While you wait for the new jhana guide…
I’ve received a lot of messages asking me when the new jhana guide is coming out. That’s fair enough — I have been talking about it for around a year now.
The introductory chapters are written. I got sidetracked however by things like real life, client work, and of course cultivating the siddhis and fucking around with gambling.
But I should probably now set a date for when the jhana guide is going to be released, for myself if no one else. I intend to make it available some time in February. There will be a charge — I am thinking of something like $30. This will a membership fee, giving you access to an “Ask Me Anything” in the comments section of the guide, and some hidden techs and other resources.
Actually, I don’t know what I would keep hidden. The goal of this site is to raise the consciousness of all people, and I don’t consider any tech off limits for that. Humanity really, really needs an upgrade. I’ve already shared the fundamentals for free, anyway, in various posts and especially in the comments sections recently. There is literally nothing you cannot obtain from the information already shared. All the forthcoming guide(s) will do is wrap it up in a neater package.
The fee for the guide is just to cover my time. It will also show who’s serious about practice, since participation in the discussion will hold you accountable for how often you practise. The fee will therefore mainly be to receive priority message time from me in the comments section. The benefit there will be that not only will you be able to read replies to your own comments, but to everyone else’s too. It could be quite a resource when it’s finished, better even than Absolutus’s AMA — in fact, this one will be very tech-heavy (which his wasn’t), so it could be a lot more useful. Obviously, time spent replying to non-membership comments in the rest of the blog will go down as there are only so many hours in the day.
After the first year I will probably lift membership restrictions and make the guide publicly available. I have no interest in making a living from this site, or being a “guru” or a cult leader, with hidden shenanigans behind closed doors. I have other skills to make money, and I made this site mainly because I love writing and communicating with people — and, of course, creating and sharing this great tech.
Anyway, so let’s set February in our minds for when this guide comes out. In the meantime, if you are not already an experienced meditator, you need to head over to this post immediately and begin implementing the following meditation every day, for 30-minute sessions, until the guide comes out:
Practising nothing but mindfulness in this style, for a recommended period of two months, is going to be the first step in the new jhana guide anyway. The reason for this is as follows.
I get questions from two types of people, via email and via the comments sections. We could call them “pre-mindfulness” and “post-mindfulness” people.
- The pre-mindfulness people have not practised mindfulness long enough to even be attempting jhana (concentration meditation), in my opinion. Their questions tend to involve asking what to do about thoughts. In fact, their questions are almost entirely about thoughts. “I tried concentrating on the breath but I can’t even go one second without having a thought!”, said an email I received just today. This preoccupation with thoughts is exactly the reason why basic mindfulness training is required. Getting beyond thoughts is basically lesson #1, and you can’t skip over it. For many of you, you will require an extended period of just mindfulness practice before you start getting noticeable gaps between thoughts. The goal there is not jhana but, rather, confidence that you can calm your own mind. (Soon, after some practice, you will begin to realize that thoughts are a nonentity and can be easily dismissed or ignored.)
- The post-mindfulness people (e.g. Yuki and Mayath, recently) crossed the no-thought bridge a long time ago and are now into the fun stuff. Their questions (if they have any) are about technique or the meaning behind experiences, and are mostly obscure and incomprehensible to pre-mindfulness people. These guys don’t need to ask about thoughts or general mindfulness methods because they solved those problems a long time ago by putting the hours in.
The guide will cater amply to both camps. However, I will say again, the first instruction in the guide is going to be for you to put in a minimum of two months of basic mindfulness — so, if you haven’t already done that, now is the time to do so. The guide will hopefully be ready for you soon after that!