Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby J0rrit » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:28 am

Hello there,

I was asking myself yesterday how many laypeople actually experience Jhana? So my question would be who of you did experience Jhana or does experience Jhana on a regular basis? And what kind of practice are you doing? After what time and how much meditating did you experience it?
J0rrit
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby James the Giant » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:17 am

Probably nobody will tell. It's kind of a secret, sort of. If someone does tell, it easily looks like they're boasting, so folks usually keep it quiet.
Personally I know of.... counting... one (monk), two, three, four (monks too)... um... and no laypeople. I know some people who experience nimittas on a regular basis though.
I know two guys who claim to have jhanas, but to be honest they are wankers. Pretentious, self-centered, hard to talk with on a down-to-earth level.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:43 am

J0rrit wrote:Hello there,

I was asking myself yesterday how many laypeople actually experience Jhana? So my question would be who of you did experience Jhana or does experience Jhana on a regular basis? And what kind of practice are you doing? After what time and how much meditating did you experience it?
It depends upon what you mean by jhana: http://www.leighb.com/jhanantp.htm Opinions vary as do experiences.

Jhana (no matter which variation one is talking about) is not impossible, but a lot of time can be needlessly spent trying to get them. Best is to find a retreat situation with an experienced teacher and then don't worry about getting jhana or not; just do the practice.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19369
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby waterchan » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:34 am

James the Giant wrote:Probably nobody will tell. It's kind of a secret, sort of. If someone does tell, it easily looks like they're boasting, so folks usually keep it quiet.


This. If I told you, how could anyone know I am not lying or hallucinating?

James the Giant wrote:I know two guys who claim to have jhanas, but to be honest they are wankers.


Yet another reason to keep it quiet! Being a wanker sucks.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
User avatar
waterchan
 
Posts: 453
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: Sereitei

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby fivebells » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:24 pm

J0rrit wrote:So my question would be who of you did experience Jhana or does experience Jhana on a regular basis? And what kind of practice are you doing? After what time and how much meditating did you experience it?


I experience first jhana on a regular basis, doing breath meditation as described by Thanissaro. I end up in second or third maybe once a week.

I don't think I'm bragging as waterchan and James believe... this doesn't seem like such a big deal. I haven't mastered it by any means: it's not solid enough to last for hours, and I can't enter it in really stressful situations. But it definitely fits the descriptions of jhana in the suttas, and is an extremely useful basis for insight work. I think this comes down to the different standards and experiences people label as jhana, as tiltbilling suggested. (Are these guys doing jhana? :thinking: )
fivebells
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:52 am

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:51 pm

You also announced you were a stream enterer on another forum......
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 860
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby fivebells » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:41 pm

By the standards used in that context, I am. These days I have higher standards, though.
fivebells
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:52 am

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:01 pm

fivebells wrote:By the standards used in that context, I am. These days I have higher standards, though.
Huh?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19369
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby fivebells » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:31 pm

I assume the other forum Lyndon Taylor is referring to is dharmaoverground.org, which is organized around the teachings of Daniel Ingram, in particular his book Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, which gives much weaker criteria for the different stages of enlightenment than a more conventional teacher like Thanissaro does.
fivebells
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:52 am

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:39 pm

Sorry no, another forum, multi tradition general buddhism......
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 860
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby fivebells » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:42 pm

New Buddhist? Still, that's where I was coming from at the time.

Edit.
Last edited by fivebells on Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
fivebells
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:52 am

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:28 pm

James the Giant wrote:Probably nobody will tell. It's kind of a secret, sort of. If someone does tell, it easily looks like they're boasting, so folks usually keep it quiet.
Personally I know of.... counting... one (monk), two, three, four (monks too)... um... and no laypeople. I know some people who experience nimittas on a regular basis though.
I know two guys who claim to have jhanas, but to be honest they are wankers. Pretentious, self-centered, hard to talk with on a down-to-earth level.


Somewhat true, however, by making those statements you also open up a claim that you are somehow authorized to determine someone else's jhana capacity.

