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New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogchen)

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New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogchen) Steve James 1/25/20 10:11 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Mike Monson 1/25/20 5:17 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/26/20 10:50 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Noah D 1/25/20 9:21 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/26/20 10:52 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Ben V. 1/25/20 11:03 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/26/20 10:53 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Not two, not one 1/26/20 12:43 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/26/20 4:20 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Not two, not one 1/26/20 10:53 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Small Steps 1/26/20 11:30 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Not two, not one 1/28/20 1:26 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Richard Zen 1/26/20 4:54 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/28/20 10:00 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Olivier 1/28/20 4:36 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/29/20 9:39 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch shargrol 1/28/20 6:05 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/28/20 9:59 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Small Steps 1/28/20 3:56 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/29/20 9:46 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/29/20 10:05 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Simon T. 1/29/20 11:40 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Siavash 1/29/20 11:59 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Jake Barnes 1/29/20 10:37 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Siavash 1/30/20 12:43 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Jake Barnes 1/30/20 1:07 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Dodge E Knees 1/30/20 4:08 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/30/20 6:04 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Matthew 1/31/20 11:20 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Olivier 1/30/20 4:35 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Steve James 1/30/20 10:29 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Siavash 1/30/20 11:50 AM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Small Steps 1/31/20 12:21 PM
RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch Jimmy Bki bki 2/2/20 6:59 AM
Here's a new interview with Tina Rasmussen, co-author of 'Practicing the Jhanas' and said to be the first Western woman to complete Pa Auk Sayadaw's shamata system (hard jhanas). 

In addition to lots of detail about her long solo retreats (including a 1-year retreat), there is lots of stuff about her dzogchen practice, kundalini phenomena, and ethical (specifically sexual) scandals among spiritual teachers (a recently hot topic here).

Would love to know what you think: https://www.guruviking.com/ep22-tina-rasmussen-ph-d-guru-viking-interviews/

Enjoy!

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/25/20 5:17 PM as a reply to Steve James.
Very cool, thanks 

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/25/20 9:21 PM as a reply to Steve James.
She's a total prodigy!  I was always curious about the details of her practice history from hearing dharma seed talks here & there, but you were really able to tease it out.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/25/20 11:03 PM as a reply to Steve James.
Just listened to two of her interviews. After deep practice and attainments in both Theravada practice and other practices she seems to be coming to the same conclusion that is often taught in Pragmatic Dharma; to not idealize awakening and that you still need to work on yourself after awakening because you can still screw up in behavior. It was really nice listening to her.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/26/20 10:50 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Mike Monson:
Very cool, thanks 


You're welcome, thanks for checking it out :-)

Noah D:
She's a total prodigy!  I was always curious about the details of her practice history from hearing dharma seed talks here & there, but you were really able to tease it out.


Thanks, I really wanted to get some details from her personal practice journey - and she was very open and willing to discuss them. 

We talked about doing a follow-up to cover her later practice stages, as well as her involvement in the Diamond Approach (which she speaks very highly of). 

Ben V.:
Just listened to two of her interviews. After deep practice and attainments in both Theravada practice and other practices she seems to be coming to the same conclusion that is often taught in Pragmatic Dharma; to not idealize awakening and that you still need to work on yourself after awakening because you can still screw up in behavior. It was really nice listening to her.


Thanks for checking out the interview.

Yep, a lot of of what she said reminded me of the views expressed on this forum - very interesting.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/26/20 12:43 PM as a reply to Steve James.
Steve, do you have an audio only / podcast version that I could listen to on Overcast?

Malcolm

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/26/20 4:20 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
curious:
Steve, do you have an audio only / podcast version that I could listen to on Overcast?

Malcolm


Hi Malcolm,

There's a download-able audio version on Soundcloud (embedded in the page linked above). 

The episode is also on Stitcher and iTunes  (search 'Guru Viking') - not sure about Overcast, is that something I should do?

