“Focused and Fearless” new breed of jhana books

Google offers its employees many perks. One of them is that Google invites authors from a variety of disciplines to come in and give very interesting talks. In their generosity, Google shares videos of these talks with the general public on youtube.

“Focused and Fearless” speaks to ordinary meditators who wish to attain non-ordinary states with ease. It offers a creative and contemporary slant to this ancient path of happiness and wisdom. Blended with contemporary examples, pragmatic exercises, and “how to” instructions that anyone can try, this book provides a wealth of tools to cultivate non-distracted attention in daily life and retreat.

Shaila Catherine has been practicing meditation since 1980, with seven years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has been teaching since 1996 in the USA, India, Israel, England and New Zealand. Shaila studied at the Sharpham College for Buddhist Studies in England and dedicated six years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand. Shaila’s current focus is the development of concentration and the deep states of absorption called jhana. She is the founder of Insight Meditation South Bay based in Mountain View, California.

This event took place on May 14, 2008, as a part of the Authors@Google series.

Shalia Catherine’s book “Focused and Fearless” is one of the most popular in what I have recently discovered to be a “new” (at least to me) genre of dhamma books I call “The Jhanas In Plain English”. How to guides to the jhanas, written in an easy to understand manner, for ordinary meditators working alone. Venerable Henepola Gunaratana, author of the classic ( now expanded to include a chapter on metta meditation ) “Mindfulness In Plain English”, has also published “Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory guide to Deeper States of Meditation” and the Australian born Venerable Ajahn Brahm has published “Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator’s Handbook”.

Note. If you are interested in obtaining these books as cheaply as possible you can obtain the ISBN from the Amazon links above and then use those ISBNs to search Best Book Buys which will give you a report of how much each major book seller is offering these books for.

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2 Responses to “Focused and Fearless” new breed of jhana books

  1. divadsirrah says:

    Just what I was looking for my wandering mind. More help at reigning it in from the evils of the internet. Thanks for posting Steve. Looking forward to your presentation on Friday

  2. saccaka says:

    I seems to me that perhaps promoting an “ease” with which one attains jhanic states is missing the point and could lead to confusing states of deep relaxation with jhanic attainment. The spiritual path is not one of instant gratification but one of patience, insightful understanding, and practice. Insight and concentration are not “easy,” the path is long, although not unending, but well worth the journey. It is typically American to feel we can read a book, close our eyes, and attian jhana – turning lifelong practice and spiritual growth into “drive-thru” enlightenment. I really was concerned when I read: “‘Focused and Fearless’ speaks to ordinary meditators who wish to attain non-ordinary states with ease.”
    With metta, Todd

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