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Forest Tradition Samadhi

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  • Forest Tradition Samadhi

    Dear Ajahn Brahmali,

    Thank you so much for all that you are doing. We use your and Ajahn Brahm's videos and teachings almost exclusively at our meditation retreat sanctuary here in Texas (Dhammarocksprings). We met Ajahn Brahm back in 1981 when Janet and I trained at Nanachat. (Janet and Ed Rock).

    My question: Could you explain “dropping down into the heart,” as described in our Forest Tradition, and how that may correspond to jhanas? Thank you.

    Metta, anagarika eddie

  • #2
    Dear Ed,

    Thank you for your kind feedback!

    I seems fairly clear that "dropping down into the heart" is a reference to samādhi. However, the exact meaning is difficult to ascertain. The Thai forest tradition tends to use idiomatic language and it is therefore no easy matter to relate it to the suttas. Because the language is not standardized, it is quite likely that different teachers would mean different things even while using the same expression. The idea of "dropping down" is probably related to letting go and the sense of the mind withdrawing from the world. This can be experienced at many different levels, the most profound of which would be the jhānas.

    Because the language of the Thai forest tradition is so idiomatic, I think it is often preferable to read the forest tradition for inspiration rather than for precise articulations of the Dhamma.

    With metta.


    • #3
      Excellent Ajahn, thank you so much.

      Metta, anagarika eddie


      • #4
        I have no idea what it might mean with regard to the forest tradition however, it sounds like a way to bypass the thinking analytical self and get in touch with your deepest self. I'd call this bringing what you really feel or think or believe up from the unconscious or even subconscious to full awareness.

        Although it might relate to the jhanas, i wonder if it may mean the same thing ultimately.

        If you don't know what i mean i will try to explain it this way. Its not easy to find words. You know when people say go with your gut instinct. This is often a reference to people pushing down their true feelings or thoughts and trying to follow some thought that they "think" is the right thing to do.

        Oh i know a good example. Once when i was trying to figure out a career path, i started out looking at accounting type work to train in because i thought that would get me an income. But deep in my heart i had no interest in that and my real interest was in photography which seemed a less certain path to making a living. After a bit, i realised that it would be a mistake for me to follow the accounting route and gave that idea up and went with what was really right for me at the time.

        so however you go about it, i think dropping down into the heart is trying to tap into your deepest needs wishes feelings. But maybe that's not it in this context.



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