What is not Jhana?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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bridif1
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:42 pm

What is not Jhana?

Post by bridif1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:01 pm

Hi!

I've seen several threads and debates on what constitutes Jhana, and there seems to be no agreement on a definitive conclussion.

So I think if we can pose this question from a slightly different perspective (maybe this was done before, and if so, I'm really sorry), we can gain some insight not perceived before.

What is NOT Jhana?
What can be clearly excluded from Jhana?
What elements are indisputably not part of what is expected to happen during Jhana?

I'd be really thankful if some sutta evidence is brought to the front to support any claim.

Thanks for your time and patience!

SarathW
Posts: 11585
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: What is not Jhana?

Post by SarathW » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:21 pm

The Jhaana cittas
The cittas that occur through the five physical sense doors, and the mind-door cittas taking sense objects, belong to the sensuous plane of consciousness. They are called kaamaavacara cittas. The jhaana cittas are meditative states of consciousness. Their object is not a sense impression but a meditation object experienced through the mind-door. The jhaana citta may depend on subtle materiality (ruupaavacara citta) or, if more refined, may be independent of materiality (aruupaavacara citta).

There are five stages of ruupa jhaana and four of aruupa jhaana. No attempt will be made to analyze these stages except to state that each is more refined than its predecessor.

It is extremely difficult to attain even the first stage of jhaana. To do so one has to be well established in virtue (siila) and eliminate the five mental hindrances, at least temporarily. These five hindrances are: sense desire (kaamacchanda), ill-will (vyaapaada), sloth and torpor (thiina and middha), restlessness and worry (uddhacca and kukkucca), and doubt (vicikicchaa).

Though difficult, it is well worth attempting to attain jhaana by regular and ardent practice of samatha bhaavanaa, i.e., concentration-meditation. Even if we do not reach the first stage of jhaana, even a brief elimination of the five mental hindrances will give us a taste of a happiness which far surpasses that derived from the senses. When restlessness, anxiety and worry try to overwhelm us in our daily lives we will benefit by sitting for a period and developing concentration. We will realize that nothing is more satisfying than the ability to keep a check on the frivolous, fickle mind.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el322.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Srilankaputra
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:56 am
Location: Sri Lanka

Re: What is not Jhana?

Post by Srilankaputra » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:31 am

Hi,

Some relevant results from searching the term "na samādhiyati" on suttacentral.net.
sati na upaṭṭhāti, asamāhitañca cittaṃ na samādhiyati
mindfulness does not become established, their mind does not become immersed in samādhi

https://suttacentral.net/mn17/en/sujato
When you live with the eye faculty unrestrained, your mind becomes polluted when it comes to sights known by the eye.
Cakkhundriyaṃ asaṃvutassa, bhikkhave, viharato cittaṃ byāsiñcati cakkhuviññeyyesu rūpesu.

When the mind is polluted, there’s no joy.
tassa byāsittacittassa pāmojjaṃ na hoti.

When there’s no joy, there’s no rapture.
Pāmojje asati pīti na hoti.

When there’s no rapture, there’s no tranquility.
Pītiyā asati passaddhi na hoti.

When there’s no tranquility, there’s suffering.
Passaddhiyā asati dukkhaṃ hoti.

When one is suffering, the mind does not become immersed in samādhi.
Dukkhino cittaṃ na samādhiyati.

When the mind is not immersed in samādhi, principles do not become clear.
Asamāhite citte dhammā na pātubhavanti.


When you live with the ear … nose … tongue … body …mind

https://suttacentral.net/sn35.97/en/sujato
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

frank k
Posts: 327
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm

Re: What is not Jhana?

Post by frank k » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:44 am

This article by B. Thanissaro will help, one of the best pieces of advice you'll ever get.
"Jhana not by the numbers"
http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/c ... ndex.html
The 4 jhanas are not an exact science, that's part of the reason there's controversy over exactly what it entails.
AN 5.28, the 4 jhana similes gives a good description of what jhana can feel like, but not everyone gets bliss as intensely as the similes imply, they aren't completely reliable as markers.
It's best to learn from qualified teachers who are EBT compliant.
Good references would be anything Thanissaro wrote, Bhante Gunaratana's more recent work (not his early stuff where he still believed Abhidhamma and VRJ).

You really don't want to get advice from Dhamma forums, too many wrong views to filter out that you can't see which ones are actually useful.


bridif1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:01 pm
Hi!

I've seen several threads and debates on what constitutes Jhana, and there seems to be no agreement on a definitive conclussion.

So I think if we can pose this question from a slightly different perspective (maybe this was done before, and if so, I'm really sorry), we can gain some insight not perceived before.

What is NOT Jhana?
What can be clearly excluded from Jhana?
What elements are indisputably not part of what is expected to happen during Jhana?

I'd be really thankful if some sutta evidence is brought to the front to support any claim.

Thanks for your time and patience!
http://www.audtip.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Audio Sutta Recordings

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