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Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook

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4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  400 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
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 meditati
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 11th 2006 by Wisdom Publications (first published August 10th 2006)
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Siddhartha by Hermann HesseThe Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIVZen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu SuzukiWhen Things Fall Apart by Pema ChödrönThe Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
A Buddhist Reading List
144th out of 691 books — 876 voters
Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond by Ajahn BrahmSatipaṭṭhāna by AnālayoLearning to Drive Into the Now by Solan MccleanMindfulness with Breathing by Buddhadasa BhikkhuA Map of the Journey by Sayādaw U Jotika
Buddhist Meditation
1st out of 16 books — 4 voters


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Ulf Wolf
Jun 03, 2015 Ulf Wolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the years as a practicing Buddhist I have read my share of books and manuals on meditation, especially those dealing with or touching upon Ānāpānasati and Jhāna. Initially I read these many books to learn from experienced meditators what to do and then, after I had accumulated quite a store of them, I re-read them to reconcile their different and sometimes conflicting messages.

Is Jhāna attainable these days, in this noisy, me-me-me world of ours? Some books hold that this is no longer possi
...more
Bobby
May 06, 2012 Bobby rated it really liked it
I think many would disagree with Brahm's position that accessing jhana is the only path to liberation (the allowance of Kornfield's caveat in the introduction though seem to perhaps indicate that Brahm is willing to make some kind of concession on this point) - but regardless, this book contains some of the most detailed - and yet accessible - text/chapters concerning meditative states preceding first jhana - including - simply put - how to effectively deal with nimittas when they start to arise ...more
Wt
Aug 19, 2013 Wt rated it really liked it
In this book, Ajahn Brahm reveals a blissful path to Nibaana through the development of the jhanas. The jhanas are seldom taught nowadays, and even more seldom taught is the progression from jhana to the "attainment of extinction" (nirodha-samāpatti) or "cessation of apperception and feeling" (saññāvedayitanirodha) which is Nibaana. Using language and instructions that are down-to-earth. accessible and even fun, Ajahn Brahm teaches how we can progressively develop the 4 fine-material jhanas and ...more
Natalie
Feb 07, 2008 Natalie rated it liked it
This book is a trip. It argues that jhana is the ONLY path to nibbana--a provocative thesis to say the least. The other fun part about this book is the use of Western science to legitimate/"prove" Buddhist cosmology (i.e., karma, rebirth, deva realms, etc.), which is uber-juicy considering that Brahmavamso was a theoretical physicist before he ordained.

From a less academic standpoint, this book is a great introduction to the path set out in Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga--which can be, to say the l
...more
John Wright
Jan 22, 2011 John Wright is currently reading it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to start meditation in the Terevada tradition
An instruction book. It is suggested that one not move to the next section until one is able to meditate at the level described in the section you are reading. Three years, and less than a quarter through. Maybe will not get to the end in this lifetime.....
Daniella
Oct 01, 2013 Daniella rated it it was amazing
A 'lion of the dhamma', Ajahn Brahm stands at the vanguard of authentic Buddhist practitioners, and is spreading the truth of meditation (as taught by the Buddha) and the place of samadhi (jhana) in the noble eightfold path.

With so many lay-practitioners writing books about the subject when they themselves are amateurs at best, it is a true boon to the serious buddhist to have an 'instruction manual' on meditation written by a meditation master.

In a time rife with so much false dhamma and obfusc
...more
Michael Hołda (Holda)
Dec 03, 2015 Michael Hołda (Holda) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Four types of Bliss to enlightenment.
To do no evil; To cultivate good; To purify one's mind: This is the teaching of the Buddhas.
Ulf Wolf
Jun 03, 2015 Ulf Wolf rated it it was amazing
Over the years as a practicing Buddhist I have read my share of books and manuals on meditation, especially those dealing with or touching upon Ānāpānasati and Jhāna. Initially I read these many books to learn from experienced meditators what to do and then, after I had accumulated quite a store of them, I re-read them to reconcile their different and sometimes conflicting messages.

Is Jhāna attainable these days, in this noisy, me-me-me world of ours? Some books hold that this is no longer possi
...more
Kathy Ridges
Apr 19, 2013 Kathy Ridges rated it it was amazing
This book is a masterpiece of Buddhist meditation guidelines. It cannot be improved. He takes you through all the stages and gives helpful examples, too.

