I want to strongly recommend to everyone a beautifully simple read, The Little Book of Contentment by Leo Babuta who is a great blogger @zen_habits (it’s just 77p on the kindle!).
This book is the first I’ve read to really express in everyday language with concrete and western examples how to shift perspective to have some contentment, now. Written from a kind and unpatronising vantage point. Leo clearly explains the differences of some similar constructs and ideas which can ironically become tangled and form common and unhelpful traps on the path towards being content.
It is a concise read though I would have liked to have read a little more on practical tips with an appreciation of pitfalls, for instance a little more about imperfectly learning, and also a little more on the difference between attention verses thinking. The latter is something which is highlighted a lot in the Mindfulness and Compassion teachings at The London Buddhist Centre: In a thought-obsessed culture we often try to think out way out of problems and so get caught in making stories. As Leo rightly explains we need to put our attention and gratitude towards our everyday experiences and embrace the pleasant, and unpleasant. However the book sometimes alludes to creating new positive thought-based-stories about ourselves which can eventually become unhelpful in my experience. To me this is what would be called secondary experience and not primary experience, in other words equally just a fantasy. I much prefer Leo’s recommendations of creating awareness, space and learning from these. Overall a superb and concise read, and one which feels refreshingly containing.
Bravo Leo, and thank you.
#Mindfulness + #Compassion = #Contentment
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