‘What exactly should I be working on in my spiritual life?’
This is the question that Subhuti sets before us, along with what we most need to answer it for ourselves.
Long before the discoveries of contemporary neuroscience and psychology, the Buddha gained insight into the nature of mind. In early Buddhism this profound insight informed the Abhidharma – a ‘training manual’ to help us understand and transform our own minds. Subhuti brings this manual to life, and shows us the ways in which it illuminates our mind’s patterns. Outlining the processes whereby the mind attends to the world, and explaining how mindfulness fits into the pattern of spiritual development from the perspective of the Abhidharma, Subhuti guides us expertly to an appreciation of how mental states arise, and how to distinguish between skilful mental states and their opposites. In this way, we are given the means to live a happier and more fruitful life, and ultimately a pathway to liberation from all suffering. We are also offered a glimpse of how the enlightened mind of a Buddha works – the mind in its ultimate harmony.
Subhuti has led retreats in Europe, the United States and India on the Buddhist texts of the Yogacara Abhidharma, the source of this system of mind training. This book is the fruit of that teaching experience.
‘It’s not our bank balance, looks, social status or popularity that determines how happy, free and fulfilled we are in life. Finally, what really counts is our state of mind. Subhuti helps us to identify what’s going on in our mind, including our moods and emotions, and see clearly what’s helpful and what will end in tears.’ – Vessantara, author of The Breath and A Guide to the Buddhas
‘This is a refreshing approach to the classical Abhidharma material, relentlessly experiential and eminently practical. It offers a way of engaging directly with the sophisticated elements of Buddhist psychology that is immediately accessible and offers a real prospect of transformation. I heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to use Buddhist wisdom to explore and clarify their minds.’ – Andrew Olendzki, author of Unlimiting Mind, senior scholar at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies