I am pleased to share an important new release in SEAsian Buddhist Studies:
1. Esoteric Theravada: The Story of the Forgotten Meditation Tradition of Southeast Asia
by Kate Crosby (King's College, London)
I am going to share one of the endorsements as I think it best conveys how truly groundbreaking scholars interested in the subject or region will likely find this work:
"This book is one of the most important works on the history of Southeast Asian and Southern Buddhist meditation for decades. It shows how a whole tradition of practice, meditation, and mindfulness was lost—almost—in the wave of interest in Buddhism for its 'scientific' and rational elements over the last hundred and fifty years. The Borān Kamaṭṭhāna is the living meditative tradition of Cambodia and Thailand. Until only a few decades ago, it was taught throughout these regions. Crosby’s book shows how this expressive, embodied system of samatha/vipassanā meditation constitutes the oldest documented lineage of Buddhist practice in South and Southeast Asia. Belittled by modernist impulses, the system offers a complete path of spiritual development that works on principles found in South and Southeast Asian generative grammar, medicine, yantra, and the Abhidhamma. This account of how Borān Kamaṭṭhāna originated as an enactment of Asian generative systems is brilliant, concise, and revelatory. Borān Kamaṭṭhāna is scientific, but in ways steeped in highly sophisticated ancient models of grammar and medicine colonialists did not understand. Reformist agendas, still active today, undermined its rich meditative line: Crosby’s work is essential reading for anyone interested in a true picture of traditional Buddhist practice in these regions. Esoteric Theravada rewrites the recent history of Southern Buddhist meditation."
—Sarah Shaw, author of Mindfulness: Where It Comes From and What It Means
There are many more recent releases on our website, http://shmb.la/buddhism, as well.
Desk and Exam copies can be requested from our worldwide distributor, Penguin Random House at http://shmb.la/desk-exam.
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