Best books on Samatha Meditation

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Stiphan
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Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by Stiphan » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:37 pm

What are the best books on Samatha? Something like a stage by stage guide would be nice, as well as general instructions and tips.

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:58 am

The Mind Illuminated
Practicing the Jhanas
Right Concentration
Focussed and Fearless
Visuddhimagga
Vimuttimagga

(And there are various Mahayana, Vajrayana, Yoga, and other texts on the same subject matter.)

My favourite is Culadasa's The Mind Illuminated. It has a gradual progression which you may like.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:18 am

I'd second Focussed and Fearless as an excellent book, with step by step guide too. And heaps of depth. Really very good. I intend to buy a paper copy one day.
There's also Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond , by Ajahn Brahm, which is a good step by step guide. He doesn't teach that way any more, but it's still excellent.

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bodom
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by bodom » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:31 pm

All good recommendations above but I would also like to add Bhante Gunaratanas Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English:
Countless people worldwide have made Mindfulness in Plain English a beloved and bestselling classic in almost a dozen languages. Now after nearly two decades, Bhante helps meditators of every stripe take their mindfulness practice to the next level—helping them go, in a word, beyond mindfulness. In the same warm, clear, and friendly voice, Bhante introduces the reader to what have been known for centuries as the “jhanas”—deeply calm, joyous, and powerful states of meditation that, when explored with the clearly presented tools in this book, can lead to a life of insight and unshakeable peace.
https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/beyond- ... in-english

:anjali:
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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Mr Man
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by Mr Man » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:21 pm

Keeping the Breath in Mind - Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/tha ... nmind.html

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by salayatananirodha » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:37 am

How do you make the title a hyperlink? lol
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... nsight.pdf

Code: Select all

[url=http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/towards_calm_and_insight.pdf]Towards Calm and Insight[/url]
Towards Calm and Insight

:heart:
Mike
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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mikenz66
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:57 am

Hi James,
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:18 am
There's also Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond , by Ajahn Brahm, which is a good step by step guide. He doesn't teach that way any more, but it's still excellent.
Can you explain how has his teaching has changed?

:heart:
Mike

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:22 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:57 am
Can you explain how has his teaching has changed?
Certainly. He doesn't teach steps and sequences anymore, but emphasises Letting Go, always letting go, being gentle, just letting whatever be, and eventually with enough letting go the mind settles on the breath by itself, with no guidance from willpower. That's it in a nutshell.
His teaching these days is really similar to Sayadaw U Teijania... the Sayadaw inclines towards insight, and Ajahn B inclines to samatha... but both use the very similar thing of Minimal Energy input, and always letting go.
And bringing the quality of kindness to the breath, like the feeling of sukha fom metta... it makes the breath attractive, whcih is a nice bit of auto-reinforcement.

He said he wrote that book years ago, when his view was more around arousing energy and pushing sort of thing.

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mikenz66
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:45 am

Thanks James. Very helpful.

:heart:
Mike

Dinsdale
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:50 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:22 am
And bringing the quality of kindness to the breath, like the feeling of sukha fom metta... it makes the breath attractive, whcih is a nice bit of auto-reinforcement.
Ajahn Brahm tells a nice story about how Sam Atha and Vi Passana take their dog Metta for a walk in the hills of insight. :thumbsup:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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bodom
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Re: Best books on Samatha Meditation

Post by bodom » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:53 pm

I would also like to add Thanissaro Bhikkhus meditation manual With Each and Every Breath which is probably the best over all guide to meditation I have read to date.

It can be read for free here:
https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Wri ... 130123.pdf

:anjali:
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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