Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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lkearns
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Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

Post by lkearns » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:46 pm

Hello,

Thinking about the jhana states, I am aware that the levels of ones desire to experience a jhana state will effect ones chance at reaching the state; I understand this stated desire, as perhaps a desire for the bliss found in the jhana, desire for what is thought to be a 'sensual pleasure', right?

I feel as though I hold not a desire to experience the jhana, not a sense of craving for any physical pleasures at the thought of it; but when I think about how the jhana states are attainable for all, with right effort, I have a sense of motivation, or a sense of wonder that thinks like, "Where would that state take me?" or, "How would it change my perception?" (All in relation to the dhamma and the middle path).

I am curious as to whether this falls under desire, or is it purely wonder?
Is wonder desire?

Thanks :)

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:45 am

when I think about how the jhana states are attainable for all, with right effort
Interesting point. I have heard a monk say that one's kamma might mean that jhana is unobtainable. Is there any canonical support for this, and what do people think?

lkearns
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Re: Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

Post by lkearns » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:00 am

Sam Vara wrote:
when I think about how the jhana states are attainable for all, with right effort
Interesting point. I have heard a monk say that one's kamma might mean that jhana is unobtainable. Is there any canonical support for this, and what do people think?
I feel like that case is true in a manner of 'can I, may I'; you CAN achieve jhana, although it would require digging yourself out of a big pile of bad kamma, which provides the MAY I variable... With right effort anyone can gain enlightenment in this lifetime right?

I suppose I was making that statement from a 'can I' standpoint.

good point you made :)

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daverupa
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Re: Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

Post by daverupa » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:35 am

SN 48.10 wrote:And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana...
AN 8.28 wrote:"Furthermore, the five faculties are developed, well-developed by a monk whose effluents are ended...
Desiring to develop the five faculties, which is a wholesome goal, includes the desire to develop jhana.
  • "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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kc2dpt
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Re: Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

Post by kc2dpt » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:26 pm

lkearns wrote:Thinking about the jhana states, I am aware that the levels of ones desire to experience a jhana state will effect ones chance at reaching the state; I understand this stated desire, as perhaps a desire for the bliss found in the jhana, desire for what is thought to be a 'sensual pleasure', right?
I don't think jhana is taught to be a sensual pleasure.

"I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Could that be the path to Awakening?' Then, following on that memory, came the realization: 'That is the path to Awakening.' I thought: 'So why am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities?' I thought: 'I am no longer afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities." - MN 36
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

lkearns
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Re: Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

Post by lkearns » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:44 pm

kc2dpt wrote:
lkearns wrote:Thinking about the jhana states, I am aware that the levels of ones desire to experience a jhana state will effect ones chance at reaching the state; I understand this stated desire, as perhaps a desire for the bliss found in the jhana, desire for what is thought to be a 'sensual pleasure', right?
I don't think jhana is taught to be a sensual pleasure.

"I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Could that be the path to Awakening?' Then, following on that memory, came the realization: 'That is the path to Awakening.' I thought: 'So why am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities?' I thought: 'I am no longer afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities." - MN 36
Yeah, that figures, the jhanas relate to essentially being devoid of sensual pleasures? I put sensual pleasures in quotation because i was reffering to that some have the wrong view of jhana, believing it to be a state of physical bliss and a desire for that.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

Post by Spiny Norman » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:38 pm

lkearns wrote: I put sensual pleasures in quotation because i was reffering to that some have the wrong view of jhana, believing it to be a state of physical bliss and a desire for that.
I don't see what's wrong with a bit of piti, it can be very nourishing for practice.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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daverupa
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Re: Is this a desire to experience the Jhanas?

Post by daverupa » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:10 pm

It's going to touch on jhana interpretations, but it pays to note that jhana is secluded from kama, so that sort of pleasure is simply not present in jhana; piti/sukha are indeed present, at first, but this is not to say that they are kama at that time. Parsing this difference is important to understanding jhana, I think, as well as understanding the route to it.
  • "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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