Hell realms, gods, and hungry ghosts—these are just a few of the images on the Buddhist wheel of life. In Awakening from the Daydream, discover how these ancient symbols are still relevant to our modern life.
In Awakening from the Daydream, meditation teacher David Nichtern reimagines the ancient Buddhist allegory of the Wheel of Life. Famously painted at the entryway to Buddhist monasteries, the Wheel of Life encapsulates the entirety of the human situation. In the image of the Wheel we find a teaching about how to make sense of life and how to find peace within an uncertain world.
Nichtern writes with clarity and humor, speaking to our contemporary society and its concerns and providing simple practical steps for building a mindful, compassionate, and liberating approach to living.
Nichtern updates the traditional teaching aid of the Wheel of Life in this approachable, practical guide to Buddhist practice. The Wheel contains images of the six realms we can inhabit including the addictive, stultifying pleasure of the god realm, through the constantly shifting human realm, or the unceasing pain of the hell realm. Although traditionally thought of as modes of reincarnation, Nichtern describes the realms as mental states that we move between, sometimes quite rapidly. He clearly and briefly describes how each blocks our path towards enlightenment but also contain unique possibilities. He also provides concise and easily implemented meditation practices for coping with the negative effects of each and includes a basic guide to karma and advice for finding a spiritual guide. The work does feel slightly shallow at points, and could be more heavily illustrated as the Wheel is a visual representation. Nichtern's warm tone and gentle encouragement make this straightforward, clear, and current introduction to Buddhist thought and practice an ideal starting place for those seeking any type of mindfulness.