Can Saṅghānussati lead to jhana?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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quad
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Can Saṅghānussati lead to jhana?

Post by quad » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:08 am

Pretty straightforward, for whatever reason, I find meditation/recollection on the Sangha very easy. Much more so than any other meditational object/focus. So can it lead all the way to jhana? How about through all the jhanas? I can't find any reference of anyone using it a meditational object, it seems like a pretty unpopular choice (outside the loosely correlated 'guru-yoga' in the Tibetan traditions.)

Based on this text though, I'm assuming the answer to jhana is: Yes?

""Furthermore, there is the case where you recollect the Sangha: 'The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well... who have practiced straight-forwardly... who have practiced methodically... who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types of noble disciples when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Sangha, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Sangha. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed senses pleasure. In one sensing pleasure, the mind becomes concentrated.

"Mahanama, you should develop this recollection of the Sangha while you are walking, while you are standing, while you are sitting, while you are lying down, while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children."

santa100
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Re: Can Saṅghānussati lead to jhana?

Post by santa100 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:03 am

Not only it leads to jhana, but it can also lead all the way to enlightenment (AN 1.287-296). See Ven. Thanissaro's "Study Guide on the Ten Recollections" for an excellent analysis and plenty of sutta references.

paul
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Re: Can Saṅghānussati lead to jhana?

Post by paul » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:07 am

Not according to the Visuddhimagga:
“…owing to the
profundity of the Community’s special qualities, or else owing to his being
occupied in recollecting special qualities of many sorts, the jhána is only access
and does not reach absorption. And that access jhána itself is known as
“recollection of the Sangha” too because it arises with the recollection of the
Community’s special qualities as the means.”—-Vism. VII, 99.

The six recollections are subsidiary themes in the context of the Anapanasati sutta for either steadying or gladdening the mind, or both:

“At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Sangha, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Sangha. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.”—-AN 11:13

It should be mentioned that Thanissaro is somewhat opposed to the Vism.
Last edited by paul on Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bodom
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Re: Can Saṅghānussati lead to jhana?

Post by bodom » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:21 am

The following is from Thanissaros study guide linked above:
§3. One thing — when developed & pursued — leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. Which one thing? Recollection of the Sangha.
If it can lead all the way to awakening I imagine it can also lead to jhāna as well.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

paul
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Re: Can Saṅghānussati lead to jhana?

Post by paul » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:41 am

Commenting on my above extract from AN 11:13, Bikkhu Bodhi says:

"As this passage shows, contemplation based on the Buddha (and the other objects of recollection) culminates in samādhi, yet the nature of this samādhi is not elucidated by way of the jhāna formula. In fact, the Nikāyas never ascribe to these reflective contemplations the capacity to induce jhāna, and this is expressly denied in the Commentaries, which hold that because these meditation subjects involve intensive use of discursive thought they can lead only as far as access concentration (upacāra-samādhi)."---"The Jhanas and the Lay Disciples According to the Pali Suttas".

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