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Don't Take Your Life Personally

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Ajahn Sumedho urges us to trust in awareness and find out for ourselves what it is to experience genuine liberation from mental anguish and suffering, just as the Buddha himself did two and a half thousand years ago. Buddhism is not about becoming the model of humanity or escaping the natural consequences of our past deeds, but of putting aside all pretence and all ideas i ...more
Paperback, 420 pages
Published August 4th 2010 by Buddhist Pub Group
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Andrew Vought
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We may hear the phrase "don't take it personally," but most of us don't know how to do this because we haven't received training in how to not take things personally and that's exactly what Ajahn Sumedho lays out in this book. I was brought up believing in a personal God and found it to be one of the most disappointing and damaging ways of relating to life. As Ajahn Sumedho points out in this book, Buddhism doesn't anthropomorphize God or try to name God as being a certain thing or person, and t ...more
Peter S.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People with spiritual leanings.
Recommended to Peter by: Amazon
Fantastic book that covers Luang Por (Ajahn Sumedho)'s teachings. It has helped me in more ways than one in surviving my first year as a monk in a Korean Zen Buddhist monastery which has been the most difficult thing I've ever done. It is also a great reference for those living in the layworld as well as his teachings can be applied to any daily situation.

Best takeaway:

Trust in one's intuitive awareness.
Acceptance of the world as it is.

Steve Woods
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sumedho is one of the great teachers of modern time. He is able to take the complexities of Buddhist doctrine and simplify them with clarity and precision such that they become not only readily accessible but applicable to daily life by mere mortals such as I. Not only did I find this series of published talks really informative and clarifying to my own practice but also full of the spirit of encouragement. It is so easy to get lost at times and Sumedho points the way through those times. An out ...more
Ragnar Freyr
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Trust in awareness. It is like this.
Durga Tiwari
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Person is a lie

How to write a review ? That who will write s a fiction. That which is truth is a witness. Who will write what and about whom ?
Ajahn Sumedho speaks from his experience as a Westerner (American) who took to following Buddhism ways and then lived abroad.
He offers personal examples of what mindfulness and living a simple life can mean and offer. Things are 'just like this' so it is not worth or not necessary to get upset. A barking dog is just that, a dog barking - not something to be worried or anxious about. He recaps many ideas in the different chapters and it is not necessary to read the book cover to cover but you can
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Duncan Reed
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, spirituality
I haven't read the whole book, but I listened to the podcast of Ajahn Amaro's reading of large sections of the book. The wisdom within is fairly mind blowing, but Sumedho being American, he delivers his wisdom in a way that makes sense to Westerners (me!).
Ajahn Amaro expands on points within the book, and offers lots of personal stories and anecdotes.
Amaro completed the reading at the Amaravati Monastery Winter Retreat 2018/19.
Vicki Morris
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started this book after a traumatic brain injury. Trying to mentally come to terms with things and to cope with so much change. The biggest changes have been as a result of the teachings in this book. It is ok to say “don’t take it personally” or “stay mindful” or “set realistic expectations” but this book show you how. It has changed all my perceptions and now my expectations are beginning to be mindful and realistic. I am going to re read this book!
Mary Tonks
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably not the first read you'd want when trying to understand Buddhist practices, but some good messages here anyway. The passages seemed to be transcripts from Ajahn Sumedho's summer retreats held in England. Best takeaway about suffering was his admission that HE was the cause of his suffering by his own obsessions, opinions, etc. It's always easy to blame others...I liked that explanation. ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Took two years to finish. To me it’s pure and deep til the last page.
Douglas Lowe
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Great read in a compact form. A lot of good points to take away and practice in everyday life. It helps you to think of different ways of mindfulness
Leticia Supple
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent, if esoteric, book. It contains a series of lectures by Ajahn Sumedho, all of which throw an incredible amount of light on Buddhist writings and teachings.

The their core is the idea that you can observe yourself and your own reactions, that this awareness is all you need, and that in doing so y will stop taking your life personally. The notion of emotions being contextual, and our own abilities to tap into the flow, are fabulous.

Simply reading this book has changed how I eng
Alan Lengel
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Pali word "satipanna" means awareness, especially in the here and now. Space includes all phenomena, operations and activity; consciousness or awareness includes all the conditions of mind like thoughts, intentions and emotions. Therefore awareness includes the self, personality or 'I'. Awareness or consciousness is thus primary and stable. One can trust awareness. Meditate on the present: the here and now.
Paul Hynd
Dec 29, 2015 is currently reading it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Paul by: From Buddhist Now on my Twitter feed
I'm just starting to read this book, based on the Kindle Sample... looks really good. ...more
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Ajahn Sumedho was born Robert Jackamn in Seattle, Washington in 1934. He was raised as Anglican and from 1951 to 1953 studied Chinese and history at the University of Washington. He served as a medic for the US Navy until returning to the University to ccomplete a BA in Far Eastern Studies in 1959. In 1966 he went to Thailand and was ordained as a novice Buddhist; in 1967 he received a full ordina ...more

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