Meditator's Handbook
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Meditator's Handbook

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  12 reviews
"Better than sex " That's how Ajahn Brahm describes meditation, and his enthusiasm is contagious. A self-described meditation junkie, Brahm, the author of the popular Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?, shares his recipe for bliss in this practical, energizing new book. The Meditator's Handbook is a complete, stem-to-stern guide to the subject, with precise step-by-step i...more
Published August 10th 2006 by Wisdom Publications MA
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In this book, Ajahn Brahm reveals a blissful path to Nibaana through the development of the jhanas. The jhanas are seldom taught nowadays, and even more seldom taught is the progression from jhana to the "attainment of extinction" (nirodha-samāpatti) or "cessation of apperception and feeling" (saññāvedayitanirodha) which is Nibaana. Using language and instructions that are down-to-earth. accessible and even fun, Ajahn Brahm teaches how we can progressively develop the 4 fine-material jhanas and...more
I think many would disagree with Brahm's position that accessing jhana is the only path to liberation (the allowance of Kornfield's caveat in the introduction though seem to perhaps indicate that Brahm is willing to make some kind of concession on this point) - but regardless, this book contains some of the most detailed - and yet accessible - text/chapters concerning meditative states preceding first jhana - including - simply put - how to effectively deal with nimittas when they start to arise...more
This book is a trip. It argues that jhana is the ONLY path to nibbana--a provocative thesis to say the least. The other fun part about this book is the use of Western science to legitimate/"prove" Buddhist cosmology (i.e., karma, rebirth, deva realms, etc.), which is uber-juicy considering that Brahmavamso was a theoretical physicist before he ordained.

From a less academic standpoint, this book is a great introduction to the path set out in Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga--which can be, to say the l...more
John Wright
Jan 22, 2011 John Wright is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to start meditation in the Terevada tradition
An instruction book. It is suggested that one not move to the next section until one is able to meditate at the level described in the section you are reading. Three years, and less than a quarter through. Maybe will not get to the end in this lifetime.....
This book is such a delight to read since I can find explanations which are hard to be found elsewhere. The progress from anapana sati, getting nimitta and to enter jhana. Though there are some discordancies with the book of Bhante Gunaratana - Beyond Mindfulness - concerning the jhana states. While B. Gunaratana says that total loss of bodily sensation starts in the 4th jhana, Ajahn Brahm writes that complete absorption starts in the 1st jhana.

Ajahn does have some strong opinions concerning sa...more
A very articulate user's manual for understanding aspect of concentration (samadhi) in Buddhism.
A must read.
Peter S.
An amazingly detailed guide to the entry and experience of Jhanas and definitely recommended for those who want to experience something "special" in meditation. A ton of quotables, wide coverage of meditative techniques from anapanasati to Metta (loving kindness) which are both followed up with insightful commentary. -1 Star as there is quite a bit of dogma in the book in terms of Ajahn Brahm's insistence that Jhanas are the only and true way for a practitioner to attain enlightenment, which wou...more
A 'lion of the dhamma', Ajahn Brahm stands at the vanguard of authentic Buddhist practitioners, and is spreading the truth of meditation (as taught by the Buddha) and the place of samadhi (jhana) in the noble eightfold path.

With so many lay-practitioners writing books about the subject when they themselves are amateurs at best, it is a true boon to the serious buddhist to have an 'instruction manual' on meditation written by a meditation master.

In a time rife with so much false dhamma and obfusc...more
This was well written book that went through the basics of meditation to the later stages in meditation from the Buddhist perspective. The author, a monk, had a lot of insight and great stories that I have not read in any book on the topic as of yet. I will have to come back to this book as my meditation practice gets deeper and I advance to the later stages in meditation. The bad reviews may be due to the fact that it does dive into deep meditation stages that the average reader may have not ex...more
Kathy Ridges
This book is a masterpiece of Buddhist meditation guidelines. It cannot be improved. He takes you through all the stages and gives helpful examples, too.

'When mindfulness rests comfortably on the breath without any interruption, and the sensation of breath becomes calmer and calmer, then happiness and joy with always arise.' (p88) This book is a must for any serious mediator.
Decent manual for shamatha/concentration practice meditation. The only danger lies in the fact that concentration practice isn't an end in itself, which the author seems to give the impression. There is also the danger that those reading this will 'strive' for a result, and thus sabotage their own practice. Taken as a supplement though, this could be useful.
Raechelle Thomas
I will be referring back to this one for many years...
hope can learn something new
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Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (lovingly known to most as Ajahn Brahm) was born Peter Betts in London, United Kingdom in August 7, 1951. He came from a working-class background, and won a scholarship to study Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University in the late 1960s. After graduating from Cambridge he taught in high school for one year before travelling to Thailand to become a monk and train with...more
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