Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

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

Post by SarathW » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:01 am

Hi Robert
This is emerging from Neither perception nor non-perception.
It is understandable.
How about other seven Jhana?
Can you give something similar?
:thinking:
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robertk
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by robertk » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:18 am

Do i need to Sarathw?

Obviously the processes involved in jhana are utterly different from the sense door and vitthi cittas.
There is a continual taking of the same object again and again- how could vipassana insight t, which is all about distinguishing nama and rupa in the sense door and mindoor processes, arise during mundane jhana?

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:59 am

Please read Page 80 diagram in Abhidhamma - Narada.
There are 27 Cittas in Rupavacara and Arupavacara Jhanas
:thinking:
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srivijaya
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by srivijaya » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:40 am

robertk wrote:Perhaps in your extensive study of the suttas you somehow overlooked ones like this:
An irrelevant and sarcastic comment, as you quote an arupa jhana. We were looking at factors of the 1st Jhana. Your quote only serves to highlight the difference between them - the arupa are different. What AB is describing for the form jhanas could perhaps be attributed to the formless.
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.

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robertk
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by robertk » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:25 am

Patthana:
(Faultless Triplet, Kusala-ttika, VII, Investigation Chapter, pañha-våra,

Object, § 404):

Faultless state (kusala dhamma) is related to faultless state by object-condition.

Having emerged from

jhåna, (one) reviews it. (One) reviews (such acts) formerly well done.

Having emerged from jhåna, (one) reviews the jhåna. Learners or common

worldlings practise insight into impermanence, suffering and

impersonality of the faultless (state"

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mikenz66
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:37 am

waterchan 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
Is it right to say that the first two don't?
The Theravada interpretation would be that they are useful preparations that purify the mind, so in that sense they could "lead" to insight. However, as Robert points out, if on is in jhana (and Ajahn Brahm's/the Commentators' definition is correct) then insight is only possible after emerging.

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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by Sylvester » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:31 pm

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.

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srivijaya
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by srivijaya » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:41 pm

robertk wrote:Patthana:
(Faultless Triplet, Kusala-ttika, VII, Investigation Chapter, pañha-våra,

Object, § 404):

Faultless state (kusala dhamma) is related to faultless state by object-condition.

Having emerged from

jhåna, (one) reviews it. (One) reviews (such acts) formerly well done.

Having emerged from jhåna, (one) reviews the jhåna. Learners or common

worldlings practise insight into impermanence, suffering and

impersonality of the faultless (state"
Abhidhamma rather than sutta - but I've just noted the link in your signature to your Abhidhamma site, so I've nothing further to add.

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waterchan
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by waterchan » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:32 pm

srivijaya wrote:
waterchan wrote:the part of the sutta you quoted does not say that this insight happened during the first jhana.
Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided
There's a dynamic process of investigation and relinquishment going on which would be impossible in an unconscious or unaware state. The first jhana is even described as "accompanied by directed thought & evaluation". No sign of any of that in AB's description of 1st jhana.

Also, nowhere in the suttas does it explain that this process of insight happened after the monk arose from a state of oblivion.
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.

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mikenz66
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Re: Jhana definition by Ajahn Brahm

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:46 pm

SN 48.40 may be relevant here:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 66#p343666
Zom wrote:SN 48.40 says that pleasant bodily feeling ends only in the 3rd jhana.
[See link for some quotes from the sutta.]

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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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mikenz66
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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.

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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?
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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.

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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.

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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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