Jhanas and Hindrances

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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daverupa
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by daverupa » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:47 pm

barcsimalsi wrote: can it be another controversial subject
It sure can. There are many threads about the jhana factors; it's probably best to let this one focus on the interplay of the hindrances and jhana, which offers a well-constrained topic.

:group:
  • "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]

barcsimalsi
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by barcsimalsi » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:20 pm

daverupa wrote:
barcsimalsi wrote: can it be another controversial subject
It sure can. There are many threads about the jhana factors; it's probably best to let this one focus on the interplay of the hindrances and jhana, which offers a well-constrained topic.

:group:
Fine.
Back to topic, whether it is samatha or vipassana, the point is the hindrances must be skillfully abandon first before one can develop jhana rather than hoping to jump into jhana by luck or special method and wake up like an enlightened being.

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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:50 pm

barcsimalsi wrote: Back to topic, whether it is samatha or vipassana, the point is the hindrances must be skillfully abandon first before one can develop jhana rather than hoping to jump into jhana by luck or special method and wake up like an enlightened being.
Yes, temporary suppression of the hindrances is required to develop jhana. But then what is the purpose of developing jhana, if not to reduce the hindrances long term?
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Anagarika
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Anagarika » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:48 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:I believe that Ajahn Geoff may have expressed it as being like a bird with only one wing, flying in circles...the two wings of samatha and vipassana are the elements of jhana, and cannot "fly" correctly without each other, or operate fully independently of each other.
I think it was "Wings of awakening" rather than "wings of jhana". So samatha and vipassana are both necessary for awakening, but I'd suggest that jhana is a development of samatha rather than vipassana.
My thought is that jhana is the practice and samatha and vipassana the attendant "byproducts" or vehicles that develop from or are contained within jhana. I do not see samatha and vipassana as practices, but as elements of the practice of jhana. Perhaps I am splitting hairs or being hypertechnical. I googled and found this:

This suggests that, in the eyes of those who assembled the Pali discourses, samatha, jhana, and vipassana were all part of a single path. Samatha and vipassana were used together to master jhana and then — based on jhana — were developed even further to give rise to the end of mental defilement and to bring release from suffering. This is a reading that finds support in other discourses as well. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... etool.html

I'm a Ven. Thanissaro fan, so I may have this definition ingrained in me by virtue of spending time w ATI and at Wat Metta.

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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by barcsimalsi » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:07 am

Spiny Norman wrote: Yes, temporary suppression of the hindrances is required to develop jhana. But then what is the purpose of developing jhana, if not to reduce the hindrances long term?
Apart from that, as already been pointed out by fivebells, here's a quote from the sutta:
Cula-dukkhakkhandha Sutta wrote: "Even though a disciple of the noble ones has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, still — if he has not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that[4] — he can be tempted by sensuality. But when he has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and he has attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, he cannot be tempted by sensuality.

"I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened bodhisatta, saw as it actually was with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, but as long as I had not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, I did not claim that I could not be tempted by sensuality. But when I saw as it actually was with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and I had attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, that was when I claimed that I could not be tempted by sensuality.

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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:39 am

BuddhaSoup wrote: My thought is that jhana is the practice and samatha and vipassana the attendant "byproducts" or vehicles that develop from or are contained within jhana. I do not see samatha and vipassana as practices, but as elements of the practice of jhana. Perhaps I am splitting hairs or being hypertechnical. I googled and found this:
An alternative view is that jhana fullfils samatha and is the foundation for vipassana. I think this is one way of looking at the progression described in the 4 tetrads of anapanasati, and also in suttas like this: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... 1.than.htm.
And looking at the 7 factors of enlightenment, 2 factors relate to insight based on mindfulness, while the other factors strongly correlate with the absorption factors of jhana.
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:44 am

barcsimalsi wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote: Yes, temporary suppression of the hindrances is required to develop jhana. But then what is the purpose of developing jhana, if not to reduce the hindrances long term?
Apart from that, as already been pointed out by fivebells, here's a quote from the sutta:
Cula-dukkhakkhandha Sutta wrote: "Even though a disciple of the noble ones has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, still — if he has not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that[4] — he can be tempted by sensuality. But when he has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and he has attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, he cannot be tempted by sensuality.

"I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened bodhisatta, saw as it actually was with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, but as long as I had not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, I did not claim that I could not be tempted by sensuality. But when I saw as it actually was with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and I had attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, that was when I claimed that I could not be tempted by sensuality.
I think this extract confirms that the jhana aborption factors ( and by proxy the relevant factors of enlightenment ) are an antidote to the hindrances.

