Onderstaande is wel haast niet een blog maar een tijdschrift. Een themanummer over boeken en andere teksten, met m'n vorige blog over Batchelor's boek en een volgende over Chapman.
Hadden we dat maar in Nederland: een digitaal tijdschrift (papieren zijn verleden tijd) over boeddhisme, zonder gebabbel.
Right Concentration : A Practical Guide to the Jhanas
A Practical, Accessible and Demystifying Look at the Jhānas
as Described in the Suttas of the Pali Canon
door Leigh Brasington , een leerling van Ayya Khema.
Uitgever Shambhala Publications
Te koop via zijn website leighb.com , Bol.com of Amazon.com
In het tijdschrift Tricycle is een artikel van Brasington verschenen dat een goede inleiding tot z'n boek is. Zie Bijlage 1, hieronder.
Een ander excerpt is te vinden in Lion's Roar - Entering the Jhanas
Overzicht van de inhoud (uit de website van de uitgever):
" Primary Topics
• The Preliminaries
• Access Concentration
• Entering the Jhānas
• Possible Problems Associated with Attempting to Enter the Jhānas
• First Jhāna
• Possible Problems Associated with Initially Learning the 1st Jhāna
• Second Jhāna
• Possible Problems Associated with Learning the 2nd Jhāna
• Third Jhāna
• Possible Problems Associated with Learning the 3rd Jhāna
• Fourth Jhāna
• Possible Problems Associated with Learning the 4th Jhāna
• Insight Practice
• The Two Types of Insight Practice
• The Immaterial Jhānas
• Possible Problems Associated with Learning the Immaterial Jhānas
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Vitakka & Vicara
• The Jhāna Summary
• Insight Knowledge
• The Cessation of Perception and Feeling
• The Psychic Powers
• Ending the Asavas
• Other Benefits of Jhāna Practice
• Helpful Things to Do at the Beginning & End of Each Meditation Period
• Mindfulness of Breathing
• Metta Meditation
• Other Access Methods
• How Much Concentration Is Required For Jhāna?
• In or Out: The Relationship Between Jhāna Practice & Insight Practice "
De mens kan veel zelf doen en thuis doen, maar concentratie-meditatie gericht jhana's moet toch wel eerst in een retraite van minstens tien dagen met een leraar gedaan worden, is mijn overtuiging.
Het lezen en bestuderen van dit boek, vooraf of achteraf, is een goed hulpmiddel daarbij.
Geen leunstoelboek dus, zoals dat van Batchelor wel een beetje is.
Milinda/Asoka hoopt eind volgend jaar of later een Nederlandse vertaling uit te brengen; ik ben benieuwd of dat lukt.
Brasington is in oktober 2013 in Nederland geweest voor een korte retraite; de hoop is nog steeds dat er een keer een langere retraite met hem georganiseerd kan worden.
Hij geeft van 6 tot 15 november een retraite in het BuddhaHaus in Zuid-Duitsland, zie hier .
Nog een boek over concentratie en inzicht: Richard Shankman
The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation: Mindfulness, Concentration, and Insight
O.a. bij Amazon.com en Bol.com
Op zijn website staat ook een link naar het Sati Journal met daarin artikelen over de vraag wat je hebt aan theoretische teksten bij de meditatie-beoefening: veel dus. Artikelen van o.a. Gil Fronsdal, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Stephen Batchelor; zie Bijlage 2.
"The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation offers a practical guide to building a strong meditation practice by unifying mindfulness, concentration, and insight into a single, integrated approach.
Mindfulness and insight—clearly knowing what is happening in one’s present moment experience—and concentration—the ability of the mind to remain steady and undistracted—are foundational elements of meditation, yet people are often confused about how these aspects of the practice fit together. Should they be doing insight meditation or concentration practices? How does concentration fit into insight meditation? To help, The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation offers specific guidance for cultivating both insight and concentration in meditation.
This book will be of interest to both beginning and experienced meditation practitioners who wish to familiarize themselves with, deepen their understanding of, and increase their practical skills in mindfulness, concentration, and insight meditation. New meditators who want hands-on skills they can easily put into practice will find the step-by-step instructions accessible and easy to understand. Experienced practitioners will find a complete and useful guide for deepening insight and cultivating the deeper stages of concentration known as jhana.
This book also discusses the most common experiences that can arise as the meditation process unfolds, and will help you find the approaches and techniques that work best for you. "
Zie ook Bijlage 4 met de eerste pagina's.
