jhana required?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Mr Man
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Re: jhana required?

Post by Mr Man » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:58 pm

daverupa wrote:
Mr Man wrote:I will put forward the Adittapariyaya Sutta
So, that sutta isn't very clear on preceding practices, is it? For example, what can we assume about how those monks practiced? The patimokkha, restraint of the senses, food restraint, mindfulness and clear comprehension... were these practices done?

Or was speaking that sutta like a magic spell, which the Buddha cast upon those monks?

Well I would say they were ripe to receive the teaching but you are right it is not clear if they practiced Jhana.

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Cittasanto
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Re: jhana required?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:29 pm

Hi
I would say that it is reasonable to conclude that it is central from those things, reasonable to conclude that it is highly valuable - but still not necessary.
if something is central it is necessary as it shapes and operates with everything else.
a central aspect of a theory requires that aspect to be there otherwise it falls apart. a central aspect of a building requires it to be there otherwise it falls apart.
I can't prove that malunkyaputta and bahiya had never experienced jhana, just that bahiya wasn't experiencing jhana during the moment of his awakening, neither were several others talked about as gaining awakening. Unless you claim that simply experiencing jhana at some point in your life opens the door to insight further down the road when you aren't actually experiencing jhana. This seems like a strange claim, a more reasonable claim would be that being in jhana was necessary to enhance one's powers of discernment enough to cut through defilement, but clearly noble attainments occur in the suttas when people aren't in jhana.
equating the enlightenment experience with the actual presence of Jhana at the time is different from it being necessary for enlightenment to happen.
I couldn't find the place in the suttas where the buddha praised the arahants who had the jhanas, sorry. As for the other reference - here is the quote from the dhammapada (the rest of what you asked me to reference were just my opinions on the quote):
There's no jhana
for one with no discernment,
no discernment
for one with no jhana.
But one with both jhana
& discernment:
he's on the verge
of Unbinding.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#dhp-372" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I only asked for what you were referring to, not where your personal opinions are placed in the texts.
I would suggest you find a reference to an Arahant not having Jhana Attainments.
It is still my opinion that according to the suttas jhanas are optional (insofar as jhanas are specific states of concentration, rather than concentration generally). I make this thread for the many people on the dry-insight path who might accept the suttas as authoritative and have doubt due to sutta-interpretations of jhana-necessity. I am not really making this regarding my own practice, I really just want this to be a discussion of the suttas, sorry if i derailed it by mentioning my practice in the OP.
there are far to many references to right concentration as the Jhanas being attained through different ways such as the precious quote from MN117 and similar passages regarding the factors to awakening and pericopes such as this found in the chinese version of the satipatthana sutta
Translated from the Chinese by NJ Smith, 10/2001. wrote:“Whatever Ones-Thus-Come there were... There will be... and I, the current Thus-Come-One, that do not cling to complete right enlightenment, all have cut the five hindrances which pollute the mind and weaken wisdom, established the mind and rightly abide in the four foundations of mindfulness, practised the seven limbs of awakening and realised enlightenment, the unsurpassed right and perfect enlightenment.”
which does have a corresponding version found in the pali texts although I can not place it right now.(if anyone knows where it is I would like to know its exact placement as I have lost the reference!)

this argument that Jhana is not necessary comes from the compartmental period where dry insight started to be described. this is not a sutta distinction, nor an abhidhamma distinction (i do not believe,) but a useful means to understand an aspect of the path. the suttas are quite clear that calm and insight go hand in hand, and your quote from AN4.41 does show the distinction to an extent as samādhi looks like it is being used in a general sense, but that does not mean that they do not intermingle in practice or one can supplant another when a specific definition is used to describe an aspect elsewhere. do remember that the other forms can be seen elsewhere and due to the frequency of the definition of the Jhanas being Sammasamadhi it is accurate to say that this is the culmination & full development of appropriate practice whether through a sequential Noble Eightfold path as described in Mn117 or of the factors of Awakening.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
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ohnofabrications
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Re: jhana required?

Post by ohnofabrications » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:11 am

hi Cittasanto,

I think we mostly agree on the things you stated, but I still don't interpret the pali canon such that awakening can't possibly occur without jhana.

