Jhana

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:42 pm

2600htz
Hello
you wrote
The big problem with jhana is that it is easy to misrepresent what a jhana actually is, i mean stadistically speaking if 100 people think they are doing jhana, maybe 5 of those 100 are really following the instructions and experiencing what the Buddha was talking about. If those other 95 people are just doing "meditation" and not the rest of the path, maybe they are not practicing any of the path, and that is the
danger.
Regarding what you say, I would not know how to respond, since I do not interact with other meditators, (except for a small Mahayana group once, v. briefly) my own experience has been very pleasant, but I work very hard, I get up v. early, early hours work best for me, do not travel much anymore, do not read or watch news or sports, (how I removed the major distractions). I got my hands on anything I could read on the jhanas, finally a Jewish scholar, Keren Arbel, her book on "Early Buddhist Meditation' combined with Expositor...That was it.
As for dangers I cannot see how this is possible. At least for a short length of time, the meditator has succeeded in being free of the hindrances, and reaching a state of calmness, even if he could not move on to the second jhana, besides, one can accomplish much thru first jhana alone MN 63. I have heard that folks with mental issues require a guide.

you wrote
About right speech vs right concentration, i would go that they are conjoined. If a person is practicing right concentration, at that moment he is practicing right speech, calming the verbal fabrication, some degree of noble silence and harmonious thinking. So its the whole pack.
I agree, but that is not what I meant, during the meditation, no worries.
It is the occasional other time, when one is not too mindful, that one tends to trip on speech.
Regards :candle:
Last edited by Pulsar on Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:04 am, edited 4 times in total.

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:57 pm

Dear Dinsdale you wrote
Attitudes to jhana certainly vary. I used to attend a Thai Forest group, and was basically told that the jhanas were a distraction, and not to waste time on them. I thought this was an odd attitude, given the prominent position that jhanas have in the suttas.
Unfortunately some people just believe what their teacher says, and don't research these questions thoroughly
some of my friends trained in the vipassana way have similar attitudes, either jhana is far too difficult, or not relevant.
jhanas were a distraction
The irony, the thing that removes distraction is the distraction :candle:
Last edited by Pulsar on Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

budo
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Re: Jhana

Post by budo » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:02 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:26 pm
Budo wrote
I recommend you read Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's book on Anapansati and attaining Jhana
I have not read the link you gave, but will do so later. I have read stuff written by other scholars on Buddhadasa,
that while he emphasized Anapanasati, he did not encourage Satipatthana, nor the 4 jhanas, in a detailed manner, although there are references to these.
So my understanding is that those who graduate from this particular school do not see the importance of jhana, Besides some think jhana is beyond one's league, simply because in the later Theravada commentaries,
it says so, a mistaken notion, however, if you go by the Pali canon.
That recommendation was tailored specifically for DooDoot as he is a follower of that monk. I would actually recommend Ayya Khema if you want to learn jhanas,which aligns with the right nimittas according to the suttas.

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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:23 pm

Thanks dear Budo, for the recommendation, I have read her stuff in the past, but have not paid
attention to the nimitta as much as others do. If you read the Sanda group of suttas in Anguttara Nikaya, that is a place where Buddha recommends to be free of even the nimittas, as one advances in the practice, Jhana of the Thoroughbred for instance.
4th jhana is presented in various ways, in other suttas, some simpler
others more advanced, 4th jhana is not off limits, for the one who tries.
Here is a talk of Leigh Brasigton, He is a student of Ayya Khema
I found it very helpful. Pl check it out. :candle:
https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/audio ... /4601.html

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DooDoot
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Re: Jhana

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:54 am

budo wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:18 am
Celibacy is required for higher jhanas, but not for, to my knowledge, the first 3 jhanas.
Although the suttas say sensual desire is a hindrance to all jhanas, you seem to be saying a person can have sex and then totally switch off the oozing out (asava) of the hindrance or the previous results of sexual copulation, fornication, orgasm & the orgasmic dispersal of lust sankharas throughout the physical body that occurs when the body, respiratory system and nervous system tremble & shake with orgasm.

You seem to be saying you can drop a pebble (stone) into the water of a still pond without causing any ripples or waves in the pond.

