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Buddhist Meditation

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PDF PDF Doc. (340 KB) Fundamentals of Ch’an Meditation Practice — by Ting Chen, Tr. Master Lok To.

The Fundamentals of (Ch’an) Meditation Practice by Ting Chen. “Originally, one’s own mind and nature are pure, and there is nothing to accept and nothing to refuse; there is neither existence nor non-existence; there is only clear understanding without attachment and with no dwelling. One who wants to know the no-attachment, no-dwelling mind can find it through meditation, because it is only then that the mind does not think of right and wrong, of good and evil or of self and others”.

PDF PDF Doc. (470 KB) The Gates of Chan Buddhism — by Venerable Jing Hui.

BODHIDHARMA’S GATE: “Chan (Zen) in fact is an “impregnable fortress”, without a gate to enter. Suppose there is really a gate, that gate would simply be a method of training to be taken up in the Chan tradition. That is why when a monk asked Master Zhao Zhou (778 – 897): “Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?” Master Zhao
Zhou retorted: “Wu.” Later on, this Gongan (koan) formed part of a specific approach in the Chan School.” The author , Venerable Jing Hui is a Chan Master and a vice–president of the Buddhist Association of China.

PDF PDF Doc. (1,590 KB) The Sweet Dews of Ch’an — by Reverend Cheng Kuan.

Ch’an or Zen is the outcome of meditation. There are two “right” or “highest” purposes of Ch’an. The first purpose is to achieve “Dhyana.” Dhyana is a combination of relaxation, concentration and calmness or tranquility. The second purpose is, using your very composed and tranquil mind, to observe clearly all the dharmas or phenomena externally and internally. As an outcome of Dhyana, you will be able to observe these phenomena very clearly because your “mental mirror” is very clear, for there are no more disturbances to veil it. Out of these observations will come Transcendental Wisdom, which in Sanskrit is called “Prajna.”

PDF PDF Doc. (1,035 KB) Taming the Monkey Mind — Cheng Wei-an. Tr. by Dharma Master Suddhisukha.

“Taming the Monkey Mind” is a guide to Pure Land practice. It deals specifically with the main practice of the Pure Land School – Buddha Recitation – and covers both the noumenal and phenomenal aspects of that practice. The treatise is accompanied by the detailed commentary of an Elder Master of the Zen and Pure Land lineages. Readers not familiar with Pure Land theory may wish to begin with Dr. J.C. Cleary’s introduction.

PDF PDF Doc. (182 KB) Practical Vipassana Exercises — Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw.

The late Mahasi Sayadaw was responsible for the modern revival of Vipassana or Insight meditation in Myanmar (Burma). This text is his basic instruction on the practice: the preparatory stages with a series of basic exercises. Part two, deals with the deals with the progressive practice and the practical vipassana exercises. The appendix explains the techniques involved in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition.

PDF PDF Doc. (435 KB) Seven Stages of Purification & Insight Knowledges — Ven. Matara Sri Nanarama.

A guide to the progressive stages of Buddhist meditation. The seven stages of purification provide the framework for the practising disciple’s gradual progress from the cultivation of virtue up to the attainment of the final goal. Integral to the higher stages of purification are the nine types of insight-knowledge, by which the disciple breaks through the delusions covering his mental vision and penetrates through to the real nature of phenomena.

PDF PDF Doc. (1,428 KB) A Map of the Journey — Ven. Sayadaw U Jotika.

This manuscript is an orginial, never previously published work. It is a transcript of a series of eleven preparatory talks given by Sayadaw U Jotika of Myanmar prior to a meditation retreat held in Australia. The Sayadaw is very well respected in Mayanmar where he has produced many books. Although born and bred in Myanmar, Sayadaw U Jotika has a great understanding of many other cultures as he has also read widely in Western literature and has spent extented periods in other countries. This book gives a thorough background to the Path with much detail about the various insight stages. The Sayadaw illustrates this with many stories from his own practice and from his many teachers.

PDF PDF Doc. (1,259 KB) Keeping the Breath in Mind & Lessons in Samadhi — Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo.

This is a ‘how to’ book. It teaches the liberation of the mind, not as a mind-boggling theory, but as a very basic skill that starts with keeping the breath in mind. The teachings here are drawn from the works of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo (1906-61), one of Thailand’s most renowned teachers of Buddhist meditation practices. Ajaan Lee was a forest monk – one who prefers to live in the seclusion of the forest and makes his meditation the central theme of his practice – so his teachings grow out of personal, practical experience, although he also makes a point of relating them to standard Buddhist doctrine.

