The Great Jhana Debate

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Nyana
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by Nyana » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:13 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Geoff, Thank you very much for the excellent sutta references.
Ñāṇa wrote: In addition to what was quoted here, there is AN 4.41 Samādhibhāvanā Sutta, which instructs us on how to develop meditative composure which leads to mindfulness and full awareness:
  • And what, monks, is the development of meditative composure that, when developed and cultivated, leads to mindfulness and full awareness? Here, monks, feelings are known to a monk as they arise, known as they are present, known as they disappear. Recognitions are known to him as they arise, known as they are present, known as they disappear. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they are present, known as they disappear. This, monks, is the development of meditative composure that, when developed and cultivated, leads to mindfulness and full awareness.
Sounds like the instructions one gets from Mahasi-style teachers.
Certainly. The above passage is also repeated throughout the Paṭisambhidāmagga Ānāpānassatikathā.

As you probably know, the most important factors for productive progress in meditation are the maintenance of appropriate ethical conduct, being committed to renunciation and a life of voluntary simplicity, engaging in either solitary or group retreats on a fairly regular basis, and being dedicated to sustaining a daily practice schedule. If these conditions are in place (and it can take time to develop these optimal conditions), then whatever method of instruction one relies on, and whatever primary meditation object one engages in, there will be significant progress.

This whole "samatha vs. vipassanā" debate where some parties are intent upon either tacitly criticizing or overtly attacking the meditation instructions of the Mahāsi Sayādaw tradition and the U Ba Khin tradition as not being the sammāsamādhi of the early teachings, is completely without merit. In both of these traditions the meditation instructions are conjoined samatha & vipassanā methods. Following these instructions can certainly lead to the attainment of the four jhānas as these are described in the canon.

All the best,

Geoff

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mikenz66
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:23 am

Thanks Geoff,

Yes, keeping practice going can certainly be a challenge.

And, as you say, the criticisms of these teachers seem to completely overlook the level of concentration that they encourage.

This recent talk by Steve Armstrong, The path of liberating insight:
http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/170/? ... ng+insight" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
is a nice discussion of "Vipassana Jhanas" (Steve was a monk under U Pandita in the late 80s).

The talk reminded me of a few things I'd forgotten from U Pandita's explanation:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/Pan ... hanas.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
U Pandita's definition is that the Jhana factors are developed to a level that if one was practising using a conceptual object (metta, breath nimitta), one would go into a regular samatha jhana.
Samatha Jhāna

There are two types of jhāna: samatha jhāna and vipassanā jhāna. Some of you may have read about the samatha jhānas and wonder why I am talking about them in the context of vipassanā. Samatha jhāna is pure concentration, fixed awareness of a single object — a mental image, for example, such as a colored disk or a light. The mind is fixed on this object without wavering or moving elsewhere. Eventually the mind develops a very peaceful, tranquil, concentrated state and becomes absorbed in the object. Different levels of absorption are described in the texts, each level having specific qualities.

Vipassanā Jhāna

On the other hand, vipassanā jhāna allows the mind to move freely from object to object, staying focused on the characteristics of impermanence, suffering and absence of self that are common to all objects. Vipassanā jhāna also includes the mind which can be focused and fixed upon the bliss of nibbāna. Rather than the tranquility and absorption which are the goal of samatha jhāna practitioners, the most important results of vipassanā jhāna are insight and wisdom.

Vipassanā jhāna is the focusing of the mind on paramattha dhammas. Usually these are spoken of as “ultimate realities,” but actually they are just the things we can experience directly through the six sense doors without conceptualization. Most of them are saṅkhāra paramattha dhamma, or conditioned ultimate realities; mental and physical phenomena which are changing all the time. Nibbāna is also a paramattha dhamma, but of course it is not conditioned.

