the first jhana and thinking.

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
alan...
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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby alan... » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:02 pm

manas wrote:It occurred to me recently, that in the first jhana, 'restlessness' has been surmounted, but not 'thinking'. But could it be that many persons conflate the two (thinking and restlessness) when they are actually two different things? This might be a long-standing source of much confusion.


interesting. sounds plausible.

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Bakmoon » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:48 pm

alan... wrote:does anyone know of any suttas where the buddha talks about someone using the first jhana in ways that definitely involve thought that cannot be defined as just sustained and directed? i'm positive i've read one.

ah here it is:

"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him."

MN 111*.

here is venerable thanissaro's note for this section: "Notice that, with each of the previous levels of attainment, Sariputta was able to ferret out the various mental qualities arising there while he was still in the attainment. With this attainment and the following one, however, he was not able to analyze the mental qualities present and absent there until after he had left the attainment. "

it sounds like he was in jhana but definitely still thinking, not fully absorbed in his meditation object. the amount of activity going on in this sutta does not sound like full on absorption that one must leave in order to practice insight. i don't see any room for defining or interpreting this as such either. so is it possible that the teachers teaching full absorption with no thinking in the first jhana are leading students right on past the first and into the second without realizing it? heck according to this sutta you can think in jhana up til the dimension of nothingness!

*"Anupada Sutta: One After Another" (MN 111), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 1 December 2012, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html . Retrieved on 2 February 2013.


It is important to note that it is one of the stylistic features of the Pali of the Tipitika to use language like 'He knows thus "..."' in ways that don't necessarily mean thinking, so you can't conclude that the Ven. Sariputta is engaged in thinking during Jhana. For one thing, as you rightly noted, understanding it that way would mean that the Ven. Sariputta was thinking all the way up to the dimension of nothingness, and that can't be because vitakka and vicara cease in the second jhana.

The part in quotes here refers to the Ven. Sariputta's understanding of these qualities and their relationships, not to a verbalization.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby lojong1 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:13 am

SDC wrote:According to Venerable Punnaji, the only difference between vitakka-vicāra in the first jhāna and vitakka-vicāra in a normal state, is that in the first jhāna, while one is still able to think analytically, there can only be good (wholesome) thoughts, as opposed to normal circumstances when both wholesome and unwholesome thoughts can arise.

I SO resonate with this. Searching for Punnaji...

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby alan... » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:12 am

Bakmoon wrote:
alan... wrote:does anyone know of any suttas where the buddha talks about someone using the first jhana in ways that definitely involve thought that cannot be defined as just sustained and directed? i'm positive i've read one.

ah here it is:

"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him."

MN 111*.

here is venerable thanissaro's note for this section: "Notice that, with each of the previous levels of attainment, Sariputta was able to ferret out the various mental qualities arising there while he was still in the attainment. With this attainment and the following one, however, he was not able to analyze the mental qualities present and absent there until after he had left the attainment. "

it sounds like he was in jhana but definitely still thinking, not fully absorbed in his meditation object. the amount of activity going on in this sutta does not sound like full on absorption that one must leave in order to practice insight. i don't see any room for defining or interpreting this as such either. so is it possible that the teachers teaching full absorption with no thinking in the first jhana are leading students right on past the first and into the second without realizing it? heck according to this sutta you can think in jhana up til the dimension of nothingness!

*"Anupada Sutta: One After Another" (MN 111), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 1 December 2012, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html . Retrieved on 2 February 2013.


It is important to note that it is one of the stylistic features of the Pali of the Tipitika to use language like 'He knows thus "..."' in ways that don't necessarily mean thinking, so you can't conclude that the Ven. Sariputta is engaged in thinking during Jhana. For one thing, as you rightly noted, understanding it that way would mean that the Ven. Sariputta was thinking all the way up to the dimension of nothingness, and that can't be because vitakka and vicara cease in the second jhana.

The part in quotes here refers to the Ven. Sariputta's understanding of these qualities and their relationships, not to a verbalization.


oh okay. it still points to cognition though and not the utterly thoughtless absorption professed by some though, right?

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Dmytro » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:57 am

lojong1 wrote:
SDC wrote:According to Venerable Punnaji, the only difference between vitakka-vicāra in the first jhāna and vitakka-vicāra in a normal state, is that in the first jhāna, while one is still able to think analytically, there can only be good (wholesome) thoughts, as opposed to normal circumstances when both wholesome and unwholesome thoughts can arise.

I SO resonate with this. Searching for Punnaji...


Reminds me of Dvedhavitakka sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Sylvester » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:40 am

Dmytro wrote:
lojong1 wrote:
SDC wrote:According to Venerable Punnaji, the only difference between vitakka-vicāra in the first jhāna and vitakka-vicāra in a normal state, is that in the first jhāna, while one is still able to think analytically, there can only be good (wholesome) thoughts, as opposed to normal circumstances when both wholesome and unwholesome thoughts can arise.

I SO resonate with this. Searching for Punnaji...


Reminds me of Dvedhavitakka sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Not forgetting this last bit of instruction about wholesome thinking -

And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmlessness arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with harmlessness has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.

"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination (nati) of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent (namati) by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness.


It appears that one should eventually give up the wholesome thinking when the momentum alone is sufficient to keep the mind bent towards wholesome inclinations. The trick seems to be - how do we recognise when the mind is ready to go on auto-pilot?

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby daverupa » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:05 am

Sylvester wrote:how do we recognise when the mind is ready to go on auto-pilot?


Perhaps when it can be steadied right within, settled, unified, & concentrated.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Sylvester » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:29 pm

daverupa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:how do we recognise when the mind is ready to go on auto-pilot?


Perhaps when it can be steadied right within, settled, unified, & concentrated.


:clap:

Sometimes, the simplest answer yields the most fruit.

I just don't know why the good Ven decided to complicate things by translating "nekkhammavitakka" as "thinking imbued with renunciation" etc etc, when this simple compound can be so easily rendered as "thought of renunciation". He just keeps trying to prolong the persistence of thoughts/thinking in jhana... If the translation were correct, the Pali would not have read nekkhammavitakka, but it would have read "nekkhammūpasaṃhitā vitakka ". This kind of thoughts imbued with other qualities pop up in the next sutta, MN 20, where the sutta takes care to furnish the adjective ūpasaṃhitā to give the "imbued".

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Bakmoon » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:45 pm

alan... wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:
alan... wrote:does anyone know of any suttas where the buddha talks about someone using the first jhana in ways that definitely involve thought that cannot be defined as just sustained and directed? i'm positive i've read one.

ah here it is:

"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him."

MN 111*.

here is venerable thanissaro's note for this section: "Notice that, with each of the previous levels of attainment, Sariputta was able to ferret out the various mental qualities arising there while he was still in the attainment. With this attainment and the following one, however, he was not able to analyze the mental qualities present and absent there until after he had left the attainment. "

it sounds like he was in jhana but definitely still thinking, not fully absorbed in his meditation object. the amount of activity going on in this sutta does not sound like full on absorption that one must leave in order to practice insight. i don't see any room for defining or interpreting this as such either. so is it possible that the teachers teaching full absorption with no thinking in the first jhana are leading students right on past the first and into the second without realizing it? heck according to this sutta you can think in jhana up til the dimension of nothingness!

*"Anupada Sutta: One After Another" (MN 111), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 1 December 2012, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html . Retrieved on 2 February 2013.


It is important to note that it is one of the stylistic features of the Pali of the Tipitika to use language like 'He knows thus "..."' in ways that don't necessarily mean thinking, so you can't conclude that the Ven. Sariputta is engaged in thinking during Jhana. For one thing, as you rightly noted, understanding it that way would mean that the Ven. Sariputta was thinking all the way up to the dimension of nothingness, and that can't be because vitakka and vicara cease in the second jhana.

The part in quotes here refers to the Ven. Sariputta's understanding of these qualities and their relationships, not to a verbalization.


oh okay. it still points to cognition though and not the utterly thoughtless absorption professed by some though, right?


Yes.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

alan...
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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby alan... » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:14 am

Bakmoon wrote:
Yes.


thanks

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Kumara » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:09 am

manas wrote:It occurred to me recently, that in the first jhana, 'restlessness' has been surmounted, but not 'thinking'. But could it be that many persons conflate the two (thinking and restlessness) when they are actually two different things? This might be a long-standing source of much confusion.

I agree. I used to assume their connection too. As I see it now, one can have thoughts without restlessness, and restlessness without well-defined thoughts.
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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby jnak » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:58 am

Given the diversity of thought on this topic and many others, I've come to the conclusion that the only place to really settle questions about the dhamma is within one's meditation practice. YMV, but I'm more inclined to pay attention to members of the sangha who speak from years of practice than the claims of anonymous posters on an internet forum. The Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha are our refuge.
"...I'm not much of an expert when it comes to the texts. I've simply learned a few parts, and put them into practice." Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Kumara » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:33 am

jnak wrote:Given the diversity of thought on this topic and many others, I've come to the conclusion that the only place to really settle questions about the dhamma is within one's meditation practice. YMV, but I'm more inclined to pay attention to members of the sangha who speak from years of practice than the claims of anonymous posters on an internet forum. The Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha are our refuge.


