Self-transformation is an essential element in all forms of Buddhist meditation--from Tantra to Zen. Ayya Khema, author of the best-selling Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, uses one of the earliest Buddhist suttas to guide us along the path of the oldest Buddhist meditative practice for understanding the nature of "self." By following the Buddha's explanation with clear, insightful examples from her years of teaching meditation, she guides us back and forth between the relative understanding and higher realizations of the Buddhist concept of "self." Her thoughtful contemplation of the Buddha's radical understanding of "self" and her practical advice for achieving insight offer the reader a profound understanding of the "self." Both beginning and advanced practitioners will greatly benefit from Ayya Khema's warm and down-to-earth exposition of the Buddha's meditation on "self."
Born in Berlin in 1923 to Jewish parents, Ayya Khema was educated in Scotland and China and later emigrated to the United States. The author of twenty-five books, she was ordained as a nun in Sri Lanka in 1979 and established several Buddhist centers, including Wat Buddha Dhamma in Australia, Parapuddua Nun's Island in Sri Lanka, and Buddha Haus in Germany. In 1987 she coordinated the first-ever International Conference of Buddhist Nuns. She passed away in 1997.
Publisher: Wisdom Publications (October 9, 1997)
Length: 192 pages
"Who Is My Self? gives us the recipe and the motivation to practice what is accessible to all, yet accomplished by few."
– Inquiring Mind
"Ayya Khema is a meditators' meditator, a real expert, as clear about the nuts and bolts of technique as she is about the basic sanity and profound peacefulness that is the goal of all technique. Who is my Self? is a truly astonishing book. A commentary on the Potthapada Sutta, it discusses the well-known eight stages of meditative absorption. If you are interested in Buddhist meditation in all its color, depth, and refinement, you will want to pay close attention to this book."
– Norman Fischer, Co-Abbot, San Francisco Zen Center
"Ayya Khema's teachings are strongly grounded in a practical, daily-life perspective, yet she knows how to experience sublime states in meditation. In this excellent book, she lays out the path specified by the Buddha himself--a path that leads to transcendent joy and liberation from suffering."
– Sandy Boucher, author of Turning the Wheel and Opening the Lotus
"Abounds with down to earth wisdom and contemporary relevance...a wonderful practical introduction to the practice of Buddhist meditation."
– Booknews (Australia)
"Khema expertly translates the Buddha's powerful words...into terms which the lay Buddhist, and even the non-Buddhist, can understand...she is well equipped to teach the ways of the Buddhist faith and its search for the real self."
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