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Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff

Very good and educating explanation of the jhanas, meditative states of theravada buddhism, by a senior teacher Leigh Brasington. I haven't had much interest in theravada buddhism but have started to look into it emoticon

”It's (jhana meditation) a skill. And it's mechanical. You can learn to do this and you can crank out the concentrated mind. If only we could do this for insights. Do something and crank out the insights.” - Leigh Brasington, from this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCLT64SLYZk

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 3:22 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Very good and educating explanation of the jhanas, meditative states of theravada buddhism, by a senior teacher Leigh Brasington. I haven't had much interest in theravada buddhism but have started to look into it ...
Brasington, self-styled "senior" teacher in buddhist romantic circles, and his jhana-lite interpretations, rooted in dubious historical theories and mis-representations of his teacher -- an apt place for you to begin pretending authority on Theravada.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 3:56 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
Brasington, self-styled "senior" teacher in buddhist romantic circles, and his jhana-lite interpretations, rooted in dubious historical theories and mis-representations of his teacher -- an apt place for you to begin pretending authority on Theravada.

I knew my old buddy Chris would be the first to comment. Why do you have to be such a dick Chris? Almost every post I make, you make nasty remarks aimed at my persona. Then when I reply to you, you keep quiet until the next time I make a new post. This has been going on for a while.

I don't know much about theravada buddhism but I liked what Leigh Brasington said in the video. Is that so bad despite of your ctirical view of him? He has a right to speak openly of his view, as do I and as do you. I just don't get why you have to be such an asshole in your comments. Are you that blind to your emotional impulses? I am sure everyone here knows how much contempt you have towards me so no need to keep repeating it. Everyone gets tired at the old dog that is constantly barking day in day out. No? Grow up, old man. How about some vipashyana?

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 4:02 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
Kim Katami:
Very good and educating explanation of the jhanas, meditative states of theravada buddhism, by a senior teacher Leigh Brasington. I haven't had much interest in theravada buddhism but have started to look into it ...
Brasington, self-styled "senior" teacher in buddhist romantic circles, and his jhana-lite interpretations, rooted in dubious historical theories and mis-representations of his teacher -- an apt place for you to begin pretending authority on Theravada.
I'd be interested to know more about the issues with Brasington's approach and your minimum standard for jhana. If all of the jhana factors are present, and that level of concentration is sufficient for the practitioner to reach stream-entry, does that count as jhana? 

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 4:14 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew Horn:
I'd be interested to know more about the issues with Brasington's approach and your minimum standard for jhana. If all of the jhana factors are present, and that level of concentration is sufficient for the practitioner to reach stream-entry, does that count as jhana? 

That's what I thought. If it looks like an elephant and feels like an elephant then it must be an elephant.

Sometime ago I read a small book by American couple who are teachers authorised by Pa Auk from Burma. Tat was the first time I heard that one should be able to stay in each jhana 3 or 4 hours in one sitting. Then you "got it".

Now I heard Brasington speak of "10-15 minutes" in each of the eight jhanas for it to be a valid thing. Difference of opinion and interpretation, it seems.

I think what is the point here is that there should be a clear and thorough recognition of each of the states. That's it.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 7:01 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Matthew Horn:
I'd be interested to know more about the issues with Brasington's approach and your minimum standard for jhana. If all of the jhana factors are present, and that level of concentration is sufficient for the practitioner to reach stream-entry, does that count as jhana? 

That's what I thought. If it looks like an elephant and feels like an elephant then it must be an elephant.

Practice is colored by tradition, teacher, proclivities. The Jhanas are perception attainments. As such, they are different for different practitioners. 

Because attaining the Jhanas does not count as realization (to borrow terminology from outside Theravada), there is fortunately not much use to get upset about them.

If you have a scholarly bent, you can group and grade Jhanas. The standard Theravada grading is Jhana no. 1-4, often with added 5-8. The higher you count the deeper you go. With regards to stream entry, different strands of orthodox Theravada do or don't see Jhana as being a necessary condition. This alone makes Jhana a fertile ground for spiritual materialism.

Judging from my own experience, there are different types of complete Jhanic arcs (1-8). What someone from Pa-Auk lineage calls no. 1 is probably more absorbed than higher Jhanas from a Thai Forest teacher. It is probably safe to assume that the intensity of concentration on the onset of a Jhanic arc can differ, not only between lineages, schools and teachers, but also for oneself, over time.

