book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

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book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:57 am

i find the visuddhimagga unreadable. it reads like it's half instruction manual and half commentary and can't decide which. and the wording is archaic and hard to follow, oddly enough i have no trouble reading the suttas themselves and find them quite readable and easily understood. i have gotten some good information but overall it leads mostly to frustration with it's writing style.

is there a modern equivalent? or even another ancient book that is written differently? i'm looking for something that condenses the contents and methods of the pali tipitaka into one cohesive book.
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:08 am

alan... wrote:i find the visuddhimagga unreadable. it reads like it's half instruction manual and half commentary and can't decide which. and the wording is archaic and hard to follow, oddly enough i have no trouble reading the suttas themselves and find them quite readable and easily understood. i have gotten some good information but overall it leads mostly to frustration with it's writing style.
It is a matter of patience, learning the to deal with the style of Ven Nanamoli's translation. On the other hand, if you cannot relate to it, don't worry about it.

is there a modern equivalent?
No.
or even another ancient book that is written differently?
The Vimuttimagga, but it is even older and is a translation from the Chinese and is not fully Theravadin.

i'm looking for something that condenses the contents and methods of the pali tipitaka into one cohesive book.
The works of Ven Ledi Sayadaw, but they are in a very traditional style, dealing with practice in a very traditional way. If you are interested Ven Pesala can make some useful suggestions.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:48 am

tiltbillings wrote:
alan... wrote:i find the visuddhimagga unreadable. it reads like it's half instruction manual and half commentary and can't decide which. and the wording is archaic and hard to follow, oddly enough i have no trouble reading the suttas themselves and find them quite readable and easily understood. i have gotten some good information but overall it leads mostly to frustration with it's writing style.
It is a matter of patience, learning the to deal with the style of Ven Nanamoli's translation. On the other hand, if you cannot relate to it, don't worry about it.

is there a modern equivalent?
No.
or even another ancient book that is written differently?
The Vimuttimagga, but it is even older and is a translation from the Chinese and is not fully Theravadin.

i'm looking for something that condenses the contents and methods of the pali tipitaka into one cohesive book.
The works of Ven Ledi Sayadaw, but they are in a very traditional style, dealing with practice in a very traditional way. If you are interested Ven Pesala can make some useful suggestions.



what about this:

http://www.amazon.com/Swallowing-River-Ganges-Practice-Purification/dp/0861711785/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357023778&sr=8-1&keywords=swallowing+the+gangas#reader_0861711785

heard of it? any good? i can only see the intro which doesn't really give much of an idea of what it contains.
Last edited by alan... on Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:51 am

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:55 am

Hi Alan,

The Visuddhimagga is, indeed, a mixed bag. Lots of collected experience of generations of practitioners, mixed with seemingly impenetrable sections. My advice is to just skip over bits that you don't find interesting.

alan... wrote:is there a modern equivalent?

Shaila Catherine's, Wisdom Wide and Deep covers quite a lot of it in a more digestible way.
http://imsb.org/books/wwd.php
Mahasi Sayadaw's Progress of Insight covers briefly much of the gist of the later chapters.
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Pro ... gress.html
Bhikkhu Bodhi's A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma: The Abhidhammatthasangaha of Acariya Anuruddha, Buddhist Publication Society
Readable online: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=hxopJgv85y4C
is also worth a look. But start with Chapter IX, A Compendium of Meditation Subjects.

As Tilt says, some of the other Burmese teachers, such as Ledi Sayadaw, go into great detail.



:anjali:
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:11 am

Alan...,

This is an updated version of the book you asked about:

http://www.amazon.com/Meditators-Atlas- ... 458&sr=1-2
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:26 am

alan... wrote:i find the visuddhimagga unreadable. it reads like it's half instruction manual and half commentary and can't decide which. and the wording is archaic and hard to follow, oddly enough i have no trouble reading the suttas themselves and find them quite readable and easily understood. i have gotten some good information but overall it leads mostly to frustration with it's writing style.

is there a modern equivalent? or even another ancient book that is written differently? i'm looking for something that condenses the contents and methods of the pali tipitaka into one cohesive book.

as tilt points out the Vimmutimagga is not exactly Theravadin, but it is a good book.
I don't think there is another book in the same vein, but "Satipatthana - the direct path" by Venerable Analayo is good, as is the work of Venerable Gunaratana (some of which is available freely online.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:15 pm

Try the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw's masterwork Knowing and Seeing - it is a very detailed exploration of the path that lifts heavily from the Visuddhimagga without being nearly as hard to get through. Still a lot of great information, however, especially on Jhana types.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/know-see.pdf

(I can't vouch for this translation or version; perhaps try getting a hardcopy online or from his website at: http://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/books.htm)
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby alan... » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:47 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:Try the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw's masterwork Knowing and Seeing - it is a very detailed exploration of the path that lifts heavily from the Visuddhimagga without being nearly as hard to get through. Still a lot of great information, however, especially on Jhana types.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/know-see.pdf