Yes, one's own practice is what counts. However, although I'm a monk of 16 years, and have started practising 4 years before I ordained, I don't think that's any indicator of reliability.

As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If A says pudding tastes horribly sour, and B says wonderfully sweet, what shall we do? They could both be right, because they are tasting different puddings.

In the same way, there's samma-samadhi leading to samma-vimutti, and there's miccha-samadh leading to miccha-vimutti.

So, when people argue about jhana by conviction of their own experience, we need to remember that they are calling their own experience "jhana". Which kind are they referring to?
Last edited by Kumara on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Pondera » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:52 pm

Applied thought and sustained thought accompany entrance into the first jhana. It's useful to compare this to the simile of the bathman or the bathman's apprentice. Pouring the powder into the basin he periodically sprinkles it with water and meeds it into a solid mass.

The misconception I see here is that people read "accompanied by" and think it must be a negative thing. Surely, for it gets dropped in the later jhanas. It's not the case. You can't adequately approach entry into full absorption without some applied thought and some sustained thought.

"With the stilling of applied thought ..." - This occurs during the first jhana as the absorption is sustained. In other words "There is NO part of the body which he does not suffuse with the pleasure born of seclusion." In that case, applied thought comes to an end because of the first jhana, as a cause for the absorption - which in full/adequate/partial absorption takes out of being/existence/use.

Thereupon one switches gears and enters into and remains in the second jhana, pleasure born of composure, accompanied by joy and sustained thought. Like a pool supplied by a cool fount from within, having no inflows from east, west, south or north, with periodic showers from time to time, etc. etc.

The common denominator in the similes is the showering of water from above. Which implies the water is sustained thought. The bath powder is applied thought. One must "apply" thought to "sustain" thought. However, with the sustaining of thought one need not apply thought unless the purpose of going into jhana is not reached. So Buddhaghosa mentions we should hit and hit again at the object of meditation with our thought.

This is not "thinking" like "thinking about a girl" or "thinking about math". This is mental exertion from a proper perspective. If you were running away from a tiger through a thicket in the jungle, would you look back at the tiger as you ran or would you look ahead for branches and roots that might trip you up? How would you escape the tiger? The tiger is your impetus for overcoming branches and roots. Overcoming branches and roots means not falling in to the tiger's mouth.

Everything anyone needs to know has been said. Why is such a rich experience given one description and one simile a thousand times over? Because once you know it, those are the only words you will ever need to rely on. No more, no less. It couldn't have been any better put.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=RDdLIZdKwSqW0&params=OALAAQE%253D&v=dLIZdKwSqW0

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Alex123 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:34 pm

Hello Daverupa, all,

daverupa wrote:There is a difference of opinion about whether vitakka-vicara has a unique meaning in the context of first jhana, or a common meaning.


Recently I was thinking about the precise meaning of pali term "vitakka" and doing some pali searches.

If one searches pali suttas for "arising of vitakka" (parivitakko udapādi) and what it is, one will see things like:

«Having wandered for alms in Apana and returning from his alms round after his meal, he went to that forest grove for the day's abiding. Plunging into the grove, he sat down for his day's abiding at the root of a certain tree. Then, as he was alone in seclusion, this train of thought (parivitakko) arose in his awareness: "So many painful things has the Blessed One taken away from us! So many pleasant things has he brought us! So many unskillful qualities has the Blessed One taken away from us! So many skillful qualities has he brought us!MN66


Here we clearly have a context of seclusion and meditation, and vitakkp does means thought (note the italics which are contexts of that parivitakko).


Also, even more interesting:
"And then, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [thinking,] 'There is nothing,' enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness. ...
"Now, when the monk is percipient of himself here, then from there to there, step by step, he touches the peak of perception. As he remains at the peak of perception, the thought occurs to him, 'Thinking is bad for me. Not thinking is better for me. [Tassa saññagge ṭhitassa evaṃ hoti: ‘cetayamānassa me pāpiyo, acetayamānassa me seyyo. ] If I were to think and will, this perception of mine would cease, and a grosser perception would appear. What if I were neither to think nor to will?' [3] So he neither thinks nor wills, and as he is neither thinking nor willing, that perception ceases [4] and another, grosser perception does not appear. He touches cessation.
DN9


Even in the base of nothingness... there is cetayamānassa.

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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby ToVincent » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:48 pm

Alex123 wrote:......

