"Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:11 am

legolas wrote:Thoughts subsiding/free from......

"Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-samadhi/jhana.html

Well, that's the instructions for a "pleasant abiding":
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? ...

A different type of samadhi from the section I quoted.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby legolas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:24 am

mikenz66 wrote:
legolas wrote:Thoughts subsiding/free from......

"Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-samadhi/jhana.html

Well, that's the instructions for a "pleasant abiding":
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? ...

A different type of samadhi from the section I quoted.

:anjali:
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Not if one understands that the four foundations undertaken properly are a basis for jhana and that jhana is the position from which one is able to actually "see" arise & fall as an experential understanding rather than a noting one. Mindfulness only reaches its purest form in the 4th jhana from within which, arise & fall are clearly visible.

Right concentration when explicitly stated is always jhana.
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:27 am

And an even better use for samadhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.


Of course, a pleasant abiding in the here and now isn't a bad thing, and it seems that such practice can be a useful support for the liberating development...

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:37 am

mikenz66 wrote:And an even better use for samadhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.


Of course, a pleasant abiding in the here and now isn't a bad thing, and it seems that such practice can be a useful support for the liberating development...

:anjali:
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And, of course, the "vipassana jhanas" should not be dismissed.
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.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby legolas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:09 am

mikenz66 wrote:And an even better use for samadhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.


Of course, a pleasant abiding in the here and now isn't a bad thing, and it seems that such practice can be a useful support for the liberating development...

:anjali:
Mike


More than useful.......

"I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the first jhana... the second jhana... the third... the fourth... the dimension of the infinitude of space... the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness... the dimension of nothingness. I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.036.than.html

The whole sutta is an elegant portrayal of jhana and its centrality to the path.

I have never come across the "vipassana jhanas" within the suttas so I cannot comment.
However if by "vipassana jhanas" it is meant jhana from within which mindfulness can be practiced then it is a bit of additional hyperbole - they are just the jhana's as portrayed in the suttas by the Buddha.
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby beeblebrox » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:17 pm

legolas wrote:Right concentration when explicitly stated is always jhana.


Not always "jhana"... always the proper utilization of the jhanas. I get the impression that this is the important difference many jhana people seem to miss. I think that the jhanas by themselves are nothing special...

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby IanAnd » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:39 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
legolas wrote:Not if one understands that the four foundations [establishments; my preference in translation] undertaken properly are a basis for jhana and that jhana is the position from which one is able to actually "see" arise & fall as an experential understanding rather than a noting one. Mindfulness only reaches its purest form in the 4th jhana from within which, arise & fall are clearly visible.

Right concentration when explicitly stated is always jhana.

Not always "jhana"... always the proper utilization of the jhanas. I get the impression that this is the important difference many jhana people seem to miss. I think that the jhanas by themselves are nothing special...

While I understand the distinction being made, if you take what legolas wrote in context and understand it not from the perspective that you presented it in (through isolating one idea stated in one sentence), but from within the context of what was written, the term "right concentration" implies "proper utilization" of the jhanas, don't you think?

And the term "jhana" itself is referencing a special kind of concentration: i.e. "fixed" concentration, in other words that which cannot be interrupted or disturbed by outside phenomena, thus allowing the mind to maintain its point of view free from distracting influences so that appropriate attention can take place.

beeblebrox wrote:I think that the jhanas by themselves are nothing special...

From my perspective of the experience, the term "jhana" is synonymous with the Pali term used by Ajahn Chah and others, namely appana samadhi, which has been translated as "fixed concentration." In this sense, then, the fact that developing the practice of jhana helps one to hone one's ability for being able to remain in a condition of "fixed concentration" on an object necessarily makes them "something special," especially for someone who previously was not able to accomplish fixed concentration on an object without the benefit of a practice in jhana.

That said, though, I can agree with the qualifier "in themselves," in the sense that the jhanas should not be put up on a pedestal as being something inherently difficult to obtain to or foreign to our everyday experience, in themselves nothing particularly special.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby beeblebrox » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:22 pm

IanAnd wrote:While I understand the distinction being made, if you take what legolas wrote in context and understand it not from the perspective that you presented it in (through isolating one idea stated in one sentence), but from within the context of what was written, the term "right concentration" implies "proper utilization" of the jhanas, don't you think?


