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Book about jhana

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:22 pm
by Zolbec
Hey, guys.


I am looking for a book about the eighth step of the Noble Eightfold Path (Right Concentration). I am in doubt between two books.

Who Is My Self? - Ayya Khema
Right Concentration - Leigh Brasington



Which would you recommend?

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:00 pm
by JamesTheGiant
Zolbec wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:22 pm
Hey, guys.


I am looking for a book about the eighth step of the Noble Eightfold Path (Right Concentration). I am in doubt between two books.

Who Is My Self? - Ayya Khema
Right Concentration - Leigh Brasington



Which would you recommend?
I was impressed by the Brasington book. It is clear and straightforward. I've not read the Ayya Khema one.

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:08 pm
by Laurens
Those are no doubt good choices. You could add 'Focused and Fearless' by Shaila Catherine to the list.

Just be aware that books aren't necessarily going to get you all the way. Especially if you have lots of other commitments that prevent you from meditating. So once you have a good understanding of Jhana you might want to look into doing a retreat, preferably with a teacher who can guide you into the Jhanas.

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:25 pm
by cappuccino
I recommend the scriptures

only the scriptures

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:17 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings,
cappuccino wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:25 pm
I recommend the scriptures

only the scriptures
I agree with this generally regarding the Dhamma, but I can appreciate people wanting something additional, with respect to jhana.

I'd steer away from Brasington's words, for a variety of reasons I won't go into here.

If you are going to take jhana advice, take it from someone's conduct you believe conforms with the deepest Dhammic truths. Because otherwise, if they don't manifest them, then what have they actually learned via their "concentration"?

Metta,
Paul. :)

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:25 pm
by Grigoris
I don't understand how somebody can talk about "teaching the jhanas".

Surely one just experiences jhana as a consequence of practice?

I mean, one could define each jhana, but teach it???

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:30 pm
by Idappaccayata
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:00 pm
Zolbec wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:22 pm
Hey, guys.


I am looking for a book about the eighth step of the Noble Eightfold Path (Right Concentration). I am in doubt between two books.

Who Is My Self? - Ayya Khema
Right Concentration - Leigh Brasington



Which would you recommend?
I was impressed by the Brasington book. It is clear and straightforward. I've not read the Ayya Khema one.
Would you say the book helped you get deeper samadhi?

I've been going to read it, I've just been hesitant, given all the good resources out there by well trusted monks.

Probably an irrational fear.

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:03 pm
by JamesTheGiant
Idappaccayata wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:30 pm

Would you say the book helped you get deeper samadhi?
Not really, I mean all meditation guides basically teach the same methods. But it was interesting to see sutta jhana presented, instead of the more commonly discussed Vishudhimagga /hard jhana.
And it was very interesting to understand how hard jhana and sutta jhana are on a continuum, a spectrum. Same method and same features, except different intensities.

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:04 pm
by Eraka
Use both! They compliment each other well, and are from them same lineage (Ayya Khema was Leigh Brasington's jhana teacher.)

I'd say Right Concentration is better used as a practical, instructional guide to the jhanas, and Who Is My Self includes the jhanas within a greater overview of the whole path (still quite instructional, though). The book is actually a beefed-up version of a series of talks that Ayya Khema delivered on DN 9, the Potthapada Sutta. The last chapter (Path and Fruition: The Goal of the Practice) is especially mind-blowing.

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:17 am
by Pondera
I’ve heard of an author “Chris LeBlanc” who has an obscure but effective approach to the Rupa jhanas. In fact he takes Rupa literally - and extends the jhanas as literal experiences of the four great existences.

Let me see if I can find a link to his free PDF.

OH! Here we go. It’s in the bottom of my signature. :clap: :jumping:

I swear by it. Cures lower back pain too.

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:38 pm
by Zolbec
Hey, guys. I found a book by David Johnson (a student of Bhante Vimalaramsi) called 'The Path to Nibbana'. Has anyone ever read this book?

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:59 am
by Namkha
Both of these are excellent guides to what are sometimes called the "sutta jhanas". As a previous poster pointed out Ayya and Leigh are of the same lineage, (Ayya taught Leigh). I would read both if you are interested in the sutta jhanas. I'd also suggest going on a retreat with Leigh. While the jhanas that he and Ayya teach are amazing to experience and seem to me to be very much as the Buddha describes them, they should not be mistaken for a destination.

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:58 pm
by dharmacorps
I've read Brasington's books,and a few others. For whatever reason, I find it hard to "learn" much from reading about the jhanas. The technique isn't much different than what is already there in the suttas.

My guess is that this is because of different mind types and experiences of different meditators, and that the ability to get into jhanas is highly dependent on conditions.

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:21 pm
by Sobhana
Namkha wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:59 am
While the jhanas that he and Ayya teach are amazing to experience and seem to me to be very much as the Buddha describes them...
But Brasington acknowledges, or at least he did, that his jhanas are not as deep as what he believes the Buddha's jhanas to be. But he believes to give busy householders a taste of lesser/lighter jhana is better than saying it is nearly impossible for the "real deal."

Re: Book about jhana

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:01 pm
by JamesTheGiant
Sobhana wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:21 pm

But Brasington acknowledges, or at least he did, that his jhanas are not as deep as what he believes the Buddha's jhanas to be. But he believes to give busy householders a taste of lesser/lighter jhana is better than saying it is nearly impossible for the "real deal."
Yes, of the monks I know, maybe 40 or 50, only four or five of them can do the extreme Hard Jhanas. And that's after long practise.