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BuddhaNet eBooks

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PDF documents on Buddhist Meditation

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A list of all BuddhaNet's eBooks (PDF documents) with a detailed description of each is available by
downloading the zipped file at: http://www.buddhanet.net/ebooks.htm

(340 KB) Fundamentals of Ch'an Meditation Practice — by Ting Chen, Tr. Master Lok To.

The Fundamentals of (Ch'an) Meditation Practice by Ting Chen. "Originally, one's own mind and
nature are pure, and there is nothing to accept and nothing to refuse; there is neither existence
nor non-existence; there is only clear understanding without attachment and with no dwelling.
One who wants to know the no-attachment, no-dwelling mind can find it through meditation,
because it is only then that the mind does not think of right and wrong, of good and evil or of self
and others".

(470 KB) The Gates of Chan Buddhism — by Venerable Jing Hui.

BODHIDHARMA’S GATE: "Chan (Zen) in fact is an “impregnable fortress”, without a gate to


enter. Suppose there is really a gate, that gate would simply be a method of training to be taken
up in the Chan tradition. That is why when a monk asked Master Zhao Zhou (778 - 897): “Has a
dog Buddha-nature or not?” Master Zhao Zhou retorted: “Wu.” Later on, this Gongan (koan)
formed part of a specific approach in the Chan School." The author, Venerable Jing Hui is a Chan
Master and a vice–president of the Buddhist Association of China.

(1,590 KB) The Sweet Dews of Ch'an — by Reverend Cheng Kuan.

Ch’an or Zen is the outcome of meditation. There are two “right” or “highest” purposes of Ch’an.
The first purpose is to achieve “Dhyana.” Dhyana is a combination of relaxation, concentration
and calmness or tranquility. The second purpose is, using your very composed and tranquil mind,
to observe clearly all the dharmas or phenomena externally and internally. As an outcome of
Dhyana, you will be able to observe these phenomena very clearly because your “mental mirror”
is very clear, for there are no more disturbances to veil it. Out of these observations will come
Transcendental Wisdom, which in Sanskrit is called “Prajna.”

(1,035 KB) Taming the Monkey Mind — Cheng Wei-an. Tr. by Dharma Master Suddhisukha.

"Taming the Monkey Mind" is a guide to Pure Land practice. It deals specifically with the main
practice of the Pure Land School - Buddha Recitation - and covers both the noumenal and
phenomenal aspects of that practice. The treatise is accompanied by the detailed commentary of
an Elder Master of the Zen and Pure Land lineages. Readers not familiar with Pure Land theory
may wish to begin with Dr. J.C. Cleary's introduction.

(182 KB) Practical Vipassana Exercises — Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw.

The late Mahasi Sayadaw was responsible for the modern revival of Vipassana or Insight
meditation in Myanmar (Burma). This text is his basic instruction on the practice: the preparatory
stages with a series of basic exercises. Part two, deals with the deals with the progressive
practice and the practical vipassana exercises. The appendix explains the techniques involved in
the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition.

(435 KB) Seven Stages of Purification & Insight Knowledges — Ven. Matara Sri Nanarama.

A guide to the progressive stages of Buddhist meditation. The seven stages of purification
provide the framework for the practising disciple’s gradual progress from the cultivation of virtue
up to the attainment of the final goal. Integral to the higher stages of purification are the nine
types of insight-knowledge, by which the disciple breaks through the delusions covering his
mental vision and penetrates through to the real nature of phenomena.

(1,259 KB) Keeping the Breath in Mind & Lessons in Samadhi — Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo.

This is a 'how to' book. It teaches the liberation of the mind, not as a mind-boggling theory, but as
a very basic skill that starts with keeping the breath in mind. The teachings here are drawn from
the works of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo (1906-61), one of Thailand's most renowned teachers of
Buddhist meditation practices. Ajaan Lee was a forest monk - one who prefers to live in the
seclusion of the forest and makes his meditation the central theme of his practice - so his
teachings grow out of personal, practical experience, although he also makes a point of relating
them to standard Buddhist doctrine.

(671 KB) Frames of Reference — Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo.

