In an awakened life, our hearts are open, steady and purposeful. Most people today have a greater income, as well as more goods and labour - saving devices, than any other generation in history. Yet stress, discontent, personal and social problems abound. Drawing on the deepest discoveries of the Buddhist tradition, well-known retreat master, Christopher Titmuss, suggests we spend far too much time in superficial preoccupaions and not enough in looking deeply into things. He urges us to fearlessly transform the forces of desire and dissatisfaction that haunt our daily lives - and to awaken to the Immeasurable. Inspired by the 20th Century classic, Zend Mind, Beginner's mind, he gives practical advice on such subjects as: understanding our feelings , taking risks, becomming more detached and rediscovering our true selves. And he shows us how to have free, fulfilled and uninhibited lives amidst the frenzy of everyday activity.
In this simple, cogent book, former Buddhist monk Titmuss (Light on Enlightenment) gently explores why the unexamined life is not worth living. Mixing Buddhist principles with the most sensible aphorisms of popular psychology, Titmuss argues that the genuinely awakened person is, first and foremost, self-aware. Titmuss's 76 chapters are extremely brief, encompassing no more than a few pages, making the book accessible as daily meditations. Straightforward, practical advice is often beautifully mixed with Buddhist paradox; when discussing the importance of prudent speech, for example, Titmuss writes that "what is whispered in an ear is often heard a hundred miles away." Although the chapters cover themes as diverse as the sexual revolution and the importance of regular meditative reading, one motif dominates all others: the need to retrench from worldly materialism. Titmuss has harsh words for Western consumer culture, where he says individuals have more wealth and less real happiness than in any other society in history. He advocates the practice of allowing individuals to "drop out" for a while (as the Buddha once did, leaving his family and a world of luxury to seek enlightenment). To counteract the relentless selfishness of consumerism, Titmuss advocates careful self-examination through meditation, communion with nature and healthy relationships with others.