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Hanzze
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Re: jhana required?

Post by Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:37 am

Maybe this listing is useful to get not caught by names:

Concentration:
Four Bases for Power
Right Concentration (Eightfold Path)
Rapture (Factors for Awakening)
Serenity (Factors for Awakening)
Concentration (Factors for Awakening)
Equanimity (Factors for Awakening)
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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ground
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Re: jhana required?

Post by ground » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:37 am

ohnofabrications wrote:I think we mostly agree on the things you stated, but I still don't interpret the pali canon such that awakening can't possibly occur without jhana.
The misunderstanding occurs when the idea "jhana" and the idea engendered by descriptions of the ascending process from jhana 1 upwards is reified. The question "Is jhana required?" should be replaced by "what are the characteristics of the nama-rupa state required?" because the attainment of this state does not require the ascencing process but this state can obviously be "entered" spontaneously which is indicated by suttas showing that only through listening disciples of the Buddha had attained liberation.

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Hanzze
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Re: jhana required?

Post by Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:45 am

Which does not assume that one did not went through the states of concentration. Or was spontaneously meant as a synonym for "so quick that, while falling from the tree the branches crossed have not been seen".
Of cause, one would maybe not be able to explain who it came that way.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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ground
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Re: jhana required?

Post by ground » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:47 am

Hanzze wrote:Which does not assume that one did not went through the states of concentration.
Of course that is an option. An option, not more and not less.
Hanzze wrote: Or was spontaneously meant as a synonym for "so quick that, while falling from the tree the branches crossed have not been seen".
"spontaneously" in this context means not depending on the ascending process of concentrations.

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Hanzze
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Re: jhana required?

Post by Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:57 am

So the sevenfold path? Or an unconditioned path?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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ground
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Re: jhana required?

Post by ground » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:11 am

When there is a lack of experience there is a lack of certainty. Therefore clinging to the raft of ideas generated after having contacted words may protect some from doubt and the fear arising from that. If clinging to the raft of ideas is helpful through providing felt support for consciousness, a preliminary home for consciousness, then it may be conducive, if not then not.

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Hanzze
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Re: jhana required?

Post by Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:23 am

How does one come to experiances?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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ground
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Re: jhana required?

Post by ground » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:49 am

Hanzze wrote:How does one come to experiances?
"Experience" that entails certainty here does not mean experiences commonly refered to as the khandhas. There is just no other word. If you seek instructions how to attain such kind of "experience" I just can refer you to what the Buddha taught relying that the understanding engendered will match the capacity/inclinations manifested by the heap of khandhas of your sphere.

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Hanzze
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Re: jhana required?

Post by Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:09 am

So the Eightfold Path or the sevenfold Path, to ask directly? Maybe it is importand to say that all the seven sets of awakening (one display is called "the eightfold path) are in reference with the co-depending origin which is nothing else as another projection of operation of the khandhas.

Maybe useful: Concentration & Discernment
We noted in II/A that some of the sets in the Wings to Awakening list jhāna as a condition for discernment, whereas others list discernment as a condition for jhāna. Place both of these patterns into the context of this/that conditionality, and they convey the point that jhāna and discernment in practice are mutually supporting. Passage §171 states this point explicitly, while §165 and §166 show that the difference between the two causal patterns relates to differences in meditators: some develop strong powers of concentration before developing strong discernment, whereas others gain a sound theoretical understanding of the Dhamma before developing strong concentration. In either case, both strong concentration and sound discernment are needed to bring about Awakening. Passage §111 makes the point that when the practice reaches the culmination of its development, concentration and discernment act in tandem. The passages in this section deal with this topic in more detail....
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

hermitwin
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Re: jhana required?

