The Four Jhanas

Jhanas are stages of meditation. Jhana is derived from the Sanskrit dhyana where the “a” is “swallowed.” This led the Chinese to call it Ch’an and the Japanese to call it Zen. Jhana is Thai.

1. The first jhana is the rapture and pleasure born of seclusion from the five senses. We begin to shut down the five senses when practicing Present Moment Awareness and Silent Present Moment Awareness. The first jhana may seem to come and go, to strengthen and weaken.

2. The second jhana is the rapture and pleasure born of concentration. It is the perfection of samadhi. The “doer” vanishes. The second jhana is stable, no rising and falling as in the first jhana.

3. The bubbling, unstable rapture of the first two jhanas disappears in the third jhana, leaving behind a more stable, long-lasting serenity.

4. The serenity of the third jhana disappears, leaving what Venerable Ajahn Brahm calls “the bliss of no more bliss.” The fourth jhana exhibits true tranquility.



How To Practice Zen