Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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aflatun
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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by aflatun » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:01 pm

As Robert said, Theravada seems pretty clear about this.

That said I think its worth considering other opinions, particularly from non Theravada sources.

Based on a recent exchange I had with Malcolm it seems the Sautrantikas/Darstantikas (as presented by the pre Yogacarin Ven. Vasubandhu in the Abhidharmakośabhāṣyam) allowed for at least tactile consciousness in the first jhana, because sukha is explicitly a tactile pleasant feeling born of tactile consciousness:
Vasubandhu in Abhidharmakośabhāṣyam wrote:iii. [Objection of the Vaibhasikas:] In order for the happiness of the first two Dhyanas to be agreeable bodily sensation, it is necessary for the person in absorption to produce a consciousness of touch {kayavijnana). And this is not possible. [Answer of the Darstantikas:] In the state of absorption, the body is penetrated by a wind born of excellent mental concentration (samadhi); this wind is a tangible which is agreeably felt (sukhavedaniya) and is called well-being. Hence there is produced a consciousness of touch (together with the agreeable sensation associated with this consciousness).
Abhidharmakośabhāṣyam pg 1233

The opponents Vasubandhu is arguing against in the relevant passages take a position similar to Theravada, which is interesting, to say the least.

Regarding sound specifically, I'm not sure what his take is. But further down when discussing dhyana existences (not states in this life, but post mortem destinations) he says:
Vasubandhu in Abhidharmakośabhāṣyam wrote: a. In the First Dhyana existence, there are three sensations: 1) the sensation of happiness (sukhavedana) associated with three consciousnesses (eye, ear, and body consciousness); 2) the sensation of satisfaction of the sphere of the mind consciousness (manovijnana); and 3) the sensation of equanimity associated with four consciousnesses (eye, ear, body, and manas).
Abhidharmakośabhāṣyam pg 1240

It would be interesting to see what Shramana Zhiyi has to say about this, since he was writing about jhana (dhyana) but I haven't read the book(s) yet.

Of course there is The Great Jhana Debate where you will find Geoff/Nyana arguing something that I think is similar to Ven. Vasubandhu's position
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

zan
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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by zan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:16 pm

Dmytro wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:05 pm
Hi Zan,
zan wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:43 pm
I was hoping that you all may be able to present all of the arguments and textual evidence that support the idea that one can hear sounds in the first jhana.
Here's an excellent explanation by Geoff Shatz:

http://web.archive.org/web/201603060020 ... jhana.html
http://web.archive.org/web/201603051817 ... hanas.html

Article by Ven. Thanissaro:

Silence Isn’t Mandatory
SENSORY PERCEPTION IN THE JHĀNAS

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... datory.pdf
Wow thanks!
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

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Pondera
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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by Pondera » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:09 am

It’s pretty clear. There’s one attainment where one does not hear (see, smell, feel, etc.). - ie. “the cessation of perception and feeling”.

Even in “neither perception nor non perception” there is sound - ie. neither sound nor not-sound - neither sight nor not-sight”. Etc.

Clearly, eliminating perception (and feeling) is the escape in Buddhism. If that escape was realized in all the lower jhanas, then why even have the final release?!!!

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by auto » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:04 pm

Pondera wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:09 am
It’s pretty clear. There’s one attainment where one does not hear (see, smell, feel, etc.). - ie. “the cessation of perception and feeling”.

Even in “neither perception nor non perception” there is sound - ie. neither sound nor not-sound - neither sight nor not-sight”. Etc.

