Mindfulness in Early Buddhism: Characteristics and Functions (Paperback)

Bhikkhu Anālayo

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Mindfulness in Early Buddhism is a timely and thoroughgoing examination of the significance, meaning and development of mindfulness in early Buddhism. Buddhist meditator and scholar Bhikkhu Anālayo here provides answers to questions such as: To what extent is mindfulness an originally Buddhist concept? Is there a place for bare awareness and what are its results? What is the significance of mindfulness of the body and what are its benefits? How does mindfulness relate to memory and to the practice of recollection? What are the different benefits associated with mindfulness in the early discourses? and How does mindfulness relate to other aspects of the early Buddhist path of practice?

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SKU (ISBN): 9781911407553 Categories: , ,

Mindfulness in Early Buddhism: Characteristics and Functions

Bhikkhu Anālayo

Mindfulness in Early Buddhism is a timely and thoroughgoing examination of the significance, meaning and development of mindfulness in early Buddhism. Buddhist meditator and scholar Bhikkhu Anālayo here provides answers to questions such as: To what extent is mindfulness an originally Buddhist concept? Is there a place for bare awareness and what are its results? What is the significance of mindfulness of the body and what are its benefits? How does mindfulness relate to memory and to the practice of recollection? What are the different benefits associated with mindfulness in the early discourses? and How does mindfulness relate to other aspects of the early Buddhist path of practice?

In Part I Anālayo examines topics including mindful eating, ethics and compassion, central aspects of mindfulness practice, and a history of mindfulness, showing how from early Buddhism mindfulness evolved into the modern vipassana and dzogchen traditions’ understandings.  At the end of each chapter in Part I there are instructions for meditation practice.

In part II Anālayo provides annotated translations from the Chinese Agamas and a comparative study of their Pali parallels.

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Endorsements

‘Since so few practitioners have the ability to access the early Buddhist discourses, which are preserved in languages as diverse as Pāli, Gāndhārī, Sanskrit, Chinese, and Tibetan, this book, as with the author’s other writings, is an important contribution to the topic. Another consequence of letting the primary texts, the discourses attributed to the Buddha, speak for themselves through providing very readable and fluent translations of them, supplemented with the author’s commentary and interpretations, is that the book is a delight to read because the early discourses are so varied, fresh, and informative, with teachings liberally illustrated and enhanced through similes, metaphors, and the like.’ – Mark Allon, author of Style and Function: A Study of Dominant Stylistic Features of the Prose Portions of Pāli Canonical Sutta Texts and Their Mnemonic Function and Three Gāndhārī Ekottarikāgama-Type Sūtras: British Library Kharoṣṭhī Fragments 12 and 14, from the Foreword

Mindfulness in Early Buddhism, Characteristics and Functions is a treasure trove of teachings, illuminating in depth and detail the many aspects and nuances of mindfulness. Through his own practice and scholarly research, Bhikkhu Anālayo explores the different characteristics and functions of mindfulness and how they lead us on to freedom. A wonderfully deep dive into what liberates the mind.’ – Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

‘Bhikkhu Anālayo’s Mindfulness in Early Buddhism, Characteristics and Functions is a result of his comparative study of mindfulness in Pāli and Chinese texts. In my view, this is one book that everybody seriously teaching and practicing mindfulness meditation should have in their homes as a reference book on various aspects of mindfulness. It can amazingly benefit Buddhists from different traditions who are unfamiliar with each other’s meditation practices. Reading this book opens our minds to see various usages, similarities, dissimilarities, and misinterpretations of mindfulness.’ – H. Guṇaratana Mahāthera, author of Mindfulness in Plain English

Mindfulness in Early Buddhism, Characteristics and Functions is an invaluable and timely contribution to our understanding of the early Buddhist notion of “mindfulness”. Anālayo makes available, through scrupulous translation and astute analysis, the vast scriptural and commentarial literature bearing on the topic in Pali, as well as the early Āgama literature – often ignored – that survives in Chinese. The volume stands as the most comprehensive sourcebook and exhaustive study of the early materials to date, and should be required reading of anyone interested in the Buddhist roots of mindfulness practice.’ – Robert Sharf, author of Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism: A Reading of the Treasure Store Treatise