Starting Out Small by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu builds upon talks that Ajaan Lee gave to groups of people while they were meditating. Ajaan Lee covers the questions that occur to people new to meditation. -Why meditate? How should I meditate? And why in that particular way? —and in his own style he provided not only straightforward answers to these questions but also vivid analogies, to help his listeners relate their meditation to familiar activities. One aspect of Ajaan Lee’s teachings that might strike you as foreign is his analysis of the body into four properties: earth, fire, water, and wind. This mode of analysis dates back to the time of the Buddha, although Ajaan Lee develops it in a distinctive way. Think of this analysis, not as an attempt at biology or chemistry, but as a way of analyzing how the body feels from the inside. This is an aspect of awareness often overlooked and that, in English at least, we have a poor vocabulary for describing.
This expanded 2016 edition contains translations of two new talks that have never been published before—“Merit” and “On Target”—along with complete translations of the talks “The Art of Letting Go” and “At the Tip of Your Nose,” both of which were excerpted in Lessons in Samādhi.
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