Questions about the first jhana

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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tiltbillings
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:50 am

IanAnd wrote:
Henepola Gunaratana wrote:Biggest advantage of jhana is getting your mind clear and focused. Focused on the deepest, the most subtle, finest states of mind and the mental content. . . . Concentrated mind, with mindfulness, can experience them in such a deep level. That is the advantage for having jhanic attainment.

When you attain jhana you don't simply become like a vegetable. Mind is still very, very powerfully dynamic. Mind is dynamic. It never stops its dynamic nature. In this dynamic state of mind, there are many mental factors. Attention is there. Mindfulness is there. Equanimity is there. Lovingfriendliness is there. Compassion is there. Determination is there. Effort is there. All these are mental factors. They don't die. And they rather become strong, very powerful, and clear. That is what happens when you are in jhana.
Usually it is considered good form to cite the source of a quotation. These two paragraphs, as they stands, are confused, if not confusing. Do we characterize jhana by all these "is there" things at once? As it stands, it reads that way. What does "They don't die" mean? Does it mean they don't change?

At best I suspect, both from an experiential basis and a textual basis, that these two paragraphs need to be placed in a broader context.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Nyana
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by Nyana » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:25 pm

tiltbillings wrote:These two paragraphs, as they stands, are confused, if not confusing.
Hi Tilt & all,

MN 111 informs us that all the mental factors of the first jhāna (the dhamma-s of vitakka, vicāra, pīti, sukha, cittekaggatā, phassa, vedanā, saññā, cetanā, vīriya, sati, manasikāra, etc.) are working together in complete harmony. Moreover each can be individuated and clearly seen via vipassanā as it persists. The same is true when correctly engaging in the remaining three jhāna-s and first three formless attainments. The two exceptions to this are the meditative attainment of the sphere of neither-apperception-nor-nonapperception and the attainment of the cessation of apperception and feeling. In both of these cases one must emerge from that attainment before applying insight to the past mental factors which were present therein. This is because apperception (saññā) isn't sufficiently functional while abiding in either of these two attainments for vipassanā to occur.
tiltbillings wrote:Do we characterize jhana by all these "is there" things at once? As it stands, it reads that way. What does "They don't die" mean? Does it mean they don't change?
All of the mental factors of any jhāna occur concurrently (i.e. sahajāta). These mental factors don't pass away as long as one remains in that particular jhāna. This doesn't mean that these mental factors are not subject to alteration while persisting (ṭhitassa aññathatta). Alteration while persisting is common to all fabrications (saṅkhāra-s).

All the best,

Geoff

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IanAnd
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by IanAnd » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:32 pm

Usually it is considered good form to cite the source of a quotation.
Sorry, I assumed that anyone reading the quotes would have recognized that they came from the videos. Please accept my apology to those who were confused and who did not take the opportunity to view the videos.

It seemed obvious to me where the quotes were taken from: the videos themselves. Specifically, in this instance, the fourth video. After all, I prefaced the paragraph leading into them with: "One can tell, even from these few videos, that the Bhante knows what he's talking about." What else but the videos could possibly have been implied?
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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bodom
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by bodom » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:04 pm

What else but the videos could possibly have been implied?
The source of the confusion here Ian is that in your original post quoting Bhante G you worded it as...
Henepola Gunaratana wrote:
Biggest advantage of jhana is getting your mind clear and focused. Focused on the deepest, the most subtle, finest states of mind and the mental content. . .


:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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IanAnd
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by IanAnd » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:19 pm

bodom wrote:
What else but the videos could possibly have been implied?
The source of the confusion here Ian is that in your original post quoting Bhante G you worded it as...
Henepola Gunaratana wrote:
Biggest advantage of jhana is getting your mind clear and focused. Focused on the deepest, the most subtle, finest states of mind and the mental content. . .
Hi Bodom,

I would assume that people here understand how the forum software works. I have no control over the way the "quote" mechanism in the forum software works. It is programmed to say "wrote".

The problem, which I've already apologized for, is in assuming that people know what is being referred to. Obviously, some people do not (for whatever the reason).

