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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Jack the 'Stripper'

A Path with Heart: by Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield's book is an EXCELLENT account of the type of meditation an the type of Buddhist meditation you will find at amaravati, or any other of the forest Sangha chain monasteries.

He was a monk on and off for AGES in this chain of monasteries. He robed and disrobed so often that the other monks affectionately took the p*** by referring to him as Jack the stripper.
I got to know 2 monks at Devon Vihara that used to know him while he was a monk.
NB. By the way, it would be considered disrespectful and rude to refer to him using that term. Its ok for his 'mates' to call him that, but its not ok for any old person to call him that. You'll understand once you find out a bit more about the monastic path. It can make being in the marines look like a walk in the park! No kidding. It's a hothouse in every sense, and can push you to your absolute limits, if you let it. Mentally emotionally and physically. It can be a doss too. It just depends on the approach you take.

Anyway, he's basically a product of that 'lineage' of teaching, and so this book (apart from being a spiritual classic) tells you a lot about what might be in store for you, if you were to try and practice meditation in the 'style' that is done in Amaravati.
So basically its a roadmap for how to do it, and what you might end up having to deal with as a result of doing it.

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