Sunrise wrote:Has anyone read AB's book "mindfulness, bliss and beyond"? If so, don't you think he is describing a more absorption kind of meditation and not necessarily anapanasathi as the Buddha explained it?
Ajahn Brahm has a tendency to describe absorption in terms of the deeper manifestations of such. But this is only
his opinion. And there is no consensus that his opinion is correct for anyone but himself. There are several other meditation teachers who teach a kind of "middle path" on this issue, and like rowyourboat suggests, that one should develop discernment using concentration (samadhi
) and absorption concentration (jhana) to help develop these abilities and guide one's practice. You cannot explore (contemplate) matters of insight if your mind is completely blanked out (no possibility of thought, no decision—making process, no perception of time, consciousness is nondual making comprehension inaccessible, the five senses are fully shut off) and you are basking in "bliss" a la Aj. Brahm's model. Although you can use that state (primarily the 4th jhana) to help condition the mind to be able to attain it again in the future or to help develop and strengthen sati
(mindfulness) in normal everyday consciousness, which will take you a great deal of the way toward nibbana. Remember, the Buddha once said, "Bhikkhus, mindfulness, I say, is always useful."
Sunrise wrote:He has described that the mind attends to "Nibbana" when arising from the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception". Bhante Vimalaramsi seems to be explaining this as a mere "total blackout" and does not lead to Nibbana. Ajhan Buddhadasa doesn't even mention that higher jhanas are necessary for Nibbana.
Opinions are like noses: everyone has one. What really matter is: are you able to quiet the mind and to be able to see "things as they are" and not be deluded by your own prejudices.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV