Monday, 27 April 2009

The Meditator's Atlas - Review

Continuing our occasional series of reviews on books either borrowed from our library by Sangha members or new acquisitions I recently read "The Meditator's Atlas", a roadmap of the inner world by Matthew Flickstein.
Rather than being just another how to do meditation book it is a very accessible commentary on the Visudhimagga, the Path of Purification. The Visudhimagga is itself a detailed commentary on the Buddha's teachings and was written in the fifth century by the Sri Lankan monk, Buddhaghosa.

Flickstein's book is definitely not for beginners but, that said, it is a comfortable journey deeper into the Dharma. A particular joy is the exposition of some of the seemingly endless lists that we encounter in Buddhism and an explanation of how they variously integrate and combine. It is also nicely balanced between an understandable distilation of the sometimes complex concepts contained in the Visudhimagga and some "hands on" practices and contemplations.

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