Upcara Samadhi and its powers

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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sakyan
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Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by sakyan » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am

I have read on many Buddhist posts about upcara samadhi also known as access concentration which is near to first jhana and the experiences of various meditators in it.

They say that with Upcara Samadhi one can hear deva sounds, visualize heavens and Brahma heavens, can visualize hells, various pretas, animals, humans, one can know other people's thoughts and so on.

Even I my meditation phase I reach a point where the nimmitas began to appear and fade again (which is normal) and then after sometimes I began to see colourful places, shadowy figures, nimmitas appearing and disappearing again. I know this is totally normal, What I find strange is that in the Buddhist sutras, 4th jhana is the plane where the mind is strong enough to attain supernatural powers. So how it is all possible in upcara samadhi which is not even the first jhana?

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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:45 am

Keep Sutta as your guide until you experience forth Jhana yourself.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:49 am

sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am

They say that with Upcara Samadhi one can hear deva sounds, visualize heavens and Brahma heavens, can visualize hells, various pretas, animals, humans, one can know other people's thoughts and so on.

.....

....So how it is all possible in upcara samadhi which is not even the first jhana?
It sounds like a profound misunderstanding. Either theirs, or you misread something?
Either way, it's not correct.
Upacara samadhi is simply the still, steadily focused mind-state just before jhana.
It's not uncommon and doesn't give any superpowers unfortunately.

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Volo
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by Volo » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:49 am

Based on my understanding:

The object of both upacara samadhi and jhāna is nimitta (in case of ānāpānasati, kasina, etc). Therefore if your "nimitta" disappears, then it's probably neither jhāna nor upacara. It's just "light", which many mediators see.

In any case the safest way to go is to stick to your meditation object, and to ignore lights, images, etc.

What concerns special abilities in upacara samadhi, they are possible if you have inclinations to them (for example due to mastering them in previous lifes).

:anjali:

tamdrin
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by tamdrin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:29 am

Yes, I have read about Thai monks being in upacara samadhi and taking tours of the heavens and hells. Upacara samadhi is actually a quite profound state of concentration before jhana. It's probably not easily accessed by most. However there is no guarantee of experiencing the kind of profound spiritual phenomenon in upacara samadhi for every meditator is different.

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DooDoot
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by DooDoot » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:44 am

sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
I have read on many Buddhist posts about upcara samadhi also known as access concentration which is near to first jhana and the experiences of various meditators in it.
I have read this also (such as by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa) but I disagree. I doubt upcara samadhi compares to jhana. This said, upcara samadhi is very stable, i.e., without any major hindrances & distracting thoughts. If a very subtle impurity (hindrance) manifests, upcara samadhi will easily dissolve it.
sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
They say that with Upcara Samadhi one can hear deva sounds, visualize heavens and Brahma heavens, can visualize hells, various pretas, animals, humans, one can know other people's thoughts and so on.
I cannot comment directly on the above; however no level of concentration guarantees psychic powers. Psychic power can only occur if there is a latent disposition for it. Arahants and jhana masters, such as Venerable Sariputta, did not have psychic powers.
sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
Even I my meditation phase I reach a point where the nimmitas began to appear and fade again (which is normal) and then after sometimes I began to see colourful places, shadowy figures, nimmitas appearing and disappearing again.
This sounds like "sinking mind" or "sloth & torpor". The mind is falling asleep & creates pictures, such as in dreams.
sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
What I find strange is that in the Buddhist sutras, 4th jhana is the plane where the mind is strong enough to attain supernatural powers. So how it is all possible in upcara samadhi which is not even the first jhana?
People with psychic powers can use their psychic powers when not in jhana therefore obviously jhana is not required at least to exercise psychic powers. For example, when the Buddha spoke to people with psychic powers, the fact he was "thinking" shows he was not in jhana.

Regards :smile:
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auto
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by auto » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:48 am

put it into context what is applicable or have some connection with phenomena.

for an example its not possible to imagine what you haven't seen before. When you play with the imagination and creating a pink elephant then you are on a plane of creator devas.

Hence when you think or see horror images they are hell planes.

only problem is our own ideas, wrong views muddle it and you can't tell what you add or remove or what is your imagination or what is actually thinking of location like trying to remember the path how you got here for real.

This way even a random noone can see hells, devas, sensual planes but he has muddled ideas ruined by modern thinking what reality is and even moreso get ideas how to behave based by these images

point is mundane jhanas and powers can't be hard. It is wrong thinking and not knowing how is the right thing and what to look for. You also porbably know your past lives as its very easy to look but you just not know how to recognize them and where to look in your mind waht is basically in your face available at any time.


look at that,
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .wlsh.html
I declare that the heart's release by sympathetic joy has the sphere of infinite consciousness for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release.
its already beyond 4 material jhanas, easy.

So also what you do in your daily life, see what these doing has reasons what are not fatalism, but has its origination from mind what could connect to live imagery to different planes. Dependent Origination reference.