Breathing is a good example of a conditioned process. The sensations you feel at the abdomen are conditioned ultimate realities, saṅkhāra paramattha dhamma, caused by your intention to breath. The whole purpose of concentrating one’s attention on the abdomen is to penetrate the actual quality and nature of what is happening there. When you are aware of movement, tension, tautness, heat or cold, you have begun to develop vipassanā jhāna.

Mindfulness at the respective sense doors follows the same principle. If there is diligent effort and penetrative awareness, focusing on what is happening in any particular sense process, the mind will understand the true nature of what is happening. The sensing processes will be understood in individual characteristics as well as common ones.

According to the fourfold way of reckoning, which admits of four levels of jhāna, the first jhāna possesses five factors which we will describe below. All of them are important in vipassanā practice.
Incidentally, I recall a previous discussion on this issue getting derailed into technical details regarding whether or not the objects one uses in vipassana practice are truly "non-conceptual". However, there's a rather clear practical difference between those objects and the "obvious-it's-a-concept" objects like metta or breath nimitta.

I note that Ajahn Brahm (who is an absorption advocate) writes in "Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond", page 15:
In fact it is best not to locate the breath anywhere. If you locate
the breath at the tip of your nose then it becomes “nose awareness,” not
breath awareness, and if you locate it at your abdomen then it becomes
“abdomen awareness.” Just ask yourself right now:“Am I breathing in
or breathing out? How do I know?” There! The experience that tells
you what the breath is doing, that is what you focus on. Let go of the
concern about where this experience is located. Just focus on the expe-
rience itself.
To me, he's saying: "use the concept of the breath, not the detailed sensations", which agrees perfectly with U Pandita's statements (as it should):
http://aimwell.org/Books/Other/Questions/questions.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Ānāpānassati can take two directions. If the meditator strives to be mindful of the form or manner of the in-breath and the out-breath, then it is samatha meditation and leads to one-pointedness of mind. On the other hand, if the meditator notes the sensation of the in-breath and out-breath as it moves and touches, then it is vipassanā meditation. ...
So, in my reading (and experience) in most cases the different instructions from different teachers are not contradictory. They are instructions for achieving different aims...

:anjali:
Mike

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daverupa
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by daverupa » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:12 pm

mikenz66 wrote: ...Ajahn Brahm (who is an absorption advocate)... in most cases the different instructions from different teachers are not contradictory. They are instructions for achieving different aims...
Instruction differs greatly.

1. In jhana, you can(not) perceive the body.
2. Before jhana, there is (not) a bright light that replaces the breath as the object of focus.

These are vast differences.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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reflection
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by reflection » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:59 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hi Reflection, all,
reflection wrote: As I've said before I'm no fan of pure textual analysis on such topics, but as far as I know there is no reference to "vipassana Jhanas" (whatever that means)
"Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions. - MN117

Please note what makes up noble right concentration.

"The first jhāna has five factors. There is the case where, in a monk who has attained the five-factored first jhāna, there occurs directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, & singleness of mind. It's in this way that the first jhāna has five factors." - MN43

It maybe possible that 5 Jhānic factors (or however many factors that particular Jhāna 1-4 may possess) of 1st Jhāna are directly relevant to 7 factors of the N8P. Or at least they occur based on samma-sati.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

With best wishes,

Alex
I can not call that a reference to "vipassana jhana". It just says you need to develop the full 8-fold path to be able to develop right concentration. The 8-fold path of course also includes vipassana, but afaik the Buddha never made a distinction between different kind of jhanas.

With metta,
Reflection

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legolas
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by legolas » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:16 pm

daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote: ...Ajahn Brahm (who is an absorption advocate)... in most cases the different instructions from different teachers are not contradictory. They are instructions for achieving different aims...
Instruction differs greatly.

1. In jhana, you can(not) perceive the body.
2. Before jhana, there is (not) a bright light that replaces the breath as the object of focus.

These are vast differences.
Agreed. Also do not discount the bedrock of Right Jhana, that is Right View. There are visible differences (to me at least) between traditions of their understanding of Kamma and also the process by which Nibbana is approached.

