Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

Jinxed P, modified 8 Years ago at 4/14/14 6:42 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/14/14 6:42 PM

Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

Posts: 346 Join Date: 8/29/11 Recent Posts
Many of my friends , of the young male variety, often ask me to recommend them a book on meditation. I don't know what to say , most of the books I have read come off a bit PG, a bit dull. Except for Ram Dass, he is an excellent writer but he's a bit too into hinduism and a bit religious, it's a big turn off. Daniel's book is great but maybe a little too hardcore for the beginner who just wants to establish a beginning practice.

Any recommendations on Dharma books that not only give good instruction, but are also entertaining?
T DC, modified 8 Years ago at 4/14/14 10:37 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/14/14 10:37 PM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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Ya totally! Chogyam Trungpa's books!! Many people seem to think he was just a crackpot, but his books are gold, seriously on the money. I would highly recommend his 'Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism' to anyone who hasn't read it. It deals with the fundamentals of the Buddhist path and common errors up through the Mayahana, discussing emptiness, and some talk on tantra. Seriously a good and very helpful book!
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 8 Years ago at 4/15/14 2:20 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/15/14 2:19 AM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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As much as I hate to go there, for the specific audience you mention, Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner probably fits the bill. It is not actually that much about meditation (which is one of my primary problems with it), but it does teach that a bit. It does, however, ring pretty well with a young male audience and may be a hook for them. I know of at least one person whose meditative path was started by that book.

One Night's Shelter, by Bhante Rahula, if you can find it, makes for a good read as well. It is about how he ended up a monk after being a Riverside surf rat and hippy stoner traveler. I found it in electronic form here. I know Bhante Rahula, and so that made it even more enjoyable for me, but I think it would be hard to not find the story inspiring.
This Good Self, modified 8 Years ago at 4/15/14 2:48 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/15/14 2:43 AM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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I agree, most dharma books have the consistency and flavour of half dried concrete.

Most entertaining - Jed McKenna by a mile. Very good writer; very funny guy. His books flow.

Runner up - Armando Torres, The Way of the Nagual. Free download somewhere on the web. Or Carlos Castaneda's books. Excellent writer. His books are a little lacking in practical content and they are hard to interpret but there is a lot of wisdom contained in those pages.

Second runner up - Osho. He's written hundreds of books. Check out the official website for lots of articles and excerpts. It's just been updated.
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Simon T, modified 8 Years ago at 4/15/14 7:55 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/15/14 7:51 AM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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It's seems a bit taboo to write autobiography in the Dharma world. Even if they aren't very helpful for practice, they can be very entertaining as some people on this path had some crazy life experiences. Saints and Psychopaths by Bill Hamilton was truly entertaining.

Alan Watts is always a pleasure to listen too. His voice and delivery style make it worth it to listen instead of read.
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Florian, modified 8 Years ago at 4/16/14 7:55 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/16/14 7:55 AM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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Advanced Magick for Beginners, by Alan Chapman. Lots of interesting exercises to keep up the interest in regular practice. Not strictly Buddhist, though, but rather highly eclective. Very entertaining.

Cheers,
Florian
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Gunnar Johansson, modified 8 Years ago at 4/16/14 9:49 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/16/14 9:37 AM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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For entertainment I would go for Bangkok 8

http://www.amazon.com/Bangkok-Eight-John-Burdett-ebook/dp/B00B5TBHI4/ref=la_B000APVXKQ_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397655109&sr=1-1

Det Sonchai Jitpleecheep is a Bangkok Buddhist policeman. The son of a Thai prostitute and an American soldier at the time of the Korean War, there was a time when he used to take drugs and steal cars, "a golden age which came to an end when Pichau (his friend) murdered our yaa baa (methamphetamine) dealer .... Our mothers secured us an interview with the abbot of a forest monastery .... who told us we were the lowest form of life in the ten thousand universes .... After six months of mosquitoes and mediation, remorse had gouged our hearts. Six months after that the abbot told us we were going to mend our karma by becoming cops." And so they did. But they had to become not only honest cops but arhat cops. An arhat is "a fully realized man who voluntarily pauses on the shore or nirvana, postponing his total release in order to teach his wisdom to wretches like us."

