Recommended articles in the Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Mircea Eliade (New York: Macmillan, 1987), include Mysticism; Mystical Union; Meditation; Consciousness, States of, Attention; Monasticism; Monastery; Eremiticism; Mendicancy, Spiritual Discipline; Asceticism; Enlightenment; Eightfold Path; Nirvana; Christian Spirituality, Deification; Via Negativa; and articles on historical figures in the history of Buddhist Spirituality and Christian Spirituality.
Stephen V. Beyer, The Cult of Tara (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1973). One of the finest introductions to the practice of Vajrayana Buddhist meditation.
Philip Kapleau, Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment, rev. ed. (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1980). Contains several first-person accounts of both Soto and Rinzai Zen meditation practice and breakthroughs to Enlightenment.
Winston L. King, Theravada Meditation: The Buddhist Transformation of Yoga (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1980). Contains as an appendix a diary account of a person practicing vipassana meditation describing in detail his experiences until reaching the point of breakthrough to Enlightenment.
Minoru Kiyota, ed., Mahayana Buddhist Meditation: Theory and Practice (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press, 1978). A collection of essays on different traditions of Mahayana meditation.
Jack Kornfield, Living Buddhist Masters (Santa Cruz, CA: Unity Press, 1977). An excellent introduction to most of the great living Theravada Buddhist masters, with an major selection from the writings of each.
Nyanaponika Thera, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation (New York: Samuel Weiser, 1962). The whole text is strongly recommended in order to understand fully the excerpt reproduced above.
Takeuchi Yoshinori, Jan Van Bragt, James W. Heisig, Joseph S. O'Leary, and Paul L. Swanson, eds., Buddhist Spirituality I: Indian, Southeast Asian, Tibetan, and Early Chinese (New York: Crossroad, 1992). A collection of essays by specialists explaining the traditions of spiritual discipline, including techniques of meditation, in most of the major Buddhist traditions prior to the modern era. Does not include Zen.
Shinzen (Steven) Young, "Buddhist Meditation," in The Buddhist Religion: A Historical Introduction, by Richard H. Robinson and Willard L. Johnson, 3rd ed., Religious Life of Man Series (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1982), pp. 226-235. A very good, brief introduction to the basic varieties of Buddhist meditation.
Elisabeth Behr-Sigel, Tbe Place of the Heart: An Introduction to Orthodox Spirituality, trans. Stephen Bigham (Torrance, CA: Oakwood Publications, 1992). A fine introduction as a whole to the Hesychastic practice of the Prayer of the Heart.
Sergius Bolshakoff and M. Basil Pennington, In Search of True Wisdom (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1979). Documented interviews with Orthodox masters of the spiritual life.
Louis Dupre and James A. Wiseman, OSB, eds. Lightfrom Light: An Anthology of Christian Mysticism (New York: Paulist Press, 1988). One of the very best anthologies available of Christian mystics, with excellent introductions.
Harvey Egan, An Anthology of Christian Mysticism (Collegeville, MN: A Pueblo Book/ Liturgical Press, 1991). A superior anthology of mainly Western Christian mystics.
Vladimir Lossky, The Vision of God (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1963). One of the better accounts of the ultimate goal of the Eastern Orthodox mystical quest.
George A. Maloney, ed., Pilgrimage o fthe Heart: A Treasury of Eastern Christian Spirituality (San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 1983). A wonderful anthology of writings from Eastern Orthodoxy on different aspects of the way of mystical quest.
John Meyendorf, St. Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1974). A good historical overview of Hesychastic spirituality.
Francis Kelly Nemeck and Marie Theresa Coombs, The Spiritual Journey: Critical Thresholds and Stages of Adult Spiritual Genesis (Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier/Liturgical Press, 1987). A first-rate synopsis of the many accounts of the stages of mystical quest in Western Christianity.
Archimandrite Sophrony, The Monk of Mount Athas: Staretz Silouan 1866-1938, trans. Rosemary Edmonds (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladmir's Seminary Press, 1973; a revised edition of The Undistorted Image, published in 1958). A very readable account of a twentieth-century Russian Orthodox mystic who throughout his life practiced the Prayer of the Heart.
The Way of a Pilgrim, trans. R. M. French (New York: Seabury, 1965). A classic on the use of the Jesus Prayer in Russian Orthodox piety.