"And then, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [thinking,] 'There is nothing,' enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness. ...
"Now, when the monk is percipient of himself here, then from there to there, step by step, he touches the peak of perception. As he remains at the peak of perception, the thought occurs to him, 'Thinking is bad for me. Not thinking is better for me. [Tassa saññagge ṭhitassa evaṃ hoti: ‘cetayamānassa me pāpiyo, acetayamānassa me seyyo. ] If I were to think and will, this perception of mine would cease, and a grosser perception would appear. What if I were neither to think nor to will?' [3] So he neither thinks nor wills, and as he is neither thinking nor willing, that perception ceases [4] and another, grosser perception does not appear. He touches cessation.
DN9


Thanks for that Alex.

I would translate (and explicate) cetayamānassa other than a just "thinking", though.
Here we have both the perception & feeling of citta*, that are combined with the thinking process of mano.
Mind (citta) + "mind" (intellect-mano).
I would see it as: " intellectualizing over feeling and perception is bad for me".

*Citta "mental" definition: https://suttacentral.net/en/mn44/63


Apart from that, may I add the following extract from SN 47.10 (SA 615).
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn47.10/6.152-
In this pericope that is a mix of mindfulness in the body, jhana and samadhi; there is quite a good explanation of what the thinking is all about:
While he is contemplating the body in the body, there arises in him, based on the body, either a fever in the body or sluggishness of mind, or the mind is distracted outwardly. That bhikkhu should then direct his mind towards some inspiring sign. When he directs his mind towards some inspiring sign, gladness is born. When he is gladdened, rapture is born. When the mind is uplifted by rapture, the body becomes tranquil. One tranquil in body experiences happiness. The mind of one who is happy becomes concentrated. He reflects thus: ‘The purpose for the sake of which I directed my mind has been achieved. Let me now withdraw it.’ So he withdraws the mind and does not think or examine. He understands: ‘Without thought and examination, internally mindful, I am happy.’
Tassa kāye kāyānupassino viharato kāyārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṃ pariḷāho, cetaso vā līnattaṃ, bahiddhā vā cittaṃ vikkhipati. Tenānanda, bhikkhunā kismiñcideva pasādanīye nimitte cittaṃ paṇidahitabbaṃ. Tassa kismiñcideva pasādanīye nimitte cittaṃ paṇidahato pāmojjaṃ jāyati. Pamuditassa pīti jāyati. Pītimanassa kāyo passambhati. Passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ vedayati. Sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati. So iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘yassa khvāhaṃ atthāya cittaṃ paṇidahiṃ, so me attho abhinipphanno. Handa dāni paṭisaṃharāmī’ti. So paṭisaṃharati ceva na ca vitakketi na ca vicāreti. ‘Avitakkomhi avicāro, ajjhattaṃ satimā sukhamasmī’ti pajānāti.



In the above case, the purpose seems to be about "intellectualizing over a feeling and its perception". And to drop that "thinking" (intellectualizing) to reach a mere perception.

There are quite some nuances of "thinking" between citta, vitakka and mano.
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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Alex123 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:08 pm

ToVincent wrote:Apart from that, may I add the following extract from SN 47.10 (SA 615).
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn47.10/6.152-
In this pericope that is a mix of mindfulness in the body, jhana and samadhi; there is quite a good explanation of what the thinking is all about:
So he withdraws the mind and does not think or examine. He understands: ‘Without thought and examination, internally mindful, I am happy.’
So paṭisaṃharati ceva na ca vitakketi na ca vicāreti. ‘Avitakkomhi avicāro, ajjhattaṃ satimā sukhamasmī’ti pajānāti.



In the above case, since it talks about avitakka/avicāro it implies second Jhāna.

22. "Having thus abandoned these five hindrances, imperfections of the mind that weaken wisdom, he abides contemplating the body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings...mind as mind...mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world.
...
24. "Then the Tathagata disciplines him further: 'Come, bhikkhu, abide contemplating the body as a body but do not think thoughts connected with the body; abide contemplating feelings as feelings but do not think thoughts connected with feelings; abide contemplating mind as mind but do not think thoughts connected with the mind; abide contemplating mind objects as mind-objects but do not think thoughts connected with mind-objects.'
25. "With the stilling of applied and sustained thought, he enters upon and abides in the second jhana. . . the third jhana.. .the fourth jhana.
MN125 BB trans


In MN125, satipatthana is implied to occur during all four Jhānas, and the difference between 1st and 2nd jhāna is that there is no thinking (as in internal dialogue) in the 2nd Jhāna.

ToVincent wrote:In the above case, the purpose seems to be about "intellectualizing over a feeling and its perception". And to drop that "thinking" (intellectualizing) to reach a mere perception.

