The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English - Preface
There are several books on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Some of them are direct translations of the original pali discourse of the historical Buddha, some explain the sutta in great detail with commentaries and subcommentaries, some are rich scholarly treatises. And if you are interested in improving your theoretical knowledge of meditation, any of these books can be highly recommended.
When I teach meditationI I always try to make sure the listeners can receive the message easily and put it into practice even without a teacher around to consult; as always, my concern in this book is the actual practice, right here in our lives. And when I write, I strive to write everything in plain English.
Meditation is becoming very popular these days for many good reasons. Unfortunately, there are not enough accessible teachers to fully meet the demand of these burgeoning explorers. some would-be students read good meditation books, some attend meditation retreats, and some listen to many good talks on meditation. After reading books on meditation, listening to talks on meditation, and attending meditation retreats, quite a number of students of meditation write me at the Bhavana society with questions on matters they would like clarified. I thought of writing this book to answer some, not all, of the questions. Of course, nobody can write one book or series of books answering all the questions people ask! and what’s more, as people delve more deeply, their enthusiasm prompts them to ask more questions. The present book is my humble attempt to answer some of the questions related to meditation.
I sincerely thank Ajahn Sona, one of our students at the Bhavana Society, for his valuable help in getting this book started. I am grateful to Josh Bartok and Laura Cunningham at Wisdom Publications for making many valuable suggestions to complete this book and for shepherding it to completion, and to Brenda Rosen who contributed enormous time and effort to develop the manuscript.
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
High View, West Virginia
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© Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English (Wisdom Publications, 2012)
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