The Magic of the Mind Bhikkhu Nanananda

ISBN: 9789552401350

Published: January 1st 1997

Paperback

92 pages


Description

The Magic of the Mind  by  Bhikkhu Nanananda

The Magic of the Mind by Bhikkhu Nanananda
January 1st 1997 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 92 pages | ISBN: 9789552401350 | 9.16 Mb

I suppose I should start by noting that the author was my teacher during my brief career as a samanera (novice monk) in Sri Lanka, and on account of this fact I think Im well placed to remark on his credentials. They are, in brief, impeccable. The Venerable Author is not only an amazingly erudite man (the consensus among his students was he probably spoke Pali in his sleep) but, I would wager, enlightened to some degree as well.

(Monks, of course, dont generally talk much about what theyve attained except with their teachers, though this thought, too, was general consensus among his students. What he knew seemed to go well beyond the stuff of books.)This little tome, which stands as a good introduction to the authors thinking, may be short on pages but is long-and weighty-as regards content. While the work is ostensibly an exposition of an obscure and dense little sutta, that sutta is used as a lens with which to peer into the heart of the Buddhas teaching. And the authors razor-sharp eyes see far indeed.Ven.

Ñánananda starts off with a wonderful and illustrative story of a magic show, wherein two friends see the same show but come away feeling very differently about it. For one has been taken in and tricked by the magicians sleight-of-hand while the other has not-he watched the show from backstage, and saw exactly how themagic worked. The response of the first is naive infatuation and excitement, while that of the second disinterest and detachment.

These two responses correspond quite nicely with the response of the worlding (putthujjana) and the noble disciple (arya) who has escaped the worlds fetters. The remainder of the book elaborates this basic dichotomy between ignorance and knowledge as it applies to the Buddhas teaching.In the course of the work many of the authors favorite topics are touched on: the meaning of dependent arising, the vortical interplay of consciousness and its object (name-and-form), the self as a point-of-view, the beguiling nature of concepts and the ideologies we construct from them, and, finally, an exploration of the consciousness of the liberated person, the arhant.

For those of you who have read, or will read, the authors earlier and more substantive work, Concept and Reality, this topical list should appear familiar, for he returns to many of the same themes there. Clearly, these are critical concepts in the Buddhas teaching, and Ven.

Ñánananda discusses them with a degree of insight you rarely encounter in popular dharma books. It is not often either that todays popular pundits have anything near the wealth of scriptural knowledge this author brings to bear- he knows the illustrative passages and discusses them in a way that illuminates and places them in context. The Buddhas teaching, it seems, is far more than the typical lists you see repeated verbatim now here, now there: three marks, four noble truths, five khandhas, six sense bases, seven factors of enlightenment, eightfold path, etc. In this little book you get a taste of the meaty substance of the Dhamma, and a glimpse the genius of the Buddha.



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