Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

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Overview

With this accesssible guide, meditators (and non-meditators) can understand how to attain extraordinary states with relative ease. Blended with contemporary examples and pragmatic "how to" instructions that anyone can try, Focused and Fearless provides a wealth of tools to cultivate non-distracted attention in daily life and on retreat. Shaila Catherine has a friendly, wise approach to the meditative states (jhanas) that lead to liberating insight.

Focused and Fearless is about ...

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Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

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Overview

With this accesssible guide, meditators (and non-meditators) can understand how to attain extraordinary states with relative ease. Blended with contemporary examples and pragmatic "how to" instructions that anyone can try, Focused and Fearless provides a wealth of tools to cultivate non-distracted attention in daily life and on retreat. Shaila Catherine has a friendly, wise approach to the meditative states (jhanas) that lead to liberating insight.

Focused and Fearless is about much more than merely meditation or concentration. It offers a complete path towards bliss, fearlessness, and true awakening.

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Editorial Reviews

Joseph Goldstein
"Focused and Fearless is a wonderful book. Shaila Catherine describes the paths of deep concentration and transforming insight in a way that both inspires and enriches our practice. Her prose and her understanding are exceptionally lucid. This book is a treat to read."
Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw
"Focused and Fearless is a beautifully written introduction to jhana meditation that demonstrates the importance and necessity of deep concentration."
Christopher Titmuss
"This is the best book on these practices I have seen. It's five-star."
Kate Wheeler
"The exercises are fun, plus they really work. I love this book."
Sylvia Boorstein
"The language here is so alluring thorough that readers will, I am certain, be inspired to redouble their zeal for practice."
Sharon Salzberg
"Shaila Catherine represents a new generation of Dharma practitioner in the West."
Inquiring Mind
"Developing a stable and undistracted mind is essential to most forms of meditation. This book will be of interest to anyone, regardless of their style of practice, wishing to incorporate the deeper stages of concentration of jhana into their meditation."
Mu Soeng
"Among the many how-to books about Buddhist meditation, this book stands out for its deep commitment to the frames of reference developed in the Pali Canon, specifically the role of concentration (both 'momentary concentration' in the insight path and the jhana path), and its relationship to insight. With these frames, Catherine is able to create exercises and steps that develop calm meditative states and lead to liberating insight. This book is both a pragmatic manual and a deeply traditional understanding of Buddhist meditation practice. It suggests itself as a helpful guide both to beginning and advanced students."
Amy Schmidt
"This is a 'user-friendly' concentration book. Through practical exercises and clear examples, Shaila makes the ancient wisdom of the jhanas accessible to all."
Diana Winston
"Rigorously investigated and lucidly explained, Shaila Catherine penetrates the mysterious world of jhana practice. Her book's strength lies in that she knows the territory intimately and teaches from her own experience. The author has deeply devoted her life to awakening through meditation, and her confidence and wisdom ring true throughout the whole book. This inspirational and fascinating manual will help many of the rest of us down this path."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861715602
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 693,013
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Shaila Catherine has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has taught insight meditation since 1996 in the U.S. and internationally. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one-year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity. Shaila Catherine has practiced under the guidance of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw since 2006; she authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana to help make this traditional approach to meditative training accessible to Western practitioners. She is the founder of Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley. Lectures, articles, and additional resources can be found atwww.imsb.org.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     VII
Introduction: From Focused Concentration to Fearless Awakening     XI
The Joy of the Focused Mind     1
Cultivating the Focused Mind     3
Joy of Seclusion     13
Happiness     23
Equanimity     35
Preparing the Mind for Absorption     43
The Wisdom of Letting Go     45
Dynamics of Emotion     57
Effort, Ease, and Intention     69
Calming the Restless Mind     81
How to Establish Meditative Absorption     93
Happiness and the Five Factors of Absorption     95
Access to Absorption: At the Threshold of Peace     111
Fearless Abidings-The First Jhana     121
Drenched in Delight-The Second Jhana     133
Absorbed in Joy-The Third Jhana     139
Radiant Calm-The Fourth Jhana     145
How Deep Is Deep Enough?     153
Summary of Meditation Instructions     163
Doing the Work of Insight     167
Three Doorways to Insight     169
A New Way of Seeing     181
Experiencing the Formless Dimensions     191
Without Boundaries: Exploring the Infinite     193
RealizingEmptiness     211
Epilogue: Fearless and Awake     225
Notes     231
Bibliography     241
Index     243
About the Author     259
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2013

    I have meditated for years. This is, hands-down, the best medit

    I have meditated for years. This is, hands-down, the best meditation guide I've read, especially for people who aren't familiar with Buddhism. The author writes with great humor, clarity, and understanding of the subject matter. Until I discovered this book, I didn't believe it was possible to attain the same level of freedom as the Buddha taught was possible to his followers.

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    Posted April 14, 2013

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