The brightened mind is one that is able to make better choices," says Sumano Bhikkhu. Having left the hectic world of Chicago real estate decades ago to become a Thai Buddhist monk, he knows what he's talking about. This simple, short introduction to meditation, particularly well suited to young people, can help anyone rattled with the stresses of living in today's society rife with financial uncertainty, war, crime, and the psychological assaults of bosses, teachers, and the media. His methods increase awareness, strengthen positive mental states, and develop insight. Eventually, the feeling of being overwhelmed becomes replaced with a sense of innate brilliance and trust in one's natural abilities. Moreover, the meditation Sumano teaches opens access to the infinite wisdom of the Universal Mind. An appendix on lovingkindness is an added benefit, providing the tools needed to face all challenges with a poised, cool, and compassionate heart.
About the Author
Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu was part of the original group of monks and yogis to visit England in the mid-70's. He was the first Westerner to be ordained in the tradition of Ajahn Chah. During the seven years he lived and trained in England, he worked to restore the old Victorian estate that has become the Dharma lotus of Theravada Buddhism. From this auspicious beginning more than ten centers in Europe have been established and are flourishing.
As a lay individual, Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu was one of the original benefactors in the purchase and development of Cittavivekn, a cave in northeast Thailand. Since 1998 he has traveled throughout the world leading retreats and spreading his dream of establishing a Spiritual Park outside of Bangkok which would bring together all the world's religions in the spirit of Unity and Peace. This center would teach skillful ways to live in the world and to accept and respect all Beings as brothers and sisters.
He has written many books on contemplative practice in the forest tradition. Those available in the U.S. are "Questions from the City, Answers from the Forest" and "Meeting the Monkey Halfway."
Sumano Bikkhu’s The Brightened Mind is a most precious little jewel, introducing the spiritual armchair traveler to the wonders of the Universal Mind as taught in the Buddhist meditative tradition. It is at once simple yet profound, pleasurable yet transformative, and practical yet mystical. It forces us to ask the most important of questions, and also points in the direction of the answers. I can only recommend it to anyone interested in inner freedom and enlightenment. It is a wonderful little book. Glenn H. Mullin author of a dozen books on Tibetan Buddhism including Death and Dying: The Tibetan Tradition and seven titles on the lives and works of the early Dalai Lamas
Drawing on decades of experience, Sumanu Bikkhu has written a profound yet accessible guide to meditation practice. Sumano Bikkhu expertly shows us the qualities brightened mind” from the inside, with a depth and insight emerging from years in meditation retreat. He shows us that anyone, with practice, can brighten awareness and lay the foundation for a life of freedom. Lama Willa Miller, teacher at the National Dharma Fellowship and author of Everyday Dharma: Seven Weeks to Finding the Buddha in You
The Brightened Mind, by Ajhan Sumano Bhikkhu, offers inspiring, multidimensional insights into the essence of meditation, not just in the quiet of your own room but also in the midst of all the forces of modern life vying to capture your attention. In working with this splendid little book, you will learn simple, powerful breath-related and other techniques to escape the narrow confines of your I-ego’ dominated mind and touch the transformative and ever-present reality of Universal Mind. Highly recommended for all readers! Dennis Lewis, author of The Tao of Natural Breathing, Free Your Breath, Free Your Life, and Breathe into Being: Awakening to Who You Really Are