The jhanas are eight progressive altered states of consciousness that can be identified with the aspect of the Buddha’s Eightfold Path called Right Concentration. Training in concentration leads to these states, each of which yields a deeper and subtler state of awareness than the previous one. The jhanas are not in themselves awakening, but they are a skillful means for stilling the mind in a way that leads in that direction, and they are attainable by anyone who devotes the time and sincerity of practice necessary to realize them. Leigh Brasington’s guide to navigating the jhana path is deeply informed by the view of them transmitted to him by his teacher, Ven. Ayya Khema, a view based on the Pali suttas.
The Buddhist jhanas--successive states of deep focus or meditative absorbtion--demystified. A very practical guidebook for meditators for navigating their way through these states of bliss and concentration. One of the elements of the Eightfold Path the Buddha taught is Right Concentration: the one-pointedness of mind that, together with ethics, livelihood, meditation, and so forth, leads to the ultimate freedom from suffering. The Jhanas are the method the Buddha himself taught for achieving Right Concentration. They are a series of eight successive states, beginning with bliss and moving on toward radically nonconceptual states. The fact that they can usually be achieved only during prolonged meditation retreat tends to keep them shrouded in mystery. Leigh Brasington is here to unshroud them. He takes away the mystique and gives instructions for them in plain, accessible language, noting the various pitfalls to avoid along the way, and then providing a wealth of material on the theory of jhana practice--all geared toward the practitioner rather than the scholar.
Author: Shaila Catherine
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2011-11-15
"If you are interested in Dharma study, this book belongs in your library."---Phillip Moffitt, author of Dancing with Life "This book can be the guide for cultivating the inner calm we long for."---Christina Feldman, author of Compassion: Listening to the Cries of the World "This handbook respects both the ancient tradition and the needs of contemporary lay practitioners, without compromising either. Shaila Catherine blends scriptural references, personal examples, and timeless stories with detailed meditation instructions. The combination of pragmatic style and theoretical knowledge produces a striking invitation for the reader to apply these instructions and master the complete practice for awakening."---from the foreword by Pa-Auk Sayadaw, author of The Workings of Kamma "Catherine has managed a difficult feat---to be simultaneously encyclopedic and charming, all with extraordinary clarity. This meditation manual is a first for the West and will surely become a classic and a support for generations of practitioners."---Kate Wheeler, editor of In This Very Life: Liberation Teachings of the Buddha "Wisdom Wide and Deep is a powerful inspiration both for those who would like a glimpse of what's possible and for those intrepid explorers of the mind who want to bring these teachings to fulfillment. Highly recommended."---Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace "Written in clear, practical language, this book converts theory into direct experience. It is a detailed exploration of deep calmness as well as insight. The West needs such manuals."---Christopher Titmuss, author of Light on Enlightenment "A valuable work as both a practice guide and a reference manual."---Guy Armstrong, insight meditation teacher
Now ordinary meditators (and non-meditators) can understand how to attain non-ordinary states with relative ease. Blended with contemporary examples, pragmatic exercises, and ''how to'' instructions that anyone can try, Focused and Fearless provides a wealth of tools to cultivate non-distracted attention in daily life and on retreat. Shaila Catherine has a friendly, wise approach to the meditative states (jhanas) that lead to liberating insight. Focused and Fearless is about much more than merely meditation or concentration. It offers a complete path towards bliss, fearlessness, and true awakening.
This is a clear and in-depth presentation of the traditional Theravadin concentration meditation known as jhāna practice, from two authors who have practiced the jhānas in retreat under the guidance of one of the great living meditation masters, Pa Auk Sayadaw. The authors describe the techniques and their results, based on their own experience.
Author: Daniel Ingram
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Release Date: 2018-06-30
The very idea that Buddhist teachings can be mastered will arouse controversy within Buddhist circles. Even so, Daniel Ingram insists that enlightenment is an attainable goal, once our fanciful notions of it are stripped away, and we have learned to use meditation as a method for examining reality rather than an opportunity to wallow in self-absorbed mind-noise. This book sets out concisely the difference between concentration-based and insight meditation. This is a revised and much expanded edition.
Countless people world wide have made Mindfulness in Plain English a beloved and bestselling classic in almost a dozen languages. Now after nearly two decades, Bhante helps meditators of every stripe take their mindfulness practice to the next level - helping them go, in a word, beyond mindfulness. In the same warm, clear, and friendly voice, Bhante introduces the reader to what have been known for centuries as the ''jhanas'' - deeply calm, joyous, and powerful states of meditation that, when explored with the clearly presented tools in this book, lead to life of insight and unshakeable peace.
