This course combines study and meditation to explore the essential role that concentration plays in the Buddha’s teachings. We will examine how the absorptive states of jhana are presented in the early discourses, and discuss the relevance of concentration and jhana training for contemporary practitioners. Shaila Catherine will offer meditation instructions for enhancing mental clarity, increasing our capacity for focused attention, and revealing the profound joy and bliss of an undistracted mind. Students are requested to read Shaila's book Focused and Fearless prior to arriving for the course.
To explore the purpose of right concentration as presented in the Pāli Canon; provide a theoretical understanding that will support a fruitful engagement with jhāna practices; distinguish the characteristics of samādhi states including access concentration, jhāna, formless perceptions, and momentary concentration; develop meditative skills to overcome obstacles to concentration; introduce meditation techniques that enhance focused attention; and discuss the relationships between concentration (samādhi), insight (vipassanā), and awakening.
Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.