The suttas say an act of kamma has three results, namely, here-&-now (example the pleasure of sex), later (for example the pacification, exhaustion or even regret of sex, etc) and later again (for example, the conditioned urge to have sex again due to having sex previously). You seem to be saying regularly copulating, fornicating, ejaculating & orgasming won't hinder the 1st jhana. :|
budo wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:18 am
Also thankfully, all you need is the first jhana to see dependent origination and thus attain some form of fruition.
Unlikely dependent origination would be clearly discerned on the 1st jhana due to the predominance of rapture & ekaggata.
budo wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:18 am
So it is not true that you need to be a super ascetic to attain jhanas.
The suttas and Vinaya say jhana is a "supernormal state" yet Budo seems to say there is nothing "super" about it at all. :|
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:40 pm
Attitudes to jhana certainly vary. I used to attend a Thai Forest group, and was basically told that the jhanas were a distraction, and not to waste time on them. I thought this was an odd attitude, given the prominent position that jhanas have in the suttas.
Dinsdale. I doubt the Thai Forest group said jhana was not important. What the Thai Forest group probably said is "thinking about the jhanas is a distraction and not to waste time on thinking about it". To reach jhana, I imagine craving, hope, ambition, etc, must be completely "abandoned" or "let go of" and the mind must remain wholly in the present moment, with the present dhamma. The suttas say:
MN 131 wrote:You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past
is left behind.
The future
is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
you clearly see right there,
right there.
Not taken in
,
unshaken,
that's how you develop the heart.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
SN 48.10 wrote:And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana...

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Ajahn Chah appeared very clear about this. Video starts at 4:15; to 5:45:

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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Re: Jhana

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:44 am

Pulsar wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:57 pm
Dear Dinsdale you wrote
Attitudes to jhana certainly vary. I used to attend a Thai Forest group, and was basically told that the jhanas were a distraction, and not to waste time on them. I thought this was an odd attitude, given the prominent position that jhanas have in the suttas.
Unfortunately some people just believe what their teacher says, and don't research these questions thoroughly
some of my friends trained in the vipassana way have similar attitudes, either jhana is far too difficult, or not relevant.
jhanas were a distraction
The irony, the thing that removes distraction is the distraction :candle:
The other problem with jhana is that nobody can agree what it really is - people talk about sutta jhana, commentary jhana, vipassana jhana, etc etc.
I've also seen an element of snobbery, like "You can't have experienced real jhana", or "Our dry insight method is superior to jhana anyway".

So many "experts", and so many agendas! :shrug:
It all makes constructive discussion of this important topic quite difficult.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

budo
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Re: Jhana

Post by budo » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:40 am

MN48, which talks about novices, shows the hindrances should not arise at the time of meditation:

<After having right view and not quarreling with other ascetics and sharing your food and material with them>
And how does the view that is noble and emancipating lead one who practices it to the complete ending of suffering? It’s when a mendicant has gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, and reflects like this, ‘Is there anything that I’m overcome with internally and haven’t given up, because of which I might not accurately know and see?’ If a mendicant is overcome with sensual desire, it’s their mind that’s overcome. If a mendicant is overcome with ill will, dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, doubt, pursuing speculation about this world, pursuing speculation about the next world, or arguing, quarreling, and fighting, continually wounding others with barbed words, it’s their mind that’s overcome. They understand, ‘There is nothing that I’m overcome with internally and haven’t given up, because of which I might not accurately know and see. My mind is properly disposed for awakening to the truths.’ This is the first knowledge they have achieved that is noble and transcendent, and is not shared with ordinary people.
This means that one reflects on their state of mind in seclusion. That means only things that arise in that moment matter. Every person has their own unique temperament. Someone who is obsessed with porn or sex won't be able to meditate. That means a hindrance is an obsession.

Obsessions are things that flood your mind. That means if someone can't go 24-48 hours without porn, they're obsessed. If they can go one week without porn/sex then they're not obsessed. If they can go one month without porn, even less so.

Hence you don't need to live in a cave for 10 years to attain jhanas as others here imply. We're talking about attaining jhana, not mastering jhana. Mastering jhana means you're able to ALWAYS enter Jhana upon sitting down. This of course requires celibacy. But to attain jhanas from time to time does not require celibacy, just a few days to a week long seclusion from those desires to be on the sure side and not waste time.

Hence my first post in this thread:

budo wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:37 am
Jhanas are both easy and hard at the same time.

