Here are some free downloads that I consulted during my recent 2 week retreat. I found them to be helpful in understanding some of the self-states that arise in life. During the retreat I could make good use of reflecting on my meditation experiences relative to the articles.
I wish you well, Peter Carlson
From Craving to Liberation (2009)
From Grasping to Emptiness (2010)
The first two are by the Venerable Analayo, who wrote a book I’ve reviewed earlier entitled “Satipatthana-The Direct Path to Enlightenment.” These may or may not be useful for beginning meditators, but for those who have some retreat experience I think they are quite valuable.
This text is quite long, but I was able to consult it usefully during the retreat as well. The beginning is pretty basic meditation practice instruction, and is derived from the teachings of Mahasi Sayadaw, a very influential Burmese teacher during the 20th century. His student, U Pandita Sayadaw, is a primary teacher for many of the teaching staff at the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts, where I got most of my early retreat experience, including a 3 month retreat in 1990.
This method teaches what is called “dry vipassana”, which does not encourage high degrees of concentration practice as a platform for practicing vipassana and suggests that the primary focus for mindfulness of breathing is at the abdomen rather than the nostrils. This teaching also suggests “noting” as a meditation practice, and places a strong emphasis on walking meditation.
While I personally practice cultivating high degrees of concentration focused on the nostrils and don’t practice formal slow walking meditation to any significant degree, I found the author’s insights into mental phenomena and how to manage retreat practice quite helpful.