Saturday, January 26, 2019

Enlightened Master Shaila Catherine

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly Wikipedia edit

Shaila Catherine is an American Buddhist meditation master, teacher, and author in the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

She is known for her expertise in insight meditation (vipassana) and meditative-absorption (jhana) practices. She has authored two books on jhāna practice, Focused and Fearless and Wisdom Wide and Deep, and has introduced many American practitioners to samadhi/concentration practices through her writings and retreats.

Catherine is the founder of Insight Meditation South Bay in Mountain View, California, and the primary teacher for Bodhi Courses, an online Buddhist classroom.

She conducts retreats locally, nationally and internationally in mindfulness (satī), concentration (samādhi and jhāna), lovingkindness (mettā), and insight meditation (vipassanā).

She began meditating in 1980 in California and later travelled and studied in Asia, training and practicing with Advaita Vedanta Master H.W.L. Poonja in northern India; Tibetan Dzogchen Masters Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche in Nepal; and at Theravāda forest monasteries in Thailand.

In addition to these Asian masters, she has studied with founders of Western meditation centers (Christopher Titmuss, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, and Lama Surya Das).

Catherine developed a special interest in the practice of deep concentration, and in 2003-2004 devoted a one-year silent meditation retreat to exploring absorption as the foundation for insight meditation. Based upon her experiences in this retreat, she wrote Focused and Fearless, as an introduction to the absorption states of jhāna.
In 2006, she began training under the guidance of the supreme Burmese Buddhist meditation Master Pa Auk Sayadaw. In 2011 Catherine authored a second book, Wisdom Wide and Deep, which provides an introduction to the comprehensive practices of samādhi and vipassanā based on her training with Pa Auk Sayadaw and derived from teachings in the early Discourses of the Buddha, Visuddhimagga, and Abhidhamma.
Catherine's writings and teaching have contributed to a new and growing field within Theravāda Buddhism—introducing the traditional trainings of jhāna and insight meditation (vipassanā) to Western lay practitioners. More


  • Catherine, Shaila. Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm and Clarity, Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2008. ISBN 978-0-86171-560-2
  • Catherine, Shaila. Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhanā and Vipassanā, Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2011. ISBN 978-0-86171-623-4

Audio Publications


Jhāna Practice and True Happiness Archived 2014-10-08 at the Wayback Machine., May 14, 2014, Insight Journal, A Journal of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

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