meditating at dawn

There are two forms of meditation in The Theravada tradition: 1) Samatha: Calming meditation; and 2) Vipassana: Insight meditation. According to the BBC: “Samatha is the earliest form of meditation, and is not unique to Buddhism. It's used to make the mind calmer and take the person to higher jhanic states. (Jhanic states are hard to explain simply; 'states of consciousness' is probably the closest easily understandable definition.) The effects of Samatha meditation are temporary. [Source: BBC **]

“Vipassana is used to achieve insight into the true nature of things. This is very difficult to get because human beings are used to seeing things distorted by their preconceptions, opinions, and past experiences. The aim is a complete change of the way we perceive and understand the universe, and unlike the temporary changes brought about by Samatha, the aim of Vipassana is permanent change.” **

Theravada Buddhists believe that meditation is impossible for a person who lacks wisdom and wisdom is impossible for a person who does not meditate. A person who both meditates and possesses wisdom is close to nibbana.

In the original Pali discourses — the earliest extant sources for our knowledge of the Buddha's teachings — the word samatha is not used to mean tranquillity, and vipassana is not used to mean clear-seeing. Only rarely are these terms used. One word that pops up a lot is jhana. When The Buddha exhorts his disciples to go meditate, he is never quoting as saying "go do vipassana." It is always "go do jhana." Vipassana is never equated with mindfulness techniques. [Source: Wikipedia +]

Websites and Resources on Meditation and Tantrism: Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Encyclopædia Britannica article ; Erowid Meditation Vault ; Learn to Meditate ; Yoga Journal: Meditation ; National Institutes of Health, US government, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) ; How to do Zazen (Zen Buddhist Meditation) ; George Feuerstein, Yoga and Meditation (Dhyana)

Buddhism: Buddha Net ; Religious Tolerance Page ; Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Internet Sacred Texts Archive ; Introduction to Buddhism ; Early Buddhist texts, translations, and parallels, SuttaCentral ; East Asian Buddhist Studies: A Reference Guide, UCLA ; View on Buddhism ; Tricycle: The Buddhist Review ; BBC - Religion: Buddhism ; Buddhist Centre; A sketch of the Buddha's Life ; What Was The Buddha Like? by Ven S. Dhammika ; Jataka Tales (Stories About Buddha) ; Illustrated Jataka Tales and Buddhist stories ; Buddhist Tales ; Arahants, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas by Bhikkhu Bodhi ; Victoria and Albert Museum ;

Theravada Buddhism: Readings in Theravada Buddhism, Access to Insight ; Readings in Buddhism, Vipassana Research Institute (English, Southeast Asian and Indian Languages) ; Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Encyclopædia Britannica ; Pali Canon Online ; Vipassanā (Theravada Buddhist Meditation) Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Pali Canon - Access to Insight ; Forest monk tradition ; BBC Theravada Buddhism

Samatha Meditation

Samatha means is a Pali word that means calm. It is a focusing, pacifying, and calming meditation common to many traditions in the world, notably yoga. According to the contemporary Theravada orthodoxy, samatha is used as a preparation for vipassana, pacifying the mind and strengthening the concentration in order to allow the work of insight, which leads to liberation. [Source: Wikipedia]


According to the BBC: Samatha “is the earliest form of meditation, and is not unique to Buddhism. It's used to make the mind calmer and take the person to higher jhanic states. (Jhanic states are hard to explain simply; 'states of consciousness' is probably the closest easily understandable definition.) The effects of Samatha meditation are temporary.”

According to “Samatha meditation is an effective but gentle way of training the mind to develop inner strength and freedom from turmoil, leading on to clarity and understanding. This path from calm to insight was followed by the Buddha himself, and is a central tradition of Buddhist meditation. There are many kinds of Samatha meditation techniques.” Many are “based on attention to the breath, a subject which is said to be suitable for all types of people. [Source: **]

“By regular daily practice the chattering, unruly mind gradually becomes calmer and develops clarity. The way our mind works becomes less confusing to us and we begin to understand the habits of mind that hold us back from happiness and freedom. We become kinder to ourselves and those around us. Meditation is a practical matter: increased awareness brings an ability to make the most of ourselves in our daily lives. “ **

The Buddha taught his followers how to practice Samatha meditation using “Mindfulness of breathing” or anapanasati. offers these steps, which are virtually the same as those used in Vipassana, on how to do it: 1) Sit in your normal meditation posture. 2) Straighten your back as if stacking one vertebrae on top of the other. Your spine is the main conduit of your central nervous system, so it is important to keep it erect. 3) Relax your shoulders and keep the head evenly balanced and tuck your chin slightly inwards. 4) Let your tongue touch the palate. 5) Relax your face. 6) Close your eyes. 7) Focus your mind on the rising and falling of breath. 8) Specifically, bring attention to the small triangular area between your upper lip and the nostrils and feel every in-breath and out-breath. 9) Whenever the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the awareness of the breath flowing in and out. [Source:]


POP House Meditation Center in Khlong Luang, Thailand

Vipassana is a Pali word that means insight into the true nature of reality in the Buddhist tradition. Henepola Gunaratana defined Vipassana as: “Looking into something with clarity and precision, seeing each component as distinct and separate, and piercing all the way through so as to perceive the most fundamental reality of that thing."

When we use the term “meditation” vipassana is often what we have in mind. Anapanasati, mindfulness of breathing, is used to become aware of the impermanence of everything that exists. Vipassana meditation has gained popularity in the west through the modern Buddhist vipassana movement, modeled after Theravada Buddhism meditation practices, which employs vipassana and anapana meditation as its primary techniques and places emphasis on the teachings of the Satipatthana Sutta. [Source: Wikipedia +]

According to the BBC: “This form of meditation is used to achieve insight into the true nature of things. This is very difficult to get because human beings are used to seeing things distorted by their preconceptions, opinions, and past experiences. The aim is a complete change of the way we perceive and understand the universe, and unlike the temporary changes brought about by Samatha, the aim of Vipassana is permanent change.”

Vipassana meditation differs in the modern Buddhist traditions and in some nonsectarian forms. It includes any meditation technique that cultivates insight including contemplation, introspection, observation of bodily sensations, analytic meditation, and observations about lived experience. +

Origins of Vipassana (Meditation)

According to Gombrich, the distinction between vipassana- and samatha did not originate in the suttas, but in the interpretation of the suttas. According to Henepola Gunaratana; The classical source for the distinction between the two vehicles of serenity and insight is the Visuddhimagga. The suttas contain traces of ancient debates about the interpretation of the teachings, and early classifications and hierarchies. Out of these debates developed the idea that bare insight suffices to reach liberation, by bare insight alone in the Three marks of existence, namely dukkha, anatta and anicca. This is in contradiction with the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, in which the Buddhist path starts with insight, to be followed by practices to cultivate the mind and reach Nirvana. [Source: Wikipedia +]

relief showing seven postures of meditation near Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath, where The Buddha gave the First Sermon

The Sthaviravada emphasized sudden insight: In the Sthaviravada progress in understanding comes all at once, 'insight' (abhisamaya) does not come 'gradually' (successively - anapurva). The Mahasanghika had the doctrine of ekaksana-citt, "according to which a Buddha knows everything in a single thought-instant". The emphasis on insight is also discernible in the Mahayana-tradition, which emphasises prajna: The very title of a large corpus of early Mahayana literature, the Prajnaparamita, shows that to some extent the historian may extrapolate the trend to extol insight, prajna, at the expense of dispassion, viraga, the control of the emotions. +

Although Theravada and Mahayana are commonly understood as different streams of Buddhism, their practice too may reflect emphasis on insight as a common denominator: In practice and understanding Zen is actually very close to the Theravada Forest Tradition even though its language and teachings are heavily influenced by Taoism and Confucianism. The emphasis on insight is also discernible in the emphasis in Chán on sudden insight, though in the Chán-tradition this insight is to be followed by gradual cultivation. +

Vipassana: The Way of Meditation

The practice of Vipassana or insight meditation is the effort made by the meditator to understand correctly the nature of psycho-physical phenomena taking place in his own body with a view to positive realization of the truths of impermanence, suffering and impersonality. Physical phenomena are the things or objects one clearly perceives around one. Mental phenomena are acts of consciousness or awareness. Both are clearly perceived to be happening whenever they are seen, heard, smelled, tasted, touched, or thought of. Every time one sees, hears, touches or thinks, one should make a note of the fact. With every act of breathing, the abdomen rises and falls, a movement that is always evident so one should begin by intently observing this movement. The rising should be noted mentally, but not verbally, as "arising," and the falling as "falling". Do not slow down the breathing or make it faster. Do not breathe too vigorously either, which will make you tired. Breathe steadily as usual and note the rising and falling of the abdomen as they occur. [Source: ==]

