Since my last post ….

Sorry to readers who have been following my Ten Zen Book Blog, as you can see I have not written on here for a very long time.

I now blog on Psychology Today and recently wrote about a retreat I attended on the topic of the jhanas – a series of eight increasingly absorbed states that are reached through concentration.

You can read about it here:

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2 Responses to “Since my last post ….”

  1. Paul Brennan Says:

    Dr. Blackmore – thank you for writing about your jhana experience in such an accessible way! It’s about the most useful account I’ve read so far. A couple of questions – I believe Leigh Brasington maintains that the jhanas are only available in retreat settings – I was wondering if this has been your experience since the retreat? Also, do you think that piti was a completely novel experience for you, or had you previously just called it something else?

  2. tenzenbookblog Says:

    Leigh did indeed tell us that at the end of the retreat but I have kept on practicing and, so far, I have found I am able to reach jhanas 1-3 when I set aside about an hour and go through the entire procedure as he recommended. I have had hints of what I think is jhana 4 but it is not very stable. I have been doing this about once every couple of weeks while maintaining my usual daily practice of Zen just sitting. I would say that now, more than a year after the retreat the piti is weaker and the stages perhaps less clear. I am looking forward to going on his next retreat here in the summer to learn more.
    I think the feelings of piti were novel. Some aspects of it I have had before in different contexts but not the whole mixture of sensations that now seems to come quite readily. I hope that helps.

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