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Wisdom Wide and Deep: a practical handbook for mastering jhana and vipassana
Wisdom Wide and Deep is a comprehensive guide to an in-depth training that emphasizes the application of concentrated attention (jhana) to profound and liberating insight(vipassana). With calm, tranquility, and composure established through a practical experience of jhana meditators are able to halt the seemingly endless battle against hindrances, eliminate distraction, and facilitate a penetrative insight into the subtle nature of matter and mind. It was for this reason the Buddha frequently exhorted his students, Wisdom Wide and Deep follows and amplifies the teachings in Shaila Catherine’s acclaimed first book, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity. Readers will learn to develop this profound stability, sustain an in-depth examination of the nuances of mind and matter, and ultimately unravel deeply conditioned patterns that perpetuate suffering. This fully detailed manual for the mind sure to become a trusted companion to many inner explorers.
"All of us in our lives need to find the ways to cultivate a mind which is a friend—calm, clear, insightful and pervaded with kindness. In this book Shaila Catherine has outlined an ancient way to train the mind in stillness and wise attention. This book can be a guide for cultivating the inner calm we long for."
—Christina Feldman, author of Compassion: Listening to the Cries of the World
"Wisdom Wide and Deep is a clear and comprehensive account of a path of meditation leading to profound levels of concentration and insight. Based primarily on the teachings of the Burmese master Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, it also includes a helpful collection of references from classical Theravadan sources. Shaila Catherine has clearly done her meditative homework and here she shares it with us in a systematic way that is easy to understand. This is a valuable work as both a practice guide and a reference manual for this tradition."
—Guy Armstrong, teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center
"The major doorway into Buddhist practices continues to be meditation. The West relies upon teachers, centers and retreats to replace the monastic forms of the East. Stress, tension and anxiety haunts many people’s lives. Others may be blessed with emotional health yet feel there is much more depth to life than being a well adjusted person. Shaila’s new book converts theory to practice, ideas to application, knowledge about meditation to direct experience. She has written a manual in clear, practical language. The West needs such manuals, as well as the benefits of Dharma teachers and regular retreats. This is the form that is taking root in the West. The strength of Shaila’s new book, and an excellent follow up to her previous book, Focused and Fearless, is the attention she gives to detail in terms of exploring various depths of calmness and inner absorption, as well uncovering insights."
— Christopher Titmuss, author of Mindfulness for Everyday Living
"Shaila's book, Wisdom Wide and Deep is far more than just a handbook—it is an in-depth, piece-by-piece examination of many of the specific teachings of jhana and insight. It is book that you will study, as opposed to sit down and read through. It is reference book that you will use over and over again. The strong substantive nature of the book is an accurate reflection of Shaila's own dedication to the dharma and her intense study of the Pali teachings. If you are interested in dharma study, then Shaila's book belongs in your library."
—Phillip Moffitt, author of Dancing With Life In Wisdom Wide and Deep,
"Shaila Catherine has laid out a path of practice from the simplest beginnings to the profound and subtle insights available through jhanic absorption and systematic investigation. Her writing is beautifully lucid, making accessible the inner depths of the Buddha's teachings. This book is a powerful inspiration both for those who would like a glimpse of what's possible and for those intrepid explorers of the mind who want to bring these teachings to fulfillment. Highly recommended."
—Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace and One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism
"This meditation manual is a first for the West and will surely become a classic and a support for generations of practitioners. Catherine has managed a difficult feat—to be simultaneously encyclopedic and charming. Her extraordinary clarity and step-by-step approach will embolden some readers to attain jhanic absorption, while others will simply gain useful insights into mind-body processes."
—Kate Wheeler, editor of In This Very Life: Liberation Teachings of the Buddha
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shaila Catherine has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has taught since 1996 in the USA, 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 been practicing under the guidance of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw since 2006, and 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.