Author Topic: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"  (Read 11540 times)

Jhana4

  • Guest
"Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« on: May 15, 2011, 11:33:44 PM »
Has anyone read Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond:  A Meditator's Handbook by Ajahn Brahm ?

He has a 2 part text combination on the internet that seems similar:

The Basic Method Of Meditation by Ajahn Brahm

The Jhanas by Ajahn Brahm

If you have read these two e-books, does the book have more to offer?

Thanks

soma

  • Guest
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 01:23:47 AM »
I have not yet read the two shorter online texts and right now I have a severe toothache so I wont be reading them now  :) but I can very much recommend Ajahn Brahms, Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond'. I have read several books on jhana and this one is the best by far and it is very thorough. The only one you will need. I also liked Shaila Catherines book, 'Focused And Fearless' and it is very similar to Bhante Gunaratanas book, 'Beyond Mindfulness' but none of them come close to the clarity and also humour of Ajahn Brahm.
Also check out Ian And's, 'A General, All Purpose Jhana Thread' http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1191517 on Dharma Overground. He is also very good at guiding people in pursuit of jhana as a tool for more effective insight practice.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 01:32:47 AM by soma »

Jhana4

  • Guest
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 01:46:15 PM »
Thanks for the opinions!   I just finished "Focused and Fearless".   I've been thinking about reading the other two books mentioned.   Your comments about those are encouraging me to do so.    I found "Focused and Fearless" very readable, so your comment that it is similar to BMIPE encourages me to read that book.   I was worried that it might be too dense.    I've long enjoyed Ajahn Brahm's youtube talks but I've felt cautious about his book due to comments on Amazon and elsewhere from internet Buddhists that what he has to say about Buddhism/meditation sometimes departs from Buddhist texts.    My first concern has been "does his stuff work for me?", but I am glad to have read those comments as things that are not Buddhism getting labeled as Buddhism is a turn-off for me.    I can accept a meditation teacher's ideas even if they are not Buddhism.  I don't like being deceived.....or patronized.

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2011, 08:05:55 AM »
I have bought Ajahn Brahms, Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond' thanks to soma :)
Yes I second soma, Brahms teaching is wrapped into such positive energy, full of joy and bliss. He teaches not to aproach meditation as something touhg and heavy and dark but joyful, delightful, as he say follow the beautiful breath not just breath ;)

A book one can not read at once and benefit but read and reflect on your practice, leave the book on the side for a while and practice. After a week or month or so take it up again and it will reveal some new things to you. A practical book for those walking the path.

Without a stable nimitta sais he there can not be the First Jhana. For the stable nimitta to happen one is to dwell in the beautiful breath in silence and stillness for the breath to disapear. It all influence one another, like a chain.

One of my favorite books indeed.

Thanks soma and Jhana4 for starting this thread

Mal

  • Guest
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 03:05:08 PM »
There seems to a lot of controversy about nimittas.

"Visuddhimagga Style Jhanas" use a nimitta for access and involve very deep concentration. "Sutta Style Jhanas" do not require a nimitta and involve more accessible states of concentration."

http://www.leighb.com/jhanantp.htm

J0rrit

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • -
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 04:09:43 PM »
I've read this book, and it confused me a little. The meditation he speaks of is neither Vipassana neither samadhi, but he calls it just 'bhavvana' (practice). But it seems to me as if it is pure samadhi and that the Jhanas are the most important thing in the whole meditation path. Can someone explain me more about this?

greets

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 08:19:44 PM »
From my understanding Brahm (and quite a few other noteable Buddhists) believe the two are sides of the same coin, lead into one another and are dependent on one another. While Jhanas have their benefit and are a goal they needn't be the sole focus of practice - in fact if you were to make them that, they'd likely never arise.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2013, 06:59:34 PM »
I've read this book, and it confused me a little. The meditation he speaks of is neither Vipassana neither samadhi, but he calls it just 'bhavvana' (practice). But it seems to me as if it is pure samadhi and that the Jhanas are the most important thing in the whole meditation path. Can someone explain me more about this?

greets

This is what the Buddha taught. Vipassana and Shamatha are fruits of meditation and the basic foundations for deeper realisation. Without insight and calm, bliss, rapture and Jahna - (Samadhi) - and Nirbanna are beyond us.

The Buddha never taught "go do Shamatha" or "go do Vipassana" - he taught "go do Jhana". Jhana is based on the development of Shamatha or Calm and Vipassana or Insight as fruits of right practice.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 07:01:47 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Renze

  • Member
    • Ungrounded
    • No hope
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 09:08:40 AM »
I've read this book, and it confused me a little. The meditation he speaks of is neither Vipassana neither samadhi, but he calls it just 'bhavvana' (practice). But it seems to me as if it is pure samadhi and that the Jhanas are the most important thing in the whole meditation path. Can someone explain me more about this?

greets

Hi Jorrit,

Did you read the Dutch translation? I got the feeling that it was translated poorly.

J0rrit

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • -
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 09:13:24 AM »
No, I read the original one...

Renze

  • Member
    • Ungrounded
    • No hope
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 09:48:30 AM »
Jorrit,

I posted this PDF by Thanissaro Bikkhu in another thread, it gives some background info about what the Buddha actually taught and ties in nicely with Ajahn Brahm's teachings. It's basically what Matthew already summed up:

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings/CrossIndexed/Published/Meditations2/040717%20M2%20Go,%20Do%20Jhana.pdf

J0rrit

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • -
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 12:12:46 PM »
ok, tnx for your answer!

But in the end, what does this mean? In me there is still doubt in weather to use Vipassana or samatha, and when I do intend to use Vipassana, weather to focus on all of the sensations that can be felt when 'rising' and 'falling' or only at one point of my abdomen, like a coint that is at your abdomen and you follow that with your mind....

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2013, 02:06:56 PM »
The answer is both:



This is what the Buddha taught. Vipassana and Shamatha are fruits of meditation and the basic foundations for deeper realisation. Without insight and calm, bliss, rapture and Jahna - (Samadhi) - and Nirbanna are beyond us.

The Buddha never taught "go do Shamatha" or "go do Vipassana" - he taught "go do Jhana". Jhana is based on the development of Shamatha or Calm and Vipassana or Insight as fruits of right practice.

Regarding where to focus on the breath it is the entirety of bodily sensations created by the breathing process.

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 02:10:12 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: "Mindfulness, Bliss And Beyond"
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2014, 02:15:11 AM »
I just finished reading this book. Ajahn Brahm walks us through basics of meditation to jhanas and then to nibbana. Even as a beginner to the practice, I found this book easy to follow. Great book!
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
4994 Views
Last post January 31, 2009, 04:39:01 AM
by greenhorn
0 Replies
2279 Views
Last post April 09, 2010, 02:01:32 PM
by Morning Dew
0 Replies
1254 Views
Last post July 02, 2015, 01:42:06 PM
by Matthew
21 Replies
2669 Views
Last post August 24, 2016, 12:26:54 AM
by Turiya
3 Replies
837 Views
Last post December 03, 2016, 02:24:58 PM
by Middleway
1 Replies
467 Views
Last post April 20, 2017, 01:25:58 PM
by Middleway
14 Replies
1030 Views
Last post January 31, 2019, 02:39:22 PM
by Apkallu