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The Northern Line to High Reality via Bank

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Short Description 50 Tube stations on the Northern Line photographed at dusk and dawn. Transport for London staff has placed some enlightening quotes at the entrance to some of the stations. This book shares the author’s reflection on these quotes and his links to resources, to progress the reader to a ‘higher dream’, a ‘high’ reality. The book has a particular emphasis on Abhidhamma, ‘higher reality’ from the Theravada tradition of Buddhism.

Long Description

The Tube: grimy, smelly, crowded, necessary and efficient. There were about 294 million passenger journeys recorded in 2016/17 on the Northern Line, making it the busiest on the Underground (Northern line, 2019). We could perhaps describe the tube as a bitter remedy for transport.

Emerging from this grime are some enlightening quotes that the TFL (Transport for London) staff have placed at the entrance to some of the stations (Figure). It as if they are preparing the traveller for something deeper and higher. Many travellers like the quotes, they stop and take pictures. Blogs, social media, websites have been set up to share the quotes. The quotes embrace fundamental truths about life, about the world. They stimulate us to deeper thought and deeper reflection. But can we progress to a `higher dream’, a higher reality from the quotes?

The author has used the Northern Line on a daily commute for seven years, but he understands that there is also another journey which can be undertaken each day. The journey to the ‘direct understanding’ of reality as it is. This is a solitary journey, something that you yourself have to undertake, others can just point the way (MORDEN DEPOT). As he read these quotes, he reflects on that journey and the relevance of the quotes to that journey. The purpose of this book is to share his reflection with you and to point you to a rich set of free resources that he has available. Alan is using these quotes as a trigger to progress you, the reader, to a ‘higher reality’.

Table of Contents Preface; Introduction; Not all physics is physics; Preparing for the journey; Misconceptions; Who do we listen to?; Secular mindfulness (non-religious mindfulness); The path of detachment; How this book works; Summarizing the key points: How this book works, 14 Big Ideas of Understanding Reality.

51 pictures of Tube Stations plus quotes.

Morden Depot,Walking the Path; Morden,The Big Dream; South Wimbledon,Food for thought; Colliers Wood,Give it a try; Tooting Broadway, Led by a lion; Tooting Bec, Too Busy; Balham,Kindness; Clapham South, Falling in Love; Clapham Common, Integrity; Clapham North, True love; Stockwell, A positive attitude; Oval, Wrong things; Kennington, Overlooking the obvious; Elephant & Castle, Destiny is in ourselves; Borough, Why were you born?; London Bridge, Every day a new chapter; Bank, Missed opportunity; Moorgate, Risk too far; Old Street, The way to succeed; Angel,The training; Kings Cross St Pancras, Be yourself; Euston, Taking a risk: Mornington Crescent, Strong enough; Camden Town, Good reason; Kentish Town, Growth and opportunity; Tufnell Park, The present; Archway, The winds of change; Highgate, Pay the price; East Finchley, It is all within yourself; Finchley Central, Foolish; West Finchley, Your time will come; Woodside Park, Time is like a river; Totteridge and Whetstone, Help when you can; High Barnet, The difficult road; Mill Hill East, Be the change; Waterloo, You may wish you had started; Embankment, Intelligence without ambition; Charing Cross, A Friend; Leicester Square, Life is not a fairy tale; Tottenham Court Road, You cannot change someone; Goodge Street, Change 365 lives; Warren Street, Possibilities and Opportunities; Chalk Farm, A little progress each day; Belsize Park, Great minds; Hampstead, Eagles fly alone; Golders Green, The road to fate; Brent Cross, Happiness is a disposition of mind; Hendon Central, Wet floor; Collindale, More to life; Burnt Oak, Sincere ignorance; Edgeware, Strike while the iron is hot.

Reviews 5.0 out of 5 stars. A great place to start on Buddhism.

2 July 2019

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

I own almost all of the books published by Zolag and read a little daily. When I try to maybe discuss what I have learned or explain reality in its ultimate sense, people listening to me often get confused and lose interest.

I’ve tried many times to find a book that can plant a ‘basic’ seed for people who maybe interested in Buddhism but most books (even at their basic level) get the common householder confused and quickly interested in something else (like checking their phone) and the book is never opened again.

This book is a gem for people who don’t know where to start.

I was confused as to where to start and purchased many other non-Zolag books in the beginning and also jumped straight in to reading the Buddha’s Sutra’s and missed all the wisdom and understanding embedded within them. I had no teacher and no guidance so I did it the hard way through trial and error of buying and reading many books.

I’ve eventually found my niche which works perfectly for me which is through books published by Zolag. This is just my own personal preference which works for me. Everyone is different though.

This one by Alan Weller is perfect for absolute beginners and plants a seed for further study. It’s essentially a ‘coffee table’ book, but you’ll find yourself grabbing it for a quick read more than the average magazine found on a coffee table.

This book is a taster but also has some deeper explanations within it, but just at the right level I think so people start to do self enquiry rather than, “oh that’s deep and what the hell did that mean”.

I hope this book finds you and starts the journey for you. review accessed 11/7/19.

Keywords abhidhamma; buddhism; mindfulness; meditation; vipassana; insight; northern line

Language English


ISBN Complete: 9781897633366

Publication Date: 18th May 2019

First published:

Page Count: 140

Book type Paperback, 8.5”x9.00”

Thema Subject Category: QRFB1

Market pricing

Spain Printer Network 32 USD; United States 32 USD; United Kingdom 25 GBP; Canada 42 CAD; European Union 28 EUR; Australia (GST Exclusive) 45 AUD; Brazil Printer Network 32 USD; Germany Printer Network 32 USD; Russia Printer Network 32 USD; South Korea Printer Network 32 USD; Poland Printer Network 32 USD; China Printer Network 32 USD; India Printer Network 32 USD; Italy Printer Network 32 USD.

About the author

Name: Alan Weller Role: Author and photographer

Biography While studying physics at Kent University, Alan developed a keen interest in photography which led to a career in photojournalism lasting for 30 years. During this time he has had pictures published throughout the world in various media ranging from The New York Times to Vogue. It was while working in London at The Times newspaper that he developed an interest in teaching both professionally, through educational assignments, and personally, through tutoring his sons in science. He decided to retrain and in 2008 obtained a PGCE from the Institute of Education in Secondary Physics. He has since taught science in both the private and state sectors, including grammar and comprehensive, mixed and single-sex schools, at key stage 3, 4 and 5 . In 2012, he joined the Cass School of Education at The University of East London as a Senior Lecturer in Physics responsible for training secondary science trainee teachers.

In 1978 he was given a Buddhist book on the Abhidhamma by a friend. Within the first 10 or so pages, he understood that there was a possibility of another way of understanding the world and a different way of studying the world. In 1994, he started a publishing company, Zolag, to make this and other books available.

He retired from UEL in 2018 and is currently continuing his work at Zolag publishing. He also recently become a student again at Morley College to learn electric guitar

Prior Work:

During his time at UEL he gave 3 presentations on two topics to research conferences, UEL 2016, EDULEARN 2017 and TEAN 2018. ‘Higher Learning, higher reality…’ and ‘5 Misconceptions on mindfulness and why they may be harming school pupils.’ The papers accompanying the presentations can be accessed below.

Location: London, UK