All the best,
Ian
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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bodom
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by bodom » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:27 pm

I would assume that people here understand how the forum software works. I have no control over the way the "quote" mechanism in the forum software works. It is programmedto say "wrote".


You are "assuming" again because obviously I dont know how the software works! :tongue:

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Ytrog
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by Ytrog » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:21 pm

bodom wrote:
I would assume that people here understand how the forum software works. I have no control over the way the "quote" mechanism in the forum software works. It is programmedto say "wrote".


You are "assuming" again because obviously I dont know how the software works! :tongue:

:anjali:
Even if you hand-type the BBCode it will say "wrote":
ytrog wrote:Even if you hand-type the BBCode it will say "wrote"
The only exception is off-course if you leave the one you quote out. ;)
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tiltbillings
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:52 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Do we characterize jhana by all these "is there" things at once? As it stands, it reads that way. What does "They don't die" mean? Does it mean they don't change?
All of the mental factors of any jhāna occur concurrently (i.e. sahajāta). These mental factors don't pass away as long as one remains in that particular jhāna. This doesn't mean that these mental factors are not subject to alteration while persisting (ṭhitassa aññathatta). Alteration while persisting is common to all fabrications (saṅkhāra-s).
Yes. I know all that - thank you for drawing it out -, but the quote really is not accurate to all that. It is a confused and confusing quote.
Lovingfriendliness is there. Compassion is there.
The pont is, not necessarily. It depends. There is a bit of an over-selling going on here, which could be confusing and misleading.

Also, They don't die is simply unclear, as stated in the context of of the paragraph quoted.

This is the only point I am making, which does not need to be litigated.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by IanAnd » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:22 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Lovingfriendliness is there. Compassion is there.
The point is, not necessarily. It depends. There is a bit of an over-selling going on here, which could be confusing and misleading.
Well, of course, being a stickler for particulars, you are correct. However, the quote is transcribed from the talk in the video. I don't think Bhante Gunaratana necessarily meant to imply that this is always the case. He was just making a point about the dynamism of absorption and various mental factors being possibly present. That's all. And that is the context of his statement.
tiltbillings wrote: Also, They don't die is simply unclear, as stated in the context of the paragraph quoted.
Did you bother to watch the video? Perhaps that might clear it up for you. The context is right there if you'll just avail yourself of it. It's not like anything is being hidden. Besides, what's not clear about: "All these are mental factors. They don't die." Meaning, to me, they don't necessarily subside if they have arisen. Bhante is using his own idiom in a language that it not his mother tongue attempting to communicate an idea. Give the guy a break, sheesh!
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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tiltbillings
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:41 am

IanAnd wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Lovingfriendliness is there. Compassion is there.
The point is, not necessarily. It depends. There is a bit of an over-selling going on here, which could be confusing and misleading.
Well, of course, being a stickler for particulars, you are correct. However, the quote is transcribed from the talk in the video. I don't think Bhante Gunaratana necessarily meant to imply that this is always the case. He was just making a point about the dynamism of absorption and various mental factors being possibly present. That's all. And that is the context of his statement.
You did not indentify this as coming from the videos. Not everyone has time or the connexion speed to watch videos.
tiltbillings wrote: Also, They don't die is simply unclear, as stated in the context of the paragraph quoted.
Did you bother to watch the video?
Some people do not have a great deal of time. Basically, you are telling us that the context of the quote was missing from the quote.
Give the guy a break, sheesh!
Apparently the problem is not the good monk, but your selective quoting of the good monk.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

5heaps
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Re: Questions about the first jhana

Post by 5heaps » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:11 pm

Individual wrote:What do they say about cultivating and maintaining the first jhana, in Vipassana and Suttanta?
just as when signs appear when training shamata so too do signs appear when training jhana. just as the signs of shamata are signs of distaste for gross and subtle forms of dullness and agitation, the signs for 1st jhana are signs of the distaste of desire realm states of mind. in other words to main thrust is realistic renunciation free of confusion
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