Difference between jhana and magga phala

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
Tharuka Piyumi
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Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Tharuka Piyumi » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:05 am

According to my teacher jhana is constricting ur mind into one thought (can be done by samatha meditation) but attainment of magga phala can be done through looking at ur thoughts with a peaceful mind( can only achieve through vipassana meditation).I've seen some people make it seems like the same thing, but it is not.In vipassana u let ur mind flow freely and look through ur thoughts and find reasons for such thoughts so that u will eventually find all those thoughts occur due to "me" or "my self".Samatha meditation and attaining jhana can be useful to practice vipassana but it is not necessary to attain them to acheive sotapanna, sakadagami,anagami,arahat phala.In my opinion lot of people waste time over achieving jhana but not practicing vipassana which ultimately leads u into no where but a 'pleasant feeling' which is also anitta (impermanent).

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cjmacie
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby cjmacie » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:51 pm

Tharuka Piyumi wrote:According to my teacher jhana is constricting ur mind into one thought (can be done by samatha meditation) but attainment of magga phala can be done through looking at ur thoughts with a peaceful mind( can only achieve through vipassana meditation).I've seen some people make it seems like the same thing, but it is not.In vipassana u let ur mind flow freely and look through ur thoughts and find reasons for such thoughts so that u will eventually find all those thoughts occur due to "me" or "my self".Samatha meditation and attaining jhana can be useful to practice vipassana but it is not necessary to attain them to acheive sotapanna, sakadagami,anagami,arahat phala.In my opinion lot of people waste time over achieving jhana but not practicing vipassana which ultimately leads u into no where but a 'pleasant feeling' which is also anitta (impermanent).

Look around here a bit -- this topic has been discussed, from all sides at great length.

Your comments reflect a common but s/w biased and inaccurate view of samatha / samadhi / jhana. Insight to the degree of path/fruition requires highly developed, intense concentration, whether you call it jhana or vipassana-khanika-samadhi.

The Buddha's teachings (in the sutta-s themselves) does not support the description above. He refers to "jhana" much more frequently than "vipassana", and the later virtually always in conjunction with "samadhi".

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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby SarathW » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:26 pm

Buddha recommended both Samatha and Vipasssna.
This is generally the culmination of the Noble Eightfold Path (Magga).
From their you have the right knowledge and right release( Phala).
Also known as ten Noble Path.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Tharuka Piyumi
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Tharuka Piyumi » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:34 am

Whether a person should practice Samatha thoroughly depends on their own wisdom. Samatha is important for vipassana but some people has already practiced samatha in their previous births.According to my teacher a person should try to practice vipassana if it becomes difficult then they should practice samatha and come back to vipassana (or do both together).And entire dhamma teaching is about gaining wisdom (ie magga phala).When reading suttas we can see some people were able to gain magga phala just by listening to the sermons that is because they practiced both methods in their previous births.

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robertk
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby robertk » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:10 am

cjmacie wrote:
Tharuka Piyumi wrote:According to my teacher jhana is constricting ur mind into one thought (can be done by samatha meditation) but attainment of magga phala can be done through looking at ur thoughts with a peaceful mind( can only achieve through vipassana meditation).I've seen some people make it seems like the same thing, but it is not.In vipassana u let ur mind flow freely and look through ur thoughts and find reasons for such thoughts so that u will eventually find all those thoughts occur due to "me" or "my self".Samatha meditation and attaining jhana can be useful to practice vipassana but it is not necessary to attain them to acheive sotapanna, sakadagami,anagami,arahat phala.In my opinion lot of people waste time over achieving jhana but not practicing vipassana which ultimately leads u into no where but a 'pleasant feeling' which is also anitta (impermanent).

Look around here a bit -- this topic has been discussed, from all sides at great length.

Your comments reflect a common but s/w biased and inaccurate view of samatha / samadhi / jhana. Insight to the degree of path/fruition requires highly developed, intense concentration, whether you call it jhana or vipassana-khanika-samadhi.
.

Khanika samadhi is momentary - when you say 'intense concentration' , what do you mean>?

Tharuka Piyumi
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Tharuka Piyumi » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:39 am

I think what he meant by "intense concentration" is we should be well aware of our thoughts.For people who attained the status of arahat concentration isn't forced it is how they naturally are.Imo if we did metta meditation for a considerable amount of time it's good but it is forced,we might get angry if something happened but we might be aware of the fact we are angry and then we usually force ourselves to get over with the anger.But in Vipassana u should watch ur thoughts and be like "well i'm angry right now","my anger is increasing/decreasing right now","what course this anger","it is the expectation that I had that I deserved to be treated better by this person","why did I thought to be treated better"," Because I'm self obsessed and I think there is 'me' or 'my self'","If I get over the thought of 'me' I'd get over with my anger" :) :)

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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby dhammarelax » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:33 pm

Tharuka Piyumi wrote:According to my teacher jhana is constricting ur mind into one thought (can be done by samatha meditation) but attainment of magga phala can be done through looking at ur thoughts with a peaceful mind( can only achieve through vipassana meditation).I've seen some people make it seems like the same thing, but it is not.In vipassana u let ur mind flow freely and look through ur thoughts and find reasons for such thoughts so that u will eventually find all those thoughts occur due to "me" or "my self".Samatha meditation and attaining jhana can be useful to practice vipassana but it is not necessary to attain them to acheive sotapanna, sakadagami,anagami,arahat phala.In my opinion lot of people waste time over achieving jhana but not practicing vipassana which ultimately leads u into no where but a 'pleasant feeling' which is also anitta (impermanent).


We should know that :

AN 5. 27. Concentration

“..., being alert and mindful, develop concentration that is measureless. When, alert and mindful, you develop concentration that is measureless, … The knowledge arises that is personally yours: ‘This concentration is peaceful and sublime, gained by full tranquilization, and attained to unification; it is not reined in and checked by forcefully suppressing the defilements.’…”

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Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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cjmacie
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby cjmacie » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:51 am

robertk wrote:
cjmacie wrote:
Tharuka Piyumi wrote:According to my teacher jhana is constricting ur mind into one thought (can be done by samatha meditation) but attainment of magga phala can be done through looking at ur thoughts with a peaceful mind( can only achieve through vipassana meditation)...

Your comments reflect a common but s/w biased and inaccurate view of samatha / samadhi / jhana. Insight to the degree of path/fruition requires highly developed, intense concentration, whether you call it jhana or vipassana-khanika-samadhi.

Khanika samadhi is momentary - when you say 'intense concentration' , what do you mean>?

Vipassana-khanika-samadhi, at the highest levels of development, is concentration on this that arises, then the next, then the next, etc. The concentration's focus floats along with whatever arises, but, at the level of mastery, it's intensity is constant. This explanation I find quite explicit, and in more than one work by the Mahasi Sayadaw (in the Treatise on Vipassana, and the Talks on Cakkhadhamma) According to his teaching, the intensity of the khanika-samadhi can be virtually the same as deep absorption concentration, as it must be at the level of practice approaching ariya attainments. Penetrating insight only possible with strong concentration.

"Followers" of Mahasi Sayadaw rarely refer to these aspects of his teachings, especially those in the West. My sense is that they're not familiar with a lot of what the Sayadaw actually taught; and also there's a serious and rather lamentable problem in the West with putting-down jhana / appana-samadhi without really understanding it. For the Mahasi Sayadaw, vipassana-khanika-samadhi and jhana/appana-samadhi were co-equal variants on the single theme of the necessity of mastery of concentration to master insight. At least that's the way I read it.

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robertk
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby robertk » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:52 am

Dear CJ

I want to begin by some explanation of "jhana".
In the Atthasalini - The expositor PTS (translator : maung tin).
P58. Triplets in the Matika

"'leading to accumulation' are those states which go about severally arranging births and deaths in a round of destiny like a bricklayer who arranges bricks, layer by layer in a wall."

"..leading to accumulation are those causes which by being accomplished go to, or lead a man, in whom they arise, to that round of rebirth"



It then defines these causes as "moral or immoral states". i.e akusala AND kusala. It notes that the way leading to dispersion is the Ariyan path (eight-factored path). There is then several chapters (total of 140 pages) that gives much details about the various types of kusala (wholesome consciousness). The last two chapters in this section explain all the different types of "MUNDANE" Jhanas.