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/26/20 4:54 PM as a reply to Steve James.
Steve James:
Here's a new interview with Tina Rasmussen, co-author of 'Practicing the Jhanas' and said to be the first Western woman to complete Pa Auk Sayadaw's shamata system (hard jhanas). 

In addition to lots of detail about her long solo retreats (including a 1-year retreat), there is lots of stuff about her dzogchen practice, kundalini phenomena, and ethical (specifically sexual) scandals among spiritual teachers (a recently hot topic here).

Would love to know what you think: https://www.guruviking.com/ep22-tina-rasmussen-ph-d-guru-viking-interviews/

Enjoy!
Her book is on my list. I'm definitely a shallow Jhana person, but I've never been on a retreat before.emoticon

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/26/20 10:53 PM as a reply to Steve James.
Thanks Steve, got it on iTunes.  I guess different audio formats are legion - not sure where the point of diminishing return lies!

Malcolm

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/26/20 11:30 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
<rant> The point of diminishing returns is somewhere around a 64K-96K CBR/mono file, for an audio interview. Since these are commonly conducted over, e.g. the phone, Facetime, Skype, etc. anything more is just polishing a turd. You're never going to make it sound any better, despite providing a 256K/stereo file (e.g. this particular file is 193+ MB in size).

Podcasters complain all day and night about how expensive it is to host their files and I never understand why they don't encode accordingly. After I re-encode this, it'll likely be no more than 60-70MB in size, and will sound no worse (to my ears, at least!) </rant>

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/28/20 1:26 AM as a reply to Small Steps.
Ah, I mean the retail distribution formats (overcast, soundcloud etc).  Nonetheless, the rant seems worthwhile!

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/28/20 6:05 AM as a reply to Steve James.
For what it's worth, I saw four fingers and a coaster, too. emoticon  emoticon

shargrol:
For what it's worth, I saw four fingers and a coaster, too. emoticon  emoticon


Haha!! 

Nice to have some company at the bottom of the class emoticon

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/28/20 10:00 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
Steve James:
Here's a new interview with Tina Rasmussen, co-author of 'Practicing the Jhanas' and said to be the first Western woman to complete Pa Auk Sayadaw's shamata system (hard jhanas). 

In addition to lots of detail about her long solo retreats (including a 1-year retreat), there is lots of stuff about her dzogchen practice, kundalini phenomena, and ethical (specifically sexual) scandals among spiritual teachers (a recently hot topic here).

Would love to know what you think: https://www.guruviking.com/ep22-tina-rasmussen-ph-d-guru-viking-interviews/

Enjoy!
Her book is on my list. I'm definitely a shallow Jhana person, but I've never been on a retreat before.emoticon
I found her and Stephen's book very readable and concise - and it really does put into context their impressive achievement in terms of that system.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/28/20 3:56 PM as a reply to Steve James.
Just listened to the interview (after I re-encoded it btw, it was just 48MB ;) ). It's interesting, but somewhat familiar, since she's been doing some interviews with various other podcasts/shows/outlets recently. The most recent one, perhaps being the ConsciousTV two-parter with her and Stephen Snyder. I really would have asked who authorized/empowered her to "teach Dzogchen" since it's extremely uncommon for any Westerners to be doing that. I also would have asked what she meant about her and Stephen being the only two to complete the system with Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw to the degree they had, since I can think of at least two other teachers in the Bay Area who also claim to (one who's written two books on the subject).

I sat a daylong retreat with her and Stephen some 6 or so years ago at Spirit Rock, and enjoyed learning from both of them. At that time, they were only offering samatha practices in the vein of what they had learned/mastered with the venerable. 