Vipassana is to keep the mind on the wisdom path and watch and realize the phenomena of mind and matter as they are. The physical body that we have is continuously forming and decaying from cradle to grave. It must be comprehended that impermanent (Anicca), suffering (Dukkha) and impersonal (Anatta) characteristics are the only realities that can be found. When body and mind are comprehended as Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta repeatedly, and the arising and dissolving phenomena are perceived, it is known to have reached the Udayabbaya nana. If one does not know these facts clearly beforehand, his or her progress will not be substantial. ==

Phra Ajan Jerspunyo, Abbot of Wat Kungtaphao

False views and doubts are attached with the five aggregates of mind and matter. If one does not know the causes and effects of their becoming and disintegration, false views would adhere to that person. Therefore, we need to understand Paticcasamupadda, the cycle of dependant arising, if we want to have insight into the five aggregates. Only when we understand the cause and effect of Paticcasamupadda, we can detach ourselves from false views and doubts. If we know the cause of aggregates, we can eliminate the false views. If we do not, the false views will stay. If we realize that the effect of anything that happens in us is due to the causes of aggregates, then we can eliminate the false views totally. ==

The aim of Vipassana meditation is to free oneself from all kinds of Dukkha - mental suffering and physical suffering - through realization of the body-mind process and their true nature. So if you are able to realize mental and physical phenomena as they really are, you can do away with all kinds of mental impurities or defilements which arise dependent on misunderstanding or ignorance of mental and physical phenomena and their true nature. That's why we have to practice Satipatthana Vipassana meditation, or insight meditation. [Source: ==]

Vipassana Techniques

Vipassana meditation is of two types. The first Vipassana meditation is preceded by Samatha meditation while the second one is not. The first type of meditation is practiced by those who have ample time to devote to their meditation. They have to spend, say, three or four months on Samatha meditation. When they are satisfied with their attainment of Jnana concentration, they proceed with Vipassana meditation. Pure Vipassana meditation is practiced by those who do not have enough time to devote to their meditation. So they have to spend about ten days in retreat at meditation centres. Actually, this period is too short a time for a meditator to succeed in any noticeable experience in his meditation. Although you can spend just ten days on your meditation, you are able to have some new experience if you strive to attain the deep concentration with a strenuous effort without taking much interval in the course of your meditation. So the point is to practice as intensively and strenuously as you can. [Source: ==]

Cynthia Thatcher, of the Vipassana Dhura Meditation Society, drawing from the vipassana traditions of Mahasi Sayadaw and Chao Khun Bhavanapirama, recommends: “The following postures are suitable for sitting meditation: 1. Half lotus; 2. Full lotus; 3. Cross-legged tailor fashion; 4. Legs bent with one leg in front (Burmese style); 5. Kneeling on a meditation bench; 6. Sitting in a chair. The first pose, half lotus, is the one most often seen in the Buddha statues of Southeast Asia. The legs are crossed and the right foot rests on the left thigh. This position is appropriate for most meditators. The next pose, full lotus, is only practical if you are very flexible. The right foot rests on the left thigh, the left foot on the right thigh. When sitting on the floor it will help to use a cushion. The cushion should be firm enough that it won't be compressed flat when sat on. Regardless of which position you choose, don't let your back slump too much. On the other hand, you shouldn't sit so straight that you tense the body. Mind and body should feel relaxed, yet alert. Striking the right balance between the two extremes will take some experimenting. Think of tuning a guitar string: it should be just right—neither too tight nor too loose. [Source: \^/]

“Having found a comfortable position, put your hands in your lap, one on top of the other, with the palms facing upward. Traditionally the back of the right hand rests on top of the left palm. Don't clench your hands. In all the exercises except walking meditation your eyes can be either open or closed (in walking meditation your eyes must be open). We advise beginners to close their eyes, which allows for easier concentration. But sometimes concentration becomes stronger than mindfulness. In that case opening the eyes may help disperse the excess concentration and bring the two factors into balance again. Only momentary concentration is needed for insight meditation. Occasionally a meditator may experience disturbing mental images, in which case it may help to open the eyes. \^/

