Offers a look at the foundational aspect of Buddhist meditation known as samadhi: the ability of the mind to remain calm and settled without distraction. This work looks at the range of views and understandings about the experience of samadhi and offers an examination of it using teachings attributed to the Buddha as well as later commentaries.
This book offers an in-depth look at the foundational aspect of Buddhist meditation known as samadhi, or concentration: the ability of the mind to remain calm and settled without distraction. In part one of this book, Richard Shankman looks at the range of views and understandings about the experience of samadhi and offers a comprehensive examination of it using teachings attributed to the Buddha as well as later commentaries. He compares the diverse descriptions and presentations of samadhi in order to present a broad understanding of it and its place in meditation practice.He examines different, often conflicting, views and how these various views are related. In part two, he presents a series of interviews with prominent contemporary Buddhist teachers, including Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, and Christina Feldman, that focus on the practical experience of samadhi. This section of this book brings the theoretical to life, offering a range of approaches to and applications of the different meditation techniques.
Richard Shankman is a Buddhist meditation teacher with nearly four decades' experience in meditation practice and study. He is cofounder of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies as well as the Community Partnership for Mindfulness in Education. He teaches throughout the country at Dharma centers and retreats, including Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
"A balanced, intelligent, and indispensable guide to the range of Buddhist teachings on samadhi. Written by an accomplished meditator."--Gil Fronsdal, author and translator, The Dhammapada "A comprehensive study of the state of deep concentration known as samadhi. One of the most helpful aspects of the book is the clear distinction between 'mindfulness' and 'concentration, ' two terms that are often only vaguely defined in primary sources. The book provides an alternative perspective for Zen students and a corrective for those who misunderstand Zen as a 'short-cut' method which obviates the need for deep concentration."--Mountain Record
" The Experience of Samadhi provides a wonderfully broad overview of the role of concentration in Buddhist meditation as well as in-depth exploration of meditative experience. This book is a valuable and inspiring resource."--Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma and A Heart Full of Peace
"This book will be strongly welcomed not only by all those who sit on the meditation cushion but also by many who want to know about the experiences of meditative concentration and unification of the mind. It will be a classic, a manual and resource book lasting for generations. This is a five-star book. Actually, six stars."--Christopher Titmuss, author of An Awakened Life