by Mitch Sullen

Peter’s recent dharma talk about bringing the kind of mindfulness we practice “on the cushion” into daily life was very timely for the Orlando Insight Meditation Group Book Club.

As our small group wraps up the 15-week review of Stephen Batchelor’s Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening, another book has come into focus that also offers “a practical tool one might use to foster/nurture awakening now.” Living Meditation, Living Insight: The Path of Mindfulness In Daily Living by Dr. Thynn Thynn  was originally self-published in 1992.  Click here for a free download.

I invite anyone who has an interest in joining the OIMG Book Club to discuss this book to contact me by email or phone 407-529-5531 by Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

I suggest we use the same approach we used for the inaugural book club review, at least for starters, and we can make whatever modifications we agree upon, as we go along:

  • Click here for a free download of Living Meditation, Living Insight: The Path of Mindfulness In Daily Living. You can print a copy for your use.
  • We each read the entire book within an agreed upon timeframe.
  • Then we re-read 1-2 chapters per week, highlighting what we want to discuss, in preparation for  meeting weekly.
  • We meet at least 1 hour per week for the discussion.
  • Our meeting will be at 8 PM on Thursdays after the 12-Step Meditation meeting at the 1st Congregational Church Music Room in Winter Park. The opportunity to meditate prior to our meeting would be available at 6:16 PM to anyone interested.  We also might choose to go over to the nearby Panera’s Bread as we often did for the inaugural book club review.
  • Between meetings, we could communicate by phone and email among each other as we choose, to further our understanding and practice of the chapter(s).  We can also each practice what we gain day to day, moment to moment.  I believe a growing awakening could be a byproduct of this steady activity.

Some things I really value about Dr. Thynn’s approach to dharma/meditation practice are:

  • Like Batchelor did in his book, she shares her insights in common Western terminology and concepts, which for me, makes dharma practice more immediately understandable and useful.  It offers less time translating terminology and more time “awakening.”
  • She focuses on practicing mindfulness, concentration, and equanimity in day to day living, versus practicing the same “on the cushion.”
  • She doesn’t promote giving up formal sitting meditation, but rather offers practical steps on how one can further use the “capacity” gained from that practice in helping us to face and “see” the world more”as it is” by watching our minds as we engage all aspects of daily life “off the cushion.”

Already upon my initial read of her short book, it is helping me to more often see clearer “in real time” how I “react” to the challenges and opportunities I face in day to day, moment to moment living.  Each 3-4 page chapter offers practice tools in how to train my mind to pause more prior to “knee jerk” reacting from my very entrenched habitual patterns.

I wish each of you well, and look forward to our partnering in awakening.-Mitch Sullen