My Jhana Slump - help request

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 187
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by Manopubbangama » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:19 pm

So avoiding autobiographical nonessentials, and including potentially relevant clues to me helping myself understand my jhana slump, I write the following, feeling a tad bit uncomfortable speaking about 'attainments' in a public sphere:


Approximately 10 years ago, for the course of roughly 4-6 months, I could attain 1-4 Jhana, seemingly at will.*

At this time, I had not yet even completed the Majjhima Nikaya, much less anything more challenging and was essentially an absolute novice in Buddhism.

My SIla was non-existence, in the sense that I had not disciplined myself to cultivate it.

After going to a few "buddhist" groups where people threw on some Korean pajamas and called it "Zen", I became disenchanted with any group of Buddhism in my area, and desired to strictly cultivate a Theravadin point of view, and this was not the point of departure yet where I "lost" the ability.

My family went through several traumatic incidents, one was where my daughter almost died of a grave sickness, and we were uprooted from any semblance of routine that had existed prior: this was also during the greatest economic slump since the Great Depression, and procuring a material existence took a front seat to spiritual attainments.

Since then, I had tried many times in vain to get back to Samatha, but am essentially unable to do so.

I can do walking meditation, vipassana, Metta, brahmavihara, even mala-bead repetition (which some consider an unorthadox form of Samatha), but cannot enter Jhana anymore.

I have since read the litany of "jhana books" on amazon to no avail.

I try to 'retrace my steps' and figure out what had let me up to this ability in the first place, again, to no avail.

I don't consider the rest of the path to be in any way a waste: the vipassanna and metta have changed me quite a bit, as has the sila, that being said, I don't want to follow a 7-fold-path.

So at this time, I really don't want to give up, but am rather frustrated.


*Not 5-8, but I don't think I tried for this.
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

rightviewftw
Posts: 2219
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:36 pm

I think it would be good if you explain what you mean by Jhana because as far as i can tell there is no agreement among members of this forum on what is a jhana.

Some favor "jhana light" interpretation, others favor "hard jhana" interpretation with Nimitta and lights, some fall somewhere in between and there are some who even reject the idea of it being possible to attain Jhana nowadays.

As i understand The hard jhana is usually means that the meditator starts seeing stable lights & visions and proceeds from there, fettering out the jhana factors.

The light jhanas are imho best described in terms of Imperfections of Insight or Absorbtion in Insight meditation;
Absorption in Insight Meditation https://holybooks-lichtenbergpress.netd ... -Sutta.pdf

Insight meditation and absorption have some characteristics in common. When the practice of mindfulness is well established at the exploratory stage, i.e. knowledge by comprehension (sammasanañāna), there are initial application (vitakka), sustained application (vicāra), joy (pīti), bliss (sukha), and one-pointedness (ekagattā). Thus, whenever the meditator observes any phenomenon, his insight meditation is somewhat like the first absorption with its five characteristics.

When the meditator gains insight-knowledge of the arising and passing away of all phenomena, he is fully aware of an arising object without initial or sustained application. He has intense joy, bliss, and tranquillity, thus his meditation is somewhat like the second absorption with its three attributes.

The disappearance of the light, and so forth — the corruptions of insight (upakkilesa) — marks an advance in the insight-knowledge of the arising and passing away of phenomena. Then there is no joy, but bliss is very intense. The mind is tranquil and free from distractions. The meditator has the bliss and one-pointedness that are characteristics of the third absorption.

The higher levels of insight-knowledge such as knowledge of dissolution (bhangañāna), wherein the meditator sees only the passing away usually have nothing to do with joy. They are characterised by equanimity and one-pointedness. The former is especially pronounced at the stage of knowledge of equanimity about formations. At this stage the insight meditation is akin to the fourth absorption with its two attributes of equanimity and one-pointedness.

Furthermore, at times the meditator’s whole body disappears, giving him the impression of being in space. At that moment he is like a person absorbed in ākāsānañcāyatana jhāna. At other times, attention is fixed exclusively on consciousness and then the meditator’s state of consciousness resembles viññānañcāyatana jhāna. On occasions, it seems as though he were noting nothingness, a state somewhat like ākiñcaññāyatana jhāna. Sometimes the consciousness may be so transcendental that it becomes non-existent, a state on par with that of nevasaññā-nāsaññāyatana jhāna.

