Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Saengnapha
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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:30 pm

Zom wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:45 am
Teachers do not agree on what is first jhana, so they will not agree on seven steps which were systematised hundred s of years after Buddha's death.

Chan is wiser here : the path is not a game where you win levels one after the other. There is a path but no objective measure. Trying to measure, at best, will condition your mind to live certain experiences
There are certain things about jhanas written in the suttas - that is, the absense of certain kinds of feelings. In the first jhana there is no painful bodily feeling - at all. It just totally ends there. So if you are really in the first jhana, there sohuld be no problem for you to sit many hours without a smallest discomfort. If you think you are so cool and advanced that you reach it, but only for a small period of time, there should be no problem to master it so to sit as long as you can. So from anyone who claims or hints that he's got jhana I expect him to sit for 8-10 hours in a row (at least) without any problem. If he can't do that - sorry, this is not jhana and never been .)
Is this your personal opinion or is there an actual teaching on jhana length?

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Zom » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:25 pm

Is this your personal opinion or is there an actual teaching on jhana length?
Partly. In the suttas and vinaya passages there is information about very long (from several hours up to days in higher jhanas) and undisturbed sittings by those who are in jhanas. This is, as I think, due to the (canonical) fact of absense of bodily painful feelings and the experience of pleasant bodily feelings. The jhanas are called "pleasant dwelling" and dwelling means something prolonged - not some momentary exaltation as some think.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by polarbear101 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:55 am

Zom wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:25 pm
Is this your personal opinion or is there an actual teaching on jhana length?
Partly. In the suttas and vinaya passages there is information about very long (from several hours up to days in higher jhanas) and undisturbed sittings by those who are in jhanas. This is, as I think, due to the (canonical) fact of absense of bodily painful feelings and the experience of pleasant bodily feelings. The jhanas are called "pleasant dwelling" and dwelling means something prolonged - not some momentary exaltation as some think.
I think you overstep. There are plenty of suttas that indicate people falling out of jhana, and there is no reason to think that they were previously in that state for many hours.
"Suppose there was a mountain cow — foolish, inexperienced, unfamiliar with her pasture, unskilled in roaming on rugged mountains — and she were to think, 'What if I were to go in a direction I have never gone before, to eat grass I have never eaten before, to drink water I have never drunk before!' She would lift her hind hoof without having placed her front hoof firmly and [as a result] would not get to go in a direction she had never gone before, to eat grass she had never eaten before, or to drink water she had never drunk before. And as for the place where she was standing when the thought occurred to her, 'What if I were to go where I have never been before... to drink water I have never drunk before,' she would not return there safely. Why is that? Because she is a foolish, inexperienced mountain cow, unfamiliar with her pasture, unskilled in roaming on rugged mountains.

"In the same way, there are cases where a monk — foolish, inexperienced, unfamiliar with his pasture, unskilled in being quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, and entering & remaining in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation — doesn't stick with that theme, doesn't develop it, pursue it, or establish himself firmly in it. The thought occurs to him, 'What if I, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, were to enter & remain in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.' He is not able... to enter & remain in the second jhana... The thought occurs to him, 'What if I... were to enter & remain in the first jhana... He is not able... to enter & remain in the first jhana. This is called a monk who has slipped & fallen from both sides, like the mountain cow, foolish, inexperienced, unfamiliar with her pasture, unskilled in roaming on rugged mountains.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Now on that occasion the Venerable Godhika was dwelling on the Black Rock on the Isigili Slope. Then, while the Venerable Godhika was dwelling diligent, ardent, and resolute, he reached temporary liberation of mind, but he fell away from that temporary liberation of mind. A second time, while the Venerable Godhika was dwelling diligent, ardent, and resolute, he reached temporary liberation of mind, but he fell away from that temporary liberation of mind. A third time…A fourth time … A fifth time…A sixth time, while the Venerable Godhika was dwelling diligent, ardent, and resolute, he reached temporary liberation of mind, but he fell away from that temporary liberation of mind. A seventh time, while the Venerable Godhika was dwelling diligent, ardent, and resolute, he reached temporary liberation of mind.

