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The Path of Serenity and Insight

Price : $15.75
ISBN # : 9788120808713
Author : Gunaratana, Henepola
pages: 263
Edition : Hardcover
Volumes : 1
Publisher : Motilal Banarsidass
Published : 2009

In the oldest scriptures of Theravada Buddhism much attention is given to the jhanas, high levels of meditative attainment distinguished by powerful concentration and purity of mind. Ven. Dr. Gunaratana examines these jhanas within the context of Buddhist teaching as a whole and particularly within the meditation disciplines taught by the Buddha. Beginning with the ethical foundation for meditation, the role of the teacher, the classical subjects of meditation, and the appropriateness of these subjects to individual practitioners, the author traces the practice of meditation to the higher reaches of realization. The eight stages of jhana are individually analyzed and explained in terms of their relation to one another and to the ultimate goal of the teaching.

The author makes the critical distinction between the mundane jhanas and supermundane jhanas, pointing out that the lower four, while leading to various mental powers and psychic attainments, are not necessary to full enlightenment and may be developed or bypassed as the meditator wishes. The author goes on to explain the place of the jhanas among the accomplishments of an arahat and elucidate their usefulness for a dedicated meditator.

Author Bio:
Venerable Henepola Gunaratana served as Hon. General Secretary of the Buddhist Vihara Society of Washington D.C. and later became President of the Society. He has taught courses in Buddhism, conducted meditation retreats, and lectured widely throughout the United States and Canada and pursued his scholarly interests as well.

Review 1:
''..For a long time in my experience new-comers to Buddhism have been confused about the position of the jhanas (absorptions) in Buddhist meditation-practice. This is the first book... which deals clearly and exhaustively with the subject.''
Source: -Philip M. Eden Middle Way

Review 2:
''...The quality of the author's exposition is doubled as he consults the Burmese Buddha Sasana Samiti editions and Sinhalese and Devanagari editions of the commentaries and sub-commentaries besides, without solely relying on the PTS edition. Review Projector.''
Source: (India) Vol. 7 Nos. 7-9, September 1987

Review 3:
''... (The) book will help to elucidate the nature of the experience to a large number of earnest people who are endeavoring to find lasting peace of mind through the use of Buddhist meditation practice. ... (It) is highly recommended to those who are interested in proper meditation techniques for their mental development, tranquility and purity.''
Source: Voice of Buddhism Vol. 22, No.2, December 1985

This book was added to South Asia bookstore on Thursday 21 October, 2010.
Reviews


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