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

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  449 ratings  ·  31 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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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  449 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Ha Anh
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have found many solutions for my problems but until this book, it's really helpful for me and help me to open my mind, to deal with many problems that I was stuck on a lot of times. It's really amazing and one of the greatest book I have read.
Noam Gal
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is really great for learning about mindfulness meditation. There are some really odd parts about psychic powers and reincarnation, which one should just skim over. It's a great read, as long as you don't get caught up on the pseudoscience and supernatural comments.
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Many chapters deserve 5 stars, but some 1-2.
Allys Dierker
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Need to reread and perhaps “follow along,” given that it’s a transcript of a 30-day (!) retreat.

Maybe because it’s the end of the book when my attention is sharpened, but the last chapter is particularly good, about re-entry, or how to live in the world with the demands of the world, instead of on a retreat when demands aren’t so quotidian. Empty your boat, because no one gets angry at an empty boat. And once you see “from above,” you live differently than if you never ascend at all.
Steve Woods
This is an absolutely seminal 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.
Mar 05, 2008 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 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.
Phil Calandra
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
"The Experience of Insight...." is an excellent introduction into Buddhist Insight on or Vipassana Meditation. The book is based on a 30 day meditation retreat which elaborates on the Buddhist teachings through a lecture and question and answer format. The strengths of this book are those simple and basic principles of Buddhist Philosophy that can easily be incorporated into daily life and be used as a source of positive thinking and peace in one's life. Perhaps a weakness in this book is that v ...more
Kuroi Neko
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read about Buddhism, and I've read quite a few classics about this philosophy.

It's a simple written book that I would raccomend both to a complete beginner and to someone more advanced in their journey. It covers the basics of Buddhism explaining them in a beautiful and intuitive way.

It offers both theories and practical advices, it's never boring nor too complicated.

I borrowed the Italian translation from my local library, but
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing introduction to meditation, Joseph Goldstein is a gem.
Some people say life doesn't have a map, well, this is a map of a pretty important part of life: SUFFERING
What are the mechanics of anxiety? What are the mechanics of autosabotage?
Although there is a map, meditation is a journey everybody has to take by himlelf, you will die alone, better learn how to be alone in the first place.

This is the book I gift the most.... I probably gifted more than 30 copies so f
Derek Baldwin
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Lightweight. While interesting throughout, it’s not very well written, and the perpetual references to Daoism seem off, to me, and frequently not even on-topic in the first place. Why cite these sources and never the Buddha himself? It’s bizarre. The author comes across as callow, to be blunt.
Michael Wayne Hampton
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Covering the course of a month-long meditation retreat held in 1976 in Northern California, The Experience of Insight covers various lessons on mindfulness and meditation practices which aid in non-attachment and presence. Good, practical guide to furthering mindfulness practice.
Erik Wennermark
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. Nicely formatted for a daily reflection type of reading. I'm sure I will go back through it again. My only complaint was the chapter about karma was inadequate and simplistic.
Joe Fiala
Jul 26, 2007 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 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
Jan 15, 2012 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.
Dec 25, 2010 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.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful book. ;) Great guide to mindfulness and meditation from a Bhuddist perspective, which served to give some knowledge on Bhuddist thought as well. I loved how it was broken up into small chunks. It would be great to read as a devotional trying to apply each chapter's content throughout the day.
Dec 22, 2012 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.
Apr 18, 2014 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.
Caden Howlett
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book on meditation that I have read to date. Goldstein's understanding of the practice and ability to articulate combine to make this one of my top books that I recommend to people. Enjoy.
Tim Weakley
Jun 18, 2014 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!
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's time to read one of my favorite books again.
Duck You
Jan 03, 2016 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
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
💗joy!! freedom!! love!!
Ewa Proch
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am reading Polish translation.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book on Vipassana meditation.
There are many books like this, and this one is perfectly fine for what it is, so it's not really fair to give it a star rating like a traditional book. These are transcriptions of "dharma talks", the evening discourses delivered to meditators during a retreat by the teacher running the retreat, in this case the much-esteemed Joseph Goldstein. In my understanding these are not quite analogous to "sermons" or spiritual lectures as we usually understand them from the Abrahamic religions. In a dhar ...more
Oh Teik
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very useful Vipassana Meditation guide. Many useful pointers very clearly explained.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I will be coming back to this book again and again.
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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. ...more
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