Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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retrofuturist
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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:43 am

Greetings,

There's an obvious difference between:

- Indulging in sleep
- Getting enough sleep
- Not getting enough sleep

DooDoot is talking about "having good sound healthy sleep"... not "he enjoys sleep, is fond of sleep, enjoys indulging in sleep."

It seems argumentative, or even disingenuous to conflate these positions, so let's get...

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:01 am

There's an obvious difference between:

- Indulging in sleep
- Getting enough sleep
- Not getting enough sleep
in what way is it obvious
"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

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:10 am

Greetings,

Posts in violation of the newly introduced TOS2i have been removed.

Please be mindful of the current topic, as defined in the initial post, when you post.

:thanks:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by WorldTraveller » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:03 am

Just FYI, bhikkhus will not answer 1-4 as they are not allowed by Vinaya to reveal such to non-bhikkhus.
Anyway, I since I'm not a bhikkhu, here are my answers:
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
1. Are you able to enter the jhanas every time you sit down?
Never.
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
2. If not, how often are you able to enter the jhanas? (Once day, week, month, etc..)
About 10 years ago, for a period of about 6 months, I was able to enter a jhana several times per week (didn't count actually). I don't know whether that state should be called a jhana, but I'm sure I was completely aware of getting absorbed into it, staying in it (a time check revealed the absorption was roughly about 15 hours), and coming out of it. While in it, I wasn't aware of the time passing; heard no sound; felt no body and its pains or discomforts. Once out of it I had no hindrances for hours. It was like all the suffering of the world vanished and I was floating above the clouds literally. :smile:
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
3. What is the highest jhanas you've attained?
Theoretically, it seems at least 1st. That time I didn't worry about the level but just contented for having no hindrances. No clue whether at some point the breath ceased (4th jhana) as never tested it with the help of someone or in some way.
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
4. What is the highest jhana you've mastered?
Same as above answer. Wasn't even worried about a mastery other than continued practise due to the suitable conditions at the time.
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
5. What method do you use?
Breath meditation. Not counting or 16 steps. Just simple awareness of breath.
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
6. What teachers and books do you like?
Buddha, of course. Never followed methods or modern teachers.
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
7. Where are you working on? what are you stuck on? and what do you need help on?
Now I maintain (or at least try) a continuous mindfulness and strict adherence to Noble Eight Fold Path. Doing sittings as time permits here and there but nothing serious due to lay life activities.
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
Please keep this thread on topic and avoid debates/arguments.
Will do my best. Just kidding! :D
“Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a canonical tradition, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’”
- Kālāma-sutta

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by one_awakening » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:23 am

budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
1. Are you able to enter the jhanas every time you sit down?
No
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
2. If not, how often are you able to enter the jhanas? (Once day, week, month, etc..)
On average, about once every two weeks
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm

4. What is the highest jhana you've mastered?
I haven't mastered any of the Jhanas. They will continue to be a work in progress most likely for the rest of my life.

budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm

5. What method do you use?
Anapanasati and sutta Jhanas
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm

6. What teachers and books do you like?
I generally use the suttas
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm

7. Where are you working on? what are you stuck on? and what do you need help on?
At the moment I'm trying to work on getting to Access Concentration quicker so I can spend more time in the Jhanas.

Long-term, I'm trying to deepen the Jhanas
“You only lose what you cling to”

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by budo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:43 am

one_awakening wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:23 am
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
1. Are you able to enter the jhanas every time you sit down?
No
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm
2. If not, how often are you able to enter the jhanas? (Once day, week, month, etc..)
On average, about once every two weeks
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm

4. What is the highest jhana you've mastered?
I haven't mastered any of the Jhanas. They will continue to be a work in progress most likely for the rest of my life.

budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm

5. What method do you use?
Anapanasati and sutta Jhanas
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm

6. What teachers and books do you like?
I generally use the suttas
budo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:39 pm

7. Where are you working on? what are you stuck on? and what do you need help on?
At the moment I'm trying to work on getting to Access Concentration quicker so I can spend more time in the Jhanas.

Long-term, I'm trying to deepen the Jhanas

Great! Are you sitting at least one hour every day? At first longer sits are required sometimes even 2-5 hours, because you're walking blindly, but eventually once you know the path you will be able to shorten it by being more efficient.

I would say though give yourself at least one hour every day minimum in one sitting.

Last week with all my terrible allergies I couldn't get passed access concentration after 2 hours, so I got up, drank some water and relaxed. I sat on the floor with a cushion and then after one hour I entered a very nice jhana. So in total it took me three hours that day.

I think the biggest time sink is sloth because it is so easy to slip into a semi lucid dream state and kill time without noticing it. I think sitting too comfortably allows for more sloth, last year when I was more proficient at entering jhanas it took me about a month to find the perfect sitting back posture and sitting arrangement. Going to have to iron that out all over again.

The key is to use the 5 hindrances as a tool to calibrate what you're doing.

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by budo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:56 am

Regarding the topic of sleep:

In my opinion sloth is the hardest hinderance to overcome. Using caffeine to overcome sloth doesn't work for me because it will push me into the other direction of restlessness.

