Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Buddhist Geeks - Episode 159: Mastering the Jhanas

Cool stuff. Vince talks with Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder, teachers from the Theravada tradition.

Buddhist Geeks - Episode 159: Mastering the Jhanas

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This week we speak with Theravada mediation teachers Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder. In 2005, while on a 2-month retreat, they were the first Western lay practitioners (i.e. non-monks) to complete the traditional concentration practices of Pa Auk Sayadaw--a well-regarded Burmese jhana master. The Sayadaw encouraged them to teach what they've learned, and they have, as a result, starting leading retreats and have written a book entitled, Practicing the Jhanas.

In this episode they share the progressive practice that they did with Pa Auk Sayadaw, which includes all sorts of traditional practices from the Pali Canon. They also make many traditional distinctions, including the distinction between 3 different types of concentration--momentary, access, and absorption--and the way that they distinguish between these types of concentration. They also share some of the traditional benefits that come from concentration practice, and frame the jhanas not as much as something to attain, but rather as a by-product that arises from purifying the mind.

This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2 (airing next week).

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