Jun 8, 2022

Book Review: Mind full to Mindful by Om Swami

 I first read Om Swami's The Wellness Sense in 2019 and loved it for so many meaningful insights conveyed in a simplistic writing style. As I was browsing through the Philosophy and Yoga aisles in Blossoms book store a few days back, I came across his other books. I so wanted to pick them all but restricted myself to just this one - Mind full to Mindful, because of the interesting title.

The author has explained the concept of mindfulness from a Zen Buddhism perspective. He has included many practices such as Zazen meditation, wall gazing, Zen tea ritual, etc that help us improve our awareness and be present in the present moment. Core tenets of Zen philosophy, virtues, and principles prescribed for Zen practitioners are elaborated with relevant anecdotes and relatable experiences. The way the book is written gives the reader the confidence and comfort to incorporate mindfulness practices in our daily lives.

The deeper concepts of Buddhist philosophy - emptiness, impermanence, and illusion of suffering are dealt with in an easy-to-understand manner for beginners. My favorite section of this book is the one on the four virtues of a Zen practitioner, especially the chapter on forgiveness. It resonated so deeply that I was highlighting almost the entire chapter.

A few favorite quotes, as always:

"Awakening, in a nutshell, is to have a graceful response to everything life throws at you without losing your sense of serenity and inner calm."

"If you are fragrant enough, you will automatically attract all creatures that need that fragrance."

"Pain is an essential part of our spiritual progress."

"Whether or not someone deserves it, forgive if you want peace."

"The test of mindfulness or serenity is in adversity."

"The more disciplined your life, the greater is your freedom."

If you are new to spiritual learning and Buddhist teachings, this book would be a perfect start to your journey. It is also suited for young adults, who will be able to understand the concepts easily through the relatable stories shared by the author.

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