Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:37 am

Hi;

I've been doing anapanasati for over 5 1/2 years without a day missed ( I keep a log ). I haven't tried to achieve anything with it or take it in any particular direction.

During that time I gradually became aware of different mental states, but I was never concerned with duplicating them.

By accident I have learned to get close to some of them.

A few weeks ago I found a very old article written by Ajahn Brahm on my computer called "Beginning Meditation" that I had read back in the 1990s. Rereading it, it occurred to me that if I had not experienced the first Jhana in my meditations that I had come close to it.

I know Jhanas can be dangerous in terms of becoming attached to them. Given that I never expected anything from meditation practice and I pretty much still have that attitude, I think I can take on that challenge.

I've seen that unlike the 1990s there are now several books out on the Jhanas.

I would like to get something written in very plain English, easy to understand and is a practical guide for a meditator aiming for those states on his/her own.

Would anyone care to recommend a particular book?

Thanks.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby adeh » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:51 am

Hi Jhana 4....you could try Ajah Brahms book Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond or Bhante Gunaratana's book Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English...both are very good practical guides in plain English...also on this page there is a very good Sutta talk by Ajahn Brahm about Anapanasati and Right Concentration http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/downloads/ ... l?start=10
Enjoy. with metta, Adeh.....
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:19 am

While I have not read either, Ajahn Brahm's book and Bhante Gunaratana's books seem to be the modern 'bibles' on the topic. You may also wish to check out the Visuddhimagga as well - it may provide you with some useful insights for your practice.
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Kenshou » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:32 am

After having gone through a lot of these kinds of books, I found Shaila Catherine's Focused and Fearless to be the most useful. It's not a very long or heavy book, but I thought it had a lot of good stuff. There's a single, rather vague page on "nimittas" which to me, feels like it was shoehorned in for the sake of conforming to classical Theravada commentary. But aside from that the book has a whole lot of good practical down-to-earth advice on deepening one's anapanasati practice, and working up to and developing the ingredients for the 4 jhanas. She does quite a nice job describing the experience and it's progression, which is a pretty tricky thing.

http://www.amazon.com/Focused-Fearless- ... 0861715608
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:11 am

Since this is the suttanta method section, I sugest you read this first before deciding which book to buy:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=5761
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby PeterB » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:11 am

May I ask where you live Jnana4 ? I dont mean your address of course...just the general area.
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:08 pm

PeterB wrote:May I ask where you live Jnana4 ? I dont mean your address of course...just the general area.


Washington D.C., U.S.A.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby PeterB » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:26 pm

In addition to reading and visiting this forum you may want to check these people out sometime

http://www.imcw.org


:anjali:
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:12 pm

Kenshou wrote:After having gone through a lot of these kinds of books, I found Shaila Catherine's Focused and Fearless to be the most useful. It's not a very long or heavy book, but I thought it had a lot of good stuff. There's a single, rather vague page on "nimittas" which to me, feels like it was shoehorned in for the sake of conforming to classical Theravada commentary. But aside from that the book has a whole lot of good practical down-to-earth advice on deepening one's anapanasati practice, and working up to and developing the ingredients for the 4 jhanas. She does quite a nice job describing the experience and it's progression, which is a pretty tricky thing.

http://www.amazon.com/Focused-Fearless- ... 0861715608



I've heard about Ven Gunaratana's book and Ven Brahm's book. I read comments in the reviews of each that didn't dissuade me from either book, but did make me want to ask for a recommendation from someone who has read up on the subject.

That is what you just gave me. Thanks so much for taking the trouble to type up your post. I'm going to get a copy of her book.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
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Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:22 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:Since this is the suttanta method section, I sugest you read this first before deciding which book to buy:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=5761


Always like to check out what the suttas say, thanks much.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1308
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:25 pm

PeterB wrote:In addition to reading and visiting this forum you may want to check these people out sometime

http://www.imcw.org


:anjali:


Thanks.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1308
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby adeh » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:45 pm

Thanks for the Shaila Catherine recommendation as well...looks like I'll be ordering her book....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D51WotfbpCE
I found this on You Tube..Adeh
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby farmer » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:46 pm

Although I don't believe he has written any books specifically on meditation, Ajahn Thanissaro gives lots of detailed, practical advice in his dhamma talks (which you can find at http://www.dhammatalks.org). Unfortunately, the bits on jhana are scattered here and there throughout 10 years of daily talks, so it takes some time to get an overview of his approach.

Here are a couple of transcribed talks that give a sense of how he teaches:

http://dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings ... ration.pdf
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... mbers.html

and here are links to a couple of talks on jhana

http://dhammatalks.org/Archive/050422%20Ekaggata.mp3
http://dhammatalks.org/Archive/101006%2 ... 20Deep.mp3

If you listen to only one talk, it should be this on whether there really is a "danger" of becoming attached to jhana:

http://dhammatalks.org/Archive/090811%2 ... Feared.mp3
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby cumin » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:40 am

Jhana4 wrote:
PeterB wrote:May I ask where you live Jnana4 ? I dont mean your address of course...just the general area.


Washington D.C., U.S.A.


Jnana4:

There is a U Bha Khin center close by:

http://www.internationalmeditationcentr ... ction.html

I am hoping to attend the march 10 day retreat there; I am specifically interested in jhanas as well.
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:46 am

I know. Thank you.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1308
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby bazzaman » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:49 am

.
Last edited by bazzaman on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recommend A Book: Practical Jhana Instructions?

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:41 am

adeh wrote:Thanks for the Shaila Catherine recommendation as well...looks like I'll be ordering her book....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D51WotfbpCE
I found this on You Tube..Adeh

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1308
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast


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