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Foundations

23 Jun

Here are some of the best books for a beginner – very good introductions to the basic ideas of Buddhist thought, taking the common subset between Theravada, Mahayana and other schools.

 

A good first book, by Richard Gethin.

gethin book image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Foundations of Buddhism_Gethin_1998

 

And here’s another classic by Dr Rahula Walpole

rahulawalpolawhatthebuddhataught

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the Buddha Taught_Walpole

 

And here’s one by Paul Williams

buddhist-thought

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buddhist Thought_Paul Williams

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull – Richard Bach

27 Jun

 ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ is a fable about the quest for perfection in a seagull, Jonathan. A rare seagull, Jonathan, aspires to fly not for food but ‘to know what (he) can do in the air’. While all the other gulls in his flock squabble for morsels of food, Jonathan spends his time practicing speed and trying to achieve ‘terminal velocity’.
His various misadventures while practicing speed, lead him to be banished from his flock. Jonathan, as an outcast, then creates his own personal paradise as a lonely seagull passionately following his dream of perfect flight.
Two seagulls ‘pure as starlight’ fetch Jonathan from this personal paradise to guide him to a higher level of consciousness – to a place closer to Heaven. Here, Jonathan finds seagulls who are more like him, in their passion for achieving perfect flight. Jonathan stays in the place and learns. His flying improves until one day he can reach from one place to another at the speed of thought.
At this point, Jonathan is faced with a dilemma of whether to continue his personal pursuit for perfection further, or to help those ordinary sea-gulls he had left long ago to discover the ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ in each one of them. He chooses the latter and returns to the flock which had banished him. Jonathan’s constant and painstaking attempts at arousing this passion for perfection in his fellow gulls slowly start bearing fruit as one by one, these gulls start seeking out his company and tuition. 
And through each of these gulls Jonathan’s quest continues. 

A classic forever…

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull_Richard Bach

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