Then it occurred to the Venerable Godhika: “Six times already I have fallen away from temporary liberation of mind. Let me use the knife.”

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn4.23
“Then if you have nothing for which to reproach yourself in regard to virtue, Assaji, why are you troubled by remorse and regret?”

“Formerly, venerable sir, when I was ill I kept on tranquillizing the bodily formations, but now I do not obtain concentration. As I do not obtain concentration, it occurs to me: ‘Let me not fall away!’”

“Those ascetics and brahmins, Assaji, who regard concentration as the essence and identify concentration with asceticism, failing to obtain concentration, might think, ‘Let us not fall away!’

“What do you think, Assaji, is form permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”… —“Therefore … Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’ If he feels a painful feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’ If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached; if he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached; if he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached.

“When he feels a feeling terminating with the body, he understands: ‘I feel a feeling terminating with the body.’ When he feels a feeling terminating with life, he understands: ‘I feel a feeling terminating with life.’ He understands: ‘With the breakup of the body, following the exhaustion of life, all that is felt, not being delighted in, will become cool right here.’

“Just as, Assaji, an oil lamp burns in dependence on the oil and the wick, and with the exhaustion of the oil and the wick it is extinguished through lack of fuel, so too, Assaji, when a bhikkhu feels a feeling terminating with the body … terminating with life … He understands: ‘With the breakup of the body, following the exhaustion of life, all that is felt, not being delighted in, will become cool right here.’”

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.88
"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace. Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.

"As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality. That was an affliction for me. Just as pain arises as an affliction for a healthy person, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality that beset me was an affliction for me.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
See also: MN 128

It seems to me to be reasonable to think that samadhi could become interrupted after only a short period of time dwelling in it.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

Saengnapha
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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:01 am

Zom wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:25 pm
Is this your personal opinion or is there an actual teaching on jhana length?
Partly. In the suttas and vinaya passages there is information about very long (from several hours up to days in higher jhanas) and undisturbed sittings by those who are in jhanas. This is, as I think, due to the (canonical) fact of absense of bodily painful feelings and the experience of pleasant bodily feelings. The jhanas are called "pleasant dwelling" and dwelling means something prolonged - not some momentary exaltation as some think.
Perhaps you should rethink this idea of yours about 1st jhana and length of time one should be able to stay in it. When you begin to measure things like this, you lose the view of impermanence and personalization. You also encourage 'becoming' and attachment to these states. 1st jhana seems more like whiff of fresh air, not a dwelling place for our notions.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:16 am

aflatun wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:13 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:39 pm
There are many approaches to the Dhamma in general, and meditation in particular, that have been useful to many people for many centuries. As I said, the insight knowledges were documented well over 1500 years ago, and were presumably assembled from the experiences of awakened individuals.
Well said Mike. I just wanted to add, I'm starting to find remarkable similarity and cohesion among the various outlines of insight found across many pre modern Buddhist traditions, which for me bolsters the fact that these folks were onto something. Part of what I was trying to point to in the other thread about the seeming universality of momentariness, despite the shifts in its significance.

Risking a lynch mob: While there are certainly critical differences, I also feel there are strong parallels with non Buddhist maps of insight as well (e.g. Plotinus, Ibn Al Arabi, St. Teresa, even modern day Bernadette Roberts) There's something very human and natural about the whole thing, for me anyway...

See for example:

The stages of Christian mysticism and Buddhist purification
I tried posting this yesterday. Perhaps there is a Buddhist guardian at the gate whose taken offense.

In losing all, the soul has risen (from Self-Annihilation and Charity Lead the Soul...)
by Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti)

English version by Serge and Elizabeth Hughes
Original Language Italian

In losing all, the soul has risen
To the pinnacle of the measureless;
Because it has renounced all
That is not divine,
It now holds in its grasp
The unimaginable Good
In all its abundance,
A loss and a gain impossible to describe.
To lose and to hold tightly,
To love and take delight in,
To gaze upon and contemplate,
To possess utterly,
To float in that immensity
And to rest therein --
That is the work of unceasing exchange
Of charity and truth.
There is no other action at those heights;
What the questing soul once was it has ceased to be.
Neither heat nor fiery love
Nor suffering has place here.
This is not light as the soul has imagined it.
All it had sought it must now forget,
And pass on to a new world,
Beyond its powers of perception.



