3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

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pyluyten
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3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by pyluyten » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:10 pm

excerpt from Wynne; The Origin Of Buddhist Meditation

The translation of sati as ‘mindfulness’ and upekkha as ‘equanimity’ do not do full justice to these terms. They give the misleading impression that the third and fourth jhana are heightened states of meditative absorption characterized by some sort of indescribable inner calm. But these terms have quite distinct meanings in the early Buddhist texts: they refer to a particular way of perceiving of sense objects (which in the Buddhist analysis includes mental objects). Thus the expression sato sampajano in the third jhana must denote a state of awareness different from the meditative absorption of the second jhana (cetaso ekodibhava). It suggests that the subject is doing something different from remaining in a meditative state, i.e. that he has come out of his absorption and is now once again aware of objects. The same is true of the word upek(k)ha.


Gombrich, would have the same view. I have only one short excerpt
I know this is controversial, but it seems to me that the third and fourth jhanas are thus quite unlike the second

Then more recenly Keren Arbel would have written something close. I don't have the proper quote still this :
I suggest that in the third jhana a specialized form of awareness is beginning to be established : a mind which is not conditioned by habitual reaction-patterns of likes and dislikes, conscious or latent. I argue that the third Jhana signifies another step in the deconstruction of the fabricated sense of self.

What i was familiar with : "first jhana still including thoughts", "[sutta] jhana develop wisom", "[sutta] jhana are the way to nibbana". It's almost a matter of wording... since what scholars call jhana is what Theravadin call anapanasati! But then i was not familiar with the split "jhana 1 & 2" and then "jhana 3 & 4". Appart wondering how to use this point to view to analyse current meditation experience, I not sure about relevant part in Nikaya.

What do you think? eg do you conisder some of their points while dismissing others?
Thanks

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DooDoot
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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by DooDoot » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:28 pm

pyluyten wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:10 pm
excerpt from Wynne; The Origin Of Buddhist Meditation

The translation of sati as ‘mindfulness’ and upekkha as ‘equanimity’ do not do full justice to these terms. They give the misleading impression that the third and fourth jhana are heightened states of meditative absorption characterized by some sort of indescribable inner calm. But these terms have quite distinct meanings in the early Buddhist texts: they refer to a particular way of perceiving of sense objects (which in the Buddhist analysis includes mental objects). Thus the expression sato sampajano in the third jhana must denote a state of awareness different from the meditative absorption of the second jhana (cetaso ekodibhava). It suggests that the subject is doing something different from remaining in a meditative state, i.e. that he has come out of his absorption and is now once again aware of objects. The same is true of the word upek(k)ha.
The above is very confused; particularly the underlined part.
pyluyten wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:10 pm
Gombrich, would have the same view. I have only one short excerpt
I know this is controversial, but it seems to me that the third and fourth jhanas are thus quite unlike the second
The above comment says little.
pyluyten wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:10 pm
Then more recenly Keren Arbel would have written something close. I don't have the proper quote still this :
I suggest that in the third jhana a specialized form of awareness is beginning to be established : a mind which is not conditioned by habitual reaction-patterns of likes and dislikes, conscious or latent. I argue that the third Jhana signifies another step in the deconstruction of the fabricated sense of self.
Closer but definitely no.
pyluyten wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:10 pm
What i was familiar with : "first jhana still including thoughts",
The 1st jhana does not include any "thoughts". Vitakka & vicara simply mean the mind still has a quality where it is "looking around", similar to if you visit the Sistine Chapel in Rome and look at the pictures on the walls & the ceilings. The 1st jhana is like an expansive heaven and vitakka & vicara are subtle movements of the mind where the mind is checking out the features of the jhana; moving & looking up, down, left, right & around.
pyluyten wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:10 pm
But then i was not familiar with the split "jhana 1 & 2" and then "jhana 3 & 4". Appart wondering how to use this point to view to analyse current meditation experience, I not sure about relevant part in Nikaya.

