Mindfulness Meditation from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
My favorite teacher of Mindfulness Meditation, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, does not have his photograph on any of his many books, and they are distributed free of charge. Thanissaro Bhikkhu is also know as Thanajan, or Ajaan Geoff. He is a Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest tradition, and I find him to be the most intellectually satisfying and clear concise teacher of Buddhist meditation from the Theravada tradition. Theravada Buddhism is also called Southern Buddhism, and it relies upon the earliest texts of Buddhism, which are in the Pali language, and the tradition of the Sangha or order of monks established by the Buddha. It is Buddhist meditation in its purest form which is the basis of all the other forms of meditation in the later versions of Buddhism that flourished in the North from Tibet to China to Japan, etc.
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.
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.
Some 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.
And here is a book Keeping the Breath in Mind by the teacher of Ajaan Geoff’s teacher, Ajaan Lee (Ajaan is the honorific in Thai for a Buddhist Monk), that is an excellent intro to Breath Meditation, the basis for Mindfulness
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.
A book I have found very useful early in my Mindfulness practice was Insight Meditation, by a very good lay teacher of what I believe is Burmese style Buddhist meditation in the Theravada tradition.
And for those anxious to learn “Mindfullness Meditation” but would prefer to learn in a context devoid of any explicit Buddhist origins, in a very clearly written text that anyone could approach, regardless of their religious ideology, I recommend
While this book is written specifically with people suffering from anxiety and phobia disorders, frankly, it applies to everyone. I have distributed hundreds of copies of this book to my patients, with and without anxiety disorders, because the author does such a good job elucidating the techniques of mindfulness, body scanning, choiceless awareness, and intentional practice of unconditional goodwill. Who does not deal with fear and anger? Its part of how our nervous systems work, the fight or flight response. I cannot speak ore 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.