These characteristics that insight meditation has in common with absorption often leads to complacency, which is an obstacle to spiritual progress. In meditation it is necessary to note these unusual experiences and reject them. In the Sallekha Sutta, the Buddha, after pointing out the misleading nature of absorption, proceeds to spell out the practice of effacement that is calculated to root out defilements.
Corruptions of Insight;
1. Seeing light, colored lights and images. ie sparkling light or one might find oneself surrounded by light as if it was daytime during the night or see images ie of the Buddha.
2. Clear, lucid, and distinct understanding of arising and passing away of mental and physical phenomena, as well as easily understanding the three characteristics due to reflection on them. One can begin to assume that the knowledge arose by itself due to observation of phenomena and not as result of reflection
3. Rapture, various kinds of pleasant feeling ranging from occasional to pervasive and of varying intensity
4. Tranquility, a soothing feeling of comfort and not feeling the body
5. Happiness and comfort
6. Faith and confidence
7. Balanced energy making the practice proceed smoothly
8. Effortless mindfulness
9. Equanimity on account of knowledge
10. Delight in extraordinary insights, and other corruptions of insight, a form of craving.

Most of them can occur simultaneously.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

User avatar
budo
Posts: 634
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am
Location: The world

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by budo » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:56 pm

I have the same issue and I have two theories

1) According to the Progress of Insight, you passed the A&P phase and you won't be able to get these mundane jhanas ever again until you attain sotapanna fruition, in which case you'll get supermundane jhanas.

2) If you experience jhana too many times you lose the thrill for it, like all conditioned things, and you are not willing to work as hard to attain it again.

I remember when I first experienced mundane jhana I was literally meditating all day and night because that's all I WANTED to do, in fact I was pushing my girlfriend away and refusing to go out because all I wanted to do is meditate.

This is the upwards curve before one crosses the A&P phase, one's mind is very excited and eager to meditate, meditations and mundane jhanas come effortlessly. Then once one crosses the A&P phase it's actually the reverse and gets worse where one gives up meditation because they aren't getting nice feelings.

So I would say it's a mix of both 1 & 2.. Ayya Khema says that one who has experienced jhanas doesn't get the "Terror" insights from the Progress of Insight stage, but I don't know how that's possible since the PoI is above everything. I am currently reading some Nissarana books (the monestary she learned jhanas from) and they describe how one can switch between Insight and Samadhi modes.

So in short, you could have been doing insight practice all along and confused the "A&P" effect as jhanas, as they are pretty much the same thing. You never had Samadhi Jhanas in the first place.

This is just one theory and I can't say it's true, but what I do know for sure that my motivation in general is way less than when I first started experiencing jhanas, and Ayya Khema talks about that how many people give up meditation because of that, when instead you shouldn't let the mind take over like that, and should actually meditate more so that you can attain sotapanna fruition.

User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 187
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by Manopubbangama » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:33 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:36 pm
I think it would be good if you explain what you mean by Jhana because as far as i can tell there is no agreement among members of this forum on what is a jhana.

Some favor "jhana light" interpretation, others favor "hard jhana" interpretation with Nimitta and lights, some fall somewhere in between and there are some who even reject the idea of it being possible to attain Jhana nowadays.

As i understand The hard jhana is usually means that the meditator starts seeing stable lights & visions and proceeds from there, fettering out the jhana factors.

The light jhanas are imho best described in terms of Imperfections of Insight or Absorbtion in Insight meditation;
Absorption in Insight Meditation https://holybooks-lichtenbergpress.netd ... -Sutta.pdf

Insight meditation and absorption have some characteristics in common. When the practice of mindfulness is well established at the exploratory stage, i.e. knowledge by comprehension (sammasanañāna), there are initial application (vitakka), sustained application (vicāra), joy (pīti), bliss (sukha), and one-pointedness (ekagattā). Thus, whenever the meditator observes any phenomenon, his insight meditation is somewhat like the first absorption with its five characteristics.

When the meditator gains insight-knowledge of the arising and passing away of all phenomena, he is fully aware of an arising object without initial or sustained application. He has intense joy, bliss, and tranquillity, thus his meditation is somewhat like the second absorption with its three attributes.

