Did anyone here attain jhana?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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m0rl0ck
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by m0rl0ck » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:21 pm

whynotme wrote:Hi everyone,

Did anyone here attain first, second, third or fourth jhana? If yes, I am more than eager for learning from real experiences.

Regards.
I think i might have quite a few years ago. I had recently discovered buddhism and my main practice was metta. iirc i was practicing probably a minimum of twice a day for probably more than a half hour. It was very blissful and lasted off the cushion, even weeks after i quit doing the practice. I got kind of tired of it actually, its just another physical sensation and after awhile it kind of got to be a pain in the ass. Anyway, i started doing zazen and i didnt have to worry about it anymore.

Whatever you are chasing is only exciting, mysterious and enticing, until you catch it and the more you want it the less likely you are to get it. Just surrender to the practice, whatever your practice is.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:It does not have to be, but the problem is that such claims become a credential and all that goes with that. And is it what it is claimed to be? Or are we seeing the obvious dangers of jhana manifest in the self proclaimed attainments? And then there is the obvious danger in wanting so much to believe in and to have such experiences that we might be way too willing to take some very bad advice in pursuit of what we so desperately want.

It is not that jhana experience cannot be talked about; rather, the issue is all too often how it is talked about, and this problem becomes even more acute when there is a claim of ariya status connected to it. Also, if such claim are put out there, they are certainly open to discussion and disagreement, but that has not gone over very well with some claimants to jhana/ariya status here. So, do you have a suggestion or two as to how claims of jhana and ariya can be done, avoiding the obvious pitfalls?
My sugestion for the attainers is to describe and discuss it normaly. The thing is how the non attainers deal with it. But we are adults, capable of critical thinking so lets just act as grown ups. For example, Virgo claimed arya status. What I said in that situation is that I believe in part but I have my doubts. I didn' go runing to read Sujin's works. So my sugestion to non attainers is to participate in the discussion constructively and with the notion that all that can be false and that the suttas are the final authority on the issue. Analysing things in such an open and constructive way can be very helpful for the attainers, the non attainers and the non attainers who think they are attainers.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

Nyana
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by Nyana » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:23 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I don't see a big problem in saying one has attained the jhanas online. I think it may be a generational issue, regarding how we deal with privacy, and how "real" is the internet world to us.
Discussion of meditation experiences -- "jhāna" or otherwise -- is best kept between student and teacher. There's really no benefit from discussing personal meditation experiences elsewhere, and a number of potential problems.
Modus.Ponens wrote:people don't doubt Ajahn Chah was an arya.
I know people -- including Theravāda bhikkhus -- who doubt that Ajahn Chah was an ariya.
Modus.Ponens wrote:My sugestion for the attainers is to describe and discuss it normaly.
Not only is there no benefit from publicly claiming ariya attainment, there is really no benefit from thinking oneself is an ariya. Far better to just practice.

All the best,

Geoff

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tiltbillings
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:50 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:Analysing things in such an open and constructive way can be very helpful for the attainers, the non attainers and the non attainers who think they are attainers.
If it were only that simple. Here, I'll second what Ñāṇa said immediately above.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:27 pm

And just to add, just like the question of what jhana is, on this subject opinions are certainly going to vary, and I certainly do not expect mine or any one else's must prevail.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Reductor
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by Reductor » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:21 am

Hey all.

I agree that every practitoner should seek reputable instruction, and discuss their experiences with a teacher wherever possible.

However, I do not think the theravada community is best served by staying silent on issues of attainment. This long standing silence makes errant claims more frequent, and the consequences further reaching, than they would be otherwise (or so I suspect).

On the net there are forums set up where they proclaim attainment and enlightenment regularly, appropriating buddhist terms and concepts while removing the context in which they were orignally placed. There is emotional satisfaction and conceit satisfaction, and just enough wisdom to make it all very alluring. It is delivered directly to a person's computer, where they lap it up with relish.

Yet there is little coming from the online theravada community which might counter act this. There is a reluctance to discuss the fruits of traditonal practice and views in a way which would connect with a seeker of a certain sort. Claims are mostly met with suspicion, and the better responses are text based. Little is said by anyone that might betray the actual depth of experience among the theravada practitoners. And to me this lack seems to be a loss.

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daverupa
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by daverupa » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:21 am

It shouldn't be a matter of "having the experience", it should be a matter of becoming enthused by seeing the truth of the Dhamma. Perhaps if more stress was placed on the unwholesome consequences of deluding oneself, it would serve to motivate the sincere.
  • "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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Ben
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by Ben » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:59 am

Greetings thereductor,
thereductor wrote:Hey all.

I agree that every practitoner should seek reputable instruction, and discuss their experiences with a teacher wherever possible.

