I can’t wait to read the post. But first, Jorg mentioned Ajahn Bram, and I’d like to ask one follow-up question, since I used to spend much time studying Ajahn’s teaching — with great joy.
I’ll ask my question right up front, which is about Dhammapada verse 372, and give the context of my question afterwards. Ajahn rendered this verse as:
“There is no jhana without wisdom
There is no wisdom without jhana
But for one with both jhana and wisdom
They are in the presence of Nibbana”
I looked up the Pali verse and found this:
“Natthi jhanam apannassa
panna natthi ajhayato
yamhi jhananca panna ca
sa ve nibbanasantike.”
Question: is this rendering close? My Pali is not that good yet.
Anyone who has studied Ajahn Brahm would undoubtedly get that he encourages people to get into jhana. One can see this in his talks and writing. Just as an example, he wrote a little booklet called “The Basic Method of Meditation”, which one can actually download from here:
He described how to get to the 1st jhana, and he ended with the wish: “MAY ALL BEINGS GET JHANA”.
He also wrote a book that described his method of meditation in details: “Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond”. Part 2 of that book, starting with Chapter 11, is about the jhanas. In fact, he even wrote that what the Buddha discovered was the jhanas (page 127).
He concluded that chapter with Dhammapada verse 372. Hence my question.
This book is not available online, but there is a booklet that pretty condenses the book:
Finally, just an interesting aside: some students of Ajahn suggested that his name, Brahmavamso, was no coincidence. The name means “he of Brahma’s lineage”, which really fits Ajahn.