Sarah Shaw’s lively introduction to Buddhist meditation offers students and practitioners alike a deeper understanding of what meditation is, and its purpose and place in the context of different Buddhist schools. She describes the historical background to the geographical spread of Buddhism, and examines the way in which some meditative practices developed as this process occurred. Other chapters cover basic meditative practice, types of meditation, meditation in different regions, meditation and doctrine, and the role of chanting within meditation.
Although not a practical guide, An Introduction to Buddhist Meditation outlines the procedures associated with Buddhist practices and suggests appropriate activities, useful both for students and interested Buddhists. Vivid quotations from Buddhist texts and carefully selected photographs and diagrams help the reader engage fully with this fascinating subject.
Sarah Shaw teaches for the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and practises with the Samatha Association of Britain. She is the translator of Buddhist Meditation: An Anthology of Texts from the Pali Canon (Routledge 2006).
Georgios Halkias is Visiting Associate Researcher in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford.
'A thoughtful overview and introduction to the range of methods and traditions of Buddhist meditation across Asia, from mindfulness of breathing to visualisation, koan and chanting practices. A particular strength is that it shows how meditative qualities are extended into daily life through devotional, ritual and artistic practices, which then in turn give nurturing roots for more archetypally meditative practices.' – Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland, UK, and editor of the Buddhist Studies Review journal.