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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Thorough Dissection of Foundational Sutta on Meditation, 2 Sept. 2011
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This is a powerhouse of a book. It dissects in 336 pages a sutta that is only a few pages long. It mostly does this by taking examples from various suttas, clarifying the meaning of the words used in the sutta, but there are also references to modern meditation masters, and non-buddhist sources, praticularly from the realms of psychology. The book analyses the Satipatthana Sutta, or the Sutta on Establishing Mindfulness, which is the basic sutta to study if you want to practice buddhist meditation, in the theravada tradition. Meditation in buddhist terms refers simply to being aware of everything that is going on in reality, developing mindfulness and clear knowledge. The book has tons of notes and an extensive bibliography.

I do not think this book is meant for absolute beginners. Before you read this book, you should acquaint yourself with such things as the meaning of commonly used pali and sanskrit terms (which are often left untranslated in the text, but there is a glossary at the end of the book), and such teachings as the three marks of existence (anicca - impermanence; dukkha - unpleasantness; anatta - lack of soul or intrinsic purpose), the four noble truths (which should be viewed, in my opinion, also as the characteristic of any phenomena, first arising and then passing away), the noble eightfold path, and dependent co-origination (paticca-samupadda), the interdependence of all phenomena, also known as Indra's net, and of which the twelve links from ignorance to suffering are only an example. The introduction to Abhidhamma Studies: Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness and Time, p. xxiv, mentions anatta and paticca-samupada as the two principal, mutually reinforcing, tenets of buddhism. If you want a good book to serve as an introduction to many of these concepts, I recommend What the Buddha Taught.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very in depth for the scholar., 16 Feb. 2014
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Personally found that it was too dense for my level of understanding, but for an academic this would be a fantastic book. I read other reviews saying the same but ignored it. It is heavy going.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Thorough Exploration, 11 Nov. 2014
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Very well researched and informed book - a deep treatise for those who want it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nicely written, 9 Oct. 2010
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Hafeez Imran "imran" (Helsinki finland) - See all my reviews
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The book is very detailed on the topic and bit difficult for me to read.I really recommend this book to people who are interested in Buddhist meditation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 24 July 2014
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great product
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