This is a practical, accessible and demystifying look at the states of deep concentration described in the suttas of the Pali Canon. This book gives pragmatic, achievable instructions for entering these jhanic states and provides an expert look at the theory, history and presentation of the jhānas in the original suttas.
No aspect of the Buddha's teaching seems to have been more misunderstood and neglected than Right Concentration. Yet Right Concentration is obviously an integral part of the Buddha's path to awakening. Right Concentration is the eighth item of the Noble Eightfold Path and is often exemplified by and even defined as the jhānas. Before his awakening, after rejecting both the path of sensual indulgence and the path of austerities, the Buddha remembered an incident from his childhood of experiencing the first jhāna and upon further reflection concluded "That is indeed the path to awakening."
This book is an attempt to rectify the misunderstandings and neglect of the role of concentration in the Buddha's teachings. The jhānas described in the suttas are far more accessible than the states described many centuries later in the commentaries. They turbocharge ones insight practice. They generate the joy on the spiritual path that the Buddha says is a requirement for progress.
If you are interested in learning the jhānas as a practice, or if you are just interested in learning about the jhānas, this book will serve you well.
"For those interested in exploring jhāna, Leigh brings many years of skillful teaching to this accessible, clear, and helpful guide.Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
Leigh Brasington presents a clear map of jhāna practice as he learned it from his teacher, Ayya Khema. As with many aspects of the Buddhas teachings, different traditions and lineages have different views on what constitutes these deeper states of concentration. Leigh offers many examples from his own experience and from his reading of the Buddhist texts in providing a valuable guide to this particular way of understanding and practicing them.Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening