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New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Steve, modified 6 Years ago.

New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 24 Join Date: 12/31/14 Recent Posts
Lee Brasington is in the process of publishing a book on the jhanas.
It is due out in the autum of 2015.

You can sign up for mailing list that will update you about news of this book here
http://rc.leighb.com/index.html

I'm excited.  I've seen his videos, read his site, and went to a talk he gave.

Brasington is rare in that he seems to know what is talking about in regards to the jhanas and is a good ( in English ) communicator.
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/7/14 Recent Posts
This is wonderful news! I did a retreat with him a couple of years ago and it was terrific. Thanks for bringing the new book to our attention. 
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Droll Dedekind, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
Scott Kinney, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 110 Join Date: 4/7/15 Recent Posts
Thanks!
Darrell, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 143 Join Date: 2/22/15 Recent Posts
Books of this nature (Shaila Catherine comes to mind) lead me to think that perhaps Jhana is possible for the isolated practioner.

Is this wrong?
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Chris J Macie, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 863 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts
re: Steve (1/2/15 9:58 AM)
"Lee Brasington … book on the jhanas.  Brasington is rare in that he seems to know what is talking about in regards to the jhanas and is a good ( in English ) communicator."

Darrell
(7/16/15 6:40 PM as a reply to Steve.)
"Books of this nature (Shaila Catherine comes to mind) lead me to think that perhaps Jhana is possible for the isolated practioner.
Is this wrong?"


Do you mean without 1st person guidance by a teacher?

Complicated issue, what with the range of interpretations of what jhana is, can be or should be.

Traditional jhana-s ("hard"jhana with full absorption), as taught by PaAuk Sayadaw (Burmese lineage, as in Shaila's books, and another little book by Synder & Rasmussen*), or as outlined in a book by Ajahn Brahm** (Thai lineage), or in dharmaseed talks by Ayya Khema –maybe possible but probably not easy to learn on one's own, IME. There are many more sources -- books, youtube talks, etc. -- for this kind of material.

Richard Shankman's book ('The Experience of Samadhi') covers the sources and various interpretational issues, but is not that much an instructional manual. (The interviews in his book with six 'experts' with a rangeof views are very interesting.) Since then he teaches concentrationon retreats around the SF Bay Area. When his book came out (2008), I attended a day-long talk by him (with book-signing), and my impression was he was teaching a softer form of jhana.

January 2014 I attended a retreat (at IRC, Scotts Valley, CA) with Leigh Brasington (and Gil Fronsdal) teaching his also 'softer' jhana-s together with some of his historical analysis justifying this form, including s/w daring claims ("…the commentaries (ie Visudhimagga) got it wrong!"). And he's now retired from his former software career and travels ('gone forth' as he put it) teaching jhana on retreats.

I would think this form of jhana would be easier to get into by "the isolated practitioner"(without one-on-one teaching).

Leigh also talked about having attended one of those long retreats in Massachussets taught by PaAuk Sayadaw, and he mentioned getting to much deeper states of concentration than in his own method. Leigh seems to have some respect for that 'hard' method, though he seems to doubt that the Buddha taught it.

Conversation with him was great (in retreat interviews back then); he and I both have a strong pariyatti (study of texts) bent. When I asked, he gave as sources for his interpretation a) Ayya Khema, and b) Rod Bucknell. Puzzling in that everything I've found (eg darmaseed talks) by Ayya Khema on jhana-s seems to me straight, orthodox theravadan 'hard', absorptive jhana. Rod Bucknell's theory (and his chief source Martin Stuart-Fox) I've studied (both sources available on the internet), and find the intrepretations problematic. (Sometime, maybe now sooner, I plan to lay-out an analysis of those sources here on DhO in my practice thread ("Views, meta-views…")

So I'm curious what he comes up with in the forthcoming book.

* 'Practicing the Jhanas' by Stephen Synder and Tina Rasmussen

** 'The Jhanas' By Ajahn Brahmavamso
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.pdf
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Jenny, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 566 Join Date: 7/28/13 Recent Posts
Dear Chris,

It would be cool if you laid those sources out sometime. I have attained to all eight jhanas (as a solo practitioner)--no idea how "hard" they are since, when I use the terms "hard" or "soft," I'm referring only to my own relative levels of concentration. I've also, just recently, attained to Nirodha Samapatti--not the "lite" thing, but the real thing. I need to try to repeat it, as MCTB enjoins.

I've been rather obsessed for almost a year with mastering the jhanas, so it would indeed be a treat to have a comparative overview/analysis of the various sources. I'm currently trying to strengthen my concentration in preparation for retreat, meaning I'm trying to monitor the overall mediation itself and, while letting the jhanas bloom and shift more and more naturally, also trying to stay with it instead of being distracted. Distraction is a problem for me in j1 and j2, the latter often being a fear-tinged rapturous state. The fear is subtle, but it consists in avoidance of full-on concentration, as if part of me doesn't want to see quite that clearly. My concentration is much better, undistracted, in the more refined higher jhanas with wider attentional quality..

Jen

EDITED for some elaboration and typos (I need sleep).
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Droll Dedekind, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
http://www.leighb.com/jhanantp.htm
http://www.leighb.com/jhanatrd.htm

This might help.

I get some fear in j2 also. The intensity and speed sometimes makes me uneasy.
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Laurel Carrington, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/7/14 Recent Posts
I also went on retreat with Leigh. He told us that Pa Auk Sayadaw's method requires long, long retreats. It's not possible to get that deeply concentrated in a two-week retreat, not to mention daily life. I wonder about the phenomenon of a bright nimitta, however. I got a couple of those last year just out of nowhere, during the day, doing errands and such. I wondered if it were legit,and even tested to see if it could be the aftereffect of inadvertently looking at a bright light. It was not related to any external light source, as in the case of candle flame meditation. If anyone else has had that experience, I'd love to hear. Maybe I'll email Leigh and ask. 
C P M, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 219 Join Date: 5/23/13 Recent Posts
Laurel Carrington:
I wonder about the phenomenon of a bright nimitta, however. I got a couple of those last year just out of nowhere, during the day, doing errands and such. I wondered if it were legit,and even tested to see if it could be the aftereffect of inadvertently looking at a bright light. It was not related to any external light source, as in the case of candle flame meditation. If anyone else has had that experience, I'd love to hear. 

Hi Laurel

In the last year, I started to occasionally get a purple blob on the center of my vision while meditating with my eyes open.  Most of my vision will go away, with only very course or rough visual information left, but around the center is the purple blob that isn't static but expands and contracts.  It's not light source dependent, and it isn't the after effect of a bright light, but there is some similarity in effect.

A few years ago, when trying to match my experiences with the descriptions of Jhana, some sources seemed to say that a nimitta was required.  I wasn't getting a nimitta and wondered about it.  After reading http://www.arrowriver.ca/dhamma/nimitta.html I gave up on the whole nimitta thing and forgot about it.  But now that I get what seems to be a nimitta, I don't think I see much difference in my state of concentration with or without it.  So, my thinking about a nimitta is that it can happen to some people sometimes, but may not.

edit: fix typos
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katy steger, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: New Book On The Jhanas Coming Autum 2015

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Freely given instructions for jhana and dhamma relateness in book form, Knowing and Seeing, by Pa Auk Sayadaw*:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/know-see.pdf


*http://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/residence_apply.htm

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