'When mindfulness rests comfortably on the breath without any interruption, and the sensation of breath becomes calmer and calmer, then happiness and joy with always arise.' (p88) This book is a must for any serious mediator.
Tisaranavamsa
Mar 17, 2013 Tisaranavamsa rated it really liked it
A very articulate user's manual for understanding aspect of concentration (samadhi) in Buddhism.
A must read.
Shinta
Aug 10, 2014 Shinta rated it it was amazing
This book is such a delight to read since I can find explanations which are hard to be found elsewhere. The progress from anapana sati, getting nimitta and to enter jhana. Though there are some discordancies with the book of Bhante Gunaratana - Beyond Mindfulness - concerning the jhana states. While B. Gunaratana says that total loss of bodily sensation starts in the 4th jhana, Ajahn Brahm writes that complete absorption starts in the 1st jhana.

Ajahn does have some strong opinions concerning sa
...more
Peter S.
Jun 20, 2013 Peter S. rated it really liked it
An amazingly detailed guide to the entry and experience of Jhanas and definitely recommended for those who want to experience something "special" in meditation. A ton of quotables, wide coverage of meditative techniques from anapanasati to Metta (loving kindness) which are both followed up with insightful commentary. -1 Star as there is quite a bit of dogma in the book in terms of Ajahn Brahm's insistence that Jhanas are the only and true way for a practitioner to attain enlightenment, which wou ...more
Yixuan
Sep 13, 2015 Yixuan rated it it was amazing
Satipatthana, if done correctly, leads to the acquisition of Jhana, and by the practice of Jhana Satipatthana will be completed. But as the beginning of Satipatthana Sutta said, it is the most direct way, but not the only way. Find a good teacher and try if it suits you. If not, you may want to try the Sunlun method or the ascetic way practiced by the forrest monks in Thai, or maybe some psychosynthesis.
Ana Julia
Nov 11, 2015 Ana Julia rated it it was amazing
Ajahn Brahm transmits his enthusiasm for meditation. Most writers purposefuly elude creating expectations or promises for the practice of meditation. Not Brahm; he encourages the reader to go for it. Plus, he is very didactic, makes the reading light, even if treating hard-to-grasp buddhist concepts... I will come back often to this book, as I further my meditation practice.





























Brandon
Jan 05, 2010 Brandon rated it really liked it
This was well written book that went through the basics of meditation to the later stages in meditation from the Buddhist perspective. The author, a monk, had a lot of insight and great stories that I have not read in any book on the topic as of yet. I will have to come back to this book as my meditation practice gets deeper and I advance to the later stages in meditation. The bad reviews may be due to the fact that it does dive into deep meditation stages that the average reader may have not ex ...more
Dean
Jan 07, 2014 Dean rated it really liked it
Decent manual for shamatha/concentration practice meditation. The only danger lies in the fact that concentration practice isn't an end in itself, which the author seems to give the impression. There is also the danger that those reading this will 'strive' for a result, and thus sabotage their own practice. Taken as a supplement though, this could be useful.
Çiğdem İpek Kantarcı
Aug 28, 2016 Çiğdem İpek Kantarcı rated it did not like it
Shelves: nevermind
I am very disappointed about this book. I even could not finish it, actually I abandoned after 100 pages. In my opinion, it is a huge repetition of very shallow and unclear methods and emotions about meditation. I passed through the pages and realised that it does not offer anything significant, also it does not give any joy of reading to me.
Bexen
Jan 17, 2016 Bexen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
A manual, a guide that will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. It is worth to read it at least once until the end, to see clearly the path that we are aiming for, the path of letting go.
Viet Hung Nguyen
Chắc chắn còn phải đọc và nghe lại nhiều lần trong hành trình thiền tập... Một cuốn sách nhất định phải đọc cho các thiền sinh Theravada.
Raechelle Thomas
Dec 22, 2013 Raechelle Thomas rated it really liked it
I will be referring back to this one for many years...
Madeline
hope can learn something new
Laura Lovegood
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Sep 20, 2016
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Sep 19, 2016
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Sep 18, 2016
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Sep 16, 2016
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Gurudev Rabbouni rated it it was amazing
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Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (lovingly known to most as Ajahn Brahm) was born Peter Betts in London, United Kingdom in August 7, 1951. He came from a working-class background, and won a scholarship to study Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University in the late 1960s. After graduating from Cambridge he taught in high school for one year before travelling to Thailand to become a monk and train with ...more
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“Silence is so much more productive of wisdom and clarity than thinking.” 6 likes
“Careful patience is the fastest way!” 3 likes
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