Esoteric Theravada

The Story of the Forgotten Meditation Tradition of Southeast Asia

By Kate Crosby


Also available as an audiobook! Listen to a sample here.

- Paperback
Shambhala Publications
Pages: 320
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 9781611807943

This book is included in our guide to some of the great books on the Buddhism from the Pali tradition

A groundbreaking exploration of a practice tradition that was nearly lost to history.

Theravada Buddhism, often understood as the school that most carefully preserved the practices taught by the Buddha, has undergone tremendous change over time. Prior to Western colonialism in Asia—which brought Western and modernist intellectual concerns, such as the separation of science and religion, to bear on Buddhism—there existed a tradition of embodied, esoteric, and culturally regional Theravada meditation practices. This once-dominant traditional meditation system, known as borān kammaṭṭhāna, is related to—yet remarkably distinct from—Vipassana and other Buddhist and secular mindfulness practices that would become the hallmark of Theravada Buddhism in the twentieth century. Drawing on a quarter century of research, scholar Kate Crosby offers the first holistic discussion of borān kammaṭṭhāna, illuminating the historical events and cultural processes by which the practice has been marginalized in the modern era.


Also available as an audiobook! Listen to a sample here.