overall it was more than worth it.

Books have opened my eyes to a world that I would never have known to have existed if I had not read them. They have enabled me to escape from myself and my problems when they were too heavy to bear. And in escaping from myself I got much needed rest and relief which would enable me to deal with my problems better.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

A State of Concentration while you are meditating

Concentration while meditating.

If you are doing meditation and I hope you are – you will face frustration from time to time because you will think that you are unable to focus well.

I am doing Vipassana meditation and in this form of meditation we are told to develop concentration through awareness of the Breath

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Spirituality and lightheartedness

An article about spirituality.

I read my first book by Alan Watts a few months back and he has become one my favorite authors. His insights and enthusiasm for eastern philosophy are entertaining as well as instructive and inspiring.

The book that I am reading now is Become What You Are. It is just a series of articles that discusses many spiritual concepts and is not about any particular religion or philosophy as such.

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Taoism and the state of Wu Wei

The highest state of man – according to Taoism – is a state of no-doing. This is a state of
Wu Wei (a Chinese word) or Mui (in Japanese).
Before I got interested in eastern philosophy I read a number of American self-help books. None of these books did me much good.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Gaining in well being and joy through the teachings of Buddhism

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are one of the foundation stones of its philosophy.

They state that:

1) There is suffering in this world.

2) This suffering has a cause.

3) The suffering can be removed by dealing with the cause.

4) The way out is the Noble Eight Fold path.

This article is about the third of these Four Noble Truths of Buddhism – cessation of suffering.

According to the Zen Buddhist Master – Thich Nhat Hanh – cessation of suffering can also be looked upon as well being. We normally have many reasons to feel good about ourselves at any given time. The problem is that we do not recognize and value and treasure these reasons and our well being.

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How to read and absorb The Art of War and apply its teachings

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is marvelous. It is a look at the thinking process of a sage and a philosopher and a warrior. You will be exposed to a way of managing and handling conflicts that is different from anything else that you have ever experienced.

Consider the following statement from the book:

"To win without fighting is the best."

Also the following story captures beautifully the essence of the book. This story has been sourced from Thomas Cleary's translation of book:

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What Spirituality really means

What is meant by spirituality runs like a common thread through all cultures and religious traditions. It is expressed in the Christian tradition by the words: "He that loseth his soul shall find it."

A Buddhist poem expresses this intuition about spirituality in this way:

"While living, be a dead man, thoroughly dead.

Then whatever you do, just as you will, will be right."

But how are we to lose ourselves. How is it possible for the ego to do away with itself?

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Buddhism and Emptiness - seeing our relationship with the UniverseBuddhism and its path to happiness - Aimlessness

In Buddhism the three doors of liberation are Emptiness, Signlessness and Aimlessness. This article is about Aimlessness.

Aimlessness basically means that there is nothing to attain, nothing to strive for, nothing that we are compelled to do. This enables us to be happy in the present moment, to live, to do the experiencing of life.

This is the message of the Heart Sutra, which clearly says that there is nothing to attain. This is basically looking at Absolute Truth.

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Chuang Tzu of Taoism - the thought process of a Chinese sage explained

I was reading Alan Watts on Taoism. The name of the book is The Watercourse Way available at Amazon.

As I read the book I got the impression that the Taoism of ancient China is an outlook on ourselves and the world that is fundamentally different from our modern way of life. It is also totally different from the way I was brought up. It is totally different from the way people I know look at life. In fact I do not know anybody who looks at life in this way and that includes myself and I am interested in Philosophy.

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Enlightenment and Taoism - a brief description of both

Some further thoughts on Taoism, the religion from ancient China.

This religion is similar in its core philosophy to almost all the other eastern philosophies and religions. The core message is that it is the well being of the whole that is important and not the well being of any individual being. In Quantum Physics scientists have reached the conclusion that the Universe is one organic whole. Just as the human body is an organism, the Universe too is one being. The ancient Taoists seem to have come to this same conclusion a long time ago through mystical insight. Their philosophy of Taoism reflects this conclusion.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Being a witness - why it is necessary

On being a witness, I am in the middle of reading Eckhart Tolle's new book – The New Earth. This article gives my views on this book.

Eckhart Tolle's first book – The Power of Now – is a modern spiritual classic. I agree with almost every word written in that book and I consider it one of the most important books I have read.

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Yin Yang of Chinese Taoism

The culture in which we are brought up is such that we absorb certain concepts and accept them as true and never question them. It never occurs to us that there could be any other or different way of looking at life. One such assumption that most of us make in our modern, westernized culture is the assumption that we can enjoy the good things of life and avoid the bad.

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Buddhism and Emptiness - seeing our relationship with the Universe

I have not done any contemplation on Emptiness. This is however a concept and a way of looking at ourselves and at the world that is revolutionary and is basic to Buddhism.

Basically almost all of us regard ourselves as individual beings separate from the rest of existence. This view in universal to the human race and is the cause of many of our problems and shortcomings.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Scientific Findings about Reincarnation

I would like to say something in this article about reincarnation or life after death.

There are plenty of authoritative books on this subject that you can read if you are interested. I would recommend the following:
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Life after Life by Raymond Moody.
Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss.
The Tibetan Book on Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche.

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A new method of Living and Witnessing

Regarding Witnessing I was reading The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts and I came across a method that can make witnessing second nature and a habit for all of us.

It is this: We all have this concept of ourselves as some being or entity that experiences life, which thinks or acts, chooses, decides or lives.

Instead of this start thinking of yourself as an ever-changing process that is constantly experiencing or living or acting. When I am thinking, there is just a process of thinking. There is no thinker apart from the act of thinking. There is just the process of thinking.

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The 5 remembrances

If you read the sacred texts - amongst them the 5 Remembrances - of Buddhism you may find that many of the texts seem to contradict each other.

For example you have the Four Noble Truths, which is a very important principle of Buddhism. This concept states that:
1) There is suffering in this world.
2) This suffering has a cause.
3) We can cease to create suffering for ourselves by removing the cause.
4) The way to the end of suffering is the Noble Right Fold Path.

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