Several reputable and famous monastics have claimed jhana abilities including Bhante Gunaratana, Ajahn Brahm, and Ayya Khema. If they are lying, it would be a parajika offense. And several lay people have too including Dipa Ma. There are some who no doubt get carried away in some delusions, but it (the teachings) should not have to be left completely silent, giving the allusion that it is not attainable at all. Perhaps there could be some middle way?
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8038
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby Zom » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:57 pm

In the 1st jhana there is no painful bodily feeling (SN 48.40). So if someone thinks he attains 1st jhana, he should check if this is the case. While in jhana it is impossible for him to experience even slight bodily discomfort, not talking about gross one, like aching knee, itch, etc.. :reading:
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 817
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby robertk » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:04 pm

Zom wrote:In the 1st jhana there is no painful bodily feeling (SN 48.40). So if someone thinks he attains 1st jhana, he should check if this is the case. While in jhana it is impossible for him to experience even slight bodily discomfort, not talking about gross one, like aching knee, itch, etc.. :reading:

Actually in first jhana it is impossible to experience any bodily feeling.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1235
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:54 pm

robertk wrote:Actually in first jhana it is impossible to experience any bodily feeling.


And opinions vary on that, for example: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3974#p65498
http://www.leighb.com/jhanantp.htm

Ajahn Chah wrote:When the mind enters absorption it calms down and is stilled to a level where it is at its most subtle and skilful. Even if you experience sense impingement from the outside, such as sounds and physical sensations, it remains external and is unable to disturb the mind. You might hear a sound, but it won’t disturb your concentration. There is the hearing of the sound, but the experience is as if you don’t hear anything. There is awareness of the impingement but it’s as if you are not aware. This is because you let go. The mind lets go automatically. Concentration is so deep and firm that you let go of attachment to sense impingement quite naturally. The mind can absorb into this state for long periods. Having stayed inside for an appropriate amount of time, it then withdraws.

Sometimes, as you withdraw from such a deep level of concentration, a mental image (nimitta) of some aspect of your own body can appear. It might be a mental image displaying an aspect of the unattractive nature of your body that arises into consciousness. As the mind withdraws from the refined state, the image of the body appears to emerge and expand from within the mind. Any aspect of the body could come up as a mental image and fill up the mind’s eye at that point.

http://www.watpahnanachat.org/books/Aj% ... tation.pdf
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8038
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby Zom » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:01 pm

Actually in first jhana it is impossible to experience any bodily feeling.


According to SN 48.40 only painful bodily. And pleasant bodily feeling ends only in 3rd jhana.
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 817
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:55 pm

Zom wrote:
Actually in first jhana it is impossible to experience any bodily feeling.


According to SN 48.40 only painful bodily. And pleasant bodily feeling ends only in 3rd jhana.


This really depends on how we render 'kaya', and whether or not we're overlooking a Pali idiom.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... =60#p74489
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4119
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby waterchan » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:19 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Several reputable and famous monastics have claimed jhana abilities including Bhante Gunaratana, Ajahn Brahm, and Ayya Khema.


I've never heard or read Ajahn Brahm outright claiming that he has attained jhana. Obviously he has said and written very comprehensively on what each jhana is like, how they feel, how to proceed from one to the other and so on, but still, it's technically not a claim. I mean, I personally have no doubt that he has attained it, but he hasn't outright claimed it, as far as I know.

This might sound like a contrived justification, but I think the difference here is significant. If his teachings on jhana are to be interpreted as a declaration of attainment, then allegedly Ajahn Brahm has also claimed that he is a stream enterer, once returner, non returner and arahant, since he has spoken and written comprehensively on those attainments as well.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
User avatar
waterchan
 
Posts: 453
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: Sereitei

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:27 pm

In his writings and in his talks he writes about jhanas and also how it feels, how one proceeds, how the pleasure is so great, better than sex, etc. In his writings and in his talks it is very apparent that he is talking in first person experience. I don't have a problem with that, just noting what he taught.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8038
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Who experienced Jhana, and how?

Postby Zom » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:31 pm

This really depends on how we render 'kaya', and whether or not we're overlooking a Pali idiom.


No, because in this sutta we have 4 types of feelings: 2 bodily and 2 mental. So this is absolutely clear that it says about bodily feeling that ceases in 3rd jhana. While 2 mental feelings cease in 2nd and 4th jhanas respectively. Check also SN 40.36.
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 817
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Next

Return to Samatha Meditation and Jhana

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron