Jhana

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

I made a comment on another thread this morning on meditation.
That was on Satipatthana, but I have frequently expressed that perfecting Satipatthana
is very similar to perfecting the 4 Buddhist jhanas. So I will place the relevant part of that
comment here.
Satipatthana is not about body meditation, it is about "body and mind' meditation.
In SN 35.206, Buddha mentions five animals leashed to a pole (the notion of self) animals are the eye, ear....that distract constantly, the 6th the mind, the monkey

'Body in body' is not a corpse meditation, it is a body with active sense organs, very much alive, creating the sensory world, the meditator deals with the world created by the body.

To restrain the body housing the sense organs, and that activity, is itself the entire meditation, it is not like a simple walking meditation.
  • One who understands this, will see the first satipatthana is very similar to first jhana meditation.
Sensual restraint, is the key, to both. The sutta itself is a great teaching tool.
Let us look at a another way Buddha teaches Satipatthana, to get a better understanding. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
condensed Excerpts from SN 47.2 Samudaya
Following is from BB version.
  • 1st Satipatthana: What bikkhus is the origination of the body? With origination of nutrients there is the origination of the body. With the cessation of the nutrient, there is the cessation of the body. (see how powerful this teaching is, one has to bring in Son's flesh SN 12.60 to complete this meditation)
  • 2nd Satipatthana: With the origination of contact, origination of feeling (one has to bring in several suttas to understand this)
  • 3rd Satipatthana: With origination of name and form, there is the origination of mind. DO is brought in subtly, was not Buddha amazing?
  • 4th satipatthana: With the origination of attention there is the origination of phenomena (mind's objects) these include training in the 7 seven factors of awakening etc. (Reading Bojjhanga samyutta will help here)

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

It is X'mas, just going over the last comment I made,  I noticed the link does not work...and the sutta number is not right either. My apologies.
The correct number is SN 47.42(2) Origination or Samudaya. It is listed under "DEATHLESS" 
i.e. 5th section of the Satipatthana Samyutta

I notice that there is a method to these groupings. For instance the third group of suttas is listed under the heading VIRTUE and DURATION. Here  Ven. Bhadda queries Ananada SN 47.22 (2) about the reasons for non-endurance of the Dhamma, after Tathagata is no more,  and the answer is failure at the 4 establishments of mindfulness, and related bhavana.
Appears these titles bear a meaning and conveys a message.
The 4th section is called UNHEARD BEFORE,
and gives further clarifications on 4 references of mind, e.g. SN 47.32 (2) The 4 establishments  of mindfulness, when developed and and cultivated (bhavana) lead to utter revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation (like in the 4th jhana), to enlightenment (meaning destruction of taints) and thus nibbana.
This thread is on the 4 jhanas,  but it is impossible to understand the need for jhanic concentration without understanding the Four establishments of mindfulness.
The point I am trying to make is, when Satiptthana is referred to as Four establishment of mindfulness, it is only the beginning, or how one begins the meditations, by focussing on 4 different areas.
But the Satipathanabhavana is quite an advanced activity. The previous comment made on 12/7/19, is an example of the latter kind.
Here, each establishment is thoroughly investigated, including its origination, which makes it a sequential meditation on Dependent Origination.
Pretty neat...
It is a teaching on the origination of each of the four objects of meditation.
And in the last bhavana,  Mind's objects, Dhammanupassana, one must remember,  meditation on Suffering, its cause, its avoidance (bliss) and the path are as equally important as meditating on Bojjhanga.
For all our false views arise, due to the mistaken understanding of suffering.
Merry Christmas to All, 🎄💕
Pulsar   

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

It is worth visiting the wandering monk Vaccagotta off and on, just to solidify doctrine, and remind to us the need for meditation.
Addressing Ananda Buddha says the wandering monk Vaccagotta
came to him with a question. Is there a self or not?

'I did not answer him' says the Buddha. In fact to answer that there is a self, is to contradict the truth of things, because no dhamma is a self, nor has any relationship with a self;

and if he had answered that there is no self, he would've increased the folly of Vacca, for he would have thought
'I had a soul/self, but this soul/self does not now exist'
  • for in comparison to the folly of the belief in the existence of a soul, this second folly is
    greater,
whoever believes in the soul falls into the extreme view of eternity, whoever believes that the soul does not exist, falls into the extreme view of annihilation
 
  • the burden of error! the careless error! the thoughtless error!
  • Taking into consideration the injury that heresy does and also, the falling off of good deeds,
    Buddha teaches the doctrine in the manner in which a tigress carries its young.
  • Those who believe in the reality of the self are torn by the teeth of heresy; those who do not recognize the conventional self let their good actions fall away and perish.
so for us who are non-arahants the conventional self must remain very much a reality, doing the good
deeds, but not the false teaching that behind the aggregates is a steady soul, witness-
ing.
Happy 2020 to all!  🥀

a tigress carries baby, carefully, and thoughtfully, so that the baby is not strangled, not torn by the teeth of heresy, is a metaphor, but this very carrying of the baby is one of the finest meditations
for a us in this brand new year, and it would be very much a part of Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi.
With love
🥀

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

I was occupied with Nama-rupa, trying to figure out how to say this in the simplest possible
buddhist way, mind you not in samkhya type thought, but I had to think through, 
so I searched the web, I stumble upon none other than Wynn, a kind of win win, situation, a modern scholar trying to create a name for himself, outshine others.
Scholars are scholars esp. those who do not meditate, yet appear to have expertise in the doctrine, they can be as ruthless as hungry tigers, towards the Buddhist canon,
if it helps their cause in academia. It is been well known that the canon contains contradictions, that it is influenced by Upanisad thought, but if read in between bouts of meditation,
it can be helpful in our spiritual progress. Theravadin scholars in the past have the treated the canon with kid gloves, there is a plus and a minus here, some things like introductory suttas to Satipatthana can leave one reeling.
But it looks like for Alex Wynn 'all bets are off'. Who knows it might be a good thing, in the long run??? 
Tsunamis might lead to new and better constructions. I listened to a few of his videos. A. Wynn's ploy appears to be, to make fun of Satipatthana sutta.
Is he unhappy with the intro presentation, perhaps meant for child monks, to be used for rote memorization? clearly it does not offer instructions for practice, but what should a thoughtful scholar do?
Instead of hacking it, one could add a supplement to it, to help the modern contemplative. But things are not ideal.
It pays to be sensational, more than this something else he resorted to kinda shocked me.
This is not new to others, mikenz66 talked about this in 2018 on DW. viewtopic.php?t=32028

A. Wynn pits Kaccana against Sariputta.
I recall Buddha once calling Sariputta
Torchbearer of Mankind
later scholars applied the epithet to Buddha, but if you read Sutta Nipata, it is pretty much clear it was used by Buddha addressing Rahula, to describe Sariputta. 
Wynn saddened me. He uses data from the canon to create a negative image of Sariputta.
To resort to this, he uses  suttas from the canon clearly later constructions, words fed into the mouth of sariputta.
But it is not the first time Sariputta was  a target.. in some sects of Mahayana an imaginary Sariputta had conversations with Subuthi, where Subuthi was the clear winner. 
In the  modern age, a modern scholar uses Kaccana for the same purpose, to present Sariputta in a negative light. Let us see how he does this. Using Madhupindika sutta, he tags the kind of mental state  described in MN 18 as
bare cognition
God help us. Wynn supports his thesis by saying that it was this bare cognition that enabled Bahia to become an instant saint upon hearing the simple formula. "In the seen is the seen". 
Why am I talking about this here? because it all relates to the 4 jhanas, the state of cessation. 
Since Wynn does not meditate, he fails to realize that to function in the state of mind described by Buddha in MN 18, (Mind without mental proliferation) an ordinary Joe or Jane requires quite a bit of preparation...
Wynn presents his information in such a way that his definition of "bare cognition" is all pervasive, available to the man on the street, offering instant enlightenment. 
He is a good lawyer...
How come sharks don’t attack lawyers? From professional courtesy.
will continue later.
A peaceful weekend to all! :candle:

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Alexander Wynne, Madhupindika, bare cognition, Sariputta, ultimately Buddha. Refreshing our minds, and continuing with the last comment, 
a link to Wynne's take is at the bottom.
Pulsar gives credit to Wynne for singling out MN 18, one could say the most delicious sutta in the entire canon considering it is called "Honeyball"  
In the modern day one might call it best of Swiss chocolates, say Läderach. Taste buds of the modern person is lots more refined than whoever lived in Buddha's time, or so we like to think.

