Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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khlawng
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Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by khlawng » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:13 am

Image

with all due respect to AB,
this public post on facebook is quite problematic for me.
it proclaims a narrow definition of jhana to be authentic,
and at the same time,
thumbs down all other jhanic experience taught by other teachers.

we can all agree that the definition of what jhana is or is not will always be a contentious issue.
this has been debated to death on DW.
but as a member of the sangha,
i thought it would be better to keep proclaimation like these private.

to be clear,
i have never been a big fan of AB's style of teaching.
but i still do respect his work in spreading the dhamma.
but this... truely dissapointing.

SarathW
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:19 am

Can you tell me why you do not like his statement.
The way I understand.

Second Jhana - Verbal fabrication ceases
Second Jhana - Bodly fabrication ceases
Third Jhana - Mental fabrication ceases.

:thinking:

PS: Please see Santa's post below for more accurate description.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 80#p342906" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by SarathW on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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khlawng
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by khlawng » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:28 am

SarathW wrote:Can you tell me why you do not like his statement.
The way I understand.

Second Jhana - Verbal fabrication ceases
Second Jhana - Bodly fabrication ceases
Third Jhana - Mental fabrication ceases.

:thinking:
oh boy...

The Great Jhana Debate

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bodom
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by bodom » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:29 am

The page is not run by Ajahn Brahm himself. They merely post random quotes from him.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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mikenz66
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:10 am

See also:
Monks who teach jhana and Pacittiya rule 8.

As Bhikkhu Pesala says there, application of the Vinaya is a matter for the monastics.

This is something any monastic teaching jhana, or the progress of insight, etc, has to navigate around in some way, usually by depersonalizing it: "The experience is like: ...". Any active retreat teacher will have had discussions from hundreds, if not thousands, of students, so they can quite easily say: "that's what is reported".

:anjali:
Mike

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khlawng
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by khlawng » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:26 am

bodom wrote:The page is not run by Ajahn Brahm himself. They merely post random quotes from him.

:namaste:
there is a more than casual link b/w Bodhinayana SG and AB.
so long as the post is public and attributable,
I don't think it is just a random quote.

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khlawng
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by khlawng » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:See also:
Monks who teach jhana and Pacittiya rule 8.

As Bhikkhu Pesala says there, application of the Vinaya is a matter for the monastics.

This is something any monastic teaching jhana, or the progress of insight, etc, has to navigate around in some way, usually by depersonalizing it: "The experience is like: ...". Any active retreat teacher will have had discussions from hundreds, if not thousands, of students, so they can quite easily say: "that's what is reported".

:anjali:
Mike
it is not the tippy toey exercise around the vinaya rules that I have a problem with.

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mikenz66
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:35 am

What would you suggest then? There are suttas where the Buddha and others explain jhana factors and so on to lay people.

:anjali:
Mike

SarathW
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:38 am

khlawng wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:See also:
Monks who teach jhana and Pacittiya rule 8.

As Bhikkhu Pesala says there, application of the Vinaya is a matter for the monastics.

This is something any monastic teaching jhana, or the progress of insight, etc, has to navigate around in some way, usually by depersonalizing it: "The experience is like: ...". Any active retreat teacher will have had discussions from hundreds, if not thousands, of students, so they can quite easily say: "that's what is reported".

:anjali:
Mike
it is not the tippy toey exercise around the vinaya rules that I have a problem with.
What is the problem?
Probably we can discuss it.
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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robertk
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:02 am

Of course ven. Brahmavamso is correct when he says there can be no hearing in even the first jhana, quite impossible. Nor feeling of body or anything related to the sensual world..

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khlawng
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by khlawng » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:47 am

it proclaims a narrow definition of jhana to be authentic,
and at the same time,
thumbs down all other jhanic experience taught by other teachers.
if you say this is how i experience it, FULLSTOP,
i think that is fine.
but to say this is the only authentic definition of it,
all others are not,
then my question is,
how do you reconcile the fact that there are other qualified teachers that says differently?

SarathW
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:47 am

I think Ajhan is talking about Buddhist meditation.
What is Jhana according to Sutta definition.
:reading:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammanando
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:56 am

khlawng wrote:with all due respect to AB,
this public post on facebook is quite problematic for me.
it proclaims a narrow definition of jhana to be authentic,
and at the same time,
thumbs down all other jhanic experience taught by other teachers.

we can all agree that the definition of what jhana is or is not will always be a contentious issue.
this has been debated to death on DW.
but as a member of the sangha,
i thought it would be better to keep proclaimation like these private.
If the ajahn's got an opinion on what authentic jhāna is and regards rival conceptions of jhāna as mistaken, on what grounds do you think he should hold back from saying so in the public arena?

