The Purpose and Practice of Buddhist Meditation: A Sourcebook of Teachings
Can mettā take me all the way to Enlightenment?
How much meditation is good for you?
Why visualize an Enlightened being?
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. First published in 2012, this volume draws from previously published works and from the unpublished transcripts of seminars on a wide range of Buddhist texts, from the Pāli canon to the songs of Milarepa.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 Sangharakshita’s knowledge and experience and the willingness of 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 dhyāna and Insight, and explorations of how to deal with fear or distraction, doubt, drowsiness or desire, topics also include such matters as whether it’s good to meditate in the open air and whether to include your least favourite politician in your mettā bhāvanā. To this edition some extra material on ‘just sitting’ and the guru yoga has been added.
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. It is deeply imbued with the Buddhist vision of the role of meditation in the quest for Enlightenment.
Buy this volume on its own, or subscribe to the whole set. The Complete Works of Sangharakshita: information and subscription options