would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Kamran
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by Kamran » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:56 am

Extreme stress, or mental suffering can help you attain jhana faster since you see promising results right away during meditation and become very motivated and strive in your practice.
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Ben
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by Ben » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:05 am

Kamran wrote:Extreme stress, or mental suffering can help you attain jhana faster since you see promising results right away during meditation and become very motivated and strive in your practice.
Hmmm...
I disagree.
Kind regards,
Ben
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nibbuti
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by nibbuti » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:16 am

Kamran wrote:Extreme stress, or mental suffering can help you attain jhana faster since you see promising results right away during meditation and become very motivated and strive in your practice.
Indeed (unless it is pathological of course), extreme stress, or mental suffering can help one attain jhana. One may think jhana is some special treat or requires a secret trick, but it is really only a side effect of seeing the noble truth of suffering and letting go.

The Buddha taught that direct/personal seeing of dukkha (stress) leads to saddha (trust) in the Dhamma, which again leads to joy (piti), energy (viriya), tranquility (passadi), concentration (samadhi or jhana) and relinquishment.

:juggling:
Last edited by nibbuti on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:21 am

Kamran wrote:Extreme stress, or mental suffering can help you attain jhana faster since you see promising results right away during meditation and become very motivated and strive in your practice.
Well, how extreme before it becomes too extreme?
>> 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

alan...
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by alan... » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:37 am

Kamran wrote:Extreme stress, or mental suffering can help you attain jhana faster since you see promising results right away during meditation and become very motivated and strive in your practice.

it depends on how you are meaning stress. if you are saying someone with lots of mental stress will reach jhana faster even if the stress is a problem on the cushion, i'm not so sure.

however if you mean that someone may have lots of stress and then drop it while meditating and reach jhana faster because of their motivation to lessen the stress they feel off the cushion then i agree fully. this is how i learned it quickly. i have a really stressful job and meditation is one of the few things that truly cures my stress and it's the place i can let go of everything. i learned to quiet my mind first from books and from a zen temple so this has always been my method of dropping off the stress. the motivation of being so stressed out pushed me to practice more and more until i got good at jhana because just the zen meditation wasn't cutting it for me, it allowed me to drop the stress but just lead to a neutral state that faded the moment i got up whereas jhana brings me into amazing heights of bliss and concentration that give my mindfulness great momentum after i get up and go on about my day. nothing against zen, i probably wasn't doing it right.

now i would say i'm about 40% as stressed as i was before. i practice jhana and then satipatthana all day, it works out pretty good. i'm still stressed while at work but not on my days off, before i was stressed most of every day unless distracted by tv or books or some other distraction. now i can be at peace whatever i'm doing except for being at work itself.

SarathW
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by SarathW » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:25 pm

Doshin wrote:
SarathW wrote:...
Please read attached for more info.
You link to a book containing 252 pages, what in particular are you thinking about, in this context ?
SarathW wrote: ...
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/printguna.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If reading on a e-reader, I would recommend (same book different formatting):
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/scrnguna.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

_/\_
Hi Doshin
This is such a complex subject. Please read the whole book. Sorry. :reading:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by SarathW » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:33 pm

Ben wrote:
Kamran wrote:Extreme stress, or mental suffering can help you attain jhana faster since you see promising results right away during meditation and become very motivated and strive in your practice.
Hmmm...
I disagree.
Kind regards,
Ben
Hi Ben
I see your point but, pain (Vedana) can be a meditation object. When I have a headache I keep headache as meditation object. When I do meditation I have back pain so I keep that as meditation object. As pain is so powerful your mind will not go anywhere else. Just some thought only. :)

By the way how did you go with your retreat? :namaste:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

mynameisadahn
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by mynameisadahn » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:29 pm

Coming back to this thread over the weekend, I was a bit strident earlier talking about Ayya Khema etc. Sorry about that! Please chalk it up to enthusiasm.

To Alan ... I definitely see where you are coming from with the stressful job and concentration being a reprieve from that. Yoga is a good break from work stress, in my job, but a bit of concentration and associated piti or sukka in meditation is definitely the most wholesome way, short of drinking heavily, of stepping away from work stress.