On the exercise called “Rising and Falling”: “Adopt one of the sitting postures. Place your hands in your lap, palms facing upward, the right hand on top of the left. Close your eyes. Direct your attention to the abdomen, an inch or two above the navel. Find the point that seems clearest to you. Don't actually look at the spot. Just place your mind there. The point should lie along the vertical midline of the body. As you breathe in, the abdomen expands; as you breathe out, it contracts. In meditation these movements are called, respectively, "rising" and "falling." They never cease to alternate as long as you live. As the abdomen rises, observe the motion from beginning to end with your mind. When the abdomen falls, do the same. That's all there is to it. Just keep watching the rising and falling movements. You don't have to do anything to them. Just know the movements without judging or describing them. If it is difficult to perceive the rising and falling motions, put your hand on your stomach in order to feel them clearly. \^/

“Instead of making a continuous loop, the rising and falling motions are actually separate movements. Imagine a rock thrown straight up in the air. When reaching the highest point the rock stops for a fraction of a second before falling. Likewise, the abdomen stops rising for a moment before falling back. As you do the exercise, restrict your attention to what is occurring in the immediate present moment. Don't think about the past or future—don't think about anything at all. Let go of worries, concerns, and memories. Empty your mind of everything except the abdominal movements occurring right now. But don't think about them; just know them. It's important to understand that knowing bodily motion (or knowing anything) as it actually is in the present moment is entirely different from thinking about it. In insight meditation the aim is not to think, but only to know. \^/

Luang Phor Somchai of Wat Khung Taphao

“To know an object during vipassana meditation means to experience it with bare, nonverbal awareness. You merely register the sensation with impartial attention, without identifying, naming, judging or describing it. You don't have to comment on the movements: "That falling motion lasted longer than the previous one. That rising movement wasn't as clear as the others," and so on. As soon as there is bare awareness of the rising or falling movement, you are already knowing it. The same is true of everything you might observe during meditation practice. No matter what appears, just know it with bare attention for one moment and then let it go. \^/

“Keeping your mind on the rising and falling movements may not be as easy as you'd think. Be patient and don't judge yourself, even if the mind wanders out often. Remember that you're learning a new skill. When learning to play the piano, for example, you wouldn't expect perfection right away. Likewise, you shouldn't expect it in meditation. Don't get discouraged if your progress seems slow. As long as you stick with the practice, results are sure to come.” \^/

See Meditation Under Buddhism

Vipassana, Theravada Buddhism and Mindfulness of Breathing

Vipassana as practiced in the Theravada centers on mindfulness of breathing, combined with the contemplation of impermanence. The underlying principle is the investigation of phenomena as they manifest in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness highlighted in the Satipatthana Sutta: 1) kaya (body or breath), 2) vedana (feeling or sensation), 3) citta (mind or consciousness), and 4) dhamma (mind objects). [Source: Wikipedia +]

Mindfulness of breathing is described throughout the Sutta Pitaka. The Satipatthana Sutta describes it as going into the forest and sit beneath a tree and then to simply watch the breath, if the breath is long, to notice that the breath is long, if the breath is short, to notice that the breath is short. By observing the breath one becomes aware of the perpetual changes involved in breathing, and the arising and passing away of mindfulness. One can also be aware of and gain insight into impermanence through the observation of bodily sensations and their nature of arising and passing away. Contemplating on these perpetual changes one becomes aware of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and lack of an inherent, independent essence or self. +

The Vipassana practitioner reaches the step where gross bodily sensations (Vedana) dissolve and there is a subtle flow of sensations throughout the body, which is called bhanganupassana ñana, knowledge of dissolution. This is an ongoing process, that continues to reveal layer upon layer of mental purification. The Vipassana yogi or yogini experiences increasing cessation of cravings (attachments) and aversions (fears), and eventually will reach the step of sankharupekkhañana, strongly founded knowledge of equanimity of all formations. In the Theravada tradition, Upekkha or equanimity is a Brahma state. If the state itself, the acts done that lead to that state, and any cravings are not seen with wisdom, then it does not lead to the attainment of nibba-na but to a new state. +

