Finding Fearlessness in the Face of Change
This book is one of the best explanations of what the separate self is, what it does, and how being free of the static sense of a separate self benefits humanity, leaving us “peaceful yet engaged.” It reminds us of why awakening is not just about personal freedom, but also compassion, ethics, action, and care and concern for all sentient beings. These elements are sometimes missed in our modern attempts to translate Buddhist texts in order to “rush to a personal awakening.”
“I wrote Living as a River because I’m fascinated by the Buddhist Six Element Practice and I wanted to communicate my explorations. But my book isn’t really about the Six Element Practice (which is really just the framework for the explorations it contains). It’s a way of letting go of our clinging so that we can, eventually, lose our clinging and find freedom. But that’s not a very adequate description of the book either” says Bodhipaksa.
Living As A River contains a great balance between explaining awakening and giving direct injunctions to the reader to bring about the awakening. As Bodhipaksa explains, like a river —life is dynamic, vibrant, ever-changing. The static, fixed views of ourselves, others, and the world freeze us, stifling our creativity, and turning us away from the inherent love within each of us.
*Bodhipaksa adds: “I could describe the book in just two words: “Embracing change.” So that’s what the book’s about. It uses the structure of the Six Element meditation in order to face up to the reality of change, and to help us let go of clinging so that we can embrace impermanence.”
This book perfectly illuminates the real purpose of awakening, which is not to just talk about that river or even enter the river, but to realize we are it —fully.
Product Details: Softcover Book (364 pages)/ Publish Date: Oct. 01, 2010/ ISBN: 1-59179-910-4
Bodhipaksa was born Graeme Stephen in Scotland, and currently lives and teaches in New Hampshire. He is a Buddhist teacher and author who has been practicing within the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order since 1982, and has been a member of the Western Buddhist Order since 1993. He runs the online meditation center Wild Mind, whose mission is to increase awareness of the positive effects of meditation.
*excerpt from his Living As A River site.