My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
SarathW
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by SarathW » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:45 am

LB's describes (elsewhere) may not match what these words really mean.
This is a good point.
That is why I suggested to stick with Sutta description.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

pyluyten
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by pyluyten » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:27 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:14 pm
Didn’t know what it was. But I knew what it seemed like so I started searching online. It took s few months to piece together
[...]
Then I discover that my experience is not considered authentic by the same teacher who taught the samatha in the first place.
You seem to be really open to look at what happens, which is really great. I wish you to find the support.
You certainly know the kalama sutta!
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

SunWuKong
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by SunWuKong » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:28 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:21 am
SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:11 pm
Finally, the hindrance of doubt (vicikiccha) is explained as uncertainty with regard to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha and the training." Bhante Gunaratana
Doubt has many contexts in the suttas. Gunaratana is referring to "fetter" (samyojana). I was referring to "hindrance" (nivarana). As I suggested, when the mind reaches jhana, it should know without any doubt. In other words, no teacher should be required.
Abandoning the Hindrances

Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness & alertness, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a wilderness, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a forest grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will & anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will & anger. Abandoning sloth & drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth & drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth & drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness & anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness & anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

The Four Jhānas
Having abandoned these five hindrances — imperfections of awareness that weaken discernment — then, quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.

"With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance (self-confidence).

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:alien:
SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:14 am
Okay - were I was at during Rains Retreat in 2009 - pīti & sukha, sometimes cittass'ekaggatā, then one one or two occasions all these dropped away leaving only upekkhii-sati-piirisuddhl. Recently 2017-2018 pīti & sukha typically, but ekaggata less frequent, upekkhii - not yet. The difference being in 2009 i was applying bare knuckles attention, which i don't do now. The years in between were erroneously wasted thinking time wasn't of the essence.
Not every experience of piti & sukha is jhana. The primary characteristic of jhana is silence or the suspension of thought & speech. When real jhana is attained, there is obviously no tendency to talk about it.
SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:14 am
Basing all this on the handy Leigh Brasington chart.
Leigh Brasington descriptions of jhana often don't match with experiences of the most basic meditators. Leigh Brasington looks for feelings to volitionally concoct.
SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:14 am
The other oddity - in 2009 i wasn't even observing 5 precepts. A moral life by Christian standards, but now, 2018, i find not observing 5 Precepts too difficult, more difficult than observing them. My main needs are locating teachings and teachers compatible with life experience which i can, and won't try to change.
I imagine if jhana was reached, not only would not following the five precepts be difficult, but talking would be difficult.
For one who has attained the first jhana, speech has ceased.

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn36.11
:candle:
SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:14 am
...cittass'ekaggatā...
Maybe it would be useful if you described in more detail what cittass'ekaggatā is?
In practical layman’s terms, one pointed attention silences directed thought, applied thought. Only subtle thought and feeling remains which recognizes that it is happening. At first it may be pleasurable, joyous, but eventually even those feelings are gone over. All that remains is a general sense of equanimity. Only a trace of mental activity exists, beyond that there’s no memory of an experience, so it’s impossible to say anything about it. Such and such; this is still while sitting on the zafu. The same states arising while in daily activity are a whole different matter, but also possible as well as desirable.

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DooDoot
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:39 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:28 pm
In practical layman’s terms, one pointed attention silences directed thought, applied thought. Only subtle thought and feeling remains which recognizes that it is happening. At first it may be pleasurable, joyous, but eventually even those feelings are gone over. All that remains is a general sense of equanimity.
I read cittaekaggata relates to unmovingness, as follows:
The one-consciousness in time produces the extraordinary stability of the
first jhana, allowing it to last effortlessly for such a long period of time.
The concept of time relies on measuring intervals: from past to present or
from present to future of from past to future. When all that is perceived
within the first jhana is the precise moment of now, then there is no
room for measuring time. All intervals have closed. It is replaced with
the perception of timelessness, unmoving.

http://dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.pdf
:candle:
SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:28 pm
Only a trace of mental activity exists, beyond that there’s no memory of an experience, so it’s impossible to say anything about it.
If the Buddha described jhana, I guess this mind must have experienced & remembered them.