Has anyone read the sutta lately? each time one reads it anew, a new insight emerges, but it is not bare cognition. 
When we use one Holy Spirit (MahaKaccana) to pit against another Holy Spirit (Sariputta), honesty is important, but a good lawyer might say, based on Wynne's perceived lack of experience in meditation (Samma Sati, Samma Samadhi) he is not held culpable.

It is a typical legal strategy to use selective data to prove one's case (wrongly motivated acquisition of intellectual knowledge, Pulsar call it).  To use a single Sutta spoken by MahaKaccana (not even of his origin), he was merely explaining words spoken by Buddha moments before.
To be fair, if fairness is known to academia, Wynne could have used MN 133, for it offers a key to the interpretation of this passage, i.e. MahaKaccana's  explanation of Bhaddekaratta verses, but then it would've damaged Wynne's emergent theory of "bare cognition".
This is a chat group, no one has the attention span longer than of momentary bare cognition, including me, so I will end  the note by quoting what I am trying to get at, the sutta is not about bare cognition.
Here is Buddha's take
a certain monk said to the Blessed One, "Lord, what sort of doctrine is it where one does not keep quarreling with anyone in the cosmos with its deities, Maras, & Brahmas,
with its contemplatives & brahmans,
its royalty & commonfolk; where perceptions no longer obsess the brahman
who remains dissociated from sensuality, free from perplexity, his uncertainty cut away, devoid of craving for becoming & non-?
"If, monk, with regard to the cause whereby the perceptions & categories of objectification assail a person, there is nothing there to relish, welcome, or remain fastened to,
then that is the end of the obsessions of passion, the obsessions of resistance, the obsessions of views, the obsessions of uncertainty,
the obsessions of conceit, the obsessions of passion for becoming, & the obsessions of ignorance. That is the end of taking up rods & bladed weapons, of arguments, quarrels, disputes, accusations, divisive tale-bearing, & false speech. That is where these evil, unskillful things cease without remainder."
That is what the Blessed One said. Having said it, the One Well-gone got up from his seat and went into his dwelling.
Here is a brief excerpt from MahaKaccana's explanation 
"When there is no intellect,
when there are no ideas, when there is no intellect-consciousness,
it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of contact.
When there is no delineation of contact, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of feeling.
When there is no delineation of feeling, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation
of perception.
When there is no delineation of perception (Sanna), it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of thinking.

When there is no delineation of thinking, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of being assailed by the perceptions & categories of objectification..."
It is well worth reading the version of Sutta found on the web by Thannisaro. But there is no way you can understand it unless you read it in a quiet meditative mood.
If you do so, it will also fill in the blanks of your understanding of Paticca Samutpada, Samma Sati, and Samma samadhi.
With love

PS Wynn'e take on Madhupindika and bare cognition.
https://www.academia.edu/36752191/Sarip ... meditation

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Reading Maryla Falk this morning, I stumble across 'Aupapaduka beings'. Apparently there are such beings born, who do not hurt their mothers in the process of birth, needless to say my poetic sensibility was blown away,
how wonderful such births must be! Alexander Wynne too was very much on my mind,
I've been reading or listening to all that he has published. He truly presents some scholarly stuff that appeals to me.
For instance 
Objectless meditation
is a big part of his presentation. One finds clear evidence for this in the Pali canon. When a scholar writes profusely it must be hard not to mislead at times, while at some times leading us correctly.
Occasionally to drive a point home too hard, maybe he resorts to a strategy, clearly undesirable. But this is the way things are. Let us try to use him in a constructive way. Presenting an idea, without hurting others, is important.
For instance "Bare cognition". Here he stumbled. But I will not dwell on it right now.
His idea of "Objectless Meditation" deserves a great deal of attention by the wise meditator. 
Buddha has said in no unclear terms that the thoroughbred horse, the 'accomplished meditator' has no object in his mind, his/her meditation is objectless. In AN 11.9, Buddha refers to two types of jhana 
  • 1. One type that should not be practiced, the one with objects
 
