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Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook [Kindle Edition]

Brahm , Jack Kornfield
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"This book is the kind of work that comes around once in a lifetime. I cannot recommend it more highly than that, and encourage anyone with a serious interest in the meditative disciplines taught by the Buddha to buy this book - now!" (BuddhaSpace)

"This clear and accessible book describes meditative absorption states (jhana) and how to attain them. An excellent road map to the the development of jhana, which, as the title suggests, is beyond bliss." (Inquiring Mind)

"Most Buddhist writers are not often lighthearted or zesty, but the British-born Ajahn Brahm is a delightful exception. Brahm is a clear communicator of the ineffable and projects both energetic conviction and calm equanimity. The promise of bliss he describes in this excellent manual is elusive, but remains a compelling goal." (Publishers Weekly)

"Like a broom through cobwebs, Ajahn Brahm here sweeps away the mysteries surrounding the jhanas. Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond is salted with the illustrative, often witty life stories that Brahm is well known for, and he uses readily understandable language to explain what some teachers shy from. Finding this book is like finding an operator's manual for one's practice. Raising the bar for those serious about their practice, he scolds those who would 'dumb-down' nibbana and challenges us to reach for the ultimate happiness. Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond is a bold book, sure to be controversial." (John Roberts, Buddhist Council of the Northwest)

"From the first word (meditation) to the last (Parinibbana), Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond is riveting, rollicking, and uncompromisingly "real". Ajahn Brahm's voice is utterly fresh. But watch out! In the greatest tradition of our beloved roshis and bhikkhus, it is also compelling and commanding. Readers seeking a sure guide to 'the bliss better than sex' will find it in this wonderful book." (Glenn Wallis, translator of The Dhammapada: Verses on the Way)

"Ajahn Brahm is the Seinfeld of Buddhism." (Sumi Loundon, editor of Blue Jean Buddha)

"Ajahn Brahm is originally from London, and his working-class humor and cockney turns of phrase can be charming. Readers will see why so many people are drawn to hear him." (Shambhala Sun)

"Ajahn Brahm has not only provided great leadership for the Buddhist community, but has dedicated much of his time to helping the wider community with a strong sense of compassion, understanding and humour." (Vice-Chancellor Professor Lance Twomey, Curtin University)

"One can never be bored by Ajahn Brahm. Newcomers to Buddhism are always fascinated by how he easily he is able to explain difficult concepts in ordinary language the mind can grasp." (Eastern Horizon)


Meditation: it's not just a way to relax, or to deal with life's problems. Done correctly, it can be a way to radically encounter bliss and to begin - and sustain - real transformation in ourselves.

In Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond, self-described meditation junkie Ajahn Brahm shares his knowledge and experience of the jhanas - a core part of the Buddha's original meditation teaching. Never before has this material been approached in such an empowering way, by a teacher of such authority and popularity.

Full of surprises, delightfully goofy humor, and entertaining stories that inspire, instruct, and illuminate, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond will encourage those new to meditation, and give a shot in the arm to more experienced practitioners as well.


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5.0 von 5 Sternen No nonsense manual for meditators 8. Februar 2014
Von S. Tan
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Clear, no nonsense step-by-step explanation of samatha meditation, Ajahn Brahm does have some strong opinions concerning samatha/ jhana, since I have no way to prove his statements historically, I take them with a grain of salt, and enjoy the rest of the book.

According to the author all those years I spent of vipassana training (mindfulness of the present moment) are 'merely' a preparation for the real work aka samatha meditation. This preparation is not less important, though; since how could I otherwise keep the delicate balance between energy and concentration, faith and wisdom, and mindfulness?

IMHO samatha meditation is not the appropriate method to start with if you are a newbie in meditation, but it's the next step for those who want to make further progress in the path.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen sehr gut 14. August 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
sehrrrrrrrrrrrrr gut rrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The best book about Meditation I ever read 1. März 2014
Von k_hae
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
It's a complete instruction to Meditation,
from a man he has the experience of it.
Sometimes a bit confusing,
so I made my own Summary of it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen the meditation bibel 14. Februar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
this book is a very good introduction to meditation. also experience meditaters will have fun reading it. ajahn brahm has a fantastik sens of humor. you will love it
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  51 Rezensionen
81 von 90 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The REAL guide from the REAL deal in meditation 18. September 2006
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
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For over thirty years, Ajahn Brahmavamso has been a monk in the Thai "forest tradition," a branch of Theravada Buddhism known for its strict adherence to both the spirit and the letter of the Buddha's teachings. Tibetan Buddhism is exotic and Zen is aesthetically pleasing, but for the meditation that led the Buddha himself to enlightenment, we must look to the Theravadans.

Now one of the best-known faces of Buddhism in the world (although just becoming known in the States), Ajahn Brahm is one of the most admired meditation teachers in the world, and this book shares EVERYTHING. You can take this book to your hut in the woods (or spare bedroom in your house) and work its plan to ultimate bliss.

I was lucky enough to meet Ajahn Brahm last year in Chicago at Transitions Book Place, when he was visiting in support of his book of teaching stories, Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? (An excerpt from the interview with him appears below.) As wonderful and inspiring as his first book is, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond is what we've all been waiting for, an encapsulation of the meditation wisdom Ajahn Brahm has cultivated since 1973.

If you're interested at all in what happiness comes from meditation, PLEASE do yourself a favor and read this book. It is everything I had hoped it would be -- and let me tell you, that was a tall order after meeting the writer himself!

Q. People call you "the Elvis of Buddhism," "the Seinfeld of Buddhism." They want to make you into a celebrity. Do you ever have difficulty reconciling that with being a monk--and not just a monk, but a forest monk, which is very different from living as a famous person?

A. You know, I think one of the first times when it really hit me is I was giving a talk in Singapore. There was a huge crowd of five thousand, cheering as if they were watching a basketball match or something. Huge crowd. In the front where I was sitting, I was just by myself on this huge stage. As I walked in, I thought, now what am I doing? But then I thought of my teacher, Ajahn Chah. I thought he would be very happy that I was spreading Dhamma to so many. So you never think of yourself; you think of your teachings. You think of what you're doing, rather than who's doing it. So you actually depersonalize everything.

Q. That's how you avoid the cult of personality?

A. [You get] where you can actually play the role without being the role, so you get up there and you can really connect with your audience. You can enjoy the interaction between yourself and five thousand [other people]. That way you are not shortchanging the Dhamma. Too often, people -- because they're concerned about their ego -- don't actually put themselves forward enough to be able to present the Dhamma in a beautiful way. Whatever you believe in, you just give it everything you've got, you go for broke. If you're going to talk to ten people, it might as well be ten thousand. It's the same as how I'm talking to you now. You just connect and just give a talk to the very best you can, and then off you go. So it's very powerful. If you've got a good teaching, then go out there and give it.

Q. Do you see yourself and your popularity as a vehicle for the Dhamma?

A. Sure, yeah, sure. I mean, when I started [as abbot and giving talks], I thought, "Well, I'll give it everything I've got. If it works, great. If it doesn't work, I can be a nice, peaceful, solitary monk." So you've got nothing to lose.

Q. It's funny. You almost have to disguise your useful teachings in an entertaining and funny way --

A. Packaging, that's what it is.

Q. -- but you're known for being totally scrupulous to the Vinaya. In the evening, you'll have orange juice while other people are having their steak dinners, things like that. That gives you a kind of authority that simply being a monk or an abbot doesn't necessarily confer, because there are scandals every day with religious figures.

A. That's correct, yeah.

Q. So what do you think that the Theravada tradition as practiced and taught by Western monastics has to offer that maybe the other traditions don't?

A. I think it's just clarity. Clarity and simplicity. That just shows that you can keep all your rules scrupulously without being uptight. If you see a person who really keeps those rules, they just so easily go along with it and they're just relaxed because it's one of those almost, like, koans of life--the more rules you keep, the more freedom you feel. People think, "Ah, if you keep precepts and you keep these rules, you feel just so enclosed. You can't go where you want. You can't do what you want." But [monastics] don't feel it that way at all. All these rules -- I can't do this, I can't do that -- seem so free and liberating.

Q. And part of the clarity of the Theravada is that there are not a lot of cultural accretions added to it.

A. That's right. Of all of the types of Buddhism, Theravada has been the least cultural and most international. [As] a Theravadin, I can go to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, and the other traditions -- old traditions and new traditions -- and know exactly what I'm doing. Like last night, I stayed in the Sri Lankan temple in Toronto. Tonight is in the Thai temple [in Chicago]. So you just fit in so easily. If you're a Theravadin monk or nun, it's like having a Diner's Club card or gold card, and you can go to any of these hotels called "monasteries" in the whole world and get free bed and board. [Laughs.] It's a great, great club to join.
144 von 168 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting But Be Careful... 5. März 2007
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Ajahn Brahm is certainly one of the most dynamic and charismatic Buddhist speakers nowadays. His Friday Night Dhamma talks and seminars have now gained worldwide acclaim and have even won over my mother. Indeed, along with Ajahn Sucitto and Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Brahm was one of the first masters I encountered when I was first introduced to Theravadan Buddhism. His talks have since provided me with a lot of inspiration over the years and have helped me through some very trying times. His previous book "Truckload of Dung" contains many of his jokes, stories and anecdotes that neatly illustrate the main aspects of Buddhism and is vintage Ajahn Brahm at his best.

I must confess, however, that I found his latest book "Mindfulness, Bliss..." along with his most recent Dhamma talks on enlightenment to be somewhat troubling, not necessarily in their content, but in their absolute tone or attitude towards Buddhist practice and enlightenment. While this book contains many useful insights and references about jhanas, his relentless and recurring insistence that experiencing and attaining jhanas is the only true way of achieving enlightenment, borders on the dogmatic and could be misleading especially for beginners in Dhamma practice.

His assertion that achieving or experiencing jhanas is either the best or only way to enlightenment flies in the face of other teachings by renowned meditation masters including more senior teachers such as Ajahn Sumedho and even his own teacher Ajahn Chah. The jhanic bliss or nimittas experienced during meditation should not be attached to, nor do they in themselves constitute enlightenment and nor are they a necessary or sufficient condition for enlightenment. Jhanas and nimittas are just concepts and conditions of the mind, possibly helpful along the path (indeed, they have been for me at certain times), BUT they are neither more nor less than that and do not constitute the sole purpose of meditation, nor are they the pinnacle of Buddhism nor do they represent the totality of Dhamma practice. Please read Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Chah on this subject.

As Ajahn Chah used to say, there are many roads to enlightenment and achieving deep jhanas is but one possible portal; however, danger lurks if one gets attached to these blissful states or if one becomes too eager to experience them and depressed if one doesn't. Then they can become a defilement and impede healthy spiritual development. Really, jhanas and nimittas just happen, if they happen at all.

Furthermore, the focus on discovering one's own past lives and reincarnations is yet another common spiritual red-herring found in this lastest book and a few of Ajahn Brahm's latest Dhamma talks (though curiously absent in his earlier talks). I find this a bit disappointing since one of the cornerstones of Buddhism is to be at ease with the Unknowable, to be fine with the Uncertain and not to waste too much time on the Speculative (such as past lives and reincarnations). This is really the realm of other more esoteric forms of Buddhism and New Age speculation. It's especially mystifying since Ajahn Brahm used to devote a considerable amount of his time alerting practioners to these dangers and advising them to put more practical effort into here-and-now mindfulness.

I also found it interesting that Ajahn Brahm uses a lot of heavy scriptural references to support his claims in this book (one wonders if Ajahn Sujato had a partial hand in ghost-writing this book) and yet he often dismisses reliance on scriptural references in his Friday Night Dhamma talks since "these scriptures weren't written by the Buddha anyway." If "Mindfulness, Bliss" were merely presented as an anectdotal reference, or simply as a shared experience or even as a "viewless view" of what can and might happen during meditation, I think it's usefulness would increase dramatically.

