Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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srivijaya
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by srivijaya » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:03 pm

waterchan wrote:Did you read any of the two links I posted before? Like I said, vitakka and vicara does not mean "directed thought & evaluation", even though it is sometimes translated as such.
Evaluation is not limited to coarse verbalised thoughts. Awareness is also not predicated on them, so I don't exactly see your point. Perhaps I'm missing something?

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:48 pm

Hi Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote:Errh, I don't think it's a Theravada thingy. If insight is the product of mental examination, then it would be impossible in the Attainments - DN 9 and DA 28. If one thinks (ceteti) or generates a volition (abhisaṅkharoti) in any of the Attainments, one crashes out and lands back in familiar territory, ie kāmasaññā .

One could try arguing that insight happens silently, but given one of insight's proxy verb samanupassati (considers), I seriously doubt that interpretation.
Perhaps I wasn't clear. I was contrasting the standard Theravada interpretation of jhana as a highly-absorbed and difficult-to-attain state (with which AB seems to largely agree) with the modern "jhana-lite" interpretations.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:39 am

mikenz66 wrote:The sutta lists four ways of developing samadhi, which is translated as concentration. The last two lead to mindfulness and insight.

Mike
Can I say the first two are Samatha and the last two are as Vipassana?
How does these for Samadhi, reconcile to Satipatthana Sutta?
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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daverupa
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by daverupa » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:44 am

Calmly looking, or calmly Looking. I think it depends which is being emphasized, of the pair; both are to be developed, in tandem if possible.
  • "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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robertk
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by robertk » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:57 am

srivijaya wrote:
Also jhana is not At all oblivion. There is profound awareness of the object, it is not like some sort of unconsciouness or deep sleep.
Which I agree with but it's not what AB teaches. He teaches that insight is always post-jhana, which begs the question what insight is there within an AB jhana.
In this thread I have only being referring to the op post about hearing in jhana.

If AB is saying eleswhere that in jhana there is no awareness at all- like deep sleep or something- then that is possibly even worse than the idea that there can be hearing or conceptual thinking in jhana.

But if he is saying that there can be no insight into the three marks while in jhana then he is quite correct as per Theravada doctrine.

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:09 am

SarathW wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:The sutta lists four ways of developing samadhi, which is translated as concentration. The last two lead to mindfulness and insight.

Mike
Can I say the first two are Samatha and the last two are as Vipassana?
I would say that the first two are developments that tend towards development of strong samatha, and the last two are developments that tend towards the development of vipassana.

As Dave says, it's not so black-and-white in practice. A good degree of mindfulness seems to be necessary to attain jhana, and a good degree of concentration seems to be necessary for insight. Some modern teachers (such as Brahm, Pa Auk, Maha Bua, etc) emphasise the development of deep concentration as a priority, but generally also stress the necessity for mindfulness, and also some insight in order to get past the hindrences. Most of the modern teachers that don't go for deep concentration (Mahasi, Goenka, Thanissaro, many Ajahn Chah students) present methods that develop mindfulness and concentration very much in tandem.
SarathW wrote: How does these for Samadhi, reconcile to Satipatthana Sutta?
:thinking:
The Satipatthana Sutta contains elements of development all four types of samadhi mentioned in AN 4.41. The Body/Feeling/Mind foundations (particularly body) tend to lean more towards the first type mentioned in AN 4.41, and the fourth more towards the third and fourth types mentioned in AN 4.41.

:anjali:
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Sylvester » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:22 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote:Errh, I don't think it's a Theravada thingy. If insight is the product of mental examination, then it would be impossible in the Attainments - DN 9 and DA 28. If one thinks (ceteti) or generates a volition (abhisaṅkharoti) in any of the Attainments, one crashes out and lands back in familiar territory, ie kāmasaññā .

One could try arguing that insight happens silently, but given one of insight's proxy verb samanupassati (considers), I seriously doubt that interpretation.
Perhaps I wasn't clear. I was contrasting the standard Theravada interpretation of jhana as a highly-absorbed and difficult-to-attain state (with which AB seems to largely agree) with the modern "jhana-lite" interpretations.

:anjali:
Mike

Thanks Mike. I just realised I should have said "I don't think it's only a Theravada thingy". Which was why I cited the Dharmagupta parallel to DN 9 to indicate that even that school's sutra present a deep absorption model without thoughts or volitions.

