How to reach the 1st Jhana?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
paul
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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

SavakaNik
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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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Kumara
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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.
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samseva
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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.
http://www.leighb.com/jhana3.htm
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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Pondera
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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 - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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trefoil
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Re: How to reach the 1st Jhana?

Post by trefoil » Sun May 12, 2019 8:57 pm

Nwad wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:58 am
Thank you Thepea and Kamran to your reply!

Ysterday, after reading a chapter about Dhutanga in Visudhimagga, before going asleep, i does my meditation session.
The theme was dukkha.
After scanning all parts of my body and get to "acces concentration" which was clear and open, with body calm and little numb, i left my mind on pleasant sensation in my hands. After some minutes my mind and feelings becomes to change. I felt my mind being absorbed, my feeling becoming more perceptive (sounds become more loud, smouth lightlings in my closed eyes become lighter, my body became complitely numb, i get very very very HOT and even get some sue on my moustache lol and as the firts time there is some powerfull feeling and my heart rythm explosed, with breathing become very fast because of all of that sensations !

As my theme was dukkha my mind dont interpret this powerfull feeling as "pleasure" and this heart beating and breath rythm increase as "fear". And i think that this great heat sensation was because my concentration on "hand touch" feeling. Anyway, what is intresting is that my body became complitely numb, i no more felt it, just feeling of numbness, and as sensations was very strong i lost my perception of time... After imerging of that state i asked my self is my perception of heart beating and breathing fast was not just perception of some kind of "acceleration mode" like some movie which you accelerate ... i dont know.. but if this state would be more stable with not excited mind who break it, it seems to be pretty realistic to seat like this a couple of hours or so...

I dont know if it was some kind of absorbtion but i know that its works and how it works, so i will try to explore that :toilet:

PS watching a little bit closer i think that this heat in body appear because my concentratiin of mind was nit realy about pleasent feeling in hands, but about "heat" feeling percived as "pleasent"... Kasina?
This is really incredible to read because it is an almost exact description of a state I've been encountering in my meditation.
  • Body becomes numb
  • Sounds become louder
  • Body becomes very hot, lots of sweat
  • Increased heart rate/strength of heart beat
  • A sense of "ramping up" or acceleration
I've been searching different combinations of these effects or dharmawheel for a while now and haven't had much luck, so I'm really grateful to find this post and thread. Other things that have come with this concentration state for me include: eyes darting back and forth, intense feelings of vibration, a sense of unlimited space/bodily boundary expanding, difficulty breathing or breathing stopping altogether (no sensation of "needing" to breathe). This has happened to me maybe 9 times at this point, and the tone of each time has varied. Sometimes there is a sensation of pleasure with it, sometimes there's a sensation of fear. Every time has been intense, and my reaction to the intensity has prevented me from being able to make much use of this state. When I feel fear, it can make it hard to breathe. When I counter the state with calm breathing it can circumvent it from getting too intense, but I'm concerned that I'm limiting my chances to instead enter this state and actually dwell in it in a positive way. I've been meditating for ten years, but I've never had any experiences like this where I really feel my mental state shift so drastically. I've been at such a loss at how to handle it that I considered calling Ajahn Geoff at Wat Metta for advice. It seems like this could just be a delusional fabrication, but it is coming up so consistently now when my concentration is good that I think it's worth exploring how to handle it better.

Virgo
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Re: How to reach the 1st Jhana?

Post by Virgo » Sun May 12, 2019 9:06 pm

For anyone who wishes to attain jhanas, I suggest learning meditation from Ajahn Brahm:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOWONsVx9So

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Kumara
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Re: How to reach absorption?

Post by Kumara » Mon May 13, 2019 6:43 am

Seems like this thread should be titled
How to reach absorption
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Akashad
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Re: How to reach the 1st Jhana?

Post by Akashad » Mon May 13, 2019 1:52 pm

Here is a talk by Tina Rassmussen :

First sit to First Jhana

https://dharmaseed.org/teacher/262/talk/3815/

frank k
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Re: How to reach absorption?

Post by frank k » Wed May 15, 2019 5:12 pm

Kumara wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:43 am
Seems like this thread should be titled
How to reach absorption
"absorption" may not be the best translation for "jhana", but it's workable for the majority of the contexts.
The real problem is that in EBT (early buddhist texts), 1st jhana, ... fourth jhana, have a clear and specific definition, and specific definitions for vitakka and vicara (thought and evaluation). If you trace the devolution of how the four jhanas are understood in Theravada, in Early Abhidhamma, first jhana is still correctly understood with V&V (vitakka and vicara), and Vimutti-magga also retain the correct meaning. But a few hundred years later, Viuddhimagga corrupts the meaning of V&V, and redefines the four jhanas, and first jhana in particular into a completely different meditation practice than in the EBT.

A detailed study of this corruption of the four jhanas, with pali+english is here.
http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/e ... ndex.html

But since this is a "samatha bhavana" under Theravada thread, it's fair enough if people want to talk about doing VRJ (vism. redefinition of jhana). But unfortunately most people do not know the difference between VRJ and first jhana of EBT. Completely different meditation practice.
http://www.audtip.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Audio Sutta Recordings

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budo
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Re: How to reach absorption?

Post by budo » Wed May 15, 2019 5:22 pm

frank k wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 5:12 pm
Kumara wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:43 am
Seems like this thread should be titled
How to reach absorption
"absorption" may not be the best translation for "jhana", but it's workable for the majority of the contexts.
The real problem is that in EBT (early buddhist texts), 1st jhana, ... fourth jhana, have a clear and specific definition, and specific definitions for vitakka and vicara (thought and evaluation). If you trace the devolution of how the four jhanas are understood in Theravada, in Early Abhidhamma, first jhana is still correctly understood with V&V (vitakka and vicara), and Vimutti-magga also retain the correct meaning. But a few hundred years later, Viuddhimagga corrupts the meaning of V&V, and redefines the four jhanas, and first jhana in particular into a completely different meditation practice than in the EBT.

A detailed study of this corruption of the four jhanas, with pali+english is here.
http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/e ... ndex.html

But since this is a "samatha bhavana" under Theravada thread, it's fair enough if people want to talk about doing VRJ (vism. redefinition of jhana). But unfortunately most people do not know the difference between VRJ and first jhana of EBT. Completely different meditation practice.
Good research frank!

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Nwad
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Re: How to reach the 1st Jhana?

Post by Nwad » Sun May 19, 2019 2:10 pm

robertk wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:37 am
It would be interesting to read the sutta/Commentary that this comes from.
Greetings robertk,

I found this sutta one minute ago :
Milindapanha 1/6/6
https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/mil6.1.6

‘The mind of the Arahat, O king, is trained, well practised, tamed, brought into subjection, and obedient, and it hearkens to his word. When affected with feelings of pain, he grasps firmly the idea of the impermanence of all things, so ties his mind as it were to the post of contemplation, and his mind, bound to the post of contemplation, remains unmoved, unshaken, becomes stedfast, wanders not—though his body the while may bend this way and that and roll in agony by the disturbing influence of the pain. This is why it is only one kind of pain that the Arahat suffers—bodily pain, that is, and not mental.’

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