(I can't vouch for this translation or version; perhaps try getting a hardcopy online or from his website at: http://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/books.htm)


thanks!
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby mirco » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:05 pm

I get what I give
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby alan... » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:43 pm

i ordered "the meditators atlas: a road map to the inner world" by matthew flickstein. i'll post a new thread about it once i've read it.

it is a guide to a guide. it summarizes and explains the visuddhimagga which is generally accepted as the most comprehensive guide to theravada practice. so i'll let everyone know if it's very good or not. amazon has it for .01 plus 3.99 shipping, can't beat that price so i just ordered it.

everyone is giving me great suggestions! thank you to everyone!

while all of them are wonderful most do not cover as much ground as visuddhimagga, this book hopefully will. it's table of contents is really close to the table of contents of visuddhimagga so that's a good sign.
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:53 pm



i love nyanaponika thera so much! i already have "heart of buddhist meditation" but didn't know about the others, thanks.
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby Sambojjhanga » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:14 pm

alan... wrote:i ordered "the meditators atlas: a road map to the inner world" by matthew flickstein. i'll post a new thread about it once i've read it.

it is a guide to a guide. it summarizes and explains the visuddhimagga which is generally accepted as the most comprehensive guide to theravada practice. so i'll let everyone know if it's very good or not. amazon has it for .01 plus 3.99 shipping, can't beat that price so i just ordered it.

everyone is giving me great suggestions! thank you to everyone!

while all of them are wonderful most do not cover as much ground as visuddhimagga, this book hopefully will. it's table of contents is really close to the table of contents of visuddhimagga so that's a good sign.


Alan, I'm looking forward to your review. My absolute favorite "how to" manual so far is Ajahn Brahm's Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond. Really great book. Basically his version of the Anapanasati Sutta. My primary reason for liking it is that it ended up making a huge difference in my meditation. I learned a lot from his book and I'm very grateful.

In any case, I look forward to reading your impressions of meditator's atlas. I have a digital version of the Visuddhimagga and share your impressions about it not being an easy read.

Metta

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Sabba rasam dhammaraso jinati
The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:17 pm

Sambojjhanga wrote:
alan... wrote:i ordered "the meditators atlas: a road map to the inner world" by matthew flickstein. i'll post a new thread about it once i've read it.

it is a guide to a guide. it summarizes and explains the visuddhimagga which is generally accepted as the most comprehensive guide to theravada practice. so i'll let everyone know if it's very good or not. amazon has it for .01 plus 3.99 shipping, can't beat that price so i just ordered it.

everyone is giving me great suggestions! thank you to everyone!

while all of them are wonderful most do not cover as much ground as visuddhimagga, this book hopefully will. it's table of contents is really close to the table of contents of visuddhimagga so that's a good sign.


Alan, I'm looking forward to your review. My absolute favorite "how to" manual so far is Ajahn Brahm's Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond. Really great book. Basically his version of the Anapanasati Sutta. My primary reason for liking it is that it ended up making a huge difference in my meditation. I learned a lot from his book and I'm very grateful.

In any case, I look forward to reading your impressions of meditator's atlas. I have a digital version of the Visuddhimagga and share your impressions about it not being an easy read.

Metta

:anjali:


that book pulled my meditation practice out of the garbage. seriously, i was going no where and that book changed everything. then i also got shaila catherine "focused and fearless" which helped a great deal as well with more willful techniques as opposed to brahm's more automatic development techniques. they compliment each other well in this way.
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:20 pm

If you liked Focused and Fearless, have you read her larger work, Wisdom Wide and Deep? It is essentially Focused and Fearless 2.0 and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:49 pm

It might be woeth keeping an eye on this project http://www.buddhistteachings.org/buddhadhamma-translations-2?doing_wp_cron

"Bud­dhad­hamma is a com­pendium of the Bud­dhist Pali Canon. It is divided into two parts: part one con­tains the objec­tive and bal­anced truths that are the foun­da­tion of the Bud­dhist sys­tem of prac­tice (the Mid­dle Teach­ing)."

"The Bud­dhad­hamma Foun­da­tion, a non-profit pub­lish­ing com­pany in Bangkok, is presently spon­sor­ing a com­plete Eng­lish trans­la­tion of Bud­dhad­hamma. With Ajahn Payutto’s bless­ing, Robin Moore is doing the trans­la­tion work for this project. The plan is to fin­ish this trans­la­tion before the end of the year 2013."
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Re: book that details theravada practice? (not visuddhimagga)

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:50 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:If you liked Focused and Fearless, have you read her larger work, Wisdom Wide and Deep? It is essentially Focused and Fearless 2.0 and I enjoyed it quite a bit.


yeah people keep recommending that one. thanks. i'm reading bhante g "four foundations of mindfulness in plain english" then analayo's "satipatthana: the direct path to realization", the catherine book will probably be after those two.
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