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“Bhikkhus, just as the river Ganges slants, slopes, and inclines towards the east, similarly, a bhikkhu, who develops and cultivates the four jhāna s slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbana.”

[SN V.308]

“There is no jhāna  for the one without liberating wisdom,
no liberating wisdom for the one without jhāna ;
the one who has jhāna  and liberating wisdom
he indeed is in the presence of nibbana.”
[Dhammapada v.372]

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I would like to offer some reflections about how to read meditative maps, not only the meditative map of the four jhānas I offer in my book (and a summary in the previous post), but also other maps of this kind that exist in abundance in classical Buddhist literature.

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From a Buddhist perspective the body has a central role in the meditative path to awakening. We can say that the physical aspect of our experience plays an important role, both in our experience of suffering, and in the experience of freedom. Furthermore, without knowing the nature of the body clearly – its advantages and disadvantages, and without understanding the relationship between our mental and physical aspects, the mind cannot be liberated from ignorance and clinging.  Thus, developing wise observation into the nature of the body is imperative to unbinding clinging and the unfolding of awakening.

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