Jhana Factors 1 — Hindrances 0

samadhiThe hindrances (sensual desire, ill will, restlessness and worry, sloth and torpor, and doubt) are the traditional plagues of meditation.  A key defense against the hindrances is developing samadhi  meditation.  Both mindfulness meditation and samadhi meditation (rather misleadingly translated as concentration) are factors in the eightfold path.

Mindfulness meditation is now well known in the west.  Here’s a description from Mindfulness in Plain English, a great book that’s free online.  Samadhi isn’t so well known.  Samadhi in the Pali Canon means developing the jhanas, which means developing the jhana factors — initial thought and evaluation, rapture, joy, one-pointedness, and equanimity.  The Theravada world is starting to figure out that householders can do samadhi — just like they did in the Buddha’s day, imagine that.  For me anyway, it’s more difficult to develop the jhana factors than to establish a mindfulness practice, but it can be very helpful to one’s progress on the path, as well as a great way to improve one’s general attitude.  My favorite author for explaining how we working householders can do a light form of jhana is Leigh Brasington (http://www.leighb.com/).  Here’s an article of his published on Lion’s Roar (http://www.lionsroar.com/entering-the-jhanas) I will have more to say about this.  Way too much.