Meditation Series – Book Review: How to meditate

The second book I want to write a personal review about is from Kathleen McDonald. She is a Tibetan Buddhist Nun who teaches in the Foundation of the Mahayana Tradition.

This is really a very good book which gives a overview about meditation in the Buddhist Mahayana tradition. The book is structured very well and has many different types and instructions of meditation practices.

The book answers e. g. following questions:

  • What is meditation and why should I meditate?
  • What are good meditation postures?
  • What are common problems in meditation practice?
  • What advices are there for a meditation practice.
  • Which different types of meditation are there?

The different techniques are categorized into following styles by Kathleen McDonald:

  • Breathing meditation
  • Analytical meditation
  • Visualization meditation

Breathing meditation is focused on mindfulness, the object of the concentration is the own breath. This is a very good starting point. The analytical meditation starts with a few minutes of breathing meditation and then the analysis of a subject starts. This could be about appreciation, love or dealing with negative energies e.g. anger. In the visualization meditations you also start with breathing meditation and then visualize certain topics e.g. a sphere of light over your head or negative energies that are leaving your body and dissappear. Kathleen McDonald also presents devotional practices as prayers or whole ceremonies.

Really a recommendable read especially when you are interested in Buddhism.

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