Dharma practice comprises a wide range of wise instructions and skillful means. As a result, meditators may be exposed to a diversity of approaches to the core teachings and the meditative path--and that can be confusing at times. In this clear and accessible exploration, Dharma teacher and longtime meditator Richard Shankman unravels the mix of differing, sometimes conflicting, views and traditional teachings on how samadhi (concentration) is understood and taught.
In part one, Richard Shankman explores the range of teachings and views about samadhi in the Theravada Pali tradition, examines different approaches, and considers how they can inform and enrich our meditation practice.
Part two consists of a series of interviews with prominent contemporary Theravada and Vipassana (Insight) Buddhist teachers. These discussions focus on the practical experience of samadhi, bringing the theoretical to life and offering a range of applications of the different meditation techniques.
“A balanced, intelligent, and indispensable guide to the range of Buddhist teachings on samadhi. Written by an accomplished meditator.”—Gil Fronsdal, author and translator, The Dhammapada
“A comprehensive study of the state of deep concentration known as samadhi. One of the most helpful aspects of the book is the clear distinction between 'mindfulness' and 'concentration,' two terms that are often only vaguely defined in primary sources. The book provides an alternative perspective for Zen students and a corrective for those who misunderstand Zen as a 'short-cut' method which obviates the need for deep concentration.”—Mountain Record
“ The Experience of Samadhi provides a wonderfully broad overview of the role of concentration in Buddhist meditation as well as in-depth exploration of meditative experience. This book is a valuable and inspiring resource.”—Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma and A Heart Full of Peace
“This book will be strongly welcomed not only by all those who sit on the meditation cushion but also by many who want to know about the experiences of meditative concentration and unification of the mind. It will be a classic, a manual and resource book lasting for generations. This is a five-star book. Actually, six stars.”—Christopher Titmuss, author of An Awakened Life