In the oldest scriptures of Theravada Buddhism much attention is given to the jhanas high levels of meditative attainment distinguished by poweful concentration and purity of mind. Ven. Dr. Gunaratana examines these jhanas within the context of Buddhist t
Author: David C. Johnson
Release Date: 2017-02-07
What is Nibbana? Is Awakening possible? This new book says definitely yes! But only if you follow the method laid out by the Buddha in his earliest teachings. Nibbana can and does occur. In this book, you will be shown the step by step progression through the eight aware jhanas (levels of understanding) to the final cessation and the appearing of the unconditioned, and the joy that arises afterward. It can happen quickly, in weeks, not years. This is a complete meditation handbook with all the instructions to achieve the goal and all the signposts along the way. You will learn a different definition for Mindfulness that totally changes how you practice; and about a step in the text that has been left out of contemporary practices that is the key to the deepest levels of tranquility. Learn the basics of Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM) which is really the practice of Loving-kindness and the Brahmaviharas from the earliest Buddhist texts: The Majjhima Nikaya and the Samyutta Nikaya. This book will guide you from the beginning stages to the highest attainments laid out clearly and concisely. Many previous students’ experiences have been compiled and researched to create the basis for this book. In addition, other popular methods are compared here against the suttas to see if they match the Buddha's teachings and lead you to the enlightenment. David Johnson wrote this book based on his insights as a senior student under Bhante Vimalaramsi, a 30-year monk living in the forests of Missouri. He came from a career in Silicon Valley to learn and study TWIM for the past seven years at the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center near St. Louis. He currently teaches Online Retreats and authored “A Guide to Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation” along with Bhante, which is the detailed beginning instructions for TWIM Lovingkindness practice. More of these teachings may be gained at the Dhammasukha web site.
Author: Guy Armstrong
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-05-02
If everything is empty, then what ceases in Nirvana and is born in rebirth? How can you live in the world without feeling trapped by it? Guy Armstrong tackles these questions and more in this richly informed, practical guide to emptiness for the meditator. It may seem odd for emptiness to serve as the central philosophy of a major religion. In fact, emptiness points to something quite different than “nothingness” or “vacancy.” And by developing a richer understanding of this complex topic, we can experience freedom as we live consciously in the world. Guy Armstrong has been a leading figure and beloved teacher of insight meditation for decades. In this book, he makes difficult Buddhist topics easy to understand, weaving together Theravada and Mahayana teachings on emptiness to show how we can liberate our minds and manifest compassion in our lives.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2006-08-10
Meditation: it's not just a way to relax, or to deal with life's problems. Done correctly, it can be a way to radically encounter bliss and to begin - and sustain - real transformation in ourselves. In Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond, self-described meditation junkie Ajahn Brahm shares his knowledge and experience of the jhanas - a core part of the Buddha's original meditation teaching. Never before has this material been approached in such an empowering way, by a teacher of such authority and popularity. Full of surprises, delightfully goofy humor, and entertaining stories that inspire, instruct, and illuminate, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond will encourage those new to meditation, and give a shot in the arm to more experienced practitioners as well.
Publisher: Hay House, Inc
Release Date: 2017-01-03
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
The Mind Illuminated is a comprehensive, accessible and - above all - effective book on meditation, providing a nuts-and-bolts stage-based system that helps all levels of meditators establish and deepen their practice. Providing step-by-step guidance for every stage of the meditation path, this uniquely comprehensive guide for a Western audience combines the wisdom from the teachings of the Buddha with the latest research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Clear and friendly, this in-depth practice manual builds on the nine-stage model of meditation originally articulated by the ancient Indian sage Asanga, crystallizing the entire meditative journey into 10 clearly-defined stages. The book also introduces a new and fascinating model of how the mind works, and uses illustrations and charts to help the reader work through each stage. This manual is an essential read for the beginner to the seasoned veteran of meditation.
Author: Keren Arbel
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2017-03-16
This book offers a new interpretation of the relationship between 'insight practice' (satipatthana) and the attainment of the four jhànas (i.e., right samàdhi), a key problem in the study of Buddhist meditation. The author challenges the traditional Buddhist understanding of the four jhànas as states of absorption, and shows how these states are the actualization and embodiment of insight (vipassanà). It proposes that the four jhànas and what we call 'vipassanà' are integral dimensions of a single process that leads to awakening. Current literature on the phenomenology of the four jhànas and their relationship with the 'practice of insight' has mostly repeated traditional Theravàda interpretations. No one to date has offered a comprehensive analysis of the fourfold jhàna model independently from traditional interpretations. This book offers such an analysis. It presents a model which speaks in the Nikàyas' distinct voice. It demonstrates that the distinction between the 'practice of serenity' (samatha-bhàvanà) and the 'practice of insight' (vipassanà-bhàvanà) – a fundamental distinction in Buddhist meditation theory – is not applicable to early Buddhist understanding of the meditative path. It seeks to show that the common interpretation of the jhànas as 'altered states of consciousness', absorptions that do not reveal anything about the nature of phenomena, is incompatible with the teachings of the Pàli Nikàyas. By carefully analyzing the descriptions of the four jhànas in the early Buddhist texts in Pàli, their contexts, associations and meanings within the conceptual framework of early Buddhism, the relationship between this central element in the Buddhist path and 'insight meditation' becomes revealed in all its power. Early Buddhist Meditation will be of interest to scholars of Buddhist studies, Asian philosophies and religions, as well as Buddhist practitioners with a serious interest in the process of insight meditation.
Dharma practice comprises a wide range of wise instructions and skillful means. As a result, meditators may be exposed to a diversity of approaches to the core teachings and the meditative path—and that can be confusing at times. In this clear and accessible exploration, Dharma teacher and longtime meditator Richard Shankman unravels the mix of differing, sometimes conflicting, views and traditional teachings on how samadhi (concentration) is understood and taught. In part one, Richard Shankman explores the range of teachings and views about samadhi in the Theravada Pali tradition, examines different approaches, and considers how they can inform and enrich our meditation practice. Part two consists of a series of interviews with prominent contemporary Theravada and Vipassana (Insight) Buddhist teachers. These discussions focus on the practical experience of samadhi, bringing the theoretical to life and offering a range of applications of the different meditation techniques.