How many times have you heard the phrases “be your best self,” “speak your truth,” or “you create your own reality”? You probably saw one of them the last time you were on social media or even heard one while talking to a friend. Nowadays, these slogans are everywhere, but what if these teachings that sound like profound truths, that seem to be improving our lives, are actually doing more harm than good? In Buddhism, this is called a “near enemy.” It is a teaching that appears to have the desired quality we are seeking, but actually undermines it.

For example, “follow your bliss” has come to mean that we should do whatever feels good in the moment, which makes it sound easy. But the original meaning in Sanskrit is to follow what is true and right to you, which is a lot harder to do. When we only understand this concept superficially, we find ourselves feeding short-term gratification, self-medicating, or putting off important decisions, but in fact staying true to yourself is the most difficult—and rewarding—path that will allow you to achieve a state of joy on your life’s journey.

After over thirty years as an Oxford scholar, a practitioner, and now a teacher of meditation and Tantric philosophy, Christopher Wallis has written Near Enemies of the Truth to explore the most widespread distorted teachings present in our world today and explain how understanding our near enemies helps us create a more radically free and meaningful life.

Near Enemies of the Truth speaks to the current culture of trendy spirituality that blurs spiritual traditions and dilutes their wisdom over time, and shows readers how to:

  • Distinguish between truth and belief
  • Communicate more authentically with loved ones
  • Set healthier boundaries
  • Be in greater harmony with reality
  • Practice radical self-acceptance

Written in a gentle and encouraging tone, this book offers a wealth of insight and guidance for anyone who finds themselves struggling, reaching a spiritual plateau, or simply seeking a more meaningful way forward. This timely companion will help you think differently and see through the smokescreens to what is true. 


About the Author:

Christopher D. Wallis, also known as Hareesh, is a scholar-practitioner with thirty years of experience, having been initiated into the practice of yogic meditation at sixteen. His degrees include a B.A. in Religion and Classics from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley, an M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religions from Oxford, and a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley. His doctoral dissertation focused on the role of spiritual experience in the tradition of Tantric Shaivism. Additionally, he received traditional education at yoga āshrams in upstate New York and India, training in meditation, mantra-science, kīrtan, karma-yoga, and pedagogy. He currently teaches meditation, yoga darśana (practical philosophy), Tantrik philosophy, Sanskrit, and mantra-science. Hareesh is the author of Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition and The Recognition Sutras: Illuminating a 1,000-Year-Old Spiritual Masterpiece.

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