I returned to Malaysia in 2007 after an absence of 16 years in order to see to the publication of a work that Jeanne Mynett and myself had compiled from the teachings of Godwin Samararatne, who was my first Dhamma teacher and my first Vipassanā teacher.
In fact I had had no intention of ever leaving Sri Lanka, where I had taken ordination in 1995. Even though I had been through some serious difficulties with health matters, and had eventually gone down with TB in 2004, which had reduced my strength even further.
Also I lived in quite some poverty while in Sri Lanka, with very few supporters and no support from my family back in England, and therefore I really had no way to fund a journey out of the country, even if I had wanted.
However, I felt a great debt of gratitude to Godwin and really felt that his teaching would help others as much as it had helped me, if we could only get his teachings better known.
On Jeanne Mynett’s suggestion we had set up a website for Godwin’s teachings in 2004, but not everyone os IT savvy, and I knew that many people still prefer to have an actual book to read.
I was fortunate enough at that point to meet Leslie Shaw, who later became a close friend, and who offered to buy the ticket to Malaysia on the one hand, and had many contacts there on the other, and so I had the opportunity to come and see to the publication of the book.
It was indeed a long and arduous task, even though we managed to raise the money for the publication within a week, and I was promised it would be ready in a month, in fact it took nearly six months and a lot of trouble pressing the publisher to complete the work.
The final outcome however was a very finely designed and produced book, which everybody was pleased with and almost made me think the frustration had been worthwhile. The book, entitled The Gentle Way of Buddhist Meditation, was circulated widely and did a lot to raise interest in Godwin’s teachings.
We published 1,700 copies of the book at the time, but they were sent out almost straight away and we then concentrated on getting more of Godwin’s works published in the coming years, with Learning through Meditation, and Discovering Meditation both of which were published in 2009.
Now this year, the original publisher of The Gentle Way, Inward Path in Penang, have reprinted the work again, this time in a print-run of 1,000 copies. I have just received copies of the book, and it is good to see it available in print again.
Copies of the book (and other books by the same publisher) can be ordered from their website, as long as you are willing to pay for the postage. If you are unable to obtain copies for any reason, then you can find the book also on the website we set up to house Godwin’s teachings.
Tomorrow I will include an extract from the book, so that you can get a better idea of Godwin’s teachings.