Journey to Mindfulness: The Autobiography of Bhante G.
With forthright honesty and humility Bhante G describes his journey from poor villager in Sri Lanka to internationally known meditation teacher and senior Theravada monk. A remarkable life lived among some of the world’s holiest places and among some of its poorest peoples, for the cultivation of the Dhamma by a man devoted to spreading the Buddha’s message by metta, loving friendliness, and compassion towards all beings.
Wisdom Publications, Boston. 2003.
From Publishers Weekly:
A most refreshing book from a Buddhist meditation teacher who lays bare his human failings and admits they are as much a part of his life as his achievements. It is also a fascinating globe- and culture-crossing autobiography of a man born in a small village in Sri Lanka with enough persistence and good kamma (Pali for karma) to see him through many vicissitudes. Author of the bestseller Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante G., as he is affectionately known, repeatedly ran away from monasteries where he lived as a boy monk, stole things as a child, smoked and had traumatic fear-inducing accidents with water. As his story makes clear, his is a very human journey of teaching himself as well as others what the Buddha taught about how to live. That organizations that promote ethical living and spiritual development should also have their share of bickering, envy, and bad behavior is an unsurprising part of his story, candidly told without excess rancor or blame. The monk-author is fluent in different cultures as well as languages, and his autobiography contributes to an understanding of the relationship between the American Buddhism of converts and traditional Asian Buddhism, more specifically the Theravada branch of Buddhism as practiced in his native Sri Lanka. This plain-English look back at 75 years of an admixture of adversity, humility, and hard-won wisdom tells an engaging story that non-Buddhists can appreciate as well as Buddhists.