:anjali:

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Sylvester » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:32 am

An old thread on vipassana in jhana worth revisiting, including a thorough dissection of MN 111 -

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=15480

Some others -

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=10355

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 03#p229957

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srivijaya
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by srivijaya » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:13 am

robertk wrote:In this thread I have only being referring to the op post about hearing in jhana.

If AB is saying eleswhere that in jhana there is no awareness at all- like deep sleep or something- then that is possibly even worse than the idea that there can be hearing or conceptual thinking in jhana.
I have no doubt that AB is talking from personal experience. I think the deep state he describes is one in which no senses are operational and any insight gained is a subsequent occurrence. His A&E dead-on-arrival anecdote hardly leaves room for much experience within his definition of jhana. As far as I have seen, this is one reason why dry-insight folks consider jhana to be a waste of time and from this POV their objections make real sense. Being able to note negative mental states as they arise etc. is of huge benefit in cultivation and this is clearly impossible in AB's scenario.

I rather suspect that he has directly accessed either an arupa jhana or some other state of deep absorption, as are described elsewhere. There are such states which come in for criticism in other schools of Buddhism (not sure about Theravada, apart from perhaps Buddha's early teachers) and are considered a false path. But I'm in no position to judge that either way, just putting it out there for consideration.
But if he is saying that there can be no insight into the three marks while in jhana then he is quite correct as per Theravada doctrine.
If doctrine says that there can be no insight into the three marks while in jhana, what does it say about what is actually experienced (if anything) whilst in jhana?

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:07 pm

srivijaya wrote:His A&E dead-on-arrival anecdote hardly leaves room for much experience within his definition of jhana.
I don't see how one can make such a judgment, given that the ajahn's anecdote reports only the meditator's alleged unresponsiveness to external stimuli, while relating nothing at all about his subjective experience.

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:24 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
SarathW wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:The sutta lists four ways of developing samadhi, which is translated as concentration. The last two lead to mindfulness and insight.

Mike
Can I say the first two are Samatha and the last two are as Vipassana?
I would say that the first two are developments that tend towards development of strong samatha, and the last two are developments that tend towards the development of vipassana.

As Dave says, it's not so black-and-white in practice. A good degree of mindfulness seems to be necessary to attain jhana, and a good degree of concentration seems to be necessary for insight. Some modern teachers (such as Brahm, Pa Auk, Maha Bua, etc) emphasise the development of deep concentration as a priority, but generally also stress the necessity for mindfulness, and also some insight in order to get past the hindrences. Most of the modern teachers that don't go for deep concentration (Mahasi, Goenka, Thanissaro, many Ajahn Chah students) present methods that develop mindfulness and concentration very much in tandem.
SarathW wrote: How does these for Samadhi, reconcile to Satipatthana Sutta?
:thinking:
The Satipatthana Sutta contains elements of development all four types of samadhi mentioned in AN 4.41. The Body/Feeling/Mind foundations (particularly body) tend to lean more towards the first type mentioned in AN 4.41, and the fourth more towards the third and fourth types mentioned in AN 4.41.

:anjali:
Mike
Thanks Mike
What is the reason Jhana (1,2,3,4) is mentioned only in the first limb not in the last three?
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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srivijaya
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by srivijaya » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:41 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
srivijaya wrote:His A&E dead-on-arrival anecdote hardly leaves room for much experience within his definition of jhana.
I don't see how one can make such a judgment, given that the ajahn's anecdote reports only the meditator's alleged unresponsiveness to external stimuli, while relating nothing at all about his subjective experience.
True, but is it likely? What would be your view on experience within jhana?

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Virgo » Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:59 pm

In the traditional view, the mind is absorbed on the object. Insight only happens after the mind exists (mundane) jhana...

:anjali: Kevin

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Alex123 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:29 pm

Virgo wrote:In the traditional view, the mind is absorbed on the object. Insight only happens after the mind exists (mundane) jhana...

:anjali: Kevin
But according to Abhidhamma commentaries, citta always takes only one object at a time.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Virgo » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:50 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Virgo wrote:In the traditional view, the mind is absorbed on the object. Insight only happens after the mind exists (mundane) jhana...

:anjali: Kevin
But according to Abhidhamma commentaries, citta always takes only one object at a time.
For gaining insight, citta and cetasikas can have a nimitta of the past reality (the jhana citta) as it's object.

Kevin :anjali:

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