Use the unique Buddhist practice of meditation on perception, as taught by the best-selling author of Mindfulness in Plain English, to learn how shifting your perspective can transform mental and physical health.
Perception -- one of the basic constituents of the body and mind -- can be both a source of suffering and pain, as well as a source of happiness and health. The Buddhist tradition teaches that perception can be trained and ultimately purified through the practice of meditation. When we understand how perception impacts our lives, we can use it, just as we do any other object of meditation, to overcome harmful ways of thinking and acting and to develop healthy states of mind instead. In Meditation on Perception Bhante G brings us, for the first time in English, an illuminating introduction to the unique Buddhist practice of meditation on perception as taught in the popular Girimananda Sutta. The ten healing practices that comprise meditation on perception make up a comprehensive system of meditation, combining aspects of both tranquility and insight meditation. Tranquility meditation is used to calm and center the mind, and insight meditation is used to understand more clearly how we ordinarily perceive ourselves and the world around us. Alternating between these two practices, meditators cultivate purified perception as explained by the Buddha. As a result of these efforts, we progress on the path that leads to freedom, once and for all, from illness, confusion, and other forms of physical and mental suffering. Meditation on Perception gives us the keys to move beyond ordinary, superficial perception into an enlightened perspective, freed from confusion and unhappiness.
Bhante Gunaratana was ordained at the age of twelve as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, earned his PhD in philosophy from The American University, and has led meditation retreats, taught Buddhism, and lectured widely throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is the president of the Bhavana Society in High View, West Virginia, where he lives.
“Bhante Gunaratana offers us another clear and practical guide for meditation. This delightful book presents simple exercises that anyone can apply toward the profound investigation of perception. Beginning practitioners and seasoned meditators alike will appreciate this direct approach to liberating insight."
– Shaila Catherine, author of Wisdom Wide and Deep
"Yes, he did it again! Bhante G’s latest book on the power of perception delivers a profound teaching from the Buddha in clear, precise, everyday language. As with his previous In Plain English entries, he makes such teachings accessible without watering them down. This commentary will be of great practical value to all new and experienced meditating yogis."
– Larry Rosenberg, author of Three Steps to Awakening
"No one is more adept at teaching mindfulness meditation to Westerners than Bhante Gunaratana. Meditation on Perception expands upon his classic Mindfulness in Plain English, offering a series of meditations based on perception, each of which can be used to alleviate suffering and enhance happiness. The beauty of this book is that the practices he describes aren’t presented in a vacuum, but are tied to liberating insights from the Buddha’s teachings. Clear and concise, this book will be an invaluable resource for both beginning and experienced meditators."
– Toni Bernhard, author of How to Wake Up
"Bhante G’s great gift is his ability to conjure open the Pali suttas, cloaked as they are in seemingly impenetrable archaic language and concepts, to reveal the treasure trove within. In this slim volume Bhante has again done just that, opening up one of the key texts of Buddhist scripture for practical use with his lucid and insightful prose. The meditations in this little book, if applied as directed, enable the greatest healing of all—to be at peace with all things."
– Ajahn Amaro, abbot of the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery
"We are only freed from the vicissitudes of life when we see things as they really are, without perceptual distortions. In this little book on the Buddha’s teachings, Bhante Gunaratana has described with remarkable clarity a step-by-step guide to practicing ten profound meditations on perception. These healing and lucid meditations purify perception and lead directly to the end of suffering and the realization of true freedom."
– Matthew Flickstein, author of The Meditator’s Workbook