The following links and descriptions are based on ideas and concepts typically discussed in a Mindful Montana Introduction to Mindfulness course. Since the course draw from three main sources: 2500 years of Buddhist wisdom, recent developments in science and psychology, and personal experience, we will have sections devoted to all three of these.
For now, a great starting point is the archive for the January class: https://merlinccc.org/merlin-workshops-courses-archive/intensive-mindfulness-course-january-2017-archive/
One of the most common depictions of the Buddhist "path" is in the 3 trainings: ethics, meditation, and wisdom. For Buddhists, mindfulness should be cultivated in a holistic way, with right conduct (ethics) as a support and right understanding (wisdom) as a guide. While some mindfulness teachers might shy away from these, I feel they are important aspects of developing mindfulness. Nevertheless, there is no need to follow any specific set of Buddhist ethical guidelines. Many religions and secular philosophies present wonderful codes of ethics and principles of conduct that can be utilized in your own practice and development. Similarly, there is no need to dogmatically accept the Buddhist vision of yourself and the world around you. I offer these simply as helpful guides for the path of mindfulness cultivation.
- Non-self: read this blog post from a friend of mine, discussing the Buddhist idea of non-self (or no-self/not-self) in Buddhism as compared with the ideas of Rene Descartes.
- Non-self: "You’re a completely different person at 14 and 77, the longest-running personality study ever has found"
Academic guides to Buddhism:
I would recommend starting with The Foundations of Buddhism (Rupert Gethin). Next I would recommend Paul Williams’ Buddhist Thought. This in many ways picks up where Gethin’s work leaves off, taking us through the development of early Buddhism, some of the main schools and their ideas, and on into the Mahayana and the development of Tantra. And, going further, Paul Williams’, Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. A great visual guide to Buddhism can be found in Kevin Trainor’s Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide.
Books for further practice:
The Mind Illuminated (Culadasa / John Yates, PhD) – A systematic guide to mindfulness from a neuroscientist turned meditation teacher
Full Catastrophe Living (Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD) – An excellent guide to stress, anxiety, the body, pain, and mindfulness practices.
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (Rick Hanson, PhD)
For less academic writing, check out the works of Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Dalai Lama. There are so many different and wonderful voices, it’s just a matter of finding the writer who speaks to you and going forward from there.