PDF PDF Doc. (671 KB) Frames of Reference — Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo.

“This book on the frames of reference is based to some extent on my own thoughts and opinions. In some spots it may not be directly in line with the original text (Satipatthâna Sutta), because my primary aim has been to get to the heart of the matter, so that it can be conveniently put into practice. The eBook also includes a section on the “Duties of the Sangha”, that is, the laws and regulations and disciplinary standards (Vinaya).

PDF PDF Doc. (340 KB) Dhamma Discourses on Vipassana Meditation — Ven. Sayadaw U Kundala.

Sayadaw U Kundala is a renowned meditation master in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition of Burma, noted for his loving-kindness. In these Dhamma talks the stages of the practice and the Insight Knowledges are explained. The method of meditation is given with detailed instruction. There is a detailed explanation of the Contemplation of Feelings, the second foundation of mindfulness, which, in the Theravada tradition, is the key to the Insight Knowledges. Overall, in the Sayadaw’s teachings, there is much for the Vipassana or insight meditator to be inspired by.

PDF PDF Doc. (270 KB) Living Meditation, Living Insight — Dr. Thynn Thynn.

The Path of Mindfulness in Daily Life.  I wrote this book to encourage practitioners learning to meditate in daily life. In this sense, the articles are presented as a “hands-on” or, more accurately, a “minds-on” training manual. Although I discuss meditation in general, the real focus is on how the Dhamma brings us into spontaneous, wholesome and creative living. My objective in presenting the articles is to help the aspirant build up a solid foundation of mindfulness as a way of life rather than as a practice separated from daily living – Dr. Thynn Thynn.

PDF PDF Doc. (385 KB) A Guide to Awareness — H.H. Somdet Phra Ñanasamvara.

The Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthâna Sutta). This is a series of twenty-two talks given at Wat Bovornives, Bangkok by H.H.Somdet Phra Ñanasamvara, Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness is the Buddha’s explanation of the practice of mindfulness meditation within the framework of four foundations of awareness: body, feelings, mind-states and the mental content. If you read this book, you will discover the truth of the ‘knots’ and problems that exist within you. In short, this can be described as the ‘knot of suffering’. You may also then see the method to unravel and safeguard against this suffering.

PDF PDF Doc. (2,371 KB) On The Path To Freedom — Sayadaw U Pandita.

On The Path to Freedom – a mind of wise discernment and openness – by Burmese Meditation Master, Sayadaw U Pandita. This is a compilation of Dhamma discourses to foreign meditators at the Mahasi Meditation Centre, Rangoon, Myanmar, who came to practise under him in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) between August 1986 to March 1987. Translated from Myanmar by the late Mya Thaung.

PDF PDF Doc. (861 KB) Mindfulness: The Path of the Deathless — Ven. Ajahn Sumedho.

The aim of this book is to provide a clear instruction in and reflection on Buddhist meditation as taught by Ajahn Sumedho, a bhikkhu (monk) of the Theravadin tradition. It has been edited from talks Ajahn Sumedho has given to meditators as a practical approach to the wisdom of Buddhism. This wisdom is otherwise known as Dhamma or ‘the way things are’. It is a step-by-step manual on the practice of meditation.

PDF PDF Doc. (590 KB) Invitation to Insight Meditation — Ven. Visuddhacara.

This book contains two sections: 1. Invitation to Vipassana and 2. Basic Instructions. In the first part, I have endeavoured to explain: a) the basic principles underlying the Vipassana practice, how it is essentially the observation of physical and mental processes that occur in the body and mind, b) how this observation leads to the understanding of the truths of impermanence, suffering and not-self as taught by the Buddha, c) how the application of mindfulness is required for this observation, d) how the Wisdom of impermanence, etc. is important, making us wiser, stronger, etc. – i.e. how it helps us in our daily life, and shape our whole outlook and attitude towards life, and e) various other aspects of the benefits of mindfulness and living in the present, such as the curtailment of worries and anxieties, improvement in health, concentration and memory.

PDF PDF Doc. (391 KB) The Vipassana Retreat — Ven. Pannyavaro.

Vipassana meditation requires long-term commitment. While it can be done to some extent in everyday life, realistically for the practice to deepen it needs to be done intensively in a supportive retreat situation. Vipassana meditation is developmental, so to realise its ultimate benefit it has to be sustained with appropriate intensity under supportive conditions. Ven. Pannyavaro, a practitioner of over 30 years, guides you through the vipassana experience in a retreat situation, in a systematic and practical way.

PDF PDF Doc. (158 KB) Insight Meditation Workshop Online — Ven. Pannyavaro.

