Beginners Guide to Insight Meditation
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It's hard to imagine that Buddha envisioned different schools to disseminate his teachings, but two great traditions have emerged: Mahayana (encompassing Tibetan and Zen Buddhism), growing north out of India, and Theravada or Vipassana, known in the West as Insight Meditation, which developed south and east of India. This good-hearted primer is a true beginner's guide to what it claims is "the fastest growing school of Buddhism in this country." The authors are well-qualified: Weisman taught at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass. (the first and largest U.S. Vipassana retreat center), and Smith authored The Beginner's Guide to Zen Buddhism. The tone of the book matches the spirit of Insight Meditation in that it is less formal than Zen or Tibetan Buddhism and also more autocratic ("individual practice is founded on each person's self-inquiry into what works for them"). The first-person stories nicely support the more instructional, but not doctrinaire, how-to bulk of the text. Complete with a biography of the Buddha, a list of U.S. Insight Meditation centers, some core sacred texts and a glossary, this volume is the perfect starter kit for people curious about Buddhism, who may or may not adhere to another faith. For those who may not even know how to put their hands together in a pose of dedication to take the Three Refuges vows, this gentle manual provides loose soil where tender roots might take hold.
“The perfect starter kit for people curious about Buddhism-who may or may not adhere to another faith. A gentle, good-hearted primer whose first-person stories nicely support the how-to portions of the text.”— Publishers Weekly
“Highly recommended.”—Library Journal
“How wonderful to have such warmth and encouragement wrapped around such helpful, straightforward information!”— Sylvia Boorstein, author of Don't Just Do Something, Sit There
“A thoughtful presentation and an open invitation to the reader to begin a meditation practice-a marvelous support to those new on the Path.”— Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
“A magnificent book that moves with graceful clarity.”— Steven Smith, guiding teacher and co-founder of Vipassana Hawai'I
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ARINNA WEISMAN has studied insight meditation since 1979 and has been teaching since 1989, throughout the U.S. and Europe.