However, I do not think the theravada community is best served by staying silent on issues of attainment. This long standing silence makes errant claims more frequent, and the consequences further reaching, than they would be otherwise (or so I suspect).

On the net there are forums set up where they proclaim attainment and enlightenment regularly, appropriating buddhist terms and concepts while removing the context in which they were orignally placed. There is emotional satisfaction and conceit satisfaction, and just enough wisdom to make it all very alluring. It is delivered directly to a person's computer, where they lap it up with relish.

Yet there is little coming from the online theravada community which might counter act this. There is a reluctance to discuss the fruits of traditonal practice and views in a way which would connect with a seeker of a certain sort. Claims are mostly met with suspicion, and the better responses are text based. Little is said by anyone that might betray the actual depth of experience among the theravada practitoners. And to me this lack seems to be a loss.
Some thoughts...

I think what is going on is that generally there is a focus on the Dhamma and the means of getting oneself on the path to liberation rather than a focus on disclosing attainments. Meditative experiences should, in my opinion, only be discussed with one's teacher or guide and one's closest kalayanamittas. We know from the Brahmajala Sutta that a primary source of wrong view is one's meditative experiences. Furthermore, Vism also ennumerates ten imperfections of insight that occur on the path. And those imperfections actually only occur for those who are making progress.
Being convinced of a meditative episode as the experience of ariya phala & magga or one of the jhanas and then discussing that experience with others on the Internet having convinced oneself that it is an attainment is a recipe for delusion and conceitedness. And you alude to that by mentioning the website where there is a community of people who self-referentially claim and recognize each other's "attainments'.
I have also seen some people use their claim of attainment, some purposefully and others unwittingly, as a badge of authority. Not only are they deluding themselves but put themselves in a position to have a deliterious influence on others.

One thing that Valerie touched on earlier which was incredibly insightful is that its through one's behaviour that one's progress on the path is most accurately reflected. The other thing I want to say is that with progress comes humilty. The greater the progress, the greater the humility. I am reminded of something my teacher often says:
"A branch of a tree that bears fruit comes down because of the weight of the fruit. Similarly a person who develops paññā (wisdom) becomes more humble".
I think any discussion of personal attainment on a forum such as this one comes at the cost of discussion that which leads one to liberation. The focus becomes the attainment experience rather than the truely transformative process that is actually walking on the path.

kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Vepacitta
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by Vepacitta » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:34 pm

Nana, Tilt and Ben all have good thoughts here.

Sometimes it is difficult when one doesn't have a meditation teacher. When Nana first started giving information on the Jhanas it was incredibly helpful to me - it gave me some sort of benchmark - which I hadn't before. Perhaps, instead of speaking in terms of attainments - if these things are discussed - they should only be in terms of what the experience was like and what that may or may not signify.

I for one, certainly wouldn't claim attainments for myself or proclaim for another - but discussions about the meditative process that I've had here (or read in other threads) were most helpful.

It all has to be given and taken in the right spirit.

From the High Mahdi here on Mt. Meru (Just Kidding!)

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

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BuddhaKurt
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by BuddhaKurt » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:27 pm

Call me an odd ball, but I have nothing to hide. I hope I don't offend anyone. I have attained the various levels of jhana and there is no better way to understand the Buddha's teachings. Put your blind faith in it at first which will lead to the truth.

Have a happy day!

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daverupa
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by daverupa » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:06 am

BuddhaKurt wrote:Put your blind faith in it at first
Thoroughly adhamma.
  • "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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Ben
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by Ben » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:11 am

daverupa wrote:
BuddhaKurt wrote:Put your blind faith in it at first
Thoroughly adhamma.
Well put, Dave.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

2600htz
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by 2600htz » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:54 am

whynotme wrote:Hi everyone,

Did anyone here attain first, second, third or fourth jhana? If yes, I am more than eager for learning from real experiences.

Regards.
Thats a hard topic, mainly because the definition of jhana, "correct jhana", and "correct method" changes a lot, even inside close circles..and of course, the human factor...
I think the correct order to look for guide is suttas>teacher testimonies>students testimonies>general discussion forum testimonies.

With Metta.

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Goedert
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by Goedert » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:02 am

When I was born I couldn't walk. Now I can, I learned it by observing other people doing it and strengthening my body members step by step.

Mundane jhanas can be cultivated and mastered. Supramundane jhanas can't be cultivated and mastered, you just abide in them.

Just some reflections.

You can only attain what is unattainable, in this case the supramundane. Rest of the things are impermanent phenomena, but still one can gain mastery over them.

alan
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Re: Did anyone here attain jhana?

Post by alan » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:38 am

Hi Ben. Agree with most of what you say, but I don't get the fruit simile. It doesn't seem to follow that people of high attainment will always be humble. And should we take humbleness as a sign of high awareness? That seems to create its own problems.

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