Meditation is the intelligent heart of the Buddha’s way; the only criterion is that you should apply it to daily life. The purpose of this meditation course is not to create a system of beliefs, but rather to give guidance on how to see clearly into the nature of the mind. In this way, you can have firsthand understanding of the way things are, without reliance on opinions or theories – a direct experience, which has its own vitality.  This course has been prepared with both beginners and experienced practitioners in mind.

PDF PDF Doc. (100 KB) The Art of Attention — Ven. Pannyavaro.

This is a handbook on the art of meditative attention or meditating for insight. It deals with the basics of awareness meditation. There is practical instruction on how to do sitting and walking meditation and how to apply awareness in daily activities based on the Insight Meditation (Vipassana) tradition. The purpose of this handbook is to give the beginner to awareness meditation a guide to the basics of the practice, with the emphasis on its practical application to daily life. • Arabic version: The Art of Attention (564KB)

PDF PDF Doc. (143 KB) For the Stilling of Volcanoes — Ven. Sujiva.

Insight Meditation as explained by Ven. Sujiva: “It is not an task easy to approach such a profound topic as Insight Meditation in simple terms. But we have got to start somewhere. After some years of introducing this type of meditation, I still find that there is a lack of introductory material for those without knowledge of Buddhism. What is available is often extremely technical and loaded with ancient Indian terminology. There are some words in the English vocabulary which we can never hope to substitute perfectly. Even in this booklet I have used some English words such as ‘conditioned’ and ‘suffering’ which need special explanation when used in a ‘Buddhist’ sense – but I have tried to come up with something easier to read and understand.”

PDF PDF Doc. (3,342 KB) Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice — Ven. Sujiva.

The ultimate aim of insight meditation is to “free” one from the unsatisfactoriness of cyclic existence. Readers may also find numerous quotations of the Buddha’s teaching on mindfulness, detachment and liberation throughout the entire book. Those verses act as a source of inspiration and purpose to put vipassana into practice — a practice that brings about insight into the three universal characteristics of unsatisfactoriness, impermanence and non-self which leads one into detachment and ultimate liberation.

PDF PDF Doc. (211 KB) Loving-kindness Meditation — Ven. Sujiva.

Loving-kindness Meditation or Metta Bhavana and other Sublime States by Ven. Sujiva is a clear and comprehensive step-by-step explanation of the systematic practice. It is based on the Visuddhimagga or The Path of Purification by Buddhagosha. The texts describe metta as characterised by promoting the aspect of welfare. Amity, goodwill, friendliness and loving-kindness are some words used to describe this mental state. There is no better way to know it than to study it as it occurs in one’s own and others’ minds. It is a totally unselfish and pure state of mind that brings profit to oneself and others now and hereafter.

PDF PDF Doc. (372 KB) The Power of Mindfulness — Ven. Nyanaponika Thera.

“In the case of mindfulness, it required a genius like the Buddha to discover the “hidden talent” in the
modest garb, and to develop the vast inherent power of that potent seed. It is, indeed, the mark of a genius
to perceive and to harness the power of the seemingly small. Here, truly, it happens that, what is little
becomes much. A revaluation of values takes place. The standards of greatness and smallness change. Through the master mind of the Buddha, mindfulness is finally revealed as the point where the vast revolving mass of world suffering is levered out of its twofold anchorage in ignorance and craving”.

PDF PDF Doc. (590 KB) The Four Sublime States — Ven. Nyanaponika Thera.

Four sublime states of mind have been taught by the Buddha: Loving-kindness (metta), Compassion (karuna), Sympathetic Joy (mudita), Equanimity (upekkha) These four attitudes are said to be excellent or sublime because they are the right or ideal way of conduct towards living beings They provide, in fact, the answer to all situations arising from social contact. They are the great removers of tension, the great peacemakers in social conflict, and the great healers of wounds suffered in the struggle of existence. They level social barriers, build harmonious communities, awaken slumbering magnanimity long forgotten, revive joy and hope long abandoned, and promote human brotherhood against the forces of egotism.

PDF PDF Doc. (2,521 KB) Brahmavihara Dhamma — Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw.

This “Brahmavihara Dhamma” (Divine Abidings) expounded by the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, reveals the systematic method of developing Metta, loving-kindness towards all beings and the way to lead a life of holiness. The style of presentation and the informative materials contained therein stand witness to the depth and wealth of spiritual and scriptural knowledge of the eminent author. A careful reading of this Dhamma or teachings, followed by an unfailing practice of meditation that has been clearly presented in this text will, I believe, amount to storing a fortune in the shape of happiness in the present lifetime as well as higher spiritual attainment.

