Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt
Colin studied Eastern philosophy, in particular Taoism, Zen, and Advaita. Attending university in Boston during the sixties he was part of the Civil Rights and Anti War Movements.
He worked for a number of years as a Unitarian minister in a large American city. His interest in exploring spiritual matters took him into the ministry and out of it again. Following that he worked for many years as a psychotherapist.
Early in 1990 he met the Indian Advaita master, Ramesh Balsekar and shortly afterwards the French Advaita master Dr. Jean Klein. The relationships lasted until their deaths.
One of his favorite Zen stories is about a man who went fishing and caught a fish. The fish was so small he threw it back in the water and for the first time in its life the fish realized it was swimming in something.
He has written a number of books on the subject of peace. “Something to Ponder,” and “Understanding,” draw the reader into a deep exploration of life, how it appears to work and who we are as human beings.
“Stillpoint” his most recent novel, is an exploration of war and peace and draws attention to the ongoing Palestinian Israeli conflict.
Colin suggests awareness of the facts, whatever they are, is key to understanding. With deep understanding, shifts in behavior take place spontaneously. “Beliefs are not facts” he points out, “We may believe we can fly but gravity doesn’t care what we believe.”
on June 12, 2012 :
For someone ordinary like me, Colin Mallard's book "Understanding" has been a terrific help in leaping across my huge gap of "not knowing". It has given me the perfect starting point from which to explore my understanding of, and perhaps come to know, the real truths and essence of life.
Colin's shares his "knowing" without reservation and in a very comfortable way using stories from his own life as well as those of respected ancient sages and masters from around the world. All in simple, plain, just you and me folks language.
"Understanding" points to the way... I recommend it as a safe warm understandable way to start the search for deeper personal inner peace and harmony.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on May 28, 2012 :
Understanding helped to point me in the direction I was ready to go in; helpful considering I didn’t know what that direction was at the time! Colin's succinct descriptions, stories and anecdotes clarified concepts for me and have brought me to a greater understanding of the self. I now spend more time as a spectator to my story than as an unwitting follower.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 10, 2012 :
Colin’s book is a clear, concise and uncomplicated presentation of the core ideas of Advaita Vedanta. Over the years I have read many self-help books, and books that explain various ideologies. Colin’s is the first book that didn’t ramble on and on, repeating the same thing over and over again with a car salesman’s fervor filling up space by promising content but only making something simple into something that sounds difficult. «Understanding» is a book that makes something complex into something simple. The ideas are universal, personal, and intimate. They connect the physical being and the spiritual world in a way that makes perfect sense. There is no unnecessary convincing, merely simple explanations that not only makes sense, but which are well reflected in the theories and concepts of psychology and physiology. I recognized the similarities and think that this philosophy provides a great framework for dealing with life and being able to recognize what is happening to us, so that we can work towards inner peace and acceptance of what is. A highly readable book. Each chapter begins with a serene illustration that is symbolic of the content overlain with a quote from the wisdom of Lao Tzu and others. Reading it was a balm. I never felt in a hurry to “get to the point” as each chapter was a point, an “ah ha” that sat quietly and comfortably where it belonged and provided a recognition of innate knowledge put into words.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 07, 2012 :
The paths to Enlightenment are many and complicated. Words are only pointers and can often mislead as concepts and ideas are not the truth either. As a result trying to understand can be very frustrating. This books lays out a path very clearly. Words used are defined with great precision and metaphors and stories help to illustrate the ideas. Colin uses stories from Zen and Sufi as well as from his own experiences as a seeker to show the practical effects of the ideas. Although the ideas are very abstract Colin is able to capture what is needed before understanding takes place. The ideas of Advaita, Taoism and Zen can seem so complicated that words slip away and there is a tendency to try to grasp them. Colin has the ability to hold the words steady so they can be thought about and discussed. When understanding comes, even only at an intellectual level, words aren’t necessary any more.
Colin points out how simple it can be. We don’t have to go looking for enlightenment: for our impersonal consciousness. It’s already there- within us. We are so busy chasing down the road looking for signs that we miss the fact that it is right here. It was here when we were born and we just lost sight of it as we absorbed the conditioning of our culture.
(reviewed the day of purchase)