Whether the piti and sukka I experience in my own meditation rise to the level of a jhana (or by whose definition of "jhana") I don't really know - when it comes down to it. It probably doesn't rise very high, even though it seems pretty cool to me.

To Jerrod, I see a bit more of where you are coming from now.

In the end, I think the suttas about different meditative techniques or attainments are very interesting. It is enjoyable reading them and reading different interpretations. But for me, I try to follow more detailed, specific instructions, like my in-person teacher's description of metta practice, and I also read the vissudhimagga on the topic of metta, or mahasi sayadaw on this topic. I would trust that following these instructions, in a concentration practice, would leave me through jhanas as described in the suttas, whatever those states actually are, provided I was putting sufficient effort/time into the practice. But just practicing metta in my own, less than perfect manner, I cultivate kindness and lessen my stress, which are pretty good results.

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Sekha
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by Sekha » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:24 pm

alan... wrote:is this possible? assuming no other knowledge of meditation could one read every sutta on jhana and perhaps on meditation in general and end up with the know how to enter jhana?
Don't forget that the suttas dealing with jhanas are primarily intended for monks, that means people who are following a rather strict and extensive code of self-discipline. Without strict self-discipline (chiefly about sex, food, and other entertainments such as music, TV, internet, discussing on forums etc.) it is not possible to apply what is written in those suttas. Take for example:
santi kho, migajāla, cakkhu·viññeyyā rūpā... etc.. mano·viññeyyā dhammā iṭṭhā kantā manāpā piya·rūpā kām·ūpasaṃhitā rajanīyā. tañ·ce bhikkhu abhinandati abhivadati ajjhosāya tiṭṭhati. tassa taṃ abhinandato abhivadato ajjhosāya tiṭṭhato uppajjati nandī. nandi·samudayā dukkha·samudayo, migajālā·ti vadāmi.

There are, Migajāla, forms cognizable by the eye... etc.. mental phenomena cognizable by the mind which are pleasing, enjoyable, charming, agreeable, connected with sensuality, enticing. And a bhikkhu delights in them, welcomes them and clings to them. In one who delights in them, welcomes them and clings to them, delight arises. And I say, Migajāla: the arising of delight is the arising of suffering.
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samy ... 5-064.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
more specifically in the case of samadhi:
cakkhundriyaṃ... etc.. manindriyaṃ a·saṃvutassa, bhikkhave, viharato cittaṃ byāsiñcati. cakkhu·viññeyyesu rūpesu... etc.. mano·viññeyyesu dhammesu. tassa byāsitta·cittassa pāmojjaṃ na hoti. pāmojje a·sati pīti na hoti. pītiyā a·sati passaddhi na hoti. passaddhiyā a·sati dukkhaṃ hoti. dukkhino cittaṃ na samādhiyati.

In one living without restraint over the eye faculty... etc.. the mind faculty, the mind is defiled by forms cognizable by the eye... etc.. mental phenomena cognizable by the mind. In one whose mind is defiled, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no exaltation. There being no exaltation, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, there is suffering. The mind of one in suffering does not get concentrated.
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samy ... 5-097.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
moreover:
Cha, bhikkhave, dhamme appahāya abhabbo ajjhattaṃ kāye kāy-anupassī viharituṃ.
There are, bhikkhus, six dhammas, without abandoning which it is not possible to remain observing kāya in kāya internally.

Katame cha? Kamm-ārāmataṃ, bhass-ārāmataṃ, nidd-ārāmataṃ, saṅgaṇik-ārāmataṃ, indriyesu aguttadvārataṃ, bhojane amattaññutaṃ.
Which six? Delight in activities, delight in conversations, delight in sleep, delight in socialization, lack of indriyesu guttadvāratā and lack of bhojane mattaññutā.
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/angu ... 6-118.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
good to have high aims. But if you really want to succeed, make sure you really take the right steps. Otherwise, you are just deluding yourself.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

mogg
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by mogg » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:44 am

Of course. Ramana Maharshi was spontaneously liberated at the age of 16 without any teachings of any kind.

Its kammically dependent.

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tiltbillings
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:09 am

mogg wrote:Of course. Ramana Maharshi was spontaneously liberated at the age of 16 without any teachings of any kind.

Its kammically dependent.
We cannot assume that his liberation was the same as what the Buddha taught.
>> 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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