Clearly, eliminating perception (and feeling) is the escape in Buddhism. If that escape was realized in all the lower jhanas, then why even have the final release?!!!
Cessation of perception and feeling. So you still will have 1st, 4th and 5th skandhas. Otherwords rupa, cetasikas, cittas.
abhidhamma

“Citta” is defined as ‘consciousness of the senses’ or ‘awareness
of an object’.
Cittas may be divided into four classes in accordance with
the four planes (bhåmi) or spheres (avacara):
1 Kàmàvacara cittas
consciousness mostly experienced in the sense sphere
(kàma-loka)
2 Råpàvacara cittas
consciousness mostly experienced in the fine-material
sphere (råpa-loka)
3 Aråpàvacara cittas
Consciousness mostly experienced in the immaterial
sphere (aråpa-loka)
4 Lokuttara cittas
consciousness experienced in the supramundane (transcendental)
level
-----
Råpa is incessantly produced from four main
sources namely, kamma, citta, utu (heat) and àhàra (nutriment).
And råpa is very short lived – it endures only for 17 conscious
moments. What is formed is almost instantly gone.

First råpa is twofold namely,
i Bhåta-råpa – essentials, and
ii Upàdàya-råpa – derivatives.

The bhåta-råpa is more prominent than the upàdàya-råpa.
Great masses like the earth and the sun are formed when a lot
of bhåta-råpa has accumulated. Consequently bhåta-råpa is also
called mahàbhåta (great essentials).

1 Pathavã
The element of extension with the characteristics of
hardness and softness..
2 âpo
The element of cohesion with the characteristics of
cohesiveness and fluidity..
3 Tejo
The element of heat or heat energy with the characteristics
of hotness and coldness..
4 Vàyo
The element of motion or kinetic energy with the characteristics
of pushing and supporting..
-----
Cetasikas are mental factors or mental concomitants that arise
and perish together with citta, depend on citta for their arising
and influence the mind to be bad, good or neutral as they arise.
A cetasika has the following four characteristic properties:
i It arises together with citta (consciousness).
ii It perishes together with citta.
iii It takes the same object (arammana) which citta takes.
iv It shares a common physical base (vatthu) with citta.

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by auto » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:10 pm

abhidhamma (argument against the op)
‘Samàpatti’ means ‘attainment’. A person, who has attained the
råpàvacara jhàna, may enter the meditative absorption corresponding
to that jhàna whenever he wishes. If he practices well,
he may attain the ecstatic trance instantly and remain in the
trance for one hour, two hours, three hours, etc., up to seven
days. During this trance, the jhàna citta occurs repeatedly and
spontaneously focusing the attention on the pañibhàga-nimitta
of kasiõa. So he will not hear any sound nor know any other
sense-object during the trance.
1 For attainment of råpàvacara jhàna:
The pañibhàga-nimitta of kasiõa appears at the mind-door
causing the life-continuum to vibrate twice and become
arrested (Na-Da). Then mano-dvàràvajjana observes the
pañibhàga-nimitta and decides whether it is good or bad.
Then one of the two somanassa-sahagataü ¤ànasampayuttaõ
mahàkusala cittas (take upekkhà-sahagataü to
enter the fifth jhàna) functions as parikamma (omit for
tikkha-pa¤¤à person), upacàra, anuloma and gotrabhu.
Then råpàvacara kusala first jhàna (or second, third,
fourth or fifth jhàna) citta functions many times as
appanà-javana. When the ecstatic absorption is over,
bhavaïga cittas sink into life-continuum.
Na:bhavaïga-calàna – vibrating life-continuum
At the arising instant of this citta, råpà-rammaõa
appears (becomes distinct) at cakkhu-pasàda (eye-door)
Note that atimahantàrammaõa takes one cittakkhaõa for
its full development after uppàda.
Na: santiraõa – investigating consciousness
It investigates the object and the impression.
Da:bhavaïgupaccheda – arresting life-continuum
Bhavaïga-stream is cut off after the dissolution of this
citta.
Da: tadàlambaõa – registering consciousness
It immediately follows javana and runs for two
conscious moments enjoying the taste of the senseobject.
At the dissolving instant of the second
tadàlambaõa citta, the visible object and the cakkhupasàda
dissolve together because their life-time of 17
conscious moments is now complete.
Last edited by auto on Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by auto » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:50 pm

but the thing is that you may hear the sounds you already know before entering jhana. Jhana arrests lifecontinuum.