Metta. Good night from here. :meditate:

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manas
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by manas » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:13 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:14 pm
My experience with jhana/samadhi is leading me somewhere I just need a road map and some fellow travelers.
Hi, the best road map I've found, is from the Samannaphala Sutta. I'm only posting the section from 'abandoning the hindrances' on, up to the first jhana, but there is much more in the sutta. What comes before this passage, is an outline of the necessary foundations, such as virtue, guarding the sense-doors, and practicing mindfulness & alertness.
Abandoning the Hindrances

"Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness and alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

"Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth and drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth and drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth and drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

"Suppose that a man, taking a loan, invests it in his business affairs. His business affairs succeed. He repays his old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining his wife. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, taking a loan, I invested it in my business affairs. Now my business affairs have succeeded. I have repaid my old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining my wife.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man falls sick — in pain and seriously ill. He does not enjoy his meals, and there is no strength in his body. As time passes, he eventually recovers from that sickness. He enjoys his meals and there is strength in his body. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was sick... Now I am recovered from that sickness. I enjoy my meals and there is strength in my body.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man is bound in prison. As time passes, he eventually is released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was bound in prison. Now I am released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man is a slave, subject to others, not subject to himself, unable to go where he likes. As time passes, he eventually is released from that slavery, subject to himself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where he likes. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was a slave... Now I am released from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where I like.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man, carrying money and goods, is traveling by a road through desolate country. As time passes, he eventually emerges from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, carrying money and goods, I was traveling by a road through desolate country. Now I have emerged from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"In the same way, when these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security. Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

(The Four Jhanas)
"Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again and again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within and without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal.

"This is a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more sublime. (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html)
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

SunWuKong
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by SunWuKong » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:03 pm

manas wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:13 pm
SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:14 pm
My experience with jhana/samadhi is leading me somewhere I just need a road map and some fellow travelers.
Hi, the best road map I've found, is from the Samannaphala Sutta. I'm only posting the section from 'abandoning the hindrances' on, up to the first jhana, but there is much more in the sutta. Wha(https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html)
[/quote]
Thank you

SunWuKong
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by SunWuKong » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:14 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:39 pm
SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:28 pm
In practical layman’s terms, one pointed attention silences directed thought, applied thought. Only subtle thought and feeling remains which recognizes that it is happening. At first it may be pleasurable, joyous, but eventually even those feelings are gone over. All that remains is a general sense of equanimity.
I read cittaekaggata relates to unmovingness, as follows:
The one-consciousness in time produces the extraordinary stability of the
first jhana, allowing it to last effortlessly for such a long period of time.
The concept of time relies on measuring intervals: from past to present or
from present to future of from past to future. When all that is perceived
within the first jhana is the precise moment of now, then there is no
room for measuring time. All intervals have closed. It is replaced with
the perception of timelessness, unmoving.

http://dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.pdf
:candle:
SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:28 pm
Only a trace of mental activity exists, beyond that there’s no memory of an experience, so it’s impossible to say anything about it.
If the Buddha described jhana, I guess this mind must have experienced & remembered them.

Metta. Good night from here. :meditate:
A couple of notes: passing through Piti, the body becomes energized, erect, stable, circulation flows well. Physical pain from sitting is unlikely. The passage of time, one moment flowing forward yet remaining as one moment, that’s a wonderful feeling. I’d never considered the possibility of it lending itself to longer sessions because I’ve never had the luxury of time to do so. Anyway anyone still following this thread, for me one hour sessions are necessary for me to move beyond the turbulence if daily life and to find truly quiet mind and heart, to direct it to Dhamma

SunWuKong
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by SunWuKong » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:01 am

You guys are great thanks for all the feed back. It’s given me a lot to work with.

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:29 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:14 pm
So, as you may or may not know, Anapanasati, Satipatthana, samatha, Vipassana are taught in Theraveda, Mahāyāna, and Vajrayana programs. So what I was taught in the mindfulness practices in Thich Nhat Hanhs organization was simply samatha, and after about ten years of doing it I took it out and wondered if it needed fixing. I decided it needed more bare attention and wakefulness. And this was the result: strange things started happening. Didn’t know what it was. But I knew what it seemed like so I started searching online. It took s few months to piece together but it had something to do with samadhi and jhana. At first it was great but at the same time I didn’t have support from teacher or sangha due to my job and work schedule. Without going into details, let’s just say it was a game-changer. Recently I began to approach the problems of no teacher no sangha. Then I discover that my experience is not considered authentic by the same teacher who taught the samatha in the first place. I can’t ignore or discount the experience so until the dust settles I’m looking for other traditions/lineage. Ad hoc “mindfulness” teachings aren’t at the top of the list, I think that’s part of the problem, not the solution. I’m not sectarian, as I have no dog in this fight. My experience with jhana/samadhi is leading me somewhere I just need a road map and some fellow travelers.
Hello.