The disappearance of the light, and so forth — the corruptions of insight (upakkilesa) — marks an advance in the insight-knowledge of the arising and passing away of phenomena. Then there is no joy, but bliss is very intense. The mind is tranquil and free from distractions. The meditator has the bliss and one-pointedness that are characteristics of the third absorption.

The higher levels of insight-knowledge such as knowledge of dissolution (bhangañāna), wherein the meditator sees only the passing away usually have nothing to do with joy. They are characterised by equanimity and one-pointedness. The former is especially pronounced at the stage of knowledge of equanimity about formations. At this stage the insight meditation is akin to the fourth absorption with its two attributes of equanimity and one-pointedness.

Furthermore, at times the meditator’s whole body disappears, giving him the impression of being in space. At that moment he is like a person absorbed in ākāsānañcāyatana jhāna. At other times, attention is fixed exclusively on consciousness and then the meditator’s state of consciousness resembles viññānañcāyatana jhāna. On occasions, it seems as though he were noting nothingness, a state somewhat like ākiñcaññāyatana jhāna. Sometimes the consciousness may be so transcendental that it becomes non-existent, a state on par with that of nevasaññā-nāsaññāyatana jhāna.

These characteristics that insight meditation has in common with absorption often leads to complacency, which is an obstacle to spiritual progress. In meditation it is necessary to note these unusual experiences and reject them. In the Sallekha Sutta, the Buddha, after pointing out the misleading nature of absorption, proceeds to spell out the practice of effacement that is calculated to root out defilements.
Corruptions of Insight;
1. Seeing light, colored lights and images. ie sparkling light or one might find oneself surrounded by light as if it was daytime during the night or see images ie of the Buddha.
2. Clear, lucid, and distinct understanding of arising and passing away of mental and physical phenomena, as well as easily understanding the three characteristics due to reflection on them. One can begin to assume that the knowledge arose by itself due to observation of phenomena and not as result of reflection
3. Rapture, various kinds of pleasant feeling ranging from occasional to pervasive and of varying intensity
4. Tranquility, a soothing feeling of comfort and not feeling the body
5. Happiness and comfort
6. Faith and confidence
7. Balanced energy making the practice proceed smoothly
8. Effortless mindfulness
9. Equanimity on account of knowledge
10. Delight in extraordinary insights, and other corruptions of insight, a form of craving.

Most of them can occur simultaneously.
Hard.


I read about jhana-light.

I personally don't think one can be in 2nd jhana and be jogging or washing dishes. There is absolutely zero internal dialogue in jhana 2 and above, and concepts of the external sensory world are totally absent.


The reason I feel that the experiences were legit and not based on "lightness" is because at the time I had never even heard of vipassana, and the common Pali stock formula for jhana http://suttacentral.net/an5.28/en/bodhi was virtually always identical and moving between 1-4 was extremely distinct based on these metaphors.

At one point it became difficult to concentrate on the breath, as the breath almost appeared to have totally disappeared.
Last edited by Manopubbangama on Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:57 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 187
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by Manopubbangama » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:36 pm

budo wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:56 pm
I have the same issue and I have two theories

1) According to the Progress of Insight, you passed the A&P phase and you won't be able to get these mundane jhanas ever again until you attain sotapanna fruition, in which case you'll get supermundane jhanas.

2) If you experience jhana too many times you lose the thrill for it, like all conditioned things, and you are not willing to work as hard to attain it again.

I remember when I first experienced mundane jhana I was literally meditating all day and night because that's all I WANTED to do, in fact I was pushing my girlfriend away and refusing to go out because all I wanted to do is meditate.

This is the upwards curve before one crosses the A&P phase, one's mind is very excited and eager to meditate, meditations and mundane jhanas come effortlessly. Then once one crosses the A&P phase it's actually the reverse and gets worse where one gives up meditation because they aren't getting nice feelings.

So I would say it's a mix of both 1 & 2.. Ayya Khema says that one who has experienced jhanas doesn't get the "Terror" insights from the Progress of Insight stage, but I don't know how that's possible since the PoI is above everything. I am currently reading some Nissarana books (the monestary she learned jhanas from) and they describe how one can switch between Insight and Samadhi modes.

So in short, you could have been doing insight practice all along and confused the "A&P" effect as jhanas, as they are pretty much the same thing. You never had Samadhi Jhanas in the first place.