The start of the next chapter is interesting: this is where it discusses the eight-fold path. The Discourse on LOKUTTARA (transcendental).



"He cultivates the Jhana means that he evolves, produces the ecstatic jhana of one momentary flash of consciousness. because it goes forth from the world, from the round of rebirths, this is jhana called going out...This is not like that which is known as 'leading to accumulation' which heaps up and increases rebirths by the moral(kusala) consciousness of the three planes [includes kusala such as giving as well as all levels of "mundane" jhana]"

So yes, at the moment of attaining nibbana there is concentration , just for a few instants - which are equivalent in strength to jhana
Robert

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cjmacie
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby cjmacie » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:57 am

robertk wrote:...I want to begin by some explanation of "jhana".
In the Atthasalini ...

Can't judge this information, as it's a commentary on the Dhammasangani, so has to be considered in connection with that text.
Having read once the Dhammasangani (Rhy-Davids English with some reference to the Pali), I haven't got around to yet huge task of re-reading it and the commentary together -- having the English translation you mention, and a big thick book I got that's Nyanaponika Thera's translation into German ("Darlegung der Bedeutung" -- roughly "Laying out the Meaning"). Should I go ahead with that? or first tackle the Patthana, which Nyanaponika (in "Abhidhamma Studies") considers, together with the Dhammasangani, the other main pillar of Abhidhamma? -- Ars longa vita brevis!

robertk wrote:So yes, at the moment of attaining nibbana there is concentration , just for a few instants - which are equivalent in strength to jhana
Robert

A "few instants", but potentially again and again, in a continuum where the object changes but the intensity of concentration holds through.

I've trained in jhana practice from teachers in the Pa Auk Sayadaw lineage, but also practice in Mahasi/Pandita system. I find that, in practice, the two systems merge. Strong, single-pointed absorption concentration takes the mind deeper in clarity, sharpness, but then later automatically (unless one does it just to bliss-out) shifts in and out of insight application. It's known that the "feeling" of absorption has a sort of mental-physiological momentum to it -- one can emerge, e.g. to shift position, but stay in close proximity, and readily re-absorb. This sense of momentum is also present in khanika-samadhi; the object focus shifts with sensate rising & falling, but an intense level of concentration holds through (it's just how concentration works in the human mind).

Also, in the Pa Auk Sayadaw system, he teaches advanced students to go in and out of jhana rapidly, up to several times per second; and, of course, use the concentration as basis for insight practice. The net effect of that practice, IMO, is identical to how Mahasi teaches using vipassana-khanika-samadhi, at advanced stages. In my view (and experience), the two approaches converge in practice.

All the popular debate about how different Pa Auk and Mahasi teachings are -- from what I've seen, so much verbiage by many who understand neither system that deeply.

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robertk
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby robertk » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:57 pm

I am not a supporter of either Pa auk or mahasi, although I would say Mahasi is closer to the orthodox position than Pa Auk.
See this for why: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=17107

However I want to point out one issue I see with Mahasi system (or some of his adherents): and that is the idea that by placing attention on changing objects that this itself is sati,or leads to sati, and that if developed and sustained leads to insight .

According to Theravada orthodoxy (B.Bodhi :of
Abhidhammattha Sangaha): Ch VI, guide to #6)

"The life-span of a citta is termed, in the Abhidhamma, a mind-moment
(cittakkha.na). This is a temporal unit of such brief duration that, according
to the commentators, in the time it takes for lightning to flash or the eyes to
blink, billions of mind-moments can elapse. Nevertheless, though seemingly
infinitesimal, each mind-moment in turn consists of three sub-moments - arising
(uppaada), presence (.thiti), and dissolution (bhanga). Within the breadth of a
mind-moment, a citta arises, performs its momentary function, and then
dissolves, conditioning the next citta in immediate succession. Thus, through
the sequence of mind-moments, the flow of consciousness continues uninterrupted
like the waters in a stream
.

Thus the mind is changing very fast indeed: hard to be sure which moment was which. And again according to the texts (due to past accumulations of avijja and lobha and dosa) it is not so common to have moments with kusala: The Expositor points out “
the extreme rarity
of such moments”… as difficult for the
mind as stringing pearls in the dark by a lightning-flash, because of
its extremely short duration”.


this has implications for the way we see 'practice'.


