A practical guidebook for meditators interested in achieving the states of bliss and deep focus associated with the Buddhist jhānas
One of the elements of the Eightfold Path is Right Concentration: the one-pointedness of mind that, together with ethics, livelihood, meditation, and more, leads to the ultimate freedom from suffering. So how does one achieve Right Concentration? According to the Buddha himself, the jhānas—a series of eight progressive altered states of consciousness—are an essential method. But because the jhānas can usually be achieved only through prolonged meditation retreat, they have been shrouded in mystery for years.
Not anymore. In Right Concentration, Leigh Brasington takes away the mystique and gives instructions on how to achieve them in plain, accessible language. He notes the various pitfalls to avoid along the way and provides a wealth of material on the theory of jhāna practice—all geared toward the practitioner rather than the scholar. As Brasington proves, these states of bliss and concentration are attainable by anyone who devotes the time and sincerity of practice necessary to realize them.
About the Author
LEIGH BRASINGTON is a teacher of Insight Meditation who was the senior American student of the late Ven. Ayya Khema, who authorized him to teach the jhanas. He has taught them, along with other insight practices, at well over one hundred residential retreats throughout the United States and Europe.
"For those interested in exploring jhana, Leigh brings many years of skillful teaching to this accessible, clear, and helpful guide."—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
"Leigh Brasington presents a clear map of jhana practice as he learned it from his teacher, Ayya Khema. As with many aspects of the Buddha’s teachings, different traditions and lineages have different views on what constitutes these deeper states of concentration. Leigh offers many examples from his own experience and from his reading of the Buddhist texts in providing a valuable guide to this particular way of understanding and practicing them."—Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening