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Attaining First Jhana by Breath Meditation - Dhamma Wheel

Attaining First Jhana by Breath Meditation

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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MrRockwater
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:22 am

Attaining First Jhana by Breath Meditation

Postby MrRockwater » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:42 am

Hello friends,

I have been meditating for a while now and have been practicing more seriously (few hours per week) for about a year now. I have been to two Goenka 10-day retreats, which have helped me develop a deeper understanding of meditation and how to practice it. Currently, I mainly practice Anapanasati (focusing on the sensations produced by the breath above the upper lip) and Vipassana body-scanning technique.

In order to deepen my understanding, I have read a few books on meditation, notably this one : http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/anapanasati.pdf which focuses on Anapasati and have also started reading "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" by Daniel Ingram.

Most books seem to place a high importance on states called "Jhanas". I am getting more and more interested in these states, particularly since I feel they would allow me to have great "checkpoints" and assess my progress more easily.

The thing I'm puzzled about is how to actually reach these states. I read some sources that seem to claim that one should concentrate on the sensations produced by the breathing (such as in the Goenka retreat) while others say we should transcend those sensations and focus on the "conceptual breath".

Can anyone help me?

Thank you & have a nice day.

Derek
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Re: Attaining First Jhana by Breath Meditation

Postby Derek » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:22 pm

There are several jhana teachers around. Your best bet is to take a retreat with one of them. Leigh Brasington, Pa Auk Sayadaw, Tina Rasmussen, and Stephen Snyder are a few names that come to mind. I think Ajahn Brahm also teaches jhanas. Each teacher will teach a different technique. That's why it's confusing to try to combine the writings of multiple teachers.

Lokavidu
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:17 pm

Re: Attaining First Jhana by Breath Meditation

Postby Lokavidu » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:57 pm

Anapanasati is one of the most indicated practice to develoap jhana. The most intersting question turn around the interpretation of this jhanic state. There are different wievs. Some of this consider jhana like a mistycal e trascendental state of absorbition; some other simply like a benefical state of composure of the mind. My personal wiev is very basic:

In accordance with the Pali Scriptures (i think), the meaning of the word "jhana" is simply "meditation", not absorbtion, and with "bhavana", "cultivation", make up the basic elements of contemplative practice. The first jhana was attained by Gotama Buddha in very young age, and he describe this state like a delightful abode...The other 3 jhana (samma samadhi) are a process of refinement of the one pointedness, and detachment from the sensual pleasure and intellectual speculation. The fourth jhana is the trigger to developing right insight (vipassana).

This sutta (AN 5.28) speak about a fifth jhana (not arupa), seems to be like an intermediate state between the contemplation and dissolution of the jhanic factors, culminating in the fourth jhana, and the consequential understanding process of the vipassana bhavana.

The instruction contained in the anapanasati sutta(and in some other sutta) should be a complete map of the contemplative practice. My way consist to practice in accordance with them (usually starting with a very simple subject of meditation, like a kasina, or metta bhavana, or some reflection accompanied by Yoniso manasikara (careful attention). and after a variable period within the mind become minimally compose slide slowly and gradually to the breath sensation in the entire body to continue with the next tetrads of the anapanasti sutta.

When some difficulties arise, go to ask directly and personally to an expert monk. Not to be caught to any book or any meditation manual!


Bhavatu sabba mangalam
Rakkhantu sabba devatâ

Samma
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:47 pm

Re: Attaining First Jhana by Breath Meditation

Postby Samma » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:23 pm



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