Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation

The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation

If you want to know more about meditation in the Theravada tradition, then you need to undertsand what the suttas really say about the jhanas.

It is a path to Nibbana and it is not secondary in any way to so called “insight” (vipassana) meditation.

The Buddha, Sariputta and many more disciples of the Buddha were jhana masters. It was their primary meditation.

On the Buddha’s death he reached Nibbana by the jhanas. The suttas say that the jhanas slope towards Nibbana.

Basically, in my opinion the teachings of this great jhana master (The Buddha) have been hijacked with a focus away from the jhanas. To study what is generally said about the jhanas is like looking at a pure object through a clouded lens.

The Buddha is constantly seen in the suttas encouraging his disciples to develop jhana.


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About Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, born in 1927, is a Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist monk. He went to the United States at the invitation of the Sasana Sevaka Society in 1968 in order to serve as the General Secretary of the Buddhist Vihara Society of Washington, D.C. and was elected president of the society twelve years later.

While serving in this office, he has conducted meditation retreats and taught courses in Buddhist Studies.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276
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