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:24 pm

Hi Dave, Legolas,
legolas wrote:
daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote: ...Ajahn Brahm (who is an absorption advocate)... in most cases the different instructions from different teachers are not contradictory. They are instructions for achieving different aims...
Instruction differs greatly.

1. In jhana, you can(not) perceive the body.
2. Before jhana, there is (not) a bright light that replaces the breath as the object of focus.

These are vast differences.
Agreed. Also do not discount the bedrock of Right Jhana, that is Right View. There are visible differences (to me at least) between traditions of their understanding of Kamma and also the process by which Nibbana is approached.
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I was not claiming that the instructions are the same. I was, in fact, stating the opposite.

Ajahn Brahm (and others, including the commentaries) give instructions for deep absorption jhanas, which involve the use of conceptual objects (metta, breath or kasina nimmitas, etc).

Teachers such as Venerables Mahasi and U Pandita give instructions that lead to what U Pandita refers to as "vipassana jhana". This kind of concentration is described in the various suttas quoted by Geoff above:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p135248" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p135248" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Such as:
AN 4.41 Samādhibhāvanā Sutta:
And what, monks, is the development of meditative composure that, when developed and cultivated, leads to mindfulness and full awareness? Here, monks, feelings are known to a monk as they arise, known as they are present, known as they disappear. Recognitions are known to him as they arise, known as they are present, known as they disappear. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they are present, known as they disappear. This, monks, is the development of meditative composure that, when developed and cultivated, leads to mindfulness and full awareness.
As I said, they are not contradictory, they are different instructions for different types of concentration.

Each of these approaches [absorption then vipassana (e.g. Brahm)/concentration and vipassanadeveloped simultaneously (e.g. Mahasi)] are elaborations sutta material. I think that's rather clear from Geoff's posts above. Which approach is "better" is, in my view, a matter of individual proclivities and available teachers.

:namaste:
Mike

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Alex123
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by Alex123 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:25 pm

Dear Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote: I hope you will forgive my nit-picking, but how is that underlined statement relevant to the issue of what is the nature of rupa in rupakhandha, such that it can arise on mind-contact as outlined in MN 28?
I am not sure any of the salayatana can fit into the 5 khandha scheme. To me, MN 28 is suggesting that rupakhandha is neither the indriya nor ayatana, but what arises as a consequence of phassa.
As I understand it, physical organs fit into rūpakhandha (that is why it is rūpa), while all mental things fit into 4 aggregates.

From what I understand, what MN28 says that if one is totally inattentive toward a certain sense object, one will not get corresponding cognition.


"With the complete transcending of perceptions of form (rūpasaññānaṃ), with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance (paṭighasaññānaṃ), and not heeding perceptions of diversity (nānattasaññānaṃ), (perceiving,) 'Infinite space,' he enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It says loud and clear. rūpasaññānaṃ, paṭighasaññāna, and nānattasaññānaṃ are transcended in meditation only after 4th Jhāna to reach ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ. This makes perfect sense. The reason why base of infinite space (ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ) is called such is that there is no perception of physical body, or visual form there to limit the space, and there is no visual form that could be measured (such and such length, width, height, such and such color). Also 5 sense perception has to occur in 4 Jhānas, so that there would be perception of rūpa and its diversity (nānatta) to be overcomed.

Most often and most common definition of rūpa is either visual object, or the material object (which is seen with the eye). Rather than believing in few obscure sutta passages that deal with planes where one can get reborn, how about we look at big amount of suttas that plainly talk about meditation and nature of sense-organs and sense objects?


With best wishes,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by Sylvester » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:51 am

Dear Alex

I'm afraid I've not seen one single sutta that equates "rupa" in rupakhandha with cakkhuvinneya rupa.

Even if you reject the avacara theory, there's no running away from the suttas which clearly treat the "rupa" in the rupasanna transcendance formula to read as rupakhandha. You've cited MN 64 with approval previously.

