Meditations Books

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Meditations Books

Post by No_Mind » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:46 am

Till now (about 3 years) I have been doing 20 minute guided sitting meditation (usually using headphones)

I want to learn more about mindfulness and meditation .. a part of Theravada Buddhism as yet unexplored by me. I do not even understand the four foundations of mindfulness.

Due to personal reasons it is not possible for me to go on a 10 day Goenka retreat (I am not granted leave for that long .. other students have told me that ideally it should be a 1 + 10 + 1 = 12 day leave to fully internalize the teachings received during the retreat. I have not had a 12 day leave ever in my life nor will it ever happen).

Full of good intentions yesterday I started reading "Mindfulness of Breathing and Four Elements Meditation" by Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw (from recommended reading sticky) ..

At beginning of page 2, I came across the phrase "colour of the nimitta" and googled it and came across Leigh Brasington's page and got even more confused.

Is there any book .. that takes one through all terms and methods used in Buddhist meditation .. I am totally unaware of meditation terms like kasina, nimitta and have very vague idea of jhana.

All I follow is watching my breath for 20 minutes followed by 5-10 minutes of metta for everyone .. friend or enemy .. all living things.

"Mindfulness in Plain English" by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana is in plain English. I want complicated but entire matter.

Is there a A - Z book available online or a blog that is about meditation?

Example, "The Foundations of Buddhism" by Rupert Gethin + "Essentials of Buddhism" by Ven. Gnanarama + "The Noble Eightfold Path" By Ven. Bodhi about 650 pages in all or a week's reading will give a beginner reader a solid idea of what the Buddha taught .. a knowledge base that then can be expanded by further study.

Is there similar material about Buddhist meditation - between 1-3 books .. about 400-1000 pages of study .. that explain Buddhist meditation .. preferably in pdf format (but any other will also work)

I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Re: Meditations Books

Post by bodom » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:23 pm

Hi No-mind

I don't normally recommend the Visuddhimagga to anyone because of the denseness and complexity of it but in this case I will as it will answer all of your questions above.


To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Re: Meditations Books

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:53 pm

Manual on Four Satipatthana Excellent beginner's guide by Venerable Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu also available in several languages
There are also videos to go with in my signature

Notes on Meditation by Bhikkhu Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli I think this one sheds light on the general development of phenomenological observance using the Breath without getting overwhelmed

SEEING THROUGH - A Guide to Insight Meditation - by Ven. Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda
This one is more theory dense on same subject as the former two, explaining particularly well how radical attention does it's magic and the Insight parts of the Anapanasati Sutta

Manual of Mindfulness of Breathing/Ānāpāna Dīpani by Ven. Ledi Sayādaw Mahāthera
This one i found most useful in regards to concentration, absorbtion Jhana and non-Absorbtion Jhana and the general prelimiary to advanced progression. This is probably a good place to start. Starting with Vi is also valid but you may find it unbearably confusing and or frustrating.

All of these go well together and make for a comperhensive & versatile Anapanasati or just General Satipatthana training.

For Asubha & Maranasati Samadhi Develops Wisdom by Luangta Maha Bua
Which is an important manual but not the most instructive

For other meditations;
Charnel Ground - Maha Satipatthana Sutta and It's Commentary and/or Vsm
Metta - Have some recent threads on the Forum but this one is useful Deliverance of Heart by Ven. Katukurunde Ñāṇananda Maha Thera
Recollections - Pretty straightforward from Sutta

This forum already has a lot of info on Asubha, Maranasati & Metta.

You should learn all these meditations because then you can be skilled at choosing a theme that suits your current mindstate.

If you want to get into elements beyond the Four Primary Ones (Fire, Air, Water, Earth), which is a good idea at some point albeit probably too overwhelming and confusing in beginning for most;
Manual of Insight by Ven. Ledi Sayādaw Mahāthera

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