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Practicing the Jhanas: Traditional Concentration Meditation as Presented…

av Stephen Snyder, Tina Rasmussen

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
401514,578 (2.38)Ingen/inga
"This is a clear and in-depth description of the jhanas, the traditional Theravadan concentration meditation practices, from two authors who have practiced these meditations in retreat with and under the close guidance of one of the great modern masters. Pa Auk Sayadaw is the abbot of Pa Auk Monastery in Burma. He is considered by many to be the leading teacher of the jhanas. The authors describe the techniques and their results, based on their own experience. This helpful book will be appealing to anyone who wants to learn more about this type of meditation. The instructions are thorough and detailed and will help even experienced meditators who have done retreats at one of the many popular Buddhist centers where concentration meditation is taught" -- www.amazon.com… (mer)
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There are, no doubt, people for whom this book is a useful introduction to a valuable technique in meditation. I am not one of those people.

The authors are dedicated students of a teacher in the Burmese Theravadin school, and they seek to convey the tradition of absorption concentration which he represents. There is historical background; there are quotations from English translations of the Pali Suttas; there are careful distinctions such as that between "access concentration" and "absorption concentration", and warnings that practice requires a teacher who can guide the student through intricately differentiated layers of the meditative state. I approached this book with an open mind, as a naive reader bearing a passing acquaintance with the meditative traditions of Christianity and of Zen; but I was unable to suspend my critical faculties all the way through the book. A passage on page 83 rather exemplifies the kind of thing that I find more or less unapproachable:

"Once you have attained jhāna mastery of the fourth jhāna using ānāpānasati meditation, the teacher will direct you to practice thirty-two-body-parts meditation... First, enter and pass through the first, second, third, and fourth jhānas using the ānāpāna nimitta as the object. Experience each of the four material jhānas with their corresponding jhāna factors. Complete the five jhāna masteries for each jhāna. Quickly check the bhavanga after exiting each jhāna to ensure that the corresponding jhāna factors were present in that particular jhāna...."

In effect, this seems to be the mental equivalent of the kind of yoga that requires you to place the big toe of one foot into the orifice of the other ear while maintaining focus on the outer edge of your intercostal muscles, coupled with the kind of obsessive numerical classification and ranking of things in which so much of Buddhist tradition seems to delight. The authors may well have reached such heights of attainment during a two-month retreat, but those of us with actual real lives may find more accessible ways of following the Middle Way. I am passing my copy on to a Buddhist friend who may be able to make more use of it than I can.

MB 1-ii-2018 ( )
  MyopicBookworm | Feb 1, 2018 |
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Rasmussen, Tinahuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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"This is a clear and in-depth description of the jhanas, the traditional Theravadan concentration meditation practices, from two authors who have practiced these meditations in retreat with and under the close guidance of one of the great modern masters. Pa Auk Sayadaw is the abbot of Pa Auk Monastery in Burma. He is considered by many to be the leading teacher of the jhanas. The authors describe the techniques and their results, based on their own experience. This helpful book will be appealing to anyone who wants to learn more about this type of meditation. The instructions are thorough and detailed and will help even experienced meditators who have done retreats at one of the many popular Buddhist centers where concentration meditation is taught" -- www.amazon.com

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