The Jhana Bros are Here

They are just doing what it is their habit to do. This language is very common in that part of the world; finding a way to “scale” some thing.

The concern in this thread is genuine and I don’t think unwarranted, but I prefer to see this as a glass half full; maybe some people will encounter this - maybe even the founders themselves - and will go on to study and actualize the true jewel: dhamma?

Many on this site (all?) have encountered the dhamma and made a genuine khammic connection that will reverberate and expand into countless contact with dhamma in the future for the benefit of all. Perhaps this is an embryonic encounter with the dhamma that will also so expand? I pray it is so.

Maybe the most productive thing to do is encourage their natural curiosity to continue by delving deeper into dhamma?

:pray:

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There are easier ways to test for divine eye, just ask these people to tell one what’s in a safe halfway across the world, in a specific location and double blind the people putting whatever things is there and double blind people comparing the result of the items stored and the answers from the meditators.

Having mapped the neural pathways for divine eye doesn’t deny that it really works once the experiment is done and they got confidence that it’s a tool, much like a telescope. Whoever uses the tool, point to the same direction in the same way, sees the same thing. Objective verification of divine eye. Then they can really use it to advance a lot of physics, cosmology etc.

But money is also involved in running Buddhist temple/society etc. Just that the capitalism model they adopt would have the potential to scale up and outreach to numerous people around the world. Especially if they reinvest the money again and keep on scaling this up.

Even if most of the world only gets Jhāna lite from this one, and certainly not everyone, they would eventually find sīla to be essential for Jhānas and the effect: most of the world would willingly take 5 precepts to have access to happiness without spending much money which is better than video games etc.

The world is already facing an epidemic of cravings leading to uncontrolled consumption leading to environmental disaster. It’s environmentally green to derive more joy and happiness form meditation. Not even electricity is needed once they have gotten the skills to go deep in their meditation.

A moral utopia followed by a meditation utopia could result, followed by some of them who are wise would take up right view, Buddhism and more stream enterers would arise in the world.

And they would teach and keep on producing more and more ariyas. A new golden age of Buddhism arises again, until it eventually decays.

Especially useful is if the world leaders and CEO of multinational companies also take up the ethical and inner peace aspects, then the possibility of nuclear war would be reduced a lot.

PS. we have staffs in temples, Buddhist societies, some of the rich temples can afford to pay their staff high salary for loyalty and quality service. It’s not controversial to live profitting from the dhamma. Or else you will have to say these temples and Buddhist societies are wrong.

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One day…?

We have to be careful what we wish for.

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Indeed, this is a heart-felt and gentle aspiration :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

My concern is, underneath, the insidious influence of capitalist-oriented motives. To support revenue objectives & future investments, people have to be drawn-in through virtue signalling and outright dishonesty. I would not consider the initial seeding of Buddhism in North America by several well-known lay Buddhist teachers as comparable to this. (Jhourney lists some of them as a means to attest to Jhourney’s own supposed virtuous model.)

How that initial seeding evolved into the current Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) mega-industry within the wellness market is a whole other topic IMHO; it does not correlate to these tech industry marketers who are now doing the seeding.

I’m not usually wholesale opposed to ideas as there’s normally some hidden merit. Here I’m wholesale opposed. But I am really grateful to know this is happening as I’d like to stay current on what’s out there for mass consumers.

:pray:t2: :elephant:

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Yes, your concerns are well regarded here. Unfortunately, we live in a consumption oriented society which emphasizes quick fixes with little emphasis on the slow and steady development of virtues. We want major breakthroughs that require less effort on our part don’t we :joy: Even the definition of virtue and non-virtue is up for lively debate. I’m definitely a part of this society and although I can reflect a bit on how this is not so great, I still succumb to its influence.

What’s happening here seems to me the same old same old; the dart is that part of our spiritual path is being co-opted and branded by this consumption oriented society. Venerable mentions above that the best that can come of this is overestimation and the worst is psychosis. I think that is right in the short term; the trick for me is that this is pretty much par for the course in terms of this modern society from what I can tell.

Still, I will pray that this potential first encounter with dhamma-related? ideas might serve as a condition for some to go on - slowly, slowly - to a deeper and richer encounter with dhamma.

:pray:

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I see it another way.

Secular mindfulness is critiqued for leaving out the rest of the path factors, and possibly helped to create secular Buddhism.

This is one of the efforts to introduce another path factor, for the public. Especially if they get the deep Jhānas, get divine eye, secular Buddhism would likely collapse, as with almost all other religions other than Buddhism and Hinduism and similar ones.

