In the words of the Buddha, the four foundations of mindfulness (the four satipatthanas) are "the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha (suffering) and discontent, for acquiring the true method, for the realization of Nibbana." Within the quintessential discourse called the Satipatthana Sutta, we find the Buddha's seminal teachings about the practice of meditation.
On Abiding in Mindfulness, Volume I: The Body, esteemed teacher and author Joseph Goldstein presents an audio curriculum to reveal the deeper insights of this vital sutta - and how it serves to inform and guide your own daily practice.
Goldstein sets the stage for your journey through the sutta by clarifying the Buddha's initial declaration of the "direct path" to awakening that is its promise. Through the wisdom of Buddhist masters of ancient and modern times and the expertise of his own 40-year study and practice, he shares the subtle nuances of each key term derived from the original Pali. Where do you find the ardency to sustain and balance your efforts along the path? How do you cultivate the breadth of mindfulness that makes any spiritual undertaking possible? What strengthens your perception of impermanence - both internally and externally?
With Goldstein's lucid instruction, you will discover a wellspring of profound revelations to revitalize and mature your practice, and help you bring forth its fruits in every area of your life.
Explore the four abidings of mindfulness, or qualities of mind, as the direct path for awakening
Observe the three kinds of cravings and desires, and how they manifest
Analyze how mindfulness of the body is the first foundation of mindfulness as taught by the Buddha
Discuss the ways of clearly knowing and the four basic qualities of matter in relationship to the relative (objective or conceptual) and the ultimate (subjective or direct) levels of experience or truth
On Abiding in Mindfulness, Volume I: The Body, Goldstein introduces you to the first satipatthana, the domain of the body. Here, you will learn the cornerstone techniques for successful meditation practice, as taught by the Buddha himself.
From appropriate places and postures for practice to clear comprehension of all aspects of the body to the elements and energies that make up our physical form, Goldstein brings you to the threshold of the "ultimate truth" of our bodies.
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Not for beginners
This is a review of the three "books" in this trilogy by J. Goldstein. What you have is a set of more then 40 lectures that take you step by step through the Satipatthana Sutta. Some focused lectures, analyze just a few words. Each lecture is 45-60 minutes long, and the audience for these lectures are students of meditation (mostly Vipassana meditation I think), some taking 7 day retreats and some 90 days. The material is at times very personal and advanced, and seems intended for students that have practiced at least 1-4 years. These lectures occurred over 3-4 years, and there is a mild amount of repetition of stories and examples in them. I did not find this repetition straining, as I listened to these lectures over a slow 4-6 month period and have revisited them. If you do not already have some experience in meditation, and practice, then much of what the lectures are about may not make sense to you. These lectures do not seem to me a place to start your study, but a place to deepen it. So if you are a beginner, put these three "book" in your wish list. Then take a class and practice for 1-4 years. A better book for beginners might be "the art of living" by W. Hart or any of the books by Pema Chodron. I am profoundly thankful the author and the group of students that made this amazing trilogy possible.
I have nothing but positive things to say except..
- Jason "I've been an Audible junkie from way before it was cool."