Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses (bodhicourses.org) an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation center in Mountain View, California (imsb.org). She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience, and has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, (Wisdom Publications, 2008). She has extensive experience practicing and teaching mindfulness, loving kindness, concentration, and a broad range of approaches to liberating insight. Since 2006, Shaila has continued her study of jhana and insight under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw, and authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011).
Nibbana (nirvana) cannot be reduced to a simple definition, yet this talk by Shaila Catherine explores nibbana from a number of perspectives. She considers what nibbana is not, and how nibbana has been experienced through Buddhist practice. Some descriptions present nibbana as a transcendent perspective, beyond this world; other descriptions present nibbana as an imminent phenomena, always available. Perhaps most frequently we find nibbana equated with deep peace, sublime happiness, non-clinging, profound release, and the quenching of all greed, the cooling of the fires of hatred, and the cessation of ignorance and delusion.