How to reach the 1st Jhana?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Re: How to reach the 1st Jhana?

Post by paul » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:46 pm

Sutta references:
"In dependence on a contact to be experienced as pain, the pain-faculty arises. Being pained, one discerns, 'I am pained.' With the cessation of that very contact to be experienced as pain, one discerns, 'What was experienced as coming from that — the pain-faculty arising in dependence on a contact to be experienced as pain — ceases & grows still.’—-SN 48.39

"Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of pain, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he senses it disjoined from it. This is called a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones disjoined from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is disjoined, I tell you, from suffering & stress.”—-“The Arrow”, SN 36.6

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Re: How to reach the 1st Jhana?

Post by SavakaNik » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:22 am

By understanding it :buddha2:

Discerning the wholesome (non-sensuality) from unwholesome (sensuality).
When it is actually discerned, not just recalled, kept in mind, repeated, studied, drilled, or memorized.
But actually discerned as such.
How do you know if you do?
Because when you discern it as such the hindrances are suppressed, the factors are developed, invisibility to Mara is attained.

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Re: Pain Faculty

Post by Kumara » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:31 am

SarathW wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:33 am
I can be related to what Ven. Kumara's experience but I never thought of comparing it with Sutta.
However, I think it is a matter of seeing Vedana as Vedana and Sanna as Sanna as two different things.
Perhaps being mindful of Vedana and Sanna will reduce the mental suffering. (second arrow)
That's not what I meant, Sarath. It's the jhanas we're speaking of here. It's the samatha part, not vipassana.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

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Re: How to reach the 1st Jhana?

Post by samseva » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:39 am

I would just like to address these aspects of the discussion, since they are repeating themes (and important for the practice of jhāna).
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:18 pm
As well as Bodom's and Doodoot's excellent advice above, I ought to mention that you are likely to get different answers from people, depending on what they think the 1st Jhana is. Some teachers think it is a "near normal" state of consciousness, accessible to most people who practice meditation in a particular sort of way. Others favour an approach which says that jhanas are very rare, very deep states of mind which will probably not be accessible to modern practitioners; maybe something for very advanced monastics, but not for most of us.
These two opposing descriptions of jhāna, which are still ubiquitous, are the extremes (and both should be disregarded). Jhāna being a 'near-normal' state of consciousness is equally as false as jhāna being nearly impossible to reach for anyone other than a monastic. It is much more the middle of the two (not impossible, but definitely not easy).
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:18 pm
As far as I can see, the translations of what the Buddha said about jhana are not sufficient to make it clear which approach he would have favoured; although, of course, people will quote suttas to show that their particular understanding is the "correct" one.
But it is sufficient. The Buddha non-intentionally reached jhāna as a child. He also strived to develop jhāna under Āḷāra Kālāma and Uddaka. It is similar for other bhikkhus, and even for lay followers.
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:18 pm
Having said that, you might also want to have a look at Leigh Brasington's writing on Jhana. He is in the first camp - those who believe that Jhana is not excessively difficult or strange.
The interpretation of jhāna by Leigh Brasington et al. is simply a confusion of taking neighbourhood-concentration (upacāra-samādhi) to be jhāna.

Re 'how to reach jhāna', I would say that, along with solid sīla, sense-restraint and actually putting in the hours to meditate, Ajahn Brahm's description of jhāna (quoted by DooDoot) is a realistic and balanced understanding, as well as being good instructions, for jhāna:
You experience every part of each in-breath and out-breath continuously for many hundred breaths in a row. That is why this stage is called full sustained attention on the breath.You cannot reach this stage through force, through holding or gripping. You can attain this degree of stillness
only by letting go of everything in the entire universe except for this momentary experience of the breath happening silently. Actually “you”
do not reach this stage, the mind does. The mind does the work itself.

Jhanas are states of letting go, incredibly deep states of contentment. So give away the hungry mind. Develop contentment on the beautiful breath, and nimittas and jhanas will happen by themselves.

One of the many simple but profound statements of the Buddha is that “a meditator who makes letting go the main object easily achieves samadhi,” that is, attentive stillness, the goal of meditation (SN 48.9).

Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond by Ajahn Brahm

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Re: How to reach the 1st Jhana?

Post by Pondera » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:03 am

Jhana is merely perception and feeling of the kasinas (plus the seventh, eighth and ninth - which are easy to access). Kasinas are not difficult to access - nor are the seventh, eighth and ninth. They’re everywhere. Becoming “absorbed” in them is a matter of patience, insight and time.

This adherence to anapanasati as the only route the Buddha took to find jhana - it’s unfounded. Anapanasati stands alone as a meditation practice for the wind kasina - the fourth jhana.
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peace ... 8e2OL/view

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