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Breath by Breath: Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation [Hardcover]

Larry Rosenberg
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1998
Freedom from suffering is not only possible, but the means for achieving it are completely within our grasp—literally as near to us as our own breath. This is the 2,500-year-old good news contained in the Anapanasati Sutra, the Buddha's own teaching on cultivating both tranquility and deep insight through the full awareness of breathing. In this book, Larry Rosenberg brings this timeless meditation method to life for people today, using the insights gained from his many years of practice and teaching. With wisdom, compassion, and humor he shows how the practice of breath awareness is quietly, profoundly transformative—and also supremely practical: if you're breathing, you've already got everything you need to start.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157062335X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570623356
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,762,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

In any meditation class, one of the first things one learns is the importance of breathing. For Larry Rosenberg, a seasoned instructor of insight meditation, the breath is everything. And he is not in bad company since the Buddha himself delivered a sutra on the subject. Rosenberg's Breath by Breath is an elaboration on this short classic, but couched in familiar language liberally spiced with anecdotes from Rosenberg's decades of practice and teaching. It's Rosenberg's earthy humour and patient instruction that make him such a popular teacher and that make Breath by Breath a rewarding read. He takes the beginning student from the wandering "doggy mind" to becoming a chicken, along the way getting a teacher's bite and sitting like a frog. For the hurried and harried, he includes a nutshell two-step version of the sutra's 16-step practice (appended is the full text of the sutra). More of a coach than a disciplinarian, Rosenberg takes a "see what happens" attitude. "You don't make liberation happen", he says. "To contemplate breathing is to contemplate life itself". --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘…a book that every beginning meditator – as well as experienced ones – should read.’
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, author of Mindfulness in Plain English

‘..a unique contribution to our understanding of the path of meditation… wonderfully accessible and relevant’
– Joseph Goldstein

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding... really modivated me to sit. 31 Mar 1999
By A Customer
I loved that the book is really written from a Western perspective. Allows the reluctant mediator (like me) to approach the topic from many different angles. This book helped moditvate me to meditate more regularly. Explains the paradox of meditation (i.e. the goal is to give up the goal) better than any book I've ever read.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent... highly motivating... very promising 7 April 1999
By A Customer
I am one of those people who wish it was easier to sit for an hour a day. I am one of those who is struggling to motivate myself to pursue what I have come to believe is an essential part of my life. This book is one that constantly makes my efforts and my struggles easier and keeps me motivated. I just wish I could do justice to this author's efforts in sharing what he has had the good furtune to have gained. I have given my copy of this book away on a few occasions just to replace it with yet another copy soon after. If you are a meditation enthusiast, make sure this book is on your bookshelf, if not right next to you, always.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 19 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Larry is an extremely experienced and mature mediation teacher. He understands meditation to be a whole life activity, a way to understand being a human -- the way to make sense out of our lives. This book is the result of many years of teaching students how to develop a Buddhist practice which is almost non-sectarian in it's simplicity. Finally his teachings are in book form, long overdue. Now more students can benifit from his wisdom.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indepth look into the Anapanasati sutra 25 April 1998
By A Customer
A must read for anyone who wants to take their meditation practice further. Larry explains indepth how to use the breath to be in the moment. Humor and real life stories help convey this wonderful technique. Whether a bigger, like me, or a meditator of many years, you will benefit by reading this book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one's a keeper 2 July 1998
By A Customer
This book is wonderful. Rosenberg's approach to meditation and Buddhism comes without the baggage of superstition and folklore that attach themselves to some books on these topics. Rosenberg offers not only basic instruction, but a path for advancing one's practice through the various contemplative steps beyond that, using the anapanasati sutra. I also love the fact that his background is from the East Coast of the U.S., and Jewish. I get a little tired of the condescending attitude toward Westerners from some of the more traditional Eastern authors and teachers. Rosenberg doesn't have a built-in cultural bias toward the East, and is clearly an experienced, dedicated and wise teacher with a sense of humor. I'm usually too cheap to buy the hard-back version of any book (sorry, Amazon), but this one's hard-back, and I'm glad for it because it's a keeper.
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