"This book on the frames of reference is based to some extent on my own thoughts and opinions.
In some spots it may not be directly in line with the original text (Satipatthâna Sutta), because my
primary aim has been to get to the heart of the matter, so that it can be conveniently put into
practice. The eBook also includes a section on the "Duties of the Sangha", that is, the laws and
regulations and disciplinary standards (Vinaya).

(340 KB) Dhamma Discourses on Vipassana Meditation — Ven. Sayadaw U Kundala.

Sayadaw U Kundala is a renowned meditation master in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition of Burma,
noted for his loving-kindness. In these Dhamma talks the stages of the practice and the Insight
Knowledges are explained. The method of meditation is given with detailed instruction. There is a
detailed explanation of the Contemplation of Feelings, the second foundation of mindfulness,
which, in the Theravada tradition, is the key to the Insight Knowledges. Overall, in the Sayadaw's
teachings, there is much for the Vipassana or insight meditator to be inspired by.

(270 KB) Living Meditation, Living Insight — Dr. Thynn Thynn.

The Path of Mindfulness in Daily Life. I wrote this book to encourage practitioners learning to
meditate in daily life. In this sense, the articles are presented as a "hands-on" or, more
accurately, a "minds-on" training manual. Although I discuss meditation in general, the real focus
is on how the Dhamma brings us into spontaneous, wholesome and creative living. My objective
in presenting the articles is to help the aspirant build up a solid foundation of mindfulness as a
way of life rather than as a practice separated from daily living - Dr. Thynn Thynn.

(385 KB) A Guide to Awareness — H.H. Somdet Phra Ñanasamvara.

The Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthâna Sutta). This is a series of twenty-two talks given at
Wat Bovornives, Bangkok by H.H.Somdet Phra Ñanasamvara, Supreme Patriarch of Thailand.
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness is the Buddha's explanation of the practice of mindfulness
meditation within the framework of four foundations of awareness: body, feelings, mind-states
and the mental content. If you read this book, you will discover the truth of the 'knots' and
problems that exist within you. In short, this can be described as the 'knot of suffering'. You may
also then see the method to unravel and safeguard against this suffering.
(2,371 KB) On The Path To Freedom — Sayadaw U Pandita.

On The Path to Freedom - a mind of wise discernment and openness - by Burmese Meditation
Master, Sayadaw U Pandita. This is a compilation of Dhamma discourses to foreign meditators at
the Mahasi Meditation Centre, Rangoon, Myanmar, who came to practise under him in Yangon
(formerly Rangoon) between August 1986 to March 1987. Translated from Myanmar by the late
Mya Thaung.

(861 KB) Mindfulness: The Path of the Deathless — Ven. Ajahn Sumedho.

The aim of this book is to provide a clear instruction in and reflection on Buddhist meditation as
taught by Ajahn Sumedho, a bhikkhu (monk) of the Theravadin tradition. It has been edited from
talks Ajahn Sumedho has given to meditators as a practical approach to the wisdom of
Buddhism. This wisdom is otherwise known as Dhamma or 'the way things are'. It is a step-by-
step manual on the practice of meditation.

(590 KB) Invitation to Insight Meditation — Ven. Visuddhacara.

This book contains two sections: 1. Invitation to Vipassana and 2. Basic Instructions. In the first
part, I have endeavoured to explain: a) the basic principles underlying the Vipassana practice,
how it is essentially the observation of physical and mental processes that occur in the body and
mind, b) how this observation leads to the understanding of the truths of impermanence, suffering
and not-self as taught by the Buddha, c) how the application of mindfulness is required for this
observation, d) how the Wisdom of impermanence, etc. is important, making us wiser, stronger,
etc. – i.e. how it helps us in our daily life, and shape our whole outlook and attitude towards life,
and e) various other aspects of the benefits of mindfulness and living in the present, such as the
curtailment of worries and anxieties, improvement in health, concentration and memory.

(391 KB) The Vipassana Retreat — Ven. Pannyavaro.

Vipassana meditation requires long-term commitment. While it can be done to some extent in
everyday life, realistically for the practice to deepen it needs to be done intensively in a supportive
retreat situation. Vipassana meditation is developmental, so to realise its ultimate benefit it has to
be sustained with appropriate intensity under supportive conditions. Ven. Pannyavaro, a
practitioner of over 30 years, guides you through the vipassana experience in a retreat situation,
in a systematic and practical way.

