This book helps to fill what has long been a glaring gap in the scholarship on Early Buddhism, offering us a detailed textual study of the Satipatthana Sutta, the foundational Buddhist Discourse on meditation practice.
With painstaking thoroughness, Ven. Analayo marshals the suttas of the Pali canon, works of modern scholarship, and the teachings of present-day meditation masters to make the rich implications of this text, so concise in the original, clear to contemporary students of the Dharma. Unlike more popular books on the subject, he is not out to establish the exclusive validity of one particular system of meditation as against others; his aim, rather, is to explore the sutta as a wide-ranging and multi-faceted source of guidance which allows for alternative interpretations and approaches to practice. His analysis combines the detached objectivity of the achademic scholar with the engaged concern of the practitioner for whom meditation is a way of life rather than just a subject of study.
The book should prove to be of value both to scholars of Early Buddhism and to serious meditators alike. Ideally, it will encourage in both types of reader the same wholesome synthesis of scholarship and practice that underlies the author's own treatment of his subject.