Dhammamegha here again. I was in my teens and having a bit of a rough time when I first had a spontaneous experience of great expansiveness and love. It was suffused with peace and proved to be a turning point in my life.
Before the Internet, and relying on a small suburban library in Cape Town, I looked for anything that might resonate with that experience. And that’s when I found my first Dharma books. They helped me to keep in touch with something of the freedom and courage that the experience pointed to.
Now of course we have so many more ways to come into contact with the Dharma. We have much easier access to Buddhist resources and sanghas across the world. Within that wealth of inspiration and guidance, books have a unique place. They sustain engagement with Buddhist themes and history, they develop ideas, and they can bring out a lifetime of practice in forms that we can learn from and follow.
Many (many) years later, I still love Dharma books and find nourishment in them. I love reading them and talking about them. Working for Windhorse Publications to commission new manuscripts brings with it the great privilege of talking with authors and readers about books as they are written and published.
So I’m delighted to be able to invite you into some of those conversations in our new project, The Windhorse Publications Podcast.
I’ll be talking to Windhorse authors past, present and future. As we go along, we will add book reviews and recommendations, and hear about our guests’ favourite books and inspiration. We’ll also look at new English-language Dharma books published by other publishers. I hope it will be fun and inspiring.
For our first two episodes, I approached one of our authors, Bhikkhu Anālayo. He was kind enough to spend an hour or so on Zoom with me early one morning, just before he went on a four-month retreat.
Our conversation starts with a discussion of Buddhist and secular approaches to mindfulness. Anālayo talks about his inspiration in writing two books that we published in 2019: Introducing Mindfulness and Mindfulness in Early Buddhism.
We will be releasing the second episode next month, which takes up other more socially engaged themes from my conversation with Anālayo; about truth, subjectivity, the relationship between practice on the cushion and the opening of the heart, and how the Dharma can inform our responses to collective suffering in the world today.
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