Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby darvki » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:12 am

rowyourboat wrote:I think it is weakness of Buddhism that it is tolerant and 'anything goes' attitude is allowed to ferment, often at the cost of the teachings becoming something other than what was intended. Historically it has been shown that this is one of the leading causes of destruction of Buddhism in lands where it existed previously.



It is indeed an unfortunate dynamic that has emerged within Buddhism. I myself am not familiar with the historical context involving the dhamma's dying out in various regions, but I have witnessed it for sure on a smaller scale. However, I cannot agree that my views fall under an "anything goes" attitude.
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Downplaying Jhana

Postby Moth » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:26 pm

Why do you think so many teachers downplay Jhana? I've so often been given the impression that Jhana is inessential. At the same time Jhana is so often recommend by the Buddha in the Suttas.
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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby cooran » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:31 pm

Hello moth,

As this is the meditation (general) section, can you post some of the 'downplays' and some of the Suttas that you are referring to please?

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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby manas » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:57 pm

Moth wrote:Why do you think so many teachers downplay Jhana? I've so often been given the impression that Jhana is inessential. At the same time Jhana is so often recommend by the Buddha in the Suttas.


Hi Moth,

the Buddha does more than just 'recommend' jhana. The four jhanas constitute 'limb number eight' of the Noble Eightfold Path! We are supposed to develop sammasamadhi, just like all the other limbs of the Path. As for some teachers downplaying jhana, well none of mine do that, so I cannot comment on that issue.

- with metta.
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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby befriend » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:57 pm

i agree buddha taught jhana, why is it so uncommon nowadays?
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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:27 am

Because these teachers' conception of jhana is something different from what the Buddha actualy thaught. They think it's an even more absorbed state where the senses are shut down and there is no possibility of doing vipassana while in these states. Unsurprisingly, they think these more absorbed states are relatively useless and that there is the danger of one geting lost in doing this type of "jhana" the rest of their lives without striving for liberation.

For a really good thread on the nature of jhana see (at least the first page of) this: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=5761#p89675
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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:41 am

Moth wrote:Why do you think so many teachers downplay Jhana? I've so often been given the impression that Jhana is inessential. At the same time Jhana is so often recommend by the Buddha in the Suttas.


Jhāna is listed as 8th factor of N8P. There are 7 factors that needs to be accomplished prior to Jhāna as part of sammā-samādhi.

Furthermore:

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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:50 am

That doesn't make much sense Alex. I would be very curious to see where is that stated in the suttas, but in another thread.
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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:51 am

It all depends upon what is meant by jhana.

This whole thread, not just the first pages are worth looking at:

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 761#p89675

Also, this thread does not need to be duplicated here.
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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:Also, this thread does not need to be duplicated here.


I agree.
This thread will be locked. So please join the discussion in the linked thread above.
The two threads will be merged shortly.
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Gena1480 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:47 am

this is my understanding
those who follow the 8 noble path
develop Jhana as requirement for steam entry
then they attain the stream entry with instant without Jhana because it has been attain before.
those who attain supramundane Jhana, right away attain Jhana and stream entry
those who do not follow 8 noble path but attain Jhana, does not attain stream entry
thats about it.
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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:38 pm

manasikara wrote:..the Buddha does more than just 'recommend' jhana. The four jhanas constitute 'limb number eight' of the Noble Eightfold Path! We are supposed to develop sammasamadhi, just like all the other limbs of the Path. As for some teachers downplaying jhana, well none of mine do that, so I cannot comment on that issue.


That's the way I understand it. I'm also puzzled by the way some teachers regard jhana as a distraction rather than an essential aspect of practice.

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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:17 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
manasikara wrote:..the Buddha does more than just 'recommend' jhana. The four jhanas constitute 'limb number eight' of the Noble Eightfold Path! We are supposed to develop sammasamadhi, just like all the other limbs of the Path. As for some teachers downplaying jhana, well none of mine do that, so I cannot comment on that issue.


That's the way I understand it. I'm also puzzled by the way some teachers regard jhana as a distraction rather than an essential aspect of practice.

Spiny
No need to be vague here. What teachers and what do they say?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Gena1480 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:37 pm

according to some suttas
there is attaining of stream entry
without Jhana completely
i would put this in category
of faith follower
and dry insight
i do not see how this, is actually done.
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Brizzy » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:20 am

Gena1480 wrote:according to some suttas
there is attaining of stream entry
without Jhana completely
i would put this in category
of faith follower
and dry insight
i do not see how this, is actually done.


By stream entry, do you mean the fruition?
Which sutta actually says that there is an attainment of stream entry without jhana?

Metta

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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:23 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:
manasikara wrote:..the Buddha does more than just 'recommend' jhana. The four jhanas constitute 'limb number eight' of the Noble Eightfold Path! We are supposed to develop sammasamadhi, just like all the other limbs of the Path. As for some teachers downplaying jhana, well none of mine do that, so I cannot comment on that issue.


That's the way I understand it. I'm also puzzled by the way some teachers regard jhana as a distraction rather than an essential aspect of practice.

Spiny
No need to be vague here. What teachers and what do they say?


I have found the Thai Forest tradition to be very ambivalent about jhana.

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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:24 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:I have found the Thai Forest tradition to be very ambivalent about jhana.

Spiny
Any idea why that might be?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Downplaying Jhana

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:33 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:I have found the Thai Forest tradition to be very ambivalent about jhana.

Spiny
Any idea why that might be?


The focus seems to be mostly on insight into the 3 characteristics, and so I think jhana is seen as irrelevant because it isn't about insight. But I haven't been deeply involved with Thai Forest and I may have got this wrong - perhaps others would like to comment?

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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby manas » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:34 am

I found this article by Ven. Thanissaro very helpful in clarifying some of the issues raised so far:
One Tool Among Many: The Place of Vipassana in Buddhist Practice

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... etool.html


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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Gena1480 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:38 am

Ok now i can answer this question
it is dry insight into 4 noble truth
it is this stiffness that Noble truth of Suffering
stiffness of pain, stiffness of impermanence, stiffness of mental fermentation.
what is stiffness is like
it like your nose is stiff and you cant breath
birth is stiffness
it is hard to breath when one is giving birth
death is stiffness
it is hard to breath when one is dying
aging is stiffness
it is like your skin is stiff (wrinkle)
sickness is stiffness
it is like coughing, stiffness of throat
dissociation with like is stiffness
association with dislike is stiffness
not get what one wants is stiffness
form is stiffness
feeling is stiffness
perception is stiffness
mental formation is stiffness
consciousness is stiffness
if there is no stiffness the five aggregate would cease
Nibbana without the five aggregates
the whole mass of suffering is stiffness
noble truth of origin of suffering
craving for this stiffness,
greed for this stiffness
craving for sense stiffness
craving for becoming stiffness
craving for non becoming stiffness
finding delight in this stiffness
passion for this stiffness
noble truth of cessation of Suffering
it is by giving up the origin of suffering you reach the end of Suffering
what ever subject to origin, subject to cessation, by giving up
and how it is done
by using this very Noble 8 fold path
dry insight
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html
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