If you're at a point in your life where nothing gives you gratification, then jhanas are very easy to slip into.

If you're at a point in your life where you're chasing stimulation or stressed from work, then getting into jhana is nearly impossible.

Lifestyle (or right livelihood) has a huge impact on attaining jhanas. I find that if I'm not busy, and I'm not working for a long stretch of time, and I'm more likely to be unstimulated (bored) then jhanas come easy. If I'm busy, or an addiction cycle has begun (work/chore -> stress/tiredness -> escaping stress/tiredness via sensual desire) then jhanas are nearly impossible to get into.


Jhanas are easy to attain (if one is somewhat serious), but very hard to master.

If one is medicating/numbing their dukkha with sensual desires then of course Jhanas will be hard to attain, but if one takes a break from medcating/compensating/numbing their dukkha, then the mind will be less stimulated, thus allowing for jhanas to arise easier.

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Pondera
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pondera » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:54 am

Budo:

Does your experience of Jhana echo the suttas?
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

budo
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Re: Jhana

Post by budo » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:06 am

Furthermore MN 48 also shows that the Fruit of Stream Entry requires Jhana:
When a noble disciple has these seven factors, they have properly investigated their own nature with respect to the realization of the fruit of stream-entry. A noble disciple with these seven factors has the fruit of stream-entry.”
The first two factors:

1) Which I quoted in the previous post, sitting at a root of a tree (aka physical seclusion) and seeing if the 5 hindrances are present

2) While still at a root of a tree (physical seclusion), If the hindrances are not present, they attain samatha:
Furthermore, a noble disciple reflects, ‘When I develop, cultivate, and make much of this view, do I personally gain serenity and quenching?’ They understand, ‘When I develop, cultivate, and make much of this view, I personally gain serenity and quenching.’ This is their second knowledge …
Thus they have experiential confidence in the Buddha. As SN 55.40 shows, if they stop there and never attain jhanas again, then they are being Negligent. SN 55 is a Samyutta that has to do with Stream enterers only:
“And how does a noble disciple live negligently? Firstly, a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the Buddha … They’re content with that confidence, and don’t make a further effort for solitude by day or retreat by night. When they live negligently, there’s no joy. When there’s no joy, there’s no rapture. When there’s no rapture, there’s no tranquility. When there’s no tranquility, there’s suffering. When one is suffering, the mind does not become immersed in samādhi. When the mind is not immersed in samādhi, principles do not become clear. Because principles have not become clear, they’re reckoned to live negligently.
So a stream entry fruit winner who is negligent has attained Jhana once (but not mastered), and hasn't bothered to try again or to train further.

However, a stream entry path attainer (not fruit) does not have Jhanas, and thus does not have experiential confidence, as sn 55.24 shows:
Take another person who doesn’t have experiential confidence in the Buddha … the teaching … the Saṅgha … They don’t have laughing wisdom or swift wisdom, nor are they endowed with freedom. Still, they have these qualities: the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom. And they accept the principles proclaimed by the Realized One after considering them with a degree of wisdom. This person, too, doesn’t go to hell, the animal realm, and the ghost realm. They don’t go to places of loss, bad places, the underworld.

Take another person who doesn’t have experiential confidence in the Buddha … the teaching … the Saṅgha … They don’t have laughing wisdom or swift wisdom, nor are they endowed with freedom. Still, they have these qualities: the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom. And they have a degree of faith and love for the Buddha. This person, too, doesn’t go to hell, the animal realm, and the ghost realm. They don’t go to places of loss, bad places, the underworld.
These are PATH attainers only, they have not attained the fruit of stream entry (Seeing dependent origination) yet, and thus do not have experential confidence, only theoretical or faith confidence, as they are Dhamma or Faither followers.

This is why you should READ all the suttas, and not just one or two suttas. It's a jigsaw puzzle you need to put together.
Last edited by budo on Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

budo
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Re: Jhana

Post by budo » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:07 am

Pondera wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:54 am
Budo:

Does your experience of Jhana echo the suttas?
Of course, otherwise I wouldn't meditate every morning 1-4 hours.

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Re: Jhana

Post by Pondera » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:28 am

So you experience joy, followed by rapture, followed by serenity, followed by pleasure, followed by concentration?

What is the theme of your meditation?
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

budo
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Re: Jhana

Post by budo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:31 am

Pondera wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:28 am
So you experience joy, followed by rapture, followed by serenity, followed by pleasure, followed by concentration?

