They can for sure, but they do also give you the very important opportunity to contemplate on them and that's the topic here (not what jhana is exactly). I've explained in this topic why I see it as such; because in absorption things disappear which you always took for granted.. What could be a better opportunity to contemplate how there is no personal will than a direct encounter with not having it?Ñāṇa wrote:The developmental path is about abandoning hindrances and eliminating outflows (āsavas). There is a spectrum of meditative states which can aid in this. But there is no good reason to maintain that jhāna is an entirely passive state. There is an important distinction to be discerned between the refinement of volitional intention and the absence of volitional intention. The former is much more conducive to developing and using an optimal samādhi at least until the attainment of the non-returner path. Inert meditative states are not ideal for training in heightened mind or heightened discernment. They all too easily become cocoons for zoning out.reflection wrote:I don't see how this discussion helps anybody with respect to the question in the OP of this topic.
All the best,
Also the deeper you meditate, the stronger concentration gets, the less fearless the mind and the more likely it will be able to penetrate pieces of the Dhamma. Whatever is most conductive is the deepest concentration you are able to achieve at the particular moment. You don't just stop at some level saying: "Well, until here and no further or else it will not be conductive anymore." I don't see any logic in that. And to have it your way: I also don't see any sutta to support that
Some sutta support, ok, because you ask. And because this is apparently a sutta based meditation topic or something. (never heard of suttanta meditation before) For me it is all written down in the anapanasati sutta very clearly, also in context of this topic. But a lot of people have read this sutta and have different opinions. Some even come to conclude the Buddha did not teach jhana at all.. so that's the main reason why I choose not to back up my things with suttas too much, its very, very very open to interpretation. After all, it is just language and the Dhamma really has no words.
Anyway, here goes!
This means letting the mind go its own way, leaving the will to influence it behind. There is nothing more to do, so there are no more steps described in anapanasati that deepen the meditation after this. He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'
The part after absorption is the reflection, the "focusing on" part.
Coming out of jhana, and focus on the inconstancy of the self, of the doer, the will, however you want to call it, or whatever other aspect you choose to pick. There are other factors in Jhana that have stopped, like the 5 senses that are gone. Dispassion is the fading out, or 'fall' of all these things. Focus on cessation of the will is one thing that can be contemplated. Relinquishment is the relinquishment of those things also, you relinquish or "give away" the will, and the mind will relinquish slowly further." He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.'  He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.'  He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.'  He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'
So the anapanasati sutta also describes how to do some of the contemplation Alex wanted to know about.
If you have any comments of jhana with respect to insight practice and "rising/falling", please do in this thread. To discuss what jhana actually is, use the other one. It's totally useless to bring that up again and again. Maybe just ignore my posts if you only choose to focus and disagree on parts of it we have already discussed in dept before and I'll try to do the same with you. That's better for this forum, I think. And for ourselves