?

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budo
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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by budo » Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 pm

From my personal experience, the best jhana's I've had were ones with absolutely zero external sounds and my field of vision was pure white, on the way to this my sound became "localized" as in I could no longer hear outside the windows but only what's in the room, especially things like the floor and walls creeking, and then it leads to zero sound. This had the highest amount of piti and sukha. Any other forms I had that had sound in them were very mild in comparison.

Leigh Brasington also has suttas he translated on his site with the Buddha saying that sound is a thorn to first jhana, which I agree with. The louder the sounds around me (music, motorcycles, people screaming, etc..) the less chance of me being able to enter the full white vision no-sound jhana.

I just don't think one can generate strong concentration without seclusion from the senses, just like it says in the suttas. In fact I have such strong aversion to sound now that I'm planning on moving to a small town in the middle of no where with no houses around me, I just can't bare to be around loud people, motorcycles, scooters, music, etc..

Whenever I have a full blown jhana experience I also lose all desire to eat anything as well, just all desire for sensuality is temporarily suspended.

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Wed May 23, 2018 6:03 am

i think you can
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

https://www.facebook.com/noblebuddhadha ... 34/?type=3

http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://sites.google.com/site/santipada ... allytaught

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by Saengnapha » Wed May 23, 2018 7:58 am

budo wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 pm
From my personal experience, the best jhana's I've had were ones with absolutely zero external sounds and my field of vision was pure white, on the way to this my sound became "localized" as in I could no longer hear outside the windows but only what's in the room, especially things like the floor and walls creeking, and then it leads to zero sound. This had the highest amount of piti and sukha. Any other forms I had that had sound in them were very mild in comparison.

Leigh Brasington also has suttas he translated on his site with the Buddha saying that sound is a thorn to first jhana, which I agree with. The louder the sounds around me (music, motorcycles, people screaming, etc..) the less chance of me being able to enter the full white vision no-sound jhana.

I just don't think one can generate strong concentration without seclusion from the senses, just like it says in the suttas. In fact I have such strong aversion to sound now that I'm planning on moving to a small town in the middle of no where with no houses around me, I just can't bare to be around loud people, motorcycles, scooters, music, etc..

Whenever I have a full blown jhana experience I also lose all desire to eat anything as well, just all desire for sensuality is temporarily suspended.
What benefit do you feel this brings you?

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by budo » Thu May 24, 2018 3:47 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:58 am
budo wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 pm
From my personal experience, the best jhana's I've had were ones with absolutely zero external sounds and my field of vision was pure white, on the way to this my sound became "localized" as in I could no longer hear outside the windows but only what's in the room, especially things like the floor and walls creeking, and then it leads to zero sound. This had the highest amount of piti and sukha. Any other forms I had that had sound in them were very mild in comparison.

Leigh Brasington also has suttas he translated on his site with the Buddha saying that sound is a thorn to first jhana, which I agree with. The louder the sounds around me (music, motorcycles, people screaming, etc..) the less chance of me being able to enter the full white vision no-sound jhana.

I just don't think one can generate strong concentration without seclusion from the senses, just like it says in the suttas. In fact I have such strong aversion to sound now that I'm planning on moving to a small town in the middle of no where with no houses around me, I just can't bare to be around loud people, motorcycles, scooters, music, etc..

Whenever I have a full blown jhana experience I also lose all desire to eat anything as well, just all desire for sensuality is temporarily suspended.
What benefit do you feel this brings you?
The same benefits the suttas claim

- pleasure and bliss born of seclusion
- insights and clearer mind
- equanimity
- peace and quiet
- divine eye sometimes
- divine ear sometimes
- can sit in meditation for several hours
- no 5 hindrances (ill will, sensual desire, doubt, restlessness, sloth)

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by Saengnapha » Fri May 25, 2018 2:16 am

budo wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:47 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:58 am
budo wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 pm
From my personal experience, the best jhana's I've had were ones with absolutely zero external sounds and my field of vision was pure white, on the way to this my sound became "localized" as in I could no longer hear outside the windows but only what's in the room, especially things like the floor and walls creeking, and then it leads to zero sound. This had the highest amount of piti and sukha. Any other forms I had that had sound in them were very mild in comparison.

