Synopses & Reviews
The relationship between insight practice (vipassana) and the attainment of the four jhanas (i.e. right samadhi) is a key problem in the study of Buddhist meditation. The four jhanas have been misunderstood by inaccurate interpretations of key terms in Buddhist psychology and philosophy and there have been oversights of important aspects of the meditation process.
This book offers a fresh look at this important element of Buddhist meditation theory and provides a novel map of the theoretical progress of meditation according to the early Buddhist texts in Pali. By carefully analyzing the descriptions of the four jhanas in the early Buddhist texts, their contexts, associations and meanings within the conceptual framework of early Buddhism, the relationship between this central element in the Buddhist path and insight meditation becomes revealed in all its power.
Current literature on the phenomenology of the four jhanas and their relationship with the practice of insight' has mostly recapitulated traditional Theravada interpretations. No one to date has offered a comprehensive analysis of the fourfold jhana model independently from traditional explications. Early Buddhist Meditation will be of interest to academics in the field of Buddhist studies, including Buddhist philosophy and practise, Indian philosophy and religions, Asian religions, South Asian studies, contemplative studies and researchers of mindfulness meditation.