The Nevill Collection of manuscripts from Sri Lanka housed in the British Library includes seventeen texts, in eleven manuscripts, related to a type of Theravada Buddhist meditation referred to here as boran kammaṭṭhāna, ‘the old meditation method.’ This article offers the first detailed survey of these texts and finds a close correlation between the practices they advocate and commentarial Abhidhamma, a surprising finding given the modern reputation of these practices as heteroprax. It is less surprising when we observe that the texts represent the form of Buddhism introduced into the Kandyan kingdom from Ayutthaya, the then capital of Siam (Thailand), in the mid-18th century at the time of the revitalization of Buddhism and the Sangha in Sri Lanka. A distinguishing feature of boran kammaṭṭhāna is the use of nimitta, ‘signs’, experienced in meditation or as omens of death, previously taken as an indication of heterodoxy. However, a close examination reveals that the interpretation of nimitta corresponds with Abhidhamma. Moreover, the lengthy meditation manuals formulate an extensive and detailed realization of the Abhidhamma path to becoming an arhat, harnessing the Abhidhamma understanding of progression through sequential substitution of lower citta, states of consciousness, and cetasika, mental factors that attend consciousness, with increasingly pure citta and cetasika. The nimitta function as diagnostic tools and as means to guide the embodiment of the increasingly purified states of consciousness within the practitioner’s body. The findings present a new understanding of the system of transformation underlying boran kammaṭṭhāna and also challenge the understanding of Abhidhamma as merely scholastic or descriptive.