Meditation and Practice Resources

Classical Buddhist meditation and practice is classified into three interdependent categories:

  • Sīla, which is the practice of ethics and morality
  • Samādhi, or samatha, which is the practice of concentration, or absorption
  • Vipassanā, which is the practice of insight, or wisdom

In addition, it is very common to practice meditating on metta, or loving-kindness. Metta is one of the Brahma Viharas, or “noble abidings”, which include metta, compassion (karuṇā), sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkhā). The Brahma Viharas can be considered a fourth category of meditation.sangha_sitting_poolside

For a Future to be Possible, Parallax Press, Thich Nhat Hanh and Jack Kornfield

There are very few good books available on Buddhist ethics and morality. This one is probably the best one.

Practicing the Jhanas, Shambala Press, Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder

Jhana is concentration, or samādhi, practice.

Breath by Breath, Shambala Press, Larry Rosenberg

Classical Vipassana practice via Ānāpānasati, or full awareness of the breath.

Lovingkindness. the Revolutionary Art of Happiness, Shambala Press, Sharon Salzberg and Jon Kabat-Zinn

A very good book on metta practice.

Insight Meditation: A Step-By-Step Course on How to Meditate, Sounds True, Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein

This is an excellent introductory home study course in insight meditation. It includes 12 sections with Dharma talks and a corresponding guided meditation for each one. There is also a booklet with exercises for each section.

Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization, Windhorse Publications, Ajahn Anālayo

The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta – usually translatted as “The Discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness” – is one of the most important suttas in the Buddhist canon. It is a complete description of the Buddhist meditational path. This book is an in-depth study of that sutta. It was originally Ajahn Anālayo’s Ph.D. thesis and was adapted as a book. This is probably not a book for beginners, but if you have some background and experience in the Buddhist path, this book can be invaluable. It is highly recommended for the serious practitioner.