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Stages Of Meditation PDF The Dalai Lama explains the principles of meditation in a practice-oriented format especially suited to Westerners. Based upon the middle section of the Bhavanakrama by Kamalashila, a translation of which is included, this is the most extensive commentary given by the Dalai Lama on this concise but important meditation handbook. It is a favorite text of the Dalai Lama, and he often takes the opportunity to give teachings on it to audiences throughout the world. In his words, "This text can be like a key that opens the door to all other major Buddhist scriptures." Topics include the nature of mind, how to develop compassion and loving-kindness, calm abiding wisdom, and how to establish a union of calm abiding and special insight. Paperback: 216 pages Publisher: Snow Lion; Reprint edition (July 28, 2003) Language: English ISBN-10: 1559391979 ISBN-13: 978-1559391979 Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies) Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews) Best Sellers Rank: #447,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #68 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Philosophy > Eastern > Buddhism > Dalai Lama #538 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Philosophy > Eastern > Buddhism > Rituals & Practice #543 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Philosophy > Eastern > Buddhism > Tibetan I'm a WASP born and raised in the United States and a very long term meditator who has mostly practiced inside Hindu and Theravadin traditions. I've seen the Dalai Lama speak twice, read some of his books, and watched a few of his videos, so I'm not entirely unfamiliar with his work, but still I'm not a follower of his branch of Buddhism.I downloaded this book from Audible several years ago, and listened to it through in bits and pieces several times while commuting. There were passages I wanted to linger over, so I bought the hardback. It sat on my shelf unread for quite some time, until I finally picked it up about a week ago and read it through in a short series of evening sessions.I find this book to be extremely useful. In it, the Dalai Lama talks about two different types of meditation:1) Calm Abiding2) Special InsightCalm abiding meditation usually involves some form of single pointed concentration, and in my experience can lead to the pleasant or - on rare occasions - the blissful experiences that dominate popular perceptions of meditation. The second type of meditation I think of as Insight meditation. It is often associated with the goal of attaining wisdom. The Diamond Sutra, and many branches of Buddhism, emphasize that wisdom involves compassion, selflessness, and learning to treat this "fleeting world" as "a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream." Finding the right words to help westerners understand Buddhist wisdom is one of the books strengths.Many schools of meditation present you with the option of choosing either special insight or calm abiding. In this book, and in others of his that I have read, the Dalai Lama insists that both techniques are essential for those who want to make spiritual progress. In this book the Dalai Lama gets quite specific about what is involved in each form of meditation, and provides numerous techniques that practitioners of meditation can use to enhance their practice. For instance, I found his discussion of the antidotes to torpor or over-excitement to be particularly useful.I'll echo what others have said about this book not being a good text for beginners. It is not particularly difficult to understand, but it is unlikely that most practitioners will have the practical background in meditation necessary to understand the significance of some of the points made by the Dalai Lama in this text.I disagree, however, with those who find the book dry. The Dalai Lama was trained from early childhood in the arcana of Buddhist thought, and his discussions of this topic are often detailed and highly technical. In this text, however, he is less rigid, and delves immediately and continuously into the most telling and important points in Buddhist thought. If this book finds the right audience, as it did with me, it becomes something of a page turner. I found myself thinking about this book often during the day, and looking forward to immersing myself in its beauty when I finally had free time in the evening. It is a little disappointing to know that I have finished reading it. This book is aimed at those who already have the basic knowledge of Buddhism. Those who wish to know the basic of Buddhism should pick up What Buddhists Believe by K. Sri Dhammananda. Stages of Meditation is about the practice of the Madhyamika school of Buddhism. Though a follower of the Theravada school, I greatly enjoy the teaching expounded in this text. The language is precise and to the point. Hence it could be a little dry and challenging to novice readers. Each school of Buddhism explains the core B

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