MN 111 Anupada Sutta by Bhante Vimalaramsi

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It is true that many highly respected meditation teachers interpret the jhana passages in the suttas as suggesting a highly absorbed state. The term absorption itself, nor the vocabulary associated with it (neighborhood concentration etc.) is found in the suttas. All that traces from Visuddhimagga. I am not sure if absorption is a good descriptive term of one abiding in jhana, but to suggest that jhana is to be reached through concentration on the object of meditation to the exclusion of other phenomena is to suggest that jhana is a state of suppression. I cannot find any evidence in the suttas that supports this view. I think any such interpretation laid onto the suttas is still a case of viewing the suttas through the lens of the Visuddhimagga. It is a matter of force of tradition. Most Theravadin meditation teachers came up through an environment and tradition heavily influenced by Buddhaghosa’s work.


Heres a great talk by Ajahn Brahm about the Anupada sutta. In the talk he properly translates the sutta and talks about how controversial it is based on language and lateness of text.
Very interesting!