It is vital to carefully read Jack Kornfield's excellent foreward, a thinly veiled caveat, before immersing yourself in this book. Furthermore, if you are a beginner to Buddhism or meditation, to gain proper perspective on this subject, I'd strongly suggest reading a few classics before tackling this lastest from Ajahn Brahm:

Ajahn Chah - Food For The Heart

Ajahn Sumedho - The Mind And The Way

Jack Kornfield - A Path With Heart

Henepola Gunaratana - Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness

As the old Buddhist chesnut goes, "Never believe anything anyone tells you, not even the greatest and most famous master and not even the Buddha himself. Test it out for yourself."

3 stars for a thorough discussion of jhanas, minus 2 stars for the misleading tone of the book and the confusion it might cause those who may be new to Buddhism.

Good Luck!
17 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This is the Buddhas practice as taught in over 32 sutras of the Tripitaka 14. Juni 2011
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
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Presently when you learn meditation almost any teacher will tell you that what you are learning is from the master himself. However this unusual english book is method specific and teaches the same method that the Buddha himself was practicing and teaching in over 32 suttas of the Tripitaka. It teaches you in a practical way how to develop samadhi. Very rare to find in modern Buddhist writings.Though many reviews on here might question the validity of Ajahn Brahms teaching, they are not following Buddha's actual teaching but merely repeating the cultural constructs of Buddhist practice as learned through the voices of teachers.

When reading some of the reviewers, you have to wonder if anyone anymore actually reads through the Buddhas teaching (Tripitaka)? Or they just repeat like parrots what they learn from teachers who are not the Buddha?
If you have read more than just the standard suttas like the sattipattana etc.?
Buddha recommends jhana in over 32 suttas. In fact there is no where in the 3 sets of sutta's that Buddha teaches meditation where he also does not mention jhana. This is because it was meant to be the precursor to Vipassana. He does not recommend styles of practice like U BA Khin's (S.N. Goenka) or various other supposed vipassana styles. Have you read the LAM RIM (from Tibetan Buddhist) teachings of Tsong Kha Pha? you can actually find jhana being taught in there.
Buddha taught a system of meditation called Samatha Vipassana. The 1st part was the development of concentration and serenity or samadhi. This has 8 stages and is what Ajahm Bhram has been generous enough to teach openly. Once you have acquired Samatha you can then use your samadhi to acquire Vipassana; often translated as insight thought literally means clear seeing like clairvoyance (also can mean burning away).
I can understand that you might have a bias towards jhana teaching if you have not been able to access jhana. However Because Buddha never teaches Samatha without emphasizing Jhana, because it was his practice and because if you have gone into jhana you can see the night and day differences between practicing vipassana with and without it, this is why Ajahn Brahm is so intense on it. It is also a reaction against all the years of, quite frankly (lets be honest) fear of Jhana practice promoted out into the field by Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzburg, Goenka, U BA Khin and and several others who were sure about what they were sure about. Even now in these reviews there is someone warning people saying, " you better read what ajan sumeddo or ajhan chah says!" rather than, "you should read what the source teaching says". Fascinating, and we wonder why a teaching degenerates.
In the 70's there were several American Jews who were traveling in Asia and happened upon what was the dominant teaching style of meditation at that time which was the Mahasi Sayadaw and U Bha Khin style of body scan. They referred to thier methods as Vipassana practices. These Americans studied these methods and brought them back to the U.S. American practitioners here such as Kornfield, Salzberg and others pushed this method hard. Practicing in this way however is known in the Visshudhimagga as being a dry insight practitioner because you have generated no samadhi, no jhana-absorption. Practicing in this way can bring some insight but not much joy or serenity because that is not the nature of the practice. It can also never take you to other of Buddhas realizations like Sunyata.
As I have said in another review, Americans have been given a one sided view of Buddha's practice which they eagerly accept from thier teachers, (who can blame anyone for trusting their teacher) however because most Americans do not read the sutras themselves they do not actually see the way Buddha teaches his method of meditation (see the Pottapadda sutta: Digha Nikaya). I highly recommend a short free article by the Theravada monk, Thanissaro Bhikkhu. It is called "One tool among many; the place of Vipassana in Buddhist practice".

By the way, just because Kornfield, Salzberg and the other Americans came back and wrote books does not make them any more expert than any other Buddhist monk. In fact, they got a lot wrong and are recently coming to terms with the fact that they have been teaching an incomplete system; this presently shows as the IMS has been hosting more and more Jhana teachers like Catherine, Brahm and the great Pa Auk Sayadaw. They pushed the body scan method for many years but have recently began to see that there has been a very superficial understanding of Samatha.
This is a highly illuminating book from a very serious practitioner of meditation. Someone who has devoted his life to learning and elucidating the Buddhas own methodology. What is funny about reviews on this book is the Americans and others who have not dedicated their complete lives to practice (being a monk) tell us whether or not this book can provide enlightenment or not? If they already have the enlightenment then why even read this book in the 1st place?
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5.0 von 5 Sternen thank you Ajahn Brahm 3. Dezember 2006
Von desiree - Veröffentlicht auf
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This book has jolted me out of complacency with my meditation practice. I don't think it's really for beginners but if you've been meditating seriously and want to go deeper, this is an excellent guide. Ajahn Brahm is adamant about the importance of jhana to experience insight and he gives a step-by-step explanation of how to get there and what to expect along the way. Although I certainly haven't gotten there yet, the effort itself has helped my focus. This book has a straight-forward explanation of many of the Buddha's teachings (such as nibbana)in contrast with what is popularly understood.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Wrong concentration, wrong view 14. Oktober 2012
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
The jhanas are a central part of the practice taught by the Buddha, mentioned repeatedly throughout the Pali Canon and it is refreshing to see many contemporary teachers returning to the teaching of them as an alternative to the "dry insight" vipassana meditation which was only recently developed in the 20th century. In this book Ajahn Brahm says he teaches the jhanas, which he characterises as a kind of anaesthetic coma where the senses are turned off and all sense of the body and the outside world is lost. As an example of how literally he means this, he even tells the story of one of his students who fell into the state that he espouses and was rushed to hospital by his wife because she thought he had died. According to his definition, if you can sense anything, you're not in a jhana.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) these kinds of states are not what the Buddha taught as jhana. If they were, then the Pali Canon, which is full of descriptions of jhana, would be full of descriptions of monks in death-like comas. It isn't. In fact, the Buddha taught eight successive jhanas, the first four of which are states of heightened whole body awareness. Note the important difference - heightened awareness of the body, not unawareness of the body. Thought and feeling also play important parts in the first four jhanas, called the form jhanas. It is only the latter four jhanas which are called formless, where the awareness of form fades away, and these last four are not necessary for awakening.

Brahm also states that to get into jhana it is essential to have to have a "nimitta". He says that for most people this will be an imaginary bright light accompanied by a feeling of bliss. The trick is to develop this light and the feeling of bliss then get sucked into them. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, since few people experience this light) nothing like this is taught by the Buddha as part of the development of jhana. He doesn't mention the light. The feelings of bliss arise and then are allowed to continue and die down when they get uncomfortable, becoming joy and then equanimity, all with full body awareness. Attention is kept with the meditation object (usually the body or the breath) and not allowed to get sucked into the feelings.

