Ajahn Brahm has been a practising monk for over thirty years and is currently the abbot and spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia.
He is a popular spiritual teacher and speaker wherever he travels in the world with several popular spiritual titles to his name; including books with titles such as Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung and Don’t Worry Be Grumpy
He is also known as a mystic with more than a dash of a sense of humour!
A New Word for an Old Concept.
Brahm opens his latest book Kindfulness with his explanation of how his amalgamation of the words kindness and mindfulness came to him after what was potentially a bad case of food poisoning was mostly adverted by being kind and sympathetic to his own internal organs.
The result was an unexpectedly rapid healing and the realization on Brahm’s part that kindness is a powerful dynamic in its own right.
Furthermore the author reveals his belief in the opening to his five-part discourse that kindfulness is a wonderful way of bringing this truth into our lives – which is effectively a way of acknowledging the powerful and transformative effect that being kind to both others and the world can have.
This also includes physical objects as well for early on in his book the author shares the story of the monk who studied at Brahm’s University for a while and whose kindness towards an ATM machine was subsequently rewarded by a spontaneous free-payout by it.
Despite the seeming frivolity behind Kindfulness the author embraces traditional Buddhist practice of meditation as a way of helping to unfold the kindfulness process.
This is followed by consideration of breathwork and then of awareness of the deep stillness that develops from it.
At this stage the author advocates the meditator infuses the process of mindfulness into the working cycles of the breath.
In the fourth stage of the work Brahm introduces the mix the process of bliss that naturally emerges from out of this passive state of being. It is then from that state of being that, as Brahms states in closing his book ‘You have everything it takes to walk the path of kindfulness.’
Our Review of ‘Kindfulness’ by Ajahn Brahm
Sometimes in practicing deep transformative, practical spiritual work that the simplest techniques are not only the easiest to follow but also the most effectual.
The advice offered by Brahms in his book is such a case in point for once again no technical shenanigans are offered here – just plain and simple advice on how to quickly and effectively revolutionize your whole approach to life.
Whilst the book calls upon Buddhist principles it is very much a modern book with modern views on the age old practice of meditation in particular.
I personally found the book to be insightful, delightful and to carry every part of those qualities of kindfulness that the author aspires to express.
This is definitely a book that will find favour with anyone who might be looking yo explore deeper and more authentic layers of their own complex psyche through meditation and personal self-awareness.