This blog intends to discuss the fruits of a skillful and rigorous meditation practice.

Its basic thesis is that meditation leading to absorption (i.e., “Jhana” in the Buddha’s liturgical language of Pali, “Samadhi” in Sanskrit) is the single most effective practice strategy for anyone seeking enlightenment in this very lifetime.

There are tons of Yoga, Tantra, Sufi, Christian Mystical, Jewish Mystical, Shamanic, Gnostic, Pagan, Theosophical… etc.,… schools out there, each purporting to show The Way to some version of Truth. Some are based on an enthusiastic presentation of ecstatic practices, while others hide such practices behind various veils of initiatic prerequisites. The religious traditions on which some of these schools are based often seek to obfuscate, demonize and otherwise repress the ecstatic mystical teachings that have manifested beneath the radar of orthodoxy, requiring cryptic levels of secrecy to be practiced by those who’ve attained the stages of meditative absorption. At this point in history, it is extremely difficult to find teachers who have mastered these stages and are willing to offer freely the fruits thereof.

My personal claim is that “jhana nimittas” (so-called “charisms” or “signs of absorption”) began to manifest in my meditation practice in the early 90’s; that these phenomena have persisted, grown and matured over time; and that, since the first of February 2005, I have formally led a dedicated contemplative life that includes rigorous meditation built around the nourishment, maintenance and surrender to ever-ascending stages of absorption (jhana/samadhi). As detailed in the Buddha’s teachings on meditative attainment, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and various other “Sruti” teachings down through the ages, I submit that constant and persistent saturation in meditative absorption is the key to exposing, resolving and eradicating the many spiritual, psychological, emotional and even physical barriers to the Final Liberation. If a contemplative dedicates her or his life to a daily rigorous and skillful meditation practice along the lines asserted by this blog, I affirm that previously unimagined transformations will unfold over time, and that nothing in this Earthly existence comes close to providing the spiritual development offered by this approach.

I am not alone, nor am I the first to point this out.

My friend and teacher, Jeffrey S. Brooks (Jhanananda), has unpacked these concepts over the course of 30+ years. His canonical sources include the Phala Nikaya (the Buddha’s teachings on meditative attainment), Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, certain Christian Mystics such as St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, Sufis like Rumi and Mirabai, and various teachings surviving in Native American culture. The point is clear: ecstatic contemplatives down through the centuries have recorded amazingly similar experiences leading to Liberation. These experiences are natural to every human, built-in to our DNA as a Satguru who knows the precise path Home for each individual.

But, then, I’m not out to prove any of this. My wish, rather, is to evolve a narrative that brings these issues into the public domain, so that those who are rightly-situated may benefit in some way.

Blessings to one and all.


7 responses to “About

  1. Hello Michael, what a very excellent site that you have created that is dedicated to the attainment that arises from a skillful and rigorous contemplative life. I am sorry to see that in this world of many philosophies and preaching that little of it originates with rigorous contemplatives. Most of what is passed off as contemplative literature these days is at best nothing more than the over-worked imagination of scholars and at worse the ramblings of pedophiles, philanderers.

    When we wish to be rigorous in the contemplative life, or in academia, we must all check our sources. And, when we check our sources in Asian literature we find that most translations were rendered by people, like Alan Watts and DT Sazuki, who were not contemplatives at all, let alone rigorous. They were just scholars and as such had no idea regarding the Noble Eightfold Path to gnosis (enlightenment).

    I am honored to be quoted in this excellent blog, and to be in your company, because I know that you are a skillful and rigorous contemplative, and I know how very few there are at this time.

    I agree with you, I have found bliss, joy and ecstasy 24/7 is a tremendous benefit of leading a rigorous contemplative life. And, leading such a life is actually stress-free, so I am often amazed that people everywhere do not dedicate themselves to such a fruitful lifestyle. As the Buddha said in The Fruit of the Contemplative Life Samaññaphala Sutta (DN 2) .62 below:

    The Fruit of the Contemplative Life
    Samaññaphala Sutta (DN 2) .62
    First Jhana
    62. “With (So) the renunciation (vivicceva) of sensuality (kàmehi), and renunciation (vivicca) of unwholesome mental states (akusalehi), and with applied and sustained attention (savitakkaü savicàraü) and originating from dispassion (vivekajaü), s/he resides in (viharati) the clarity (upasampajja), bliss and joy (pãtisukhaü), of the first (pañhamaü) ecstasy (jhànaü).

    With (So) his/her entire (imameva) body (kàyaü) saturated (parisanneti2), suffused (paripåreti) and overflowing (parippharati) with the bliss and joy (pãtisukhena) of renunciation (vivekajena) there is nothing in him/her that is not pervaded (apphuñaü) by the bliss and joy (pãtisukhena) of renunciation (vivekajena) in every way (sabbàvato) destroying (Nàssa) the burden (ki¤ci) that clings (abhisanteti1) to his/her body (kàyassa).
    Translated from the Pali by Jhananda (02-14-09)

    Love to all, Jeffrey (Jhananda)

  2. Nice to see this. I just started building a website today, with a similar theme.

  3. A nice site. Wonderful presentation. Clear and concise. Keep it up

  4. Thanks to Jeffrey, Roxana and Sam for the kind words. Finding kindred spirits amongst contemplatives is a rare and valuable experience, for which I am forever grateful.

    Roxana, when you site is up, please let me know so that I may link to it.

    Much love,

  5. Andrew Semple

    Love the words,

  6. Andrew — thanks, my friend….

  7. I really like your site and whole heartedly agree with many points. I coincidentally was reading this on the train today.

    ” When man goes beyond externals, he can see that all religious formulations, though they are apparently so numerous, have the same basis, and that at this level there is no place for rituals and dogma”

    it be nice to hear your thoughts

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