Is this not transcendence?

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archaic
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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by archaic » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:29 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:26 am
There is, obviously, plenty in the instructions of modern teachers such as Ajahns Thanissaro, Maha Bua, Chah etc that is not explicitly in the Suttas, but it would be strange to dismiss the advice of experienced teachers. Likewise, one should use one's judgement about which elaborations are helpful, and which are not, whether the advice is from ancient or modern texts.
:heart:
Mike
Thanks, you are quite correct, I should not dismiss all of the nanas out of hand, some may be useful and likely their usefulness also depended on the context in which they were dispersed, such as who the students were and who the teachers were.


Hiheyhello wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:57 am
Vipassana is not a samatha meditation and, as such, is not preoccupied exclusively with jhana but with calming the mind enough to see the nature of reality. In the same way that the 9 samatha jhanas progressively build upon one another, the vipassana nanas also do so.

Yes I see your point. The vipassana nanas felt more loose and undelineated to me because they could occur out of order, or not at all. Whereas to me, jhana seems very delineated, as in the Buddha's frequent explanation of the 1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th, and supramundane jhanas.

However, I agree with you because insight and concentration are both very different, so this could be the reason why the jhanas seem more concrete and definitive.

What concrete proof can be provided of jhana? Jhanic attainments are also described in the texts in an arguably vague and ambiguous way (likely due to their subtle nature). Are the descriptions (stages) of jhana thus arbitrary and artificial?
Yes I know some people do not want to, or are not able to obtain jhana. I am thankful that my meditation experiences support their existence, as they are described, and in the order given by the Buddha. But, regardless of whether I had experienced them, because the Buddha himself described them they must unquestionably be based on truth, at least in my view. I have never observed any mistruth from the Buddha (although of course I have observed some of his teachings which I am not as yet at a stage of development to confirm).
Ultimately, that is for each practitioner to determine for themselves based on their own experience.

Either way, you will probably not touch upon the nanas with the body scan method so no need to worry about it too much or overanalyze it to death.
Yes, you are quite correct.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by archaic » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:35 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:01 am
Perhaps you should rethink this idea of yours about 1st jhana and length of time one should be able to stay in it. When you begin to measure things like this, you lose the view of impermanence and personalization. You also encourage 'becoming' and attachment to these states. 1st jhana seems more like whiff of fresh air, not a dwelling place for our notions.
I do agree with you, but at the same time, many people wish to gauge their progress by knowing what is to be expected from a "true" jhana.

The truth is, for example the Pa Auk Sayadaw camp seem to almost indicate that jhana is an exceptionally deep state where one is nearly unresponsive. Other texts say a person in jhana literally has their heart stop beating and breathing cease. And then on the opposite side of the spectrum, the Ayya Khema camp suggests one can enter jhana by obtaining access concentration then changing the object to the sensations themselves.

So it seems difficult for many to know what's happening; too much unintentional misinformation.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Zom » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:16 am

Perhaps you should rethink this idea of yours about 1st jhana and length of time one should be able to stay in it. When you begin to measure things like this, you lose the view of impermanence and personalization.
Heh ) View of impermanence has nothing to do with the length of jhana .) Let alone personalization.
You also encourage 'becoming' and attachment to these states
Where did I say that? )
many people wish to gauge their progress by knowing what is to be expected from a "true" jhana.
Arahantship or, at the very minimum, non-returning is to be expected from it .) Supernormal powers too, by the way. This is what texts say. Those who don't get that - they are attaining "wishful thinking jhanas" (normal for newcomers).

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:47 am

archaic wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:35 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:01 am
Perhaps you should rethink this idea of yours about 1st jhana and length of time one should be able to stay in it. When you begin to measure things like this, you lose the view of impermanence and personalization. You also encourage 'becoming' and attachment to these states. 1st jhana seems more like whiff of fresh air, not a dwelling place for our notions.
I do agree with you, but at the same time, many people wish to gauge their progress by knowing what is to be expected from a "true" jhana.