  • 2. One type to be developed, one without objects.
Alexander Wynne goes out on a limb, when he presents the notion of objectless meditation, since Theravada commentary is chock-full of meditations that rely on objects.
I admire him for his series of lectures, which is not without flaws, but  I learnt much from these, for instance the correct definition of Kasina.
According to Wynne,
'kasina'
does not mean an object, it is an abstract noun meaning a totality, cognition is stressed. 
I do not agree with him, when he trashes Satipathana. I interpret Satipatthana, when it is stated as Ekayana, to be Satipatthana bhavana, and not superficial mindfulness.
At one point Wynne goes as far as to say, that Satipatthana sutta was not taught by Buddha, but is a product of the second council. 
Any meditator would agree that here, Wynne is stumbling seriously.
Yet I love the way he dwells into the four similes used to elaborate the four jhanas i.e. DN 2.
Everyone should visit him, one time or another.
I do not agree with his theory of Psychosomatic transformation. At this point it baffles me, but who knows what exactly he means. I will continue with this comment later. If Dhamma were a special drink, one should be careful to only take a small sip at a time, like Madhupindika sutta, to be understood a little at a time.
Restful times to all!  :candle:

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Getting back to Alexander  Wynne and "bare cognition".  something to pay attention, is "bare awareness", a term used by  Ven, Nanananda to describe similar events. http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... ev-0_3.pdf
Cognition and vinnana both refer to consciousness, but these can be of two different flavors
of consciousness, found in two different places of DO.
It is important to pay close attention here, how awareness comes into play in two different ways in paticcasamuppada.
I shall continue with this comment later.
It looks like the graphics I tried to copy, will not copy, so I shall write it out later, or bring the link to it, apologise for this.
be back later in the day...

Later
Examining  traditional formulation of Dependent origination 
IGNORANCE>>>> MOTTIVATING DISPOSITION>>>>>
CONSCIOUSNESS
>>>>> PSYCHOPHYSICALITY>>>> SIX SENSE FIELDS>>>>> CONTACT>>>> FEELINGS>>>
COGNITION
>>>>CRAVING>>>> CLINGING>>>> RIGID BEING>>>> DECREPITUDE>>>> DYING 

Ever since Patthana,
the D.O. formulation has been interpreted both embryologically, upto six sense fields,
after birth upto dying, as well as taking place in a single moment.
Let us forget about  three life or many life models, this does not help with our current activity, where we live to
transform origination into dependent cessation or non-origination, via meditation
Samma sati, Samma samadhi, Samma samadhi involves only the four buddhist jhanas. Potential for bare cognition is only found where cognition is found in the chain, something can occur around the point of contact, so that Vedana and Sanna, do not result in craving, where sensation and sanna lose their power, and they cannot arouse lust, are not irritated by hatred, or deluded by that delusion.
Result is "bare cognition'
The diagram I wanted to copy this morning is
figure 2
in this Wiki article by Ven. Thanissaro. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijñāna
Pl. go over it and see how Nama supports Rupa like two reeds, also notice the area
where bare cognition might come into play,
it is in the location where phassa is noted. I tried to copy the figure this morning, but I am not one of those wizards, it would have been nice if it could have popped up, alongside the comment. I will link this to MN 18, Bahia and Malunkyaputta. This is where Wynne will come into the picture, but later,
first we have to get the bare facts straight.
With love :heart:
  
 

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

just a note to alert whoever the good folks reading this thread, that I also post stuff relevant
to the Four Buddhist jhanas, on another thread. Since it is mainly related to the Misconceptions involving
Jhana, I had originally decided to keep it separate.
Here is the link to that thread.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=34797&p=543499#p543499
With love :candle:
PS The other thread is called
Jhanas, the misconceptions that have arisen regarding the four Rupa Jhanas

It was titled in this manner to make folks think about the way the first four jhanas are presented in the canon, in some suttas, is also an issue, that itself might be misleading, if not understood properly.
A pleasant weekend to all!