Also those who say hard jhanas, full strong concentration just are subject to being viril which can be simply manifested with same mechanics like sympathetic joy can be.

confusedlayman
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by confusedlayman » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:36 pm

halllucinations maybe
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

Laurens
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by Laurens » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:40 pm

If I am very tired when I meditate, I get fragmentary snapshots of dreams. Like an image or the brief unfolding of a scenario. It's interesting that the mind does this, and it provides good grounds for overcoming tiredness in meditation, but there is no substance to the snapshots themselves.

Whether or not these images you describe are the same phenomena, you would benefit from viewing them as such. Meditation is not about having visions.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

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Antaradhana
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by Antaradhana » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:48 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:44 am
People with psychic powers can use their psychic powers when not in jhana therefore obviously jhana is not required at least to exercise psychic powers.
Yes, and for some psychic abilities it is not needed at all, for example, Devadatta could not even reach the first jhana, but mastered worldly iddhi.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by budo » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:38 am

I would say ones level of general concentration (focused attention) determines ones physic powers. The faculty levels one is born with due to their past karma, sets the baseline level of concentration. So someone who had practiced hard in a past life will be born with better faculties in the next life.

My aunt has psychic powers but doesn't know anything about Buddhism, she can see things from far away. For example back in the 80s she would know if someone across the country was sick.

For example when I was kid I went on a camping trip with like 15 kids in hot weather (35c+) with a friend of a friend's family for 10 days. No one had cell phones and we had to use pay phones. On the third day I developed an extremely high fever and was dehydrated, and no adults on the trip cared, my aunt didn't even know I was on this trip and didn't know anyone, and lived over 8-10 hours away. She called the adults somehow and told them I was very sick, dehydrated and high fever, and to send me home. My parents were out of the country, so one of the adult's friends drove me 8-10 hours to my aunt, and she put wet towels all over my body for a few days, my grandmother when she was alive, was a nurse at a hospital and my aunt knew everything from her.

My aunt was the other side of my family, who didn't know anyone from this side, nor their friends. This also wasn't the first time she did this, she did the same thing when my brother was also extremely sick and in a different continent.

confusedlayman
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by confusedlayman » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:20 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:44 am
sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
I have read on many Buddhist posts about upcara samadhi also known as access concentration which is near to first jhana and the experiences of various meditators in it.
I have read this also (such as by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa) but I disagree. I doubt upcara samadhi compares to jhana. This said, upcara samadhi is very stable, i.e., without any major hindrances & distracting thoughts. If a very subtle impurity (hindrance) manifests, upcara samadhi will easily dissolve it.
sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
They say that with Upcara Samadhi one can hear deva sounds, visualize heavens and Brahma heavens, can visualize hells, various pretas, animals, humans, one can know other people's thoughts and so on.
I cannot comment directly on the above; however no level of concentration guarantees psychic powers. Psychic power can only occur if there is a latent disposition for it. Arahants and jhana masters, such as Venerable Sariputta, did not have psychic powers.
sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
Even I my meditation phase I reach a point where the nimmitas began to appear and fade again (which is normal) and then after sometimes I began to see colourful places, shadowy figures, nimmitas appearing and disappearing again.
This sounds like "sinking mind" or "sloth & torpor". The mind is falling asleep & creates pictures, such as in dreams.
sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
What I find strange is that in the Buddhist sutras, 4th jhana is the plane where the mind is strong enough to attain supernatural powers. So how it is all possible in upcara samadhi which is not even the first jhana?
People with psychic powers can use their psychic powers when not in jhana therefore obviously jhana is not required at least to exercise psychic powers. For example, when the Buddha spoke to people with psychic powers, the fact he was "thinking" shows he was not in jhana.

Regards :smile:
sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
They say that with Upcara Samadhi one can hear deva sounds, visualize heavens and Brahma heavens, can visualize hells, various pretas, animals, humans, one can know other people's thoughts and so on.
I cannot comment directly on the above; however no level of concentration guarantees psychic powers. Psychic power can only occur if there is a latent disposition for it. Arahants and jhana masters, such as Venerable Sariputta, did not have psychic powers.

to the above, I think psychic powers can be gained even when u don't have latent depositions. because, u need jhanaic conciousness after emerging from jhana and will (intension) to gain. I think sariputta had some like seeing deities and brahma during deathbed and in many instances.
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

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Zom
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by Zom » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:43 pm

People always want shortcuts 8-) But it doesn't work that way in Dhamma.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:56 pm

sakyan wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:41 am
I have read on many Buddhist posts about upcara samadhi also known as access concentration which is near to first jhana and the experiences of various meditators in it.
Read about the Vipassanā Jhānas that arise from access concentration. The concentrated state of mind that is free from the five hindrances has tremendous power if mindful noting is continuous and relentless.

One should always look for shortcuts rather than taking the longest possible route. If one takes The Shortest Route to Nibbāna there won't be any shortcuts, but there is always the possibility of missing the right path, and getting stuck in blissful states, or being diverted from the straight path by fame and pride, and so forth.
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Re: Upcara Samadhi and its powers

Post by Zom » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:48 am

Taking straight way is one thing, but inventing shortcuts where they should not be is another.

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