Why it is said that some contemplations can't lead to higher jhanas?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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rbrtmdr2
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Why it is said that some contemplations can't lead to higher jhanas?

Post by rbrtmdr2 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:56 pm

When people list objects that can be used in meditation they generally present them saying that some objetcs can only take you to the first jhana (as with corpses) and others could lead up to the 4th jhana. But if it is instructed that when the 1st jhana arises the object becomes so subtle that you can't focus on it anymore and you have to shift your attention to the feelings that arise during jhana (then, as your practice deepens you should recongize the dukkha of vitaka for example and drop it in order to progress, etc) why are the objects discriminated in that fashion? Wouldn't it be the case that every object that can lead you to the 1st jhana consequentially opens the door to the higher states?

Or did I get jhana all wrong?

Also, someone told me Thanissaro Bhikkhu has reservations about the use of kasinas saying this practice is "wrong concentration", but I've not been able to find anything about it, have you guys heard about it?

:anjali:

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The Thinker
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Re: Why it is said that some contemplations can't lead to higher jhanas?

Post by The Thinker » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:28 pm

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikkh ... Wisdom.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; hope this helps.
Part of the controversy over this question may be explained by the fact that the commentarial literature defines jhana in terms that bear little resemblance to the canonical description. The Path of Purification -- the cornerstone of the commentarial system -- takes as its paradigm for meditation practice a method called kasina, in which one stares at an external object until the image of the object is imprinted in one's mind. The image then gives rise to a countersign that is said to indicate the attainment of threshold concentration, a necessary prelude to jhana. The text then tries to fit all other meditation methods into the mold of kasina practice, so that they too give rise to countersigns, but even by its own admission, breath meditation does not fit well into the mold: with other methods, the stronger one's focus, the more vivid the object and the closer it is to producing a sign and countersign; but with the breath, the stronger one's focus, the harder the object is to detect. As a result, the text states that only Buddhas and Buddhas' sons find the breath a congenial focal point for attaining jhana.

None of these assertions have any support in the Canon. Although a practice called kasina is mentioned tangentially in some of the discourses, the only point where it is described in any detail [M.121; MFU, pp. 82-85] makes no mention of staring at an object or gaining a countersign. If breath meditation were congenial only to Buddhas and their sons, there seems little reason for the Buddha to have taught it so frequently and to such a wide variety of people. If the arising of a countersign were essential to the attainment of jhana, one would expect it to be included in the steps of breath meditation and in the graphic analogies used to describe jhana, but it isn't. Some Theravadins insist that questioning the commentaries is a sign of disrespect for the tradition, but it seems to be a sign of greater disrespect for the Buddha -- or the compilers of the Canon -- to assume that he or they would have left out something absolutely essential to the practice
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

FluffyChicken
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Re: Why it is said that some contemplations can't lead to higher jhanas?

Post by FluffyChicken » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:08 pm

In the Vimuttimagga, pg. 63, Method of discerning the qualities it describes the issues with some objects, such as bliss, which is transcended to go into the subsequently deeper states. There may also be a problem when a person clings to the physical object, which I noticed some teachers encourage, such as focusing on the physical object and reject a deepening. Like a boat used to cross a river, even the boat is needed to be left behind to continue on one's travels, some folks stay by the boat and miss out on the rest of the journey.

A problem I've listened to on youtube:P, as a danger, is that people cling to the physical object, carry it around, etc., but found that to be a misunderstanding of inherent nature of the objects so a non sequitur. (Also detailed in the Vimuttimagga). I did have a retreat teacher tell me it was wrong concentration, it's all about form(body) not to leave that object, but never he nor his apprentice elaborated(I didn't push it as I got lots of Huh?s and perplexed error 404 looks), but the teacher did discuss his problems with addiction so I can only fathom that is his reasoning. Personally speaking though, I can't see how one could experience the formless states with such a form-based clinging. So....

linkie to ebook(http://urbandharma.org/pdf1/Path_of_Fre ... imagga.pdf)

SarathW
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Re: Why it is said that some contemplations can't lead to higher jhanas?

Post by SarathW » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:46 pm

This is how I see it .

The concentration can be directed towards six direction.

- Towards attachment or increase attachment
- Towards Aversion or increase aversion
- Towards ignorance or increase ignorance

- Towards Non attachment or generosity
- Towards non aversion or loving kindness
- Towards wisdom or wholesome equanimity

The above results are depend on the initial meditation object and the view associate with it.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 20#p376932" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There are different level of concentration depend on what is your ultimate object of your meditation.
Say if you keep opposite sex as you meditation object your ultimate object is sexual gratification.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

dhammarelax
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:59 pm

Re: Why it is said that some contemplations can't lead to higher jhanas?

Post by dhammarelax » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:38 pm

rbrtmdr2 wrote:When people list objects that can be used in meditation they generally present them saying that some objetcs can only take you to the first jhana (as with corpses) and others could lead up to the 4th jhana. But if it is instructed that when the 1st jhana arises the object becomes so subtle that you can't focus on it anymore and you have to shift your attention to the feelings that arise during jhana (then, as your practice deepens you should recongize the dukkha of vitaka for example and drop it in order to progress, etc) why are the objects discriminated in that fashion? Wouldn't it be the case that every object that can lead you to the 1st jhana consequentially opens the door to the higher states?

Or did I get jhana all wrong?

Also, someone told me Thanissaro Bhikkhu has reservations about the use of kasinas saying this practice is "wrong concentration", but I've not been able to find anything about it, have you guys heard about it?

:anjali:
Heard this before but never saw it in the Suttas with the exception of Metta, in the Sutta Accompanied by Loving Kindness it says that Metta when practiced with the 6 awakening factors it leads maximum to the 4rth Jhana, and i can say this is correct, however depending on your practice all the Jhanas serve as a base for superlative progress, moreover even the 1rst jhana can lead to awakening:

In the Jhanna Sutta:

""Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very dhamma-passion, this very dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five of the fetters[1] — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world."

After you attain the first Jhana by any method, develop it to the very maximum and learn how to stay in it.

smile
dhammarelax
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

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