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Enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:51 am
by sunnat
An obsession with attaining jhanas, or any other thing, on the way to the goal is opposite to the practice. The habit is to want something of imagined pleasure. Craving. Or not wanting someting that is not what is imagined. Craving. To crave an imagined attainment is not the path. Don't waste precious time being a jhana junkie. All in good time. When the preparatory work has been done leading there it will happen whether you expect it, know it intellectually, or not, and when it happens no amount of thinking about it will have helped. Quite the opposite. Focus on the reality of the present moment. It is that practice that will take you there. Wherever that is. Learn the basic practice and practice doing it.. That's enough.

Re: Enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:00 am
by Laurens
Something Ajahn Chah said resonated with me in regards to clinging to ideas about jhana and such. He said something along the lines of "don't aim for Samadhi, aim for Nibbana" (I don't recall where I read it I'm afraid).

Any other aim can keep you tied down to attachment and aversion.

Re: Enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:39 am
by SarathW
You can't attain Jhana or Nibbana by forces.
When you follow the Noble Eightfold Path it is a natural progression to Jhana and Nibbana.

Re: Enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:43 am
by justindesilva
SarathW wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:39 am
You can't attain Jhana or Nibbana by forces.
When you follow the Noble Eightfold Path it is a natural progression to Jhana and Nibbana.
It is explained that attaining jhana is like settling of dirt in a muddy water of a jar. As our klesha of citta or mind (say kamaccanda) settles , the mind is cleared of defilements. Vitakka vicara piti sukha are the stages achieved in the settling of mind.
( heard during a sermon).

Re: Enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:39 pm
by SarathW
Agree.
I like that analogy.

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:52 am
by sunnat
Cetana Sutta: Intention
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn1 ... .than.html

Staying at Savatthi... [the Blessed One said,] "What one intends, what one arranges, and what one obsesses about: This is a support for the stationing of consciousness. There being a support, there is a landing [or: an establishing] of consciousness. When that consciousness lands and grows, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. When there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

"If one doesn't intend and doesn't arrange, but one still obsesses [about something], this is a support for the stationing of consciousness. There being a support, there is a landing of consciousness. When that consciousness lands and grows, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. When there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. Such [too] is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

"But when one doesn't intend, arrange, or obsess [about anything], there is no support for the stationing of consciousness. There being no support, there is no landing of consciousness. When that consciousness doesn't land & grow, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. When there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress."

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:21 am
by Dinsdale
sunnat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:51 am
An obsession with attaining jhanas, or any other thing, on the way to the goal is opposite to the practice. The habit is to want something of imagined pleasure. Craving. Or not wanting someting that is not what is imagined. Craving. To crave an imagined attainment is not the path. Don't waste precious time being a jhana junkie. All in good time. When the preparatory work has been done leading there it will happen whether you expect it, know it intellectually, or not, and when it happens no amount of thinking about it will have helped. Quite the opposite. Focus on the reality of the present moment. It is that practice that will take you there. Wherever that is. Learn the basic practice and practice doing it.. That's enough.
I don't see "obsession", I just see a recognition of jhana as an important factor of the path, ie Right Concentration.

Any aspect of practice of practice could be made into an obsession if misunderstood, so I don't get the focus on jhana here, or the melodramatic rhetoric.
Why not criticise "insight junkies" or "precept junkies"? :shrug:

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:25 am
by Dinsdale
SarathW wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:39 am
You can't attain Jhana or Nibbana by forces.
When you follow the Noble Eightfold Path it is a natural progression to Jhana and Nibbana.
Perhaps, but the 8-fold path includes Right Concentration, ie jhana.

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:31 am
by Dinsdale
Laurens wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:00 am
Something Ajahn Chah said resonated with me in regards to clinging to ideas about jhana and such. He said something along the lines of "don't aim for Samadhi, aim for Nibbana" (I don't recall where I read it I'm afraid).

Any other aim can keep you tied down to attachment and aversion.
I think he said don't try to be anything. He didn't say "dont practice".

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:38 am
by sunnat
Of course.. And this is not a criticism of anyone. It's an attempt to discuss that any obsession regarding any attainment runs counter to attaining. Don't jump into the path without covering the basics.

The MahaSatipatthana Sutta starts with. O Bhikkus. In other words Buddha is talking to those who are established in sila. Then on to samadhi and panna. Not just lets go for jhana everybody. Or any other stage.

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:47 am
by Dinsdale
sunnat wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:38 am
Of course.. And this is not a criticism of anyone. It's an attempt to discuss that any obsession regarding any attainment runs counter to attaining. Don't jump into the path without covering the basics.

The MahaSatipatthana Sutta starts with. O Bhikkus. In other words Buddha is talking to those who are established in sila. Then on to samadhi and panna. Not just lets go for jhana everybody. Or any other stage.
Sure, but in the 3-fold formulation of the path, samadhi ("meditation") incudes sati as well.

I don't see the OP-style rhetoric directed at those focussing on sati, which is puzzling. Why single out people who want to develop jhanic states?

In another thread here there is reference to western "jhana boasters" and "jhana clingers". Why is such disparaging and patronising language used towards fellow practitioners? What is the agenda here?

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:52 am
by Laurens
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:31 am
Laurens wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:00 am
Something Ajahn Chah said resonated with me in regards to clinging to ideas about jhana and such. He said something along the lines of "don't aim for Samadhi, aim for Nibbana" (I don't recall where I read it I'm afraid).

Any other aim can keep you tied down to attachment and aversion.
I think he said don't try to be anything. He didn't say "dont practice".
Yeah, I wasn't quoting him as though he were saying that.

Obviously practise, but practise with the aim of liberation, not of getting into the jhanas.

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:56 am
by Dinsdale
Laurens wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:52 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:31 am
Laurens wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:00 am
Something Ajahn Chah said resonated with me in regards to clinging to ideas about jhana and such. He said something along the lines of "don't aim for Samadhi, aim for Nibbana" (I don't recall where I read it I'm afraid).

Any other aim can keep you tied down to attachment and aversion.
I think he said don't try to be anything. He didn't say "dont practice".
Yeah, I wasn't quoting him as though he were saying that.

Obviously practise, but practise with the aim of liberation, not of getting into the jhanas.
But according to the suttas, jhana is required for liberation. Or are you saying that jhana isn't required?

And would you argue that we shouldn't "aim" to develop insight, or "aim" to develop ethical behaviour?

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:58 am
by sunnat
I wrote "jhanas, or any other thing," and referred to obsession. It could be obsession about obsession for that matter, or any other thing. I simply noticed that people talk a lot about jhanas lately and it sometimes seems obsessive. Buddha had things to say about obsession. See post above.

Sati, sure. I don't get the point there. Please elaborate.

Re: Enough?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:04 pm
by Laurens
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:56 am
But according to the suttas, jhana is required for liberation. Or are you saying that jhana isn't required?

And would you argue that we shouldn't "aim" to develop insight, or "aim" to develop ethical behaviour?
I think the point is, if you aim at jhana because you are hung up on the idea of getting blissful states in meditation you are coming at it from the wrong angle.

It doesn't negate jhana as a part of the path. It's just saying having that as your focal point can be counterproductive. A lot of people get hung up on the idea of jhanas because people like Ajahn Brahm talk a lot about how pleasurable they are. Aiming for jhana because you want that is the wrong way to go about things.

Therefore aim at liberation, and follow the eightfold path, don't fixate on any one aspect as the goal, the goal is liberation.