The Purpose and Practice of Buddhist Meditation: A Sourcebook of Teachings

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9780957470002: The Purpose and Practice of Buddhist Meditation: A Sourcebook of Teachings
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Doesn't mindfulness take too much time? Can metta take me all the way to Enlightenment? How much meditation is good for you? Why visualize an Enlightened being? Are there places that meditation doesn't reach? Wouldn't it be better to open a soup kitchen? Is going on solitary retreat escapism? Can you tell if meditation is changing you? All of these questions and very many more are tackled in this substantial compilation of Sangharakshita's teachings on meditation, drawn from previously published works and from the unpublished transcripts of seminars on a wide range of Buddhist texts, from the Pali canon to the songs of Milarepa. The dialogue form is a reminder that teaching is a communication, a creative meeting between the depth and breadth of the teacher's knowledge and experience and the willingness of his students to ask the kinds of questions any meditator would like to ask if they had the chance (or the nerve). Discussions reveal how Sangharakshita learned the practices on which his system of meditation - 'an organic, living system' - is based, and how that system has evolved over the years. Amid much curiosity about dhyana and Insight, and explorations of how to deal with fear or distraction, doubt, drowsiness or desire, topics also include such matters as whether the Buddha needed to keep meditating and whether you should include Mrs Thatcher in your metta-bhavana. Whether dipped into, consulted on a specific subject or read from cover to cover, the collection offers practical, inspiring and encouraging advice for new and experienced meditators alike; and throughout, it is deeply imbued with the Buddhist vision of the role of meditation in the quest for Enlightenment.

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