I’m reading this right now and it makes a lot of sense. I converted it to Epub so I can read it on my phone more easily. This is the PDF version and there are lots of Epub converters available if you want to read it on your phone also.
I found it at odds with the practice of samatha meditation. When practicing concentration we again and again try to focus the mind to a single object, any wandering mind is a failure. And now Ven. Gunaratana said after one has attained jhana, the mind can switch from the meditation object to observing other thing?
The jhānas, and 4 jhānas, are more than just samatha. If you want to learn what the Buddha meant by jhāna in the EBT, then you have to do some research. Vism., Abhidhamma, the later period of Theravada, redefined jhāna, vedana, kāya, into something entirely different. Unfortunately, the survivors write the history books, so the vast majority of Theravadins have a very distorted version of Dhamma interpreted through later Theravada filters.
Here’s a good thread from a while back. You can see how Bhante G. started off with a view just like you, and 30 years later, after studying the EBT carefully, his understanding of jhāna was entirely different.
Ya this is by Bhante G. I read some of it this morning and will read the rest today. It was very good so far. I always get so much of the Buddha’s description of the Luminous mind. It helps me follow along. It’s almost like he’s teaching me directly when I read this and the mind becomes bright and peaceful.
Dhamma is verifiable via practice. So I go with a simple heuristic: if it is true, then the majority of practitioner should have experienced it themselves.
If the concept of Jhana in the Visuddhi Magga is incorrect, then the people who have attained jhana from the time it is written until now should have experienced it themselves that they can observe nama-rupa while in the jhana state and correct it.
No, but my mind started becoming still and bright. It was moving towards freedom from the hindrances. It was beneficial. There are some suttas I read, or sometimes just talking about freedom from suffering, the happiness that is possible from letting go that light up my heart and brighten my mind bringing much peace and happiness and feelings of expansion.
I have read his article and unfortunately I have to disagree with Bhante G
He failed to differentiate the Samatha and Vipassana
You have to emerge form Samatha to practice Vipassana.
See the following simile.
Say you are driving on free way 100km per hour in the wrong direction. (with five hindrances - wrong views -wrong concentraion)
You realise you are going the wrong way (with five hindrances) you slow down the vehicle.
So the engine slow down from fourth gear and stop the car at neutral. (Samatha fourth Jhana)
Then you turn your vehicle and start going in the right direction (Right view practicing Vipassana)
Respectfully, I would say that stopping the hindrances is turning around all together and the faster you go in the right direction is going higher in the Jhanas. Going fast down the wrong direction is the strength of grip the hindrances have upon the mind. I think this amendment to your simile is more accurate, but of course we need to test these things for ourselves and whatever brings less suffering, less craving and more wholesome mind states while seeing things as they are is the right direction, regardless of what we currently believe.
It’s a nicely argued article by Bhante G (I’ve come across this before). I’d wonder though if this question matters so much. If absorption is pictured as a dense built-up city, then the optimal place for Vipassana seems be somewhere in the leafy suburbs. One approach seems to be take the train right into the the city centre and then afterwards make ones way out to the suburbs. The other main approach seems to be to come in from the countryside, take the outer-lying ring road and just go straight to the “Vipassana” district (avoiding downtown). Maybe the final destinations are pretty much the same?
I like to know what is the opinion of Bhante @Bhikkhu_Jayasara Jayasara.
I believe he is residing in the same temple as Bhante G.
Could you tell me how to tabulate Jhana according to Bhante G’s interpretation.
For instance see the attached.
Last I heard Bhante J pretty busy as it’s Winter retreat at Bhavana and it’s his turn to hold the fort. Bhavana do have videos up on their YouTube channel from their Jhana retreats, maybe you can find out more there or on Bhante J’s YouTube; studentofthepath
Thank you Pasanna.
The question raised in OP is something very important.
Only a person who close to Bhate G will be able to clarify this matter.
Is there anyone else who can take this matter directly with Bhante G?