Vipassana meditation is thought to develop insight into the impermanence of all phenomena, and thereby lead to a permanent liberation. Most Theravadin teachers refer to knowledges evolving during practice. The meditator gradually improves his perception of the three marks of existence. Some steps are described as vipassana jhanas, or simply as knowledges. +

Forest Monk Meditation

The Thai Forest Tradition emphasizes direct experience through meditation practice and strict adherence to monastic rules. Forest monks are considered to be meditation specialists. The Forest Tradition is usually associated with certain supernatural attainments (abhiñña). Adherents model their practice and lifestyle on those of the Buddha and his early disciples. They are referred to as 'forest monks' because they keep alive the practices of the historical Buddha, who frequently dwelt in forests, both during his spiritual quest and afterwards.

Methods of meditation are numerous and diverse. Meditation methods frequently used by Ajahn Sao Kantasilo Mahathera and his student, Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, are the walking meditation and the sitting meditation. Outside the sitting meditation session, the practitioner must be aware and mindful of his or her body and mind movements in all positions: standing, walking, sitting and lying. During sitting meditation, the mind is calmed with traditional practices such as mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati). The mental intoning of the mantra "Buddho" is used in order to maintain attention on the breath (in-breath is "Bud", out-breath is "dho") or the contemplation of the 32 body parts. The meditator goes through three levels of samadhi (concentration). In khanika-samadhi the mind is only calmed for a short time. In upacara-samadhi, approach concentration lasts longer. And in appana-samadhi, jha-na is attained. When sufficient concentration has been established, the three characteristics (impermanence, suffering and non-self) are contemplated, insight arises and ignorance is extinguished. No distinction is made between samatha meditation and insight (Vipassana) meditation; the two are used in conjunction. [Source: Wikipedia]

Luangpor Teean Jittasubho was a forest monk and a contemporary meditation master. He developed a meditation technique called Mahasati meditation. This method is a short cut for cultivating awareness. The practitioner pays attention to his or her body movements in all positions: standing, walking, sitting and lying. If the practitioner is aware of him or herself, then moha "delusion" will disappear. Mahasati Meditation does not call for reciting "in" or "out". There is no need to know whether one's exhalations or inhalations are long or short, fine or coarse, nor any need to perform rituals. This practice has frequently been called satipatthana because it is very similar to the method taught by the Buddha, in the Pali Canon, in the suttas of the same name (Maha Satipatthana Sutta found in the Digha Nikaya, sutta 22, Satipatthana Sutta found in the Majjhima Nikaya sutta 10, and an entire book where this practice is detailed throughout many short suttas, found in the Samyutta Nikaya section 47, titled "Satipatthana Samyutta"), but whatever people call it the point is to be aware of oneself. When thought arises the practitioner sees it, knows it and understands it. When he or she sees it, thought stops by itself. When thought stops, panna "knowing" arises, and she or he knows the source of dosa – moha – lobha "anger – delusion – greed". Then dukkha "suffering" will end.

Vipassana Movement in Theravada Buddhism

The Vipassana movement, also called the Insight Meditation Movement, refers to a number of branches of modern Theravada Buddhism, especially the Thai Forest Tradition and the "New Burmese Method", which stress insight into the three marks of existence as the main means to attain awakening and reach Nirvana. [Source: Wikipedia +]

It finds its origins in modernist influences on the traditions of Sri Lanka, Burma, Laos and Thailand, and the innovations and popularisations by Therava-da teachers as Mahasi Sayadaw, Ajahn Chah, and Dipa Ma, as well as nonsectarian derivatives from those traditions such as the movement led by S. N. Goenka (with his co-teacher wife Illaichi Devi) who studied with teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin. The Vipassana- Movement includes contemporary American Buddhist teachers such as Joseph Goldstein, Tara Brach, Gil Fronsdal, Sharon Salzberg, and Jack Kornfield In the Vipassana- Movement, the emphasis is on the Satipatthana Sutta and the use of mindfulness to gain insight into the impermanence of the self. +

