Jhana and Vipassana Practice

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6849
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jhana and Vipassana Practice

Post by DooDoot » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:41 am

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:41 am
ven. Buddhadasa's standpoint
Hi SDA. I can only recommend to avoid such assertions as above. What was quoted was merely an excerpt from a lecture given to court judges in 1956. The translated words in the quote, as as "deep" & "shallow", are vague. Ven. Buddhadasa was a prolific speaker & author. If you do not know his entire body of work then it is best to avoid potential misrepresentations.
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:41 am
Verbatim excerpts from:
Again, the quote is only a translation. Its not "verbatim".
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:41 am
The Handbook for Mankind by ven. Buddhadasa
It is not a case of the mind's being rendered silent, hard and rocklike. Nothing like that happens at all. The body feels normal, but the mind is especially calm and suitable for use in thinking and introspection. It is perfectly clear, perfectly cool, perfectly still and restrained. In other words, it is fit for work, ready to know. This is the degree of concentration to be aimed for, not the very deep concentration where one sits rigidly like a stone image, quite devoid of awareness. Sitting in deep concentration like that, one is in no position to investigate anything. A deeply concentrated mind cannot practice introspection at all. It is in a state of unawareness and is of no use for insight. DEEP CONCENTRATION IS A MAJOR OBSTACLE TO INSIGHT PRACTICE. To practice introspection one must first return to the shallower levels of concentration; then one can make use of the power the mind has acquired. Highly developed concentration is just a tool. In this developing of insight by the nature method, we don't have to attain deep concentration and sit with the body rigid. Rather, we aim at a calm, steady mind, one so fit for work that when it is applied to insight practice, it gains right understanding with regard to the entire world. Insight so developed is natural insight, the same sort as was gained by some individuals while sitting listening to the Buddha expounding Dhamma. It is conducive to thought and introspection of the right kind, the kind that brings understanding. And it involves neither ceremonial procedures nor miracles.

http://www.buddhanet.net/budasa10.htm
🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Quite an old lecture above; from 1956. To be honest, I have never read this book in its entirety or even read a whole chapter. By "fit for work", Buddhadasa is referring to the Pali "kammaniyo", as follows:
Buddhadasa 1986 wrote:If the mind has correct samadhi, we will observe three distinct qualities in it. The quality of mind that is firm, steady, undistracted, and focused on a single object is called samahito (stability, collectedness). That mind is dear and pure, not disturbed by anything, unobscured by defilement. Mind empty of defilement is called parisuddho (purity). Thirdly, that citta is most fit and supremely prepared to perform the duties of the mind. This is called kammaniyo (activeness, readiness). It would not hurt to memorize these three words: samahito (stableness), parisuddho (pureness), and kammaniyo (activeness). All three qualities must be present for concentration to be correct. This is the kind of concentration that can be used not only in formal meditation practice but in doing any of the necessary activities of life.

Once the mind is under our power and within our control, we are able to use this type of mind to work. From practicing the third tetrad, from the ability to concen­trate the mind, there is a lot of kammaniyo, readiness or activeness. The mind is fit and ready to do its duties. In the Pali another word is used in this context - mudu (gentle). Before citta was hard and stiff, now it is gentle and supple. The mind is now very sensitive and quick, in a condition that is ready to be used. Consequently, we use it to do the work of the fourth tetrad, where the very first duty is to contemplate impermanence.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhik ... athing.htm
From the suttas:
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is developed like this, is as workable as the mind.

“Nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yaṃ evaṃ bhāvitaṃ kammaniyaṃ hoti yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, cittaṃ.

A developed mind is workable.”

Cittaṃ, bhikkhave, bhāvitaṃ kammaniyaṃ hotī”ti.

https://suttacentral.net/an1.21-30/en/sujato
Mendicants, there are these five corruptions of gold. When gold is corrupted by these it’s not pliable, workable, or radiant, but is brittle and not completely ready for working.

“Pañcime, bhikkhave, jātarūpassa upakkilesā, yehi upakkilesehi upakkiliṭṭhaṃ jātarūpaṃ na ceva mudu hoti na ca kammaniyaṃ, na ca pabhassaraṃ pabhaṅgu ca, na ca sammā upeti kammāya.

https://suttacentral.net/sn46.33/en/sujato
A mind imbued with renunciation is declared to be capable of directly knowing anything that can be realized.

Nekkhammaparibhāvitaṃ cittaṃ kammaniyaṃ khāyati, abhiññā sacchikaraṇīyesu dhammesū

https://suttacentral.net/sn27.3/en/sujato
With the giving up of pleasure and pain, and the ending of former happiness and sadness, I entered and remained in the fourth absorption, without pleasure or pain, with pure equanimity and mindfulness.

When my mind had become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—I extended it toward knowledge of the ending of defilements.

So evaṃ samāhite citte parisuddhe pariyodāte anaṅgaṇe vigatūpakkilese mudubhūte kammaniye ṭhite āneñjappatte āsavānaṃ khayañāṇāya
cittaṃ abhininnāmesiṃ.