If you believe that the physical organs fit into "rupa", then I would just remind you to pls consider the standard DO nidana "with namarupa as paccaya, the six sense media". You're still short-circuiting the causal structure.

As I've mentioned before, if you want to see what the suttas say about patighasanna and nanattasanna, there is no better sutta than DN 15, which explains these terms patigha and nanatta. You're of course applying the Commentarial explanation of "patighasanna", which by Abhidhammic standard is correct, given how the Vibangha defines "patighasanna". But bearing in mind how the suttas allow mind-contact to give rise to rupakhandha, is there any need to apply the Abhidhammic definition?

In the same vein, the Abhidhammic definition of nanattasanna doesn't help much either, since that definition -
Tattha katamā nānattasaññā? Kāmasaññā, byāpādasaññā, vihiṃsāsaññā— ayaṃ vuccati "nānattasaññā".
points to perceptions that arise from akusala sankappa, all 3 of which are transcended in 1st Jhana: per MN 79.

And this is rather telling. The Abhidhamma treats the Arupa transition formula's "nanattasanna" as not being present in 4th Jhana, but as something that had already been transcended to get into 1st Jhana. Who's to say that the Abhidhammikas did not have in mind the same analysis for patighasanna? You cannot cherry pick your analyses, since "patighasanna" is not explained in the suttas, but only in the Abhidhamma.

It's very much like the 4th Jhana formula, which is variously translated. For convenience I use the ATI version -
Again, there is the case where an individual, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain.
"Elation and distress" (somanassadomanassa) are probably the same as the abhijja & domanassa in the standard satipatthana refrain "vineyya loke abhijja domanassa" to indicate freedom from the Hindrances. That happens well before 1st Jhana. Does this mean that "pleasure and stress" (sukha and dukha) were not abandoned in 3rd Jhana? There's certainly sukha left in 3rd Jhana, but from 1st Jhana onwards, the experience is "exclusively pleasant", so how does pain creep in? The sensible way to read the 4th jhana formula is that those states are left behind when the decision is made to attain the 4th Jhana, and those decisions are made with vacisankhara. Which means the decision happens before the 1st Jhana, which is the presentation of the determinations needed for the Jhanas in the Pabbateyya Gavi Sutta, AN 9.35.

I think the common mistake made in reading the Jhana pericopes is that one assumes that the meditator makes the determination to transit to the next Jhana, while within a Jhana. This does affect how one interprets the transition formulae.

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by Alex123 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:10 am

Dear Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote: If you believe that the physical organs fit into "rupa", then I would just remind you to pls consider the standard DO nidana "with namarupa as paccaya, the six sense media". You're still short-circuiting the causal structure.
And nāmarūpa contains 6 sense organs. 5 sense organs are material, mind is mental (with perhaps partial basis in physical body). When one thing conditions another, it doesn't have to condition something that is totally opposite of it. 5 Khandhas include entire D.O., IMHO.

As I've mentioned before, if you want to see what the suttas say about patighasanna and nanattasanna, there is no better sutta than DN 15, which explains these terms patigha and nanatta. You're of course applying the Commentarial explanation of "patighasanna", which by Abhidhammic standard is correct, given how the Vibangha defines "patighasanna". But bearing in mind how the suttas allow mind-contact to give rise to rupakhandha, is there any need to apply the Abhidhammic definition?
I've never knew (Or have forgot it if I knew) that this is how Abh defines paṭighasaññā. I don't think that at THAT stage (after 4th Jhana) nānattasaññā means unwholesome mental states (Kāmasaññā, byāpādasaññā, vihiṃsāsaññā). After all, Kāmasaññā was transcended to reach the 1st Jhāna. "Paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa kāmasaññā niruddhā hoti." So in this context paṭighasaññā means something else, rūpasaññānaṃ + nānattasaññānaṃ. The feeling of multitude of forms impacting sense organs.

