The Jhana Bros are Here

I just think that attaining Meditational Absorptions is long and steady personal and group work. Though it can be done quickly, it just isn’t honestly possible to give these Jhanas away unless more time is spent in learning and Realization. This is just my speculation, but I think that if these persons or people would silently learn and then teach Jhana to a few people over years and months, that would be beautifully wonderful and the Buddhist Way. But I think it’s just not realistic what the current model is.

Woah. They got coverage in Vox:


While each jhāna seems to grow a little more difficult to describe than the last, even the first is not a mellow starting point. Descriptions range from “a laser beam of intense tingly pleasurable electricity,” similar to a sustained orgasm, to MDMA therapy without the drugs.

Ayy, next time I’m in Burning Man I be poppin’ 'em on dem JHĀNĀS MATE!


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Please keep us advised of the next Burning Man date so we can join in :rofl:

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Then there’s capitalism. Ingram also worries about profit as a motive underlying advanced meditation research and technology. “This needs to be open source, open tech, open collaborative science for public benefit,” he said.

Aye, there’s the rub.

Wait, I already thought it was open source, open tech…

OK, how about this:

Let’s create the illusion that concentration meditation is new (but ancient), easily within reach of normal lay people in principle, but maddeningly out of reach unless you have the money to plop down at the feet of the Jhana Bros who have, for the first time ever – I mean, in the whole history of mankind – found a technology to deliver it to you!

Then they can become publicly philanthropic by revealing where on earth you might find additional (open source) data and thus demonstrate their commitment to the happiness of all sentient beings! They might even snag an interview with Vox – oh wait, they just did.

Anyway, once the corporate behemoth quietly waiting in the shadows is ready, it will buy the whole thing lock, stock, and barrel. That way, it can scale even more (like, into the gazillions of jhaners). White people in the global north who routinely ransack exotic-looking things for appropriation are especially to be thanked and praised for their imagination and creativity.

It’s a wonderful life!

:elephant: :pray:t2:

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Wonderful indeed for the whole world to learn Jhānas.

I suppose no one ever pay royalties to the Buddha for the copyrights from utilising His original teachings and supreme meditation techniques :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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The article wasn’t that bad to be honest, it even questions whether the West should try to rip these practices out of context and comodify them, but it certainly seems to promote several misconceptions. For example, the author writes "The jhānas are like an optional training program, and the bliss stuff is just a side effect that contemplative traditions have urged practitioners not to get caught up in. " “Optional”…oh boy.

It also says , “Theravāda, the oldest branch of Buddhism”…yikes…

And also, no mention what the Buddha actually said, mostly what modern teachers say.

Anyways, just sharing to see what people think about this development. Maybe there will be a bunch of non-buddhists trying to do jhana soon.

We have been debating internally for 2500 years what “Jhana” is, isn’t time we came together and found out for once and all?

The best advice I’ve gotten internally from “secure” teachers, is to let jhana and whatnot come when they are ready, and concentrate on basics. I recently saw with my eyes the result of years of boring “faith” had constructed, which was hidden away from my keen mindful investigation. When the going got tough, and I almost was about to say, that’s it! There it came nice and smooth after I gave up my incessant prodding to have it my way.

It was one of those meditations, and not interesting, than confirming that basics are crucial when the mind expands beyond one’s expectations during deep meditation.

I believe Jhana if experienced before one is sufficiently stable, could mess it up more than expected. I also believe that if done correctly, one builds up an internal safety system that makes sure that the mind and the body never are served something it hasn’t got the strength for and the mental toolcase to go along. So, not to say anybody should be reckless, but know for oneself that there is this “safety control”

This is already being discussed here in case you missed it:

Perhaps the @moderators would like to merge them?

Yes, I think the article itself is well-written for something in the mainstream press trying to cover such an esoteric topic. In effect, the Jhana Bros are telling us that this is not esoteric at all. But stripped of its historical, cultural and spiritual contexts, it becomes something else completely for the greedy corporations. I get angry that they take advantage of people who don’t know otherwise. Of course, anything can become a doorway, I suppose, even if it originates in greed and ignorance.

Still, I don’t like it. I don’t usually communicate so sardonically (referring to my post above ) – anyone who knows me personally would attest to that. But this just gets under my skin, as they say. And yet I am grateful to learn of it through this thread so that I know what’s out there.

:elephant: :pray:t3:


I haven’t listened to this, but it might be of interest to some here:


Thank you Ven. @Snowbird. This is a great breakdown on Jhourney through the lens of a dedicated lay practitioner who also is a skilled communicator. My takeaways:

  • V. Horn emphatically does not endorse Jhourney in its current form. He uses several ways to say that he strongly advises avoidance.

This is my first exposure to V. Horn … his style is quite understated so it says something that he tries to find so many different ways of not endorsing Jhourney. (They paid him as a consultant and now he says he is no longer their consultant.)

  • His primary concerns are that
    (1) the Jhourney “teachers” are inexperienced relative to meditation retreat exposure in general (much less retreats focused on the jhānas), which exposes those who participate to increased risk of psychological harm;
    (2) that Jhourney’s business model is basically practicing wholesale appropriation of various lineage teachings without permission (especially “Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation”, which I had never heard of);
    (3) and that Jhourney’s founders are pushing full steam ahead anyway, neglecting to spend the necessary time and energy it would take to develop a fully tested “psycho-technology” for the masses.

  • He says that, in principle, he could get on board with Jhourney if they “scaled deep before they scaled broad”; collaborated closely with lineage holders for permission to teach the jhānas (i.e., use the standard Buddhist method of gatekeeping the dhamma to some extent); and changed the name of what they’re doing – in effect, come up with their own terminology and stop selling it as “learning the jhānas.”

He went to some length throughout the podcast to emphasize the potential psychological harm for people who use Jhourney retreats as an entrée to meditation practice when, in fact, the people who are providing the retreats are not competent to do so.

Later addition to this post:
V. Horn endorsed “secularizing” jhāna meditation so long as it was done ethically and responsibly. In particular he advocates an academic/clinical setting with controlled variables for testing models. He has spoken personally with the linked principal investigator.

Thanks again for this link.