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Focused and Fearless- read it? - Dhamma Wheel

Focused and Fearless- read it?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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jcsuperstar
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Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:27 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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mikenz66
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:30 am

Hi JC,

You can listen to some of her talks on her site: http://www.imsb.org/index.php
What I've listened to seems quite good. We've been using a study guide she put together for the MN in a local discussion group.

Metta
Mike

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bodom
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:46 pm

Yeah great book. Great exercises. Seems to make jhana possible for any of us.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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AdvaitaJ
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:54 pm

JC,

Thanks for the recommendation! I'm finishing up Ajahn Brahm's book, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond and I'm curious if you have read that as well and would be willing to compare the two. (Time is precious, as we all know, and I'm already two books behind! :D )

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:18 pm

i went ahead and ordered this one, i'll let you guys know what it's like
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

Element

Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby Element » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:41 pm


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jcsuperstar
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:09 am

so ive read most of it, and i would recomend it for someone looking for a practical easy to understand meditation manual, there are sutta refferences and little practice hints. i would compaire it to ajahn brahm's book.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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AdvaitaJ
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:51 am

The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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puthujjana
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby puthujjana » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:16 am

"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."

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mikenz66
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:25 pm


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AdvaitaJ
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:30 am

Mike,

Thanks for the follow-up. I finished Shaila's book a couple weeks ago.

It worked.

Kind regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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mikenz66
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:45 am


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salmon
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby salmon » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:30 am

I'm going to pull up this old thread instead of using my other one since there's already a discussion on it. Having read both Ajahn Brahm's book and (recently) Catherine Shaila's...I have a couple of thoughts.

Ajahn Brahm's teaching is very traditional and close to the methods mention in the sutta. Catherine Shaila's, on the other hand, is more "modernized" and apparently easier to understand/relate to. I like the way Catherine Shaila dedicates each jhana level to strengthening insight meditation. There is a more balanced approach to the uses of jhana. Ajahn Brahm sticks strictly to pure samathat until a certain proficiency is attained before using jhana as a tool to springboard into vipassana. Both methods work fine, depending on your temperament.

However, I do feel that Catherine Shaila has somehow "over simplified"/misclassified jhana levels and I have some concerns over how close it is to the Buddha's teaching of jhana. For instance, Catherine Shaila mentions in her book (for one of the exercises) that practitioners should attempt going from access concentration direct to first jhana, access concentration direct to second jhana, access concentration direct to third jhana, access concentration direct to fourth jhana. This does not fall in line with the Buddha's teaching that jhana has to be "moved up" chronologically.

Nonetheless, both are interesting reads.
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~

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mikenz66
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:14 am

Hi Salmon,

I'm no expert on this, but Shaila's approach seems to be based on Pa Auk Sayadaw's approach and the Visuddhimagga. I.e. a more "commentarial" approach, not necessarily "untraditional". I believe that the Visuddhimagga does talk about skipping through the Jhanas in different orders.

It is interesting that Ajahn Brahm talks about following the Suttas closely, but his descriptions of the Jhanas are very "deep", more like in the Visuddhimagga than in the Suttas.

Metta
Mike

Kenshou
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby Kenshou » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:07 am

Last edited by Kenshou on Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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salmon
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby salmon » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:19 am

~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~

Kenshou
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby Kenshou » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:10 am

I believe the term vipassana jhana refers to stages in the development of insight, and aren't really related to the 4 jhanas of samatha meditation. But the two methods don't have to be separate. Jhana can be used a practical state from which to develop knowledge (à la the suttas), or insight can be practiced purely (the contemporary vipassana movement), or jhana can be practiced purely to great depths (Brahm, Visuddhimagga). It's good to have options.

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mikenz66
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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:20 am


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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:51 am


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Re: Focused and Fearless- read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:40 pm



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