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This book argues for the central role played by absorption in the functioning of the human mind. The importance of absorption makes itself felt in different ways; the two studies combined in this book concentrate on two of them. The first study, 'The Symbolic Mind', argues that, largely as a result of language acquisition, humans have two levels of cognition, which in normal circumstances are simultaneously active. Absorption is a (or the) means to circumvent some, perhaps all, of the associations that characterize one of these two levels of cognition, resulting in what is sometimes referred to as mysitcal experience, but which is not confined to mysticism and plays a role in various "religious" phenomena, and elsewhere. In the second study, 'The Psychology of the Buddha', Prof. Bronkhorst provides a theoretical context for the observation that absorption is a source of pleasure, grapples with Freud, and illustrates his observations through translations of ancient Buddhist texts from the Pali ans Sanskrit languages along with his psychological commentary.
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Insight meditation, which claims to offer practitioners a chance to escape all suffering by perceiving the true nature of reality, is one of the most popular forms of meditation today. The Theravada Buddhist cultures of South and Southeast Asia often see it as the Buddha's most important gift to humanity. In the first book to examine how this practice came to play such a dominant - and relatively recent - role in Buddhism, Erik Braun takes readers to Burma, revealing that Burmese Buddhists in the colonial period were pioneers in making insight meditation indispensable to modern Buddhism. Braun focuses on the Burmese monk Ledi Sayadaw (1847-1923), a pivotal architect of modern insight meditation, and explores Ledi's popularization of the study of crucial Buddhist philosophical texts in the early twentieth century. by promoting the study of such abstruste texts, Braun shows, Ledi was able to standardize and simplify meditation methods and make them widely accessible - in part to protect Buddhism in Burma after its complete takeover by the British in 1885. Braun also addresses the questio of what really constitutes the "modern" in colonial and postcolonial forms of Buddhism, arguing that the emergence of this type of meditation was caused by precolonial factors in Burmese culture as well as the disruptive forces of the colonial era. Offering a readable narrative of the life and legacy of one of modern Buddhism's most important figures, 'The Birth of Insight' provides an original account of the development of mass meditation.
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Zotero Collections: Insight (vipashyana, lhaktong)

Freedom from suffering is not only possible, but the means for achieving it are immediately within our grasp—literally as close to us as our own breath. This is the 2,500-year-old good news contained in the Anapanasati Sutra , the Buddha's teaching on cultivating both tranquility and deep insight through full awareness of breathing. In this book, Larry Rosenberg brings this timeless meditation method to life. Using the insights gained from his many years of practice and teaching, he makes insight meditation practice accessible to modern practitioners.
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This book is a comprehensive and practical guide to Buddhist meditation, providing a complete inroduction for beginnhers, as well as detailed advice for experienced meditators seeking to deepen their practice. Kamalashila explores the primary aims of Buddhist meditation: enhanced awareness, true happiness, and - ultimately - liberating insight into the nature of reality.
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Here is an accessible introduction to Buddhist thought, which takes readers completely unfamiliar with the subject as quickly as possible to an accurate appreciation and understanding of the main ideas, tracing their development from teh time of Buddha, and opening up the latest scholarly perspectives and controversies. by focusing on classical India (including modern Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) as well as areas of Central Asia and South-East Asia direcly influenced by India, this book provides the essential foundation for an appreciation of Buddhism as a whole.
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Charting his journey from hippie to monk to lay practitioner, teacher, and interpreter of Buddhist thought, Batchelor reconstructs the historical Buddha's life, locating him within the social and political context of his world. In examining the ancient texts of the Pali Canon, the earliest record of the Buddha's life and teachings, Batchelor argues that the Buddha was a man who looked at human life in a radically new way for his time, more interested in the question of how human beings should live in this world than in notions of karma and the afterlife. According to Batchelor, the outlook of the Buddha was far removed from the piety and religiosity that has come to define much of Buddhism as we know it today.

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