Thanissero Bhikkhu, Buddhist Monk in the Thai Forest Tradition
My favorite teacher of Mindfulness Meditation, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, does not have his photograph on any of his books, and they are distributed free of charge. And I like that.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu is also know as Thanajan, or Ajaan Geoff. Thanajan is a Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest tradition. Thai Buddhism, like Sri Lankan and Burmese, are branches in the trees of Theravada Buddhism, said to be the oldest version of the philosophy.
I find Thanissaro to be the most concise and intellectually satisfying teacher of Buddhist meditation from the Theravada tradition. Theravada Buddhism is also called Southern Buddhism. It relies on the earliest texts of Buddhism, and the tradition of the order of monks established by the Buddha.
The meditation practices taught by Thanissero Bhikkhu are Buddhist meditation in its purest form.
It’s this meditation practice which spread over time and was combined with indigenous shamanistic religions in the later versions of Buddhism that flourish in Tibet, Nepal, Sikkhim, Bhutan, China, Korea, and Japan.
Wat Metta: Metta Monastery in San Diego County
Here is a great link to the website of the Metta Monastery, where Thanajan resides, her in San Diego, full of free materials on How to Meditate, or how to practice Mindfulness of the In and Out Breath, which is the basis of all Buddhist meditation.
Meditation Lessons from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Here is a link to some more meditation lessons from Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
With Each and Every Breath which is a fantastic explanation of how to get your Mindfulness practice going.
Guided Meditations To Get You Going
And here are links to various guided mindfulness meditation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, including the wonderful practice of Metta meditation, which softens the heart, creates empathy, and is a practical method for truly “letting go” of grudges, hatred, and ill will, including the desire for revenge that most people experience even as children.
Keeping the Breath in Mind by the teacher of Ajaan Geoff’s teacher, Ajaan Lee that is an excellent intro to Breath Meditation, the basis for Mindfulness
What Is Theravada Buddhism?
Another valuable link for the intellectually and spiritually inquisitive who want to know more about what is the Theravada tradition of Buddhism.
There are other resources for learning Mindfulness meditation and beginning to understand the overarching philosophy that it is based in.
Mindfulness, or Insight Meditation
One of the first books I ever read on Mindfulness practice was Insight Meditation .
Insight Meditation is written by Joseph Goldstein, a very good lay teacher of a Burmese style Buddhist meditation in the Theravada tradition. He is also associated with the lay teachers who founded a place called Spirit Rock in Northern California
Mindfulness for Anxiety Disorders and Anxiousness
While Mindfulness as a practice is rooted in Theravada Buddhist religious philosophy, you can learn it in a completly secular way. In fact, Buddhism does not believer in a creator god, and does not worship Gods, or the Buddha, either…
If you would like to learn “Mindfullness Meditation” but would prefer a context devoid of any explicit Buddhist theology, then I recommend
While this book, written by an M.D. Mindfulness practitioner, is written specifically with people suffering from anxiety and phobia disorders in mind, its a wonderful book for everyone.
I have distributed hundreds of copies of this book to my patients, because the author does such a good job elucidating the techniques of
- body scanning
- choiceless awareness
- and the intentional practice of unconditional goodwill, or Metta, in Buddhism
Who does not deal with fear and anger? Its part of how our nervous systems work, the fight or flight response.
I cannot speak more highly of this book. I have a patient who is an evangelical Christian preacher. She uses this book and even preached from it to her congregation as containing methods to become more “Christ-like.” Wow.
May you be happy, healthy and safe.