For years, a handful of people—in particular, Mary Talbot, Jane Yudelman, Bok Lim Kim, and Larry Rosenberg—have been asking me, “When are you going to do a guide on breath meditation?” I kept telling them that Ajaan Lee’s Keeping the Breath in Mind is already an excellent guide to the practice, but they kept insisting in return that there’s a need for a book written specifically for a reader without a background in the Thai Wilderness Tradition. Their gentle but persistent pressure is what has brought this book into being. Now that the book is a reality, I want to thank them, for I’ve learned a lot in trying to gather my thoughts on the topic into a concise, accessible form.
The book has benefitted from their comments on it, as well as from comments by Ajahn Nyanadhammo, Michael Barber, Matthew Grad, Ruby Grad, Katharine Greider, Addie Onsanit, Nathanial Osgood, Dale Schulz, Joe Thitathan, Donna Todd, Josephine Wolf, Barbara Wright, and the monks here at the monastery. I would like to thank them for their help. Any errors in the book, of course, are my own.