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Ajahn Brahm's introductions to Jhana has come to my attention. Let us take a look at how he perceives buddhist Jhana, the requirements for Samma samadhi, of the 8-fold path. Ajahn Brahm describes himself as a ‘meditation junkie’ and is famous for his statement that ‘jhāna is better than sex’. He has brought the jhāna to the center of attention like no other modern Buddhist meditation master before him. He has made several important comments about the state of jhāna, which is attained by his method of meditation.
He points out, that all the five senses are totally shut down during jhāna. A meditator cannot feel, hear, see, smell of feel touch. Even if someone tapped a meditator absorbed in jhāna on the shoulder, he wouldn’t feel a thing (Brahm, 2006: 154). In the state of jhāna, one cannot experience his own body, or feel any pain. As Ajahn Brahm points out, once the meditator is inside the jhāna, there is no more choice. One will be able to emerge only when the fuel of relinquishment will be all used up. Higher jhānas usually persist for several hours (Brahm, 2006: 24–25). 
contrary to what Ajahn Brahm writes, it is not jhāna that we are reminded of here. Ajahn Brahm’s jhāna possesses all the distinct features of
yogic meditation
Now let us compare this with how Buddha describes Jhana in MN 38 
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN38.html
The greater craving destruction discourse.
With the abandoning of pleasure and pain... he enters and abides in the fourth jhāna... which has neither pain nor pleasure and purity of equanimity due to mindfulness.
On seeing a form with the eye... hearing a sound with an ear... smelling an odor with the nose... tasting a flavor with a tongue... touching a tangible by the body... cognizing a mind-object with the mind, he does not lust afer it if it is pleasing; he does not dislike it if it is displeasingHe abides with mindfulness of the body (kāyasati) established, with an immeasurable mind and he understands as it actually is the deliverance of mind, and deliverance by wisdom, wherein the evil unwholesome states cease without remainder
Two different stories, one pretty much hinduistic, the second pretty much buddhistic. Once the celebrated Ajhans plant these ideas on the naive public, it takes quite a while to undo the damage.
There is a saying "Trust but verify".
This is what the head of the KGB told a nuclear physicist after the Chernobyl disaster. The events were pretty chilling. HBO made a fine movie out of that story. It is simply called "Chernobyl"
Human tragedy, what a lesson in Buddhism too, how corruption leads to failure and karma drags one along destined paths, unless one has the resolve to engage in right meditation and change the course of action.
With love :candle:

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mikenz66
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Re: Jhana

Post by mikenz66 »

See Ven Dhammanando's post recent post here: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13382&p=544668#p544668 for an historical perpective:
Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:45 pm
Whether or not five-sense-door experience is present in the jhānas is a matter Buddhists have been debating for over two millennia. If Dhamma Wheel's 33-page Great Jhāna Debate thread is anything to go by, they'll probably be debating it for the next two millennia as well. Ajahn Brahm's view that there's no five-sense door experience in even the first jhāna was also the view defended by the Theravadins at the Third Council, while Ajahn Thanissaro's view to the contrary was defended by the Pūrvaśailīyas.

That being so, I don't think there's any need to look to the Sāṃkhya-darśana, or any other non-Buddhist darśana, for the source of Ajahn Brahm's view. Leaving aside the more extreme "jhāna lite" conceptions (e.g. those of Vimalaraṃsi and Leigh Brasington) most modern Buddhist conceptions of jhāna fall well within the spectrum of views that were historically contested among different Buddhist schools.
:heart:
Mike