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/28/20 4:36 PM as a reply to Steve James.
Lovely interview, I was particularly interested in hearing about the practical details of her way of organizing a year long retreat. Thank you Steve for your work.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/29/20 9:46 AM as a reply to Small Steps.
Small Steps:
Just listened to the interview (after I re-encoded it btw, it was just 48MB ;) ).It's interesting, but somewhat familiar, since she's been doing some interviews with various other podcasts/shows/outlets recently. The most recent one, perhaps being the ConsciousTV two-parter with her and Stephen Snyder. I really would have asked who authorized/empowered her to "teach Dzogchen" since it's extremely uncommon for any Westerners to be doing that. I also would have asked what she meant about her and Stephen being the only two to complete the system with Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw to the degree they had, since I can think of at least two other teachers in the Bay Area who also claim to (one who's written two books on the subject).

I sat a daylong retreat with her and Stephen some 6 or so years ago at Spirit Rock, and enjoyed learning from both of them. At that time, they were only offering samatha practices in the vein of what they had learned/mastered with the venerable. 
Thanks for checking it out and elaborating your thoughts.

I agree it would have been a natural (and easy) question to ask who authorised her to teach Dzogchen - my bad.

I also wanted to ask her about her involvement with the Diamond Approach but unfortunately we had a hard time limit at 2hrs. I'm hoping to interview her again and go into such topics and more.

I was unaware that other people in San Francisco claim to have completed the Pa Auk Sayadaw system. Tina did say that he lowered the bar over time, and that she and Stephen were the only ones to complete the detailed version. 

I'm due to talk with Stephen Snyder next week, so if you have any similar suggestions in terms of questions I'd love to hear them. 

- S


PS: Thanks for the encoding feedback. I must confess my background doesn't extend into the technical points of encoding audio. I'll google around and see if I can upgrade my understanding on this. 

Olivier:
Lovely interview, I was particularly interested in hearing about the practical details of her way of organizing a year long retreat. Thank you Steve for your work.


Thanks for checking it out! 

Several more interviews are scheduled for the next couple of weeks, which I'll share here when completed.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/29/20 10:05 AM as a reply to Steve James.
Steve James:
Small Steps:

[...]

I also would have asked what she meant about her and Stephen being the only two to complete the system with Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw to the degree they had, since I can think of at least two other teachers in the Bay Area who also claim to (one who's written two books on the subject).

[…]



[…]

I was unaware that other people in San Francisco claim to have completed the Pa Auk Sayadaw system. Tina did say that he lowered the bar over time, and that she and Stephen were the only ones to complete the detailed version. 

[…]



If they all have written books about it, I guess it is possible to read the books and see for oneself how they all worked with the system.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/29/20 11:40 AM as a reply to Steve James.
I read her book long time ago. Maybe I should return to it but there wasn't much I retained. One advice I kept was forcing a Buddha-like smile to incline the mind toward the fourth Jhanas. If I remember correctly she only cover the first four jhanas. There isn't much to be said about jhanas, it seems. MCTB2 contains the best content on them I have read.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/29/20 11:59 AM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:
I read her book long time ago. Maybe I should return to it but there wasn't much I retained. One advice I kept was forcing a Buddha-like smile to incline the mind toward the fourth Jhanas. If I remember correctly she only cover the first four jhanas. There isn't much to be said about jhanas, it seems. MCTB2 contains the best content on them I have read.


This was the main point of the interview for me! Before listening to it, I was expecting to get a good amount of practical/technical points from her, but I didn't get that.

Thank you for doing this interview Steve.  This is not meant to detract from the important work you're doing.

I'd like to point out a few things about Tina's approach that is at absolute odds with pragmatic dharma, and urge everyone to listen to the interview with a discerning ear.  

Tina, in one month, has gone through the entire samatha system in the Pa Auk lineage, and in her case the Sayadaw calls jhana mastery if she can sit in a full absorption for 4 hours.  

Please do the math.  

While maybe not impossible, it's highly impractical.  Let's assume it takes a few days to get concentrated which she said herself.  One would then need to do 4-hour mastery sits in each of the 8 jhanas, followed by each of the 10 kasina for each of the 8 jhanas.  And presumably there is a warming up period for each attainment.  

