Tricycle is pleased to offer the Tricycle Talks podcast for free. If you would like to support this offering, please consider donating. Thank you! 

A few days before the eminent scholar Lance Cousins passed away in 2015, he revealed to one of his students, Sarah Shaw, that he had been working on a book on Buddhist meditation. After his death, with the permission of his family, Shaw found the manuscript on his desktop and prepared it for publication. The book, Meditations of the Pali Tradition, is the first comprehensive exploration of meditation systems in Theravada Buddhism, and it offers an in-depth analysis of the ritual, somatic, and devotional aspects of Theravada practice that are often overlooked.

In today’s episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, sits down with Shaw to discuss a system of Buddhist meditation known as the jhanas, a strain of Buddhist mysticism called Tantric Theravada, and the underappreciated role of joy in meditative practice.

For more, read about Nai Boonman, who taught both Cousins and Shaw.

Tricycle Talks is a podcast series featuring leading voices in the contemporary Buddhist world. You can listen to more Tricycle Talks on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about our podcast. Write us at

Read transcript

Download transcript

Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.