These may seem like technical nit-picks, but they're very important. The kind of one-pointed absorption concentration (as distinct from the Buddha's whole body awareness concentration) that Brahm recommends can be developed, but it's got a lot to do with aversion, one of the three kilesas. Firstly, the desire for this kind of absorption is based on aversion for the world and is simply an extreme version of sticking your fingers in your ears and humming, closing your eyes and pretending that the world doesn't exist and neither do you. These states can sometimes be pleasant and restful and another Thai Forest teacher, Ajahn Fuang, used them during an operation on his kidney because he didn't trust the anaesthetist. So they can be helpful in some ways in the short term, but they're not the jhana that the Buddha taught. The problem is that because they are based on a reduction rather than an increase in awareness, they don't help the development of insight. The second connection with aversion is when you come out of these states. As Ajahn Brahm says in the book, the world looks worse when you come out and the sense of dukkha is increased, because the world seems jarring compared with the peaceful anaesthetised state that you've just left. If indulged in for too long and too often, these absorption states that Brahm describes can lead to a kind of meditation hangover, a longing to go back to the absorbed state, an increase in distress with the world and aversion to it, even anger and mental instability, which Brahm bizarrely takes this simply to be an increase in sensitivity to the dukkha that was already there in the world rather than an unhelpful and possibly harmful effect of his technique. All meditation techniques can lead to an increase in the awareness of dukkha, but the strong and stable peace developed during the whole body jhanas taught by the Buddha leads to an increase in mental and emotional stability and an enhanced ability to deal with the world in a steadier and less reactive way.

Another problem is that a minority of people experience a nimitta as described by Brahm and this has led to an experience of striving and failure in many meditators trying diligently to follow his instructions. This is a pity because jhanas as taught by the Buddha are fairly easily obtainable by most people if they practice correctly and diligently, just as most people can learn a musical instrument or a foreign language with good teaching and enough practice.

In order to try and fit his own teaching into the Buddha's framework, Brahm attempts a bizarre reworking of the Buddha's teaching on breath meditation, the Anapanasati Sutta, taking it as a linear progression and splitting it between the third and fourth tetrads by inserting jhana between steps twelve and thirteen. In fact the sutta doesn't work like that. You can work on all four tetrads at once, and the development of jhana accompanies this work at all stages. Luckily the sutta is actually quite clear in itself. The Buddha's formula for jhana as a state of enhanced whole body awareness is also very clear and is probably one of the most, if not the most, repeated pericope(s) throughout the Pali Canon. The only way that Brahm can attempt to make his teaching fit with the Buddha's is to redefine perfectly ordinary Pali words like "kaya", "vitakka" and "vicara", to mean something completely different from what they mean everywhere else.

Brahm's attitude to other views of jhana is defensive and un-monk-like, to say the least. He accuses Thich Nhat Hanh of "irrational stubbornness based on bhavatanha, the craving to be" (probably more accurately translated as "craving for becoming"). (In passing, there may be something in this, since, as Brahm rightly says, Hanh bizarrely teaches that the Buddha didn't teach jhana at all and that all those repeated passages were inserted into the Pali Canon record of his teaching conversations after his death. Indeed, in recent years Hanh has seemed preoccupied with his own "continuation", and one's "continuation" is a central theme of his teaching). Brahm's accusation is ironic, as it would be quite plausible to see Brahm's own teaching of what he calls jhana as based on vibhavatanha, craving for non-becoming, non-existence, not to be. The problem is that you can't deal with your defilements by closing your eyes, sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending that you're free of defilements. You have to go the other way and increase your awareness of what you're doing, not decrease it.

The idea that there is no self is central to Brahm's teaching in this book, even though the Buddha taught that any kind of view about "the self" was wrong view and would not lead to awakening and release. Brahm refers to the Sabbasava Sutta where he says a question such as "Who am I?" is called by the Buddha unwise attention. Brahm recommends asking a different question such as "What is it that I take to be me?". Unfortunately questions such as this are also on the list of those defined as unwise by the Buddha in exactly the same paragraph. In the very next paragraph Brahm's stated view "I have no self" is explicitly defined as wrong view, along with all other views about "the self". Selective scholarship to say the least, and Brahm is a full time monk and I'm just a bloke who has studied the suttas in my spare time. The question as to whether there is a self, of whatever kind, is one which the Buddha refused to answer when explicitly asked.

So, a potentially harmful meditation technique which was not taught by the Buddha, teaching based on mistranslations and selective quotations, and a self-view in explicit contradiction of the Buddha's teaching as laid out in the suttas of the Pali Canon. Ajahn Brahm is undeniably a nice bloke, but really, this is pretty shocking for a senior Theravada monk.
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