Until recently, because of prevailing standards, Jhana used to be something really difficult to attain. This has changed, also thanks to teachers like Leigh Brasington. He suggests to open up Jhana no. 1 by moving the focus of the access concentration from the primary object (e.g. breath) to something tinged with pleasure. This creates the necessary mix of factors which propels you into Jhana. The absorption is not as all-encompassing as with other entry points (thus often called "light"), but it is nevertheless self-stabilizing. The particular Jhanic arc started with with this method corresponds well with what the sutras say about how Jhanas progress.

Leigh got the entry method from Ayya Khema, who asked Leigh to teach the Jhanas. You might want to check out his website. He gets a little bit defensive when called out by "not-so-light" Jhana practitioners who debate the validity of his interpretation. I don't care.

A good overview over bundles of definitions and views is included in Culada's "The Mind Illuminated". In an appendix he discusses not only the above mentioned Jhana types but also a "whole body" type which fits very well with what Thanissaro Bhikkhu says about the topic.

Bhante Sujato has a nice way to put everything in perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik0B4Kip_Sc

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 7:07 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
thought i will write some of it down how i heard it, my english and terminology is poor. up to the 50 min.
----------

17.00
shift focus to pleasantness. The smile.
works only about 25 percent of students.
pleasant sensation most commonly found in hands. Sort of warm tingly glow.
otherplaces, heart, head..
19.00 pleasant sensation erupts into piti, sukkha- extacy delight euphoria. Its a physical release of pleasant energy.
20.00 you can't do the jhanas. What you can do is set up supporting conditions, then jhana comes and finds you. Setting up a postivie feedback loop.
2100 adding more pleasentness to pelsanetenss means more pleasentness. 2140- it errupts into piti and sukha. It can feel like you getting out out of control.
2400- ...nucle...reward center is on overdrive. We seemto stimulate reward center automatically with just mental lack of activity and directing of attention.
[24.50 nucleus..produces dopamine. Dopamine breaks down into nepynepfrim. It can produce heatt, alsmot like hot flash.] - its piti.
25.50 sukha the joy happiness-thats probably opioids. Makes you feel good, calminf effect. Piti dies out, sukha the emotional stuff is there.
30.00- piti goes away. rapture fades. happiness free from rapture. Contented state, a wishless state. Completly satisfied.
32. 4th jhana, state beyond pleasure and pain. Emotional neutrality. Go with the sense of dropping down to quet and stillness.
33.00 4th contains mindfullness fully purified by equanimity. Concetration now is quite supreme. Usual way of looking world isn't there.
33.40 can direct now mind t oknowing and seeing.35.00 purpose of jahan is to produce a mind that is concentrated, clear, sharp,....perfect for to investigate reality.
35.20 knowing and seeing things as they really are. Knowing and seeing wahts actually happening.
36.20- at 4th jhana, contraucting of Ego- the self is shut down.
37.00 can do insight(investigation) much less egocentricly.
37.40- sharp the mind and go out and see whats really going on. Come out and investigate your mind and body. Satiphattana sutta, 13 ways to practice insight practices.
38.45- vedana- mindfulness of initual reactions of sensory input. pleasant, unpleasant, neutral.
We running after sources of pleasant vedana and avoid unplesant. We don't pay attention to these but thats waht running our lives.
39.30- third of mindfulness establishment, mindfulness of mindstates. Investigating the mind.
39.40 4th establishment of mindfulness is investigation of phenomena as phenomena relates of the teachings of the Buddha. Investigate the reality.
40.00 end of talk of 4 jhanas. There are also 4 immaterial states. that means 8 altered states in sequence.
41.00 infinite space. 1st arupa jhana. limitless, boundless. Vast empty space appear in front of you. Huge space.
43.21- 5th jhana is realm of infinte space. 3D infinite space.
44.44- 6th realm is infinite conciousness. Trick here is you can't be concious of infinite space with a limited conciousness.
Conciousness has to be big as whatever it is concious at. Can you turn your attention from the space to your conciousness of space?! can you become aware of your awareness?!
45.07- if you do that there is a sense of becomeing absorbed into that space and then your mind is as big the space was. Union with atman.
45.40- 7th is realm of nothingness. Sense of space is gone. Object is no object.. Feeling that there is nothing there, that sense of nothingness.
46.30- people stumble all these states unintentionally too.
47.00 8th jhana. Percetion- sanna is the ability to name, identify things. 8th jhana is neither naming nor not not naming.
This sate does not have characteristics to descibe it. Except you can reqocnice this state by that it has no characteristics..

