6 concentration, compassion - karuna, dependent arising, emptiness, freedom, Right Concentration

Three new and interesting books for experienced meditators

I’m currently working my way – slowly! – through three new books that may be of interest to experienced meditators: 

Seeing That Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising
Rob Burbea 10 October 2014 Hermes Amara

Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas
Leigh Brasington 13 October 2015 Shambala

Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation
Bhikkhu Analayo 3 November 2015 Windhorse Continue reading “Three new and interesting books for experienced meditators”

daily life, Insight meditation - vipassana, mindfulness, Uncategorized

Joseph Goldstein’s new book Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

Mindfulness

Joseph Goldstein has just published a new book which looks in detail at the Satipatthana Sutta, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, which is the key text for the practice of insight meditation.  It should be a very helpful resource for anyone who wants to refine their understanding of mindfulness and its role in the development of insight.

In a recent interview for the Insight Journal of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Joseph says:

“I purposely chose Mindfulness as the title because I wanted to expand the meaning of the word from its popular usage, and re-link it to the goal of liberation. Because mindfulness is now so widespread, and with so many good effects, sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the understanding that the Buddha taught it as a vehicle for awakening. That is the deepest meaning, even as we apply it in different ways. Applied mindfulness can be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of suffering; the fullness of the Buddha’s teaching addresses the very causes of suffering.”

You can find the rest of the interview here: http://www.bcbsdharma.org/insight-journal/
And purchase information here: http://www.soundstrue.com/shop/Mindfulness/4472.pd

daily life, Insight meditation - vipassana, Ten Parami

Parami – a new book by Ajahn Sucitto

I was recently given a copy of Ajahn Sucitto’s latest free book, “Parami: Ways to Cross Life’s Floods,”  and have found it to be one of those rare books that I don’t want to put down, and can’t wait to come back to.

The ten parami (sometimes translated as “ten perfections”) are qualities of heart/mind that the Buddha is said to have developed to perfection before he attained complete freedom.  They are particularly relevant to lay people because they’re qualities that can be developed in ordinary life: Generosity, Ethical Conduct, Renunciation, Wisdom, Energy, Patience, Truthfulness, Resolve, Kindness, and Equanimity.

In his introduction, Ajahn Sucitto talks about “crossing the floods” as a metaphor for freedom, and how developing the parami can give us firm ground to stand on.  He says:
“Interest in deep change gets triggered by the feeling of being swept along by events; by the sense of being overwhelmed by, and even going under, a tide of worries, duties, and pressures.  That’s the ‘floods.’  And crossing them is about coming through all that to find some firm ground.  It takes some work, some skill, but we can do it.  This book offers some guidelines and themes for practice that can get us fit for the task.” [p11]

These ten parami are powerful supports to our meditation practice too.  It’s said that if we come to a place where we don’t feel to be making progress any more, it’s because one or more of the parami is underdeveloped.  That has been true in my own practice, and I’ve also observed it in others, too.  So this book is a resource to help shine light on those areas of the practice that perhaps need more attention.  Each chapter explores one of the parami in depth, drawing on Ajahn Sucitto’s many decades of dedicated dharma practice, and it includes suggestions for working with the parami in daily life as well as in formal meditation.

If you’re interested in reading the book, it’s available as a free download from the Forest Sangha Publications website:

https://forestsangha.org/teachings/books/parami-ways-to-cross-life-s-floods?language=English

(Donations are always appreciated)

For more information about Ajahn Sucitto, see the Interesting / influential / inspiring teachers page on this website