This is just one theory and I can't say it's true, but what I do know for sure that my motivation in general is way less than when I first started experiencing jhanas, and Ayya Khema talks about that how many people give up meditation because of that, when instead you shouldn't let the mind take over like that, and should actually meditate more so that you can attain sotapanna fruition.
Not too family with Ayya Khema, but are you saying this is common? that people go through phases where Jhana attainment is simple and then its lost?

Its interesting you mention that story, because when I was meditating (with Jhana) I had no desire for my wife and wanted to be alone, meditating most of all.

I can't say now that that statement is not true, necessarily, however, the fact remains that I'm stuck in some kind of 7-fold path practice.


Also what is meant by " A&P phase?" Arising and Passing?
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

tamdrin
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:34 pm
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by tamdrin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:02 am

Would like to help you but I have no experience here. Hope you find some answers and get your meditation back. I'm also somewhat disappointed about my failure to enter samadhi, for reasons you know about from the other thread.

tamdrin
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:34 pm
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by tamdrin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:13 am

What kind of meditation do you have? Jhana is pretty deep, there are a lot of stages before there.

What kind of samadhi do you get with the beads? Sometimes I meditate on "Namo Amitabha Buddha" when I can't do "Buddho anapanasati".

User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 187
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by Manopubbangama » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:14 am

tamdrin wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:13 am
What kind of meditation do you have? Jhana is pretty deep, there are a lot of stages before there.

What kind of samadhi do you get with the beads? Sometimes I meditate on "Namo Amitabha Buddha" when I can't do "Buddho anapanasati".
Hello friend Tamdrin, I usually meditate on the tilakhana and/or the 4 noble truths with the mala. Sometimes Metta, starting with people I like and going towards people I may not necessarily love with all my heart.

The Amitabha sounds very Pureland to me, but I could be mistaken.....
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

tamdrin
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:34 pm
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by tamdrin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:27 am

It is, technically, but in the end it's just another way I use to focus my mind.

Buddho
Amitabha buddha.

pegembara
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by pegembara » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:20 am

Manopubbangama wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:19 pm

Approximately 10 years ago, for the course of roughly 4-6 months, I could attain 1-4 Jhana, seemingly at will.*

At this time, I had not yet even completed the Majjhima Nikaya, much less anything more challenging and was essentially an absolute novice in Buddhism.

My SIla was non-existence, in the sense that I had not disciplined myself to cultivate it.

my family went through several traumatic incidents, one was where my daughter almost died of a grave sickness, and we were uprooted from any semblance of routine that had existed prior: this was also during the greatest economic slump since the Great Depression, and procuring a material existence took a front seat to spiritual attainments.

Since then, I had tried many times in vain to get back to Samatha, but am essentially unable to do so.

I have since read the litany of "jhana books" on amazon to no avail.

I try to 'retrace my steps' and figure out what had let me up to this ability in the first place, again, to no avail.

So at this time, I really don't want to give up, but am rather frustrated.


*Not 5-8, but I don't think I tried for this.
Maybe you are trying too hard and moving further and further away.
"For a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue, there is no need for an act of will, 'May freedom from remorse arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that freedom from remorse arises in a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue.

"For a person free from remorse, there is no need for an act of will, 'May joy arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.

"For a joyful person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May rapture arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that rapture arises in a joyful person.

"For a rapturous person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May my body be serene.' It is in the nature of things that a rapturous person grows serene in body.

"For a person serene in body, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I experience pleasure.' It is in the nature of things that a person serene in body experiences pleasure.

"For a person experiencing pleasure, there is no need for an act of will, 'May my mind grow concentrated.' It is in the nature of things that the mind of a person experiencing pleasure grows concentrated.

"For a person whose mind is concentrated, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I know & see things as they actually are.' It is in the nature of things that a person whose mind is concentrated knows & sees things as they actually are.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

lostitude
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:02 am

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by lostitude » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:35 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:36 pm
Also what is meant by " A&P phase?" Arising and Passing?
I was wondering the same. A friendly suggestion: it would be nice to avoid acronyms in Buddhism. It makes me feel like I'm in some corporate meeting room reading management powerpoints. Otherwise let's do a SWOT analysis of jhana with KPIs. :tongue:

2600htz
Posts: 368
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by 2600htz » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:52 am

Hello:

I think thats very common among meditators.
When you are just starting, you have a "beginners mind", you dont expect nothing from the meditation, there is no longing/desire/craving, you just want to know what happens if you sit. Also its the first time our minds go that quiet and deep, so progress its easy.
But once you get in touch with the pleasure, you want it again, and that desire stops progress. Also if we start reading about meditation, we start getting ideas about what its supposed to happen, so we are not longer doing the practice,we are analyzing and having discoursive thinking.

