Let go and jump in!
Links and books
Please accept my apologies in advance for failing to mention your favourite book or website. I can only recommend what I know and have found to be helpful. There may well be better books and websites out there.
If you’ve enjoyed this website then check out the Facebook page where you can keep up-to-date with various aquabuddhist adventures.
Receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be a shocking event and the first step on a difficult journey. If you, or anyone you know, is affected in any way by prostate cancer then help is available from Prostate Cancer UK. This excellent charity fights the disease on every front through research, support, information and campaigning.
Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find many wild swimming websites that I’ve much liked; that’s one reason for creating this one! There are a few, though, that are worth checking out.
If you’re keen to compete in open water races, then you’ll find lots of useful information about events here: Irish Long Distance Swimming Association.
If you prefer a more leisurely approach to swimming, the Outdoor Swimming Society may be of more interest. The society has a map showing many places to swim throughout the UK.
Wild Swim is another website offering suggestions for wild swimming locations in Northern Ireland.
You’re looking at one of the very few aquabuddhist websites around! Fortunately, though, there are quite a few Buddhist websites that are worth a look.
In Buddhism, practice is more important than the details of what one believes. If you’re interested in learning how to practise meditation, I highly recommend the Open Heart Project. Here, Susan Piver presents the techniques of meditation in manageable chunks and gives short Dharma talks via video.
Buddhanet is a truly vast Buddhist education and information network. If you have a question about Buddhism it is probably answered here.
As Mark Twain once observed, “There are an awful lot of fake quotes on the internet!” This seems to be particularly the case when it comes to the Buddha. What did he really say? There’s no way we can ever be one hundred per cent sure of what he said, but the most authentic existing record of his teaching is to be found in the Pali Canon. Much of this has been translated into English and made available at Access to Insight.
The Dalai Lama is the world’s most famous Buddhist, and a tireless ambassador for peace and compassion. In other words, he is ‘the daddy!’ He has also appeared as a judge on Australian Masterchef. On the show he apologised for being such a rubbish judge; as a Buddhist, he explained, he is not supposed to be judgmental!
Pema Chodron is an American-born woman who became a Buddhist nun. She is a highly-respected teacher and writer.
Radiotherapy pants are not only stylish, they are also practical, the design incorporating basic instructions to the radiographer.
Matthieu Ricard just might be the happiest man in the world! He used to be a French geneticist but in recent decades he has lived as a Buddhist monk. He is a talented photographer and writer.
The Secular Buddhist Association promotes a natural and pragmatic approach to early Buddhist teachings and practice. Its website contains many illuminating and thought-provoking articles and interviews.
Buddhistgeeks, much like the Secular Buddhist Association, seems to me to be an attempt to interpret Buddhist practice in ways that are meaningful in a modern and rapidly changing world. I suppose Buddhistgeeks is a bit more interested in techie stuff. Well, it is called Buddhistgeeks!
Tricycle and Shambhala Sun are both what I would call interesting magazine-style websites.
Black Mountain Zen Centre, in Belfast, offers a range of meditation sessions throughout the week.
The Community of Interbeing is the UK network for people practising Buddhism according to the teachings of Vietnamese Zen master, poet and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh. Despite a bit of bowing and bells, his practice is readily accessible to those of us from western, non-Buddhist cultures; there's no need to pretend to be Tibetan or Japanese! Have a look at the map on their website; there may be a practice group near you!
At this stage I’ll limit myself to just four book recommendations. More may follow.
‘The heart of the Buddha’s teaching’ by Thich Nhat Hanh is excellent. It is, as the title suggests, a clear and poetic expression of the core Buddhist teachings.
‘Buddhism for Dummies’ really is a book! The authors, Jonathan Landaw and Stephan Bodian have produced an easily-digestible account of Buddhist traditions, beliefs and practices.
‘Living as a River’ by Bodhipaksa could almost be the aquabuddhist Bible! This book blends the discoveries of modern science with Buddhist practice to help us find fearlessness in the face of change.
In 'Confession of a Buddhist Atheist' Stephen Batchelor charts his journey through several Buddhist traditions. The book also demythologises the Buddha, presenting him as a man of flesh and blood living and teaching in a fraught social and political context.