Bear Awareness: Questions and Answers on Taming Your Wild Mind (Paperback)
The bestselling author of Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? and one of the world's most beloved Buddhist monks answers meditators' questions. Most mindfulness meditation teachers praise the benefits of bare awareness, but English monk Ajahn Brahm teaches bear awareness. He helps meditators make friends with the scary things that come up on the cushion, and he knows how to lift the mood with a well-placed stuffed teddy--or a well-timed pun His "bad" jokes lift the mood and open the heart to a kinder and more compassionate perspective. Often the truth of what he says is in the joke itself. But the main purpose in looking on the bright side is to release problems that are keeping us from moving forward on the Buddhist path. Bear Awareness draws together questions and answers from retreats Ajahn Brahm led at his retreat center for lay meditators over several years. Whether he is urging readers to fly Buddha Air (sit back and relax on your way to nirvana), giving tips for dealing with panic attacks or depression, or extolling the bliss of meditation that is better than sex, he gives us permission to enjoy our lives and our practice. The intimacy of the question-and-answer format provides a fresh experience of learning from a master meditator.
Ajahn Brahm was born in London in 1951. At age sixteen, after reading books on Buddhism, he began regarding himself as Buddhist, and his interest in Buddhism and meditation flourished while studying theoretical physics at Cambridge University. He was ordained as a monk at age twenty-three and subsequently spent nine years studying and training in the forest meditation tradition under the renowned meditation master Venerable Ajahn Chah. In 1983 he was invited to go to Australia to help establish a forest monastery near Perth. Ajahn Brahm is now the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery and the spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. In 2005 Ajahn Brahm started a project to build a mediation center that provides a suitable environment for laypeople to receive training in meditation. Jhana Grove was inaugurated in April 2009. Since then, a large number of meditation retreats have been held there every year. A highly sought after speaker around the world, Ajahn Brahm attracts thousands to his inventive and insightful talks. He lives in Australia.