Friday, 24 August 2012

Book Review: Pure and Simple: The Buddhist Teachings of a Thai Laywoman

Genre:  Religion & Spirituality
Author: Upasika Kee Nanayon 
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Pure and simply the most profound book on buddhism I have ever read, Kee's simple writing keeps unpeeling in layer after layer like an onion. One is never able to completely plunge the depths of what she is saying. This book can be read by those with a minimal understanding of Buddhism but they would miss a lot.

This is a remarkable book by a remarkable woman.

"Upasika Kee (1901-78) was an extremely popular Buddhist teacher in Thailand, starting a retreat center in the hills outside Rajburi that still thrives today. In this rare collection of her writings, Upasika Kee displays relentless honesty in conveying her experience of, and devotion to, Dhamma practice. She says one must be uncompromising in one's dedication to upholding Buddhist precepts. To detach from ego-based thought, to persistently practice meditation and breath work, to tame the "monkey mind," these are the basics, and, in her opinion, the only road to awareness. According to Upasika Kee, without serious practice, one will never stop the suffering caused by the mental "defilements" that drive us. Readers just learning about Buddhism will find the book thought-provoking, but the real audience will be those already dedicated to Buddhist practice. Interestingly, Upasika Kee was self-taught, learning most of her practice from reading. It seems apropos for this book to be the means for other Buddhist devotees to follow suit. Janet St. John" (Amazon)

(Originally posted to Multiply October 14, 2008)

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