If a factor is transcended PRIOR to 1st jhāna, then why repeat it again after 4th Jhāna?
There's certainly sukha left in 3rd Jhana, but from 1st Jhana onwards, the experience is "exclusively pleasant", so how does pain creep in?
One may experience domanassa of being tired with first 3 Jhanas. Even pleasant feelings may tire one out. So equinimity is less agitating.


IMHO,

With metta,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by daverupa » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:25 am

mikenz66 wrote:As I said, they are not contradictory, they are different instructions for different types of concentration.

Each of these approaches [absorption then vipassana (e.g. Brahm)/concentration and vipassanadeveloped simultaneously (e.g. Mahasi)] are elaborations sutta material. I think that's rather clear from Geoff's posts above. Which approach is "better" is, in my view, a matter of individual proclivities and available teachers.

:namaste:
Mike
My understanding must be deficient; I had understood it to be the case that Ajahn Brahm described jhana 1-4 + 5-8 as being devoid of material form, preceded by a light nimitta, whereas the Suttas offer a different understanding of jhana 1-4 and which are silent on light nimitta.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:31 am

Hi Dave,
daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:As I said, they are not contradictory, they are different instructions for different types of concentration.

Each of these approaches [absorption then vipassana (e.g. Brahm)/concentration and vipassanadeveloped simultaneously (e.g. Mahasi)] are elaborations sutta material. I think that's rather clear from Geoff's posts above. Which approach is "better" is, in my view, a matter of individual proclivities and available teachers.

:namaste:
Mike
My understanding must be deficient; I had understood it to be the case that Ajahn Brahm described jhana 1-4 + 5-8 as being devoid of material form, preceded by a light nimitta, whereas the Suttas offer a different understanding of jhana 1-4 and which are silent on light nimitta.
OK, perhaps I should spell out what I was saying. Several people here say that what is taught by Goenka, Mahasi, etc is not in the Suttas. Naturally, I disagree. The focussing on a variety of objects is based on the Satipatthana Sutta and the various other suttas that Geoff kindly quoted above (many of which are AN Suttas not easily available to me - I presume he's giving us the PTS translations). The Mahasi teachers are not claiming to be teaching absorption jhana so it's no surprise that their instructions are different from Ajahn Brahm. They do claim that the jhana factors can be highly developed by focussing on "non-conceptual objects (as explained by Geoff's sutta quotes). Of course, the details of the particular instructions that Mahasi-style teachers use are not in the suttas, just like the instructions of every teacher.

Ajahn Brahm says that he's teaching according to the anapanasati and other suttas. He describes using the breath nimitta (the bright lights - a "conceptual" mind-created object) and obtaining complete absorption in all jhanas. Such details of use of the nimitta is not in the suttas. Ironically, for those who think that the commentaries are just an academic exercise, and not based on the experience of ancients who practised well, this method is spelled out in some detail in the commentaries. It also seems to be a common experience among meditators.

Some other teachers also teach a highly absorbed jhana. E.g. Pa Auk Sayadaw.

Other teachers have different interpretations of the Anapanasati sutta from Ajahn Brahm. They give different instructions, and their definition of jhana is not so absorbed (e.g. Ven Thanissaro).

All of which doesn't particularly bother me. The quotations from U Pandita explain quite clearly that different objects lead to different results. This is also discussed in detail in the commentaries. And I can certainly see differences between the results of using different objects (though I'm no expert!).

My conclusion is that developing samadhi with different objects can lead to anything from the highly-absorbed Brahm/Commentary Jhana, though moderate absorption, to the relatively unabsorbed "vipassana jhana" described by Vens Mahasi/U Pandita. The jhana described by some other teachers, such as Bhante Vimalaramsi, seems to also be in the latter category.