I truly understood: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’.

https://suttacentral.net/mn4/en/sujato
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:23 am, edited 5 times in total.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

User avatar
one_awakening
Posts: 186
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:04 am

Re: Jhana and Vipassana Practice

Post by one_awakening » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:52 am

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:41 am
A deeply concentrated mind cannot practice introspection at all
What's "deep" concentration? Is fourth Jhana too deep?
“You only lose what you cling to”

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6849
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jhana and Vipassana Practice

Post by DooDoot » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:58 am

one_awakening wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:52 am
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:41 am
A deeply concentrated mind cannot practice introspection at all
What's "deep" concentration? Is fourth Jhana too deep?
The chapter SDA copy & pasted from does not mention "jhana". I would read the whole chapter of the book: http://www.buddhanet.net/budasa10.htm. By "deep", the author might not be referring to "jhana" but to "suppression concentration".
the mind's being rendered silent, hard and rocklike... the very deep concentration where one sits rigidly like a stone image, quite devoid of awareness

http://www.buddhanet.net/budasa10.htm
This said, some passages in the book appear to refer to "deep concentration" as the higher jhanas:
Anyone who becomes so pleased with and infatuated by the attainment of deep concentration, this sitting with body rigid and devoid of all sensation, that he is unable to progress further in vipassana, is in a most pitiable position.

http://www.buddhanet.net/budasa11.htm
Regardless, this book is just lectures given to laypeople; thus the author/speaker may have been emphasising matters more practical for the audience. Since this author often wrote favourably about jhana, the author is obviously not opposed to jhana.
If you can go on into jhana, into the material absorptions (rupa-jhana), that will be useful. It will make the next steps easier.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhik ... athing.htm
Instead, the author appears to be highlighting the qualities of correct/right samadhi; such as:
As for samadhi, an empty mind is the supreme samadhi, the supremely focused firmness of mind. The straining and striving sort of samadhi isn't the real thing and the samadhi which aims at anything other than non-clinging to the five khandas is micchasamadhi (wrong or perverted samadhi). You should be aware that there is both micchasamadhi and sammasamadhi (right or correct samadhi). Only the mind that is empty of grasping at and clinging to 'I' and 'mine' can have the true and perfect stability of sammasamadhi. One who has an empty mind has correct samadhi.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikk ... o_Tree.htm
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

sentinel
Posts: 2581
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Jhana and Vipassana Practice

Post by sentinel » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:39 am

actually both identity and conceit is the same thing .
Whether it is Assuming the form (etc) as self and I am form (etc) or I am this/that is the same matter !!!
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” -Buddha

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6849
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jhana and Vipassana Practice

Post by DooDoot » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:07 am

one_awakening wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:02 am
Was listening to a Dhamma talk about the Jhanas by Leigh Brasington. He spoke about how when he achieved Jhanas his teacher instructed him to now practice Vipassana, but he didn't go into how to practice Vipassana in the Jhanas.
My impression is Leigh Brasington has not reached real jhana. Instead, based on Leigh Brasington's descriptions, it seems he is volitionally manipulating a state of pleasure, similar to Laughing Yoga. This is why vipassana would be difficult because his mind is too busily engaged in thinking & manipulating rather than non-attached, silent & naturally observant.
one_awakening wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:02 am
So my question is, how does one use the Jhanas to practice Vipassana?

If jhana is reached, the mind will be very silent. It that silence, the mind should naturally experience the absence "self". The mind should also experience how silence & non-attachment lead to peace/tranquility. These are two insights. Another insight should be an impersonal experience of pleasant feelings, where the mind sees the feelings are not-self. In jhana, there should be various insights such as this.
one_awakening wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:02 am
I've been meditating for ten years and have found that when reaching deep states of concentration, insight either arises spontaneously
Indeed. If the mind is still, quiet & non-attached, the insight should arise spontaneously.
one_awakening wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:02 am
Or I will direct my concentrated mind to probe the nature of my experience and insight arises that way. Not sure if this is correct, it's just what came naturally.
Above I described jhana related insights. However, ultimately, the goal of Buddhism is to have complete insight so suffering does not arise in any situation. For example, the peace of jhana does not mean the mind will be able to maintain its peace when impacted by ordinary worldly sense objects. Thus, here, jhana makes the mind more pure & more sensitive so when the mind emerges from jhana, it can see the arisings from ordinary worldly sense objects more clearly; until the mind has insight to stop all suffering from all sense experience, both internal & external.
one_awakening wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:52 am
What's "deep" concentration? Is fourth Jhana too deep?
Reflecting on the book passage quoted during my afternoon walk, i think Ajahn Buddhadasa was possibly referring to what I posted above, namely, while jhana brings peace while in jhana, it does not necessarily end all unwholesome reactions when jhana is emerged from. Thus, ultimately, to fully realise the noble truths & dependent origination, the mind also must have insight outside of jhana.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 172 guests