This talk reviews the meditation practices represented in the Visuddhimagga, the common reference source for Theravada Buddhists. This approach to meditation is intended to lead to the extraordinary levels of consciousness called jhana, and which are only found in Theravada Buddhism. During the talk, the progression of practicing meditation from using intensive investigation of breath sensations to overcome the five hindrances, through what is called access concentration and on to the four jhanas of form. These four progressions of concentrated attention are described, related to the teachings and the personal experience of the presenter, Peter. The description also includes comments that assess the relationship between the high levels of concentration required in this practice to other systems developed by Buddhist teachers termed dry vipassana; these practices were described in recent previous talks. This was followed by opportunities for those participating to add comments or ask questions.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Review of Classic Theravada Mindfulness of Breathing Meditation Additionally, here is a document downloaded in preparation for this talk and which is referred to at the end of the talk: VIPASSANA AND JHANA
There is a guided meditation entitled “Guided Exclusive Mindfulness of Breathing Meditation” recorded the same night at this talk, which can be found in the archives.
The topic for next week will be a review of the ways the structure and functioning of the brain are changed by dedicated mindfulness of breathing meditation as discovered by contemporary neuroscientific researchers.