The truth is, for example the Pa Auk Sayadaw camp seem to almost indicate that jhana is an exceptionally deep state where one is nearly unresponsive. Other texts say a person in jhana literally has their heart stop beating and breathing cease. And then on the opposite side of the spectrum, the Ayya Khema camp suggests one can enter jhana by obtaining access concentration then changing the object to the sensations themselves.

So it seems difficult for many to know what's happening; too much unintentional misinformation.
The wish to gauge progress itself is a self-centred activity that should not be encouraged. It would immediately prevent what is described as the 2nd jhana which is absent of vitakka and vicara. Conceptualization is suspended. What you write about is the problem that these 'Programs' introduce into our thinking. The whole point is about 'your' experience. If you start thinking like this, you've already lost the view.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:57 am

Zom wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:16 am
Perhaps you should rethink this idea of yours about 1st jhana and length of time one should be able to stay in it. When you begin to measure things like this, you lose the view of impermanence and personalization.
Heh ) View of impermanence has nothing to do with the length of jhana .) Let alone personalization.
You also encourage 'becoming' and attachment to these states
Where did I say that? )
many people wish to gauge their progress by knowing what is to be expected from a "true" jhana.
Arahantship or, at the very minimum, non-returning is to be expected from it .) Supernormal powers too, by the way. This is what texts say. Those who don't get that - they are attaining "wishful thinking jhanas" (normal for newcomers).
What you write is upside down, in my estimation. Jhanas are impermanent like all dhammas. Length is not the point. The idea that you are doing anything is already missing the point of right view and the idea that 'you' are climbing the ladder. It's all about letting go of this view, not attaining anything. Expectations always lead to trouble. Keeping track of yourself is part of the myth of personalization. It's only conceptualization.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Zom » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:48 am

Jhanas are impermanent like all dhammas. Length is not the point. The idea that you are doing anything is already missing the point of right view and the idea that 'you' are climbing the ladder
Impermanence have nothing to do with length. And the length of jhana is important to understand if you've got a genuine one or imaginary. As for the right view - I suggest you should read more about "conventional" and "ultimate" truths so to understand how can there be "someone" who is practising .)

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:08 pm

Zom wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:48 am
Jhanas are impermanent like all dhammas. Length is not the point. The idea that you are doing anything is already missing the point of right view and the idea that 'you' are climbing the ladder
Impermanence have nothing to do with length. And the length of jhana is important to understand if you've got a genuine one or imaginary. As for the right view - I suggest you should read more about "conventional" and "ultimate" truths so to understand how can there be "someone" who is practising .)
Of course, impermanence has nothing to do with length. It was a comment about the focus on jhana, which is impermanent, but seen to be something to cultivate. I understand the fascination with jhanas and the importance they are given within Theravada teachings. I also see their distraction. For me, disinterest and dispassion seem more to the point, not acting with self-interest. There is no doer either, and talk about conventional and ultimate truths are only for the scholars to debate about, what I call Buddhist babble. Forgive me if I don't see eye to eye with you on this.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Zom » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:33 pm

It was a comment about the focus on jhana, which is impermanent, but seen to be something to cultivate.
Whether you like it or not - jhana must be attained and fully developed if you want to attain enlightenment.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:20 am

Zom wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:33 pm
It was a comment about the focus on jhana, which is impermanent, but seen to be something to cultivate.
Whether you like it or not - jhana must be attained and fully developed if you want to attain enlightenment.
I will quote Jacopone da Todi:

The light of the intellect,
Which had seemed dazzling,
Now seems dark and feeble;
What it thought was strength
It now recognizes as weakness.
No longer can the intellect describe divinity
As it once did when it could speak;
For perfect Good no metaphor is adequate.