I used to have the idea: first get the mind nice and still and then
ponder at leisure the changing patterns. However, IMHO this is caught up
in a subtle idea that `mind' somehow exists. There is no Mind but
there are only rapidly changing phenomena.
It is natural that mental states are involved in concepts but in
between there can be, sometimes, little flashes of insight that know
the characteristic of paramattha dhamma (any of the khandhas such as
seeing or sound or feeling, or hardness, or greed). Ronald Graham, a
well-known mathematician said "You can do mathematics anywhere. I
once had a flash of insight into a problem in the middle of a back
somersault with a triple twist on my trampoline ( in the "The man
who loved only numbers"). Of course panna (wisdom ) of vipassana is
much faster than that as it is seeing dhammas directly (not
conceptualizing about them).

In conclusion - it is not concentration, in my opinion, so much that needs to be emphasised, but right view. Concentration will develop naturally alongside insight.

See causes for wisdom for more: viewtopic.php?t=15952

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cjmacie
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby cjmacie » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:00 pm

robertk wrote:So yes, at the moment of attaining nibbana there is concentration , just for a few instants - which are equivalent in strength to jhana

As Caroline Rhys Davids points out (footnote 2 in the 2nd sentence of Dhammasangani passage #277), that is "the special kind of Jhana" at the moment of Path attainment. It is a single mind moment (ekacittakkhanikam) when change-of-lineage to nibbana occurs; followed by another, the mind-moment of Fruition.

Nyanaponika Thera, in his translation, cites, in a footnote, the subcommentary -- Mt. (Atthasalini-) Mulatika:
"Weil ein und derselbe Pfadmoment nicht zweimal aufsteigt"; d.h. der Pfad, z.B. des Stromeintritts, is nur ein einziger Bewusstseinsmoment, der darauffolgende ist bereits ein "Frucht"-Moment."
"…Because one and the same Path-moment occurs not twice; i.e. the Path, e.g. Stream-entry, is only an single citta-moment, the following moment being already a Fruition-moment"

So this "jhana" is a different animal than the "blameless, peaceful abiding", and "cetovimutti" that the Buddha speaks of and recommends so often, and which we know as jhana practice.

Common to both is that unique kind of javana / impulsion micro-moment – "change-of-lineage" – which in mundane jhana is change of object from sensual to "fine-material", and which at path-moment is change from whatever to nibanna.

Another difference is that, it's said somewhere in Abhidhamma, at the change-of-lineage javana in mundane jhana, time (i.e. mental activity) freezes, so to speak, and the javana is sustained for as long as the absorption. This is not that same "momentary flash".

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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Meggo » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:21 pm

A book i liked which tries to analyze the differences between magga, phala and other meditative experiences is
Entering the Stream to Enlightenment: Experiences of the Stages of the Buddhist Path in Contemporary Sri Lanka
by Yuki Sirimane

I recommend :reading: it

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Jojola
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Jojola » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:32 pm

Tharuka Piyumi wrote:Difference between jhana and magga phala.

Phala means fruition or results of action if I'm not mistaking...
Magga means the path...

Magga Phala I imagine then means the fruits of the path. Which of course would be the noble attainments, the whole goal.

Jhana is part of that path to the goal; the eighth factor to be precise.

So I guess your question, to me, is a lot like asking "what is the difference between breaking eggs, and an omelette?"
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Tharuka Piyumi
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Tharuka Piyumi » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:28 am

Jojola wrote:
Tharuka Piyumi wrote:Difference between jhana and magga phala.

Phala means fruition or results of action if I'm not mistaking...
Magga means the path...

Magga Phala I imagine then means the fruits of the path. Which of course would be the noble attainments, the whole goal.

Jhana is part of that path to the goal; the eighth factor to be precise.

So I guess your question, to me, is a lot like asking "what is the difference between breaking eggs, and an omelette?"



Well I understand that we all have learn dhamma from different teachers so there can be differences between our opinions.But from what I have learned (refer Abhidhamma books) Magga is a type of citta which occurs consecutively after the phala citta.Initially before learning things deep I thought magga is the path to attain fruition but later I learned maggha is also a certain citta.Haven't you seen when reading Abhidhamma they mention sotapatti maggha citta, sotapatti phala citta etc.But my teacher says that sotapatti maggha citta cannot be clealy identified by the practitioner but phala citta is something you feel thoroughly (glimpse of nibbana).