I agree, but this thread is confused, (to me). In some posts Legolas says that thinking is OK (as per the topic of this thread), which I agree with. In other posts, Legolas implies that they shouldn't be suppressed (which I agree with), but abandoned (which I don't agree, since it's still a form of suppression). They just shouldn't be clung to.

Then he brings up the "Right Concentration" as being jhana, with isn't wrong in itself... but why did he bring it up? He also seemed to shift to saying that the "noting" (or thinking) is not ideal... which was Tilt's position that he was arguing against in the first place... it seemed out of blue.

And then it seems to have to do with his problem of the "vipassana jhana." He also mentioned that it's a redundant phrase. To me "vipassana jhana" just means using the jhana correctly. That's basically what I was working from.

I think this thread is just confused. There is more agreement going on in here, than disagreement. It's silly.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby IanAnd » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:26 pm

beeblebrox wrote:I agree, but this thread is confused, (to me). In some posts Legolas says that thinking is OK (as per the topic of this thread), which I agree with. In other posts, Legolas implies that they shouldn't be suppressed (which I agree with), but abandoned (which I don't agree, since it's still a form of suppression). They just shouldn't be clung to.

Ah, I see. I hadn't spent any time reading through the rest of the thread. Just noticed something that I thought needed clarification.

beeblebrox wrote:Then he brings up the "Right Concentration" as being jhana, with isn't wrong in itself... but why did he bring it up? He also seemed to shift to saying that the "noting" (or thinking) is not ideal... which was Tilt's position that he was arguing against in the first place... it seemed out of blue.

And then it seems to have to do with his problem of the "vipassana jhana." He also mentioned that it's a redundant phrase. To me "vipassana jhana" just means using the jhana correctly. That's basically what I was working from.

I think this thread is just confused. There is more agreement going on in here, than disagreement. It's silly.

You may very well have a valid point here. It's kind of par for the course for forums like this. Everyone has a pet point they want to make, and too many chefs spoil the broth. Perhaps your clarification of your position will help to clear the air.
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:34 am

beeblebrox wrote:
legolas wrote:Not always "jhana"... always the proper utilization of the jhanas.
:anjali:


Do you mean for example the 4th tetrad of the Anapanasati Sutta?

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby legolas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:55 am

beeblebrox wrote:
IanAnd wrote:While I understand the distinction being made, if you take what legolas wrote in context and understand it not from the perspective that you presented it in (through isolating one idea stated in one sentence), but from within the context of what was written, the term "right concentration" implies "proper utilization" of the jhanas, don't you think?


I agree, but this thread is confused, (to me). In some posts Legolas says that thinking is OK (as per the topic of this thread), which I agree with. In other posts, Legolas implies that they shouldn't be suppressed (which I agree with), but abandoned (which I don't agree, since it's still a form of suppression). They just shouldn't be clung to.

Then he brings up the "Right Concentration" as being jhana, with isn't wrong in itself... but why did he bring it up? He also seemed to shift to saying that the "noting" (or thinking) is not ideal... which was Tilt's position that he was arguing against in the first place... it seemed out of blue.

And then it seems to have to do with his problem of the "vipassana jhana." He also mentioned that it's a redundant phrase. To me "vipassana jhana" just means using the jhana correctly. That's basically what I was working from.

I think this thread is just confused. There is more agreement going on in here, than disagreement. It's silly.

:anjali:


I am sorry, I cannot help you with your confusion. My understanding of meditation according to the suttas is a holistic one so therefore it does not seem inappropriate to bring in such things as the definition of what right concentration is. Your confusion about thinking being abandoned seems a trivial matter. Abandoning/freeing/subsiding take your pick. I thought my point was quite obvious - thinking is important as a way into jhana and establishing a right view - as one progresses thinking subsides or is abandoned, I am sorry if this is confusing. Abandoning is "letting go" not suppression.
In the suttas the preamble to attaining jhana is that the hindrances are abandoned i.e. let go. At this point the commentaries jump up and down and say that this is only temporary and that jhana only suppresses the hindrances. Now this is not what the Buddha says. He says the hindrances are abandoned(let go off) - now this may be a temporary affair(although the hindrances gradually diminish in day to day living through this practise) but the point is that they are abandoned not suppressed. Suppression is a commentarial view.
I was not the one who actually brought up the subject of noting. Whilst "noting" is a form of thought it does not appear to me to be very valuable in gaining an understanding of the dhamma, rather it is an intense concentration exercise - one more likely to result in suppression.
As per vipassana jhana. Would it be possible for you to explain to me the difference between vipassana jhana and the jhana found in the suttas? If there isnt one, then I agree it is silly that there is disagreement, but my confusion arises because calling it vipassana jhana seems to be making it different from what the Buddha was talking about.
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:59 am

