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jhana - lost art?

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jhana - lost art?
Answer
5/26/17 5:19 PM
I've meditated many years in a tradtion which doesn't teach progressive states like jhanas - so full disclosure.

Recently I took the 10 day Vipassana course at Dhamma Manda, and liked it. The spirit of the place is incredible. I was impressed.

Goenka in the videos and the TA didn't give
any instruction in jhanas.  Goenka did mention the term, but I thought he was discounting the higher numbered absorption states.
Do the practitioners of this form of meditation feel it's essential to liberation? More advanced than traditional Anapanasati practices?  Does
the Goenka school teach this in later courses?

I read Brasington's book on the subject.  "Cook book" approaches to a practice are  always a little tricky.  He seems like a straight shooter, tho.

RE: jhana - lost art?
Answer
5/26/17 5:39 PM as a reply to Bob Gefvert.
Hey Bob! Welcome! My 0.02€ worth of opinion...

Bob Gefvert:
Goenka in the videos and the TA didn't give any instruction in jhanas. 


Some traditions/schools treat the jhanas as if they were some dirty word or dangerous practice that is only a distraction.

Bob Gefvert:

Do the practitioners of this form of meditation feel it's essential to liberation?
It's pleasurable, useful, a very nice skill to have. I would turn the question around: Getting higher paths without ever getting into jhana territory must be quite hard, because at some point they start coming up on their own spontaneously for most practitioners.

Bob Gefvert:
More advanced than traditional Anapanasati practices?
Traditional anapanasati practice includes jhana. Anapanasati is composed of 16 steps:

[1] Breathing in long, [a monk] discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.'
[2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.'
[3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.'
[4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.'
[6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.'

[7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.'
[8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.'
[10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.'
[11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.'
[12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'

[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.'
[14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.'
[15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.'
[16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.

Steps 5 and 6 (in boldface) are clearly jhanas 1-3.
Bob Gefvert:
 Does the Goenka school teach this in later courses?


No. And you'd have to jump through many hoops to get into later Goenka courses anyway.