PDF PDF Doc. (2,842 KB) Hello – with Love & Other Meditations — Ven. Visuddhacara.

The three most important things in life are love, kindness and wisdom. If we have made these three values the priorities of our life, then our life will have been well-lived. When we die we can only have happiness when we look back and not regrets. Wealth, fame, power, status, worldly success and pleasures — these are insignificant compared to love, kindness and wisdom. Cultivate the latter. If we spend our life cultivating this trio, our birth and life will have been worthwhile; it will not have been in vain. In this booklet, Ven. Visuddhàcàra shares his understanding of this practice of mindfulness and loving-kindness with a view to encourage all of us to walk the path.

PDF PDF Doc. (1,681 KB) Metta Bhavana, Loving-kindness Meditation — Ven. Dhammarakkhita.

This is short explanation on how to practise Metta Bhavana or Loving-kindness Meditation given as a three-day weekend retreat at Dhammodaya Meditation Centre in Nakhon Pathom in Thailand, by an Australian monk, Ven. Dhammarakkhita (Jeff Oliver).

PDF PDF Doc. (431 KB) Guided Meditation for Primary Students — BuddhaNet’s Buddhist Studies for Schools.

This is a series of guided meditations with instruction for teachers for primary students. This file is part of BuddhaNet’s Buddhist Studies for Schools. It has seven guided meditations for students, with detailed instructions for teachers.

PDF PDF Doc. (80 KB) Seeding the Heart — Gregory Kramer.

Loving-kindness Meditation with Children. The practice of loving-kindness, or metta, can be done in one of two ways: either in intensive prolonged meditation to develop deep states of concentration, or in daily life at any time one meets with people and animals or thinks about them. To learn about the radiating of metta to all beings with children, we have to tap into the store of knowledge accumulated by lay people and parents. It must be knowledge which has grown out of years of living and loving with children and young adults. Gregory Kramer, father of three boys, shows us here with what subtle but precise adjustments in the standard practice of loving-kindness he was able to anchor it in the lives of his children.

ZIP File(4,366 KB)Settling back into the moment — Joseph Goldstein.

A selection of verses from the book ‘Experience of Insight’ , by Joseph Goldstein. This book belongs to a different genre, not a book in the sense of having a beginning and an end. It is a compilation of excerpts that stand alone in meaning whichever way your finger may flip open the page. Readers are strongly encouraged to read Joseph Goldstein’s “Experience of Insight – a simple and direct guide to Buddhist Meditation” (Published by Shambala Publications, Inc.) from whose book this compilation is attributed.

PDF PDF Doc. (994 KB) Teaching and Training — Compiled by Bhikkhu Moneyya.

The system of meditation taught at Pa-Auk Forest Monastery in Myanmar is based on the Tipitaka (The Three Baskets, or main divisions, of the Pali Canon) and its commentaries. For clarity, the subject matter in this book has been organized into an outline format, using the three trainings of sila (morality), samadhi (concentration) and pañña (wisdom) as its main headings. The three trainings are then further subdivided into the seven stages of purification, originally described in the “Rathavinita Sutta” (“Relay Chariots Discourse”) of the Majjhima Nikaya and later expounded in the Visuddhimagga (The Path of Purification), a widely respected commentary, compiled by Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa around AD 400. The seven stages of purification provide a step-by-step formula for systematically purifying one’s body (physical actions), speech and mind of defilements in order to realize Nibbana in this lifetime.

PDF PDF Doc. (2,908 KB) Knowing and Seeing — Ven. Pa-Auk Sayadaw.

Talks and Questions and Answers at a meditation retreat in Taiwan by Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw. This book details two approaches to insight meditation, namely, “tranquility and insight” and “bare-insight” meditation. These two methods are essentially identical, starting from four-elements meditation and continuing into insight meditation. In this book the reader has an explanation of the classic instructions for both methods. The talks in this book were given by the Sayadaw (teacher), from Pa-Auk, Mawlamyine, Myanmar, while he conducted a two-month meditation retreat at Yi-Tung Temple, Sing Choo City, Taiwan.

PDF PDF Doc. (1,176 KB) The Practice which Leads to Nibbana — Ven. Pa-Auk Sayadaw.