legolas wrote:I was not the one who actually brought up the subject of noting. Whilst "noting" is a form of thought it does not appear to me to be very valuable in gaining an understanding of the dhamma, rather it is an intense concentration exercise - one more likely to result in suppression.


I'd say noting is basically an aid to mindfulness, and consistent with the Satipatthana Sutta. There's no judgement or suppression involved, it's just observing what's there.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:03 am

legolas wrote: In the suttas the preamble to attaining jhana is that the hindrances are abandoned i.e. let go. At this point the commentaries jump up and down and say that this is only temporary and that jhana only suppresses the hindrances.
And what commentaries say this?

Now this is not what the Buddha says. He says the hindrances are abandoned(let go off) - now this may be a temporary affair(although the hindrances gradually diminish in day to day living through this practise) but the point is that they are abandoned not suppressed. Suppression is a commentarial view.
And exactly how do the jhanas "abandon" the hindrances permanantely, which is what you seem to be say that they do?

I was not the one who actually brought up the subject of noting. Whilst "noting" is a form of thought it does not appear to me to be very valuable in gaining an understanding of the dhamma, rather it is an intense concentration exercise - one more likely to result in suppression.
Not at all.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby legolas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:56 am

tiltbillings wrote:And what commentaries say this?

And exactly how do the jhanas "abandon" the hindrances permanantely, which is what you seem to be say that they do?

Not at all.


Saratthappakasini, Samyutta Nikaya-atthakatha.

This is a complete misrepresentation -please read my post again. I never said that jhanas alone, "abandon" the hindrances permanantely.

If you believe that "noting" is not a concentration exercise, that is cool.
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:17 pm

legolas wrote:I am sorry, I cannot help you with your confusion. My understanding of meditation according to the suttas is a holistic one so therefore it does not seem inappropriate to bring in such things as the definition of what right concentration is. Your confusion about thinking being abandoned seems a trivial matter. Abandoning/freeing/subsiding take your pick. I thought my point was quite obvious - thinking is important as a way into jhana and establishing a right view - as one progresses thinking subsides or is abandoned, I am sorry if this is confusing. Abandoning is "letting go" not suppression.


That's not where the confusion is. I actually agree with everything that you say above. Look:

beeblebrox wrote:[. . .] In some posts Legolas says that thinking is OK (as per the topic of this thread), which I agree with. In other posts, Legolas implies that they shouldn't be suppressed (which I agree with), but abandoned (which I don't agree, since it's still a form of suppression). They just shouldn't be clung to.


I agreed that thinking is OK. I agreed that suppressing shouldn't be done. I disagreed with "abandoning," but only because I define that as suppression.

I said that there should be no clinging (which I also define as being able to let go), which in turn is what you defined "abandoning" as... this means that WE BOTH AGREE, on all of the relevant points.

If I follow your definition of abandoning, I have no problem with it. If you follow my definition, would you also have a problem with it, like me? I think so... because of according to what you said about the suppression.

Can we apply this to the words "vipassana jhana" and even "noting"? It's obvious some people define them differently than you do, but I'm pretty sure that if you saw what their definitions actually were, you'd pretty much agree. That's why I said this thread was confused... and I think it's pretty much due to clinging.

We should try to abandon this ignorance (of other people's definitions) right now... it's a defilement. I don't care about what other people's definitions are (must be the Zen in me)... only knowing about what actually leads to the liberation.

As per vipassana jhana. Would it be possible for you to explain to me the difference between vipassana jhana and the jhana found in the suttas? If there isnt one, then I agree it is silly that there is disagreement, but my confusion arises because calling it vipassana jhana seems to be making it different from what the Buddha was talking about.


Here are a few things to think about:

The Buddha first entered jhana when he was a kid, but he wasn't liberated. Why?

