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

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

Post by zan » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:43 pm

Dear friends,

I have heard the opposite end of the argument enough.

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.

As of now I know only of AN 10.72 (sound is a thorn to the first jhana) and I assume there must be more than just this one line that people believe shows that one can hear in the first jhana.

Thank you
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

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

Post by SarathW » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:54 am

The way I understand you have Vitakka, Vicara, Pithy, Sukaha, and Ekagata all five in first Jhana.
When you have Vitakka and Vicara you can hear the sound.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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

Post by DooDoot » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:08 am

SarathW wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:54 am
When you have Vitakka and Vicara you can hear the sound.
This idea about vitakka & vicara does not agree with Bhante Sujato's idea.

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 3:20 am

SarathW wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:54 am
The way I understand you have Vitakka, Vicara, Pithy, Sukaha, and Ekagata all five in first Jhana.
When you have Vitakka and Vicara you can hear the sound.
Thank you. Do you know of anywhere that this is apparent in the suttas or any other textual work?
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

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 3:23 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:08 am
SarathW wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:54 am
When you have Vitakka and Vicara you can hear the sound.
This idea about vitakka & vicara does not agree with Bhante Sujato's idea.
Thanks. Does Bhante Sujato support the idea that one can hear while in the first jhana? If so, could you tell me what he says or where I could find it? If not, I am sure I know what his reasoning is as I've heard it many different ways and am looking only for discussion in favor of this idea rather than against it, so I do not need any information that is against this idea.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

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

Post by SarathW » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:24 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:08 am
SarathW wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:54 am
When you have Vitakka and Vicara you can hear the sound.
This idea about vitakka & vicara does not agree with Bhante Sujato's idea.
Can you provide the link, please?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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

Post by DooDoot » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:26 am

zan wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:23 am
Does Bhante Sujato support the idea that one can hear while in the first jhana? If so, could you tell me what he says or where I could find it?
Hi Zan. I cannot say what Bhante Sujato has said about 'sound' but I can provide a link about what Bhante Sujato says about vitakka & vicara.

Here: https://sujato.wordpress.com/2012/12/06 ... -in-jhana/

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

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:03 am

Why should it not be possible to hear while in the first jhana? The first jhana is not a formless experience and neither are the next 3 jhanas. The fact that some Bhantes think that hearing is not possbile in the first jhana and others do think it is possible shows a real lack of unity about what is being taught in Theravada.

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

Post by robertk » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:26 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:03 am
Why should it not be possible to hear while in the first jhana? The first jhana is not a formless experience and neither are the next 3 jhanas. The fact that some Bhantes think that hearing is not possbile in the first jhana and others do think it is possible shows a real lack of unity about what is being taught in Theravada.
There is complete unity in Theravada provided one relies on the ancient texts.
of course there will always be, and has always been, various monks and lay disciples who 'bravely' strike out with their own beliefs which are in opposition to Theravada orthodoxy.

One example being the idea that it could be possible to hear while experiencing jhana.

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mikenz66
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Re: Arguments in favor of being able to hear in the first jhana

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:31 am

There is an extensive technical discussion between Sylvester and Frankk here:
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/he ... jhana/7784

:heart:
Mike

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

Post by Polar Bear » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:56 am

I was just reading a book and it's raining outside. When I'm absorbed in the book I'm not hearing the rain, it's only when my reading focus is broken that I notice the sound of the rain, so it's seems fair to say that someone deeply immersed in their meditation object is not going to hear sound, and if they do hear a loud sound then that means their concentration has lapsed momentarily.

It's interesting, in Bhikkhu Anālayo's book Early Buddhist Meditation Studies footnote 59 it says:
In what follows my discussion of the possibility of "hearing sound" concerns the mental processing of sound waves created externally in such a way that these are understood for what they are. The question at stake is thus whether a mind immersed in the second absorption can at the same time, while remaining in the absorption attainment, be conscious of a particular sound. (pg 137)
I don't see this as being an extreme suggestion. There's a difference between this and Ajahn Brahm suggesting that if one is in jhana people could pick up their body and rush them off to a hospital without the meditator noticing in any way. So there will be gradations in what it means to not be able to hear sound while in deep meditation.


:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:39 am

robertk wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:26 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:03 am
Why should it not be possible to hear while in the first jhana? The first jhana is not a formless experience and neither are the next 3 jhanas. The fact that some Bhantes think that hearing is not possbile in the first jhana and others do think it is possible shows a real lack of unity about what is being taught in Theravada.
There is complete unity in Theravada provided one relies on the ancient texts.
of course there will always be, and has always been, various monks and lay disciples who 'bravely' strike out with their own beliefs which are in opposition to Theravada orthodoxy.

One example being the idea that it could be possible to hear while experiencing jhana.
I guess that puts you in the camp of the non-hearers in the first jhana. How does this make sense?

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

Post by robertk » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:08 am

I guess that puts you in the camp of the non-hearers in the first jhana. How does this make sense
Well this thread is supposed to be about the other side.

But as you ask it is clearly stated as a wrong view in the Abhidhamma pitika.

Think about it: jhana is nothing like the usual life where sense door objects alternate with mind-door processes. During jhana cittas repeatedly take the same object- impossible for a citta to rake more than one object.

So no hearing or any other sense door experience while in jhana.

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

Post by auto » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:29 pm

abhidhamma

‘Vãthi’ means a chain of consciousness or cognitive series that
arises when a sense object appears at one of the sense-doors in
order to be aware of the object.
...
2 Four conditions must meet for the arising of sota-dvàravãthi.
They are:
i Sota-pasàda (ear-door) must be good,
ii Saddà-rammaõa (sound) must be present,
iii âkàsa (space) for the passing of sound must be
present,
iv Manasikàra (attention) must be present.
2 Seven Jhànaïgas (Seven Constituents of Jhàna)
‘Jhànaïgas’ means ‘jhàna-factors’ or ‘constituents of absorptions’.
The jhàna-factors help the cittas and their associated cetasikas to
observe an object, either bad or good, keenly, closely and fixedly.
1 Vitakka – initial application,
2 Vicàra – sustained application,
3 Pãti – joy,
4 Ekaggatà – one-pointedness,
5 Somanassa-vedanà – pleasant feeling,
6 Domanassa-vedanà – unpleasant feeling,
7 Upekkhà-vedanà – neutral feeling or equanimity.

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 2:05 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:56 am
I was just reading a book and it's raining outside. When I'm absorbed in the book I'm not hearing the rain, it's only when my reading focus is broken that I notice the sound of the rain, so it's seems fair to say that someone deeply immersed in their meditation object is not going to hear sound, and if they do hear a loud sound then that means their concentration has lapsed momentarily.

It's interesting, in Bhikkhu Anālayo's book Early Buddhist Meditation Studies footnote 59 it says:
In what follows my discussion of the possibility of "hearing sound" concerns the mental processing of sound waves created externally in such a way that these are understood for what they are. The question at stake is thus whether a mind immersed in the second absorption can at the same time, while remaining in the absorption attainment, be conscious of a particular sound. (pg 137)
I don't see this as being an extreme suggestion. There's a difference between this and Ajahn Brahm suggesting that if one is in jhana people could pick up their body and rush them off to a hospital without the meditator noticing in any way. So there will be gradations in what it means to not be able to hear sound while in deep meditation.


:anjali:
Thank you. It sounds like Venerable Analayo is implicitly accepting that sound may be possible in the first jhana, as he mentions only the second, no?
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

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