Translated by Greg Kleiman. This is the method of practising meditation that is taught at Pa Auk Tawya Monastery, (Myanmar) Burma. It is based on the explanation of meditation found in the Visuddhimagga commentary. Because of that the method involves several stages of practice which are complex, and involved. These stages include a detailed analysis of both mentality and matter, according to all the categories enumerated in the Abhidhamma, and the further use of this understanding to discern the process of Dependent Origination as it occurs in the Past, Present, and Future. Therefore people who are unfamiliar with the Visuddhimagga and the Abhidhamma will have difficulty in understanding and developing a clear picture of the practice of meditation at Pa Auk Tawya. For foreigners who cannot speak Burmese this problem is made even more difficult. This introduction has been written to help alleviate these difficulties by presenting a simplified example of a successful meditator’s path of progress as he develops his meditation at Pa Auk Tawya.

PDF PDF Doc. (1,040 KB) Mindfulness of Breathing & Four Elements Meditation — Ven. Pa-Auk Sayadaw.

This book contains the instructions for mindfulness-of-breathing meditation, the four-elements meditation, and the subsequent detailed discernment of materiality. The last section of this book covers some of the relevant theory. Several pages have been added by the Sayadaw covering the balancing of the five controlling faculties and seven factors of enlightenment. There is also the addition of his explanation of the difference between the experience of Nibbàna and the experience of life-continuum (bhavanga).

PDF PDF Doc. (1,287 KB) Anapanasati – Mindfulness of Breathing — Ven. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.

For the first time in the English language a comprehensive manual of Buddhist meditation known as ânàpànasati (the development of mindfulness of breathing ) is available. Although this manual is primarily intended for the benefit of monks, it will greatly assist laymen, too, who wish to undertake a course of meditation but who do not have the guidance of a teacher. Originally published in Thai, this manual is one of
the major works of the Ven. Buddhadàsa Bhikkhu and delivered in 1959 in the form of a series of lectures to monks of Suanmokkha Monastery, Chaiya, Thailand. Ven. Buddhadàsa Bhikkhu, a major voice in the Buddhist world, is an accepted master of Buddhist meditation. In constructive positive language, the manual guides the meditator through the 16 steps of ânàpànasati.

PDF PDF Doc. (891 KB) Buddhist Meditation and Depth Psychology — Douglas M. Burns.

This essay is concerned with only one aspect of Buddhism, the practice of meditation. The ethical, practical, and logical facets of the Teaching are covered in other publications. If the cause of suffering is primarily psychological, then it must follow that the cure, also, is psychological. Therefore, we find in Buddhism a series of “mental exercises” or meditations designed to uncover and cure our psychic aberrations. Mistakenly, Buddhist meditation is frequently confused with yogic meditation, which often includes physical contortions, autohypnosis, quests for occult powers, and an attempted union with God. None of these are concerns or practices of the Eightfold Path. There are in Buddhism no drugs or stimulants, no secret teachings, and no mystical formulae. Buddhist meditation deals exclusively with the everyday phenomena of human consciousness.

PDF PDF Doc. (1,485 KB) A Critical Analysis of the Jhãnas in Theravãda Buddhist Meditation

This work, by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana, provides an analytical study of the Jhãnas, as they are an important set of meditative attainments in the contemplative discipline of Theravãda Buddhism. Despite their frequent appearance in the texts, the exact role of the Jhãnas in the Buddhist path has not been settled with unanimity by Theravãda scholars, who are still divided over the question as to whether they are necessary for attaining Nibbana. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to determine the precise role of the Jhãnas in the Theravãda Buddhist presentation of the way to liberation.

For source material the work relies upon the three principal classes of authoritative Theravãda texts: the Pali Tipitaka, its commentaries, and its sub-commentaries. To traditional canonical investigations modern methods of philosophical and psychological analysis are applied in order to clarify the meanings implicit in the original sources. The examination covers two major areas: first the dynamics of Jhãna attainment, and second, the function of the Jhãnas in realizing the ultimate goal of Buddhism, Nibbana or final liberation from suffering.

PDF PDF Doc. Print version only (1,387KB, PDF)
This print version is suitable for people who can print the pages duplex and they will have 2 A5 size pages on every Landscape oriented A4 page.

PDF PDF Doc. (288 KB) Sri Lakan Monasteries-Monastics.
PDF PDF Doc. (76 KB) Sri Lankan Monasteries-Laypeople.

Information about Meditation Centres and other important places in Sri Lanka for visiting Western Buddhist lay practitioners. Also Information about Meditation Centers, Forest Monasteries, and other important places in Sri Lanka for Western bhikkhus and serious lay practitioners. Updated: January 2005.

All eBooks contained here are © Copyright ‘Buddha Dharma Education Association/Buddhanet.net’ All rights reserved unless otherwised indicated.

 

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