|About the Book|
The Nature of Enlightenment is a book that shatters the mold of Western religion by challenging what our common definition of religion is and the nature of its practice.Instead of seeking religious fulfillment in an afterlife, this book makes theMoreThe Nature of Enlightenment is a book that shatters the mold of Western religion by challenging what our common definition of religion is and the nature of its practice.Instead of seeking religious fulfillment in an afterlife, this book makes the impassioned case that the realization of enlightenment is a very real process that turns the pain of personal affliction into freedom and joy. The highest form of this enlightenment is one that not only is a path of individual emancipation, but has at heart the liberation of all sentient beings from the sea of suffering that characterizes life. This enlightenment is Mahayana Buddhist enlightenment.P.F. Martin teaches from profound experience arising from over 30 years of unceasing Chan and Zen practice by stating that true enlightenment practice is the highest form of empiricism and cannot be imported into the West just as much as it cannot be totally fabricated in a culture that has been subjected to religious dogma for over a thousand years.There is a pervasive sense of urgency throughout this work. For the first time in recorded history, humanity has the ever-escalating means of self-destruction, and Western mind in the form of science and engineering has been the initial portal of this ominous ability. While embracing science and engineering as essential human tools, Mr. Martin investigates the underlying assumptions that stand them apart from the greatest good for humanity and offers a path that these great disciplines may work in compassionate harmony for the benefit of all of humankind.By looking into the current condition of Western mind and religion as a function of historical and cultural causes, this workilluminates a conceptual framework for enlightenment practice springing from indigenous Western mind.As an integral part of the work, authentic Dhyana (Chan or Zen) Buddhist practices are introduced from a detailed empirical illumination of the nature of the senses, affliction, thought and volition. Such topics as sudden and gradual enlightenment, hua-tou (koan) practice, samadhi, the authenticity of transmission, finding and working with a master teacher, the difference between Chan and Zen practices, divergent teachings and the practice of ongoing realization are examined in detail.Whether you are just entering a path of enlightenment or have been practicing for decades, The Nature of Enlightenment is an essential addition to your library.