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Book: Practical Meditation with Buddhist Principles

We have something a little different today, a guest reviewer! This time, Matt Siegrist tells us about a bargain discovery he recently found. If you would like to do a review of some Buddhism-related product, drop me a note and we’ll move on from there!

Practical Meditation with Buddhist principles

By Venerable Thubten Lhundrup
Hinkler Books, 64 pages, full color
ISBN: 978-1-7415-7772-3
Amazon Link:
Reviewed by Matt Siegrist

This book and DVD boxed set offers an introduction to meditation and Buddhist principles. Throughout the book are numerous beautiful pictures, covering everything from statues, paintings and bowls to close-ups of quilts and other exotic fabrics. Written by a Mahayana monk, the book covers all aspects of Buddhism, Theravadin and Mahayana to Zen and Pure Land Buddhism. It also covers many (I hesitate to say all) aspects of Buddhism, from a short history to the Four Noble Truths, suffering, the Eightfold Noble Path, all the way to mindfulness, karma, and the path to enlightenment. The last fifth of the book offers phrases to meditate upon. The DVD offers a brief introduction and short guided meditations with audio and video.

The Good:

The book is constructed of high-quality glossy paper that will last for many thumbings through. The pictures are incredibly colorful and clear, and cover many different subjects. If you want a quick refresher on Buddhism, the book can be read in an hour. The DVD didn’t appear to be of studio quality to me, but it was very peaceful to watch. If you meditate with your eyes open the guided meditations offer many pictures different from the book that are just as equally striking and mesmerizing.

The Bad:

The cover is little more than cardboard stock, and the ring binder doesn’t give it much appeal to leave around as a coffee table book. While the author does attempt to cover everything, there are many aspects in which he doesn’t provide much more than a short synopsis of the principle. The pictures, while amazingly beautiful to look at, have no background information supplied about them. If you are new to Buddhism, you aren’t even sure what you are exactly looking at.

Bottom Line: If you have listened to the first ten podcasts of the Daily Buddhism the book will not offer you any new information. However, if you want a reference book that is short and concise this book will serve you well. The guided meditations on the DVD are short, so if you have been meditating for any length of time they probably are too short for you. I found this boxed set book and DVD package while walking through the local Borders bookstore where it was on clearance for $7.99, and if you can get it at that price I would definitely purchase it.

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