- The State of Mind Called Beautiful by Sayadaw U. Pandita
- Publisher: Wisdom Publications
- Date Published: 05 Sept. 2017
- Format: Paperback
Sayadaw U. Pandita (1921 – 2016) was the abbot of Panditarama Monastery and Meditation Centre in Rangoon. In his book The State Of Mind Called Beautiful he reveals teachings of the Theravada tradition of Buddhism via transcripts taken from a series of talks he gave during a month-long retreat at the Insight Meditation Centre in Barre, Massachusetts.
The primary focus throughout the introduction to his book is upon Dhamma Vinaya – a practice that sets forth a monks code of conduct although its true essence is not a verbal one. Pandita describes it in his book in the following terms.
“The meaning will appear insomuch as it is enacted, experienced, and brought to life within an individual.”
Further more he states that “Based on reason, fully in accord with the truth, Dhamma Vinaya uplifts one’s thoughts and actions. It purifies, cultivates, refines, heals and beautifies.”
Back to Basics
Pandita begins with an introduction to the basics of Buddhism before moving on to consider many of its associated practices arranged so as to “sweeten and strengthen the mind, heal societies and families, as well as lead to liberation. Whilst these are integral aspects to Buddhist practice it is a process that offers a great deal to our somewhat overburdened and polluted Western minds.
As an extension of this the mental aberrations or diseases are the core structures upon which we build our society and communities – which might partially explain why the world is in such a rough shape right now.
The book concludes with a questions and answers section, a glossary of English-Pali terms and an index.
Whilst I found The State Of Mind Called Beautiful to be a fascinating and absorbing read it is, however, a publication that requires a solid grounding in Buddhist teachings and is not the sort of collection of commentaries that fall easy on the mind from first reading.
That apart this is a thoughtfully and expertly-compiled work and the inclusion of an index aids the process of cross-relating the different concepts much easier. For those who are already appreciative of the author’s teachings and style of presentation this book will be thoroughly treasured and appreciated for its sheer depth of insight.
Credit: Review copy kindly supplied by PGUK, London.