Friday, October 22, 2010

Keeping the Breath in Mind and Lessons in Samadhi by 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. Ajaan Lee was a forest monk — one who prefers to live in the seclusion of the forest and makes 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.

The book is in two parts: The first is a basic guide to the techniques of breath meditation — Ajaan Lee's specialty — and gives two methods that he developed at separate points in his career. The second part consists of excerpts from five of his talks dealing with issues that tend to arise in the course of meditation.

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