In meditation retreats, seminars, and classes a (somewhat) predictable series of topics arise in a (slightly less) predictable sequence. I’ve tried to get my best stories and reflections on these topics down on paper. The result has been a number of books and this website.
The topics are listed below with references to my writings on each topic. If you are new to meditation or this style of practice, you may want to stick with the first one or two items on each topic to get started. Once you have an overview of all the topics, further resources offer more depth on each.
After each resource you’ll find one or more icons that indicate where you can find the material. Rounded icons refer to free, web-based resources. Square icons show where you can purchase the writings in print if you so choose. The icons are active links to the various resources.
Icons for free material point to:
– a web page or pages
– a document formatted for printing that can be read on-line or downloaded
– a YouTube video
– an audio recording
The icons for printed material refer to:
– Buddha’s Map: His Original Teaching on Awakening, Ease, and Insight in the Heart of Meditation, explores the meditation path described by the Buddha including key insights, unfolding stages (or “jhanas”), and how to recognize and adapt your practice to take advantage of these stages.
– Beginning the Journey: Initial Meditation Instructions Using the Buddha’s Map advises how to get started. The material in this booklet is also found in chapters 2 and 10 of Buddha’s Map.
– Kindness and Wisdom Practice: A Quick Guide to Metta Panna Meditation bare bones summary of the practices described in Buddha’s Map.
– Meditator’s Field Guide: Reflections on 57 Insights that Slip Away explores the inner landscape, particularly insights that touch us to the core yet easily slip away.
– Befriending the Mind: Easing Into the Heart of Awakening is about the natural kindness and intelligence in the mind-heart that can easily be obscured and yet, with skill, can be easily revealed.
– Resting in the Waves: Welcoming the Mind's Fluidity accepts that many of the waves in our lives are beyond our control. However, when we truly rest in the waves within us, we realize we are the ocean.
– Presence: Quiet Awareness and How It Emerges in Meditation and the Brain explores the confluence of Buddhism and emerging neuroscience.
The way out is through.
Meditator’s Field Guide
chapters 17 through 38 all relate to different aspects of the hindrances.
Some of these chapters are available on-line:
"24. The Trap of Getting Free," ; "26. Hindrances Like the Back Door, ; "31. Recognizing Two Species of Intentions," ; "33. Hindrances Want to Retire," ; and "37. Gifts and Vulnerabilities."
"172 Cognitive Biases" gives a list of cognitive distortions that have been identified and studied by psychologists. Just scanning the list deepens my appreciation of how easy it is to not see clearly.
The Buddha's Path
Part III: Path, chapters 10 through 20 describe the stages of the Buddha’s meditation practice and how they unfold. Each jhana is described along with original text, how to recognize the jhana, and practices that are helpful at each stage.
"10. Joy: the First Jhana" is on the web.
Dependent Origination is the core of the practice.
The Inner Landscape series:
Natural awareness feels quietly luminous.
Nondual awareness: Presence chapters "8. Consciousness is Born: Complexity Is the Midwife", "13. Untangling the Self" and "14. Shadows in a Mirror: Constructing Selves" have sections exploring nondual awareness and how it surfaces in meditation.