|The Sayadaw, Sayalay, and Seven set out the Buddha's "Higher Teaching"|
|(Aidan McRae Thomson)|
|Why would anyone go on a meditation retreat?|
|Ven. Sayalay Susila, Grand Canyon|
It is based directly on instructions by famed Burmese Buddhist Meditation Master Pa Auk Sayadaw -- presented by the Chinese-Malaysian nun Ven. Sayalay Susila on her trips around the U.S. and Canada in 2002.
|How much longer will the liberating Dharma survive in the world? (Mikecogh/flickr.com)|
Repeatedly told how helpful these were, Sayalay developed them into a startlingly clear visual presentation and eventually a book, now in its second completely re-edited edition.
At first glance the Abhidharma can appear so complicated as to be impenetrable. It may, therefore, seem dull and irrelevant, a mere commentary to the sutras rather than a systematic treatment of what is needed to attain enlightenment -- the details, the explanations, the factors explained in extreme detail.
|The Buddha among devas explaining the Abhidharma leading to final liberation|
That it has been largely overlooked outside of Burma comes as no surprise. But the Sayadaw, Sayalay, and Seven have made Abhidharma accessible by employing direct and concrete language, clear analogies, and simple anecdotes primarily based on the experiences of real meditators in Asia, America, and Europe over many years.
The essence of Abhidharma is drawn out from its vast and complex matrix. Doing so makes it utterly practical, relating to everyday life in a way practitioners find meaningful for ordinary living. The way to realization is through concentration-and-insight meditation instruction to tie together theory and practice.
|First edition (holybooks.com)|
|Who sees the Dharma (Dependent Origination) sees the Buddha (MN 28; Mikecogh)|