The Experience of Samadhi: An In-Depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation, by Richard Shankman

shankman-experience-samadhiThe first half of Richard Shankman’s valuable book The Experience of Samadhi lays out the main concepts and controversies surrounding samadhi and the jhanas with admirable clarity and concision.

The second half of the book is a series of eight revealing and sometimes entertaining interviews with contemporary teachers—Jack Kornfield, Ajaan Thānissaro, Sharon Salzberg, Bhante Gunaratana, Christina Feldman, Leigh Brasington, Ajahn Brahmavamso, and Pa Auk Sayadaw—on their understandings of the nature and use(s) of jhana.

A “lay of the land” book, and a very good one.

Shankman, Richard. The Experience of Samadhi: An In-Depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation. Boston: Shambhala, 2008. 240 pages.