About the book
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Helps the reader gain insight into how Buddhism works to understand life.The Buddha taught that all mental phenomena and physical phenomena which naturally appear in our daily life can be objects of mindfulness and right understanding.
- It is by conditions that at this moment seeing arises then hearing, then perhaps dying, we never know the next moment. It is all beyond control. Each consciousness, citta, falls away but it conditions the next one and that is why tendencies are carried on from moment to moment and from life to life.
- What we take to be a person are just different mental and physical phenomena arising and passing away. The Buddha analyzed these in detail as nama (mind/mental factors) and rupa (physical/material phenomena).
- Nama can experience or know objects, while rupa cannot experience but can be experienced by nama. Seeing is nama that experiences visible object or rupa. Consciousness (citta) is the chief mental factor that arises to know an object. It is supported by other mental factors (cetasikas) that each have their own function. Consciousness and mental factors arise in processes or series, experiencing objects through the sense doors and mind door. This shows their impermanence and non-self nature.
- There are many different types of consciousness - wholesome, unwholesome, results of past kamma. We cannot control what type arises, only understand them.
- The aim is to develop understanding of realities as they are, as impermanent and non-self. This understanding can gradually eliminate ignorance and attachment to self.
- Mindfulness (sati) arises to remember or be aware of whatever reality appears in the present moment. It is not self-induced but depends on conditions.
- The Buddha’s teachings help live naturally while seeing the true nature of experiences, not relying on self.
Table of Contents
Preface. What is life? What is suffering? Processes of citta. Life is citta, cetasika and rūpa. What is Abhidhamma?
Keywords abhidhamma; buddhism; mindfulness; meditation; vipassana; insight
1st February 2024
Thema Subject Category: QRFB1
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About the author
Name: Gorkom, Nina Van Role: Author
International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI): 0000 0000 6398 0326
Nina van Gorkom was born in 1928 to a family of socialist intellectuals. Her father was a member of the Dutch parliament. She studied at Leyden University and during this time she became a Catholic. In 1952, she married Lodewijk van Gorkom, a Dutch diplomat.
In 1965, Lodewijk was posted to Thailand and Nina started learning the Thai language. She took a keen interest in Buddhism, attending classes for foreigners at Wat Mahathat. There she met, in the summer of 1966, Sujin Boriharnwanaket. Impressed by the profundity of the Buddhist teachings, she became convinced of the truth of the Buddha’s words and later assisted Khun Sujin in discussions about Buddhism for Thai radio stations. These talks were later published as Buddhism in Daily Life, her first book.
Nina and Lodewijk left Thailand in 1970 and lived in Japan, New York, Indonesia (where Lodewijk was the Dutch ambassador) and Austria. Lodewijk retired in 1990 and she now lives in The Hague in Holland.
Nina’s writings are well-known amongst English speaking Buddhists, and she is highly respected in Thailand where several of her books have been translated into the Thai language with (after many reprints) over one hundred thousand copies now. Her books have also been translated in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, China, Vietnam and Germany.