Resting in Stillness by Martin Jamyang Tenphel and Pema Düddul is a valuable collection of written pieces which will inspire, encourage and guide you on the Buddhist path. The authors are Co-Directors of the Jalü Buddhist Meditation Centre and have decades of personal practice under their belts as well as plenty of experience in teaching workshops and courses in meditation, mindfulness, compassion and more.
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The Jalü Buddhist Meditation Centre offers secular courses in Calm Abiding and Insight meditation as well as Buddhist courses which draw from both the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and the Chan tradition of Zen. Many of the pieces which appear in this collection were written in response to questions asked by those attending meditation classes or participating in discussion groups, so they cover a range of topics that will be of interest to anyone who is looking to develop their own practice and understanding.
The style and tone of writing is at once friendly, personable, direct and pragmatic. To illustrate, consider the following excerpt from the chapter titled Making Tea:
Dharma practice is like making a cup of tea. We prepare by studying and contemplating the teachings, this is like putting tea and sugar in the cup. Then we pour boiling water into the cup and let it steep. The steeping process is equivalent to our Shamatha practice. The longer we let the tea steep, the stronger, more powerful, and more flavourful the tea will become. What do we need to do to help the tea steep? Nothing. We just rest, relax and wait for it to do its own thing. The same goes for Shamatha practice. The more we practice relaxing and resting in the stillness of Shamatha, the more we will experience the deep satisfying joy of our True Nature.
This book has forty-eight short chapters in total, and these focus on everything from what to do when one is too distressed to meditate, how to recognise and train in pure awareness and how to deal with difficult times, right through to how to meditate, how to practice sky gazing, how to get unstuck, the true nature of mind, and more.
Resting in Stillness isn’t a book to rush through in a single sitting, but a collection that you will want to dip into repeatedly for inspiration, teaching and a new perspective as you progress along the Buddhist path. The pieces here can benefit everyone, so whether you are brand new to Buddhism and meditation or an established practitioner, you will find Resting in Stillness to be a valuable and encouraging companion.