Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wisdom Wide and Deep: Jhana and Insight

Shaila Catherine (, Wisdom Quarterly

Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana
Wisdom Wide and Deep is an extended introduction to an in-depth training. It emphasizes the application of concentrated attention to profound and liberating insight.

With calm, tranquility, and composure -- established through a practical experience of deep concentration (jhana) -- meditators are able to halt the seemingly endless battle against meditation hindrances, eliminate distraction, and facilitate a penetrative insight into the subtle nature of matter and mind.

It was for this reason that the Buddha frequently exhorted his students, "Develop concentration, for one who is concentrated understands things as they really are."

Wisdom Wide and Deep follows and amplifies the teachings in Shaila Catherine’s first book, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity.

Readers 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 is a practical guide, a fully detailed manual for dealing with the mind. It is sure to become a trusted companion for inner-explorers.

  • Wisdom Quarterly can say without reservation that Shaila Catherine is an extraordinary teacher of the highest order, a consummate practitioner of the Buddha's instructions, and a rare treasure in the world. Her two books set right teachings that had long been upset. She has benefited tremendously by practicing under one of the world's greatest living Buddhist scholar-practitioners, the most venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw. We are not alone in our praise:

Praise from Buddhist authors and teachers

This is a handbook that respects both the ancient tradition and the needs of contemporary lay practitioners, without compromising either. Shaila Catherine presents the Buddha's teaching by blending scriptural references, personal examples, and timeless stories with detailed meditation instructions. More

Pa Auk Sayadaw, author of The Workings of Kamma

In Wisdom Wide and Deep, Shaila Catherine has laid out a path of practice from the simplest beginnings to profound and subtle insights. 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..." More

Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace and One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism

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. It is an excellent follow up to her previous book, Focused and Fearless. The strength of Shaila’s new book is... More

Christopher Titmuss, author of Light on Enlightenment and An Awakened Life

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... More

Phillip Moffitt, author of Dancing With Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering.

Shaila 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 may simply gain... More

Kate Lila Wheeler, Dharma teacher and author of When Mountains Walked, editor of In This Very Life and The State of Mind Called Beautiful.

The whole spiritual path concerns attitudes and perspectives that we have on things. From there, actions spring up and life unfolds. Shaila Catherine leads us to a completely different way of seeing things by skillfully guiding us through an array of traditional Suttanta and Abhidhamma methods. The precision with which she... More

Ven. U Jagara

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... More

Guy Armstrong, insight meditation teacher

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. More

Christina Feldman, author of Compassion: Listening to the Cries of the World