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Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers? [Jinxed P] [MIGRATE]

Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers? [Jinxed P]


Jinxed P - 2014-04-14 23:42:54 - Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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?

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T DC - 2014-04-15 03:37:18 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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 - 2014-04-15 07:19:29 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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.

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C C C - 2014-04-15 07:43:06 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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. - 2014-04-15 12:51:45 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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 Weps - 2014-04-16 12:55:49 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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 - 2014-04-16 14:37:10 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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 . - 2014-04-16 21:02:48 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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.

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Adam Dietrich Ringle - 2014-04-17 00:59:50 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

Buddha Brats by Adamas is an excellent read and highly entertaining if you like what you might call sexy dharma . . .

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Pawe? K - 2014-04-17 04:49:21 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

I agree with Osho. His books are very entertaining and have a lot of encoded wisdom in them. He is more of a mystic than 'straight to the point' type so he might not to everyones taste. 

but in this situation I think MCTB would be better choice to motivate people to practice. It might appear sometimes dry and technical but there are a lot of informations that can actually help people like eg. information about Dark Night. So it would be my biggest recommendation.

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Dream Walker - 2014-04-25 23:14:14 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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 - 2014-04-25 23:16:18 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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 - 2014-04-25 23:18:43 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

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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James Yen - 2014-04-29 11:43:36 - RE: Most Entertaining/Best Dharma Writers?

I really like Chogyam Trungpa so far, I'm currently reading his "Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness". He gets it.