What do you think? eg do you conisder some of their points while dismissing others?
The compelling or salient matter of the 3rd & 4th jhana is rapture has ceased. I imagine, once rapture has ceased, the mind has a very clear "sato sampajano", namely, the mind understands rapture is not a worthy, peaceful or desirable thing. Once rapture is seen-through or discerned clearly, the mind "clearly & thoroughly understands" ("sampajano") that rapture & pleasant feelings are not as desirable as the peace of Nibbana. Thus "mindfulness" more surely is intent to "keep the mind" in a state of non-clinging to feelings & inclined towards the unconditioned Nibbana.

While AN 9.34 offers a similar teaching to the below for all jhanas, I think the transition away from "rapture" is extremely important because "rapture" can cloud the mind greatly. In other words, "rapture" is a hindrance to clear insight (vipassana).
Furthermore, take a mendicant who, with the fading away of rapture, enters and remains in the third absorption. While a mendicant is in such a meditation, should perceptions and attentions accompanied by rapture beset them, that’s an affliction for them.

https://suttacentral.net/an9.34/en/sujato
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa said about rapture (piti) vs happiness (sukha) in general:
When piti is strong, it causes trembling in the body. And if it is very strong the body might even dance or bounce with joy. This feel­ing is coarse and powerful. On the other hand, sukha is calming, soothing, and relaxing. We learn that their characteristics are very different. When piti dominates the mind, it is impossible to think subtle thoughts. We feel a tingling all over; it makes the hair stand up all over our bodies. So we need to be able to control piti. Sukha, however, has advantages. It leads to tranquil, refined states. It can cause subtle, profound, and refined thoughts. It is as if these two feelings are opponents or foes.

By now we have discovered that piti is an enemy of vipassana, whereas sukha is not. Happiness-joy is a friend or supporter of vipassana. "Vipassana" means "seeing clearly," having direct insight into the truth of aniccam (impermanence), dukkham (unsatisfactoriness) and anatta (not self). We require a very refined mind to realize aniccam, dukkham, and anatta through vipassana. Should piti arise, vipassana is impossible. The mind gets all clouded and restless. Piti must be gotten rid of, for it is the enemy of vipassana, of clear, subtle mental vision. Sukha, however, is not like that at all. Sukha soothes and calms, it makes the mind active and ready for vipassana. For this reason, we must have the ability to regulate piti and sukha

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhik ... athing.htm
In summary, while the "sukha" ("happiness") of the 3rd jhana is not Nibbana, once the mind is free from the "rapture" ("piti") of the 1st & 2nd jhanas, the mind has a very clear vision of the goal (Nibbana). Thus its sati-sampajano become very pure & clear.

Kind regards :smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by pyluyten » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:51 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:28 pm
pyluyten wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:10 pm
Gombrich, would have the same view. I have only one short excerpt
I know this is controversial, but it seems to me that the third and fourth jhanas are thus quite unlike the second
The above comment says little.
Yes... sadly i don't have better quote to let Gombrich explain what he means
DooDoot wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:28 pm

Bhikkhu Buddhadasa said:
Piti must be gotten rid of, for it is the enemy of vipassana, of clear, subtle mental vision. Sukha, however, is not like that at all.



Interesting one! Since i often read about Sukha being - also - something temporary that Jhana 4 removes, i failed to see Sukha allows vipassana - but i think yes it makes sense!

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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by DooDoot » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:55 pm

pyluyten wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:51 pm
Interesting one! Since i often read about Sukha being - also - something temporary that Jhana 4 removes, i failed to see Sukha allows vipassana - but i think yes it makes sense!
Yes. While "sukha" is certainly temporary & is not a requirement for vipassana, the point of Buddhadasa was sukha is not a hindrance to vipassana. My key point or answer is once rapture is gone, the vision of what Nibbana actually is becomes very clear. The mind thoroughly understands the "excitement" ("piti") people generally chase in life is not actually desirable. Kind regards :smile:
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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:10 am

