The Mindfulness in Plain English Collection is a stunning hardback volume which brings together three classic titles on mindfulness by Bhante Gunaratana. Those titles are: Mindfulness in Plain English, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English, and Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English.
This collector’s edition from Wisdom Publications runs to 640 pages and provides the reader with comprehensive instruction on the practice of mindfulness, from beginner to advanced. It lays the groundwork with Mindfulness in Plain English, which we have reviewed previously. First published in 1994, this title guides the reader step-by-step to developing greater levels of mindfulness by practicing vipassana meditation.
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness comes next, and that title is based on the Satipatthana Sutta, which teaches mindfulness of the body, of feelings, of mind and of Dhamma. In this book, Bhante presents the teachings in his trademark plain-English style, clarifying and expounding points for a modern western audience.
The third book in this collection is Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English, which Joseph Goldstein described as ‘a straightforward and pragmatic guide to deepening levels of concentration and insight.’ As the title suggests, in this book Bhante goes beyond mindfulness to discuss the ‘jhanas’. These are states of meditation that really have to be experienced to be fully appreciated, but which are often discussed in terms of being joyous, powerful and incredibly calm.
Having all three of these classic Bhante Guaranta titles together in a beautiful single-volume collection is a real privilege, and The Mindfulness in Plain English Collection should serve as an inspirational and indispensable guide for everyone who embarks on the path of mindfulness.