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  1.  3
    Nimitta and Visual Methods in Siamese and Lao Meditation Traditions From the 17th Century to the Present Day.Phibul Choompolpaisal - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):152-183.
    ABSTRACTThis article focuses on a range of meditation practices in Siam and Laos from the early sixteenth century to the present, using primarily published materials from the early twentieth century, especially a survey of traditional or boran meditation published in 1936 by the Thammayut monk Phramahachoti Jai Yasothararat. The works he compiled stem from high-ranking Lao and Siamese clerics including three Supreme Patriarchs: Sivisuddhisom, Suk and Don. All are examples of what might be called the boran kammatthan, i.e. a traditional (...)
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  2.  6
    Abhidhamma and Nimitta in Eighteenth-Century Meditation Manuscripts From Sri Lanka: A Consideration of Orthodoxy and Heteropraxy in Boran Kammaṭṭhāna.Kate Crosby - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):111-151.
    ABSTRACTThe Nevill Collection of manuscripts from Sri Lanka housed in the British Library includes seventeen texts, in eleven manuscripts, related to a type of Theravada Buddhist meditation referred to here as boran kammaṭṭhāna, ‘the old meditation method.’ This article offers the first detailed survey of these texts and finds a close correlation between the practices they advocate and commentarial Abhidhamma, a surprising finding given the modern reputation of these practices as heteroprax. It is less surprising when we observe that the (...)
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  3.  6
    Buddhist Meditation and the British Colonial Gaze in Nineteenth-Century Sri Lanka.Elizabeth J. Harris - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):200-222.
    ABSTRACTThis paper argues that the multiple orientalist expressions that flowed from British pens in nineteenth century Sri Lanka are of use to the scholar of Buddhism, in that they can not only shed light on the growth of Buddhist modernism and the use of the term ‘meditation’ within it, but also on Sri Lankan Buddhist practice on the ground. It first surveys the preconceptions of the British about the concept of ‘meditation’. It then examines the writings of a representative selection (...)
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  4.  9
    Anagarika Dharmapala’s Meditation.Steven Kemper - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):223-246.
    ABSTRACTDharmapala was the son of a pious Buddhist family, although educated in missionary schools where he acquired knowledge of English and Christian scripture. English gave him access to Western scholarship on Buddhism and made him a useful member of the Theosophical Society, which arrived in Sri Lanka in 1880. Wanting to be a religious worker, Dharmapala served as Colonel Olcott’s translator, and he soon came to be influenced by Madame Blavatsky’s highly imagined interpretation of Buddhism. The upshot was that Dharmapala’s (...)
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  5.  5
    Traditional and Modern Meditation Practices in Shan Buddhist Communities.Jotika Khur-Yearn - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):314-345.
    ABSTRACTThis article explores how meditation is inculcated throughout the life of Shan Buddhists using poetic phrasing and texts, culminating in several forms of meditation as part of the practice of temple-sleeping undertaken by lay Buddhist seniors from the age of 40 upwards. I look at how the poetic texts, lik loung, that form the basis of temple-sleeping practice, may have shifted in content in the 19th to 20th centuries to focus on meditation topics, in a move parallel to the development (...)
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  6.  3
    A Comparison of the Lists and Categorisation of Meditation Practices (KammaṬṬhĀna) in the Visuddhimagga and *Vimuttimagga.Kyungrae Kim - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):73-94.
    ABSTRACTThis article examines the term kammaṭṭhāna discussed in the Visuddhimagga and the Jiĕ tuō dào lùn or *Vimuttimagga. Although these two texts provide similar lists and expositions for the kammaṭṭhāna, the Visuddhimagga also offers different views and criticisms. The first noticeable difference is in the 10 kasiṇas, which differ in relation to the last two kasiṇas. Furthermore, the Visuddhimagga systematises its own discussion by simplifying or specifying that of the Jiĕ tuō dào lùn and raises some criticisms of views found (...)
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  7.  8
    Variations in the Contemplation of the Repulsiveness of Food, Āhārepatikūlasaññā: Canonical, Theravāda, Sarvāstivāda and Mahāyāna Forms.Man-Shik Kong - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):95-110.