Sleep is important, too much sleep worsens sloth, and too little sleep also worsens sloth. 5-8 hours is the usual range, so it's up to you to experiment with your body. Keep your room relatively dark and quiet when you sleep, led lights from electronics can be the worst offenders. I'm an extremely light sleeper, clock sounds, refrigerator sounds, will disrupt my sleep, so darkness and quietness is important for me.

Once you have built a lot of concentration momentum from daily sitting, you find yourself requiring less sleep, and if you get lucky and touch fourth jhana, you may find yourself with insomnia even and not sleep normally for a couple of days.

In the end, it varies between person, just try to be mindful of how the things you do, the foods you consume affect your energy levels specifically sloth and restlessness. Also natural sunlight when you're meditating helps fight sloth and boost energy naturally.

Experimentation is key.

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:01 am

are we sure access concentration isn't a made up term or theory
"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

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http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by budo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:19 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:01 am
are we sure access concentration isn't a made up term or theory
There are different interpretations, although the teachers I follow which I wrote in my original post are pretty consistent with the term.

Buddhasa Bhikkhu's book page 216 covers it Anapanasati https://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/anapanasati.pdf

I would post a quote but it doesn't copy-paste well onto here.

The distinction is:

- access/neighborhood concentration = no 5 hindrances are present, but jhana factors are not present either.
- full concentration = 5 jhana factors are present

There are also two forms of access concentration, the PDF I linked goes into that on page 217. There are also signs for people when they're getting close, for me it varies, such as my visual field may starts to flicker, or orb nimitta is present, or I can't feel my breath any longer, or piti starts to come in and shoot up (first jhana factor), etc..

I hope that clears it up for you.

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by budo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:04 am

I would like to add in general as a form of motivation to anyone struggling.

The hardest part is getting to first jhana, once you get to first jhana it's smooth sailing and no more effort is required unless you wish to get out of jhana completely and do vipassana contemplations. Once you get to first jhana, effort no longer becomes an issue, instead memory and competence becomes an issue, because you've spent all your time and energy getting to first jhana, once you get there you no longer know what to do. So once you're able to get to first jhana at least once a week, you should start reading materials/suttas on what to do next so that next time you enter first jhana, you can enjoy them for however long you desire, but then be prepared to move onto the next milestone (2nd jhana+). If anyone is at that point, feel free to post and we can discuss second jhana.

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:14 am

that was different from my experience, i wasn't trying to get into a jhana and i wasn't doing a formal meditation (i basically don't), but the series of contemplations built up into it
and that has been weeks ago, so i'm left wondering about whether my 'jhana' was jhana or yours or both/neither and so on
for one, anapanasati doesnt focus on one area of the body, you breathe in and out sensitive to the entire body
i want to assume the abandoning of the hindrances periodically implies jhana
"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: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by budo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:06 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:14 am
that was different from my experience, i wasn't trying to get into a jhana and i wasn't doing a formal meditation (i basically don't), but the series of contemplations built up into it
and that has been weeks ago, so i'm left wondering about whether my 'jhana' was jhana or yours or both/neither and so on
for one, anapanasati doesnt focus on one area of the body, you breathe in and out sensitive to the entire body
i want to assume the abandoning of the hindrances periodically implies jhana
All you can really do is pick a method, preferably the popular one which is anapanasati, practice consistently, and experiment. There really is no other way to go about finding things out for yourself other than to experiment consistently and find out for yourself. Everyone starts out blind and hopefully you can use different resources to make progress. The books and dhamma talk video I referred to help give a roadmap so that you can know where you are and where you need to go.

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by WorldTraveller » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:40 am

budo wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:04 am
once you get to first jhana it's smooth sailing and no more effort is required unless you wish to get out of jhana completely and do vipassana contemplations.
...unless you wish to get out of jhana...

Is my understanding correct that this "wish of wanting to get out" occurred while inside the jhana?

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by budo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:09 pm

WorldTraveller wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:40 am
budo wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:04 am
once you get to first jhana it's smooth sailing and no more effort is required unless you wish to get out of jhana completely and do vipassana contemplations.
...unless you wish to get out of jhana...

Is my understanding correct that this "wish of wanting to get out" occurred while inside the jhana?
Nothing is permanent, eventually you'll want to get out even if you don't give yourself a limit before you go in. I can't speak for the formless jhanas though. As I wrote elsewhere I would get out of jhana to either move onto vipassana contemplation or out of compassion obligation reasons like to meet my GF when she arrives home from work.

Getting into jhana is so hard lately for me that I'd definitely be in it for a long time this time around, just to not waste the experience and opportunity, and learn as much as I can. The more you enter it the less desire for it there is, so people naturally move onto 2nd jhana, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.. for new experiences and insights..

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Re: Let's help eachother develop jhanas (take two!)

Post by WorldTraveller » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:27 am

budo wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:09 pm
As I wrote elsewhere I would get out of jhana to either move onto vipassana contemplation or out of compassion obligation reasons like to meet my GF when she arrives home from work.
Even on the first time I experienced jhana, there were no thinking while in it. There were no whatsoever thoughts as "Should I sit further?" or "Should I get out and cook dinner?" It was impossible to think or it did not occur. The mind was fully occupied in a very bright nimitta. I think if one can think, that means already back in the regular sensory world where you are receptive to usual sights, sounds, odours, tastes, bodily sensations, thoughts.

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