Right Concentration Extras

| September 21, 2017 | 2 Comments

What are the so-called “formless jhānas” or formless attainments in meditation? That’s one of the questions left on the cutting room floor after my video on Right Concentration. We’ll also tackle the question of how concentration meditation has tended to be sidestepped in a modern context.

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Doug Smith

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Doug is Study Director of the Secular Buddhist Association. He has a PhD in Philosophy, with a minor in Buddhist philosophy and Sanskrit. In 2013 he completed the year-long Integrated Study and Practice Program with the BCBS and NYIMC. A long time scientific skeptic, he pursues a naturalized approach to practice. He is also interested in scholarship about the Tipiṭaka, and the theoretical and historical origins of the dhamma. He posts videos at Doug's Secular Dharma on YouTube. Some of his writing can be found at academia.edu.

Comments (2)

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  1. Ron Stillman Ron Stillman says:

    Doug, how much “concentration” is required for right mindfulness?

    • Doug Smith Doug Smith says:

      Hi Ron, great question. Short answer is that I’m not really sure, and it seems to be a question of some controversy. I tried to go over some of that controversy in this video, as regards the Insight tradition in particular and “dry Insight”, so perhaps your question is different?

      If you mean simply to ask whether one can do mindfulness meditation (or right mindfulness) without jhāna, then I think the answer is yes, but certain of the awakening factors in the fourth foundation appear related to aspects of jhānic meditation, which at least raises the question as to whether it is being assumed as a background accomplishment once we get to issues surrounding awakening itself.

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