2015 -- Good year for dharma books?

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Droll Dedekind, modified 5 Years ago.

2015 -- Good year for dharma books?

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
Maybe it's because I'm new to this scene, but it seems to me there have been a lot of practice manual type dharma books coming out this year written by Westerners who've really put time in,

Seeing That Frees by Burbea
Right Concentration by Brasington
The Mind Illuminated by Yates
A Trackless Path by McLeod

Did I miss any? And, is this year really atypical?
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Kim Katami, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 2015 -- Good year for dharma books?

Posts: 698 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
Loch Kelly's Shift into Freedom seems all right at page 50...
spibbs ., modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 2015 -- Good year for dharma books?

Post: 1 Join Date: 6/8/15 Recent Posts
How many dharma books do you guys tend to read in a year?  For me, too much reading was confusing and hindering my practice, the books were all detailing very different methods of practice, so I'd tend to rush through a book quickly and try that technique for awhile and then give up and burn through another book and try that for awhile, and a few years later my practice was total dogshit and I've made almost no real progress. 

I've had to stop myself from buying more books, I see people saying this new book is great and I think "oh I should buy that right now maybe it'll contain the perfect combination of words that will click and make all the difference.." but for me it's just more distraction keeping me from the cushion.  A hunger for novelty, even when the current situation is really good.  The same thing happens with cars, girlfriends..  ugh.
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Dream Walker, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 2015 -- Good year for dharma books?

Posts: 1333 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
spibbs .:
How many dharma books do you guys tend to read in a year?  For me, too much reading was confusing and hindering my practice, the books were all detailing very different methods of practice, so I'd tend to rush through a book quickly and try that technique for awhile and then give up and burn through another book and try that for awhile, and a few years later my practice was total dogshit and I've made almost no real progress. 

I've had to stop myself from buying more books, I see people saying this new book is great and I think "oh I should buy that right now maybe it'll contain the perfect combination of words that will click and make all the difference.." but for me it's just more distraction keeping me from the cushion.  A hunger for novelty, even when the current situation is really good.  The same thing happens with cars, girlfriends..  ugh.
Concentration is excuding anything but the object of concentration
Insight is observing whatever occurs in the current moment very very clearly
Some practices mix these together.

In my experience, how you choose to do these things does not really matter so much as being diligent, and doing them well.
I've mixed things up a bunch thru the years and am still doing so...but it's still just the two things, concentration and insight.

There are tons of people who want you to believe that they have a special, better way to do concentration or insight....this is marketing....figure out what works for you....try a practice for 40 minutes twice a day for 2 weeks. Write down the results. Try the next thing the same way....compare what works for you at this time....when something stops working, move on and move back when it does again. Or just pick the thing that promises whatever you want to believe and do that diligently.
Good luck,
~D
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Droll Dedekind, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 2015 -- Good year for dharma books?

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
What constitutes having "read" a spiritual book seems tricky to me. Having looked at each word in order seems clearly insufficient.

I have all the same issues as you and I have no real definite solution. I do have a little trick that I think helps -- familiarize yourself with the structure of the book so that you can read relevant chapters at relevant times in your practice. Having a clearly defined practice (from whatever book, teacher, ) and then treating what you read as possibly inspiring poetry is another.

I'd agree with DW that the basics are more or less interchangeable up to personal preference. On the other hand it's true that the wording of a particular author at a particular time might cause an opening. For analogy, if you're surfing the web apparently aimlessly instead of doing your work you might discover something interesting/productive some small percentage of the time. It's those times that make the internet so addictive and to deny their existence probably only worsens the problem.

In the era of clickbait I've recently come up with my own little solution that I'm trying to observe the results of (I like DW's experimental/empirical advice too) -- everytime I feel the urge to open a new tab, research something, click a link, etc I first take a conscious breath and feel the subtle dissatisfaction driving the urge. In this way I hope I'll still discover reality-tunnel-widening information while gradually defusing some of my addiction. Maybe try applying this solution to seeking in books and observe the results. If you feel the urge to search through a book, shop for new books, etc take a conscious breath and feel the subtle dissatisfaction. YMMV. I'll be trying it too.

edit:
Forgot one point -- you can argue that it may have taken this long for there to be several mature American Buddhists to publish practice manual type books. While there are plenty of New Age type books being published all the time, there are a handful of practice-oriented dharma books by Americans with decades of practice/teaching experience. Deep practice with cultural context isn't just a rehash.
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fschuhi, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 2015 -- Good year for dharma books?

Posts: 22 Join Date: 2/25/15 Recent Posts
Droll,

it seems to me there have been a lot of practice manual type dharma books coming out this year written by Westerners who've really put time in,


In my opinion you are definitely right for the manuals from Burbea and Culadasa. Brasington is more an edited selection of the most important articles from his website (where he has added valuable information for many years now.)

Richard Shankman's "The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation: Mindfulness, Concentration, and Insight" has some good advice, although not as practice-oriented than the others in your list.

s this year really atypical?


Much samadhi / samatha.

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