Christopher Titmuss is a former journalist, a former Buddhist monk, and the author of Light on Enlightenment. He teaches insight meditation retreats worldwide. In this illuminating collection of essays, stories, and meditations, he challenges us to consider the many ways we can stay awake in the midst of daily life. There are four segments of the paperback: The Depths of Experience, The Opening of the Heart, The Practice of Understanding, and The Discovery of Liberation.
Titmuss explores some of the obstacles that stand in the way of enlightenment including busyness, stress, negativity, and fear. One point stands out: "The attachment to 'my' dominates and controls people's lives . . . 'My' can be thought of as a shorthand for the word 'misery,' which also starts with an 'm' and ends with a 'y'." The obsession with having things go our way leads to incredible suffering.
The benefits of an awakened life include the practice of gratitude, kindness, wise speech, and hospitality. Titmuss is convinced that the opening of the heart is an essential part of being truly alive. He closes with a tribute to the unknown: "This mystery can never lose its awesome flavour or its capacity for enlightening our life. . . . In being with this mystery, or even being close to it, consciousness itself undergoes change. The relationship between consciousness and mystery is cemented through love and realisation. You are a child of that mystery. In the depth of being, there is a blessedness revealing everything. Just everything."