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Mike wrote copying Dhammanando,
Ajahn Brahm's view that there's no five-sense door experience in even the first jhāna was also the view defended by the Theravadins at the Third Council, while Ajahn Thanissaro's view to the contrary was defended by the Pūrvaśailīyas.
That being so, I don't think there's any need to look to the Sāṃkhya-darśana, or any other non-Buddhist darśana, for the source of Ajahn Brahm's view. Leaving aside the more extreme "jhāna lite" conceptions (e.g. those of Vimalaraṃsi and Leigh Brasington) most modern Buddhist conceptions of jhāna fall well within the spectrum of views that were historically contested among different Buddhist schools.Third Council?
PURVASAILIYAS? Thanissaro's views. Thank you for this information.
I am unaware of what transpired at the 3rd council. You explain very well that the the tradition of Theravada is replete with contrasting views, leading to great debates about profound understandings.
Founder himself has said that intellect does not lead one to end of suffering, only the calm mind free of mental prolifertions will. In the current world most admit that they do not have time for meditation, that does not prevent them from participating in debates that require meditaions, and life style changes.
It was
Buddhaghosa's Atthasalini
that helped me understand the four buddhist jhanas. He has this one amazing story there about the four jhanas, actually a metaphor, if we may call it that.  
First Jhana is split into two stages, to facilitate the entry of the newcomer into Jhana. If not for Buddhaghosa's Atthasalini, and 
Early Buddhist Meditation: The Four Jhanas as the Actualization of Insight
(Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism) 1st Editionby Keren Arbel, I too would be participating in the great Jhana debate.
Thank god for Buddhaghosa, and Atthasalini. Keren Arbel's Book was written with the advice of Rupert Gethin, a most reliable Theravadin scholar.
Not to change the subject, but Sujato most recently admitted that Satipatthana sutta was being modified by partcipating monks up until the 3rd council. Does this explain the contradictions within the sutta?
For instance to get started on the first satipatthana one has to be  free of the five hindrances, just as much as one's frame of mind has to be free of five hindrances before the 4 jhana meditations.
If so, for the 4th satipatthana to be explained as a meditation on the removal of five hindrances also, does not make sense.
These have already been removed before the meditation begins. This does not stop Analayo from insisting on removal of five hindrances also, in the 4th satipatthana.
 If Satipatthana is approached as Ekayana method, a meditator has to engage in Satipatthana bhavana, not as one beginning the practice of mindfulness,
Great debates maybe found on Satipatthana sutta too, not only in "jhana".  
Opinions vary among Theravadin monks. Why these conflicts?
Let us go back to the The Founder's final request:
 "Engage in the 37 aids to enlightenment, do not waste a single moment" and this includes only the four buddhist jhanas (the 8th step of 8-fold path) and not the so called Arupa samapatthis, that some suttas refer
to.
Dhammanando was very helpful once, in responding to a question I had on Samannaphala sutta.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=34797&p=543533#p543533
He wrote 
Because the type of virtuoso described in the Sāmaññaphalasutta is one who has arrived at cessation in the sense of dukkhanirodha, not cessation in the sense of saññāvedayita-nirodha-samāpatti. It is only for one aspiring to the latter that the āruppas are a prerequisite
and according to Theravadin commentary the latter means Non Returners and Arahants.
If so why speak about these to the layman  (who are already confused about first jhana to begin with) and confuse them further?
Is it not better for the layman buddhist  to understand the release of suffering the Samannaphala way? I would never call the Four Buddhist Jhanas "Jhana Lite" but each one is entitled to his/her opinion. 
I only have followed Thanissaro's writings, since the writings of others you have mentioned leave me confused.

So I guess I follow the  PURVASAILIYAS school of Theravada. What school does BB belong to? If not for his translations I would be lost, I have to admit. I will reply to other issues that Dhammanando raised as I find time. I am reading Maria Falk right now, a scholar who spent a great number of years as a meditator. Her writing makes a great deal of sense to me. 
With love :candle:

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Dhammanando
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Re: Jhana

Post by Dhammanando »

Pulsar wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:28 pm
I only have followed Thanissaro's writings, since the writings of others you have mentioned leave me confused.

So I guess I follow the  PURVASAILIYAS school of Theravada.
In the Dīpavaṃsa, it isn't stated whether the Pubbaseliyas (as they're called in Pali) were among the Theravādin or the Mahāsaṅghika schools. The Sarvāstivādin historian Vinītadeva listed them as Mahāsaṅghikas. To judge from the views attributed to them in the Kathāvatthu Commentary he was probably correct.
Pulsar wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:28 pm
What school does BB belong to?
It depends whether you're talking about his head or his heart.