Some members seem to want to prove that there is one particular "right way" described in the Suttas. I tend to think that there are are several different approaches hinted at in the suttas, and developed by various ancient and modern teachers. I'm interested in learning from the experiences of various ancient and modern teachers, not denying that experience.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by Sylvester » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:08 am

Alex123 wrote:I've never knew (Or have forgot it if I knew) that this is how Abh defines paṭighasaññā. I don't think that at THAT stage (after 4th Jhana) nānattasaññā means unwholesome mental states (Kāmasaññā, byāpādasaññā, vihiṃsāsaññā). After all, Kāmasaññā was transcended to reach the 1st Jhāna. "Paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa kāmasaññā niruddhā hoti." So in this context paṭighasaññā means something else, rūpasaññānaṃ + nānattasaññānaṃ. The feeling of multitude of forms impacting sense organs.
Dear Alex

Hope you don't mind, but I was just thinking of your previous use of the Abhidhamma definition of paṭighasaññā in another forum.

I think your underlined text is about as close as can be to my understanding of how DN 15 explains paṭigha, except I suspect you restrict the indriyas to the 5 material ones, while I accept MN 28 in explicitly allowing for rupakhandha to arise from mind-contact.
One may experience domanassa of being tired with first 3 Jhanas. Even pleasant feelings may tire one out. So equinimity is less agitating.
I think a broad survey of the suttas will show that the redactors did not confuse domanassa (a cetasika vedana) with dukkha (a kayika vedana).

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by Sylvester » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:30 am

mikenz66 wrote:My conclusion is that developing samadhi with different objects can lead to anything from the highly-absorbed Brahm/Commentary Jhana, though moderate absorption, to the relatively unabsorbed "vipassana jhana" described by Vens Mahasi/U Pandita. Mike
I wonder if anyone would dare make the suggestion that "vipassana jhana" by any other name would fit in nicely with the Commentarial "upacara samadhi". Not a state to be sniffed at, given the esteem given to this state (albeit not with the Commentarial name) by the Pancangika Sutta, AN 5.28 -
“And what, monks, is the cultivation of the noble five-factored right samadhi?

(1 to 4 is the standard 4 Jhana-s formula with similes)

5 Furthermore, monks, the review-sign is well grasped by the monk, well attended to [well
minded], well held up in mind, well penetrated with wisdom.

Suppose, monks, one were to review another, one standing were
to review another sitting, or one sitting were to review another lying down,
even so, monks, the review-sign is well grasped by the monk, well attended to [well minded], well
kept in mind [well reflected upon], well penetrated with wisdom.

This, monks, is the fifth cultivation of the noble five-factored right samadhi.
As for the term "Commentary Jhana", I'm not sure if it is even as absorbed as the Jhana-s as explained by Ajahn Brahm. For example, the Commentary to MN 111 suggests that one is noting lots of phenomena, quite unlike the model in DN 9, where only one "object" is specified for each Jhana, and which serves as the basis for AB's exposition on what happens when moving from normal consciousness to 1st Jhana.

:anjali:

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:53 am

Sylvester wrote: I wonder if anyone would dare make the suggestion that "vipassana jhana" by any other name would fit in nicely with the Commentarial "upacara samadhi". Not a state to be sniffed at, given the esteem given to this state (albeit not with the Commentarial name) by the Pancangika Sutta, AN 5.28 -
What is the name in that case?
Reference: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Certainly the Mahasi literature does mentions upacara samadhi (access concentration) as the minimum needed to suppress the hindrances and work on gaining insight. They are not talking about just sitting around thinking about the three characteristics...

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Post by Sylvester » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:02 am

daverupa wrote:My understanding must be deficient; I had understood it to be the case that Ajahn Brahm described jhana 1-4 + 5-8 as being devoid of material form, preceded by a light nimitta, whereas the Suttas offer a different understanding of jhana 1-4 and which are silent on light nimitta.
I don't think AB has ever suggested that "rupa" disappears in the 4 Jhanas; what goes is cognition/consciousness of the kāmā, based on the "vivicceva kamehi" pericope.

I know there has been skepticism about the Uppakkilesa Sutta, MN 128 and Gayasisa Sutta's (AN 8s) reference to the lightshow, but these are at least 2 suttas which discuss nimittas. http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... sa#p116113" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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