What Are The Jhanas And How Can They Change Your Life? (Jhourney Co-founder, Stephen Zerfas)
Is it possible to get people into profound states in hours vs. years?
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The word Jhana is complex because it is used in many different ways across traditions.
One meaning references very blissful, ecstatic states of experience that can be accessed through meditation.
Traditionally, most people have thought that these states of consciousness were only accessible to very experienced meditators who’ve been practicing for a long time.
A year ago I heard about this company called Jhourney that was trying to make them accessible to anyone in a matter of days not years.
Five years ago Stephen found himself crying tears of joy after stumbling into a prolonged state of ecstatic bliss on a meditation retreat.
Up until this point, most of the retreat was migraine-inducing, so he wasn’t sure how he landed in this profound state. He left the retreat excited to figure out how to recreate this experience whenever he wanted.
Through many months of personal experimentation and research, he realized that these states he later came to know as the Jhanas are available to all humans on demand. In fact, you don’t even need to be a long-time meditator to begin to access them!
In this conversation, we discuss the Jhanas and how Jhourney is aiming to make them more accessible to all humans.
Interesting ideas include:
An overview of the Jhanas and why we should care
How meditation as far as what has been brought to the West is still largely unexplored
The history of these experiences: why they went from very popular to obscurity and are now emerging yet again
The different schools of insight including dry vs. wet insight
His learnings collecting the largest scientific dataset on Jhana meditators in the world
How technology can enhance this age-old tradition
Arguments against pursuing the Jhanas and his response
How access to the Jhanas has the potential to change the world
Overall, I found myself leaving this conversation with a keen interest in exploring the Jhanas.
I’ve had my practice for over 10 years and the experience he describes sounds compelling and different than my normal sit.
I think we are living in an exciting time where many ancient technologies are being brought back into the light. Many are being paired with modern technology in a way that makes them more accessible while meeting the modern consumer where they’re at.
There’s obviously some important things to consider by the people building in the space, but overall I am excited about the responsible use of integrating the old and new to facilitate consciousness expansion.
I am eager to see Jhourney evolve and think you will enjoy this conversation!
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