Book about jhana

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Zolbec
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Book about jhana

Post by Zolbec » 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?

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by JamesTheGiant » 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.

Laurens
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by Laurens » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:08 pm

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.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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cappuccino
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by cappuccino » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:25 pm

I recommend the scriptures

only the scriptures

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retrofuturist
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:17 pm

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. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Grigoris
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by Grigoris » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:25 pm

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???
Last edited by Grigoris on Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Idappaccayata
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by Idappaccayata » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:30 pm

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.
A dying man can only rely upon his wisdom, if he developed it. Wisdom is not dependent upon any phenomenon originated upon six senses. It is developed on the basis of the discernment of the same. That’s why when one’s senses start to wither and die, the knowledge of their nature remains unaffected. When there is no wisdom, there will be despair, in the face of death.

- Ajahn Nyanamoli Thero

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:03 pm

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.

Eraka
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by Eraka » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:04 pm

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.

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Pondera
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by Pondera » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:17 am

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.
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

Zolbec
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by Zolbec » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:38 pm

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?

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Namkha
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by Namkha » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:59 am

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.

dharmacorps
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:58 pm

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.

Sobhana
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by Sobhana » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:21 pm

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."

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Book about jhana

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:01 pm

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.

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