using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Fall 2015
fall 2 0 1 5 buDDhaDharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 31 Perhaps no aspect of the Buddha’s teaching has been both more misunderstood and neglected than right concentration. Yet right concentra- tion is obviously an integral part of the Buddha’s path to awakening: the final item of the noble eightfold path, it is exemplified by, and sometimes even defined as, the jhanas. Before his awakening, the Buddha remembered an incident from his child- hood when he had experienced the first jhana; upon further reflection, he concluded, “That is indeed the path to awakening.” The word “jhana” literally means “meditation”; it comes from the verb jhayati, which means “to meditate.” Many times, the Buddha would give a dhamma talk and close it by saying, “There are these roots of trees, these empty huts—go meditate (jhayati).” From this usage of jhayati, it seems cer- tain that what the Buddha meant by meditation was jhana practice. The Buddha’s teachings can be divided into three parts: sila, samadhi, and panna (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 investi- gate reality. Each practice the Buddha taught fits neatly into one of the three categories. The precepts and the brahmavihara practices of loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity are ethical practices. The brahmavihara practices, espe- cially loving-kindness (metta) practice, can also generate concentration, as do mantra and visualiza- tion practices. But most everything else you think of when you hear the word meditation is a wisdom practice, intended to help you “see the way things are” (or, perhaps more accurately, “what’s actually happening”). The Buddha makes it clear that this examination of reality should be done with a con- centrated mind. And the jhanas are the method he taught, over and over again. The jhanas are eight altered states of conscious- ness, brought on via concentration, each yielding more concentration than the previous. As you pass through the jhanas, you stair-step your way to deeper and deeper levels of concentration—that is, you become less and less likely to become dis- tracted. Upon emerging from the jhanas—prefer- ably 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. These states are not an end in and of themselves, unlike what the Buddha’s two teachers had taught him shortly after he’d left home (Opposite) Terra Incognita xIII, 2006 paintings by robilee freDerick The Doors of Concentration Entering the jhanas is not easy—the harder you try, the more difficult it is. Instead, as leigh brasington explains, you have to let them open up to you.