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In This Very Life : The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha Paperback – November 9, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a truly alive transmission of the Buddha's teachings, a direct and explicit guide to the freeing of the mind here and now. The Buddha's teachings can be realized by each one of us, and In This Very Life shows us how." (Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma and A Heart Full of Peace)

"A classic guide to vipassana." (Buddhadharma)

"A classic, beautifully edited compilation. Useful stories and profound understanding illuminate and contextualize practitioners' meditative experience. The author brings to life many of the essential teachings of the Buddha, presenting them in a clear, organized, and inspiring way. Beginning or advanced students will learn teachings they have not encountered before, clarify points they have, and increase confidence, which in turn can lead to the development of concentration and insight. The book includes basic meditation instructions and discussions of ways to deepen one's practice and strengthen the forces that bring about enlightenment. In This Very Life also provides glimpses of the landscape of deepening wisdom and an illuminated mind." (Inquiring Mind)

"An exquisitely precise and profound analysis of mind states and meditation practice written in a remarkably clear, readable style." (Roger Walsh, Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy, University of California)

"A rounded and incisive meditation manual based on U Pandita's 40 years of meditation experience. The author is masterful in his analysis of mind states and his commentary on the essentials of mediation practice will appeal to a wide variety of readers...These teachings are very profound and relevant to those of us who live in a culture where craving and aversion exert a strong and persistent hold over us." (Spirituality and Health)

"Vital teachings from one of the greatest living meditation masters." (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and The Meditative Mind)

Language Notes

Text: English (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications; 2nd edition (November 9, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861713117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861713110
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Harry Snow on August 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
"In this very life" radically changed my life. Its greatest strength is that it demystifies the process of awakening. When it is presented by Sayadaw U Pandita, the process of awakening is like a mathematical proof: one step follows inevitably from the previous ones. This is one of the very few books in any genre that makes complete sense to me.
It's taken me over a year to read partly because it's so dense, but also because parts of it only made sense after I had been meditating and struggling for a while.
I had been practicing meditation seriously for about a year when some friends recommended it to me. Before I read it, I had only vague notions of what I was doing. I knew that I wanted to be totally committed to understanding reality--that this was the only worthwhile thing in life. But wanting this, knowing how to do it, and doing it are three separate things. This book tells you how to do it.
This book also answers the questions: What can humans achieve? We all know that life can be lived in an all-too-human way. Is there any way to live that overcomes our heritage of craving, anger, and ignorance? According to this book there is. There is a way to live free of fear, stress, suffering, and all the things that drive us to behave ignobly. There is a more civilized and peaceful way to live.
The first chapter starts at the very beginning for the complete beginner: what to do when you sit, and how to provide yourself with conditions favorable for making progress. The beginning meditator could read the first chapter and follow its instructions for months before needing to read the second one. For me, the first chapter was very helpful in clearing up things that I was unsure about in the meditation process.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Wisdom Lover on August 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am truly grateful that the Sayadaw has published this book. As much as I love the Western Theravada Buddhist writers, this book took me deeper into the Dharma. Yes, it gets a little ponderous at times with precise and analytical explanations of various states of enlightenment, but he then uses analogies to simply or clarify many of the more difficult concepts. So, his discussion of enlightenment becomes a roadmap that you can both understand and look forward to. I also enjoyed his wry sense of humor, which is really needed because of the depth he goes into his explanations and instructions. And, though he really stresses virtue and purity (more than many other writers) it is done non-judgmentally so you can see the tremendous mental and spiritual benefit derived from "cleaning up your act and your thinking". His compassionate heart and love of the dharma jump off the pages right into your heart and mind. He emphasizes as you gain in spiritual maturity and move along the path of enlightenment you will bring more good into this life and bring happiness and liberation to others. I am not sure, though, that it is the best introductory book to Theravada Buddhism and meditation for folks with little or no experience with Buddhism and/or samadhi oriented meditation. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. May you be blessed with wisdom and happiness.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Swing King on March 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
In Rangoon, Burma there is a lovely monastery where Sayadaw U Pandita resides as the head abbot ( Panditarama Monastery and Meditation Center ). He is both a clear and lovingly compassionate teacher who has the ability of appealing to a wide range of audiences. This book is basically a meditation instruction booklet, derived from talks he'd given in Massachusetts over a three month period of retreat.
Sayadaw is an absolute master of mind techniques, giving advice on how to "assail" sensory pleasure, suffering, desire, laziness, fright, selfishness, a sense of gaining, doubt (the unhealthy variety!), among many others. This book speaks volumes to a modern society participating on a global scale in conflict with it's message of equanimity; in fact, he devotes an entire chapter to just that subject. Commenting that equanimity is simply not picking and choosing, not apathy as many will lead you to believe. Seng Ts'an, the 3rd Zen Patriarch said in his famous poem, "The Great Way is not difficult. It just precludes picking and choosing." This message is echoed in here. It's not a matter of indecisiveness, but rather EVEN mindedness. Only when we can look at a situation with no personal slant or bias, can we truly be sure we are clearly perceiving this world. For anyone who believes 100% clear perception is impossible, I say, "Find me the tree with no roots."
Sayadaw's teachings here are profound and pertinent to our "global trade" style world, where hungry ghosts abound us with an overabundance of incessant desire and neediness. It's one of those books that's a must have for all Buddhists, regardless of lineages or tradition. For it drives home the Buddha and all Patriarchs message: No preference, no preference. Enjoy!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a book that is excellent for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. For the beginner, it sets a framework for understanding meditation that will be useful as a frequent reference. For the intermediate and advanced students, it seems to address issues that they will experience in their own meditation practice. It also provides a vast amount of information that is worthwhile to learn about, whether one is able to experience this in their own practice or not.
The book increased my desire to practice and experience what I was reading about. It should be the foundation for any meditator's library.
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In This Very Life : The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha
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