Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book

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Karnac Books, 2008 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 406 pages
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The very idea that the teachings can be mastered will arouse controversy within Buddhist circles. Even so, Ingram insists that enlightenment is an attainable goal, once our fanciful notions of it are stripped away, and we have learned to use meditation as a method for examining reality rather than an opportunity to wallow in self-absorbed mind-noise. Ingram sets out concisely the difference between concentration-based and insight (vipassana) meditation; he provides example practices; and most importantly he presents detailed maps of the states of mind we are likely to encounter, and the stages we must negotiate as we move through clearly-defined cycles of insight. Its easy to feel overawed, at first, by Ingram's assurance and ease in the higher levels of consciousness, but consistently he writes as a down-to-earth and compassionate guide, and to the practitioner willing to commit themselves this is a glittering gift of a book.

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One of the most practical dharma books on meditation practice available. Great stuff.


Foreword and Warning
Introduction to Part I
Concentration The Second Training
The Three Characteristics
Practical Meditation Considerations
Introduction to Parts II III
Content and Ultimate Reality a
A Clear Goal
The Concentration States Samatha Jhanas
Noself vs True Self
The Formless Realms
The Progress of Insight
The Vipassana Jhanas
How the Maps Help
The Three Doors
Beyond First Path What Next?

Harnessing the Energy of the Defilements
From Content to Insight
Concentration vs Insight
Models of the Stages of Enlightenment a
The Cessation of Perception and Feeling

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About the author (2008)

Daniel M. Ingram began entering into classical meditation territory as a teenager quite by accident and without knowing it crossed into territory that he would later call various names, including The Dark Night and the Knowledges of Suffering. He had no idea what had happened, but somehow knew that he had to find something. After being inspired by a good friend who got to the first stage of enlightenment after a retreat in centers in the Buddhist tradition, he began going on intensive insight meditation retreats in the US, India and Malaysia. By simply following the instructions he achieved the expected results, and has since become part of the global movement of meditation reform, a movement that seeks to preserve core meditation technology and supports, integrate helpful aspects from across traditions, refine the techniques and maps through exploration and verification, and spread the message that it can be done. It is also a movement to strip away the aspects of dogma, ritual,rigid hierarchy, myth and falsehood that hinder high-level practice and keep the culture of meditation mired in unhelpful taboos and misplaced effort. Dr. Ingram also has an MD, a Master's degree in Public Health, and a bachelor's degree in English literature. He practices in the U.S. as a board-certified emergency medicine physician. He hopes that those on the path will practice well, aim high and become accomplished practitioners who will help to train others to do the same.

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