An evening to select our next book for the Dharma-inspired book group

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Anne Foster

Nov 30, 2022, 11:19:24 AM11/30/22
to IMC Dharma Friends

An Evening to Select Our Next Book


 Next Zoom meeting: Friday, December 2, 5-6:30 p.m. Pacific time




Take a look at the books people we will be choosing from below. This Friday, we will hear more about why folks are interested in the books they have suggested.


The Dharma-Inspired book group is self-led. For our current book, Anne Foster is acting as facilitator and contact person:


Now WEEKLY via Zoom!


Meeting ID: 845 7323 5424

Passcode: 696522


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Meeting ID: 845 7323 5424

Passcode: 696522

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An Evening to Select our Next Book


Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong By Norman Fischer

Suggested by Sammy


Why: he’s a beautiful writer with an eclectic approach to spirituality. It’s not too long so it could be good for our format. I became interested in the Tibetan Lojong slogan compassion training practice after reading a book by Pema Chödron, and I think the group might find it valuable. I haven’t read this yet, but I’ve heard talks by Norman Fischer and read other writings by him and enjoy his humor, humility and clarity. OTOH, maybe since we just read someone from the zen tradition, maybe this book could be considered for a future read. Thanks.


Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenberg

Suggested by Cecilia

This book covers the Anapanasati Sutta which is meditation instruction. It could be a good follow-up to Joko Beck with her emphasis on the importance of meditating. He touches many of the themes she addressed. He also includes Zen teachings in his discussions of the Theravada Sutta. I find this book to be quite readable. 



The only time mindfulness can happen is in the present moment; if you are thinking of the past, that is memory. It is possible to be mindful of memory, of course, but such mindfulness can only happen in the present.


Mindfulness is unbiased. It is not for or against anything, just like a mirror, which does not judge what it reflects. Mindfulness has no goal other than the seeing itself. It doesn’t try to add to what’s happening or subtract from it, to improve in anyway.


It isn’t detached, like a person standing on a hill far away from an experience, observing it with binoculars. It is a form of participation – you are fully living out your life, but you are awake in the midst of it – and it is not limited to the meditation hall. It can be used on a simple process like the breathing, or on highly charged and unpleasant emotions like fear or loneliness. It can also follow us into the ordinary life situations that make up our day. Eventually, it becomes more a way of living than a technique.          Pp. 15 -16


Relax and be Aware: Mindfulness meditations for clarity, confidence and wisdom by Sayadaw U Tejaniya

Suggested by Anne

U Tejaniya teaches the technique of remaining mindful throughout the day. It is a light touch style. IMC’s Andrea Fella teaches this approach in her daily life meditation retreats and ongoing groups. Several people during our last book mentioned they were finding it difficult to follow Charlotte Joko Beck’s exhortations to be mindful all the time. This book is a step-by-step manual in this process. The first third of the book are specific instructions. The rest are daily meditations that start very simple and gradually grow in how much of your awareness they encompass. I’m working through right now and am really enjoying it. It would be a different style for our book group. After we finished the first two chapters we would be focused on discussing our experiences employing this technique in our daily life as opposed to the words in the book.


I have attached some excerpts from the book.


excerpts from Relax and be Aware.pdf
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