My sugestions are:

(1) Read "Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English", by Bhante Gunaratana. It's a very good book on (sutta) jhana.

The difference between sutta jhana and hard jhana is mostly the degree of one pointedness of attention. In hard jhana, the mind is so one pointed that you lose the sense of your body and you can't direct this jhanic mind to vipassana. Also, hard jhana is said to be very hard to attain. Sutta jhana is jhana with a unified, collected and stable mind, together with the jhana factors of each corresponding jhana. But it is not strictly one pointed, it's easier to attain, and it's useful for deep insight.

(The sutta jhanas are taught in the book, as opposed to an earlier book by Bhante Gunaratana which was about hard jhana, so be careful and read his later material.)

(2) Listen to Ayya Khema dhamma talks about jhana. She was one of the first contemporary teachers to openly teach the (sutta) jhanas.

Also, I believe she was an arahant, so you could benefit from listening to her dhamma talks about paths and fruits. You may take my opinion about her being an arahant with a large dose of skepticism, but I assure you that at least you'll like these dhamma talks. And they're freely available on the web.

Lastly, the hindrance of doubt is suppressed during jhana, but not permanently removed, so you may be doubtful outside of jhana, but during jhana there are no doubts tormenting your mind.

Añjali
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

Saengnapha
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:02 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:01 am
You guys are great thanks for all the feed back. It’s given me a lot to work with.
I used to be gung ho on meditation and the feelings and insights I used to get through them. One day, I realized how I had neglected my mundane, everyday moments, my reactive emotions and opinionated moods that are so common to all of us. No real change had occurred. I had disregarded how I lived as a person for the rapture of some moments of meditative absorption. These are so temporary, yet we chase them. Real change happens at the human level, the way we live, not in our conceptual life which jhanas are mostly involved with. I'm not saying don't experience jhanas. I am saying give your heart to your daily life and interactions with others. Orient yourself to love, to the wholesome in mind and body and you automatically experience jhanas.

SunWuKong
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Re: My experience with jhana and samadhi, comments welcome

Post by SunWuKong » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:07 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:29 am
SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:14 pm
So, as you may or may not know, Anapanasati, Satipatthana, samatha, Vipassana are taught in Theraveda, Mahāyāna, and Vajrayana programs. So what I was taught in the mindfulness practices in Thich Nhat Hanhs organization was simply samatha, and after about ten years of doing it I took it out and wondered if it needed fixing. I decided it needed more bare attention and wakefulness. And this was the result: strange things started happening. Didn’t know what it was. But I knew what it seemed like so I started searching online. It took s few months to piece together but it had something to do with samadhi and jhana. At first it was great but at the same time I didn’t have support from teacher or sangha due to my job and work schedule. Without going into details, let’s just say it was a game-changer. Recently I began to approach the problems of no teacher no sangha. Then I discover that my experience is not considered authentic by the same teacher who taught the samatha in the first place. I can’t ignore or discount the experience so until the dust settles I’m looking for other traditions/lineage. Ad hoc “mindfulness” teachings aren’t at the top of the list, I think that’s part of the problem, not the solution. I’m not sectarian, as I have no dog in this fight. My experience with jhana/samadhi is leading me somewhere I just need a road map and some fellow travelers.
Thank you - he actually is nearby - but has stepped down from some of his work.
Hello.

My sugestions are:

(1) Read "Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English", by Bhante Gunaratana. It's a very good book on (sutta) jhana.

The difference between sutta jhana and hard jhana is mostly the degree of one pointedness of attention. In hard jhana, the mind is so one pointed that you lose the sense of your body and you can't direct this jhanic mind to vipassana. Also, hard jhana is said to be very hard to attain. Sutta jhana is jhana with a unified, collected and stable mind, together with the jhana factors of each corresponding jhana. But it is not strictly one pointed, it's easier to attain, and it's useful for deep insight.

(The sutta jhanas are taught in the book, as opposed to an earlier book by Bhante Gunaratana which was about hard jhana, so be careful and read his later material.)

(2) Listen to Ayya Khema dhamma talks about jhana. She was one of the first contemporary teachers to openly teach the (sutta) jhanas.

Also, I believe she was an arahant, so you could benefit from listening to her dhamma talks about paths and fruits. You may take my opinion about her being an arahant with a large dose of skepticism, but I assure you that at least you'll like these dhamma talks. And they're freely available on the web.

Lastly, the hindrance of doubt is suppressed during jhana, but not permanently removed, so you may be doubtful outside of jhana, but during jhana there are no doubts tormenting your mind.

Añjali

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