‘Being Still’ – my new book
As those of you who know me are aware, my mission has always been to drag meditation out of the waffle of religion and the New Age – to present it as the essential and valuable life skill that it is.
This book, ‘Being Still’ is drawn from many different sources, and it’s as clear as I’ve always been striving to get. It is drawn from own experiences with the many monks and nuns who have taught me over the years and includes the best parts of my previous two books (which I’ve since discontinued).
I always remembered my confusion I felt when I first came to meditation thirty years ago. I wanted something I could use to pull my life out of the free-fall it was in at that time, but there was so much misinformation and nonsense being written and spoken about meditation at that time it felt impossible to find anything I could work with.
Which is why I decided to go and practice at the source, in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand.
So, in 1990 I sent away to the Buddhist society in Bangkok to find monasteries that accepted foreigners. They sent me a typewritten letter on which was listed five different places. As I had no idea which place was suitable for me, I decided to let providence guide me. I pinned the list to a dart board and threw a dart at it to decide. The dart landed on Sorn Thawee Meditation Centre in Thailand.
I immediately wrote away for permission to stay for a month to begin training in Vipassana meditation, which, of all the methods I’d read about, seemed the most sensible.
I realized later the dart chose well.
The teachers at Sorn Thawee – Acharn Thawee Baladhammo and his assistants Phra Manfred and Mae Che Brigitte, (each of who taught me over the next six retreats I took there) – were perfect for me – a wonderful combination of patience, stern kindness and clarity.
At first I struggled and made every mistake that could be made. But gradually, as I kept practicing, meditation began to make sense in a way it never had before. As time passed I noticed wonderful changes beginning to appear in me and my life. My mind was becoming more intuitively inspired and my body more flexible and alive.
I was blown away that something as simple as learning to be still could be so effective. I couldn’t understand why this elementary skill was not being taught in schools and practiced everywhere.
So I started writing my books with that in mind – beginning with ‘Happy to Burn’, then ‘Love and Imagination’ – and now the distillation of those previous works, and all my experience – ‘Being Still’.
All with the goal of making meditation as accessible and practical a thing to do as brushing the teeth and exercising.
So if you buy my book, and after reading it you think I’ve succeeded in my mission, then please leave a review on Amazon. I’d very much appreciate it.
All the best to everybody. Let’s make some sanity in a mad, mad world.
(The audiobook includes all the exercises, as well as ebooks of Being Still, to fit any device.)