mynameisadahn wrote:To answer the OP's question directly. Yes.
You can learn directly from the suttas. My example would be Ayya Khema. If you are interested in more explicit discussion about the jhanas then I would suggest googling her name (she was a buddhist nun, originally from germany, who passed away several years ago). As I understand, she learned jhanas from the suttas herself, before she was later told she did it correctly (or something like that). Many of her talks can be found online in audio file form. She appears to have done what you are interested in doing, so she would seem like a good source.
Personally, I really like her dhamma talks and find them very helpful. Learning about the jhanas directly may not be really emphasized by many of the posters in this forum, though, so perhaps Ayya Khema's approach is a bit different and more focused on teaching the jhanas in advance, and trying in some way to get into them, before the experiences actually happen.
To the OP, also, I would suggest that this forum -- while a great forum -- isn't going to be focused on explicitly discussing different jhanas and teachings of how to get into them. (IME). I have seen you post at least one other question about the jhanas. If you are taking a somewhat different approach and wanting to learn more explicitly about the absorptions, you may want to branch out some in your research.
This isn't disparaging anyone here. I am just answering the OP, who asked a very reasonable question, even if some people here think other approaches are better.
i love ayya khema so much. she is one of my favorite buddhist authors. i'll look into that thanks.
why do you feel this forum is not the place? all i notice is a lot of vipassana people who don't think it's necessary but other than that i've gotten some good info. what approach should i go with?