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The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: Satipatthna: A Handbook of Mental Training Based on the Buddha's Way of Mindfulness Paperback – June 1, 1973

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel Weiser (June 1, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877280738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877280736
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ian Andrews on November 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
"This book is issued in the deep conviction that the systematic cultivation of Right Mindfulness, as taught by the Buddha in his Discourse on Satipatthana, still provides the most simple and direct, the most thorough and effective method for training and developing the mind for its daily tasks and problems as well as for its highest aim: mind's own unshakable deliverance from Greed, Hatred and Delusion."
So opens this humble mastepiece of a book written with great depth, extraordinary knowledge, profound humanity, and in a style that is simple and direct. If the reader is looking for "The" definitive book on how to correctly practice meditation in all its subtle detail, be he Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Sufi-Muslim, Taoist, or even Buddhist, this is "that" book. Period.
The heart of the book takes place in the six opening chapters wherein the great German scholar monk, Nyanaponika Thera, opens petal by petal the immense scope of the Buddha's "Way of Mindfulness" for those seeking instruction on how to obtain insight and wisdom in this lifetime. Each chapter builds up to the next, explaining and further elucidating the subtle insights which make up the Buddha's far-reaching and incomparable teachings.
For the experienced meditator who has never practiced Vipassana meditation, this book will open your eyes to the vast landscape of emptiness which you have been seeking all these years. For the uninitiated seeker taking his first steps in the art of meditation, it will be a valued primer in the art of true mental training. Practicing real mindfulness in one's everyday activities is not an easy endeavor. It takes constant application and sustained effort on the part of the practitioner in order to obtain the real benefits of the practice.
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Format: Paperback
A lot of schools in Buddhism hammer in the need for study. Some Zen schools describe such study as "poisonous" to your practice and preach "PAINTED CAKES WILL NOT SATISFY HUNGER!" My Thai Buddhist monk teacher told me that I did not need to read anything, so this can cause a lot of confusion. I do not want to upset your practice, but the greatest book on how to do Insight Meditation seems to be "Mindfulness in Plain English". And the main Bible of Insight Meditation seems to be this book, "The Heart of Buddhist Meditation". I read it 25 years ago and immediately fell in-love. It really gets to the heart of Buddhism. You will discover how and why the vipassana practice will help you in ALL areas of your life. In relationships. In your job. In reducing anxiety and tension. It is simply a must read for someone WHO IS NOT PRACTICING WITH A TEACHER RIGHT NOW. If you aren't, get these two books. The Why is in this book. The How is in "Mindfulness in Plain English". If you have $200, "The Insight Meditation Course" is simply wonderful. And you will have a teacher by e-mail and by mail. Good luck. One more thing. Stretching exercises may really come in handy. Doing the lotus position can really be a blessing.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a commentary on the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha's discourse on the four foundations of mindfulness. I read the book when I started meditation practice five years ago and have reread it twice since then, finishing my most recent read a week ago. This book explains the sutta in very clear, understandible terms making it and the practice it describes more accessible to modern western readers. The sutta and the book describe the whole of mindfulness practice both as a meditation practice and as a way of life. As a friend remarked, "Once I found this book, I realized that I didn't need to read anything else." If you want an introduction to mindfulness, this is the book for you. If you want to deepen your understanding of mindfulness, this is the book for you. It is simply the best book I've found on the subject.
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Buddhist Insight (Vipassana) Meditation has many practical applications. It is used by doctors to treat sufferers of anxiety and other mental illnesses. It is practiced by non-Buddhists for self-learning and self-transformation. And, of course, it is practiced by Buddhists for attaining and embodying the enlightenment exemplified by the Buddha, the Awakened One.

This book is divided into three parts: (1) Nyanaponika Thera's own essay on Insight Meditation, (2) a translation of the Maha Satipatthana Sutta from the Pali canon, and (3) a collection of traditional commentaries from both the Pali canon and the Mahayana tradition. It is intended not to advocate Buddhism as a religion, but rather to explain the activity of Insight Meditation, and to explain the virtue developed by Insight Meditation, as well as the action performed by one who has acquired it, Right Mindfulness.

Of particular interest is the first section, Nyanaponika Thera's own essay on Right Mindfulness. This has all the detail of an Aristotelian treatise, discussing the function, the nature, and the efficient cause of Right Mindfulness, breaking it down through a detailed analysis that empowers one to read the following Sutta and commentaries for oneself, as part of one's own meditation practice, without relying on others for interpretation. This book will be of primary interest to anyone who is practicing Insight Meditation, whether or not he/she is Buddhist. It will also be of interest to anyone curious about the nature of Buddhist awakening and the means to that end.

The author devotes a section of his essay specifically to the Burmese tradition of Insight Meditation.
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