The jhanas as described in the suttas are wonderful stages of letting go. As already stated by the Buddha they are not to be feared but embraced on the path. The peace, serenity, joy, bliss and pure pleasure (non sensual) that they provide on the path should shine as a beacon for seekers of Dhamma. However we seem to live in a "no pain, no gain" culture and to actually enjoy the path is a sin.
My point is, why of the two interpretations of jhana such credence is given to the "ambulance" variety when they are so obviously not the ones taught in the suttas? I realise that other people will argue they are, but the eel-wriggling and mental and verbal gymnastics that are churned out to support this argument verge on the childish. Has any one read Ajahn Brahmavamso account of the "body" as regards jhana? Thanissaro Bhikkhu gives this view very short shrift in the book "The experience of samadhi" by Shankman. The idea of what constitutes a "body" in the "ambulance tradition" would be laughable if it was not so serious.
Even more worrying is the tradition that thinks jhana is not neccessary. If you practice meditation it should be jhana, no other meditation is given as the means to enlightenment, check it out its all in the suttas. That is not to say that you actually need to formally meditate to achieve stream entry. However when the Buddha finally realised the path it was when he remembered the jhana from his youth, "this is the way to enlightenment".
There are a few negative ninnies out there who seem to thrive on being glum and closed to changes in their own views. I would have thought the ability to make adjustments in our understanding is a requisite for advancement on the path. I have made many such adjustments and expect to make many more because this is an adventure and a joy.
I have purposely given no links. If I did they would either not be read or would be treated to a semi mystical re orientation, where they would "not actually mean what they are saying"
If people really want to get a grasp on the Dhamma then with an open mind and an inquisitive nature, not being tied to tradition or a teacher...