The Five-Minute Buddhist Books

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Book: Natural wakefulness Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With

Book: Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With
By Gaylon Ferguson
Shambhala Publications, 204 pages, to be released April 14, 2009
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590306570/?tag=askdrarca-20

The beginning of this book explains that we are born “Awake” but quickly get mired down in the daily day-to-day work of living. This is just the way things work in the world. But, as Buddhists know, we can “Awaken” to reality and become Enlightened. In his book, Gaylon Ferguson focus on RE-awakening, or enhancing that natural wakefulness with which we all enter this world.


The book is clearly written with everyday English and a minimum of jargon, a feature of which I completely approve. He covers a large number of topics, and includes chapters on mindfulness of body meditation, mindfulness of feeling, awareness of the mind’s flow, seeing beyond hope and fear, and awakening from the nightmare of materialism and much more.

Gaylon Ferguson recieved training from the Tibetan Master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and if you have read books by any of his other students, you will see much here that is familiar. The book is heavily focused on meditation and improving your meditation practice. There are quite a few meditation exercises and ideas that you can incorporate into your own practice.

There is a section at the end which explains the sources of many of the quotes used in the book. Not just the basic bibliography, but also some of the context, which was interesting. There is a short section of additional resources, most of which are tied in with Shambhala.

This is an excellent book to help you get more serious with your meditation practice. It’s probably not for the absolute novice at meditation, but if you’ve been sitting for maybe a couple of weeks (at least long enough to know how to start) and are running into problems, this might be a good next step. The author’s focus on learning to trust that we are already naturally awake is an interesting point of view with which to work, and he often emphasizes the importance and benefits of making the commitment to a regular meditation practice.

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