Since there seem to be a lot of opinions, I don't take any one them to be the last word. [And the more anyone says that they have the only possible interpretation, the less I tend to believe them...]Kumara wrote:Yes, indeed, that's his position. He would have to ignore a lot of suttas to make that equation.mikenz66 wrote:From the long thread that I linked to, and various other threads and source, it's clear that some modern teachers/commentators (for example, Ajahn Brahm) interpret jhana as described in the suttas (and in practice) to be much the same as what is described in the Visuddhimagga, with access to them via a light nimitta.
Anyway, care you share yours?
My main practise is Mahasi style. It seems to me that the sort of concentration level that tends to involve is what some here would classify as "sutta jhana". Obviously Ajahn Brahm and his followers would disagree....
I've certainly not experienced the sort of highly-concentrated jhana that Ajahn Brahm or the Visuddhimagga describe, so I can't make any really useful first-hand comments on that, but my observation is that the depth of concentration is a matter of focus.
If you keep returning to the grounding/primary/(whatever you want to call it) object (breath, metta, whatever) as quickly as possible when distracted, and have a fairly conceptual object (metta, breath nimitta, etc) then the concentration gets a lot stronger than if you focus on the other objects that come up, and focus on the details. I think that is because a conceptual object is more stable. An object like the rise and fall of the abdomen is complex and varies constantly, so it's really not possible to get so absorbed in it.