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 7:20 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
I have read Leigh Brasington's book on the jhanas, attended one of his retreat, and read almost all the suttas in the Pali canon, and I find that Leigh B.'s teachings on the jhanas are quite representative of what is said in the suttas. In his book he construes very solid arguments, using the suttas, to question commentarial assumptions on the jhanas, such as the meaning of vitakha and viccara in the first jhana. 

Also, the idea that only if you stay in a jhana 3-4- hours can it count as jhana is hard to support from a sutta perspective. The Buddha entered the fourth jhana, according to suttas, on the night of his awakening. Then in the first watch of the night (a period of about 2-3- hours) he contemplated his past lives. Then on the second watch, developed the divine eye. In the third, he contemplated the 4 Noble Truths (i.e. vipassana). He got awakened in the morning. If he had stayed in each jhana 3-4- hours, he would still be in jhana in the morning, never mind having started developing insight.

When he passed away, the suttas say he went through all eight jhanas on his death bed, then back down to first, then up to fourth jhana again, and entered final Nibbana from there. That's 19 jhanas in a row. 19 x 3 hours is 57 hours, a bit more than two days. 

Although we we culd always question whether all this is myth or not, it seems clear that the compilers of the suttas did not see jhanas as having to be absorbed into 3-4 hours to count as jhana. Not to discredit Pa-Auk style either. He's referring to amazing skills but the question is whether that's necessary for awakening.

From a practical standpoint, I like Leigh B's jhanas (sutta jhanas) because you remain connected to the body, which seems to make the transition from jhana to vipassana (at least a Mahasi style vipassana) more natural.

Benoit

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 9:03 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
the time isn't much the matter here.

You set up conditions for to hormones activate and break down. Basically its about substance, causes and effects, dependent origination.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 10:15 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Dear Benoit,

Thanks. Your views are helpful and reasonable.

How about this:

There is this wide range of what people are capable of regarding jhanas, clearly. There is a wide range of opinion on what jhana is, clearly. Anyone who has hung out here long enough knows all about this perennial debate, all about B Allan Wallace, all about Pa Auk, all about Ajahn Brahm, all about Ayya Kyema and Leigh Brasington, and most of the rest of it, as it comes up again and again and again, sometimes somewhat deficient in good pragmatic arguments for one set over the others based on people's real-world experience, so it is nice to see some adding those into the debate here.

Specifically: anybody got to a place where their body was totally gone, bright white pervaded their entire field of experience stably for 4-24 hours, and there were no thoughts of any kind during that entire period? If so, would honestly love to hear your reports and descriptions, as well as why you feel that anything less than that couldn't possibly be jhana.

I personally find the duration criteria noxious, to be honest, not only due to the obvious time problem, such as the set up for Nirodha Samapatti taking a minimum of 32 hours by the 4-hour per jhana criteria (or 8+ days using the 24-hour criteria found in BAW's work?), during which point someone would likely have to at least pee...

If the body and form disappear with retained high perceptual and mental clarity but it only did so for 5 minutes, was that not some formless attainment? Really?

It would be sort of like a marathon runner saying that anything less than running a marathon is not really running.

It gets, well, a bit macho, even for this place. It is not that there is anything wrong with running marathons, nor is there anything that intrinsically toxic about having some benevolent and skillful pride at that accomplishment, as that is an impressive thing to do, but to then take that and say that everyone else who did it for slightly less or moderately less isn't running isn't just obnoxious, it shows a level of rigid categorical and concrete thinking that is unseemly in an adult, lacking the nuance we all hope people develop as they mature from childhood.

Am a similarly being noxiously prideful about having the ability to think with nuance and in shades of grey and dimensions rather than ultra-rigid categories over those who apparently can't? Perhaps, and I will try to show more sensitivity towards their condition.

So, we likely have at least 4 types of people here:

1) People who can get into ultra-hard jhanas with perfect unwavering stability for greater than 240 minutes and also who can think with nuance and realize that someone in that same or very similar state with all the defined jhanic factors present for, say, 239 minutes and 59 seconds, was actually in jhana also.

2) People who can get into ultra-hard jhanas with perfect unwavering stability for greater than 240 minutes who are congenitally incapable of conceiving that those who were in some very similar state with all jhanic factors present for, say, 239 minutes and 59 seconds, were also in jhana.

