Radically Happy: a user’s guide to the mind. A colorful and wonderfully designed, the book presents tried and true Buddhist approaches to mind training in a most innovative and appealing way. Drawing upon distinctively different backgrounds, the authors share their own stories and struggles as they guide the reader through the techniques of working with their own minds. Phakchok Rinpoche is a young traditionally trained Buddhist master, whose grandfather, Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, was one the last century’s greatest meditation teachers. Erric Solomon began as a technology entrepreneur in Silicon Valley whose long-standing interest in the mind and its workings led him to study Buddhist theories of mind and consciousness. Julian Pang’s unique approach to designing the text is a major feature that brings the teachings to life.
Their book incorporates the best aspects of the authors’ backgrounds. Major traditional ideas are encapsulated within bright modern layouts, making them easy to recall and locate. Likewise, sections of the book are set off with differently colored pages. Radically Happy alternates between background explanations and instructions for guided meditations that build upon one another, moving from mastering one’s own mind to mastering one’s heart and finally mastering dignity, which is to say, finding radical happiness regardless of one’s circumstances. This major teaching splashes brightly across the front and end pages of the book itself, so it can always be seen: Master the mind; Master your heart; Master dignity.
These three ideas constitute the three parts of Radically Happy that follow the basic introduction, and a daily plan for each comes at the end of the sections, based on exercises designed to awaken the principles within people who practice them. “Master the mind” leads one to basic happiness, while “master your heart” expands one’s understanding of the interdependent and interconnected nature of reality. Finally, “mastering dignity” refers to practices for cultivating dignity, relaxing clinging and being aware of mind’s knowing quality so one can rest in pure awareness. Overall, the book’s combination of playfulness and depth invites and encourages the reader/student to enter the path the authors set out, ultimately achieving their own radical happiness.
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