What I mean is one doesn't attain 2nd jhana for the first time ever on day 4 of the retreat, do a mastery 4-hour sit the same day, then move on to attain 3rd jhana for the first time ever on day 5 of the retreat and do a 4-hour mastery sit on the same day.  Even if one sits for 15 hours a day on retreat, a monthlong is 450 hours of sitting time.  Assuming no "warming up" at all for each mastery attainment, she still needs 405 hours of sitting just to get through the 8 jhanas and all the kasinas.  

In short, not buying it.  I believe she has the jhana attainments she claims, and I'm not buying the mythology of the origin story.  

The other chief problem we have is the ultimate mushroom factor problem, and it's disappointing to me that this isn't seen through.  Tina goes on about how rare these attainments are and how very few people have done it (not true, it's widely known that Burmese lay people are getting jhana left and right by following the simple instructions and not overthinking shit.)  She then says that of all her students, no one has ever gotten beyond 4th jhana.  WTF?  Her retreat with the Sayadaw was about 15 years ago and she's been teaching since then.  In 15 years of teaching she hasn't been able to guide any of her students beyond halfway of what she was able to do in 1 month?  Please think deeply about what is being implicitly said here.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/30/20 12:43 AM as a reply to Jake Barnes.
Actually her precision was obvious from the way she talked about the best map she knew about awakening, 4 paths model!

First path 25% reduction of suffering, second path another 25%, third path another 25%, and finally at fourth path, the final 25%, and then you are an arhat.

If the reduction was 24%, it's not Stream Entry! I wonder how she measured it!

At 24% you are just fucking.

At 25% it becomes tantric.  

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/30/20 4:08 AM as a reply to Jake Barnes.
Jake Barnes:
At 24% you are just fucking.

At 25% it becomes tantric.  


lol!

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/30/20 4:35 AM as a reply to Jake Barnes.
I just assumed that she was talking about extremely intense absorption states, like ajahn brahm describes jhanas, say. He probably  would not think that what i think of as my hardest 4th jhanas and even 5th qualify as even first jhana to be honest. I do agree with your remarks though, which make sense. I also thought the whole end was a bit funny, but just gave her the benefit of the doubt, thinking it was a mix of naiveness, pedagogical simplification, and just social self-preservation, as publicly contradicting widely held dogma is something that takes a lot of courage... But maybe i'm naive... 
Business, man..

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/30/20 6:04 AM as a reply to Jake Barnes.
Jake Barnes:
At 24% you are just fucking.

At 25% it becomes tantric.  


The map isn't the terrain. 

Gotta love the humor, though. 

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/30/20 10:29 AM as a reply to Jake Barnes.
Jake Barnes:
Thank you for doing this interview Steve.  This is not meant to detract from the important work you're doing.
Thanks Jake.

I don't consider this as dectracting at all, quite the opposite. One of the main reasons I do these interviews is to stimulate analysis and conversation.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/30/20 11:50 AM as a reply to Steve James.
Steve James:
Jake Barnes:
Thank you for doing this interview Steve.  This is not meant to detract from the important work you're doing.
Thanks Jake.

I don't consider this as dectracting at all, quite the opposite. One of the main reasons I do these interviews is to stimulate analysis and conversation.

+1

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/31/20 11:20 AM as a reply to Jake Barnes.
Jake Barnes:
At 24% you are just fucking.

At 25% it becomes tantric.  
If this forum had signatures, I would make this mine. Legendary.

I've cued up the interview in my podcast app - excited to listen! Sounds like a broad variety of topics discussed from an "unusually hardcore" jhana-practice lens.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
1/31/20 12:21 PM as a reply to Jake Barnes.
I don't know if she mentioned it in this interview, but I think the first retreat she did with Ven. Pa Auk was more along the lines of 3-4 months, not one. I wonder if it was the same one (an IMS 3-month) when svmonk experienced the trouble that he writes about. It's probably worth noting that these extreme feats of concentration are not without drawbacks, as svmonk's tale illustrates.

