Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
thepea
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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by thepea » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:00 pm

Zom wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:03 pm
I haven't a clue what this person is doing for so long in the first two jhanas? Indulging him/herself in feeling rapture? It is an impermanent state. Why linger if there is no attachment?

“Probably, because of the development of the states. The longer you are in them, the better you master them. Buddha himself said that "jhanas should not be feared".
I don’t think so,
It would seem that one would be working with breaking the attachment to these jhanas sitting and observing the rapture and bliss as suffering very refined pleasant states but impermanent in nature and therefore ultimately unsatisfactory.

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Idappaccayata
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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by Idappaccayata » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:05 pm

Zom, you make a convincing case, but I'm yet to see a sutta reference that says in order to have experienced jhana at all one must have the ability to sit for extended periods of time.

This also seems to contradict almost every great teacher since the time of the Buddha, which makes me apprehensive to agree.
The furniture may be exquisite,
And the bars of solid gold,
But once the bird realizes that the cage is a cage,
It finds within that cage
No joy

- Ajahn Jayasaro

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Zom
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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by Zom » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:54 pm

Your statements according to canon as you interpret them seem to go directly against what mr Goenka teaches.
Do you feel that he is mistaken and teaching something other than Buddha was teaching. I’ve also read mahasi sayadaw teachings and his description of passing through insight knowledges and they seem identical to mr Goenkas teachings and they fit very well with my experiential understanding.
What you seem to be saying is both of these teachers are wrong?
Is this so?
Goenka is very far from original buddhism, yes. Mahasi Sayadaw is closer, but still, his teaching is based entirely on later canonical literature which itself has a number of mistakes. Buddha himself said that any kind of tradition is not reliable (MN 95) and thus one must compare everything with original suttas and original vinaya (DN 16 or АN 4.180).
I don’t think so,
It would seem that one would be working with breaking the attachment to these jhanas sitting and observing the rapture and bliss as suffering very refined pleasant states but impermanent in nature and therefore ultimately unsatisfactory.
Maybe yes, maybe no. Anyway, Buddha said that pleasure of jhana should not be feared because it has nothing to do with unwholesome.
Zom, you make a convincing case, but I'm yet to see a sutta reference that says in order to have experienced jhana at all one must have the ability to sit for extended periods of time.
I didn't say that. I said that if one has mastered jhana, then he must have an ability to set its length - be it 1 second or 100 hours. Of course, if you are just approaching jhana, never experienced it, you are unskilful in setting its length, this is totally new ground for you, and thus it can last for some random period of time. But I strongly doubt you need many years of practice to set the desired time. Again, if we take that Therigatha account, a bhikkhuni there was unable to enter jhana at all. But then, when the right time came, she managed to do it and sat in it for 7 days (and became an arahant on the 8th day). We also know canonical account about certain "problems with jhanas" of Ven. Moggallana. However, he was able to get through that pretty fast, and became an arahant in two weeks of his "problematic" jhana practice.

thepea
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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by thepea » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Zom wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:54 pm

Goenka is very far from original buddhism, yes. Mahasi Sayadaw is closer, but still, his teaching is based entirely on later canonical literature which itself has a number of mistakes. Buddha himself said that any kind of tradition is not reliable (MN 95) and thus one must compare everything with original suttas and original vinaya (DN 16 or АN 4.180).


Maybe yes, maybe no. Anyway, Buddha said that pleasure of jhana should not be feared because it has nothing to do with unwholesome.
You are correct that Goenka is far from original Buddhism,
He does not teach Buddhism at all and does not refer to his teachings as Buddhism.
He teaches the dhamma or the teaching or practice that the Buddha taught. This is at least what he teaches on course, that the technique or practice of the Buddha was lost throughout the world except it was preserved in Burma in its pristine purity.
Now I’m not sure if he is stating that his technique is the only one that will work or what I like to think is that there are a few different techniques while starting off but eventually they all get you to the same place if done correctly.
It does however seem that you feel whatever practice you are doing is the only one that will work and you seem to have this practice and it’s fruits placed very high and out of reach other than for very gifted monastics leading the holy life for a long long time.
But you have shown no evidence supporting this opinion.