(158 KB) Insight Meditation Workshop Online — Ven. Pannyavaro.

Meditation is the intelligent heart of the Buddha's way; the only criterion is that you should apply it
to daily life. The purpose of this meditation course is not to create a system of beliefs, but rather
to give guidance on how to see clearly into the nature of the mind. In this way, you can have
firsthand understanding of the way things are, without reliance on opinions or theories - a direct
experience, which has its own vitality. This course has been prepared with both beginners and
experienced practitioners in mind.

(100 KB) The Art of Attention — Ven. Pannyavaro.

This is a handbook on the art of meditative attention or meditating for insight. It deals with the
basics of awareness meditation. There is practical instruction on how to do sitting and walking
meditation and how to apply awareness in daily activities based on the Insight Meditation
(Vipassana) tradition. The purpose of this handbook is to give the beginner to awareness
meditation a guide to the basics of the practice, with the emphasis on its practical application to
daily life. • Arabic version: The Art of Attention (564KB)

(143 KB) For the Stilling of Volcanoes — Ven. Sujiva.


Insight Meditation as explained by Ven. Sujiva: "It is not an task easy to approach such a
profound topic as Insight Meditation in simple terms. But we have got to start somewhere. After
some years of introducing this type of meditation, I still find that there is a lack of introductory
material for those without knowledge of Buddhism. What is available is often extremely technical
and loaded with ancient Indian terminology. There are some words in the English vocabulary
which we can never hope to substitute perfectly. Even in this booklet I have used some English
words such as ‘conditioned’ and ‘suffering’ which need special explanation when used in a
‘Buddhist’ sense - but I have tried to come up with something easier to read and understand."

(3,342 KB) Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice — Ven. Sujiva.

The ultimate aim of insight meditation is to “free” one from the unsatisfactoriness of cyclic
existence. Readers may also find numerous quotations of the Buddha’s teaching on mindfulness,
detachment and liberation throughout the entire book. Those verses act as a source of inspiration
and purpose to put vipassana into practice — a practice that brings about insight into the three
universal characteristics of unsatisfactoriness, impermanence and non-self which leads one into
detachment and ultimate liberation.

(211 KB) Loving-kindness Meditation — Ven. Sujiva.

Loving-kindness Meditation or Metta Bhavana and other Sublime States by Ven. Sujiva is a clear
and comprehensive step-by-step explanation of the systematic practice. It is based on the
Visuddhimagga or The Path of Purification by Buddhagosha. The texts describe metta as
characterised by promoting the aspect of welfare. Amity, goodwill, friendliness and loving-
kindness are some words used to describe this mental state. There is no better way to know it
than to study it as it occurs in one's own and others' minds. It is a totally unselfish and pure state
of mind that brings profit to oneself and others now and hereafter.

(372 KB) The Power of Mindfulness — Ven. Nyanaponika Thera.

"In the case of mindfulness, it required a genius like the Buddha to discover the “hidden talent” in
the modest garb, and to develop the vast inherent power of that potent seed. It is, indeed, the
mark of a genius to perceive and to harness the power of the seemingly small. Here, truly, it
happens that, what is little becomes much. A revaluation of values takes place. The standards of
greatness and smallness change. Through the master mind of the Buddha, mindfulness is finally
revealed as the point where the vast revolving mass of world suffering is levered out of its twofold
anchorage in ignorance and craving".

(590 KB) The Four Sublime States — Ven. Nyanaponika Thera.

Four sublime states of mind have been taught by the Buddha: Loving-kindness (metta),
Compassion (karuna), Sympathetic Joy (mudita), Equanimity (upekkha) These four attitudes are
said to be excellent or sublime because they are the right or ideal way of conduct towards living
beings They provide, in fact, the answer to all situations arising from social contact. They are the
great removers of tension, the great peacemakers in social conflict, and the great healers of
wounds suffered in the struggle of existence. They level social barriers, build harmonious
communities, awaken slumbering magnanimity long forgotten, revive joy and hope long
abandoned, and promote human brotherhood against the forces of egotism.

(2,521 KB) Brahmavihara Dhamma — Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw.