And well for attaining jhana I understand ur opinion.But can you mention a place where lord buddha has stated that in order to attain maggha phala you have to attain jhanas from tripitaka).In tipitaka we study numorous stories about monks and lay people attaining different levels of phala but does those mention any thing about phala.But a common problem I see in western study of buddhism is there are lot of teachers who attained jhana and it is a good thing but they give lot of importance to jhana.To attain fruition you can either meditate or listen to dhamma with right concentration (yonisomanasikara)(there are other methods to attain too) for right concentration western people were tought anapanasati even by my teacher.But this doesn't necessarily mean you must attain jhana to attain fruition.

Tharuka Piyumi
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Tharuka Piyumi » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:36 am

Meggo wrote:A book i liked which tries to analyze the differences between magga, phala and other meditative experiences is
Entering the Stream to Enlightenment: Experiences of the Stages of the Buddhist Path in Contemporary Sri Lanka
by Yuki Sirimane

I recommend :reading: it



I'm a Sri lankan too I think its good to study the sri lankan ways bcz we study it bit different than western people. :anjali:

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cjmacie
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby cjmacie » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:13 pm

robertk wrote:The start of the next chapter is interesting: this is where it discusses the eight-fold path. The Discourse on LOKUTTARA (transcendental).

"He cultivates the Jhana means that he evolves, produces the ecstatic jhana of one momentary flash of consciousness. because it goes forth from the world, from the round of rebirths, this is jhana called going out...This is not like that which is known as 'leading to accumulation' which heaps up and increases rebirths by the moral(kusala) consciousness of the three planes [includes kusala such as giving as well as all levels of "mundane" jhana]"

So yes, at the moment of attaining nibbana there is concentration , just for a few instants - which are equivalent in strength to jhana
Robert

Difficult to decipher all this exactly without closely following the Dhammasangani and the commentary together, and especially looking at the Pali words on which the English translation is based.

That said, that passage does trigger a memory, namely that in Abhidhamma lore, both jhanic absorption (presumably mundane?) and "touching nibbana" (supramundane) share a certain javana (one of the "impulsion" micro mind-moments in the cognitive series) which is called "change of lineage" – and these two instances are the only two places in the entire citta analyais where this occurs. (Change of lineage is explained, somewhere, as substitution of the mental object mid-stream in the cognitive series – in the case of jhana from the sensual-material plane to the "fine-material" plane; in the case of nibbana from whatever to the "unconditioned".) Further, that that instant of javana, in the case of mundane jhana, actually continues – freezes the mental micro processing, so to speak – indefinitely, for the duration of the absorption. One might presume that the other example – what I call for want of a better term "touching nibbana" – also has a sense of a quantum change that persists, that is irreversible.

So perhaps that "momentary flash" is a moment beyond time, not measurable by time; the the equivalence between nibbana and jhana has to do with that aspect of "change of lineage"?

Speculation all this, with a dim sense of intuition – s/w educated guessing short of thorough analysis of the Dhammasangani-Atthaslini material, and short of having experienced first hand the nibbana event…

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cjmacie
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby cjmacie » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:19 pm

Some confusion has arisen throughout this topic / thread, and admittedly in my own posts. So here an attempt at clarification:

1) One confusion is between
a) "mundane" jhana, in the sense of the practice of samadhi, in combination with insight, as development of the mind (bhavana) on the way to realization of "unbinding", nibbana; and
b) "supramundane" (lokuttara) jhana discussed in Abhidhamma texts (the Dhammasangani and its commentary the Atthasalini), perhaps built upon some passages in the sutta-s.

The first (a) is a steady state of mental process, an absorption arising from one-pointedness, that is considered a "purification" or sharpening of clarity, for the purpose of enabling more penetrating insight after leaving absorption. Insight into the nature of the the absorbed mind itself (cetovimutti), as well as insight applied in observing more normal, active mental activity moving among various phenomena that arise. (Another function of this jhana is a sort of healing, refreshment of the mind – a "pleasant abiding" – which is also mentioned (e.g. by both the Pa Auk Sayadaw and the Mahasi Sayadaw) as a way of balancing energy between the s/t exhausting rigors of applying intense vipassana insight, and a sort of "recharging" that energy with samadhi.)