    ABSTRACTThis article explores the changing treatment of a meditation practice, the contemplation of the repulsiveness of food, āhārepaṭikūlasaññā, from its presence in lists of saññā in canonical texts to its detailed explanation in post-canonical texts of the first millennium CE. We observe two main developments: the limitation in the benefits attributed to the practice within commentarial-period Theravada, and two entirely divergent branches in the way the practice is treated. In the Visuddhimagga of Theravada Buddhism, we see a somewhat practical approach (...)
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  8.  7
    The Sound of the Breath: Sunlun and Theinngu Meditation Traditions of Myanmar.Pyi Phyo Kyaw - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):247-291.
    ABSTRACTThis article explores the popular Sunlun and Theinngu meditation traditions in Myanmar. The founders, Sunlun Sayadaw Ven. U Kavi and Theinngu Sayadaw Ven. U Ukkaṭṭha, both led a lay life until in their mid-40s and only then took up meditation, going on to become highly respected meditation teachers. Their meditation techniques are similarly distinctive in employing rapid, strong and rhythmic breathing. They combined this with the contemplation of the intense, usually unpleasant, bodily sensations that are thus induced. I document their (...)
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  9.  9
    Tradition and Experimentation: The Development of the Samatha Trust.Sarah Shaw - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):346-371.
    ABSTRACTTheravāda Buddhism has travelled. This article gives some history of the practice of samatha breathing mindfulness, in the Theravāda tradition, in the UK. It first gives some background in Britain to the arrival of the meditation in the 1960s, then summarises the life of Nai Boonman Poonyathiro, who introduced this method into the UK, a story that is not generally known. The paper describes some aspects of the development of the Samatha Trust in the UK, attempting to show ways a (...)
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  10.  4
    Meditation and its Subjects: Tracing Kammaṭṭhāna From the Early Canon to the Boran Kammathan Traditions of Southeast Asia.Andrew Skilton - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):36-72.
    ABSTRACTThis article examines the term kammaṭṭhāna in three contexts. It begins by looking at the rare usage in the Pali canon where it denotes secular work, but is extended to include the work of the ascetic. It then looks at its usage in the commentarial period to denote the meditation subjects for samatha meditation, and where extensions of this to include vipassanā also occur. Finally, the article looks at kammaṭṭhāna in early modern Southeast Asia in the context of a variety (...)
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  11.  4
    Terms of Engagement: Text, Technique and Experience in Scholarship on Theravada Meditation.Andrew Skilton, Kate Crosby & Pyi Phyo Kyaw - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):1-35.
    ABSTRACTThis article examines the term kammaṭṭhāna in three contexts. It begins by looking at the rare usage in the Pali canon where it denotes secular work, but is extended to include the work of the ascetic. It then looks at its usage in the commentarial period to denote the meditation subjects for samatha meditation, and where extensions of this to include vipassanā also occur. Finally, the article looks at kammaṭṭhāna in early modern Southeast Asia in the context of a variety (...)
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  12.  2
    Afterword – Ways Forward.Andrew Skilton, Pyi Phyo Kyaw & Kate Crosby - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):372-377.
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  13.  5
    The City of Nibbāna in Thai Picture Books of the Three Worlds.Barend Jan Terwiel - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):184-199.
    ABSTRACTThroughout its long history, Buddhist meditation has been a lasting source of happiness, and its ultimate goal has been the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion and delusion have been finally extinguished. This state is called in Pali nibbāna, the place of perfect peace and happiness. In his classical book on Thai painting, Jean Boisselier confidently states: ‘Artists are of course unable to depict any aspect of nibbāna, since that world is by nature without form’. This (...)
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  14.  2
    Meditation in Tai Nuea Lay Buddhist Practice.David Wharton - 2019 - Contemporary Buddhism 20 (1-2):292-313.
    ABSTRACTThe Tai Nuea ethnolinguistic group is found on the periphery of Theravāda Buddhist influence in parts of southwestern China, northern Myanmar, and in small communities in northwestern Laos. Their relative isolation from mainstream reform movements indicates that they may have much to contribute to the understanding of pre-modern local, and especially lay, Buddhist practices in mainland Southeast Asia. This article focuses on weekly days of lay practice during the annual rainy season retreat in a Tai Nuea village in Mueang Sing, (...)
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