Sotapanna (stream winner) Jhanananda(Jeffrey S. Brooks) is a self-ordained Western Buddhist monk in the Great Western Vehicle, a 4th Wheel Buddhist tradition. He was a simple householder for 25 years, who maintained a contemplative life, while raising two children. After completing his responsibilities to his dependents he renounced the householder’s life and a successful 25-year technical career in Astronomy, Optics and Computing and became a contemplative recluse monk, who now lives in the National Forest.
His 3 decades of contemplative life have been based upon an engaged daily practice of study, reflection, journaling, ethics and meditation. Through this practice path (magga) he has studied, as well as practiced, within the context of many of the contemplative traditions of the major religions of the world, as well as various shamanic traditions. As a consequence of his rigorous practice and study he has arrived at many of the spiritual attainments (phala) that the mystics of the past have manifested.
Jhanananda believes it is essential to teach from one’s personal experience, otherwise people get bored with teachers who endlessly pontificate from an ancient and often misunderstood document that is too often subject to highly biased translations. He has, however, been ostracized from the lay and monastic Buddhist community because he speaks openly about his personal experiences with meditative absorption (jhana). The orthodox monastic community believes this is a serious violation of the monastic code (Vinaya). Jhanananda believes it is all too easy for a mediocre monk, nun, priest, minister or lay meditation teacher to hide behind these monastic rules that came centuries after the Buddha had left this Earth, and seem to have been instituted only to favor the mediocre non-contemplative community (sangha). After all, the record indicates the Buddha spoke openly about his experiences, and he often asked his students to speak openly about theirs as well.
teaching the four paths of mindfulness (Satipatthana) that lead to Jhana, Insight and the other fruits (phala) of the contemplative life
a Wilderness Meditation Retreat
in the Inyo National Forest, California
Meditation the way the Buddha taught it
in a place he would have taught it
Please RSVP before coming
Dec 1, 2005 - Jan 30, 2006
Come just for the weekend, or any part, or all of the retreat