Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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mikenz66
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:00 am

SarathW wrote:Can I safely say that there is no word as such "Vipassana Jhana" in Sutta?
:thinking:
My impression is that it's U Pandita's own informal terminology, not specifically from suttas or commentaries. That particular translation may possibly have emerged out of discussions about the talks at the 1984 IMS retreat that the the book is created from. It might be better to focus on the definitions and discussion that he gives rather than the terminology. It seems to be largely an alternative description of the progress of insight, but emphasising the factors normally associated with the progression through jhanas, such as rapture, happiness, and equanimity.

The terminology might be a stretch. However, suttas such as the one I quoted, and of course the commentaries, do discuss the development of samadhi by watching arising and passing away of phenomena.

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:51 am

The term vipassana jhanas is not a real problem, and can even be useful if understood properly. It relates to the distinction between samatha and vipassana. T
From jim anderson:
"Jhaayatha' is a verb in the 2nd person plural with the -tha ending. In the PED, the verbs are entered in their 3rd pers. sing. forms with the -ti ending. So you will have to look for 'jhaayati' for which you will find two
entries. The first one has the following senses: to meditate, contemplate, think upon, brood over (c. acc.): . . . -- and for the second: to burn, to be on fire: . . . They are derived from two distinct roots. In the commentarial passage from which I quoted "Increase samatha and vipassanaa" in explaining 'jhaayatha' there is also the following comment that helps to clarify the difference between samatha and vipassana: "Meditate (upanijjhaayatha) on the 38 objects (aaramma.na) with the meditation (upanijjhaana) on an object and on aggregates, bases, etc. according to anicca, etc. with the meditation on a characteristic (lakkha.na)." -- MA i 195." end of section by Jim Anderson
.
-----------
So When the texts talk about meditation, jhaya, it is useful to know that there are two types. The Dhammapada 371 :"Meditate, o bhikkhu and be not heedless." (same pali phrase as the sutta you quoted above. The atthakatha says "o bhikkhus meditate by the two kinds of meditative absorptions" And the tika notes that this is twofold in "the sense of meditative absorption that arises depending on an object and meditative absorption that arises dependent on characteristics" The tika later explains this by saying that the first is (p506 note 6 of carter and palihawadana) "the eight attainments (jhanas) to be obtained by training the mind in concentrating on one of the thirty eight objects such as kasina [or metta, or Buddha or Dhamma or breath etc] and the second means 'insight wisdom, path and fruit'..to be obtained by reflecting on the three characteristics'"endquote

Now when it says 'reflecting' this means direct insight into the actual characteristics and conditions of the present moment right up to the vipassana nanas and magga and phala. The Dhammapada pradipaya (see p457 of carter) says "to consider the coming into being of rupa on account of ignorance, craving, kammaand nutrition, and also to see the mere characteristics of its instantaneous coming into being, without looking for causative aspect; thus one should consider the rise of rupa in five ways. Likewise to consider the rise of
the other 4 khandas in the same way...Thus the rise of the pancakkhanda (five aggregates )is seen in 25 ways. To see that the rise of the khandas is stopped by abolishing the causes:ignorance, craving, kamma and nutrition..in this way the cessation of the agregates should be seen" end quote


robert

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:59 am

It might be worth - as this thread has mentioned it- adding that knowing rise and fall is not what some people think.
It happens much after the distinction between mind and matter, nama rupa parichedda nana- and even at that stage the mindoor is "uncovered", as it were. Imagine how profound that just level of wisdom is..

So rise and fall is not something like watching the difference between sense doors, or seeing feelings change or sensations, or this or that: it is a flash of Vision into absolute reality. ( as i understand it)

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:06 am

Thanks for the post above, Robert, I'd forgotten that jhana is used as a general term for meditation, not only for the particular absorptions.

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:11 am

robertk wrote:It might be worth - as this thread has mentioned it- adding that knowing rise and fall is not what some people think.
It happens much after the distinction between mind and matter, nama rupa parichedda nana- and even at that stage the mindoor is "uncovered", as it were. Imagine how profound that just level of wisdom is..

