Almost twenty years ago I did a meditation on death that catapulted me into a Near Death Experience the likes of which I could not even have imagined possible. This 'mini enlightenment' allowed me to let go of some but not all attachments.

Over the years, I have tried (in vain) to recreate that experience via the same method and by trying other techniques from a variety of traditions. But since I did not get results and living in a world of phenomena competing for my attention I ceased seeking after 15 years.

Recently however it occurred to me that there might be some resource out there, such as a book, that lists all of the techniques developed by the monastic tradition within buddhism, and that I might profit from systematically trying all of them that I am able to. I'm aware that it is folly to seek such experiences as ends in themselves.

Does such a book exist?

2 Answers 2


In the Theravada tradition, a book that comes close to what you are asking for is the Visuddhimagga: The Path of Purification (translated from Pali by Ven. Ñāṇamoli). This book is in the PDF format and downloadable for free.

The Wikipedia entry on Visuddhimagga introduces this book as follows:

The Visuddhimagga (Pali; English: The Path of Purification), is the 'great treatise' on Buddhist practice and Theravāda Abhidhamma written by Buddhaghosa approximately in the 5th Century in Sri Lanka. It is a manual condensing and systematizing the 5th century understanding and interpretation of the Buddhist path as maintained by the elders of the Mahavihara Monastery in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

It is considered the most important Theravada text outside of the Tipitaka canon of scriptures, and is described as "the hub of a complete and coherent method of exegesis of the Tipitaka."

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    Thanks ruben2020, your answer was useful but I am unable to mark it as such because my reputation is less than 15.
    – duckegg
    Mar 12, 2022 at 1:12

That book doesn't exist. Not in Buddhism anyway. What you are describing isn't the goal of Buddhist meditation. In fact, from a Buddhist perspective, what you experienced would be akin to you accidentally starting a kitchen fire and thinking it was high end French cooking. Dramatic? Maybe. Liberating? Nope.

The phenomenology of meditative experience is secondary and in some cases even antithetical to Buddhist practice. Some people simply will never experience "the cool" stuff on the cushion yet may become very deeply enlightened. Other people are hounded by visions, oracular portents of the future, and angels dancing on their nose but will never find true awakening.

There's a ton of terms in your question that trouble me. It's full of words like "recreate", "seek", "try", "profit", and "results". I think you're somewhat aware that this isn't the approach you should be taking. Let me dispel any doubt - this approach is absolutely futile. In fact, it's wholly counter to your endeavor. You weren't expecting that experience to arise when it did. Your mind was that of a beginner. You were completely unaware of what was possible. That openness, that lack of expectation, is what characterizes the practice of a rank beginner and that of the master. Now that you are in between those two poles, the possibility of you entering into a similar experience is strictly a function of how willing you are to practice without the possibility of similar event ever happening again. This can't be achieved by self talk or some engineered resolve to have no desire. It can only be found by letting go, of everything, everyday, and for years.

I remember being a college student waiting for the bus to campus. These damn things were always late. Sometimes they never even came. To practice Buddhism is to wait for the bus. You have no idea when it will arrive. You also can't force it to show up. But you have to show up - everyday - even if there's the possibility that the bus will never come.

  • I find your answer to be paradoxically condescending and egotistical. I can only hope you don’t occupy any position of authority within a religious institution. When I have the requisite amount of reputation to downvote this response I shall come back and do so.
    – duckegg
    Mar 13, 2022 at 2:38

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