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The Experience of Insight: A Simple & Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation (Shambhala Dragon Editions)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  253 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Here is a modern classic of unusually clear, practical instruction for the practice of Buddhist meditation: sitting and walking meditation, how one relates with the breath, feelings, thought, sense perceptions, consciousness, and everyday activities. Basic Buddhist topics such as the nature of karma, the four noble truths, the factors of enlightenment, dependent originatio ...more
Paperback, 169 pages
Published June 12th 1987 by Shambhala (first published 1976)
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IMS Retreat Center Reading List
17th out of 64 books — 9 voters
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28th out of 41 books — 22 voters

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Mar 05, 2008 Luca rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
This is a selection of Goldstein's talks from a month-long vipassana retreat. The talks are listed by time of delivery on the retreat. I enjoyed reading it, for the most part, in concert with the schedule of the retreat. I liked it, but I don't think it's the best introduction to vipassana.
Phillip Moffitt
Nov 08, 2010 Phillip Moffitt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-meditators
This book is based on 30 talks Goldstein gave during a 90-day retreat; therefore, reading it is like being on a retreat. The book provides a thorough introduction to vipassana and the Buddha’s teachings of the Four Noble Truths, the Factors of Enlightenment, and more.
May 28, 2012 know1 rated it liked it
Many chapters deserve 5 stars, but some 1-2.
Joe Fiala
Jul 26, 2007 Joe Fiala rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to seriously study Buddhism
Shelves: buddhism
This book rocked my world more than any other perhaps. It is true to the title in that if you read and comprehend and practice what Goldstein is writing about, you will have an experience of insight. Things shift for sure. This is a great book to take on a retreat. It would be more difficult to get the full benefit with everyday living concerns, but definitely possible as well. The more you put into this book, the more you get back for sure. The only problem is that it ends and, as everything do ...more
Dec 05, 2013 Tim rated it it was ok
Here's my problem with tis book: From the beginning I had issues with either the descriptions of things as basic as the Eight Fold Path or the usage of the stories to go with. Once or twice I thought he was wrong in his details, just as often I found him to be too superficial. Now I am not talking about the subject matter or his personal expertise or experience - i am only referring to the text of the book. And that is my issue. This is a book review, not a personal review. I think there are muc ...more
Mar 28, 2012 Bill rated it really liked it
Another excellent book by Joseph Goldstein, one of my favorite dharma teachers. Each chapter or section of the book is based on a talk given by Goldstein during one of his 30-day retreats. So, it is ideally read as a support for one's meditation practice, one section at a time. I would not recommend it for those who are not already meditating regularly. As always, Goldstein writes very articulately about how to practice insight meditation in the Theravada tradition.
Tim Weakley
Jul 23, 2014 Tim Weakley rated it really liked it
Goldstein has a clearly defined voice in his explanations of fundamental concepts of western Buddhism. This book is almost forty years old now but it expresses a lot of the concepts that have become mainstream. I'll be on the lookout for other books by him on my hunting trips through the bookshops!
Feb 01, 2011 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
This is an excellent book for an experienced Buddhist practitioner or student interested in deeper nuances of practice. It focuses on Vipassana-- literally, 'to see things clearly'-- also known as Insight Meditation. The author is co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA with Sharon Salzberg (author of Lovingkindness) and Jack Kornfield (author of many wonderful books). Includes some very helpful guidance.
Viet Hung Nguyen
Tôi thán phục về khả năng diễn đạt bằng lời một cách rõ ràng các nguyên tắc rèn luyện phát triển thân, tâm được tác giả trình bày trong cuốn sách này. Tôi đã rất thích cuốn Tâm Bình An của cùng tác giả. Và đây là cuốn kế tiếp mà tôi rât tâm đắc. Các bạn có thể tìm thấy các ý hay mà tôi tâm đắc trong các ghi chú của tôi ở dưới đây.
Mar 14, 2013 Loganathan rated it it was amazing
The book is an easy read. More importantly, one can sense, the author explains everything from his own meditative experience. This book is an invaluable guide to people who already have some exposure to studying of Buddhist meditation concepts and verifying their understanding with the author's practical explanation.
Steve Woods
This is an absolutely sweminal work for anyone with an active interest in following the Buddha's teachings, meditation for its own sake or spiritual practice. It is very accessible and very moving in parts. Goldstein really lives up to his reputation as one of the great western teachers of the modern day. A must read.
Nov 08, 2015 Juanita rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Where Ram Dass has a gift for writing through the heart, Joseph Goldstein has the gift of writing through the mind. This book has such clarity in it's descriptions of mindfulness and meditation. I Highly recommend this book.
Dana Garrett
Aug 08, 2012 Dana Garrett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
Goldstein rarely disappoints and this book is a tremendous introduction to vipassana meditation. If you don't know what that is but are interested, this is the book to read first.
Duck You
Mar 03, 2016 Duck You rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
I good overview of the Dharma. Covers a variety of other philosophies like Carlos Castaneda and Taoism. Not bad, I enjoyed it
Oh Teik
May 13, 2012 Oh Teik rated it really liked it
A very useful Vipassana Meditation guide. Many useful pointers very clearly explained.
Sep 03, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
It's time to read one of my favorite books again.
Mar 13, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
I will be coming back to this book again and again.
Nov 02, 2010 Greg rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book on Vipassana meditation.
Ewa Proch
Jul 25, 2012 Ewa Proch rated it really liked it
I am reading Polish translation.
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Joseph Goldstein (born 1944) is one of the first American vipassana teachers (Fronsdal, 1998), co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg, contemporary author of numerous popular books on Buddhism (see publications below), resident guiding teacher at IMS, and leader of retreats worldwide on insight (vipassana) and lovingkindness (metta) meditation.

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