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Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization Paperback – August 1, 2004
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I bought this book because I passionately want to end suffering in my life and I want to have guidance in that path. I was impressed at the reviews here: the highest reviews of anything I have ever seen on Amazon. Yet, based on some of the reviews, I was a little concerned that it was going to be dry and difficult to relate to in laymen's terms. My concerns were completely unfounded.
The words in this book are conveyed in the kindest spirit with the author gently, methodically and in great depth bringing color and life to the Satipatthana Sutta. I can't imagine a better guide to read and meditate with. I will take a section and read it carefully and then practice exactly what the instructions say. Over the course of days or weeks I will re-read the section gleaning more insight as fodder for my sittings until breakthrough after breakthrough the message is alive in me. This inspires me to move on and branch out into more and more of the Sutta, changing everything for me!
I've only been studying and meditating on the Satipatthana Sutta for ten months and yet it has brought about profound strides in my practice. This book never ceases to pull me eagerly down the path. I have great gratitude to the venerable Analayo for this work.
After this book was published, the author, Analayo, learned Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit in order to translate and compare the Satipatthana sutta versions in those languages. The result is an eye-opening treasure trove of insight on the message of the Buddha in the form of Ananayo's follow-up book, Perspectives on Sathipatthana. What was so neat and orderly in the Pali version of the Satipatthana sutta suddenly opened up grand vistas of the simplicity and power of the Buddha's teaching.
I would most highly recommend "Perspectives on Sathipatthana" by Analayo.
It's probably most accessible if you already have a meditation practice and also have somewhat of a grasp of the "academic" side of the Dhamma. This might be a challenging read otherwise, but is still worth purchasing and giving a try. If it's too much, you can always come back to it later.
I look forward to reading this again down the line.
Ven. Analayo is truly a gift to our world. The material he is continually coming out with is exciting.
I'd previously read the Satipatthana Sutra and thought, "That's nice but so what?" In this book the author explains why the sutra is important by subjecting it to an in-depth analysis and pulling out insights I didn't know were there. Much of the difficulty I've had understading Buddhist writing comes from technical terms. What do we mean by mindfulness, concentration, or the five skandas? I had a general idea but the definitions remained somewhat vague. The author cleared a lot of these terms up by giving the translations from Pali and by describing how they are used in the sutras. This will be a big help to me.
This is a wonderful book for the intermediate to advanced meditator. I heartily recommend it.
If you want to know more about what the Buddha and other respected meditation teachers have to say about the practical application of mindfulness, concentration, the three characteristics, dependent co-arising, the four references for establishing mindfulness (body, feeling, mind, dhammas), the hindrances, the aggregates, the sense spheres, the awakening factors, and the four noble truths - I have not found commentary anywhere that comes even close to the clarity of this book.
Thank you Venerable Analayo for your great work. This will bless many sentient being for ages to come.