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The Issue at Hand: Essays on Buddhist Mindfulness Practice

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  241 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Essays on Buddhist Mindfulness Practice. An inspiring and very accessible compilation of essays and edited talks on the Buddhist practice of mindfulness. As Gil Fronsdal states, "the search for the issue at hand is the search for what is closest at hand, for what is directly seen, heard, smelt, tasted, felt, and cognized in the present." Gil brings the practice of ...more
160 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Insight Meditation Center (first published 2001)
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Feb 18, 2013 Tara rated it it was amazing
Short, helpful chapters on mindfulness and lessons on how to be more aware of emotions in order to acknowledge them and not be judgmental. This is all in order to feel inner peace within and eventually be more compassionate and helpful to others. It was a good little book and for someone entering the realm of Buddhism (or not, the information translates to anyone) and an easy read. What a great gift for the New Year!!

This book is also free to anyone who lives in the U.S. It's also available onl
Oct 04, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
I must say, I started reading this book when I was taking a class at IMC (Insight Medication Center of the Mid-Peninsula), but I was reading online, and lost my place. It sat for a long time, and I decided to finish the book, for the sake of finishing the book. It's a wonderful and simple introduction the Mindfulness, and American Theravadian practice. It does take a little time to get through, simply to allow the teachings to sink in. It's not really worth speed reading. Each article can stand ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Lon rated it it was amazing
We begin the book with an instructive parable:

"Once upon a time, long ago, people walked about barefoot. One day, the queen, walking across a rock field, cut her foot on a sharp stone. Annoyed, she called together her ministers and ordered the Queendom carpeted with leather. One wise minister stepped forward and suggested an easier way. "Rather than covering the entire realm, let’s cover the soles of everyone’s feet." The Queen agreed and that was the origin of shoes.

The meditation teacher then
Forest Tong
Jun 18, 2016 Forest Tong rated it it was amazing
Excellent and inspiring. As a first text I preferred "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Gunaratana, which introduces insight meditation through the context of the three illusions rather than the Four Noble Truths, and provides more guidance on the meditation practice itself. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a broad range of new topics discussed by Fronsdal in this book, including essays on specific emotions, such as fear and anger, and the outward practice of Theravada Buddhism as ...more
Charles Kingsley
Jan 12, 2013 Charles Kingsley rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I've read a number of buddhist teachers and they all seem to have something specific to offer. While this book did not impact me as say Shunryu Suzuki's writing tends to, it was quite refreshing in it's clarity. Fronsdal was the teacher who first convinced me to give buddhism a real chance largely because his clarity and skill at connecting with a western mind allowed me to understand where I had some misconceptions. A good book for any practicing buddhist, a great ...more
Aimee Jackson
Apr 15, 2016 Aimee Jackson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-growth
This is a small but powerful book that distills the essence of Buddhist mindfulness practice into clear and accessible essays. I looked forward to greeting each morning by savoring one or more essays over tea to put myself into a positive frame of mind for the rest of the day. The nuggets of wisdom are too numerous to count - nearly every page is marked to return to for further insight. Very highly recommended.
Sylvia Kuras
Apr 25, 2014 Sylvia Kuras rated it really liked it
Luckily we are now far enough along with Buddhist teachings that there are many practitioners and good teachers in the Western world. Gil Fronsdal appears to be such an individual who has spent many years in earnest practicing and teaching. There is much to gain from this book for the uninitiated to the topic. Since many do not live near a center with the benefit of a teacher or community, books can be of great benefit for any one wanting to learn more.
Jan 17, 2016 Vishnu rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
Solid book of short essays on Mindfulness Practice. Probably most effective after having attended a retreat in the Vipassana tradition (which is when I read it). Otherwise, well...let's say that there are many ways of framing and stating the Buddha's teachings, and this is a wonderful, short, accessible presentation that could resonate with many.
This is a rich, contemplative read. Can't really say I've "all the way" read it...but most of it. What Gil (who leads IMC in RWC) writes about our "intention" is thought provoking...."every moment involves an intention" which is how choice operates in our lives".
Gil is very inspirational speaker as well!
Nov 08, 2015 Angela rated it liked it
Ive listened to many of Gil's talks on and prefer to hear those as opposed to reading his essays as I felt those were more helpful to my practice.
Apr 22, 2013 Marshall rated it really liked it
Excellent introduction to and overview the basic Buddhist teachings, in the Therevada tradition. It presents short and sweet essays on each topic, and dispels common misunderstandings swiftly.
Erik Wennermark
Jul 01, 2012 Erik Wennermark rated it really liked it
nice little book for those interested in mindfulness practice. simple and straightforward. also check out fronsdal's talks on the audio dharma podcast.
Feb 06, 2015 Jmp rated it really liked it
Gil Fronsdal makes the teachings of the Buddha so clear and understandable. His writing is beautiful. The chapters are short and each one is a topic for consideration and meditation.
Steven Martin
Jan 29, 2013 Steven Martin rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read on Mindfulness and Mediation. Picked it up based on a recommendation from Tara Brach.
May 27, 2013 Charissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dharma
Recommended by my brother in law, Peter Tamano, and as it turns out, an excellent beginning to the dharma. Just the right sized bites of insight to begin each day with a read and a meditation.
Sep 30, 2013 Heartgarden rated it it was amazing
Our meditation group continues to come back to this gem of a book for understanding key Buddhist concepts.
Jun 22, 2011 Ben rated it it was amazing
A very clear, concise and thoughtful exploration of the major facets of modern American Buddhist Insight practice.
Maria N. Lerner
Maria N. Lerner rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2014
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