Once united with God it knows
That what you think is day is night,
What you think is light is darkness.
Until you reach this point, and the self is annihilated,
Everything you think is true is really false.
You do not yet have in you pure charity
While you can think of yourself
And the victory you are striving for.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Hiheyhello » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:54 am

archaic wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:29 am

Yes I see your point. The vipassana nanas felt more loose and undelineated to me because they could occur out of order, or not at all. Whereas to me, jhana seems very delineated, as in the Buddha's frequent explanation of the 1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th, and supramundane jhanas.

Hi, just wanted to clarify that nanas will occur only in the listed progressive order or not at all. They don't occur out of order and nanas cannot be skipped. Some can be shorter or longer in duration than others but they will always happen in that given order.

All the Metta

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by aflatun » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:59 pm

Thank you for this lovely passage!
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:16 am

I tried posting this yesterday. Perhaps there is a Buddhist guardian at the gate whose taken offense.

In losing all, the soul has risen (from Self-Annihilation and Charity Lead the Soul...)
by Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti)

English version by Serge and Elizabeth Hughes
Original Language Italian

In losing all, the soul has risen
To the pinnacle of the measureless;
Because it has renounced all
That is not divine,
It now holds in its grasp
The unimaginable Good
In all its abundance,
A loss and a gain impossible to describe.
To lose and to hold tightly,
To love and take delight in,
To gaze upon and contemplate,
To possess utterly,
To float in that immensity
And to rest therein --
That is the work of unceasing exchange
Of charity and truth.
There is no other action at those heights;
What the questing soul once was it has ceased to be.
Neither heat nor fiery love
Nor suffering has place here.
This is not light as the soul has imagined it.
All it had sought it must now forget,
And pass on to a new world,
Beyond its powers of perception.



Is this not transcendence?
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

Saengnapha
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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:49 pm

aflatun wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:59 pm
Thank you for this lovely passage!
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:16 am

I tried posting this yesterday. Perhaps there is a Buddhist guardian at the gate whose taken offense.

In losing all, the soul has risen (from Self-Annihilation and Charity Lead the Soul...)
by Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti)

English version by Serge and Elizabeth Hughes
Original Language Italian

In losing all, the soul has risen
To the pinnacle of the measureless;
Because it has renounced all
That is not divine,
It now holds in its grasp
The unimaginable Good
In all its abundance,
A loss and a gain impossible to describe.
To lose and to hold tightly,
To love and take delight in,
To gaze upon and contemplate,
To possess utterly,
To float in that immensity
And to rest therein --
That is the work of unceasing exchange
Of charity and truth.
There is no other action at those heights;
What the questing soul once was it has ceased to be.
Neither heat nor fiery love
Nor suffering has place here.
This is not light as the soul has imagined it.
All it had sought it must now forget,
And pass on to a new world,
Beyond its powers of perception.



Is this not transcendence?
It makes all this talk seem like nonsense.

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Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by archaic » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:19 am

Hiheyhello wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:54 am
archaic wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:29 am

Yes I see your point. The vipassana nanas felt more loose and undelineated to me because they could occur out of order, or not at all. Whereas to me, jhana seems very delineated, as in the Buddha's frequent explanation of the 1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th, and supramundane jhanas.

Hi, just wanted to clarify that nanas will occur only in the listed progressive order or not at all. They don't occur out of order and nanas cannot be skipped. Some can be shorter or longer in duration than others but they will always happen in that given order.

All the Metta
Oh ok, I have read them from a number of sources which say that they may occur out of order and not necessarily each practitioner will experience them all. However, Perhaps it depends on the tradition one is from.

For example, in a book I have called Insight Meditation - Practical Steps to Ultimate Truth by Achan Sobin S. Namto, before listing the nanas it says:
Meditators bring to practice a variety of temperaments and background. Not every aspect of practice described in this section will be experienced by every meditator, nor in the exact order in which the material is presented. This manual describes certain aspects of insight training which have been observed by meditation masters in the Vipassana tradition. Practitioners following the Zen and Vajrayana traditions will, no doubt also find this manual helpful.

