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Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity Paperback – April 28, 2008
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"Focused and Fearless is a beautifully written introduction to jhana meditation that demonstrates the importance and necessity of deep concentration." (Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw)
"This is the best book on these practices I have seen. It's five-star." (Christopher Titmuss, author of Mindfulness for Everyday Living)
"The exercises are fun, plus they really work. I love this book." (Kate Wheeler, editor of In This Very Life: Liberation Teachings of the Buddha)
"The language here is so alluring thorough that readers will, I am certain, be inspired to redouble their zeal for practice." (Sylvia Boorstein, author of It's Easier Than You Think)
"Shaila Catherine represents a new generation of Dharma practitioner in the West." (Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness)
"Developing a stable and undistracted mind is essential to most forms of meditation. This book will be of interest to anyone, regardless of their style of practice, wishing to incorporate the deeper stages of concentration of jhana into their meditation." (Inquiring Mind)
"Among the many how-to books about Buddhist meditation, this book stands out for its deep commitment to the frames of reference developed in the Pali Canon, specifically the role of concentration (both 'momentary concentration' in the insight path and the jhana path), and its relationship to insight. With these frames, Catherine is able to create exercises and steps that develop calm meditative states and lead to liberating insight. This book is both a pragmatic manual and a deeply traditional understanding of Buddhist meditation practice. It suggests itself as a helpful guide both to beginning and advanced students." (Mu Soeng, Resident Scholar at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and author of The Heart of the Universe)
"This is a 'user-friendly' concentration book. Through practical exercises and clear examples, Shaila makes the ancient wisdom of the jhanas accessible to all." (Amy Schmidt, dharma teacher and author of Dipa Ma: The Life and Teaching of a Buddhist Master)
"Rigorously investigated and lucidly explained, Shaila Catherine penetrates the mysterious world of jhana practice. Her book's strength lies in that she knows the territory intimately and teaches from her own experience. The author has deeply devoted her life to awakening through meditation, and her confidence and wisdom ring true throughout the whole book. This inspirational and fascinating manual will help many of the rest of us down this path." (Diana Winston, author of Wide Awake, A Buddhist Guide for Teens, teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Director of Mindful Awareness Research Center, UCLA.)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
- I havent found another book on meditation which actually breaks down the various stages of meditation practise in such depth.
- Its very difficult to describe "thoughts" and mental states. Its amazing how simply and effectively Shaila describes all the concepts. Its a delightful and easy read.
- The practices and principles described are actually very simple.
- There many authors these days who write self-help/religious/business books without having much depth of experience. Having met Shaila in person, it becomes quite clear that she has actually practised and mastered what she preaches. Her writing comes from a deep understanding developed over years.
Both beginners and seasoned practitioners will enjoy the comprehensive "how to" guidance that author and Dharma teacher Shaila Catherine provides. She gives methodical and thorough step-by-step instructions into the realm of deep concentration. In addition, the book is interspersed with many helpful suggestions, tools, and tips that enhance concentration and mindfulness through daily-life awareness. She offers practical instructions for working with difficult thoughts, noticing the space between things, mindful eating, wakeful walking, and much more. Reflections on the quality of our daily lives, the conditions for happiness, our relationship to pleasure, and the nature of mind broaden the scope of Focused and Fearless to encompass essential transformative insights.
Watching and learning about the mind is not an easy task.Read more ›
Despite my initial reservations, I found Focused and Fearless extremely helpful and I devoured Shaila's personal stories. Two years later, I still sometimes rely on some of her exercises. Even individuals who aren't drawn to concentrated practice will find Focused and Fearless engaging and useful. Shaila's suggestions for practice "off the cushion" are concrete and down to earth -- for example, she mentions exposing ourselves to challenging situations, such as foreign travel, to develop equanimity. Her vivid description of learning to live in India, as well as her account of coming to terms with life after a serious car accident, gave me a new perspective on the tumultuous last few years of my life.
I am currently reading Focused and Fearless for a second time and am finding Shaila's insights even more helpful and true. As a beginning meditator, I haven't yet tackled the later chapters on jhana, but I hope to in the near future. Shaila has inspired me!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Without a doubt, my favorite book on meditation. Her writing style is so extraordinarily captivating and interesting. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Monkey
I wrote this as an email to Shaila, and I believe it fits here as a review as well as that it may help others discover the qualities this book has to offer. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dor Konforty
Very, very helpful for practice. Very detailed. I love the writing as well. Very soothing and easy; none of the academia tone found in similar books.Published 8 months ago by nirz07
Excellent for meditators that are self paced and have gone through the big waterfall of thought. and it gives easy instructions for deepening your meditation.Published 9 months ago by William E. Rice
By far the best book on Jhanas I have ever read. This is pure Dharma teaching of the kind one would expect from someone who has had deep realizations.Published 11 months ago by Sunyata
Unique and powerful book on meditation. For advanced meditators.Published 12 months ago by Worley Fain
After encountering Buddhism tangentially in the 1960s, I have now been a practicing Buddhist for the last eight or so years, focusing on the Theravada tradition and on Ānāpānasati... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ulf Wolf