Reviewed by Molly Martin
Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind
by Charlene Jones
Heart tongue Press
Paperback: 136 pages, December 3, 2015, ISBN-13: 978-0993911415
Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind is a simple to read, stress-free method. Jones provides clear, common terms to aid the reader, as the writer explores the healing power of the mind.
Though the book is only 92 pages, the work is not a quick read. It is meant to be studied, savored, implemented and read again, and perhaps again. While I do not know if the intent of the writer or publisher for those blank pages at the end of each chapter, I found the pages handy for making notes as I went along with my first read.
The paperback begins with dedication, acknowledgements and Preface by Buddhist teacher David Brazier. Chapter titles encourage the reader toward the writer’s Personal History with Vajrayana Tantra Meditation, is an interesting and easy to read, while not so easy to understand if the reader has little awareness of meditation, or Tantra Meditation. As a reader with little awareness I find the author’s explanations set down in plain straight forward prose helped me set the tone for exploring the book itself with a little more understanding on my part.
Wongs are explained, history of Vajrayna Tantra, mysticism, how the influence came to Toronoto and an elementary understanding of neuroscience are all detailed.
It was during the 1960s that writer Jones first met Bikkhu Ananda Bodhi, Blissful Wanderer, and gained some awareness who addressed questions tearing at the writer’s soul. Why bother living, what is the point of life and why make effort were brought into clarity as the writer began her travel for greater understanding using meditation.
The Neuroscience of Brain Maps, Imagination, Medicine Buddha meditation, Self and Others, and Pain are all presented, explored and brought to the writer’s greater awareness that Medicine Buddha practice promotes neuronal changes including shifts in the shape of the brain and provides a platform upon which behavior may begin to be altered via practice.
Mirror Neurons, phantom emotional pain, pain, fear and focusing elsewhere, continue the Jones’ journey toward the healing wellness she is seeking. Medicine Buddha is explained, Neuroscience and a Path from the Past as well as the trap of the past are all exposed, before Conclusions and Forward from Here and the writer’s hopes and expectations are presented.
I like that the book includes an appendix, glossary and bibliography. The glossary in particular is handy for helping to acquaint a novice to the understanding of meditation, Medicine Buddha and the beliefs of the writer. Footnotes and Endnotes aid the reader toward other sources for pursuit of greater understanding of the ideas she presents.
Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind describes in simple terms how our brains work with meditation. As Jones shares the dreadfulness experienced during her teens, we chart her journey to enlightenment and a life without suffering via visualization and meditation. These anecdotal descriptions help us gain awareness and understanding that these techniques do actually work, and we begin to understand why they do.
Happy to recommend Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind especially for those who may have an interest in meditation, a need for healing and/or dealing with suffering and its results.
Reviewed by: molly martin
20+ years classroom teacher