Today I’m proud to finally announce the meditation reading list.
It might strike some as odd that a site about Buddhism could exist for months without a section on meditation, yet for as pivotal a psychotechnology as meditation is, it is also a rather contentious and challenging topic to teach—especially over the internet. While far from the final word on the subject, the bibliography here should provide a good starting point for the study and practice of meditation. And while far from complete, the reading list already contains some of my favorite talks, articles, and songs (!) which I highly recommend you check out:
It’s interesting to walk through the graveyards of towns, and see that for the first few years after a person dies there may be a head stone, maybe someone remembers, but after twenty, thirty, or forty years, they could bulldoze the graves because the land is so valuable and plant somebody else in there. So even your head stone just crumbles to dust. All record of you living here is gone, because no one remembers who you were or what you did. Isn’t that beautiful? So why not do that right now? Bulldoze this idea of who you are
We, moderns but especially Americans, have a fundamental misunderstanding of cognitive development: we assume that higher-level functioning is always desired and so disparage and neglect fundamental cognitive skills.
A beautiful music video on the truth of anicca: that all things are “synthesized” and are thus subject to decay, disappearance, and death.
My most highly recommended introduction to Buddhist meditation.
An engaging lecture at Spirit Rock on using text critical methods and personal practice to narrow in on an understanding of early Buddhist meditation practices.
An incredible music video, perfectly capturing the world-weary feeling of saṃvega.
A heartfelt and spellbinding talk on meditation practice and expectations.
the common interpretation of the jhānas as absorption-concentration attainments [is] incompatible with the teachings of the Pāli Nikāyas. […] one attains the jhānas, not by one-pointed concentration and absorption into a meditation object, but by releasing and letting go of the foothold of the unwholesome mind […] the entrance into the first jhāna is the actualization and embodiment of insight practice.
Handicapped and at-risk Vietnamese youths share their appreciation of and enthusiasm for a mindfulness meditation course.
Wishing you a peaceful and productive meditation practice,