He learned different kinds of jhanas from different teachers... such as the jhana for nothingness, and the jhana for neither-perception-nor-not-perception. They weren't liberating. Why?

I think that the idea of "vipassana jhana" clarifies this point.

---

I just want to get back on the topic. Thinking isn't an hindrance in itself. Only these are hindrances: sense-desire, ill-will, sloth and boredom, restlessness and worry, and doubt.

Suppose that you're able to stick with the "same" thought, and then observe it (of course it changes), you will see that its quality changes significantly when you take away each of the hindrances listed above.

The "boring" thought stops being boring. The thought stops being "doubtful." The thought stops filling you with "worry." The thought stops being "angry." The thought stops being "great" for your mind. How can that be? It's (let's just suppose) exactly the same thought that you're observing.

It's just like how some people on here seem like they're working from the same premises (more-or-less), but they can't see this because of their own conditionings. That's just my own observation... this could be mistaken.

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Last edited by beeblebrox on Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:17 pm

legolas wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And what commentaries say this?

And exactly how do the jhanas "abandon" the hindrances permanantely, which is what you seem to be say that they do?

Not at all.


Saratthappakasini, Samyutta Nikaya-atthakatha.
And so you have read this commentary in full.

This is a complete misrepresentation -please read my post again. I never said that jhanas alone, "abandon" the hindrances permanantely.
So, then the commentary is correct.

If you believe that "noting" is not a concentration exercise, that is cool.
Noting is an an aid for cultivating concentration and awareness, but what it does not do, when done properly, is "result in suppression."
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.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby legolas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:46 pm

Hi Beeblebrox,

It does seem we do agree on quite a few things.
Your initial confusion could have been cleared up by asking me how I used certain words like "abandoning".
I dont know why you thought I was being obtuse by clarifying what right concentration is or talking about "noting" or vipassana jhanas after others had brought them into the equation.
However, you are right - how we define words can have a huge effect on what we think we are reading. The only way to get round this is by a mutual respect for others views(or at least until we get our heads round what they are :smile: ).
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby legolas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:58 pm

Hi Tilt,

No I haven't read it in full.

The commentaries & some teachers today, portray jhana as suppression - this is not correct - it is abandoning (I admit it is not eradication - merely a means to approaching eradication). The Buddha never talked about jhana as a means to suppress. The austerities that the Buddha undertook seem to come closer to the idea of suppression, whilst his life before leaving home was a form of sensual indulgence. The jhanas are the middle way.

Since this is a sutta meditation forum, could you please supply sutta references to support the "noting" method?
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:06 pm

legolas wrote:I dont know why you thought I was being obtuse by clarifying what right concentration is or talking about "noting" or vipassana jhanas after others had brought them into the equation.


I didn't think that you bringing up the right concentration was obtuse, I just didn't know why you brought it up. You said that it's always jhana (as opposed to what?), but I added that it's not just any jhana. It's the correct usage of jhanas. I thought that this was important to point out. I think that IanAnd misunderstood this.

It seemed to be the same as saying that the samma-sati is always mindfulness (why point this out?), but I say that it's not just any mindfulness. It's the correct use of mindfulness.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:19 pm

legolas wrote:Hi Tilt,

No I haven't read it in full.
Well, whose translation of it have you read, and please cite the source so that I can take a look for myself?

The commentaries & some teachers today, portray jhana as suppression - this is not correct - it is abandoning (I admit it is not eradication - merely a means to approaching eradication).
So what Pali words are you translating as suppression and abandoning?

The Buddha never talked about jhana as a means to suppress. The austerities that the Buddha undertook seem to come closer to the idea of suppression, whilst his life before leaving home was a form of sensual indulgence. The jhanas are the middle way.
Let us not forget, however, that the Buddha mastered the jhanas before his awakening and found them wanting, and also let us not forget that the jhanas are quite capable of a source for a wrongly assumed states of ariya.

Since this is a sutta meditation forum, could you please supply sutta references to support the "noting" method?
Because it is not in the suttas, does that mean it cannot be skillfully and profitably used? Noting, like counting or any number of of other techniques, is a tool for devolring awareness and concentratin, for helping to see in the seen just what is seen. Noting is not a doctrine.
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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