Theravada Meditation: The Buddhist Transformation of Yoga

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9788120808423: Theravada Meditation: The Buddhist Transformation of Yoga

The first book in English to relate modern forms of Theravada meditational practice to its Indian roots, Theravada Meditation: The Buddhist Transformation of Yoga rectifies the publishing imbalance toward Mahayana and Zen. The classic Theravada pattern in Buddhaghosa`s Path of Purification (circa A.D. 500) is shown to be relevant to the present Buddhist world. Beginning with a general description of similarities and differences between the Upanisadic-Yogic and early Buddhist viewpoints, the author goes on to analyze Gotama`s rejection-acceptance-modification of the Upanisadic-Yogic method of striving for moksa (salvation) in his search for Buddhahood (enlightenment), as related in the Pali Canon. A second major section analyzes the meditational method of Buddhaghosa, showing the interaction between Upanisadic-Yogic jhanas (modes of concentration) and Buddhist vipassana (insight meditation). Attention is given to the highest attainable state, nirodha-samapatti (cessation of thought and perception), held by Theravada Buddhism to be an actual experience of Nibbana (world-escape) in this life. The final chapter discusses the attraction of Theravada meditation in parts of the contemporary world, notably Burma, drawing upon materials little known in the West. In Burma and, to some degree, in Ceylon and Thailand, emphasis is on a simplified meditational method open to layman as well as monk, yet viewed as fully orthodox.

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About the Author:

Winston L. King is the author of six previous books on comparative religion and Buddhism, including A Thousand Lives Away: Buddhism in Contemporary Burma and Buddhism and Christianity. He has been a visiting professor in Burma, India, and Japan and on the faculties of Vanderbilt, Grinnell, Colorado State, and Oberlin. Publication of this book is supported in part by the Buddhist Association of the United States.

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Winston L. King
Published by Motilal Banarsidass (2015)
ISBN 10: 8120808428 ISBN 13: 9788120808423
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