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Enlightenment: The Path Through The Jungle Paperback – April 9, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Mantra Books (April 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846941180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846941184
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,156,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I am sure it will assist many who are becoming increasingly confused and disillusioned by Neo Advaita, and may turn to the traditional approach. ~Alan Jacobs, President of the Ramana Foundation UK I heartily recommend this book. ~James Swartz, teacher and author Dennis Waite offers necessary help to sincere seekers who wish to learn how to discern between the diamond-like brilliance of authentic Advaita-Vedanta, from the rhinestone approaches represented by popular neo-Advaita. ~Mariana Caplan, Ph.D., author of "Halfway Up the Mountain"This is a valuable addition to Advaitic literature and should be read by all those who are perplexed as to the truth of this noble tradition. ~The Mountain Path, TiruvannamalaiIn his new work: ENLIGHTENMENT, Dennis Waite rises to the challenge of this modern spiritual dilemma confronting the key issues between the traditional and modern approaches to Advaita/Non-Duality head-on. In this regard, he is a lone, rare voice, and should be commended for his diligent work. "oy Whenary, author of "The Texture of Being"

About the Author

Dennis Waite has been a student of Advaita for over 20 years and maintains the most visited website on the subject. He is a member of the Ramana Maharshi Foundation and chief moderator for the Advaitin e mail group in 2007. He lives in Bournemouth, England.

More About the Author

Educated to degree-level in Chemistry, he has worked for most of his life in computing. Since 2000, he has devoted his life to writing. He completed a philosophical/ecological thriller in 1999 (extensively revised in 2007-8) and a book on Earned Value metrics in March 2001. His first book on Advaita, 'The Book of One', was published in 2003. This was extensively revised and republished in 2010.

An introductory book on Sanskrit 'The Spiritual Seeker's Essential Guide to Sanskrit' was published in India in 2005. His book 'How to Meet Yourself', published in 2007, was aimed at the non-specialist reader and addresses the fundamental topics of meaning and purpose in one's life and the nature of happiness.

His major book on Advaita, also published in 2007, was entitled 'Back to the Truth'. This is a systematic treatment of Advaita which, by using examples from many sources, helps the reader to differentiate between approaches and teachers. It compares the scriptures of traditional Advaita with the words of contemporary Sages and with the modern 'nothing to be done' teaching of neo-Advaita.

'Enlightenment: the Path through the Jungle' was published in 2008. This aimed clearly to define the term enlightenment and dispel the many myths about it propagated by new-age books on the subject. It endeavored to set down the proven methods, passed down for over a thousand years in the traditional teaching of the subject and contrast these with Western approaches, demonstrating in the process that only the traditional methods are likely to bring about enlightenment.

His most recent book is 'Advaita Made Easy', scheduled for publication in 2012. This aims to summarize the essentials of the subject in a short, easily assimilable form. Two more books are contracted for the future.

Dennis maintains the most popular website on Advaita at This is in the process (2012) of being renovated and extended, following a two-year absence while he helped to establish the Advaita Academy Trust and its associated website at

Customer Reviews

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This book is that someone.
James M. Corrigan
Anyone who has a sincere interest in this subject will no doubt be greatly benefited from reading this book.
Durga Moffitt
Dennis Waite makes a distinction between neo-advaita and traditional advaita that is detailed and clear.
Jerry Katz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By R. Haigh on May 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have read most of the books by Dennis Waite and on the whole have found them to be quite informative and well written. Though Dennis is clearly knowledgeable about the Advaita Vedanta tradition, I feel that with "Enlightenment: the Path through the Jungle" he has revealed his lack of breadth regarding other approaches to nonduality.

A few main points:

Firstly, the term Neo Advaita. None of the communicators who have been given this label wish to be associated with it (as far as I know.) Since they do not acknowledge the category, its construction and subsequent dismissal as a teaching that falls short of traditional Advaita Vedanta methods seems totally unreasonable. These direct communicators have never set themselves up as being some sort of new movement of traditional Vedanta.

Secondly, this type of direct pointing is in no way exclusive to the new wave of satsang teachers. It can be found in a wide range of communications from Huang Po to Longchenpa, from Alan Watts to Wei Wu Wei, Krishnamurti to Sailor Bob and so on. And of course, direct pointing can be found in the work of Ramana, Nisargadatta and Krishna Menon (not to mention: Rumi, Lao Tzu, the Hsin Hsin Ming, the Avadhut Gita, etc... etc...)

Thirdly, the central inference of this book is that "enlightenment" is less likely from exposure to 'neo/satsang' communication than from traditional progressive methods. [Blatant nondual incorrectness aside] there is absolutely no evidence that a progressive time bound method would have any such advantage.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Katz on June 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
What is traditional advaita?

Traditional advaita is a process, a culture, and a methodology for achieving enlightenment. It is founded in Indian scriptures, but more important than scriptures are the teacher and the methodology, according to Waite.

What is neo-advaita?

Neo-advaita gets right to the point that so many people already sense, intuit, and know from experience. The point is that "this" is "it." Stop and see. Neo-advaita confesses the truth that there is only "this." Neo-advaita doesn't go through a process of education, nor does it unfold scriptures chapter by chapter. It just says what is, in various ways.

Since it's impossible for people to gather around any interest at all without some kind of organization arising, there are processes, methods, and a culture of neo-advaita that can be identified, but they are very thin compared to traditional advaita..

Some of the teachers of neo-advaita, though they themselves do not use the term neo-advaita, include Tony Parsons, Jeff Foster, Richard Sylvester, Nathan Gill.

Theme and purpose:

The theme of this book is that you can become enlightened through traditional advaita, while it is unlikely you will become enlightened through neo-advaita and satsang.

Dennis writes about the book's purpose: "The purpose is specifically to address the concerns of seekers who are dissatisfied with the satsang or neo-advaitin approaches to the teaching of advaita and to answer related questions." Waite says, "I am not primarily criticizing neo-advaita in respect of the truth or falsehood of its actual statements but as regards its utility as a teaching methodology."

The evolution of advaita:

Neo-advaita is less than 30 years old and evolving.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By James M. Corrigan on June 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dennis Waite's book "Enlightenment: The Path Through the Jungle" is a necessary addition to everyone's library because it can serve as a checklist against which they can test their understanding. Have you ever had the experience of trying to do something new, struggling with it to no avail, and then someone comes over to you and shows you what you have been doing wrong and suddenly - voila! - you understand? This book is that someone. Dennis has collected together over 500 `pointers' and categorized them under aspects of understanding Enlightenment, going to great pains to clarify the meaning of words used in nondual writings, the purpose of and need for practice, and the necessary value of scriptural teachings and guidance from an experienced teacher within Advaita. This makes it easy to find the pointers needed when questions arise for you - you can always find what you are looking for in Dennis' Index, if not in Reality!

While there will be some that take his assertions about the necessity of effort on the part of those who wish to find enlightenment and end their suffering, and his criticism of certain "neo-advaita" teaching methods, as negative, I feel it is worth the time of everyone to read what he has written and pause to digest these gentle assertions and see if they do not ring true. There is that old adage: "You get what you pay for," which, if you see your efforts to reach understanding as the payment, holds just as much in this realm as in any other.

Of course there will always be those who are in too much of a rush to "stand in line," and they don't listen to anyone anyway. This book isn't for them.

There is a disturbing current finding favor in modern Nondual circles, which Dennis points to, which I characterize as anti-Intellectualism.
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