In that case i think the meditation is getting rid of that longing for the pleasure. You just need to get into a place where you no longer care about the outcome of meditation. Just let it be, but it takes time. You need to forget. Acting like you dont care but really just doing it because you want to come back to that doesn`t work.

Regards.




g

User avatar
Dmytro
Posts: 1588
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:24 pm
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Contact:

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by Dmytro » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:53 pm

Hi,
Manopubbangama wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:19 pm
Since then, I had tried many times in vain to get back to Samatha, but am essentially unable to do so.
Jhana isn't a place to which one can return, it's rather a fire in which defilements burn. Somehow you've got a legacy of well-prepared fireplace, and you've used it fully.

Now you have to learn the full process, - development of virtue and removal of hindrances. You've probably got some hindrances that weren't present before (desire or whatever), and you don't know how to detect them and deal with them properly.

Anapanasati chapter of Patisambhidamagga provides the key variables and succinctly describes the way of removing hindrances:

http://www.bps.lk/olib/bp/bp502_part3.html
http://bps.lk/olib/bp/bp502s.pdf#page=55

Learning to apply this well may take several years, but it's possible.

Good luck!

User avatar
budo
Posts: 634
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am
Location: The world

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by budo » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:16 pm

Dmytro wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:53 pm

Jhana isn't a place to which one can return, it's rather a fire in which defilements burn. Somehow you've got a legacy of well-prepared fireplace, and you've used it fully.
Hi Dmytro,

this is a really interesting thought and idea! Do you have any sutta or commentary support for that? I would be interested in learning more.

Thank you!

edit: I found this on wikipedia
Dhayana is commonly translated as meditation, and is often equated with "concentration," though meditation may refer to a wider scala of exercises for bhavana, development. Dhyana can also mean "attention, thought, reflction."[5] According to Buddhaghosa, the term "jhana" (Skt. dhyana) is derived from the verb jhayati, "to think or meditate," while the verb jhapeti, "to burn up," explicates its function, namely burning-up opposing states, burning-up or destroying "the mental defilements preventing [...] the development of serenity and insight."[6][note 1]
and
Jhāpeti, (Caus. of jhāyati2) 1. to set fire to, to burn, to cook Vin. IV, 265; J. I, 255, 294; DhA. II, 66; PvA. 62.—2. to destroy, to bring to ruin, to kill (see Kern, Toev. , p. 37 sq.) J. III, 441 (=ḍahati pīḷeti); VvA. 38 (=jhāyati1, connected w. jhāna: to destroy by means of jhāna); inf. jhāpetuṃ J. VI, 300 (+ghātetuṃ hantuṃ); ger. jhatvā ref. S. I, 161 (reads chetvā)=Nett 145 (reads jhitvā, with v. l. chetvā). S. I, 19 (reads chetvā, vv. ll. ghatvā & jhatvā)=J. IV, 67 (T. jhatvā, v. l. chetvā; expld by kilametvā); S. I, 41 (v. l. for T. chetvā, Bdhgh says “jhatvā ti vadhitvā”); J. II, 262 (+hantvā vadhitvā; expld by kilametvā); VI, 299 (+vadhitvā); also jhatvāna J. IV, 57 (=hantvā).—pp. jhatta & jhāpita. (Page 286)
https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/jhapeti

Do you know which defilements in particular are killed off or are they just referring to the 5 hindrances?

and does this mean when one finds the correct hindrance/defilement to burn then piti arises?

User avatar
one_awakening
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:04 am

Re: My Jhana Slump - help request

Post by one_awakening » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:49 am

2600htz wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:52 am
You need to forget. Acting like you dont care but really just doing it because you want to come back to that doesn`t work.
I totally agree with this. In my own practice I have noticed that if I sit down to meditate with the goal of attaining Jhana, it rarely happens. Remember, desire is a hinderance. So my advice is forget about the Jhanas and just watch the breath.
“You only lose what you cling to”

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests