So I found Buddhist meditation awhile ago, and it is the thing that I’ve been looking for for years. Ok great, now what.
I look around on the internet and find modern science-based teachers. The pragmatic Dharma movement. I read some books and attend some retreats, mahasi nothing and goenka body scanning. But that doesn’t seem to match up with the instructions that the Buddha gave, and a few monks are saying that isn’t the path, that some of these lay-teachers are deluded.
Ok great so now what. Is there a book you’d recommend? “Read the suttas” they say. I read some of the suttas and now I’m more confused, they don’t provide instructions that I connect with.
I look for an explanation of the suttas, but some say the commentaries are not what the Buddha taught, and that the vissudhimagga was written by a fraud who didn’t really practice much himself.
And now the anapanasati sutta and the satipatthana sutta aren’t to be fully trusted, they were most likely written or modified much later. There are discrepancies if you compare them to obscure extant Chinese versions.
Still, whatever, I’m going to put my life into it and practice and reach the jhanas, that seems to be what the Buddha taught - the noble path leading to right samadhi, from which state insights will arise on their own.
But then I read that basically nobody is actually reaching the jhanas the Buddha was talking about, right samadhi, in lay life, it’s extremely rare. I can’t ordain because there is some dogma in Buddhism and I have an injury that prevents me from staying at a monastery long-term.
So ok, great, now what? I’m going to put my life into a practice that people say isn’t possible.
I’m not placing blame in any way, I know that everyone is doing their best, from a place of compassion, but “Buddhist meditation” as a whole is a bit of a mess.