Meditations of the Pali Tradition
By L. S. Cousins
Edited by Sarah Shaw
A groundbreaking and detailed presentation of the systems of meditation that have come to us through the Pali tradition of Buddhism.
The meditation practices associated with modern Theravāda Buddhism derive from a lineage that dates to the time of the Buddha himself, yet the development and transmission of these practices across centuries is varied and not widely understood. Drawing on a lifetime of research, scholar L. S. Cousins untangles the complex history. With authoritative explication of a range of Buddhist texts preserved primarily in the Pali language—canonical discourses, commentarial treatises, and rare meditation manuals—Cousins explores a multiplicity of meditation practices that have developed over the past two and a half millennia, from the jhāna (absorption) and vipassanā (insight) methods that constitute the core of modern Theravāda practice to lesser-known, esoteric practice lineages of Central and Southeast Asia that were nearly lost to history.