If additional instruction is desired regarding the early exegesis of Buddhist Wisdom teachings we urge readers to familiarize themselves with the 9 insight knowledges, commencing with the "Knowledge of Contemplation of Rise and Fall" and concluding with the "adaptation to truth" as detailed in the classical treatise entitled "The Path of Purification" Visuddhi Magga compiled by Buddhaghosa."
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Saengnapha
Posts: 680
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:12 am

archaic wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:19 am
Hiheyhello wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:54 am
archaic wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:29 am

Yes I see your point. The vipassana nanas felt more loose and undelineated to me because they could occur out of order, or not at all. Whereas to me, jhana seems very delineated, as in the Buddha's frequent explanation of the 1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th, and supramundane jhanas.

Hi, just wanted to clarify that nanas will occur only in the listed progressive order or not at all. They don't occur out of order and nanas cannot be skipped. Some can be shorter or longer in duration than others but they will always happen in that given order.

All the Metta
Oh ok, I have read them from a number of sources which say that they may occur out of order and not necessarily each practitioner will experience them all. However, Perhaps it depends on the tradition one is from.

For example, in a book I have called Insight Meditation - Practical Steps to Ultimate Truth by Achan Sobin S. Namto, before listing the nanas it says:
Meditators bring to practice a variety of temperaments and background. Not every aspect of practice described in this section will be experienced by every meditator, nor in the exact order in which the material is presented. This manual describes certain aspects of insight training which have been observed by meditation masters in the Vipassana tradition. Practitioners following the Zen and Vajrayana traditions will, no doubt also find this manual helpful.

If additional instruction is desired regarding the early exegesis of Buddhist Wisdom teachings we urge readers to familiarize themselves with the 9 insight knowledges, commencing with the "Knowledge of Contemplation of Rise and Fall" and concluding with the "adaptation to truth" as detailed in the classical treatise entitled "The Path of Purification" Visuddhi Magga compiled by Buddhaghosa."
Do you really think there are practical steps to Ultimate Truth that you can follow? Is this your belief? or hope? If so, you should be applying yourself 24/7 to it to see if there is any truth to it.

pyluyten
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:08 am

Re: Are Vipassana Nanas silly?

Post by pyluyten » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:49 pm

Zom wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:45 am
Teachers do not agree on what is first jhana, so they will not agree on seven steps which were systematised hundred s of years after Buddha's death.

Chan is wiser here : the path is not a game where you win levels one after the other. There is a path but no objective measure. Trying to measure, at best, will condition your mind to live certain experiences
There are certain things about jhanas written in the suttas - that is, the absense of certain kinds of feelings. In the first jhana there is no painful bodily feeling - at all. It just totally ends there. So if you are really in the first jhana, there sohuld be no problem for you to sit many hours without a smallest discomfort. If you think you are so cool and advanced that you reach it, but only for a small period of time, there should be no problem to master it so to sit as long as you can. So from anyone who claims or hints that he's got jhana I expect him to sit for 8-10 hours in a row (at least) without any problem. If he can't do that - sorry, this is not jhana and never been .)
still, many teachers proclaim different things regarding 1st jhana, it's intensity, it's duration, is there thinking, is there still consciousness and so on. Maybe they did not understand the suttas, but many teacher quote suttas to illustrate points of views, sometimes 1st jhana is like a 8 day coma, sometimes it's just a light attention for five minutes. I tend to believe this is because, even inside suttas, there are different sentences. This might be due to translation for example.

In the end this does not change nothing, because everyone agrees with the highest level of concentration.
But this means nobody agrees on the milestones.
When we talk about a capability to concentrate, well, milestones, is that this important? we could as well say, one is able to be concentrated for 5 minutes or twenty, one hours, ten hours, or 3 days. Some teachers say ten hours is 1st jhana, some say it's 7th jhana, this is not a big deal. The practice is the same. We call this 1st jhana or 7th jhana, this should not change much.

But when we describe milestones regarding something like "wisdom", and call it vipassana nana, then i'm afraid the milestones will not help.
We have the same issues than with concentration milestones, plus many others, and in the end no one never ever agrees on anything.
It's not the path that is a discussion, it's more the steps, this is why i consider "nanas" description as an issue rather than a help.

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