This "Brahmavihara Dhamma" (Divine Abidings) expounded by the late Venerable Mahasi
Sayadaw, reveals the systematic method of developing Metta, loving-kindness towards all beings
and the way to lead a life of holiness. The style of presentation and the informative materials
contained therein stand witness to the depth and wealth of spiritual and scriptural knowledge of
the eminent author. A careful reading of this Dhamma or teachings, followed by an unfailing
practice of meditation that has been clearly presented in this text will, I believe, amount to storing
a fortune in the shape of happiness in the present lifetime as well as higher spiritual attainment.

(2,842 KB) Hello - with Love & Other Meditations — Ven. Visuddhacara.

The three most important things in life are love, kindness and wisdom. If we have made these
three values the priorities of our life, then our life will have been well-lived. When we die we can
only have happiness when we look back and not regrets. Wealth, fame, power, status, worldly
success and pleasures — these are insignificant compared to love, kindness and wisdom.
Cultivate the latter. If we spend our life cultivating this trio, our birth and life will have been
worthwhile; it will not have been in vain. In this booklet, Ven. Visuddhàcàra shares his
understanding of this practice of mindfulness and loving-kindness with a view to encourage all of
us to walk the path.

(1,681 KB) Metta Bhavana, Loving-kindness Meditation — Ven. Dhammarakkhita.

This is short explanation on how to practise Metta Bhavana or Loving-kindness Meditation given
as a three-day weekend retreat at Dhammodaya Meditation Centre in Nakhon Pathom in
Thailand, by an Australian monk, Ven. Dhammarakkhita (Jeff Oliver).

(431 KB) Guided Meditation for Primary Students — BuddhaNet's Buddhist Studies for Schools.

This is a series of guided meditations with instruction for teachers for primary students. This file is
part of BuddhaNet's Buddhist Studies for Schools. It has seven guided meditations for students,
with detailed instructions for teachers.

(80 KB) Seeding the Heart — Gregory Kramer.

Loving-kindness Meditation with Children. The practice of loving-kindness, or metta, can be done
in one of two ways: either in intensive prolonged meditation to develop deep states of
concentration, or in daily life at any time one meets with people and animals or thinks about them.
To learn about the radiating of metta to all beings with children, we have to tap into the store of
knowledge accumulated by lay people and parents. It must be knowledge which has grown out of
years of living and loving with children and young adults. Gregory Kramer, father of three boys,
shows us here with what subtle but precise adjustments in the standard practice of loving-
kindness he was able to anchor it in the lives of his children.

(4,366 KB) Settling back into the moment — Joseph Goldstein.

A selection of verses from the book 'Experience of Insight' , by Joseph Goldstein. This book
belongs to a different genre, not a book in the sense of having a beginning and an end. It is a
compilation of excerpts that stand alone in meaning whichever way your finger may flip open the
page. Readers are strongly encouraged to read Joseph Goldstein's "Experience of Insight - a
simple and direct guide to Buddhist Meditation" (Published by Shambala Publications, Inc.) from
whose book this compilation is attributed.

(2,908 KB) Knowing and Seeing — Ven. Pa-Auk Sayadaw.

Talks and Questions and Answers at a meditation retreat in Taiwan by Venerable Pa-Auk
Sayadaw. This book details two approaches to insight meditation, namely, "tranquility and insight"
and "bare-insight" meditation. These two methods are essentially identical, starting from four-
elements meditation and continuing into insight meditation. In this book the reader has an
explanation of the classic instructions for both methods. The talks in this book were given by the
Sayadaw (teacher), from Pa-Auk, Mawlamyine, Myanmar, while he conducted a two-month
meditation retreat at Yi-Tung Temple, Sing Choo City, Taiwan.

(1,176 KB) The Practice which Leads to Nibbana — Ven. Pa-Auk Sayadaw.

Translated by Greg Kleiman. This is the method of practising meditation that is taught at Pa Auk
Tawya Monastery, (Myanmar) Burma. It is based on the explanation of meditation found in the
Visuddhimagga commentary. Because of that the method involves several stages of practice
which are complex, and involved. These stages include a detailed analysis of both mentality and
matter, according to all the categories enumerated in the Abhidhamma, and the further use of this
understanding to discern the process of Dependent Origination as it occurs in the Past, Present,
and Future. Therefore people who are unfamiliar with the Visuddhimagga and the Abhidhamma
will have difficulty in understanding and developing a clear picture of the practice of meditation at
Pa Auk Tawya. For foreigners who cannot speak Burmese this problem is made even more
difficult. This introduction has been written to help alleviate these difficulties by presenting a
simplified example of a successful meditator's path of progress as he develops his meditation at
Pa Auk Tawya.

