The Healing Mind — 21st Century Buddhist Techniques

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 “I Go Beyond – Way Beyond” 

The above statement, originally from the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra in the Buddhist canons, is one of the Mind-Training Principles that is from the brand new release of the book. ‘The Healing Mind – 21st Century Buddhist Techniques’ that is debuting here in its first special edition in Sri Lanka, and translated into contemporary English. The reason for that is because its co-author, Professor Jon Bono has been living for the past year at the Sri Raina Vihara monastery in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka while doing further research here and shaping the material for the book from his Grandmaster teacher, the Ven. Dr. Kevin O’Neil‘s vast master meditation files of the past decades, as part of completing his doctoral university thesis. This ‘statement’ of “I go beyond, way beyond” , is more than an ‘affirmation’ as are many such others labelled in the ‘new age’ of psychology and spirituality, but becomes in itself the ‘goal’:  to go ‘beyond’, is  to surpass one’s own current limitations and present concepts of usual thinkings, to incorporate the vastness and wonders of the universe.

The central author of the book, ‘The Healing Mind’, the Ven. Dr. Kevin O’Neil, is a highly attained Buddhist and healing Chi Gong Master who is quite well-known in the New York area of the United States where he is also serving as the United Nations NGO representative for Buddhists in that city of all origins. ‘The Healing Mind’ is quite synchronous with our new millennium, and the healing mind concepts in science, psychologies, and of course Buddhist philosophies and practices which this book emphasizes with its ultimate ‘self-help’ Mind-Principles that are meant for meditating upon for one’s own personal emancipation.

Grandmaster O’Neil and Professor Bono have assimilated a modern format that is much more accessible to begin with and to use on a daily basis than many other forms of traditional meditation. One of their aims for the book, was also to begin to appeal to a younger audience in our societies that is wanting information on Buddhist and Eastern philosophies and viewpoints, without overwhelming them with too much of an academic approach and abstractness. Hence, along with the handy,‘Introduction to Classical Buddhist Terms in the beginning of the book, the ‘Mind-Training Principles’practice section then follow along with specific,especially created  ‘line-drawings’ by local Keliniyan artist, Vincent Liyanage on every other page, that illustrate some of the major ‘psyche-statements’ that are in easily readable verse-form.  * (The cover-art by international artist Gunasiri Kolambagealso symbolizes the books future-looking direction as well).

The Foreword, by Professor Bono also explains some of the ‘philosophy’ behind this modern ’21st Century Approach to solving problems in our everyday lives with its practical method of meditations, and also hints at some of their originations from ancient India, which are also to be written about in later publications under this same series of  “21st Century Buddhism”.

Since this book, ‘The Healing Mind’ is also meant to be a meditation ‘practice-booklet’, in the ‘Introduction’ section and the ‘How To, Practice the Mind-Training’ page, we are also shown specific techniques on how to use these principles of training the mind. We are given advice and encouragement on how best to use the practices for attaining one’s goals, and also an explanation of what the unique ‘Buddha-Mind’ state that one strives for, actually contains. We are also informed that although the ‘Mind-training principles’ may look like ‘poetry’, they are not, but are rather more like revolving mind-changing psyche-imprints that when repeated often enough and in certain ways, will definitely invoke mental, spiritual and eventual physical changes within one’s being.

The Healing Mind – 21st Century Buddhist Techniques‘ – makes for a convenient and useful information-filled self-help guide-book of the ultimate Buddhist view and means, which aim to deeply heal both our individual psyches and that of our societies.

Ven. Grandmaster O’Neil’s vast background includes being a Holistic Pyschologist and a Grand Master of Martial Arts and Buddhist and Chi Gong Healing Arts, who is the main founder of the ‘School of Enlightenment’, and the ‘American Buddhist Movement’ with its headquarters in New York City/USA. He currently lives in that city with his wife and four children, where he serves as the Buddhist representative to the United Nations.

Professor Jon Bono is a senior student of Grandmaster O’Neil and has his B. A. and M. A. in Buddhist Comparative Studies/East-West psychologies, and the arts of cinema and English literature, and is also a screen writer within the Los Angeles film-industry where he is currently working on an adaptation of Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s classic Sri Lankan-based novel, “The Fountains of Paradise” for film.

The quotations about ‘The Healing Mind – 21st Century Buddhist Techniques‘ on the inside back cover from several prominent professors, doctors, and monks of Sri Lanka (where the book was shaped into its final form, translated into contemporary English and originally printed by Sarvodaya Press, owned by Dr Ariyaratne, a prominent buddhist leader known as ‘the Gandhi of Sri Lanka”), sums up a bit of its world-view, content, and purposeful aim.

I have read ‘The Healing Mind – 21st Century Buddhist Techniques’ very carefully and I’m already practicing some exercises!  I’ve often called myself a ‘Crypto-Buddhist’. Maybe I should now strike out the ‘Crypto’…  Here’s an additional entry for the book: ‘You have time for everything!               Sir Arthur C. Clarke


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