Imagine if there’s a religion which is adamant that smartphones cannot ever exist and when smartphones are as common now, the adherents of that religion will mostly convert out of it or live very isolated from the world to preserve itself. If Jhānas, divine eye, knowledge of devas, ghosts, hell etc are as common as smartphones thanks to the power of distribution of capitalism economics, then it would likely have the same effect to religions who contradicts what people can directly see for themselves.

It could lead to the world being massively like ancient india of ascetics who are good in meditation and sīla. And for those people, they could be one dhamma talk away from stream entry. And that’s really awesome.

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Remember another Silicon Valley startup with a noble mission? Better Help?

I’m wondering how long it will be before Jhana Bros sell their user’s information.

Silicon Valley types have an unconscious ( to them ) lack of basic human respect.

Maybe if they called us “members” or “clients” instead of “users”.

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The proprietors of this system warn that

This program may not be for you if:

  • Buddhist metaphysics is a requirement for your meditation. We’re happy to refer out to teachings that are compatible with this view. We emphasize how these practices can fit into your life with an attitude of flexibility and pragmatism.

Unfortunately, sammasamadhi involves an ability to discern the ending of the effluents outside the context of (traditionally speaking) the fourth jhana.

I’ve heard Leigh Brasington’s description of the jhanas and I was impressed with what he said. I personally think much of what he says is accurate (if we’re going jhana lite). Although his understanding of the suttas leaves something to be desired. I recall his personal formulations of jhanas 1 to 4 missing key ingredients. I can’t recall which at the moment.

I’ve heard the TWIM account of jhana, and I was not as nearly convinced. Take into account the somewhat odd definitions they give of “compassion”, for example, and their formulations, in general, become suspect. There’s a lot of bad joo-joo around TWIM AFAIK.

I don’t honestly see how Brasington’s formulation of jhana is even compatible with TWIM.

Their final source for “what jhana is” - comes from a person by the name of “Rob Burbea”. I don’t know who this is, but I’d be interested to learn more.

My concern is simply that “jhana” is being marketed as a kind of altered mind state one is able to achieve without, as they refer to on their page, MDMA or other psychedelics.

I know people who have benefitted from the use of psychedelics. I don’t know of anyone who has used such altered mind states to discern the ending of the effluents after coming down.

If the program being offered is just a way to get “high”, then that’s concerning to me. It very much appears to be the main marketing point. And the absence of sutta based “metaphysics” also appears to be a selling point. And I can appreciate that TBH. If someone could market Christianity without a dying devotion to Christ, they’d probably do it.

Buddhism happens to be so universally accessible that you can cherry pick parts of it. In my eyes, these proprietors have cherry picked jhana, wrapped it up in a nice package, and are ready for the distribution process. I fear, however, that the product has been “cut” (as they say in the industry). :wink:

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… And I just gotta brand new app idea… “Tantric Sex !!” Its like Tinder, only so much more spiritual.

… Maybe I can get the Jhana Bros to fund it? :joy:

Enrolling Teachers now… apply in person :exploding_head: :upside_down_face: :rofl:


I speak in jest, but it seems inevitable, given the direction society is progressing.

Haha, this sounds like a good satire joke, but it’s actually serious lol. I don’t know if it makes it even more funny or the opposite. Anyway - everything is conditioned.

My thought exactly. I feels like such a perfect parody of startup culture that it couldn’t possibly be real.

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I really don’t see the problem with this. In the overwhelming majority of the US, there is no Buddhism for this to compete with. No Wat is going to close down to make room for this place. I’m very fortunate my city has both a flotation therapy (“sensory deprivation tank”) center and a Wat, but I’m pretty sure the Venn diagram of their user bases has less than 1% overlap.

How much more wrong are these guys, c.f. a Hindu or Jain or Sikh or Sufi? I don’t know this organization very well, but I know Advaita Vedanta-ist public figures who reach out to western audiences teaching yogic techniques and tying it in to the historical Buddha. Is that something we should oppose? I don’t think so. I think we should look across other belief systems with a generous understanding, engaging them on their terms, praising them where their understanding and practice mirrors ours and gently offering presenting our perspective on areas of difference.

There’s some possibility this leads them closer to real insight and the N8FP, but even if not, even if it’s nowhere closer to right Jhana, I doubt it’s more wrong than the Jhana of a musician or a cat.

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I went to their web site. There seems to be something so disrespectful about it.

No surprise there, it is a Silicon Valley organization.

They will probably sell your data while they teach you how to meditate. :slight_smile:

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Look at Leigh Brasington, the lay jhana master.

I’ve met him in person, read chunks of his web site.

I’ve never gotten those vibes from him as I did in just 5 minutes perusing the “jhana bros” web site.