And establishing single pointed concentration is not to be feared, but the pleasant sensation experienced in jhanas are to be seen as suffering and not to be clung to.
In these refined states meditators are working with craving and they present an excellent opportunity to reduce your cravings.

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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by thepea » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:17 pm

Zom wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:54 pm

I didn't say that. I said that if one has mastered jhana, then he must have an ability to set its length - be it 1 second or 100 hours. Of course, if you are just approaching jhana, never experienced it, you are unskilful in setting its length, this is totally new ground for you, and thus it can last for some random period of time. But I strongly doubt you need many years of practice to set the desired time.
Why do you feel that if a person experiences jhana that they must have mastered the jhana and the ability to set the time one spends in jhana. It seems that these extraordinary levels of concentration can give rise to buried defilements and when they arise they may overpower and cause concentration to be affected. Why do you feel there must be this element of control without mastery and high levels of attainments.

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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:21 pm

in regards to setting time for absorbtion it seems to be same mechanic as resolving on time for waking up. In a simple example if your original intention was to just sit for 30 minutes and do ur standard meditation and you enter absorbtion first time say 10 minutes in, jhana(absorbtion) will break in exactly 20 minutes as the session was to last 30 minutes, that was your intention and what was resolved upon. Hence process of mastering that is probably similar to mastering resolving on time or resolving in general.

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Zom
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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by Zom » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:53 am

You are correct that Goenka is far from original Buddhism,
He does not teach Buddhism at all and does not refer to his teachings as Buddhism.
He teaches the dhamma or the teaching or practice that the Buddha taught. This is at least what he teaches on course, that the technique or practice of the Buddha was lost throughout the world except it was preserved in Burma in its pristine purity.
Typical guru-sectarian approach: no one knows what Buddha taught, only Goenka knows (from some secret hidden sources) 8-)
Now I’m not sure if he is stating that his technique is the only one that will work or what I like to think is that there are a few different techniques while starting off but eventually they all get you to the same place if done correctly. It does however seem that you feel whatever practice you are doing is the only one that will work and you seem to have this practice and it’s fruits placed very high and out of reach other than for very gifted monastics leading the holy life for a long long time. But you have shown no evidence supporting this opinion.
I say just what Buddha said - and this is not my personal opinion, but it is there in the authentic ancient buddhist texts. The problem is, people don't want to read them, study them carefully, but prefer to read small booklets about fast & easy short-cut methods to get Enlightenment in 5 minutes. Buddha knew that would happen, though:

They will not listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, profound, transcendent, connected with the Void — are being recited. They will not lend ear, will not set their hearts on knowing them, will not regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works: the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping and mastering. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

Why do you feel that if a person experiences jhana that they must have mastered the jhana and the ability to set the time one spends in jhana. It seems that these extraordinary levels of concentration can give rise to buried defilements and when they arise they may overpower and cause concentration to be affected. Why do you feel there must be this element of control without mastery and high levels of attainments.
I told already why.

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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:06 pm

Zom wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:54 pm
Anyway, Buddha said that pleasure of jhana should not be feared because it has nothing to do with unwholesome.
Did the Buddha really say this or was it the (unenlightened) Buddha-To-Be that said this? What about this, below?
There is the case where an individual, withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He savors that, longs for that, finds satisfaction through that. Staying there — fixed on that, dwelling there often, not falling away from that — then when he dies he reappears in conjunction with the devas of Brahma's retinue. The devas of Brahma's retinue, monks, have a life-span of an eon. A run-of-the-mill person having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, goes to hell, to the animal womb, to the state of the hungry shades.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by Zom » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:13 pm

Yes, if you just reach jhana and do nothing, you'll reborn in corresponding rupa-realm. But for a buddhist jhana is a must-have tool for insight.