Leigh Brasington also has suttas he translated on his site with the Buddha saying that sound is a thorn to first jhana, which I agree with. The louder the sounds around me (music, motorcycles, people screaming, etc..) the less chance of me being able to enter the full white vision no-sound jhana.

I just don't think one can generate strong concentration without seclusion from the senses, just like it says in the suttas. In fact I have such strong aversion to sound now that I'm planning on moving to a small town in the middle of no where with no houses around me, I just can't bare to be around loud people, motorcycles, scooters, music, etc..

Whenever I have a full blown jhana experience I also lose all desire to eat anything as well, just all desire for sensuality is temporarily suspended.
What benefit do you feel this brings you?
The same benefits the suttas claim

- pleasure and bliss born of seclusion
- insights and clearer mind
- equanimity
- peace and quiet
- divine eye sometimes
- divine ear sometimes
- can sit in meditation for several hours
- no 5 hindrances (ill will, sensual desire, doubt, restlessness, sloth)
From my perspective, you are creating a duality by contrasting jhana with your ordinary state. You list benefits, but the benefits are only in relation to their opposites. Anyone can tell you that jhanas are impermanent and whatever is there before jhana happens, happens again when jhana is left. It is an attempt to find some permanent state that you can identify with. This is a mistake that most meditators make and rarely pass through. The seeking for permanence is nothing more than clinging, having attachment to an experience. 'Seeing' this is 'Insight'. Insight has nothing to do with jhanas or any particular experience. It is a direct knowing that nothing is permanent and there is no person at the center of experience. It is a letting go of all images and states.

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 25, 2018 2:41 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 2:16 am
From my perspective, you are creating a duality by contrasting jhana with your ordinary state. You list benefits, but the benefits are only in relation to their opposites. Anyone can tell you that jhanas are impermanent and whatever is there before jhana happens, happens again when jhana is left. It is an attempt to find some permanent state that you can identify with. This is a mistake that most meditators make and rarely pass through. The seeking for permanence is nothing more than clinging, having attachment to an experience. 'Seeing' this is 'Insight'. Insight has nothing to do with jhanas or any particular experience. It is a direct knowing that nothing is permanent and there is no person at the center of experience. It is a letting go of all images and states.
Yet, according to numerous suttas, samadhi is an important factor for awakening. Of course, many of those suttas also say, agreeing with you, that jhana is an impermanent state that does have to be let go of eventually. But that doesnt make it worthless.

💖
Mike

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by Saengnapha » Fri May 25, 2018 3:52 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 2:41 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 2:16 am
From my perspective, you are creating a duality by contrasting jhana with your ordinary state. You list benefits, but the benefits are only in relation to their opposites. Anyone can tell you that jhanas are impermanent and whatever is there before jhana happens, happens again when jhana is left. It is an attempt to find some permanent state that you can identify with. This is a mistake that most meditators make and rarely pass through. The seeking for permanence is nothing more than clinging, having attachment to an experience. 'Seeing' this is 'Insight'. Insight has nothing to do with jhanas or any particular experience. It is a direct knowing that nothing is permanent and there is no person at the center of experience. It is a letting go of all images and states.
Yet, according to numerous suttas, samadhi is an important factor for awakening. Of course, many of those suttas also say, agreeing with you, that jhana is an impermanent state that does have to be let go of eventually. But that doesnt make it worthless.

