Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory guide to Deeper States of Meditation” as Want to Read:
Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory guide to Deeper States of Meditation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory guide to Deeper States of Meditation

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  329 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Countless people worldlwide have made Mindfulness in Plain English a beloved and bestselling classic in almost a dozen languages. Now after nearly two decades, Bhante helps meditators of every stripe take their mindfulness practice to the next level - helping them go, in a word, beyond mindfulness. In the same warm, clear, and friendly voice, Bhante introduces the reader t ...more
ebook, 200 pages
Published August 10th 2009 by Wisdom Publications (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 19, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The jhanas are states of deep relaxation and presence of mind with a detachment from external stimuli. Many people are familiar with Insight Meditation (Vipassana) of Theravada Buddhism, the oldest surviving form ( not the oldest form absolutely ) of Buddhism. However, until recently almost nothing has been written about the Jhanas in English and what was written has been mistaken, as well as confusing. "Beyond Mindfulness In Plain English" is one of about 4 new books about the Jhanas meant to c ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Dona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first half of this book is about the basics of Buddhism and meditation. It outlines the hindrances and fetters and provides some helpful hints to stay focused during meditation. The suggestions are clear, easily applicable, and helped me to isolate and de-escalate my anger in several situations. The second half of the book describes the four stages of jhana--what I understand to be deep meditation. Even though I have never experienced deeper states of meditation, the explanations of jhana pr ...more
Jan 20, 2017 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mindfulness
This was more challenging to get through than Mindfulness in Plain English for a few reasons. The first is that the concepts here are far more abstract and advanced. Gunaratana uses the same words over and over again to describe different states and progression, some states that have no basis in the physical world and cannot be fairly represented with words, so it starts to feel like a jumble. Another challenge is that this book spans the divide between hobbyist/novice and professional/advanced ...more
The follow-up to Mindfulness in Plain English, this book explores deeper states of consciousness, called "jhanas." It assumes the reader has read the first book. It lays the foundation with a lengthy discussion of removing "fetters" and "hinderances," a strong "metta" practice (lovingkindness meditation), and a strict discipline of mindfulness and concentration. Then it devotes most of the book to explanations of the jhanas: the four material jhanas, the immaterial jahanas, and the supramundane ...more
Nov 10, 2013 Shinta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not meant to replace a samatha meditation teacher or long term retreats (or bootcamps if you prefer to use that term). It encourages me however that samatha meditation, and thus jhana, is a meditationtechnique that properly practiced under proper guidance, will lead to good results. I, too, used to consider samatha meditation as a technique not appropriate for lay people, but only for the olympic athletes among the meditators, as Bhante G put it, until I met a meditation teacher who ...more
Patrick J.
Mar 06, 2011 Patrick J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: intermediate level meditators
I really liked this book. This is a great intermediate level book about mindfulness meditation. It gave me a good idea of where I should be going next with my meditation. Every other book I have read about mindfulness really just rehashes what I had already learned, but Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory Guide to the Jhanas assumes that you know what mindfulness is and are familiar with the basic techniques. The only downside to this book was that I got it from the library and ...more
I'm realizing that for me - New Age meditation has an underlying message to look to the self for answers and peace. My faith and answers and peace are in Christ and I want to keep it that way. Being 'freed' from this thought process isn't something I'm looking to accomplish. Learning to be more present is definitely something I aim to do and something this book did add insights to; but that's about all I found useful.
Dan Tasse
Mar 25, 2012 Dan Tasse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I think this guy is a super champ and really knows something about some of the more developed states of the mind, particularly the "jhanas" or concentration states. A little bit grounding after reading Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha; helped me realize I still have a long way to go. (sigh)
Jan 20, 2014 Juergen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A primer on samadhi, specifically on jhanas, the concentrated states arrived through dedicated concentration meditation. Fair warning that this book can appear dry and perhaps a bit confusing if one hasn't put in the requisite time. Therefore, I would encourage anyone who is interested in meditation to do the hard work and use books like these as guideposts on the path.
Jan 14, 2016 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a great no-nonsense guide to the jhanas. practical advice for concentration practice and how it naturally feeds into insight practice.
Jan 29, 2012 Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a follow up from Mindfulness in Plain English and is a continuation of useful and beneficial information.
Another classic from Bhante G. Beware, it's not as accessible as are his earlier books -- this is not introductory material.
Steve Woods
This is the best how to manual I have read. I recommend it for anyone interested in Buddhist practice and meditation. It will give anyone a great start on the journey
Jun 12, 2011 Nico rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Probably too advanced for me right now. The first Mindfulness in Plain English changed my life, this one was tedious
Emilie rated it liked it
May 23, 2016
Craig rated it liked it
May 14, 2014
L R rated it liked it
Apr 20, 2014
Rachel rated it liked it
Aug 10, 2014
Rick rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2013
Gerardo Gonzalez
Gerardo Gonzalez rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2013
Tini Widjojo
Tini Widjojo rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2015
Kyle Rhoades
Kyle Rhoades rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2015
Rajesh k. sharma
Rajesh k. sharma rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2014
Kent Robinson
Kent Robinson rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2014
Deb Korch
Jun 16, 2012 Deb Korch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book for the seasoned meditator.
Victor Siregar
Victor Siregar rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2014
Laura Welsby
Laura Welsby rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2013
Shari Steele
Shari Steele rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2016
Ev rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization
  • Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook
  • Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity
  • The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga
  • Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering
  • Being Nobody, Going Nowhere: Meditations on the Buddhist Path
  • The Experience of Insight: A Simple & Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation (Shambhala Dragon Editions)
  • The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: The Buddha's Way of Mindfulness
  • Sayings of the Buddha: New Translations from the Pali Nikayas
  • Living Dharma: Teachings of Twelve Buddhist Masters
  • The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya
  • Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation
  • The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya
  • Skeptics and True Believers: The Exhilarating Connection Between Science and Spirituality
  • Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands: Lessons in Non-Linear Leadership
  • Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master
  • The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Complete Translation of the Anguttara Nikaya
  • The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is the founding abbot of the Bhavana Society. Born in rural Sri Lanka, he has been a monk since age 12 and took full ordination at age 20 in 1947. He came to the United States in 1968. “Bhante G” (as he is fondly called by his students) has written a number of books, including the now-classic meditation manual Mindfulness In Plain English and its companion Eight Mindful ...more
More about Henepola Gunaratana...

Share This Book

“As you practice jhana-oriented meditation, you move over time through a series of mental states that become more and more subtle as you proceed through them. You start where you are now and you go far, far beyond. You move beyond the range of concepts and sensory perceptions.” 2 likes
“Building concentration is primarily a matter of removing certain mental factors that hinder its application.” 1 likes
More quotes…