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The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation (Kalavinka Buddhist Classics) Paperback – February 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Kalavinka Buddhist Classics
  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Kalavinka Press (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935413007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935413004
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shi Huifeng on February 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a translation of (Tiantai school founder) Master Zhiyi's meditation manual "Smaller Text on Calming and Insight Dhyana Meditation". This text has been translated several times before, though this translation is superior to former efforts.

The translator, Ven Dharmamitra, is an experienced practitioner of Chinese Buddhism, one of Master Hsuan Hua's first five American disciples. He also has extensive experience as a translator, rendering the language into accurate but easily comprehensible English. His translation adds enough to the very brief Chinese to make it clear, without adding personal opinion or other material not found in Zhiyi's text. The text itself is short, and the translation in English is given with the original Chinese (simplified and traditional characters) on the facing page. This means that those with some knowledge of classical Buddhist Chinese may easily refer to the original. It also means that the text would work well as a primer for those learning classical Buddhist Chinese.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra87 on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Regarding meditation: In the Lotus sutra it says those who only practice samatha (concentration) will become stupid and those who only practice vipassana (insight) will become deranged. Chih-I, a great master of the T'ien T'ai school, hopes to save you from both fstes with this clear and comprehensive meditation manual. D. T. Suzuki rated him as an equal to Hui-neng, the sixth Zen patriarch. To be clear, Chih-I was criticizing the Zen masters as being too focused on concentration techniques and the vipassana-only teachers has being too concerned with insights.

The translator, a man with many years in the robes, has done a fine job with the translation- I am familar with other translations of this treatise. For anyone looking for an antidote to those modern teachers procaliming that they have the only way this volume may provide some welcome relief.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Martin Zook on November 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As noted by Shi Huifeng, this most useful guide to the most basic forms of Buddhist meditation, is broken down into 10 chapters that progress from one to the other. For this lay practitioner, who continues to strive in the these preliminary practices, this is the most useful guidance I have yet received.

While much of the guidance within is written for the ordained entering a monastery, the vast majority of the guidance is applicable to lay people such as myself. For instance, Sramana Zhiyi urges giving up other pursuits such as work and reading other material. While I can't do that, I can be more mindful that what I eat, how I sleep, and where my mind wanders during day, affects my ability to further my meditative skills.

The consequences of daily living on the meditation practice that are explored here are most useful to developing a more robust meditation practice and may be the biggest benefit. In great detail, this guide spells out what is meant when teachers say that the practice on the cushion is just the beginning of what we carry into the day.

After rereading, I will go through the 10 chapters and outline the practices that can be adopted to a lay practitioner's practice and work with a monk to get a little more serious about my practice.

I have read several books on meditation practices by prominent Buddhists, but this guide is the best for my money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sunny on November 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a must have for anyone who is serious about learning and practicing Buddhist meditation. It's a very good translation and it's so handy to have the Chinese and English text side by side.
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