“There is a path, Ānanda, a way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters; that anyone, without relying on that path, on that way, shall know or see or abandon the five lower fetters — this is not possible. “And what, Ānanda, is the path, the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters? Here... bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhāna... fourth jhana... 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.’ If he is steady in that, he attains the destruction of the taints. But if he does not attain the destruction of the taints because of that desire for the Dhamma, that delight in the Dhamma, then with the destruction of the five lower fetters he becomes one due to reappear spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and there attain final Nibbāna without ever returning from that world. This is the path, the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters.
Last edited by Zom on Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:17 pm

:meditate:
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rightviewftw
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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:19 pm

"Natthi jhanam apannassa

panna natthi ajhayato

yamhi jhananca panna ca

sa ve nibbanasantike."

loosely
"There’s no jhāna for one without wisdom/insight;
No wisdom for one without jhāna.
But for one with both jhāna and wisdom/insight,
Nibbana truly is near.

That what you mean by Insight Zom?

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Zom
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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by Zom » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:23 pm

The attainment in SN 13.1 sounds great & a product of insight but probably unrelated to jhana. I recall you posted non-returners & arahants require jhana.
Yes, as you see from MN 64 I just cited above - jhana is necessary for dropping 5 (or more) fetters. However, to drop first 3 fetters (stream-entry) you don't need jhana. This is said in Autumn sutta AN 3.94.

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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:26 pm

Zom wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:23 pm
Yes, as you see from MN 64 I just cited above - jhana is necessary for dropping 5 (or more) fetters. However, to drop first 3 fetters (stream-entry) you don't need jhana. This is said in Autumn sutta AN 3.94.
Excellent. Thank you for sharing AN 3.94. :bow:

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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by thepea » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:37 pm

Zom wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:53 am

Typical guru-sectarian approach: no one knows what Buddha taught, only Goenka knows (from some secret hidden sources) 8-)

I say just what Buddha said - and this is not my personal opinion, but it is there in the authentic ancient buddhist texts. The problem is, people don't want to read them, study them carefully, but prefer to read small booklets about fast & easy short-cut methods to get Enlightenment in 5 minutes. Buddha knew that would happen, though:
Well I wouldn’t say it is a secret, and as he, and I imagine any qualified teacher does is point the student inward as to awaken the teacher within. As you progress within this tradition you are eligible to sit longer courses and sati course etc.. within these courses students are exposed to the teachings spoken in original language of Buddha. It is mentioned that it is good to experience the teachings this way.
It doesn’t change the basic practice one learns in the introductory course this remains and is the practice, one just works in different ways as they progress along the path as the nature of experience changes.
Jhanas are simply part of this changing experience.

You seem to preach the necessity of control or mastery of jhanas if they are genuine and not just some other experience.
So does a jhana just arise and from this point you are master of this jhana or does it not make more sense that one approaches jhana enters jhana for a few seconds exits, works again, approaches jhana, enters jhana spends a bit more time in this state and so on entering deeper and deeper. Would it not also make sense that a skilled teacher of meditation of which Goenka was one, would know the signposts and be able to skillfully guide students and help them to recognize these?
Or is it your opinion that no teachers exist but one must wade through the countless pages of sutta translations on their own, and in this way, and only this way they will find and grasp the path laid out by Buddha?

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Re: Should you sit 12 hours to know that your are in first Jhana?

Post by thepea » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:04 pm

Zom wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:13 pm
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.’
This is vipassana as I have been taught only the translation of “turning his mind away from states and directs it towards the deathless element “ is observing the arising and passing away of Vedana. To see the process at the subatomic level observing finer and finer realities coming into existance and passing away one is indirectly observing nibanna. When trancendence occurs all falls away and nibanna.

You don’t have to do this for 12 continuous hours in the seated position to know you are in first jhana you can be experiencing this moving around, eating, pooping, it is not easy but possible.

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