MRI were used to assess the thickness of the brains of twenty Westerners who had experience with Insight meditation. It was determined that their brains were thicker in regions of the brain involved with somatosensory, auditory, visual and interoceptive processing depending upon the amount of time that they'd spent practicing. The researchers suggest that this may slow cognitive decline typically associated with aging. +

Differences between Theravada and Mahayana Meditation

Japanese Mahayana Buddhists chanting

Theravada Buddhist meditation is mainly silent-mind, mindfulness meditation. There are two main types of Theravada meditation: 1) Samatha: Calming meditation; and 2) Vipassana: Insight meditation. Mahayana Buddhism places greater emphasis on mantras and chanting. This is especially true with in Tibetan Buddhism. Though Tibetan Buddhism is based on Mahayana, it often viewed as its own strand — Vajrayana — as it is based on Tantric disciplines, which play an important part in meditation and . [Source:]

In the Theravada context, insight meditation refers to insight into the three marks of existence: impermanence, suffering and the non-self. Mahayana contexts, it entails insight into what is variously described as sunyata (the inseparability of appearance) and dharmata (emptiness, clarity and emptiness, or bliss and emptiness). [Source: Wikipedia]

One person posted on “There are too many schools of meditation within Theravada and Mahayana with widely divergent practices...Painting with very broad strokes, Mahayana generally has greater emphasis on compassion and emptiness. Whereas Theravada tends to be more focused on ending personal suffering.” [Source:]

Another said: “There are many different views, traditions and techniques on meditation within both Theravada and Mahayana, that you can't even speak of 'Theravada meditation' or 'Mahayana meditation'. I also think there's a lot of overlap. Typically, I would say vipassana/insight techniques are part of the Theravada tradition, with masters like Mahasi Sayadaw and Ajahn Chah. The same goes for Anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing) and other practices that aim towards the Jhana states, with teachers like Pa Auk Sayadaw and Ajahn Brahm. I always assume mantra/yantra techniques are part of Mahayana, but I could be wrong. "Om mani padme hum" means something like "Praise to the jewel in the lotus", which I think is a reference to Buddha Nature, a Mahayana concept.”

Another said: “Tonglen is really big in Tibetan Buddhism which is Mahayana. Koan practice and choiceless awareness (which goes by a few names) are big in Zen which is Mahayana. The "direct path" of the satipatthana sutta and the "path of serenity" by using the breath, kasina, divine abidings, etc. to develop access concentration/jhana then practicing satipatthana are Theravadin approaches. One general trend you could say is Mahayana tends to emphasize metta/compassion meditation on equal footing with insight meditation due to the Bodhisattva ideal. In practice devotional meditations are more popular in Mahayana.”

Tough Love Buddhist Treatment for Addicts in Thailand

The monastery at Wat Tham Krabok runs a treatment center for heroin and opium addicts that combines counseling, herbal therapy and job training. Tham Krabol Monastery north of Bangkok gives heroin and opium addicts a free 10-day treatment that begins with a vow to Buddha to stop using drugs and the downing of a herbal concoction that causes them to vomit immediately and "clear poisonous drug residue from the body and helps eliminate the physical desire for drugs." The monks have treated more than 100,000 addicts with a variety of concoctions and herbal pills and steam baths and claim a 70 percent success rate.

For the most part, treatment and counseling service for addicts is minimal. Government money goes primarily into enforcement and education not treatment. Addicts are generally looked upon with disgust rather than sympathy and people don't want to see tax-payer money wasted on them. Overcoming drug addiction is viewed as matter of will and discipline and something an addict has to deal with himself. Treatment centers are generally like boot camps or prisons, and even these places can't keep up with the demand.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: East Asia History Sourcebook , “Topics in Japanese Cultural History” by Gregory Smits, Penn State University, Asia for Educators, Columbia University afe.easia.columbia, Asia Society Museum , “The Essence of Buddhism” Edited by E. Haldeman-Julius, 1922, Project Gutenberg, Virtual Library Sri Lanka “World Religions” edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); “Encyclopedia of the World's Religions” edited by R.C. Zaehner (Barnes & Noble Books, 1959); “Encyclopedia of the World Cultures: Volume 5 East and Southeast Asia” edited by Paul Hockings (G.K. Hall & Company, New York, 1993); “ National Geographic, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, Times of London, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated September 2018

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