I am an avid reader and listener. I listen to a lot of mystery novels, and especially love the "cozies". I also like most non-fiction!
I like Kornfield and I've listened to his Teachings on the Ten Perfections, and the much more in-depth (and longer and more expensive) Buddhism for Beginners.
I really enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) this, a shorter but very informative and comforting, book.
This book begins with a good bit of the history of Buddhism, from its inception in India with Sidhartha Guatama, to it's spread to South East Asia and the rest of the world. I always like to be reminded of the different sects, and Kormfield clearly helps provide understanding of the differences and locations of Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism (under which large umbrella falls Zen) and Vajrayahana Buddhism (Tibetan).
He then provides guided meditations, which are very peaceful and help guide the mind toward serenity (perhaps eventually to enlightenment??).
He has anecdotes and reflections, and reminders on how we cause ourselves suffering, trying to hold onto our bodies and not wanting them to age, grasping for things or ideas...
Really - I won't just keep telling you what he says - I enjoy this book and have listened to it fully twice and continue to "skim" through it while resting quietly or walking.
(PS - not much of a story to this book, but Audible wouldn't let me write a review unless I rated the story!)
This audio-book is a series of talks by Kornfield rather than an actual "book". They are recorded live, and so you do hear the audience's laughter or shufflings. This is fine by me - I feel like Kornfield is talking directly to me, as if I were present in the audience.
The talks are sequential, and, I am sure, were delivered over several days at the same conference, so there is cohesion and development. The theme of the series is Buddhist Psychology, but each talk, varying in length from about 45 minutes to an hour, focuses on one main common aspect of the Buddhist Psychology. For example, the first talk is really a sort of introduction, which talks about what Buddhism isn't and also introduces the "types" of personalities we all embody - the "grasping", or greed, type; the avoidance type; etc.
The other talks then have a specific focus - one is on greed, and how it corrupts; one on loving kindness; one on generosity - be generous to all ("and that doesn't mean everyone except moi", quips Kornfield! - so be generous to yourself, too!); etc...
I really enjoyed this audio, and I continue to listen to it or different parts of it regularly.
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys Buddhist talks or Kornfield.
Here's an idea:
Get this book (there is only one by Joseph Goldstein here; but what a gem!)
and a couple of Jack Kornfields' (they are all excellent)
and a couple of Pema Chodrins' (this is key, mind won't wake without heart)
Maybe throw in Ram Das or Adyashanti
(Alan Watts minces no words either)
Take a couple of weeks off
Go somewhere quiet and full of nature
Listen, sit, walk, transform.