Teaching Buddha Teaching Buddha

The Jhanas (Meditative Absorptions)

The Jhanas are eight altered states of consciousness which can arise during periods of strong concentration. The Jhanas are naturally occurring states of mind, but learning how to enter them at will and how to stay in them takes practice. Their principle use in Buddhist meditation is to generate ever increasing levels of concentration so that later when the meditative mind is turned to a practice that tends towards wisdom, it can do that practice with far less distraction.

Below are links to several places on the 'net where the Jhanas are discussed. Some of these pages are mine; some are at other sites I've found.

For further reading on the Jhanas, see the books on my Buddhist Reading List that are marked with an asterisk.

Tho not specifically about the Jhanas, this article from Newsweek on meditation is interesting as well.

New Scientist reports that self-awareness is switched off when the brain needs to concentrate hard.

Jean Holroyd discusses The Science of Meditation and the State of Hypnosis - not much about the Jhanas but interesting nonetheless.

Time magazine has an interesting article on consciousness (and not-self): The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness

Dhyana in Buddhism - from Wikipedia has a good write up, tho I disagree with some of the statements there.
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Leigh Brasington / / Revised 29 Sept 14