Post by hermitwin » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:36 am

jhana is the state of mind when you have sufficiently let go.
so if you are seeking jhana for pleasure,
rest assured that you will not find it.
DAWN wrote:
hermitwin wrote:jhana is definitely not required.
this is clear from many people who became arahants just by listening to the Buddha.
however, jhana is the inevitable result if you are concentrated in meditation,
unless you deliberately avoid it.
Buddha said the pleasure of the jhana is the one pleasure that he allows himself.
so all the fear of jhana is totally unfounded.
I would just say some word about how jhana brings pleasure:

Jhana state of mind arise from his stillness, from his purety.
When he become suffisently pure and calm, he is able to fill wery thin mouvements of body and mind. Like a pure leaf can show more details rather a dirty leaf.
More mind is pure and calm, more he is sensitive

And this very thin sensation in body and mind brings pleasure, but we must be carefull about this pleasure, dont apropriate it, dont identify with it, if the one is wise he will dont be delight in this pleasure, but be awere of that is feeling this pleasure, dwell in it, anyway if he will apropriate it and identify with it, it will disapear, so he have not a choice. It's may be paradoxal, but to get this pleasure you must take a distance with it, dont delight in it, because this pleasure it's not a fruit, is not a realisation, it's a consequance of fruit, consequance of realisation, so we have to be wise, and dont dwell in want is impermanent, but in what is permanent

When this plasure is known it's easy to stop sex, drugs, and others plesant addictions, it's like a match and bonfire. But at the same moment, if our mind will still be disturbed by sex, drugs or other, he dont will be calm and pure, and dont will rich this kind of state...
Aniway is not the aim, it's a bonus, it's not the cake, is the cherry on the cake. It's important to know.

But anyway, if the one is a meditative addict, and the one seek for pleasure he dont will attain this kind of pleasure, so the one who will attaint it will naturaly know what to do with this pleasure, how to work with it. So my post is adressed to those who seek for pleasure of jhana, and not for the purity of mind.

With regards :meditate:

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Re: jhana required?

Post by Viscid » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:00 pm

Also from Shankman and Thanissaro in "The Experience of Samadhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation"

RS: There are examples in the suttas of people attaining at least some level of deep insight of awakening apparently without jhāna or deep meditation practices.

AT: These are the cases where people gain awakening while listening to teachings. But we don't know what their minds were doing as they sat there listening. Usually the teaching was pointing directly to something going on in their minds, so they started observing their minds, entered concentration, and gained release.

RS: There are teachers who tend to shy away from jhāna as being not necessary at all and even a potential trap.

AT: The Buddha wasn't one of them. There are some people who tend to be psychologically unstable and have to be very careful about how they handle states of concentration, but in general, if you have right view about jhāna, it's not dangerous at all.
Now there are some people who say jhāna isn't necessary, that it can be a hindrance because you can become attached to the experiences and mistake the aruppas for Nibbāna. But there are lots of things you can mistake for Nibbāna. If you're doing what you think is vipassana and you hit, say, a state of nonperception-- you may think that's cessation, the end of suffering. But the danger doesn't lie in the state. It's in how you interpret it. No matter what your technique, if you're the sort of person who tends to overinterpret your attainment, you're going to hear in that direction no matter what. Some people tend to be very good at denial, they're good at not seeing their own defilements, and they can use the one-pointed kind of jhāna to exacerbate the problem. But they can also do that with any of the vipassana techniques.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: jhana required?

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:07 pm

ohnofabrications wrote:hi Cittasanto,

I think we mostly agree on the things you stated, but I still don't interpret the pali canon such that awakening can't possibly occur without jhana.
without knowing what you think we agree on here I doubt there is
There is one thing I will add.
it is worth remembering that during the Mahavihara/Abhiyagiri "war" in Sri Lanka it became important to keep the canon for future generations. as a result the pali canon in comparison to the chinese canon has a academic neuance to it.
the Chinese canon and the pali canon have a pericope which is almost the same except that meditation is emphasised more.
without directly quoting they go something like this with the extra found in the chinese in brackets
"as the monks listened to the dhamma of the blessed one their minds became gladdened [they practised what they were taught] and 500 monks became Arahants."
the extra is implied and doesn't specifically require spelling out but it is a possible omition which can be dated to the same time as when academics became seen as more necessary and this theory that Jhana isn't necessary became seen.

do remember what the Buddha says regarding disrespect for concentration and what leads to non decline
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
AN7.33 wrote:Respecting the Teacher respecting the Dhamma, and with fierce respect for the Sangha, respecting concentration, ardent, and with fierce respect for training, having admirable friends, compliant, deferential, respectful — incapable of decline — one is right in the presence of unbinding.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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