For beginner meditation you can't do any better than Meditation for dummies

http://www.amazon.com/Meditation-Dummies-
Stephan-Bodian-ebook/dp/B008S2N1K8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397655448&sr=1-1&keywords=meditation+for+dummies+2014

For buddhism Noah Levins book seems to fit the bill

http://www.amazon.com/Noah-Levine/e/B001ILKI7A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Against the stream is his highly entertaining introduction to basic buddhism and meditation. Straight to the point hardcore through and through. His other books looks really good too. With Heart of the revolution we seem to have finally found a hardcore introduction to the Lovingkindness practices of buddhism. I'm especially excited about his forthcoming book, Refuge of Recovery. I've always thought eight steps to recovery would make more sense than than the twelve steps of AA. Since AA only has 5-10 success rate and is more damaging to the rest. I hope he make clean cut with AA and it's dysfunctional treatments.
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chris mc, modified 8 Years ago at 4/16/14 4:02 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/16/14 4:02 PM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

Posts: 56 Join Date: 5/31/12 Recent Posts
Daniel's book is great but maybe a little too hardcore for the beginner who just wants to establish a beginning practice.


Obviously you know your audience, but I think Daniel's book is perfect for some beginners. It was for me, I found it to be very motivating in a way that no other dharma book has been. The chapter 'The Three Doors' might be the most interesting 5 pages I've ever read, the pages are yellow from my finger oils.

I can see it being too much for someone looking to maybe dabble in mindfulness-lite, but I think it's the book for a beginner who likes a good range of real information and is actually looking to practice.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 8 Years ago at 4/16/14 7:59 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/16/14 7:59 PM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Buddha Brats by Adamas is an excellent read and highly entertaining if you like what you might call sexy dharma . . .
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 4/25/14 6:14 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/25/14 6:14 PM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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Daniel M. Ingram:
One Night's Shelter, by Bhante Rahula, if you can find it, makes for a good read as well. It is about how he ended up a monk after being a Riverside surf rat and hippy stoner traveler. I found it in electronic form here. I know Bhante Rahula, and so that made it even more enjoyable for me, but I think it would be hard to not find the story inspiring.
One Night's Shelter was enjoyable and a quick read. It makes you think how everyone was nicer back in the 60's-70's before the culture of fear dominated.
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 4/25/14 6:16 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/25/14 6:16 PM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

Posts: 1455 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Gunnar Johansson:
For entertainment I would go for Bangkok 8

Very fun read...gonna have to read the rest of them.
Gunnar Johansson:

For buddhism Noah Levins book seems to fit the bill
Against the stream is his highly entertaining introduction to basic buddhism and meditation.

Yep, pretty good read...gotta read the rest of them some day.
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 4/25/14 6:18 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/25/14 6:18 PM

RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

Posts: 1455 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Florian Weps:
Advanced Magick for Beginners, by Alan Chapman. Lots of interesting exercises to keep up the interest in regular practice. Not strictly Buddhist, though, but rather highly eclective. Very entertaining.
Most of the way thru this...very cool stuff...

Thanks for all the recommendations....
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 5/5/14 6:54 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 5/4/14 6:51 PM

Book about Selfing processes- test post

Posts: 1455 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Test post-
I recomend the book "The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self"
by
Thomas Metzinger
It is an amazing book that introduces the notion of the transparent sub/pre-conscious processes the create the illusion of a self. It breaks down the different processes and discusses what each one does and what happens when they go awry as evedenced by mental illness.

from amazon - "Consciousness, mind, brain, self: the relations among these four
entities are explored by German cognitive scientist and theoretical
philosopher Metzinger, who argues that, in fact, there is no such thing
as a self. In prose accessible mainly to those schooled in philosophy
and science, Metzinger defines the ego as the phenomenal self, which
knows the world experientially as it subjectively appear to
you. But neuroscientific experiments have demonstrated, among other
things, that the unitary sense of self is a subjective representation:
for instance, one can be fooled into feeling sensations in a detached
artificial arm. So the author argues that the ego is a tunnel that bores
into reality and limits what you can see, hear, smell and feel.
Metzinger tests his theory by ranging over events of the consciousness
such as out-of-body experiences, lucid dreaming and free will, and he
concludes by probing ethical actions and what a good state of
consciousness would look like. Most readers will have difficulty
penetrating Metzinger's ideas, and those who do will find little that is
genuinely new. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."

Great intro to the idea of no self in an easy to read and modern language.
~D
TEST edit
ted talk links - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFjY1fAcESs  (link title test....not working????)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZsDDseI5QI

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