I'd say he's a Theravādin by ordination and largely (though not wholly) classical Theravādin in view, but with a strong emotional attraction to certain features of the Mahāyāna, in particular the bodhisatva ideal and East Asian devotional rituals.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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robertk
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Re: Jhana

Post by robertk »

quote from the Katthavathuppakarana-Atthakatha (by Buddhoghosa) (p3 of Points of controversy, PTS) :
It talks about after the second council (about 100 years after Buddha parinibbana)

"Ten thousand of the of the Vajjiputtaka bhikkhus[after splitting from the good monks] seeking adherents among themselves, formed a school called the Mahasanghika [these then split several times] Thus from the school of the Mahasanghikas, in the second century only two schools seceded from the Theravada[note that the rightful monks are called Theravada by Buddhaghosa]-Mahimsinsasakas and Vajjiputtakas... [it lists more that split later]..Thus from the Theravada arose these eleven seceding bodies making 12 in all. And these 12 together the six schools of the Mahasanghikas constitute the 18 schools which arose in the second century. Of the eighteen, 17 are to be understood as schismatics, the Theravadan only being non- schismatic[/b

].

Spiny Norman
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Re: Jhana

Post by Spiny Norman »

Just a general question on jhana: I've read several commentaries on the four tetras of anapanasati which suggest the first three tetrads are for developing jhana.
Is this basically correct?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Dhammanando wrote
In the Dīpavaṃsa, it isn't stated whether the Pubbaseliyas (as they're called in Pali) were among the Theravādin or the Mahāsaṅghika schools. The Sarvāstivādin historian Vinītadeva listed them as Mahāsaṅghikas. To judge from the views attributed to them in the Kathāvatthu Commentary he was probably correct.
So if I follow this correctly, then Thanissaro is technically not Theravadin, but Mahāsaṅghika.
That is a large sip to gulp down in one inhale. Lately based on the comments on DW I have become confused regarding the definition of Theravada, if it includes all late commentaries too, because these are
full of contradictions, if you take into account some significant suttas in the Pali canon. I will point out these suttas later.
Take Visuddhimagga for instance, at one point it says Jhana is available to only one in a trillion, maybe one in a ten thousand, I am not good with numbers. I hardly see a difference in a trillion and a million, in terms of what the writer tries to convey, basically discouraging the ordinary determined Joe or Jane, from walking the path, if you get my drift. On the other hand Rupert Gethin has brought our attention to the fact that not all writings in Visuddhimagga were wrote by Buddhaghosa.
Latter makes a lot of sense to me. I would say Buddhaghosa's Attthasalini is purer Buddhhaghosa, uncontaminated...
At one point he says "Don't believe what Rev. Ravata says, (hope my memory is correct) in the chapter on the "Moral consciousness in the world of Sense". This is one chapter everyone should read if they want to understand the 4 buddhist jhanas.
You also wrote regarding BB
I'd say he's a Theravādin by ordination and largely (though not wholly) classical Theravādin in view, but with a strong emotional attraction to certain features of the Mahāyāna, in particular the bodhisatva ideal and East Asian devotional rituals
Certain features of Mahayana appeals to me too, esp where they assimilated Vasubandu's novel take on meditation. I think the issue here is, that Theravadins try to understand meditation without understanding consciousness. One cannot understand the complexity of Samma Sati or Samma samadhi, without understanding consciousness.
To point to an error in the canon (perhaps the error of the translators), the canon describes the Arahant's consciousness as "Unmanifested Vijjana" How could this be? Arahant no more has a bifurcated consciousness? Arahant has an unmanifested awareness, (I would call it bare cognition, thanks to Alexander Wynne), uninfluenced by underlying tendencies ( Vasubandu calls underlying tendencies, Alaya vijjana) and conceit, (Vasu has a name for this too, manas??). So to call Arahant's awareness as Vijjana is an oxymoron. His awareness is not ruptured like mine is.
every thought of mine emerges, centered around "I" that is called conceiving, I cannot think without conceiving unless I am in cessation meditative mood.
Here is where 4 satipatthana bhavanas and 4 Buddhist jhanas come in, training the mind to be free of conceiving. Pl. correct me if I am wrong.

As for BB's affinity of East Asian rituals, is it because he thinks it helps the poor or rich a degree of worldly release, since they do not know how to release their minds through supra mundane 8-fold path? Perhaps it is his boundless compassion to the good people of those regions. Once he said it was his Kamma, to get his training in Sri Lanka. Monks see more of the suffering of the poor than laymen do. They are their counsellors in a sense. What a service, to those who cannot afford a counsellor.
Dear Rev Dhammanando I find it a great joy to engage with you, since you know all the rules of Vinaya, and many things I am unaware of in relation to the tradition.
Be well! :candle:

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