This is the second post about Daniel Ingram and Daniel Pinchbecks’ books about their different approaches into a similar territory. Each book details the author’s personal stories and adventures in pursuing higher realms which most people don’t normally access.
Just like we awaken from sleeping and dreaming to our daily reality, the authors seek access to yet another reality which can be awakened to from our daily reality.
Both books present unvarnished looks at their approaches to awakening to higher realities. Both authors feel big, modern governments and religions have repressed knowledge that was previously more known about and sought after. Pinchbeck investigates ancient shamanic medicines that have been used for generations, while Ingram talks about meditation technologies developed over the last 2,500 years.
I think Ingram’s book is a breath of fresh air. Daniel Ingram is a practicing board-certified MD in emergency medicine and founder of the Dharma Underground. The Dharma underground was a loose knit group of hardcore meditators sharing insights and techniques along with talking their attainments, all with the goal of providing clear information to counter the often wooly meditation instructions and the noticeable lack of discussion about levels of attainment.
Ingram wrote “Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha” to provide instructions and maps for the meditators looking for advice from someone who’s reached an advanced level.
It’s sort of like a chess grand master or martial artist with a black belt explaining what is needed to progress and what to expect in their pursuit as well as some personal anecdotes and opinions.
The information Ingram provides isn’t new but it’s clear and pretty much every aspect of his chosen style (Buddha’s too) seems to be covered providing a less dangerous and more lasting path to the states that Pinchbeck got glimpses of. This book is refreshing because it ignores or pokes fun at the usual dogma and hierarchies, there’s no mention of fancy hats, robes or rituals . Instead, Ingram presents an empowering view about how it can be done by you.
Pinchbeck sees an elephant, tries to eat it in a few bites and gets sick. Ingram sees the elephant too but lays out a meal plan and a chart of where you are while going from the trunk and the tail.