So rise and fall is not something like watching the difference between sense doors, or seeing feelings change or sensations, or this or that: it is a flash of Vision into absolute reality. ( as i understand it)
Yes, clearly there is a difference between "knowing rise and fall" and just "observing changing phenomena".

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:34 am

mikenz66 wrote: Yes, clearly there is a difference between "knowing rise and fall" and just "observing changing phenomena".
It is, however, from the just "observing changing phenomena"' that the "knowing rise and fall" comes as concentration and mindfulness are cultivated.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:42 am

Of course. It would not seem logically possible to "know" the rise and fall without first "observing" at a more mundane level.

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:46 am

I think the term Vipassana Jhana is confusing the issue.
When you are in the knowing stage of Vipassana, Nimitta appears as a bright light.
Then you have to decided whether you are going in the direction of Jhana or the continue with Vipassana process of training.
This matter is clearly discuss by Joseph Goldstein in his Satipatthana series.
If you go in the direction of the Jhana you are only suppressing the five hindrances. (which is called Jhana attainments)
If you go in the direction of the Training you eliminate the five hindrances. (which is called Samadhi. ie. Arhattphala , Sotapanna etc)
Person who perfected Training can get in to Jhana in a very quick way as he eliminated five hindrances.
Accordingly you can identify 20 type of supermundane consciousness as per Abhidhamma.
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by clw_uk » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:57 pm

Mike
Is it right to say that the first two don't?
The Theravada interpretation would be that they are useful preparations that purify the mind, so in that sense they could "lead" to insight. However, as Robert points out, if on is in jhana (and Ajahn Brahm's/the Commentators' definition is correct) then insight is only possible after emerging.

:anjali:
Mike

But then how do we understand this sutta?

"Here, with seclusion from the acquisitions, with the abandoning of unwholesome states, with the complete tranquillization of bodily inertia, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion.

Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumour, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element thus: ‘This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna.’"

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn64


It seems like the meditator is aware of sensory input whilst in jhana?
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by clw_uk » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:21 pm

Although in support of AB there is this sutta
'In a confining place, he found an opening —
the one of extensive wisdom,
the awakened one who awakened to jhana,[1]
the chief bull, withdrawn,
the sage.'
"Now which, my friend, is the confining place? And which opening in the confining place is the Blessed One said to have attained?"

[Ven. Ananda:] "The five strings of sensuality, my friend, are described by the Blessed One as a confining place. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing; sounds cognizable via the ear... smells cognizable via the nose... tastes cognizable via the tongue... tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. These five strings of sensuality are described by the Blessed One as a confining place.

"Now there is the case where a monk — quite secluded from sensuality,[2] secluded from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, though followed by a sequel. For even there there's a confining place. What is the confining place there? Just that directed thought & evaluation have not ceased. This is the confining place there.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Aloka » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:25 pm

Something that might be relevant to this topic:

A Critique of Brahmavamso's "The Jhanas"

by Ven Yuttadhammo

http://yuttadhammo.sirimangalo.org/2011 ... hanas.html


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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by clw_uk » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:57 pm

A really good read here

The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation
by Henepola Gunaratana


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 1.html#ch3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:24 am

clw_uk wrote:Mike
Is it right to say that the first two don't?
The Theravada interpretation would be that they are useful preparations that purify the mind, so in that sense they could "lead" to insight. However, as Robert points out, if on is in jhana (and Ajahn Brahm's/the Commentators' definition is correct) then insight is only possible after emerging.

:anjali:
Mike

But then how do we understand this sutta?

"Here, with seclusion from the acquisitions, with the abandoning of unwholesome states, with the complete tranquillization of bodily inertia, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion.

Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumour, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element thus: ‘This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna.’"

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn64


It seems like the meditator is aware of sensory input whilst in jhana?
Sylvester and others have addressed this point a number of times, such as:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... &start=100
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p289089
The second paragraph is not necessarily contemporaneous with the first.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by clw_uk » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:24 pm

Mike -
Sylvester and others have addressed this point a number of times, such as:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... &start=100
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p289089
The second paragraph is not necessarily contemporaneous with the first.

:anjali:
Mike

Thanks :D
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