I am looking to learn more about Buddhism and specifically, Buddhist Meditation techniques. I am definitely a beginner, but I don’t need a Buddhism for Dummies type of book. In other words I didn’t just discover the word Buddhism the other day and I don’t need to be told that Buddha came from modern day India 😛 . I am interested in the Theravada and Zen forms of Buddhism. A book that delves into the different schools and beliefs is welcome too. So basically, I’m someone who has read through wikipedia (lol) and I know a Buddhist I can call on to help.

What I am not looking for (in no particular order):

1. Reasons why I should care about the environment. Not that I have anything against the environment, but I am looking for a more traditional, powerful book that focuses on the mind and meditation.

2. A Psychology book with Buddhist overtones. I am interested in Buddhism for psychological purposes (becoming patient, stronger in mind, body), but I want the good stuff. 😉

3. A comparison of world religions.

4. A book on furniture placement.

What I am looking for (in no particular order):

1. A book that delves into meditation techniques for gaining control over the mind and body (by body I DON’T mean levitating off the ground or any New Age nonsense). A book that helps with self-instructing since I have no Buddhist centers near me.

2. A book that focuses on Theravada practices, meditation techniques, and history.

3. A book that focuses on Zen practices and meditation techniques.

4. A book that delves into the philosophy (and possibly history) of Buddhism.

5. A book that can blow my mind if I am smart enough to understand it. 😀

Thanks to all who answer, and hopefully what I asked for made some sense to someone.
Thank you Jason, Upasakha Jason, and Coop for your ‘serious’ answers. I will definitely check out each of your recommendations.

I checked for a local Buddhist center, but they seemed to have closed in 2007. 🙁
Thanks Sati. I am checking out Mindfulness in Plain English, Old Path White Clouds, and The Heart of Buddha’s Teachings.