Interview with Leigh Brasington (concerning jhana)

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Sam Vara
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Re: Interview with Leigh Brasington (concerning jhana)

Post by Sam Vara »

daverupa wrote:Maybe the problem is seeing the description as one of listed factors, rather than as a softer description - better might be seeing the description as cmprised of hues, rather than discreet qualia.
Ah, thank you Dave, I think I see what he means now. (If only LB wrote as well as you...)

Thanks also to Tilt, especially for raising this topic in the first place.

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Re: Interview with Leigh Brasington (concerning jhana)

Post by Sylvester »

Sam Vara wrote:Can anyone help with this bit, please? LB says:
In the suttas, the jhanas are described most of the time using a standard formula. The standard formula for the first jhana has four factors one-pointedness is not mentioned. There are just the four factors of vitakka, vicara, piti, and sukha.

The formula for the second jhana indicates that the vitakka and vicar a fall away, and they're replaced with inner tranquility and oneness of mind; so now the concentration comes in and the piti and sukha continue. Thus the suttas describe four factors for the second jhana as well.

The third jhana says one remains imperturbable, mindful, and clearly aware. Imperturbability, mindfulness, and clear awareness have come into play, although what is not specifically mentioned is when they arrived. They're just there. The formula indicates that the piti goes away and the sukha remains; there is no specific mention of the tranquility or the oneness of mind, so since they aren't said to go away, one assumes that they remain, So you actually have many mare factors for the third jhana.

The shift to the fourth jhana is to a place beyond pleasure and pain, beyond gladness and sadness; so one arrives at a neutral mind-state. The sukha is obviously gone, since the pleasure has gone away.

When you look at this description, it's not really a factor-based description.
He says that the description is not really a factor-based description. But most of this passage is talking about the presence or absence of the factors of vitakka, vicara, piti, sukha, and ekaggata at the different levels of jhana. Are these not the factors he is referring to? If the description is not based on "factors", then what is it based on?

Something on the intrusion of "one-pointedness" as a factor of the jhanas - ... 45#p204237" onclick=";return false;

I'm of the view that given its function in Samma Sati, "one pointedness" was not a common hallmark in the jhana pericopes, lest it were mistaken that Samma Sati lacks "one pointedness".

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