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Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra Paperback – October 12, 2010
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“A kaleidoscopic view of one of the most influential figures in the spread of Buddhism in the West. Anagarika Munindra was one of a kind — wise, delightful, intriguing — and a fully human being.”—Daniel Goleman
“Munindra was one of the most important teachers for Westerners in the establishment of Vipassana and mindfulness meditation. He was a warm, openhearted, scholar of immense learning, a pragmatic and truly compassionate teacher.”—Jack Kornfield
“Knaster skillfully weaves teachings and personal stories. This is a wonderful introduction to a teacher whose students are now household names: Sharon Salzberg, Daniel Goleman, Jack Kornfield. This deeply felt, loving portrait of a modern Buddhist master will also inspire those on their own journeys.”—Tricycle
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Top Customer Reviews
I was not familiar with Munindra, but intrigued, I purchased the book, and began reading immediately and then I could not stop.
The book is organized for ease, acceptance, cultivation and integration. The reader is softly changed as though in the presence of Munindra. I was reminded of the teachings of my long time teacher of Sensory Awareness, Charlotte Selver, when I read his words: "Whatever you are doing should be done mindfully, dynamically, with totality and completeness. Then it becomes meditation. It is not thinking, but experiencing from moment to moment, living from moment to moment, without clinging, without condemning, without judging."
This book is an experience of that. We meet Munindra, who is an example of what he says. I think of him now when I start to feel angry, when I sit in traffic, when I am sad. I ask myself, "What would Munindra do?" That brings me to peace, acceptance, joy.
The title is just right, "Living This Life Fully." We are given the experience and the tools.
David Wong is quoted as saying of Munindra, "He made himself transparent. He pointed to the moon and I saw the moon; I did not see the finger." In the same way, author Mirka Knaster's prose is transparent, and Munindra shines through. A brief biography of Munindra by Robert Pryor presents the outline of his life in a spare but informative way, and each chapter fleshes out the depth, dedication, and lightness of this remarkable teacher. Munindra greatly influenced the spread of the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha) in the West but is less known than many of his students because he did not publish books or start a Dharma center of his own. Now, by writing "Living This Life Fully," Mirka Knaster has answered the question that appeared in her mind while meditating in May 2004, shortly after his death: "Who is honoring Munindra-ji's life and legacy in the Dhamma?"
"Living This Life Fully" is the only written work on the life and teachings of this remarkable teacher.
I read the book as slowly as I could because it has so much to teach me. Here was a man who believed that if it was possible for the Buddha to become enlightened, it was possible for any of us. And he spent every moment in that endeavor--and succeeded. What an inspiration!
Anagarika Munindra was a good friend of SN Goenka (Munindra spearheaded the constuction of Dhamma Giri, and it was his favorite place to meditate), and was Dipa Ma's main teacher(and thus a pivotal supporter of the feminine-buddha that flowed through her to shed light on the unconscious sexism/paternalism of the Theravada). Munindra, unlike many of the eastern yogis whose natural presence was/is one of super-projection and formidable presence (esp to western psyches), was a master of self-effacement and subtlety. Slight of build, and sweet-humored, his organizing compass was compassion and service, even though he was a master of the extremely fierce adhittana sitting practice and long solitary retreats, and thoroughly understood siddhis (he guided Dipa Ma's journey through them and onto much more).
Mirka Knaster's recently published book on this vipassana master is a solid contribution. This text is clearly a masterpiece on the part of Ms. Knaster, and we are fortunate to have it inform the roots of vipassana in the West so that it may flourish in wisdom.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very informative book, I learned a lot by reading it. I would recommend it to anyone
who is practicing mindfulness.
I'm a commuter.. I am in a car hours a day.. no time for reading.. PLEASE and AUDIBLE version, I would like to hear this book. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Yetanotherguy
Amazing spiritual master. I feel fortunately to have had a glimpse into his life.Published 4 months ago by neosimulacrum
I stumbled upon this book while searching for supplemental material for studying The Ten Paramis. I highly recommend this beautifully-written, and well-researched book for anyone... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Scott
His students are my teachers. It was sweet knowing a bit more about my 'ancestor'.Published 14 months ago by Satipatipatti
Highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn about the great Theravadin pioneer teacher from India who helped giving birth to the Vipassana movement in the West. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Uffe Damborg
Very inspiring, like Boswell's "Life of Johnson".... Thank you for this wonderful portrait , so beautifully organized and written.Published on July 2, 2014 by a reader from MN
This book breaks down mindful meditation really simple which ironically it is! With all the personal examples there is much guidance for meditation and the reason why one should... Read morePublished on May 18, 2014 by Charlie A.
Things do seem to happen as they are supposed to, in their own peculiar time. A review copy of Mirka Knaster’s Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra, was... Read morePublished on May 9, 2014 by Peter Clothier