💖
Mike
Samadhi is not dependent on jhana. Also samadhi is not something you can hold on to, either. Insight cuts through all of this and is why it is stressed. There is no permanent state of anything and the grasping/attached mind gets caught in the net of experience hoping that it can find something to save the illusory seeker. I think it is very hard for any meditator to let go of their images because the prime reason to meditate for most is 'escape'. The desire to identify with something is the search for permanence. Insight brings you to the 3 Marks, impermanence, unsatisfying, no person.

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 25, 2018 5:47 am

Well, obviously jhana is not insight, no-one is claiming that. However, it is said to be sammāsamādhi (right concentration/immersion), part of the eight-fold path.
And what is right immersion?
Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāsamādhi?

It’s when a mendicant, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected.

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.
...
https://suttacentral.net/sn45.8/en/sujato#10
:heart:
Mike

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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by budo » Fri May 25, 2018 9:26 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 2:16 am
budo wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:47 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:58 am

What benefit do you feel this brings you?
The same benefits the suttas claim

- pleasure and bliss born of seclusion
- insights and clearer mind
- equanimity
- peace and quiet
- divine eye sometimes
- divine ear sometimes
- can sit in meditation for several hours
- no 5 hindrances (ill will, sensual desire, doubt, restlessness, sloth)
From my perspective, you are creating a duality by contrasting jhana with your ordinary state. You list benefits, but the benefits are only in relation to their opposites. Anyone can tell you that jhanas are impermanent and whatever is there before jhana happens, happens again when jhana is left. It is an attempt to find some permanent state that you can identify with. This is a mistake that most meditators make and rarely pass through. The seeking for permanence is nothing more than clinging, having attachment to an experience. 'Seeing' this is 'Insight'. Insight has nothing to do with jhanas or any particular experience. It is a direct knowing that nothing is permanent and there is no person at the center of experience. It is a letting go of all images and states.
Thanks for your opinion but I didn't ask for it, thus your opinion is wrong speech. You asked for my benefits, so I responded, but I did not ask for your opinion. In other words you asked the question not with the honest intention of wanting to know the benefits, but because you wanted to espouse your belief in some kind of Socratic method that was unasked for.

Seeing as how you are interested in sharing your opinion, let me make it clear to you that your argument can simply be debunked.

In the handful of leaves sutta the Buddha says he only teaches what leads to dispassion, detachment, and liberation, and there are many things that the Buddha could teach but he chooses not to. There are plenty of suttas where the Buddha teaches the jhanas, even in Mahasatipathana sutta he teaches the 4 jhanas as right concentration.

Also, as for my comparison of ordinary states vs jhanic state, the buddha says the same thing

"Now there is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. If, as he remains there, he is beset with attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality, that is an affliction for him. Just as pain arises as an affliction in a healthy person for his affliction, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality that beset the monk is an affliction for him. Now, the Blessed One has said that whatever is an affliction is stress. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how Unbinding is pleasant." - AN 9.34

Therefore sensuality is an affliction to someone who is in Jhana, and this is an example of insight into how the 5 aggregates of reality, specifically the 5 external senses are unpleasant. In other words, you cannot get to the higher jhanas if you lack insight, the jhanas are developed with insight hand in hand. This is why the Buddha wanted to teach Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, the jhana masters, first and foremost because they would be the fastest to understand the Buddha's new realization.

"There's no jhana for one with no discernment, no discernment, for one with no jhana. But one with both jhana & discernment: he's on the verge of Unbinding." - Dhp 372

In DN9 the Buddha shows how in eighth Jhana, willing is found to be stressful, and so one decides to let go of willing thus leading to cessation, then the Buddha says this "This, Potthapada, is how there is the alert step-by step attainment of the ultimate cessation of perception. Now what do you think, Potthapada — have you ever before heard of such an alert step-by step attainment of the ultimate cessation of perception?"

Lastly, Buddhism is not Taoism, we do not seek to remove duality, and so the discussion of duality is not relevant.
Last edited by budo on Fri May 25, 2018 10:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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