Study and Practice of Meditation gives a vivid and detailed account of the meditative practices necessary to develop a calm, alert mind that is capable of penetrating the depths of reality. The Buddhist meditative states known as the concentrations and formless absorptions are best known in the West from Theravada scriptures and from Vasubandhu’s Treasury of Manifest Knowledge. In this book the reader is exposed to Tibetan Buddhist views on the mental states attained through meditation as described by three contemporary Tibetan lamas. The book discusses the ways in which certain meditative states act as bases of the spiritual path as well as the nature of meditative calm and the prerequisites for cultivating and attaining it. In addition to reviewing and translating Tibetan sources, the author considers their major Indian antecedents and draws comparisons with Theravadin presentations.
"Working under the guidance of Jeffrey Hopkins, Leah Zahler has here produced a definitive introduction to the Tibetan interpretation of the concentrations and formless realm absorptions. Of interest to scholars of meditation, comparative religion, mind training, and altered-states-of-consciousness, this work will productively make available to readers information that will enable them to appreciate the Tibetan articulation of these states of meditation and their overall place in the Buddhist path."—Harvey B. Aronson, PhD, author of Buddhist Practice on Western Ground and founding codirector of Dawn Mountain, Houston, Texas
"An excellent resource for anyone devoted to the study or practice of Buddhist meditation . . . highly recommended."—Wisconsin Bookwatch
"This tightly organized text is one of the broadest comprehensive elaborations of the steps, stages, and processes of the practice of meditation. . . . This book is destined for must-read status for years to come."—New Age Retailer
"This is the volume to keep on a reachable shelf in your library . . . to browse through either before or after a sitting, or to study meticulously as part of a scholarly program. . . . An excellent reference book."—Nanci Rose-Ritter