"Very interesting, lucid and helpful"
- Professor Richard Gombrich, Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies.
"It is rare to read manuscript that cuts through expectation and forces the calibrated critical
eye to step aside. But that is precisely what Neil Hayes’s A View From a Lake did for me. Rarely
have I been so moved — and, dare I say, inspired — by a book.
Hayes, who holds a doctorate in psychology from Oxford and who has meditated for many
years and studied with Buddhist monks, offers up a buffet. He brings in philosophy,
psychology, physics, theology, history, and even computer science. There are no quick fixes or
marketed programs within this book that promise to lead the reader to equanimity and
peace of mind..." Read Full Review.
What Hayes does offer is a robust look at Buddhist psychology and how it differs dramatically
from the Western notion of the mind. He provides the historical framework of how our Western notions originated, how they have persisted through the years, and, most importantly, how they have led to pain, suffering, and general unhappiness. But his is a book that does not judge; it merely paints a picture and invites the reader to see for herself.
"What can I say...... Life changing and I've not even finished it yet."
5 Star Amazon Review - Bharat Manya
"Even though I buy many books via Amazon I rarely write a review. After reading Neil's book I felt compelled to do so. This is a wonderfully written book. It is easy to read without being patronising and has sufficient depth to provide a new learning on almost every page.
It explains concepts and how to apply them in the move to a more mindful awareness of our experiences and our existence in a larger schema. It is a great companion on your own journey to enlightenment.
It is one of those books which you will not only enjoy reading but also dip in to again and
again for many years. I sincerely recommend this book!"
5 Star Amazon Review - Dr Roy Woodhead
"I thoroughly recommend A View from a Lake. It is a fascinating analysis of some of the many teachings of the Buddha (with some of his many lists!) and their relevance to modern life. The book also delivers a wealth of practical help with the "How?" of meditation and also, compellingly, the "Why?".
An appreciation of the teachings of the Buddha is encouraged through the use of a few “mind-exercises”. Through these the author skilfully gives even the uninitiated (me included), the ability to see some of the Buddha’s psychology at work for yourself, indeed, inside yourself. It’s a fascinating read and thankfully (for me) one not needlessly distracted from by any religious dogma.
The voice of the thinking brain is shown to be an overactive, controlling and deceitful guest in our heads and one which distracts us from our supposed pursuit of happiness. Worse still, it is frequently the cause of much of our discontent and misery. Although terrifically powerful at thinking it just doesn’t know when to stop and resists doggedly attempts to quieten it.
So far so good. This presumably is what earned the book its classification as a “self-help” book. But A View from a Lake is much much more than that.
Quoting from a broad spectrum of recent research the author goes on to make a compelling case for the enduring relevance of the Buddha’s insights into the human mind. Citing the development of cognitive psychology, modern research into the idea of self, todays treatment of mental health problems, & an analysis of the evolution of language & thought. He shows how the “Eastern” ideas of two and a half millennia ago are gaining a foot-hold in contemporary “Western” models of mind. Finally it is all brought smack up to date with an assessment of how our use of technology may affect the future evolution of our species (or prevent it completely!).
A View from a Lake is engagingly written and charmingly frank. The author presents complex ideas in an enjoyable, sincere, and surprisingly humorous style. If you are at all inquisitive at all about the uniqueness of the human condition and the role of consciousness in it you will find much to satisfy you in this beautifully written book.'
5 Star Amazon Review - Chris C
'This was a compelling read. I'm not familiar with the teachings of Buddha other than anecdotally, and I found this to be very informative and instructional. It at times is practical - a process for undertaking a meditation, how to get to sleep when one lies awake at night, which ironically I read whilst suffering from jet-lag-induced insomnia - through to what is mostly around the abstractions and theories from Eastern thinking. For the most part, however, it takes the reader on a journey through the concepts and ideas of Buddhist philosophy, western psychology and even on two occasions into the influences of IT on the western mind. One of my favourite passages was the analysis of "Cogito Ergo Sum". Rarely have I found such a compelling critique as is to be found here.
Neil takes the apparently numerous lists of Buddhist writings and provides a helpful navigation for this novice reader. I wouldn't doubt that there is a lot in this book for experienced practitioners of Buddhist thinking also.
The book presents an underlying thesis that eastern thinking is influencing western thought, through coherent and credible argument. The conclusion is well worth waiting for, and I won't spoil it.
A cracking read - and beautifully written, to boot.'
5 Star Amazon Review - David King
'An absorbing read from cover to cover, and a fascinating introduction to the psychology and teachings of the Buddha. The author presents a compelling argument for how less thinking and more mindfulness would be of real benefit to us all on both a personal and a global level. The sight of people reading this book on buses and trains, and in parks and cafés, needs to become commonplace.'
5 Star Amazon Review - Chris D
A beautifully written book providing an amazing insight into the workings of the mind. Neil has a unique way of writing that describes the complex workings of the mind in an easy to understand and readable manner. It has, for me, awakened an understanding of my path. A book that I will, I'm sure, return to from time to time. Wholeheartedly, recommended!!!
- 5 Star Amazon Review - Ram
A View From A Lake is out now in paperback and Ebook! PUBLISHED 26 FEBRUARY 2015 - £10.99 - ISBN 9781784622176
BIC subject category: VXM Mind, body, spirit: meditation & visualisation BISAC category heading: SEL019000 SELF-HELP / Meditations BISAC category heading: REL007020 RELIGION / Buddhism / Rituals & Practice
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