Windhorse Publications

The new revised edition of Jinananda’s 'Meditating' is now available!

On Tue, 17 July, 2012 - 15:56
Priyananda's picture
We are very happy to announce the release of the new revised edition of Jinananda’s Meditating. Originally published in 2000, the book concentrates on two Buddhist meditation practices that develop clarity, peace of mind and positive emotions. In his new book, Jinananda has made some major revisions to the 2000 edition, so we spoke to the author to find out about these changes.

‘Recently in my meditation teaching, I’ve been getting the sense that a lot of people find meditation quite difficult,’ Jinananda told us. ‘So in this new edition I really wanted to emphasize that meditation isn’t about getting into a particular meditative state but simply about taking an interest in our own experience. That’s something anyone can do, and something that is really useful and effective at whatever level you approach it.’

This introduces us to the particular approach to meditation which runs through Jinananda’s book – ‘Meditation is about being true to your experience, and this means getting behind the idea of what is going on, behind the label, to the ungraspable experience of this moment.’ As a result meditation is not always going to be easy. Another feature of Jinananda’s new book is his insistence that meditation is not a ‘safe, patching-up therapeutic tool’ but ‘a radical, transformative, waking-up practice.’

So is the idea that meditation helps us relax and de-stress a misconception? ‘I think it’s a misconception to think that every time we sit down to meditate we’re going to achieve very relaxed meditative states,’ Jinananda explained. ‘We will inevitably come across some difficult, contradictory aspects of our nature in meditation, and actually confronting them will probably be quite a psychically stressful process. In the long-term, meditation does clearly have a positive effect in enabling us to be more relaxed about life in general, but I think there’s a subtle distinction to make here because meditation doesn’t get rid of stress, rather it changes you into a different person who can deal with it.’

Meditating is part of Windhorse Publications’ A Buddhist View series, and Jinananda told us that he was happy that his book was included in this series because it meant he could make it clear that ‘Buddhist teachings are inextricably linked to the practicalities of meditation – meditation works in the context of these teachings, it’s not a self-contained practice that you can pick out and isolate from that context.’

So what is it that Buddhism offers in particular? Jinananda clarified that ‘The Buddhist position is one that challenges our fixed views of the world – it consistently encourages us to experience the reality behind those views and this is what meditation is also all about. So Buddhism and meditation are deeply connected.’

Meditating: A Buddhist View is available to purchase at your local Triratna bookshop and from our website.

You can read the preface and introduction of Meditating for free here, and the extended version of our interview with Jinananda, on our blog.
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