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Understanding: The Simplicity of Life

4.8 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)

$19.95 $13.97

by Colin Mallard

Winner of the US Indie Excellence Book Awards and Finalist for the US National Best Book Awards and the Next Generation Indie Book Award.

Understanding is a logical step by step approach to understanding both human nature and the world in which we live. The author suggests that understanding, deep understanding, can bring spontaneous and appropriate changes in human behavior.

To demonstrate the effect of understanding Mallard uses the following example: When the European mariners understood that the world was not flat, their behavior changed simply as a result of their understanding. Despite their fear they sailed beyond the horizon and not one of them fell over the edge.

Colin draws from  Taoism, Zen, Advaita Vedanta (Jnanna yoga) and Sufism, all of which played an important part in his life.

Understanding, real understanding, brings the gift of living in the moment. As anyone can attest from personal experience, the mental states of past and future lack the immediacy and vibrancy of the present moment. When the human being is present to what is happening and not caught in the chatter of the mind, life can be enjoyed regardless of what is happening. The result is a greater sense of peace and harmony and the ability to act spontaneously and appropriately.

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Book Information

Book Information

Edition Paperback
ISBN 978-1-927559-03-1
Book Size 6X9
Number of pages 276
Published Date 11-2012

Reviews (5)

5 reviews for Understanding: The Simplicity of Life

  1. 5 out of 5


    This book is simply written and logical and sets out an intellectual path to enlightenment. No rituals, no meditation, no beliefs. But it goes to the heart of all religions.

    What I love about this book is, although considered to be philosophy, it is in effect a very practical book. It reflects the wisdom of more than 2500 years ago in ways that are relatively easy to follow. New words are defined clearly with a glossary at the back to save turning back the page to find the original definition. All that is required of the reader is an open mind.

    Colin uses stories, sometimes Sufi or Zen stories, sometimes stories from his own life to illustrate many of the concepts.

    I’m quoting from the book here as think it sets out his approach.

    “Do not believe what I have to say as it will be useless for you… If you can approach this book with an open mind, prepared to surrender your preconceived notions and beliefs; ….examine closely what you’ve understood against your life experiences, then you may come to know the truth for yourself.

    I read Colin’s earlier book The Examined Life and spent time with him to help answer questions which arose. “Understanding” encompasses my questions and those of others.

    I am not enlightened but my intellectual understanding of enlightenment brings rewards :. An ability to live in the present where life is real – to see for example real trees when out walking rather than being completely immersed in thoughts. An ability to see how the mind, when not engaged in something practical, spins melodrama; “what ifs ” and if “onlys” ”which torment and distract.

    An ability to occasionally live a life where, happiness and unhappiness meet in the middle and life becomes more peaceful with glimpses of joy. – I’m not often there- that would probably be enlightenment – but the more I am aware of the power of my thoughts to dramatize, to allocate blame and guilt and worry endlessly, the more I find myself relaxing into the peace of the moment.

    A pretty good reward for reading (several times) a book!

    – Val Walton, Amazon Reviewer

  2. 5 out of 5


    In the search for a greater spiritual knowledge and understanding, this book is a must read. Colin Mallard’s writings transcends the complicated explanations and expectations present in Western religions and Eastern philosophy and goes right to the heart of the matter in very clear easy to understand way. As Mallard says, “the Truth is the Truth” and his writings are directed right into the window of the soul! Time well spent with a truly fascinating book!

    Side note: this book has won a number of awards for quality of writing

    – Steve Flawith, Goodreads Reviewer

  3. 4 out of 5


    This is a well-presented introduction to Eastern philosophy. The author comes from a multi-faith background and his knowledge of both Eastern and Western traditions helps to give him a broader view of the way different people approach spirituality. Although I personally differ with the author in some of his conclusions, I think that everything he says has merit and is worthy of the reader’s intellectual effort to consider. I enjoyed learning about a new philosophy and gaining insights into other ways of seeing the world. This is a non-threatening and thought-provoking work.

    – Heather Westing, Author

  4. 5 out of 5


    “Understanding ” brings you a concise Eastern view of the universe we live in. Beautifully presented with metaphors, photos, and personal experiences. A clear interpretation of the concepts involved. This book put together the broken pieces I called my life by filling in the empty spaces. Can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. It opened a window and let in some fresh air.

    – Peter Baker, Goodreads Reviewer

  5. 5 out of 5


    A wonderful book that has helped me immensely in my personal life. I have read it twice and have recommended it to many. Understanding is a perfect title for concepts that can be confusing but is clearly and beautifully explained in his words. I will be keeping this in my bookshelf and refer to it often.

    – Pattie, Goodreads Reviewer

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