What is the theme of your meditation?
Usually breath and brahma viharas, usually appreciation works best for me out of all brahma viharas. The other brahma viharas are better for tackling hindrances at deeper levels like fear of dying which can arise at deep absorption levels.

I've had infinite space a few times, although rarely, by following arrowriver monastery's cula sunnata sutta guide.

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:38 pm

Dinsdale wrote
Pulsar wrote: ↑Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:57 pm
Dear Dinsdale you wrote
Attitudes to jhana certainly vary. I used to attend a Thai Forest group, and was basically told that the jhanas were a distraction, and not to waste time on them. I thought this was an odd attitude, given the prominent position that jhanas have in the suttas.
Unfortunately some people just believe what their teacher says, and don't research these questions thoroughly
some of my friends trained in the vipassana way have similar attitudes, either jhana is far too difficult, or not relevant.
jhanas were a distraction
The irony, the thing that removes distraction is the distraction :candle:
The other problem with jhana is that nobody can agree what it really is - people talk about sutta jhana, commentary jhana, vipassana jhana, etc etc.
I've also seen an element of snobbery, like "You can't have experienced real jhana", or "Our dry insight method is superior to jhana anyway".

So many "experts", and so many agendas! :shrug:
It all makes constructive discussion of this important topic quite difficult.
What you express, might have been my thoughts a while ago, yet whatever I express here too, has to be filtered through right view as in MN 117, and should not be devisive, in the sense divide
authentic teachings, should not be demeaning etc. I have lately realized the importance of virtue elements
of the Noble path, and have been working on those more than on Right concentration, the
8th factor.
To repeat what you wrote, point by point.
So many "experts", and so many agendas!
this is true, mara is always looking in,
will have the upper hand if we let it, (Mara in the sense one who is ever waiting to disrupt the spiritual
progress) There is nothing we can do about it. Agendas will always be there, so called experts will
try to lead or mislead, intentionally or unintentionally. That is where Kalama sutta comes in. It is all you
Dear Dinsdale, all you.
No one else will be your refuge
By practicing the second of the Awakening Factors, how you investigate the Dhamma, what you read, who you read, and what you experience i.e.
Dhamma Vicaya
I cannot tell you, neither can anyone else. You yourself will know, one day, if you have the steel resolve.
Dhamma is immediate. As for the other points you raise, I will address them over the course of
this Sunday.

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:53 pm

Budo wrote
Usually breath and brahma viharas, usually appreciation works best for me out of all brahma viharas. The other brahma viharas are better for tackling hindrances at deeper levels like fear of dying which can arise at deep absorption levels.

I've had infinite space a few times, although rarely, by following arrowriver monastery's cula sunnata sutta guide.
Dear Budo, May the Force be with you, as they say in Star Wars.

PS yes Cula Sunnatta Sutta, a sutta to be investigated many times, leads one directly to the void.
the time I was investigating it, I found this person, he had a blog, his thinking paralleled mine, an 'O so
pleasant surprise'

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Pondera
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pondera » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:48 pm

budo wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:31 am
Pondera wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:28 am
So you experience joy, followed by rapture, followed by serenity, followed by pleasure, followed by concentration?

What is the theme of your meditation?
Usually breath and brahma viharas, usually appreciation works best for me out of all brahma viharas. The other brahma viharas are better for tackling hindrances at deeper levels like fear of dying which can arise at deep absorption levels.

I've had infinite space a few times, although rarely, by following arrowriver monastery's cula sunnata sutta guide.
So, there you’ve gone and dodged the important part of the question. I can see this is going to be like pulling teeth.

Okay. What does “appreciation” mean? Never before have I heard that word used for a Brahmavihara. So, I’ll assume you’re referring to “mudita”. I don’t really know, to be frank. Who translates your Brahmā vihara into “appreciation”?

Anyway. So you assume your theme and then let me ask you: do you experience “joy” as a result? Is that “joy” followed by “rapture” as a result of meditating on your theme?

Is that “rapture” followed by “serenity” as a result of meditating on your theme? And is that “serenity” followed by “pleasure”? Finally, as a result of meditating on your theme, is that “pleasure” followed by “concentration”?

These are jhana factors. If you’re practicing jhana, then they should be present.
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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