(1,040 KB) Mindfulness of Breathing & Four Elements Meditation — Ven. Pa-Auk Sayadaw.

This book contains the instructions for mindfulness-of-breathing meditation, the four-elements
meditation, and the subsequent detailed discernment of materiality. The last section of this book
covers some of the relevant theory. Several pages have been added by the Sayadaw covering
the balancing of the five controlling faculties and seven factors of enlightenment. There is also the
addition of his explanation of the difference between the experience of Nibbàna and the
experience of life-continuum (bhavanga).

(1,287 KB) Anapanasati - Mindfulness of Breathing — Ven. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.

For the first time in the English language a comprehensive manual of Buddhist meditation known
as ânàpànasati (the development of mindfulness of breathing ) is available. Although this manual
is primarily intended for the benefit of monks, it will greatly assist laymen, too, who wish to
undertake a course of meditation but who do not have the guidance of a teacher. Originally
published in Thai, this manual is one of the major works of the Ven. Buddhadàsa Bhikkhu and
delivered in 1959 in the form of a series of lectures to monks of Suanmokkha Monastery, Chaiya,
Thailand. Ven. Buddhadàsa Bhikkhu, a major voice in the Buddhist world, is an accepted master
of Buddhist meditation. In constructive positive language, the manual guides the meditator
through the 16 steps of ânàpànasati.

(891 KB) Buddhist Meditation and Depth Psychology — Douglas M. Burns.

This essay is concerned with only one aspect of Buddhism, the practice of meditation. The
ethical, practical, and logical facets of the Teaching are covered in other publications. If the cause
of suffering is primarily psychological, then it must follow that the cure, also, is psychological.
Therefore, we find in Buddhism a series of “mental exercises” or meditations designed to uncover
and cure our psychic aberrations. Mistakenly, Buddhist meditation is frequently confused with
yogic meditation, which often includes physical contortions, autohypnosis, quests for occult
powers, and an attempted union with God. None of these are concerns or practices of the
Eightfold Path. There are in Buddhism no drugs or stimulants, no secret teachings, and no
mystical formulae. Buddhist meditation deals exclusively with the everyday phenomena of human
consciousness.

(1,485 KB) A Critical Analysis of the Jhãnas in Theravãda Buddhist Meditation

This work, by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana, provides an analytical study of the Jhãnas, as they are
an important set of meditative attainments in the contemplative discipline of Theravãda
Buddhism. Despite their frequent appearance in the texts, the exact role of the Jhãnas in the
Buddhist path has not been settled with unanimity by Theravãda scholars, who are still divided
over the question as to whether they are necessary for attaining Nibbana. The primary purpose of
this dissertation is to determine the precise role of the Jhãnas in the Theravãda Buddhist
presentation of the way to liberation.

For source material the work relies upon the three principal classes of authoritative Theravãda
texts: the Pali Tipitaka, its commentaries, and its sub-commentaries. To traditional canonical
investigations modern methods of philosophical and psychological analysis are applied in order to
clarify the meanings implicit in the original sources. The examination covers two major areas: first
the dynamics of Jhãna attainment, and second, the function of the Jhãnas in realizing the ultimate
goal of Buddhism, Nibbana or final liberation from suffering.

Print version only (1,387KB, PDF) This print version is suitable for people who can print the
pages duplex and they will have 2 A5 size pages on every Landscape oriented A4 page.
xxxx

(288 KB) Sri Lakan Monasteries-Monastics.(76 KB) Sri Lankan Monasteries-Laypeople.

Information about Meditation Centres and other important places in Sri Lanka for visiting Western
Buddhist lay practitioners. Also Information about Meditation Centers, Forest Monasteries, and
other important places in Sri Lanka for Western bhikkhus and serious lay practitioners. Updated:
January 2005.

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