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waterchan
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by waterchan » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:53 pm

khlawng wrote: but to say this is the only authentic definition of it,
all others are not,
This is a misrepresentation. I'm quite familiar with Ajahn Brahm's books and teachings, and he has never said anything of the sort.

santa100
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by santa100 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:24 pm

khlawng wrote:with all due respect to AB,
this public post on facebook is quite problematic for me.
it proclaims a narrow definition of jhana to be authentic,
and at the same time,
thumbs down all other jhanic experience taught by other teachers.
We can always go back to the suttas to see things for ourselves:
SN 36.11 wrote:Then, monk, I have also taught the step-by-step stilling of fabrications. When one has attained the first jhāna, speech has been stilled. When one has attained the second jhāna, directed thought & evaluation have been stilled. When one has attained the third jhāna, rapture has been stilled. When one has attained the fourth jhāna, in-and-out breathing has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of space, the perception of forms has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of nothingness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of neither-perception nor non-perception, the perception of the dimension of nothingness has been stilled. When one has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, perception & feeling have been stilled. When a monk's effluents have ended, passion has been stilled, aversion has been stilled, delusion has been stilled.

SarathW
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:50 pm

Thanks Santa
- In which Jhana hearing stops?
- In which jhana thinking stops?
- Does speech stilled mean , stilling verbal and mental speech?
- Does stilled directed thought and evaluation mean stilling Papanca?
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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khlawng
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by khlawng » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:30 am

Dhammanando wrote: If the ajahn's got an opinion on what authentic jhāna is and regards rival conceptions of jhāna as mistaken, on what grounds do you think he should hold back from saying so in the public arena?
dear bhante, on the following grounds:

(a) that there is no singular acceptable agreeable source of what an individual of different cultivational level can or cannot experience in the jhanas.
(b) that this quote is vague and has no proper contextual background to it.
(c) that it alienates the different teaching among different buddhist teachers from different lineages.
(d) that it does not accord proper merit to the different jhanic techniques taught by different buddhist teachers to reach the ultimate goal of realising the buddha's teaching.
(e) that it risk introducing unnecessary doubts to new cultivators embarking on the path.
(f) that it reinforces doubts among certain groups of practitioners that believes the buddha's path to enlightenment via the jhanas are no longer accessible in this life time because it just too difficult.

words should not serve to fracture us,
instead they should unite us,
towards the common goal,
of purifying the mind,
to realise the buddha's teaching,
to attain nibbana.

when one relies on translated ancient text that states the benefits of eating fruits,
what is the point of insisting apples are the one and only true fruit today,
and that all oranges are not beneficial fruits and
farmers growing oranges should not be called fruit farmers.

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khlawng
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by khlawng » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:31 am

waterchan wrote:
khlawng wrote: but to say this is the only authentic definition of it,
all others are not,
This is a misrepresentation. I'm quite familiar with Ajahn Brahm's books and teachings, and he has never said anything of the sort.
thank you waterchan.
appreciate your input,
and i do hope this is the case indeed.

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khlawng
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by khlawng » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:35 am

santa100 wrote: We can always go back to the suttas to see things for ourselves:
SN 36.11 wrote:Then, monk, I have also taught the step-by-step stilling of fabrications. When one has attained the first jhāna, speech has been stilled. When one has attained the second jhāna, directed thought & evaluation have been stilled. When one has attained the third jhāna, rapture has been stilled. When one has attained the fourth jhāna, in-and-out breathing has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of space, the perception of forms has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of nothingness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness has been stilled. When one has attained the dimension of neither-perception nor non-perception, the perception of the dimension of nothingness has been stilled. When one has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, perception & feeling have been stilled. When a monk's effluents have ended, passion has been stilled, aversion has been stilled, delusion has been stilled.
and are you saying that the above can OR cannot be summarise to the following sentence:

"If you can still hear or think when you're experiencing 'jhana', well - it's not Jhana! "

SarathW
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:41 am

khlawng wrote:
waterchan wrote:
khlawng wrote: but to say this is the only authentic definition of it,
all others are not,
This is a misrepresentation. I'm quite familiar with Ajahn Brahm's books and teachings, and he has never said anything of the sort.
thank you waterchan.
appreciate your input,
and i do hope this is the case indeed.
We should not make a judgement about a person or a thing by just analysing two sentences.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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