There are quite some nuances of "thinking" between citta, vitakka and mano.


Yes. In English, "thinking" can imply many things. Obviously in 1st Jhāna all thinking is without any sensuality or akusala states of mind. Of course there is, most likely, no internal dialogue in 2nd Jhāna and higher.


An interesting thing is the description of how to get to higher immaterial states:
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable; perceptions of the dimension of nothingness: all are perceptions. Where they cease without remainder: that is peaceful, that is exquisite, i.e., the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. This is declared to be the practice conducive to the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.


It does imply that some form of contemplation is required to reach even as high as dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.
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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:08 pm

Alex123 wrote:In MN125, satipatthana is implied to occur during all four Jhānas, and the difference between 1st and 2nd jhāna is that there is no thinking (as in internal dialogue) in the 2nd Jhāna.

That's the standard pericope for jhana as part of the gradual training, isn't it? I don't see any the mention of satipatthana during jhana. There is mention of it before jhana, and liberating insight after jhana. Am I missing something?

:anjali:
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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby ToVincent » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:10 pm

Alex123 wrote:In the above case, since it talks about avitakka/avicāro it implies second Jhāna.


Sure, but what is vitakka/vicara?

What is interesting, is your pericope "cetayamānassa me pāpiyo, acetayamānassa me seyyo" in the dimension(sphere) of nothingness.
The fact that there is thinking (what we usually call thinking",) at that level goes against the "no thinking" after the first jhana.
We must wonder if the translation of vitakka/vicara as "think/examine" (or "think/ponder") is accurate?

We have seen that the translation of cetayamānassa above as "thinking", was quite undefined.
I might have wrongly interpreted "cetayamānassa me pāpiyo" as "intellectualizing over feeling and perception is bad for me".
"Intellectualizing" does entail "thinking" in the sense that we usually use it. It implies the use of the intellect (mano). Intellectualizing perception and feeling does mean "thinking" over them with mano (mind/intellect). But cetaya is not at this level.
Again, I refer to the extract:
Now, when the monk is percipient of himself here, then from there to there, step by step, he touches the peak of perception. As he remains at the peak of perception,

the thought occurs to him, 'Thinking is bad for me. Not thinking is better for me.
Tassa saññagge ṭhitassa evaṃ hoti: ‘cetayamānassa me pāpiyo, acetayamānassa me seyyo.

If I were to think and will, this perception of mine would cease, and a grosser perception would appear.
Ahañceva kho pana ceteyyaṃ, abhisaṅkhareyyaṃ, imā ca me saññā nirujjheyyuṃ, aññā ca oḷārikā saññā uppajjeyyuṃ

What if I were neither to think nor to will?
yannūnāhaṃ na ceva ceteyyaṃ na ca abhisaṅkhareyyan’ti.

We see that there is the perception of a feeling (ceteyyaṃ;) and an ensuing "will" (a saṅkhāra), if there is conceit (mānassa) over that perception. If there is conceit over that feeling and perception, there is the use of mano, and will (saṅkhāra) (SN 22.47). That is what is bad.
Perception must be rid of the "I"; of the conceit.

This is not vitakka/vicara, though.

We have seen in a previous example that the bikkhu directs (paṇidahi) the citta towards some goal; then withdraws the citta from the goal, and does not think and examine anymore (vitakka/vicara).
The goal in that instance, is a nice attribute (nimitta) of something.
So there is a projection in vitakka/vicara, which does not exist in cetaya.

But is vitakka/vicara a mano process?

Isn't vitakka/vicara at the same level than cetaya (the citta level)? Something that does not need mano; which implies that there is no "thinking" as we usually conceive it.
Vitakka/vicara does project, where cetaya does not. But none of them are at the level of mano (intellect). They are not "thinking" as we conceive it.

Note: cetayamānassa is definitely an interesting term.

Metta.
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Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:22 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Alex123 wrote:In MN125, satipatthana is implied to occur during all four Jhānas, and the difference between 1st and 2nd jhāna is that there is no thinking (as in internal dialogue) in the 2nd Jhāna.

That's the standard pericope for jhana as part of the gradual training, isn't it? I don't see any the mention of satipatthana during jhana. There is mention of it before jhana, and liberating insight after jhana. Am I missing something?

:anjali:
Mike


In the place of 1st Jhāna there is instruction for satipatthana. For 2nd jhāna it says to avoid "thinking". Interesting thing that the pericope for 4th Jhāna includes "purity of equanimity & mindfulness" (upekkhāsatipārisuddhiṃ)



With best wishes,

Alex


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