Book about jhana

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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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.

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