The second (b) is apparently an instantaneous, one-time event marking the end-goal realization or penetrating experience of awakening, to nibbana.

The two senses – (a) and (b) – have multiple correspondences:
i) The one (a) is sometimes considered as sort of foretaste, preview of (b); as in when jhana is often referred to as cetovimtti ("deliverance of mind", albeit temporary) in the sutta-s;
ii) Both share the characteristic of occurring with a "change-of-lineage" impulsion moment (javana) in the Abdhidhamma analysis of details of the cognitive series/process;
iii) Both have a sense of "sukha" – Thanissaro Bhikkhu points out, in the last chapter of his "The Paradox of Becoming", that sukha is s/t used as a characteristic describing nibbana – a positive aspect of description, where most of the descriptive terms for nibbana are negative ("apothetic").

2) Another confusion has to do with "magga phala" – magga as "path moment", phala as "fruition moment". From everything I've read, the magga occurs first, a unique, instantaneous event, immediately followed by the phala. (Somewhere above in this thread is was mentioned that someone taught the opposite order of occurrence.)

A perhaps interesting way of relating this (2) to (1) above is that in "pragmatic" Buddhist discussions (i.e. at DharmaOverground.org), the magga moment is s/t described as a brief cessation, suspension of consciousness, followed by a re-starting of consciousness (the phala) in a radically different mode ("awakened"). It's been compared to a computer "reset" moment (DharmaOverground has strong links to the "Buddhist Geeks" group). That's not unlike the experience of entering the absorption of mundane jhana – the mind seems to, in some sense, freeze-up, cease its normal activity, e.g. of moving towards pleasure or away from pain, and reveal a radically different still-standing clarity of awareness.

These my conditioned observations and views – not absolute "truth", and subject to correction. :?

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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Jojola » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:52 pm

Tharuka Piyumi wrote:
And well for attaining jhana I understand ur opinion.But can you mention a place where lord buddha has stated that in order to attain maggha phala you have to attain jhanas from tripitaka)..


That's like asking me to name a place where a compass points north.

It's all over the canon, it's an eight-fold path, not a seven-fold one.

Metta
- Nick
Regards,

- :heart:
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Postby Akalika » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:00 pm

A few quotes:

The Blessed One, brahmin, did not praise every type of meditation, nor did he condemn every type of meditation. What kind of meditation did the Blessed One not praise? Here, brahmin, someone abides with his mind obsessed by sensual lust, a prey to sensual lust, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from arisen sensual lust. While he harbours sensual lust within, he meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates. He abides with his mind obsessed by ill will, a prey to ill will…with his mind obsessed by sloth and torpor, a prey to sloth and torpor…with his mind obsessed by restlessness and remorse, a prey to restlessness and remorse…with his mind obsessed by doubt, a prey to doubt, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from arisen doubt. While he harbours doubt within, he meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates. The Blessed One did not praise that kind of meditation.

“And what kind of meditation did the Blessed One praise? Here, brahmin, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhāna…With the stilling of applied and sustained thought, he enters upon and abides in the second jhāna…With the fading away as well of rapture…he enters upon and abides in the third jhāna...With the abandoning of pleasure and pain...he enters upon and abides in the fourth jhāna…The Blessed One praised that kind of meditation.

-MN 108


Because the hindrances divert and divide the mind, any insight will be difficult to achieve, and if it is achieved, then it will not be thorough-going enough to end the mental fermentations. Another quote:

"[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[2] Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, & coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[3] In one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, persistence is aroused unflaggingly. When persistence is aroused unflaggingly in one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[5] For one enraptured at heart, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of a monk enraptured at heart grow calm, then serenity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[6] For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[7] He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development."

-MN 118


These are the 7 factors of Awakening, and you can see by the logic of their unfolding that mindfulness and investigation are core components of jhana. The culmination of the factors in equanimity is described thus: "He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity." This is not a single-pointed and unfunctioning mind, but a penetratingly clear and open field for insight. If you'd like to see a good example of what insight meditation looked like at the time of the Buddha, read this (my favorite) sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta :anjali:


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