legolas wrote:Not if one understands that the four foundations [establishments; my preference in translation] undertaken properly are a basis for jhana and that jhana is the position from which one is able to actually "see" arise & fall as an experential understanding rather than a noting one. Mindfulness only reaches its purest form in the 4th jhana from within which, arise & fall are clearly visible.
Right concentration when explicitly stated is always jhana.
Not always "jhana"... always the proper utilization
of the jhanas. I get the impression that this is the important difference many jhana people seem to miss. I think that the jhanas by themselves are nothing special...
While I understand the distinction being made, if you take what legolas wrote in context
and understand it not from the perspective that you presented it in (through isolating one idea stated in one sentence), but from within the context of what was written, the term "right concentration" implies
"proper utilization" of the jhanas, don't you think?
And the term "jhana" itself is referencing a special kind of concentration: i.e. "fixed" concentration, in other words that which cannot be interrupted or disturbed by outside phenomena, thus allowing the mind to maintain its point of view free from distracting influences so that appropriate attention can take place.
beeblebrox wrote:I think that the jhanas by themselves are nothing special...
From my perspective of the experience, the term "jhana" is synonymous with the Pali term used by Ajahn Chah and others, namely appana samadhi
, which has been translated as "fixed concentration." In this sense, then, the fact that developing the practice of jhana helps one to hone one's ability for being able to remain in a condition of "fixed concentration" on an object necessarily makes them "something special," especially for someone who previously was not able to accomplish fixed concentration on an object without
the benefit of a practice in jhana.
That said, though, I can agree with the qualifier "in themselves," in the sense that the jhanas should not be put up on a pedestal as being something inherently difficult to obtain to or foreign to our everyday experience, in themselves
nothing particularly special.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV