Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review: Living as a River by Bodhipaksa


Finding Fearlessness in the Face of Change

by Bodhipaksa

Are you a "stream entrant"?  This captivating phrase is presented in this profound book to describe someone who has faced their fears, has loosened their grip in clinging to the illusion of permanence, and has surrendered into the flow, into the fluidity of life and has made strides in the dissolution of any idea that they are a separate, independent self.  His teachings are based in Buddhism and so integrates Buddhist concepts into something he calls the Six Element Practice.  He states:  "In this practice we reflect in turn on the elements Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space and Consciousness, noting how each is an everchanging process rather than a static thing to which we can cling.  The essence of the practice is letting go, and traditionally the Six Element reflection is said to lead to the development of equanimity and to the cultivation of the formless jhanas."  (Jhana is a meditative state of profound stillness and concentration in which the mind becomes fully immersed and absorbed in the chosen object of attention.)

This book is one of those reads that will change you.  I read this one slowly, assimilating each concept at my own pace.  Reading these teachings was a journey of confronting hidden beliefs and assumptions leading to liberation and transformation in my thinking.  My kind of book!

Book Review by Sanna Rose, M.A., RScP

Living as a River is available from Stepping Stones Books and Gifts

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