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For years and years I have repeated come to the same conclusion on my own: it's not necessary to confine oneself to a particular place and time to practice meditation. If a person is unable to maintain awareness from moment to moment then all seated practice is in vain. Satipatthana sutta somehow confirms my view. Yet how difficult it is to do this? To use too much energy I exhaust myself completely in less than a week and to do it too casually I slip away from mindfulness in a few minutes. This book essentially offered me all tips and advices to avoid these two pitfalls.
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This audiobook is largely the biography of a Burmese monk. It chronicles his life from childhood through to taking robes. His family life, feelings of inferiority, drug usage, crime, trips to a monastery to 'straighten him out', failed promise, unfulfilling job, marriage before taking on robes permanently and retreating from life in society.
I am an extrovert. I like people, and people like me. I like humor and living with ease in the world. I would like to think that if the Buddha had my nature he would be the best me he could be, and embrace the laughter and the social aspect that is me.
Sayadaw U Tejaniya is not that. His retreat from society resulted from a series of social failures. As he progressed he spoke less and less. His poor wife, he just retreated from. In self centeredness he retreated into the hills to take up robes. and silently quieten his mind. This, to me, feels like a cop out. I am sure he would defend himself saying that I am full of defilement and suffering (samsara), and he has managed to quieten his mind. But is opting out of life really victory? Certainly not for an extrovert.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful