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The Experience of Samadhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  14 reviews
This book offers an in-depth look at the foundational aspect of Buddhist meditation known as samadhi, or concentration: the ability of the mind to remain calm and settled without distraction. In part one of the book, Richard Shankman looks at the range of views and understandings about the experience of samadhi and offers a comprehensive examination of it using teachings a ...more
Kindle Edition, 259 pages
Published October 22nd 2012 by Shambhala Publications (first published December 30th 2008)
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4.07  · 
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 ·  68 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Owlseyes on notre dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...
UPDATE. Quite recently, I encountered these lines,which,I believe, are of great import to the definition of the concept of samadhi.

"According to The Chronicle of Master Xuyun, the Master had three experiences of longdwelling
in samādhi—one for eighteen days, and two of nine days’ duration. Master Xuyun
has remarked that his eighteen-day samādhi experience on Zhungnan mountain (Dec. 1901-
Jan. 1902) at the age of 62 was not intentional, as one cannot enter samādhi with such an
intention; but neither
...more
Frank Jude
Mar 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All students and practitioners of Buddhist meditation.
Shelves: buddhism
This is a fabulous and much needed book! There is so much confusion regarding what samadhi is, how is it different from jhana, what level of concentration or jhana is required -- if at all -- for liberating insight etc. Shankman doesn't take sides here. He presents the teachings as found in the Pali Canon; then the teachings as found in the Visuddhimagga, the most famous and important commentary on Buddhist meditation. He compares their differences -- and there are many, and some are quite profo ...more
Dean
A useful and insightful discussion on the practice of Jhana and concentration, chiefly in Theravada Buddhism, with contrasts between the Visuddhimagga (and commentarial approach to concentration cultivation) and the Pali Suttas. While this isn't a practical / how-to book, the discussion on some nuances around breath awareness, Jhana attainment, mindfulness and basic meditation practices is well worth the read. There are some interesting interview scripts with well known meditation (insight) teac ...more
Ulf Wolf
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Richard Shankman has done every sincere Buddhist meditator a huge and much appreciated service in researching and writing this book.

I have now read this book twice and cannot but thank Shankman for so clearly, and so without bias, outlining the various approaches to Samādhi and Jhāna.

Those who would like a clearer grasp on what Samādhi and Jhāna entails and how to realistically approach (and, hopefully achieve) them, should do themselves a huge favor and buy and read, and re-read, and re-read th
...more
Juergen
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A unique book. The first half is devoted to the study of concentration meditation, samatha, jhana and samadhi, as described in the Pali suttas (sutras) and the commentarial work known as the Vissudhimagga (written in the 5th century).

This section of the book may come off as dry if one has only a passing familiarity with Buddhist concentration exercises, but really comes alive once one's practice begins to deepen. In short, the path is well known and has been since the time of the Buddha. These
...more
Todd Mayville
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about Buddhist meditation. Here's my full review: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/0...
Janet
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very comprehensive book for general readers as well as enthusiastic meditators. The book is full of insights, particularly the second part interviews with contemporary leading teachers. Definitely worth to read again.
Jan
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very helpful in explaining a lot of words I've heard in dharma talks, but never quite understood. And I loved the interviews in the last half of the book.
Ben
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meditation, jhana
An overview of different interpretations of what constitutes the concentration practice in Buddhism. I enjoyed the interviews section with teachers of concentration practices.
Sarja
The book is definitely worth reading, but I'm not sure if it's worth owning. Part I is written in a dull style; Part II, however, is great.
Derrick
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
Boring.
Jmp
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good I plan to read it again.
Shinta
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A roadmap to those who are interested in samatha meditation. Different beliefs, different textual sources.
Suzanne Gilman
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
struggled with the descriptions of the different levels of samadhi, but the practitioner stories at the end are great.
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Richard Shankman lives in Oakland, CA. He has been a meditator since 1970 and teaches classes and meditation retreats at dharma centers and groups nationally and internationally. Richard is the guiding teacher of the Metta Dharma Foundation , and co-founder of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and of Mindful Schools. He has sat many silent, intensive meditation retreats for periods up to eleve ...more
“The suttas state explicitly that it is not possible to attain the deepest stages of realization without a high degree of concentration, calm, and unification of mind:” 0 likes
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