on May 16, 2010
I just finished reading 'Pocket Peace' this morning, and I was sad to arrive at the end. Lokos writes in a style that is so easy to follow, and resonates without being didactic or overly esoteric. I enjoyed the manner in which Lokos shared ideas, integrating them with wisdom from the ages alongside his own life experiences. If more people used the suggested practices in the book, there would be fewer problems in the world. In the meantime, I feel contented knowing that I have learned a little bit more about how I can cultivate greater awareness and can use these practices to improve my life--and maybe, the lives of the people and creatures around me. Enjoy!
on April 15, 2010
Allan Lokos writes in a very kind, compassionate and practical voice. He introduces Buddhist principles and applies them in very practical ways. His gentle exhortations to discover and be true to one's own inner truths is inspiring. I'm not a spiritual person, but I try hard to live an ethical and authentic existence. Pocket Peace reinforces these values and broadens them too into the framework of a Buddhist set of precepts. The book left me with a sense of joy and freedom and I will carry Pocket Peace on my daily commute.
on March 27, 2010
Right from the start, I found this book helpful in my life. Because Pocket Peace offers down-to-earth practices that I can pick up and use on the spot, trying some of them started to make changes in my life right away. I've always admired teachers like Sharon Salzberg, Stephen Batchelor, Joseph Goldstein, and Wayne Muller, so their praise for the book was meaningful to me. I intend to keep the book and go back to it in the future for some fresh perspectives on living a happier, more peaceful life. I've also given it as gift--it has a beautiful look and cover and is a great price for a lovely gift.
on September 15, 2010
I am often asked what book I recommend for someone brand new to Buddhism. I always say that it depends on why the person is interested - I will recommend different books depending on whether someone is interested primarily in meditation, the Buddha himself, Buddhism as a philosophy, or Buddhism as a spiritual foundation. For someone interested in living Buddhism - attempting to practice its foundation teachings in daily life - this book is my new favorite recommendation.
Allan Lokos leads the Community Meditation Center in NYC, and is a former Broadway performer. He has studied Buddhism extensively with many of today's foremost teachers, but is also an ordained interfaith minister, and so has a very inter-spiritual approach to Buddhism. I think this will appeal to many people who want to draw on Buddhism, but are not necessarily interested in identifying themselves as Buddhist. Although, that being said, I think this is a lovely book for committed Buddhist as well.
In Pocket Peace, Lokos focuses on the ten paramitas, or ten perfections, of Buddhism. These are the 10 virtues Buddhists are encouraged to consciously cultivate in thought, word, and deed, as part of their practice. Lokos devotes one chapter to each one, which he translates as generosity, morality, relinquishing, wisdom, joyous effort, patience, truthfulness, determination, lovingkindness, and equanimity.
The focus in each chapter is how we can actively work to cultivate these virtues in our daily lives. To that end, Lokos has developed 'practices', or recommendations of everyday actions, meditations, and contemplations, that anyone can easily explore. These are described in depth in each chapter, and listed in summary form in an appendix at the end of the book. They range from the very simple, such as "Greet folks with a smile" under generosity, to the more contemplative, such as this one, in morality:
"When you touch the phone, about to make a call or send a text message, ask yourself, What is my intention? As you are about to enter a meeting, ask yourself, What is my intention?"
In total, there are 50+ practices described. Lokos writes in an engaging, accessible style, sharing many personal stories from his own life to elucidate each of the paramitas and the pocket practices. Some of these stories are very NY-centric perhaps, a reflection of Lokos' fairly unique NY life, but they are truthful and heartfelt, so I feel anyone will be able to relate to them.
All in all, this is a great book for anyone new to Buddhism who wants to approach it from a down-to-earth, daily perspective. It is also good for those not so new to Buddhism, who need some new ideas or a new way of looking at their daily lives as practice.
on March 26, 2015
A commentary on the ten Buddhist paramis, or "perfection practices" - generosity, morality, relinquishing, wisdom, joyous effort, patience, truthfulness, determination, lovingkindness, and equanimity. Each of the ten gets its own chapter, and each chapter begins with a brief exploration of the benefits available to the reader by cultivating that particular parami, features a generous serving of helpful illustrative anecdotes drawn from the author's own life experiences, and ends with a few suggested personal practices we can use to develop that virtue in our own life.
on February 20, 2010
I cannot wait to truly incorporate Allan's teachings and practices into my every day life.
I want a more meaningful and peaceful existance, and I was able to immediately feel connected to his stories, ideas and work.
This book will be with me "in my pocket" each day.
Thank you for showing us simple steps to feeling and being more connected- to life, people, experiences and the universe.
Bless your friends with the gift of this book.