But in your view is there another purpose to developing jhana, and if so, what exactly is it?
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Mkoll » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:57 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
barcsimalsi wrote: Back to topic, whether it is samatha or vipassana, the point is the hindrances must be skillfully abandon first before one can develop jhana rather than hoping to jump into jhana by luck or special method and wake up like an enlightened being.
Yes, temporary suppression of the hindrances is required to develop jhana. But then what is the purpose of developing jhana, if not to reduce the hindrances long term?
"And what, Ananda is the path, the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters? Here, with seclusion from the acquisitions, with the abandoning of unwholesome states, with the complete tranquillization of bodily inertia, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhana, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion.

"Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumour, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element thus: 'This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana. If he is steady in that, he attains the destruction of the taints. But if he does not attain the destruction of the taints because of that desire for the Dhamma, that delight in the Dhamma, then with the destruction of the five lower fetters he becomes one due to reappear spontaneously [in the Pure Abodes] and there attain final Nibbana without ever returning from that world. This is the path, the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters
-MN 64, Mahamalunkyaputta Sutta, trans. Bhikkhu Bodhi

This formula is applied to the other jhanas and the formless states up to the base of nothingness. It seems to me that an important purpose of jhana is as a means of seeing even the most blissful and peaceful states as anicca and therefore dukkha and anatta.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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daverupa
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by daverupa » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:40 am

Spiny Norman wrote:An alternative view is that jhana fullfils samatha and is the foundation for vipassana.
This pair (samatha-vipassana) begins development long before jhana (samadhi).
  • "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: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by barcsimalsi » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:57 am

Spiny Norman wrote: But in your view is there another purpose to developing jhana, and if so, what exactly is it?
From some dhamma talks, i often heard that Jhana offers its practitioners higher quality of concentration thus raising the limit of one's ability to contemplate and penetrate the truth deeper. For a silly analogy, i think jhana act like NOS boosting the effectiveness of hitting the objective.

At the mean time, i just want to make sure what i'm practicing is the 8foldpath and not the 7 or 7 and half fold path.

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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:03 am

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:
I think this is an important point that Ajahn Geoff is trying to bring out. A number of western teachers that developed the 'vipassana school' in the west came, in part, from a Burmese background, that taught vipassana as a separate practice, sometimes thought of as 'dry insight,' or a standalone form of insight meditation exclusive of jhana.
The reality is, as has been discussed at length on DW, that that is not really an accurate portrayal of vipassana meditation as it is actually practiced.
And yet, the misunderstanding persists that this is what Vipassana Practice^TM looks like - altogether different than jhana, vipassana and samatha as practices and not qualities, etc etc.

Surely we all know that vipassana-samatha are a pair to be developed in tandem, with imbalances duly rectified, and that this paired foundation is what facilitates bringing the awakening factors to fulfillment by development, which includes jhana.

So I wonder, where is this repetitive structure of misunderstanding coming from?
likely from later practioners who pushed jhana to deeper limits: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 16#p140097
>> 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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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:10 pm

daverupa wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:An alternative view is that jhana fullfils samatha and is the foundation for vipassana.
This pair (samatha-vipassana) begins development long before jhana (samadhi).
Based on what, Dave?
Last edited by Dinsdale on Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:12 pm

barcsimalsi wrote: At the mean time, i just want to make sure what i'm practicing is the 8foldpath and not the 7 or 7 and half fold path.
Good point. But if we're looking at the 8-fold path, isn't samma samadhi defined in terms of jhana?
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote: Yes, temporary suppression of the hindrances is required to develop jhana. But then what is the purpose of developing jhana, if not to reduce the hindrances long term?
"And what, Ananda is the path, the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters? Here, with seclusion from the acquisitions, with the abandoning of unwholesome states, with the complete tranquillization of bodily inertia, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhana, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion.

"Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumour, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element .....
-MN 64, Mahamalunkyaputta Sutta, trans. Bhikkhu Bodhi

This formula is applied to the other jhanas and the formless states up to the base of nothingness. It seems to me that an important purpose of jhana is as a means of seeing even the most blissful and peaceful states as anicca and therefore dukkha and anatta.
This passage seems to be describing jhana followed by insight - which seems to support the idea of jhana as a foundation for insight.
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Re: Jhanas and Hindrances

Post by Anagarika » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:17 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
barcsimalsi wrote:
Good point. But if we're looking at the 8-fold path, isn't samma samadhi defined in terms of jhana?
Yep. Good point, too.

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