Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Jhanas Book

TITLE: Jhanas Advice from Two Spiritual Friends
Available now at ($14.95)

"Stephen Snyder and Tina Rasmussen know of what they write. They know through their own direct experience as dedicated yogis. Their book serves as a bridge for Westerners, a conduit to the traditional teachings of the Buddha as outlined in the discourses (sutras) and the Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga), as well as my book Knowing and Seeing. Many years ago, my teacher told me to plant the seed of this teaching in the West. Their book serves to water this seed and help it flower. I strongly recommend this book to all who are drawn to the meditative-absorptions (jhānas), and who seek to practice the Buddhist path as the Buddha lived and taught it" --Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw (Abbot, Pa Auk Monastery, Burma).

"Written with great sincerity, precision, and grace, this is a unique road map to the extraordinary and transforming states of mind known as the jhānas. By two accomplished Western professionals, and drawing on the teachings of Pa Auk Sayadaw (widely regarded as a master of the jhānas), this book is both a fascinating account of the possible upper reaches of human potential and a step-by-step practice guide for how to get there. As a psychologist and as a practicing Buddhist, I recommend this book wholeheartedly" - Rick Hanson, Ph.D. (clinical psychologist).

"I lived and practiced as a monk at Pa Auk Monastery for two years. While there, I saw sincere meditators from all over the world attempting to undertake this beautiful but rigorous practice. I have read or reviewed all the books in English on jhāna practice. Jhānas Advice from Two Spiritual Friends not only provides a much-needed bridge for a modern audience to understand and then access these ancient practices, but it also conveys a kind of dhamma transmission of the profoundly subtle aspects of the jhānas" - Robert Cusick (former monk at Pa Auk Monastery, and Spirit Rock manager of retreats).
"Making ancient wisdom accessible to Western readers is a delicate and demanding task, which Stephen and Tina have done admirably. They go well beyond the text of the classical Visuddhimagga and describe how a Theravadan master actually taught the classical text, what blocks Westerners are likely to meet, and how to navigate those rarely charted waters" - Michael Hagerty (Professor Emeritus, University of California at Davis).
"I am astounded by the simplicity/complexity and nuance of this practice, and that two lay Westerners have been able to both do this amazing practice and articulate it in very simple terms. I feel a sense of optimism and accessibility—as well as relief—that the practice is doable by Westerners who are not monastics. After reading this book I am both deeply touched by the very real possibility, and also inspired to explore this for myself and for the benefit of others" - Cyndia Biver (marketing consultant, Spirit Rock retreat manager).

"The jhāna practice is a very important part of the Buddha’s path. Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw is recognized as one of the most rigorous jhāna teachers in the world. This book on Stephen and Tina’s experience would be useful to any Buddhist who wishes to undertake the jhānas as practiced by the Buddha and taught by Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw" - Roland K. Win (entrepreneur, benefactor of Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw).

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