http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana
It comes to my mind when the Buddha says I teach suffering and the end of suffering, heaven is not the end of suffering so I wonder if he would actually teach something just to gain a rebirth in paradise, I remember reading that Ajahn Brahms stated that rebirth in heaven is a desirable thing but I am not sure about this.
smile all the time
Yes, I'm pretty sure that the Buddha taught the way to favorable births such as heaven, and perhaps more importantly the way to avoid unfavorable ones. There are good reasons for these kind of teachings. Firstly, it is difficult to practice under certain unfavorable circumstances. Secondly, it is not so different from liberation. It is, after all, wholesome kamma. Thirdly, some people might not have the right circumstances to practice very intently in this life.
I'm wondering whether it is a difference in goals that is the cause for these kind of distinctions (lay metta vs ordained anapanasati) that we find in the suttas. After all, I think right view is far more important for attaining nibbana than a specific meditation practice.
Also, where to do get this idea "4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana"? I'm pretty sure that, if we are talking suttas here, that such high attainments are pretty much off limits for a non-anagami layperson.
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"And how is awareness-release through equanimity developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation?
"There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening accompanied by equanimity, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening accompanied by equanimity, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful. Or, with the complete transcending of the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, (perceiving,) 'There is nothing,' he enters & remains in the sphere of nothingness. I tell you, monks, awareness-release through equanimity has the sphere of nothingness as its excellence — in the case of one who has penetrated to no higher release."
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5