it seems like there are several types of jhana.
IE upakilesa sutta describes lights and visions also VSM talks about attaining Signs.
Then there is the 5 factored 1st Jhana..
For vision and signs, probably takes samatha oriented method ie Asubha will work, most likely one will see organs basicly. I know a monk who does breath meditation and sees signs as well, ie a diamond or light, according to him there is not much technique to bring it about, one just focuses on the breath, it is worth noting that he does not train Satipatthana much formally, so his breath meditation as i eventually seemingly understood is more of stilling the mind and staying with the in and out breaths rather than noting Satipatthanas much, he likes the saw similie a lot fwiw and also afaik teaches perception of death using a kasina technique which also produces signs.
The 5 factored Jhana as i understand it, is initially fleeting, pleasurable, unstable but eventually is almost a auto-enter IF appamata and faculties allow for it but one such as this can probably do the other Sign things just as easily as hindrances are easily supressed. I dare not say if one is easier or harder than the other, idk.
If earnestly training, guarding the mind, doing formal meditation at least a couple hours, keeps 10 precepts and secluded from unwholesome states, id expect one will start entering the 1st Five Factored Jhana in about a week but its based solely on my own subjective experiences i assume it is different for people a lot. On flipside imo if working much, socializing, indulging in sensuality and worrying about this or that, then i would not even expect it at all.
How to actually enter it, it enters by itself more or less. You sit not thinking about unwholesome stuff, taking up a theme for the mind and feel body become tranquil and pleasurable "warm chills" fill the whole body it is also accompanied by joy a lot, it brightens up or like enhances feelings, seemingly stable and pleasurable one just feel like smiling. It fades for many reasons, ie becoming overexcited or distracted from the theme.
Also intially it can be hard to relax about it because one is so deprived of sensuality usually that it can become an obsession and craving for getting it and staying in it is a thing. As one enters it more and more frequently, one enters it for longer periods and faster.
For Asubha you just recite, envision and contemplate, as one gets very into it, signs start to appear by itself. IE you may be thinking about the heart, it s color or shape, then next thing that happens is you see a brain, teeth, intenstines or other organ very clearly. If you learn to stabilize these then they can be used to enter "absorbtion" as people told me.
Absorption and what i call 5 factored Jhana are different things. I am not sure if what i refer to as 5F1J is what is referred to in Sutta but the absorbtion is a lot different, it is full absorbtion into the object of meditation, there one can stay for long time easily.
feel free to discuss:
IE if one was meditating and perceived a sign of a diamond, that is still Rupa Jhana how i understand it as the imaginary sign is also Rupa. The presence of the sign does not constitute a Jhana or Not Jhana, but based on the Sign one gets absorbed and on mastering the sign on can enter the Formless Jhanas. Question is can one be in a Rupa Jhana without Absorbtion & or Sign? If yes then what i described as 5F1J seems to be rightfully said.
It is something that is hard to get and hard to keep at home. Ive meditated as hard as i can to figure these things out and according to yours truly there is really nothing else that is going to happen. Either the pleasurable state or signs and visions. Also ones first absorbtion can be supramundane, so without prior attainment of Absorbtion ones first Absorbtion experience can be Nibbana if that is what one is training for.
Last edited by rightviewftw
on Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:43 am, edited 6 times in total.
'Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. What three? Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. He should develop perception of unattractiveness so as to abandon lust... good will so as to abandon ill will... mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking... the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.