Frits Koster has lived as a Buddhist monk in Thailand and Burma, where he had the privilege to study parts of the Abhidhamma. In The Web of Buddhist Wisdom he explains important themes such as consciousness, mental concomitants, physicality and the experience of Enlightenment in a clear and accessible way. In addition, he addresses the law of kamma, the process of dying and rebirth, the four Noble Truths and the value of the Abhidhamma.
The Web of Buddhist Wisdom, which is illustrated with drawings by Fop Smit, offers a rich and accessible guide for anyone who is interested in the working of the human mind. It offers a clear and simple acquaintance with the world of the Abhidhamma and an old yet very accurate mirror of our existence.
Frits Koster is a vipassana meditation teacher and qualified mindfulness teacher. He has also trained and worked as a psychiatric nurse. He has taught mindfulness in mental health settings, including clinics and hospitals for many years. He is a teacher and member of the faculty of the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches (IMA) as well as other training institutes across Europe. He has been practicing Theravada Buddhism for 35 years and was a Buddhist monk for six years in the 1980s. He has been leading vipassana retreats and courses since then. While he was a monk he studied Buddhist psychology at various monasteries in Southeast Asia.
He is the author of several books, of which the following books have been translated and published (by Silkworm Books) into English: Liberating Insight (2004), Buddhist Meditation in Stress Management (2007) and The Web of Buddhist Wisdom (2014). He is co-author, with Erik van den Brink, of Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (Routledge, 2015). See www.fritskoster.com or www.compassionateliving.info.
In the final section of the book, Koster applies the principles and benefits of insight meditation to Western society in the areas of health, therapy, relationships, communication and stress. The book offers a rich and authentic introduction to Buddhist psychology and insight meditation.
Compassion involves both sensitivity to our own and others’ suffering and the courage to deal with it. Integrating the work of experts in the field such as Paul Gilbert, Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer and Tara Brach, Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster have established an eight stage step-by-step compassion training programme, supported by practical exercises and free audio downloads, which builds on basic mindfulness skills. Grounded in ancient wisdom and modern science, they demonstrate how being compassionate shapes our minds and brains, and benefits our health and relationships. The programme will be helpful to many, including people with various types of chronic or recurring mental health problems, and can be an effective means of coping better with low self-esteem, self-reproach or shame, enabling participants to experience more warmth, safeness, acceptance and connection with themselves and others.
Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living will be an invaluable manual for mindfulness teachers, therapists and counsellors wishing to bring the ‘care’ back into healthcare, both for their clients and themselves. It can also be used as a self-help guide for personal practice.
This guide consists of eight chapters that follow the eight sessions of the mindfulness-based compassionate living training programme. To enhance the learning experience, this book features accessible transcripts and downloadable audio exercises, as well as worksheets to explore experiences during exercises. It also includes suggestions for deepening practice at the end of each session.
A Practical Guide to Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Livingexplores the science of compassion in an easy-to-understand and comprehensive manner, one which will appeal to both trained professionals and clients, or anyone wishing to deepen their mindfulness practice with ‘heartfulness’.