A Monk's Guide to Happiness: Meditation in the 21st Century
by Gelong Thubten
published by Yellow Kite
hardback, 245 pages
I absolutely love this book. The author grew up in Southern England, went to Oxford University, became a musician and an actor and then...
well, in his own words:
"I lived in New York and had a lovely apartment in Greenwich Village. I only used my kitchen once - to make popcorn when I was throwing a party; the rest of the time I was out on the town. I had a lot of money and was surrounded by friends. I wore the most fashionable clothes and was the life of every party, but I was damaged. In fact, I was completely off the rails."
He ended up experiencing severe burnout and moved in with his mother, who introduced him to meditation. In 1993 he became a Buddhist monk.
This is a beautifully written book. Gelong Thubten's personal story is only a small (fascinating) part of it. The rest teaches us in a wonderfully accessible and non-patronising way what meditation is, how it can expand the way we live, and practical meditation exercises. It is extremely enjoyable, and I can honestly say that I probably learned more about meditation from this book than most other sources.