3) People who can't get into ultra-hard jhanas with perfect unwavering stability for 240 minutes who can yet think with nuance and realize that someone who was in a very similar state with all defined jhanic factors present for, say, 239 minutes and 59 seconds, were also in jhana.

4) People who neither can get into ultra-hard jhana with perfect unwavering for 240 minutes who also are incapable of conceiving that those who were in a similar state with all classically defined jhanic factors present for 239 minutes and 59 seconds were also in jhana.

Which type are you? Are you sure that is the best type to be? If so, why?

Speaking of jhana...

Very brief retreat report:

I went on retreat solo down at the Gulf beaches of Florida for 17 days, just got back last night. I did mostly elemental concentration practices, fire kasina, water kasina, light kasina, that sort of thing, with a moderate amount of brahma viharas thrown in for good measure.

Plenty of jhanic factors arose, sometimes very strongly, pervading the body and producing deep tranquility and stability of mind and body, but none for 4 hours with perfect unwavering stability. Plenty of visions arose, as I was doing a visual-based kasina, some to become so complete as to emerse me entirely in a world as real-feeling and looking as this one, just not this one.

Instead, long before 4 hours elapsed, my body would sometimes vanish, space would open up, the sense of consciousness would pervade a vast space, that would disappear to nothing, then that would vanish also, then form would reappear again.

Then, on day fourteen, just on a lark, I did something I hadn't done in 10 years. After the world reappeared after even nothing had vanished, I made a quiet resolution to attain to Nirodha Samapatti. About 30 seconds later: total mental power failure, like someone had pulled the plug on experience itself, then power back up, then massive afterglow. It felt like coming out of deep anesthesia, for those who have had surgery or some fully-sedated procedure.

Since it had been 10 years since I had done this, I was stunned by the afterglow. This time the effects were clearly evident over 24 hours later. My body felt totally different, like every single little hint of muscle tension or pain had just vanished.

I went to get a massage during this time, and the massage therapist commented, "Wow, you have no tension at all!", which is basically unheard of for my back, which does bad things sometimes and basically always has some moderate number of knots. I had had two massages by her during the previous 15 days, and each time there had been plenty to work on. She also kept commenting that my skin feld oddly cold, but I felt warm myself. She said this was very different from how it had felt before. I am not sure what to make of that, but just offering it as a phenomenological data point.

My mind felt so weirdly chill yet uncannily clear that at points I thought, "Holy shit, what have I done to myself? How long is this going to last? If this persists until I have to drive home, will I be able to drive in this state of profound relaxation and react appropriately if there is a need for fast maneuvering around some dangerous situation? Could I work a shift at the emergency department in this state at the required speed?"

Both luckily and unluckily, after about a day the body and mind were beginning to feel mostly back to my retreat-baseline, which was still pretty chill but not anything like that.

I also now remember why I hadn't done this in 10 years, as my current life is totally unconducive to having to navigate in that afterglow, which, while remarkably pleasant, has elements that would make much of what I do feel like being drilled by a dentist, as, as the texts rightly say, the mind post NS inclines to peace and solitude.

BTW: I know for certain that this power-down didn't last for 4 hours, as I sat down at about 2:30pm and got up about 3:15pm or so, and the setup took at least 20 minutes, I would guess. How long Nirodha lasted, I don't know, but clearly less than about 25 minutes.

Clearly, this would not qualify as any jhanic attainment for the 240-minute Kids, and they would likely scoff at it. For me, it totally blew my doors off, and I am pretty used to meditative experiences and afterglows. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Make of all that what you will.

If you adopt a set of jhanic criteria, critically ask yourself what practical value that set of criteria has for your practice and how it helps or harms you and those around you.

Practice well,

Daniel

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 12:49 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
hey Kim,
Perhaps useful contrasts to Brasington are
Ajahn Brahm:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.pdf

Pa-auk Tawya Sayadaw:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books13/Pa-Auk-Sayadaw_Knowing-and-Seeing-4th-Ed-2010.pdf

My guess is you'll like Ajahn Brahm especially!

Edit: to be clear Daniels post hadnt shown up yet when I posted this.

