An amazingly succinct and accessible answer to the question "What is enlightenment?"--from one of America's most prominent teachers of Insight Meditation.
One of today's most highly regarded Insight Meditation teachers describes the process of enlightenment in a way anyone can understand--demonstrating in clear language why we operate with the illusion of separation, how we can move out of it to the realization of emptiness and no-self, and how we can live from that state of awakening. He provides brief, powerful exercises that enable us to challenge the reality of our thoughts in order free ourselves from the illusion they keep us bound to, all the while steering us away from the temptation to regard spiritual practice as a process of self-improvement or a goal to be obtained.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. In Search of the Essence 2. Consensus Paradigm and Abstract Thought 3. The Divided Mind 4. Governing Laws of the Formless Paradigm 5. Comparing Strategies: Adaptation and Surrender 6. Crossing the Divide 7. The Buddhist Continuum: Suffering and the End of Suffering 8. Other Continuums 9. The Discerning Power of Awareness 10. The Principles of Practice 11. The Applications of Practice 12. A Paradigm's Shift Toward the Heart 13. Living Non-Separation
“With systematic precision, and with subtle wisdom born of a lifetime of practice, Rodney Smith uses science, psychology, and traditional Buddhism to explain the unexplainable: the how and why of authentic spiritual awakening. The book’s thorough and remarkable argument is bolstered throughout with subtle exercises that guide the reader to experiential appreciation. Radically simple, but never facile or easy, Awakening is an original work by a contemporary spiritual master at the height of his powers.”—Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion
“Rodney Smith presents the results of the shift of view that spiritual practices aim for. This approach helps the reader to review his/her spiritual path from a fresh perspective and to avoid effort based on the self-paradigm that is the main obstacle to awakening. This book has much to offer and can be read and reread many times for wise reflection.” —Ajahn Sucitto, author of Turning the Wheel of Truth