Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

The Wit and Wisdom of Ven Nanavira Thera

Posted: April 7, 2016 by pathpress in News, Review

Speech for the Opening of a Monument in Bundala, Sri Lanka, Friday 26th February 2016, by Michael Rae (Path Press Board Member)

24– Ven Nanavira was nothing if not a very serious person. He came to Ceylon with Ven Nanamoli to attempt to achieve just one thing – the enlightenment that the Buddha talked about. This was not common or socially acceptable so soon after the end of World War Two – but as Nanavira writes in L 50 “ for me the Dhamma is real, and it is the only thing that I take seriously: if I cannot practise the Dhamma as I wish, I have no further desire to live.” Nanavira later removed himself from contact with other monks and the support of a monastery by moving to a single room kuti (hut) in the hot coastal plains in the south of the country. There he was free of distractions and could spend his days in meditation, or reading and writing. He seemed to prefer his own company. (more…)

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Thoughts about Ven. Nyanasumana

Posted: April 3, 2016 by pathpress in News, Review

Speech by Steven Ganci during the Ven. Nyanavira Thera Memorial Day, Bundala, Sri Lanka, 26th February 2016.

V.Nanasumana

Ven. Nyanasumana (1941-1970)

Well, it’s a great pleasure to be here with all of you today (including the kabargoya [monitor lizard] and all the other creatures in this peaceful place). Though many of us are relative strangers to one another we gather as friends with a wholesome intention.

We’re here, of course, to remember the life of the Ven. Nanavira Thera, and the varied and extraordinary effects his writings have had on so many people over the past 50 years — including, I’m sure, many of us presently gathered. But I would like now, with these short comments, to ask us all to consider not Ven. Nanavira’s life, but rather the contributions and lives of others: those who’s efforts have protected, preserved, and ultimately made available the Ven. Thera’s legacy. (more…)

A review of “The Hermit of Bundala”

Posted: June 11, 2014 by pathpress in Review

From: The Island, May 10, 2014, 6:14 pm
http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=103092

by Thusitha Jayawardena

“Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching.”

HoBfinalOne day in 1948, almost a decade before the flower children’s exodus to the East, two Englishmen—one, twenty eight, in the prime of life, and the other, fifteen years his senior—arrived in Ceylon. They proceeded to Vajirarama, a Buddhist temple in the capital, Colombo, where they received the novice ordination and, eventually, the full ordination as Buddhist monks. The Hermit of Bundala (THB) by Bhikkhu Hiriko Nanasuci is the story of one of them—Harold Edward Musson. The book traces Musson’s unusual life through numerous interviews and Musson’s and the other Englishman, Osbert Moor’s, correspondence with their relatives, friends and fellow seekers of the Path. It is an engaging narrative of Musson’s extraordinary life: A childhood spent in an upper class English family, Cambridge days followed by a stint in an army intelligence unit during the Second World War, a decadent post-war interlude, a Herculean effort to understand and follow the Buddha’s teaching, and his last days in a secluded kuti in the remote village of Bundala in the jungles of southern Ceylon. Had that stark contrast of Musson’s beginning and end been the main story, The Hermit of Bundala would remain a book about an eccentric Englishman. It is much more. THB is the story of Nanavira Thera—as Musson was known post-ordination—and his single-minded quest to follow the Buddha’s teaching. (more…)

Clearing the Path by Ñāṇavīra Thera

Posted: May 14, 2013 by pathpress in Review

by Craig Shoemake

Clearing the Path (1960-1965) by Ñāṇavīra Thera. Path Press Publications 2010, 621 pages.

How does one review a book that, arguably, is the most influential book in your life?  Well, I’ll start by directing readers to my bio of Ñāṇavīra.  This, better than anything I could say in this review, will prep you for the work itself.  But of course, a few words on that are presently in order…

I don’t actually recall how/when I first encountered Ñāṇavīra’s writings.  So, I can’t say how they struck me at the time.  But I can say that for a while–a good many years, in fact–they basically defined the Buddha’s teaching for me.  What purpose, exactly, did these amazing and unique documents fulfill in my thinking? (more…)