BUT, isnt this 4hr criteria in Paauk Sayadaw a criteria for 'mastery' not that someone hasnt been in that particular jhana at that particular time, so even a master in the Pauk Sayadaw tradition may technically have only sat the full 4hrs or more a handful of times. Thus the account of Buddha's awakening was long in time enough for him to have visited (Paauk Sayadaw style) full hard jhana if he wished.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 12:15 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
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RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/19/17 7:10 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks Daniel for sharing those personal experiences with the jhanas and NS! To me that's so much more valuable and helpful than any theoretical discussions.
And the only set of criteria that really interest me are those that are related to helping attain path. In all testimonials of awakening/paths I've read and heard so far, none involved having previously been in hard jhanas for hours emoticon

Regards,

Benoit

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/19/17 11:51 AM as a reply to Ben V..
hi Benoit,
Apologies, my edit was written rapidly and could be read as being unfairly pointed at you.

I certainly agree with you and Daniel "the idea that only if you stay in a jhana 3-4- hours can it count as jhana" is preposterous, and indeed how could it be so given the account of Buddha's awakening (knock out!).

However, I think it should be said clearly that this view has nothing to do with Pa-auk Sayadaw, and neednt discourage anyone from reading 'knowing and seeing' for example. Pa-auk Sayadaw has high standards where jhana mastery is concerned, including sustaining full/extreme jhana for 4 hours, which Im guessing is a requirement to be able to teach in his tradition. This is also probably from where 'some people' (hands up if you're one of these 'some people'!) unfortunately misconstrue it for being a criteria for being in proper jhana at all. Perhaps this is also implied by the book as it is structured such that, after jhana mastery then vipassana for abhidhamma style granularity of insight. Undoubtedly in my view path experiences would be at abhidhamma granularity of insight too, which I'd imagine would be qualitatively quite different and richer especially given Daniels account of NS above.

Further I doubt anyone doesnt think monster concentration isnt awesome!! Daniel's fire kasina and Gulf Beach retreats are fantastic accounts of this (including an account of a Pa-auk/Brahm style hard jhana), and btw great incentive for me....

Personally I think you need a fair amount of insight to be able to sit for four hours comfortably and consistently (an impression I didnt get from his book incidentally), and perhaps for types of people like me working to achieve this, brings up the silla stuff and insights in the proper order, to be able to sustain a four path journey, even enjoyably and in higher definition than otherwise I could manage!

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/19/17 4:02 PM as a reply to supaluqi.
I didn't perceive any unfairness toward me in your edit emoticon Thanks for clarifying the meaning of the 3-4 hours jhana in Pa Auk tradition. 

Benoit

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/20/17 2:17 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

...
Specifically: anybody got to a place where their body was totally gone, bright white pervaded their entire field of experience stably for 4-24 hours, and there were no thoughts of any kind during that entire period? If so, would honestly love to hear your reports and descriptions, as well as why you feel that anything less than that couldn't possibly be jhana.

...

It gets, well, a bit macho, even for this place. It is not that there is anything wrong with running marathons, nor is there anything that intrinsically toxic about having some benevolent and skillful pride at that accomplishment, as that is an impressive thing to do, but to then take that and say that everyone else who did it for slightly less or moderately less isn't running isn't just obnoxious, it shows a level of rigid categorical and concrete thinking that is unseemly in an adult, lacking the nuance we all hope people develop as they mature from childhood.
...

Years ago, prior to 2010, I used to sit a lot and practice kriya yoga. I would practice the techniques and then go into a state called paravastha. Para+avastha refers to a state of meditation where after magnetising the central channel in the spine (breathing up and down along it) and after some mantras, you shoot your attention through the crown towards the sky, to the subtle centers above the crown. I've talked about these centers in relation to Open Heart Bhumi Model. It's some of these centers that one shoots one's attention to in phowa, when leaving the body when dying. Anyway. I would practice a lot of kriya yoga techniques on daily basis and spend hours and hours in various states of paravastha, meaning absorbed in these various centers. Often I would begin my practice early in the morning, first do some techs for half an hour or so, and then shoot up... to resume my body awareness several hours later and have breakfast at midday. I did that for a few years. I would sit like that 8 hours a day in 2-4 sessions (4x2h or 2x4h).

I loved it until I realised it was going no where emoticon Then I was taught vipashyana. I haven't really looked back to those states of absorption since.

When seeing Kenneth Folk's video of jhanic arc a few years ago online, by looking at him and Nikolai, I recognised that some of the jhanas they did matched my exp from kriya yoga paravastha. I emailed Folk and asked if I could publicly bhumi analyse the jhanic arc, sent two emails, but he never replied.

