Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

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Lazy Monk
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Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Lazy Monk » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:24 pm

I'm aware that entertainment is a dream state and therefore incompatible with being awake, per definition, at least from a Theravada perspective. But I'm trying to gently reduce what's left of my addiction to entertainment, so will appreciate it if anyone can recommend good novels that are not too incompatible with being on the non-path toward awakening.

Looking for inspiring novels with good morality (sila), but not directly related to Buddhism or any other spiritual worldview, since I will read it when tired of being in a "spiritual state of mind".

Of course, it's best if I can figure out how my mind can meditate 24/7 without getting "fed up" by this monotony, but I'm still a few blocks away from getting there, so nice to get a pause from spirituality by reading a good novel when it feels necessary.

It can be everything from science fiction and fantasy to drama and romance, preferably without violence. Inspiring but not addictive, if that's possible.

Have so far used math as entertainment, since it occupies the mind without creating emotions and fantasies. But it triggers my academic ego. A good novel is probably better. Any suggestions?

Simon E.
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Simon E. » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:35 pm

'Moby Dick' by Herman Melville. Thought by many to be the greatest novel in the English language.

The many volumes (12!) of 'A Dance To The Music Of Time' by Anthony Powell.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Losal Samten
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Losal Samten » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:48 pm

The Prince and the Zombie
Adventures of the Mad Monk Ji Gong
Monkey (Waley's abridged version, the original Journey to the West is far too repetitive)

All are light, and don't require you to be wearing your serious spiritual hat.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

Lazy Monk
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Lazy Monk » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:58 pm

Thanks, will take a look at the Dance and the Mad Monk :smile:

Used to read a lot of heavy novels when I was a teenager, but now prefer something more uplifting or intriguing, like The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig, The Red and Black by Stendhal, Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann, Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, Siddhartha by Hesse, or fantasy books in the classical tradition of Tolkien and Lewis, such as the books by Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind. Inspiring books, not depressive or decadent.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:28 pm

Can't go wrong with Jane Austen, and I've always found P.G. Wodehouse very inspiring. :smile:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Lazy Monk
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Lazy Monk » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:42 pm

Love Jane Austen, just have to find a book that has not been made into a movie I've seen :reading:

Simon E.
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Simon E. » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:01 pm

I doubt that you will...she wrote only six complete novels and they have all been done a number of times. I have read none of them :emb: But the lady that shares my life says that no film has ever really done them justice.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:14 pm

I was thinking about your question, and while they aren't exactly novels this fellow Ramesh Menon has written some modern renderings of various Hindu epics and puranas that I found quite entertaining, such as this one:
https://www.amazon.com/MAHABHARATA-Mode ... B00ALWYMSI

IMO, it's good for Buddhists to be familiar with Indian culture and mythology and these books are an amusing way to gain such familiarity.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Lazy Monk
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Lazy Monk » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:23 pm

Nice suggestion for those who want a lighter take on Hinduism, in between all the serious stuff :meditate:

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maybay
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by maybay » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:24 pm

The Epic of Gilgamesh, and if you like Tolkien theres Beowulf. Otherwise what about travellers in Asia. There's Way of the White Clouds by Lama Anagarika Govinda. Three Years in Tibet, Ekai Kawaguchi. Mission to Tibet, Sweet and Zwilling. Heart of the World, Ian Baker. Yogins of Ladakh, Crook and Low.
And we haven't even got to the biographies! Dudjom Rinpoche says if you read anything, read biographies.

If all this piety is too much, theres always William Dalrymple.
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:25 pm

I love George Orwell, but maybe it's best to try his lighter books such as Burmese Days or A Clergyman's Daughter.

In fact I preferred those to Animal Farm and 1984 :emb:
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:27 pm

maybay wrote:The Epic of Gilgamesh, and if you like Tolkien theres Beowulf. Otherwise what about travellers in Asia. There's Way of the White Clouds by Lama Anagarika Govinda. Three Years in Tibet, Ekai Kawaguchi. Mission to Tibet, Sweet and Zwilling. Heart of the World, Ian Baker. Yogins of Ladakh, Crook and Low.
And we haven't even got to the biographies! Dudjom Rinpoche says if you read anything, read biographies.

If all this piety is too much, theres always William Dalrymple.
Well, he did say novels ...

Dalrymple is fantastic btw, his "Nine Lives" is a must read IMO. :smile:

Also, I feel like recommending the Judge Dee books by van Gulik for some reason. :shrug:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:29 pm

Lobsang Chojor wrote:I love George Orwell, but maybe it's best to try his lighter books such as Burmese Days or A Clergyman's Daughter.

In fact I preferred those to Animal Farm and 1984 :emb:
Don't forget "Keep the Aspidistra Flying". :smile:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:36 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Lobsang Chojor wrote:I love George Orwell, but maybe it's best to try his lighter books such as Burmese Days or A Clergyman's Daughter.

In fact I preferred those to Animal Farm and 1984 :emb:
Don't forget "Keep the Aspidistra Flying". :smile:
Of course, the Orwell anthology I got was a great literary experience :jumping:
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5

Crazywisdom
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Crazywisdom » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:41 pm

entertainment is completely incompatible with awakening
“Guys, we’re coming up on The Devil’s Anus.” —Thor - Ragnarok

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:48 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:entertainment is completely incompatible with awakening
Even Mad Max movies?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Simon E.
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Simon E. » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:12 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:entertainment is completely incompatible with awakening

Nonsense. One of the most realised teachers I have ever met. a widely admired monk and yogi , loved detective novels.
Last edited by Simon E. on Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

Lazy Monk
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:46 am

Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Lazy Monk » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:15 pm

As mentioned, dreaming and awakening is not possible at the same time, so I'm guilty as charged :woohoo:

Kim
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Kim » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:33 pm

Lazy Monk wrote:I'm aware that entertainment is a dream state and therefore incompatible with being awake, per definition, at least from a Theravada perspective. But I'm trying to gently reduce what's left of my addiction to entertainment, so will appreciate it if anyone can recommend good novels that are not too incompatible with being on the non-path toward awakening.

Looking for inspiring novels with good morality (sila), but not directly related to Buddhism or any other spiritual worldview, since I will read it when tired of being in a "spiritual state of mind".

Of course, it's best if I can figure out how my mind can meditate 24/7 without getting "fed up" by this monotony, but I'm still a few blocks away from getting there, so nice to get a pause from spirituality by reading a good novel when it feels necessary.

It can be everything from science fiction and fantasy to drama and romance, preferably without violence. Inspiring but not addictive, if that's possible.

Have so far used math as entertainment, since it occupies the mind without creating emotions and fantasies. But it triggers my academic ego. A good novel is probably better. Any suggestions?
Drop the theravada perspective. Don't try to be holy or saintly in a world full of unholy stuff. Trying to get to purity like that is a deceptive dream. Ever heard of emptiness? Realisation of no-self? That's the way to go. And when you get some insights, put porn and horror movies on, doesn't make any difference to Moby Dick. That's what Andrew Holecek, a buddhist teacher, recommended. I fully agree with him.

Crazywisdom
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Re: Any entertaining novels not too incompatible with awakening?

Post by Crazywisdom » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:52 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Crazywisdom wrote:entertainment is completely incompatible with awakening
Even Mad Max movies?
Yup
“Guys, we’re coming up on The Devil’s Anus.” —Thor - Ragnarok

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