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Breath by Breath

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  321 ratings  ·  22 reviews
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 brin ...more
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published March 17th 1998 by Shambhala (first published 1998)
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This is mostly an analysis of the Anapanasati Sutra by a local teacher from the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. It's clear, readable and interesting. He does pepper it a bit with personal stories - I had to laugh at the one about a 3 month meditation retreat in Thailand that culminated in a week without sleeping. It made me think that some people will turn just about anything into an extreme sport. His chapter on daily practice for laypeople was more useful and I did like the book. (April 2 ...more
So far, the most helpful idea of this witty meditation book is his description of the mind.... it's like a dog chasing a plastic bone over and over. Our minds keep going after the same worries or different worries with the same, non-nutritive, repetitive result. Mediation is a way to quiet the wayward puppies of our mind for just a moment, and watch those fleeting worries pass by, unchased, with the same result.

Thankfully, he says it a lot better. It is a very enjoyable book.
David  Krancher
Whether you are lucky enough to attend one of Larry's talks on Insight meditation or not, this is a fine book. He translates the deepest concepts of meditation and Buddhism into today's language and brings dharma practice into the 21st Century. I've heard many of his talks yet still learned a lot from this book. If you have any difficulty understanding the concepts of Buddhism, Larry can make them clear. I reccommend this book.
One of the most impactful books I've read on my Buddhist path, Rosenberg brings personal stories to the ancient text and makes it relevant to modern life. I return to it again and again. I have it in both paper and digital versions so I have ready access to it wherever I am.
read this book within a sangha and it was exceptional to break it down and put it into practice - I come back to it time and again in all it's highlighted and dog eared glory!
Read this in conjunction with The Meditative Path and these two books really complimented each other. This book follows the Anapanasati Sutra. The author has wonderful quotes scattered throughout. For example, "Most of the time that people get discouraged with practice, they do it to themselves. They've heard time and time again that the practice is being nobody and going nowhere, then they sit down and try to be somebody getting somewhere." The author does a good job of explaining the origin of ...more
I read the first 4 chapters on an anapanasati retreat, and it was complimentary because the 18 stages get complicated rather quickly. Rosenberg is a good story teller at times. I've tried to read the book when I wasn't doing the practice, in preparation to do the practice, but that's really hard. Reading it while you are on retreat doing the practice, the book is amazing. So I recommend you read it that way if you want to get the most out of it.
This is one of the first books that I read on meditation and it really extra-super helped me out. It's not so much of a technique book, but it does give a framework for understanding the kinds of experiences that this sort of meditation provides -- a what-to-look-for sort of situation/dealie/thing.

I definitely recommend it if you're looking to surf the Vipassana wave.
Mary Mcrobbie
Recommend this book to practitioners who desire to learn the benefits of living in the present moment. It is a wonderful guide to following the breath and finding inner peace.

The books speaks to me in different ways each time I read it. I will re-read this book forever.
Tanya Hakala
This is another one that I wish there was a 10 star rating system (or half stars). I give it 4.5 starts with the caveat that it takes a lot to get me to give 5 stars.

This book is a great companion as you start exploring the Anapanasati Sutta.
oh so great! i recommend this book to any and everyone. it will make you so aware of self... well as much as a book can... that you'll be ready to do a vipassana retreat right then. which i haven't done, by the way.
Sirpa Grierson
"One trains oneself. . . " For anyone who really is attempting to learn mindfulness, this is a must read. Its one that I will return to time and time again as my meditation practice becomes an increasingly practical art.
Chris Bush
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a clear, straightforward guide to meditation to develop insight and to work towards enlightenment. Rosenberg stress a path aht is practical and grounded in living everyday life.
Thomas Neville
My first book on Buddhism/meditation and turned out to be the best one by far. I wasn't into Thich Nhat Hanh or any of the other eastern authors. This guy's American.
Oct 19, 2012 Connie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Until I get my breathing issues solved, I can't bring myself to pick up this book, as much as I was enjoying it.
Clearly and gently guides one to how to practice Buddhist meditation, with principles behind the practice.
Good beginners guide to listening to your body and finding inner-peace.
Sidney Luckett
Excellent down-to-earth wisdom from the buddhist tradition
Very readable introduction to insight meditation
Feb 07, 2012 Benjamen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
rec'd by kurt harris. read asap
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