Bhikkhu Sujato once said:
The third jhåna is marked by a maturing of the emotional response to blissful feeling. The refined thrill of rapture deepens into the impartial watchfulness of equanimity. Mindfulness and clear comprehension, though like equanimity present from the first jhåna, come to the fore as one is fully immersed in bliss without being elated by it...

page 64 https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikk ... engers.pdf
Ajahn Brahm said:
Great Mindfulness, Clear Knowing and Equanimity. As with many Jhanas, the experiences are next to impossible to describe. However, the higher the Jhana, the more profound the experience and he more difficult it becomes to put into words. These states as their language are remote from the world. At a stretch, one may say that the bliss of the Third Jhana, the sukha, has a greater sense of ease, quieter and more serene. In the Suttas, it is accompanied by the features of mindfulness (sati), clear knowing (sampajanna) and equanimity (upekkha), although these qualities are said in the ANUPADA SUTTA (MN 111) to be present in all Jhanas. Perhaps these features are emphasized in the Suttas as qualities of the Third Jhana in order to point out that in these very deep Jhanas, one is exceptionally mindful, very clear in the knowing, and so still that one looks on without moving, which is the root meaning of equanimity (upekkha).

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn ... Jhanas.htm
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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by Pondera » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:08 pm

"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

@ DooDoot

So, all of these other qualities exist in first jhana, but not thinking?

Perception? Intention? Consciousness? But no thought? What about sound?
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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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:18 pm

Pondera wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:08 pm
So, all of these other qualities exist in first jhana, but not thinking? Perception? Intention? Consciousness? But no thought? What about sound?
Teachers from Bhikkhu Buddhadasa to Ajahn Brahmavamso say "vitakka" & "vicara" do not refer to ordinary thinking. As for perception, intention & consciousness, obviously they exist in the 1st jhana, otherwise it could not be maintained & experienced. Since the mind allows itself to dwell in the 1st jhana, obviously it is a subtle intention that allows this (rather than decides to reject jhana). Imo. Kind regards :)
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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by Pondera » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:28 pm

I’ve heard in regards to this style of jhana that if and when you enter it, you have no way of knowing how long you will stay in it.

What relation does this “not knowing” have with intention? Shouldn’t one be able to use their intent to determine the duration of the experience?

Regards,

Pondera
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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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:35 pm

Pondera wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:28 pm
I’ve heard in regards to this style of jhana that if and when you enter it, you have no way of knowing how long you will stay in it.
The above sounds reasonable. However, I imagine not agreeing with Ajahn Brahm's view that the mind cannot make a decision about when to emerge.
Pondera wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:28 pm
What relation does this “not knowing” have with intention? [Shouldn’t one be able to use their intent to determine the duration of the experience?
I agree. I imagine if the Buddha had to give a Dhamma talk at 6pm, he could enter jhana at 3pm and decide to emerge at 5.59pm. However, how long the jhana can potentially last, I imagine this cannot be determined (unless there is some type of supreme supernormal mastery).

Regards :)
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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by Pondera » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:52 pm

I believe it is stated in the suttas that Sariputta once spent 15 consecutive days entering and emerging from the nine jhanas. Apart from the Buddha setting a higher standard - Sariputta might have set the standard with these 15 days.

Another question about this style of jhana. I have heard it said that one cannot hear anything during absorption. Is this true? If so, does it contradict MN 111?
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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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:14 am

Pondera wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:52 pm
If so, does it contradict MN 111?
Does MN 111 say there is hearing of sound in jhana? There are suttas they say a monk didn't hear 500 carts or an earthquake when in jhana.
One time, Pukkusa, I was staying near Ātumā in a threshing-barn. And on that occasion, when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air) not far from the threshing-house, two farmers—brothers—were killed, along with four oxen.

“Then a large crowd of people came out of Ātumā to where the two farmers—brothers—were killed, along with the four oxen. And on that occasion I, having come out of the threshing-barn, was doing walking meditation in front of the door to the threshing-barn. A certain man from the great crowd of people approached me and, on arrival, having bowed down to me, stood to one side. As he was standing there, I said to him, ‘Why, friend, has this great crowd of people gathered?’