Een eerder boek van Shankman heb ik uitgebreid geciteerd in mijn blog van augustus 2013
In dit boek uit 2008 is ook een uitgebreid interview met Leigh Brasington opgenomen.
Update 3 november
Een aankondiging van een nieuw boek van Erik Hoogcarspel, dat hier stond, heb ik verwijderd.
Maar eerst Stephen Batchelor's After Buddhism verder gaan lezen.
En niet vergeten regelmatig op m'n kussentje te gaan zitten.
Maar ook schrijven aan een volgende blog over een fascinerende - nog niet voltooide - serie teksten van de Amerikaanse blogger David Chapman op zijn website over 'Buddhist Ethics' . Fascinerend maar ook pijnlijk voor mij omdat het indirect mijn 'oplossing' van het herintroduceren van ethiek in de Nederlandse vipassana als non-oplossing wegzet. Uiteraard heb ik wel wat verweer, eerst maar goed nadenken.
Zie als voorproefje over de verhouding mindfulness-boeddhisme, Bijlage 3.
Ingekorte versie van: " Focus Comes First
A practice to develop the steady mind necessary for attaining wisdom
by Leigh Brasington
Perhaps no aspect of the Buddha's teaching has been more misunderstood and neglected than right concentration. Yet right concentration is an integral part of the Buddha's path to awakening. It is, for instance, one of the qualities cultivated on the eightfold path.
In general, Buddhist teachings can be divided into three parts: sila, samadhi, and prajna: ethical conduct, concentration, and wisdom. Or to put it into the vernacular: clean up your act, concentrate your mind, and use your concentrated mind to investigate reality.
The Buddha thus makes it clear that a concentrated mind is necessary for the proper examination of reality. The jhanas are the method he taught over and over again for developing such a mind.
The word jhana literally means "meditation.'' In the sutras, there are four jhanas and four immaterial states. In modern times these eight states are simply called the eight jhanas. Thus the jhanas are eight altered states of consciousness, brought on via concentration and each yielding more concentration than the previous. Upon emerging from the jhanas—preferably the fourth or higher—you begin doing an insight practice with your jhanically concentrated, indistractable mind. This is the heart of the method the Buddha discovered. It reminds us that these states are not an end in and of themselves—they are simply a very useful way of preparing your mind, so you can more effectively examine reality and discover the deeper truths that lead to liberation.
The method for entering the jhanas begins with generating access concentration. The phrase access concentration means concentration strong enough to provide access to the jhanas. It is distinguished from momentary concentration—which is less concentrated—and from fixed or one-pointed concentration, which is the stronger concentration associated with the jhanas.
Generating access concentration can be done in a number of ways. A common means for doing so is through following the breath, a practice known as anapanasati. The first word of this Pali compound, anapana, means "in-breath and out-breath," while the word sati means "mindfulness." The practice is therefore "mindfulness of breathing." When practicing anapanasati, you put your attention on the physical sensations associated with breathing. It is extremely important to not control the breath in any way—just pay attention to the breath as it naturally occurs. If you control the breath, it does make it easier to focus. But it makes it too easy, so you won't generate sufficient concentration to enter the jhanas.
It is probably better if you can observe the physical sensations at the nostrils or on the area between the nose and the upper lip, rather than at the abdomen or elsewhere. It is better because it is more difficult to do; therefore, you have to concentrate more. Since you are trying to generate access concentration, you take something that is doable, though not terribly easy to do, and then you do it.
When noticing the natural, uncontrolled breath at the nose, you have to pay attention very carefully. In doing so you will notice the tactile sensations, and then your mind will wander off. Then you'll bring it back, and it will wander off; then you'll bring it back, and it will wander off. Eventually, though maybe not the next time you sit in meditation, maybe not even tomorrow or next week or next month, you'll find that the mind locks onto the breath. Any thoughts you have are relegated to the background. The thoughts might be something like, "Wow, I'm really with the breath now," as opposed to, "When I get to Hawaii, the first thing I'm going to do is …"
Whatever method you use to generate access concentration, the sign that you've gotten to access concentration is that you are fully present with the object of meditation. So if you are doing metta (lovingkindness meditation), you're just fully there with the feeling of metta; you're not getting distracted. If you're doing the body-sweeping practice, you're fully there with the sensations in the body as you sweep your attention over the body. You're not thinking extraneous thoughts; you're not planning; you're not worrying; you're not angry; you're not wanting something. You are just fully there with whatever your object is.
