Buddhist meditation is usually taught as a set of techniques. Focus all your awareness on your breath. Feel the sensations in your body. And yet one cannot help but wonder: why do we not find these instructions in the Pali Suttas?
Instead of doing what the teachers recommend, what if we were to ask the following question: What are the underlying assumptions that are required in order for these meditation instructions to be intelligible? With this question we enter the domain of phenomenology. Enquiring in this way, it becomes clear that the Buddha’s teachings have been ‘naturalized’, hijacked by and incorporated within the modern scientific worldview that today reigns supreme. Furthermore, it becomes apparent how dangerous these assumptions are, for they obscure the fact that the Dhamma is entirely concerned with our understanding of things.
By (1) providing a close analysis of the Pāli Suttas and (2) adopting a phenomenological attitude and articulating this as explicitly as possible, drawing on the writings of influential phenomenological thinkers such as Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, this collection of essays gives priority to these two conditions for the arising of right view. Only with the right understanding can there be anything that deserves to be called ‘Buddhist meditation’.
The author, Bhikkhu Akiñcano (Nick Dwyer), entered the bhikkhusaṅgha in 2014 in England, in the lineage of Venerable Ajahn Chah of the Thai Forest tradition. His upajjhāya is Venerable Chao Khun Phra Videsabuddhiguṇa (Ajahn Amaro). He now lives in Sri Lanka.
You can order the book at Path Press Publications.
Just a quick update on the new kuti building that has been progressing well. After this last stage of roof installation is finished, there will be a need for a small toilet to be made and general tidying up of the area. Much merit to all who contributed. Anumodana.
Hillside Hermitage, a small forest vihara, is located in the western foothills of the Knuckles mountain range of central Sri Lanka, in the vicinity of the small village of Bombarella. Established in 2014 by Bhikkhu Ninoslav Nyanamoli, a longtime associate and friend of Path Press (and the author of Meanings, a book of essays and letters on Dhamma published by Path Press Publications, the hermitage consists of a few small kutis – dwellings for bhikkhus – on a forested and rocky hillside above the scattered tea plantations and green valleys of the surrounding countryside. Life there is, by design, simple – even primitive – and though physically challenging it is entirely conducive to the cultivation of solitude and reflection as prescribed by the Buddha. As such the hermitage provides a setting for a life of renunciation, and the intimate contact with nature so supportive of the investigation of Dhamma in the most personal and direct way possible.
Four monks currently reside at Hillside, and as a place where Ven. Nyanavira’s approach to the Buddha’s Teaching is respected it has attracted the interest of other bhikkhus who wish to train and learn there.
Consequently, there is a need for the construction of a new kuti at the hermitage, and to further this end Path Press is pleased to coordinate support for this worthy project. We do so in commemoration of the Ven. Nyanavira Thera (on 6th January 2020 would be his 100th birthday), and in recognition of his importance to many people, both monastic and lay, in gaining useful access to the Buddha’s Teaching. And we further invite those who are appreciative of Ven. Nyanavira’s writings to participate in this effort as well, by making a donation.
Contributions can be made via this PayPal page or by Bank tranasfer (for the details please write to us), and any assistance offered will, of course, be greatly appreciated. (Approximately 1200 EUR is required, and 100 percent of donated funds will go to the hermitage for construction of of the kuti. When making a donation we ask that you please note in the donation form that the funds are to be used for this purpose.)
More information about Hillside Hermitage, its history and purpose, as well as essays on Dhamma and video teachings by Ven. Nyanamoli Thero, can be found here hillsidehermitage.org.
Path Press Committee
Through generous donations it is possible to make this book available for €5,- plus actual shipping costs (incl. Track-&-trace) only!
€5 + €8 (postage & packing) = €13,-
Other European countries:
€5 + €15 (postage & packing) = €20,-
Rest of the world:
€5 + €25 (postage & packing) = €30,-
If you want to receive a copy of Meanings send an e-mail with your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive an invoice with the correct shippings costs (postage & packing) and instructions for payment. After we received your payment we’ll send you the book.
Biography of Ven. Ñāṇavīra Thera written by Ven. Hiriko.
New Series of Talks on Ven. Nanavira Thera’s “Notes on Dhamma” will be posted on YouTube at the link below. Bhante Nanamoli is clarifying each individual Note and responding to the questions related to it. This means we can expect one video per Note. Later there might be more recordings in response to further requests for clarification, if so happens.
Notes on Dhamma: http://www.nanavira.org/notes-on-dhamma
Hillside Hermitage: http://www.hillsidehermitage.org/