“‘Just now, lord—when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air)—two farmers—brothers—were killed, along with four oxen. That’s why this great crowd of people has gathered. But you, lord: Where were you?’

“‘I was right here, friend.’

“‘But did you see anything?’

“‘No, friend, I didn’t.”

“‘But did you hear the sound?’

“‘No, friend, I didn’t.’

“‘But were you asleep?’

“‘No, friend, I wasn’t asleep.’

“‘But were you conscious?’

“‘Yes, friend.’

“‘Then, lord, being conscious & awake when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air), you neither saw anything nor heard a sound.’

“‘Yes, friend.’

“Then the thought occurred to that man, ‘How amazing! How astounding: the peaceful abiding by which those gone forth abide—in that, when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air), he would neither see them nor hear a sound!’ Having proclaimed immense conviction in me, he circumambulated me and then left.”

DN 16
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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by Pondera » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:10 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:14 am
Pondera wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:52 pm
If so, does it contradict MN 111?
Does MN 111 say there is hearing of sound in jhana? There are suttas they say a monk didn't hear 500 carts or an earthquake when in jhana.
One time, Pukkusa, I was staying near Ātumā in a threshing-barn. And on that occasion, when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air) not far from the threshing-house, two farmers—brothers—were killed, along with four oxen.

“Then a large crowd of people came out of Ātumā to where the two farmers—brothers—were killed, along with the four oxen. And on that occasion I, having come out of the threshing-barn, was doing walking meditation in front of the door to the threshing-barn. A certain man from the great crowd of people approached me and, on arrival, having bowed down to me, stood to one side. As he was standing there, I said to him, ‘Why, friend, has this great crowd of people gathered?’

“‘Just now, lord—when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air)—two farmers—brothers—were killed, along with four oxen. That’s why this great crowd of people has gathered. But you, lord: Where were you?’

“‘I was right here, friend.’

“‘But did you see anything?’

“‘No, friend, I didn’t.”

“‘But did you hear the sound?’

“‘No, friend, I didn’t.’

“‘But were you asleep?’

“‘No, friend, I wasn’t asleep.’

“‘But were you conscious?’

“‘Yes, friend.’

“‘Then, lord, being conscious & awake when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air), you neither saw anything nor heard a sound.’

“‘Yes, friend.’

“Then the thought occurred to that man, ‘How amazing! How astounding: the peaceful abiding by which those gone forth abide—in that, when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air), he would neither see them nor hear a sound!’ Having proclaimed immense conviction in me, he circumambulated me and then left.”

DN 16
Nice sutta. I recall this one. Reading it years ago. I thought you said you had not read the Digha Nikaya?

Back to topic. Said mendicant may have been in the ninth jhana, no?

Regards,

Pondera
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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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:23 am

Pondera wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:10 am
Back to topic. Said mendicant may have been in the ninth jhana, no?
The sutta says the monk was "conscious". My impression is the 9th jhana is not conscious. Regards :)
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by Pondera » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:27 am

We can argue that one until the cows come home. A better point for me is to point out that MN 111 specifically attributes perception to the first seven jhanas. Then it explicitly leaves out perception in the eighth and ninth jhanas.

Our mendicant couldn’t have been in any of the first seven jhanas and we will never meet in the middle about the ninth - and he could quite possibly have been in the eighth.

So, I see a contradiction here with this style of jhana and MN 111. Do you not?
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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Re: 3rd and 4th Jhana as an equanimous look at the world?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:12 am

Pondera wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:27 am
So, I see a contradiction here with this style of jhana and MN 111. Do you not?
“‘Then, lord, being conscious & awake when the rain-deva was raining, the rain-deva was pouring, lightning-streaks were shooting out, and a thunderbolt split (the air), you neither saw anything nor heard a sound.’

“‘Yes, friend.’
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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