Best Books on Shamata

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dawnbird
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Best Books on Shamata

Post by dawnbird » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:54 pm

Hey All,

What books do you think describe the progression of shamata most comprehensively? All the way from focusing on a pebble to the greater one pointedness of Mahamudra (i.e. describes the various stages of shamata with an object through the stages of shamata without an object). I'm particularly looking for books that describe this from a practioners experiential point of view.

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by PuerAzaelis » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:18 pm

Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

Anonymous X
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by Anonymous X » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:10 am

dawnbird wrote:Hey All,

What books do you think describe the progression of shamata most comprehensively? All the way from focusing on a pebble to the greater one pointedness of Mahamudra (i.e. describes the various stages of shamata with an object through the stages of shamata without an object). I'm particularly looking for books that describe this from a practioners experiential point of view.
There is a meditation master here in Thailand, Pramote Pamojjo, who has a couple of books on basic Mindfulness practice. The incredibly simplistic [The Buddhist Way To Peace Of Mind] and ['To See The Truth'], talks with Q&A. These books are given out here in Thailand for free. The practice is very basic and will give someone a clear way to begin.

For a more in-depth approach to Samatha leading to Jhanas, Shaila Catherine's 'Wisdom, Wide and Deep' and Thanissaro's 'The Wings To Awakening'. These are all downloadable on the web. Do a search.

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heart
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by heart » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:29 am

dawnbird wrote:Hey All,

What books do you think describe the progression of shamata most comprehensively? All the way from focusing on a pebble to the greater one pointedness of Mahamudra (i.e. describes the various stages of shamata with an object through the stages of shamata without an object). I'm particularly looking for books that describe this from a practioners experiential point of view.
https://www.amazon.com/Shamatha-Meditat ... s=Shamatha

https://www.amazon.com/Stilling-Mind-Sh ... an+wallace

https://www.amazon.com/How-Practice-Sha ... s=Shamatha

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

Marc
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by Marc » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:39 am

Hi

+1 to all the suggestions by PuerAzaelis, Anonymous X & Magnus. :thumbsup:

So far, "The Mind Illuminated" by John Yates / Culadasa is really the best book I have came across on the subject.
The thickness of the book and the level of details may be a bit much for a starter, but in the end, this is where the value of this book is.

"Stilling the mind" & "Shamatha Meditation" by Alan Wallace are excellent, but personnaly I found his "Attention Revolution" better.

And indeed, in the Theravadin's side, Shaila Catherine and Ajahn Thanissaro's books are excellent.
Personnaly, Shamatha wise, I have a little preference for "Focused and Fearless" (Shaila Catherine) & "With each and every breath" (Ajahn Thanissaro)

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dawnbird
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by dawnbird » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:31 pm

I've been giving The Mind Illuminated a read per PuerAzaleus's suggestion, and am really enjoying it. A very fresh take on the subject.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:39 pm

Even though it's not only about shamatha, "Clarifying the Natural State" is a nice book that you might want to check out too.
Everything is divided
Nothing is complete
Everything looks impressive
Do not be deceived - David Byrne

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KRB80
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by KRB80 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:53 pm

Yeah, as far as Shamata is concerned, I have found nothing surpass the depth/breadth of The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa.
We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all. - Kalu Rinpoche

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dawnbird
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by dawnbird » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:04 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Even though it's not only about shamatha, "Clarifying the Natural State" is a nice book that you might want to check out too.
Thank you Dzogchungpa,

That's just the kind of framework I was asking about, and will be a great theoretical compliment to the very practically useful 'Mind Illuminated'. Do you know of any more in depth commentaries on that or similar texts?

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:38 pm

dawnbird wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Even though it's not only about shamatha, "Clarifying the Natural State" is a nice book that you might want to check out too.
Thank you Dzogchungpa,

That's just the kind of framework I was asking about, and will be a great theoretical compliment to the very practically useful 'Mind Illuminated'. Do you know of any more in depth commentaries on that or similar texts?
There is a commentary by Thrangu Rinpoche called "Crystal Clear", but I haven't read it yet. I'm sure it's good though.
Everything is divided
Nothing is complete
Everything looks impressive
Do not be deceived - David Byrne

HandsomeMonkeyking
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by HandsomeMonkeyking » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:40 pm

Thanks to everybody for the recommendations.

I started reading The Mind Illuminated and it is really very very helpful.

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sangyey
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Re: Best Books on Shamata

Post by sangyey » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:12 pm

Tsongkhapa's Lam Rim Volume Three is also pretty good. Gives a technical presentation of Shamatha as to how it is usually presented within the Tibetan Tradition.

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