RE: New Interview / Tina Ramussen Ph.D (Pa Auk Sayadaw, hard jhanas, dzogch
Answer
2/2/20 6:59 AM as a reply to Jake Barnes.
Jake Barnes:
Thank you for doing this interview Steve.  This is not meant to detract from the important work you're doing.

I'd like to point out a few things about Tina's approach that is at absolute odds with pragmatic dharma, and urge everyone to listen to the interview with a discerning ear.  

Tina, in one month, has gone through the entire samatha system in the Pa Auk lineage, and in her case the Sayadaw calls jhana mastery if she can sit in a full absorption for 4 hours.  

Please do the math.  

While maybe not impossible, it's highly impractical.  Let's assume it takes a few days to get concentrated which she said herself.  One would then need to do 4-hour mastery sits in each of the 8 jhanas, followed by each of the 10 kasina for each of the 8 jhanas.  And presumably there is a warming up period for each attainment.  

What I mean is one doesn't attain 2nd jhana for the first time ever on day 4 of the retreat, do a mastery 4-hour sit the same day, then move on to attain 3rd jhana for the first time ever on day 5 of the retreat and do a 4-hour mastery sit on the same day.  Even if one sits for 15 hours a day on retreat, a monthlong is 450 hours of sitting time.  Assuming no "warming up" at all for each mastery attainment, she still needs 405 hours of sitting just to get through the 8 jhanas and all the kasinas.  

In short, not buying it.  I believe she has the jhana attainments she claims, and I'm not buying the mythology of the origin story.  

The other chief problem we have is the ultimate mushroom factor problem, and it's disappointing to me that this isn't seen through.  Tina goes on about how rare these attainments are and how very few people have done it (not true, it's widely known that Burmese lay people are getting jhana left and right by following the simple instructions and not overthinking shit.)  She then says that of all her students, no one has ever gotten beyond 4th jhana.  WTF?  Her retreat with the Sayadaw was about 15 years ago and she's been teaching since then.  In 15 years of teaching she hasn't been able to guide any of her students beyond halfway of what she was able to do in 1 month?  Please think deeply about what is being implicitly said here.

If you are going to criticise a teacher you should at least make sure you know the facts of what you are saying beforehand. 

The retreat Tina took in 2005 was many months in length, with the Venerable Pau Auk Sayadaw teaching for two of those months. Also Tina sat the retreat specifically because in the time period leading up to it she had been attaining to deep concentration states, and so this retreat was suggested by her teachers. 

I am not sure where you get idea that Burmese people are "getting Jhana left and right". It is widely known and accepted in Burma that in the "deep jhana" method taught by Pau Auk Sayadaw it is the small minority who achieve the attainment. It is very difficult because it takes a lot of time commitment and for most the nimitta for whatever reason, just does not intensify, such that most burmese laity do not follow this system. It is widely considered that only a monk would have the time and circumstance to do this practice, and even then of hundreds of monks that sit the retreats at Pau Auk Monestary every year, only a small number ever even get to 1st Jhana. Shiala Catherine teaches this system also, who herself had beforehand already attained to concentration states, however other well known teachers who sat the Pau Auk Sayadaw retreat Tina sat on, and the subsequent ones have said they do not think this is something that lay mediators who practice daily with a retreat per year can realistically attain to and instead suggest students practice the pathway of "soft jhana".

That Tina has been teaching part time for 15 years, retreats of around 15-20 people for 14 days, I would say that to have even one student get to 4th Jhana in this system is a remarkable achievement. 

If anything I would say it is the opposite of pragmatic dharma that upon finding a pathway that exists that is difficult to attain to and rare, that a person must consider it "not accessible enough" and "mushroom culture".