I did my first theravada light* jhana-session two nights ago and got a few of them going but I couldn't remember the descriptions of them or their names so didn't go through the whole arc of 8 jhanas. Will get back to it in my practoce log, Kim's tool shed, when I have time to get to it properly.

But to answer Daniel's question: I think the four hour thing is absurd. It seems like one of those imbesile things that men do when they gather together in robes*

Nice to hear of your retreat Dan. Sometime ago I saw you looking for a place for it, and I meant to invite you over here, but then felt that you probably find something more warmer closer emoticon

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/20/17 3:34 PM as a reply to Ben V..
Sid:
I don't mean this as too much of a throw-away post but I just wanted to say that much of what is above is the content I'm here for, reminding me that DhO is an awesome resource.

Also if you see this Kim Katami, for what it's worth I'll add that I personally like a good portion of the dharma writings and videos you've put out there (at least what I've read or watched). I saw the photo of you as a Zen monk from ages ago and I actually find it rather inspiring and supportive of your case as a teacher that you admit that during years of living in Japan as a monk and getting your estimated 8,000 hours of cushion time in you made no progress then and eventually came to suspect that some of your teachers weren't even enlightened. I suspect that many people here on this forum had experiences similar to yours: wasting lots time with ineffective or altogether worthless gurus (and in some cases the kind trying to sap away your money as well as your attention). I like that you find that you made progress only later with different and more powerful (and organized) practices. I'm also glad that it sounds like you picked up a couple students from your posts here. 

Looking at the Dharma Overground as a whole your posts about your bhumi rating system are interestingly controversial but not in my mind too inappropriate as we probably care more about concrete/estimated/measured/demonstrated attainments and maps of attainments than maybe any other online forum does... there is of course a shadow-side to attaintment-fixations that could be embodied in such a form that people should be on the lookout for. Your posts about steps beyond arahatship are pretty interesting given that there has been debate here for ages about what to do after 4th path (whether Actual Freedom work, tantric stuff, concentration work/siddhis, whatever)... I would urge those who criticize you for not placing arahatship as final bhumi to acknowledge that this common to Mahayana schools (some of which think that arahats will blink out into a false parinibbana only to re-manifest later after a few kalpas) and this is not an eccentric view unique to Kim. Of course on the flipside of that, from the Theravada standpoint Kim/many Mahayanists are very wrong to downplay arahats. ;)

I am also not surprised that you have received some resistance here since you are mostly writing about Dzogchen or tantric practices that lie outside of the work of many Theravada Buddhists.

Furthermore you claim to have seen ghosts since you were a child and to work with the dead and powerful spirit gurus - I'm actually willing to totally go with you there that this is a possibility and even a powerful expedient (and shame on anyone who denies that some Tibetan schools don't go for things exactly this or don't allow supernatural knowledge generally whether in the form of termas or whatever... heck read the Vimuttimagga and you'll get several good notes for interacting with "non-humans" and getting them to like you and tips for hanging out in graveyards... the Pali canon also includes suttas with notes about making offerings to the dead/ancestors and to place spirits) - but for a lot of materialists + those people who are used to dangerous pompously mystical gurus the fact that you are open about this will always be a reactive barrier and will likely generate acidity like what we see in some of the replies to your posts.

Anyway, long story short I don't think it's a mystery why some people won't like your posts but you also should know that there are others who do. Really I can't actually speak for other people (I'm just taking my best guess/assessment of things). I personally hope you continue to post and to share your perspective and tools.

~S

As Sid's post is off topic I answered him here.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 7:31 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Suttas wrote:
Buddha, when he passed away, the suttas say he went through all eight jhanas on his death bed, then back down to first, then up to fourth jhana again, and entered final Nibbana from there. 

(quoted from Benoit's post)

Buddha by definition is fully awakened, always abiding in the natural state. Why did he still practice jhanas after several decades of his attainment? Why did he go to altered states of consciousness (often used description of jhanas) before his death when he was already a fully awakened one and in the natural state without a pause?

Anyone authoritative ever talked about this?

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 7:46 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
As the Pali Canon goes on and on about, after awakening there is still pain, still sickness, still discomfort. Jhanas help with those.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 8:11 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Are you referring to the food poisoning Daniel? Discomfort due to high age? Geriatric issues?