As you start to become concentrated, you might notice various lights and colors even though your eyes are closed. These are signs that you are starting to get concentrated. There is generally nothing useful that can be done—just ignore them. When you actually do get quite concentrated, the random blobs and laser shows will disappear. They might be replaced by a diffused white light, which is a sign of good concentration. It always appears for some people, it never appears for others, and many people find it sometimes appears and sometimes does not appear. But again, there's nothing you need to do with that sign either—it's just a sign. Remain focused on your meditation object.
Not everyone who undertakes jhana practice becomes proficient in this skill, but the only way to find out if it is something that works for you is to try learning it. It is indeed learnable by serious lay practitioners as well as by modern monks and nuns. "
Uit Tricycle van 28 september 2015
" INTEGRATING STUDY AND PRACTICE
Editorial (door) GIL FRONSDAL
THE BUDDHA did not formulate his teaching for spectators. He offered teachings and practices that could be a path to the end of suffering, to Awakening. To walk this path one must understand the path. But to understand the path one must walk it. The study and the practice of Buddhism go hand in hand, mutually supporting each other.
The Sati Journal, as well as the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies, is dedicated to advancing our understanding of the Buddhist path through informed and reflective exploration of Buddhist teachings, practices, history, and scholarship. We aim to support the mutual integration of practice and study. We hope that this will add depth, breadth, and healthy challenge to our walking of the path.
For this inaugural issue we have asked some of the senior Western practitioners of Theravāda Buddhism to address the interplay between study and practice. One of the common themes of these writers is the value of understanding the early Buddhist teachings on their own terms, i.e., to try to put aside our own cultural perspectives and biases in favor of discovering what the Buddha meant. The better we understand what the Buddha actually taught, the better we can respectfully adopt, adapt, and challenge those teachings.
Studying Buddhism on its own terms can provide us with a significant reference point for understanding our selves. It can be quite difficult to see your own cultural conditioning. Not only can Buddhism help us to see this conditioning, it can help deconstruct 2 Volume 1
it so we can experience that which is not conditioned. Ultimately we study Buddhism so we can go beyond Buddhism.
As we better understand both Buddhism and ourselves we can become more responsible in translating Buddhism for the modern world. In the West, at least, many of us are still part of the first wave of Western Buddhist practitioners. It would be good if we can create a reliable foundation for the waves of future practitioners.
May the articles of this first issue challenge you, be worthy of being challenged by you, and above all support you on the Path to freedom. "
Bron: Sati Journal 1
Voorproefje van een komende blog n.a.v. artikelen van David Chapman over de door hem 'fraud' genoemde Westerse 'boeddhistische ethiek'.
Hier een passage over de relatie mindfulness - boeddhisme (met name vipassana).
Uit " The mindfulness crisis and the end of Consensus Buddhism
Secular “mindfulness” courses, promoted as stress-reduction treatments, have become more popular than Buddhism. A meditation method based on modern vipassana is their core.
Many Buddhists have strong mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it’s great that so many more people are experiencing the benefits of Buddhist-style meditation. On the other hand, “mindfulness” seems like weaksauce kitsch; it’s missing most of what’s important about Buddhism. There’s a worry that if Buddhism is “unbundled,” with its most attractive part available separately, it will disintegrate,1 and critical aspects of the whole will be lost. And isn’t the whole greater than the sum of its parts?
But… what is the important rest of Buddhism?
That’s a genuinely difficult, important question. I wrote about it in a post three years ago that foreshadows this one.
As I wrote that, Consensus Buddhism was organizing a political consensus that ethics is what makes it different from, and better than, secular mindfulness. promoted and argued this in dozens of blog posts, mainstream media op-ed pieces, and pseudo-academic journals. (3)
[Chapman verwijst o.a. naar het artikel
Clearing the Muddled Path of Traditional and Contemporary Mindfulness; Joop R.]
I asked: Is there any significant point on which American “Buddhist ethics” and mainstream American secular liberal ethics disagree?
My last several posts have explained why the answer is no. “Buddhist ethics” has nothing to do with Buddhism; it just is mainstream American leftist ethics. People who want that can get it elsewhere with less hassle, just as people who want meditation can get it elsewhere with less hassle.
So if Buddhism = mindfulness + ethics, there’s nothing left of Buddhism. It’s over.
Bron: Meaningness 7 okt.
Inhoudsopgave en eerste pagina's uit
The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation: Mindfulness, Concentration, and Insight
door Richard Shankman