Selected Readings of Buddhist Meditation Literature


    Key Information

    Lecture dates: 4-8 May 2020 Census date: 4 May 2020
    Lecturer: TBA Duration: 5 weeks (incl. 5 days on-campus)*
    Location: NTI Wollongong Campus, 231 Nolan St, Unanderra, NSW 2526, Australia
    Subject Code: ABS931

    Subject Overview

    The subject aims to cultivate students’ analytical ability and understanding of Buddhist textual traditions from which the teachings and practices of modern Buddhism have developed.

    It focuses on textual representations of Buddhist meditation (mindfulness in particular) which is perceived to be at the heart of Buddhism. The subject explores how different methods of meditative practices are viewed and presented in some of the most influential texts on Buddhist meditation (such as the Satipatthāna-sutta) within major Buddhist traditions.


    The selected texts on meditation are read in English translation, critically analysed, and their relevance for contemporary meditation practices discussed and reflected upon. Since the texts read in this course are on meditation, various meditative techniques are explored also in practice.


    The subject informs students on different methodological approaches to textual analysis, provides foundations and background for deeper understanding of Buddhist meditation within its historical and cultural framework and its relation to contemporary meditation practices such as mindfulness, applied in a variety of new contexts.

    Lecture topics and class activities include

     Introduction to the history of the compilation of Buddhist scriptures
     Buddhist schools and their texts
    •  Presentation of the text on mindfulness of breathing and related texts
    •  Mindfulness of breathing in the ‘Path of Purification’
     The ‘Path of Purification’ on types of meditator
    •  ‘Divine abidings’ in the texts
     ‘Foundations of mindfulness sutta’
    •  ‘Questions of King Milinda’
     Walking meditation
    •  Mahayana sutras and Zen
     Ten ox-herding pictures



    *Time structure:

    - 1st week: pre-reading

    - 2nd week: face-to-face classes at NTI Wollongong Campus
    - 3rd to 5th week: time for completing written assessments