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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - nirvana through jhana?

nirvana through jhana?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

nirvana through jhana?

Postby shazan » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:07 am

hi,

is it posible to attain nirvana by shamata/jhana meditations only, without doing vipassana?

Thanks
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby thepea » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:15 am

What does doing Vipassana mean?
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby shazan » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:49 pm

analytical/contemplative meditation. you have to analyse something rather than just being aware and deepening that awareness.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:16 pm

shazan wrote:analytical/contemplative meditation. you have to analyse something rather than just being aware and deepening that awareness.
Are you sure of that?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby shazan » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:39 pm

Not exactly. Since analysis has an inherent awareness part of it, one cant analyze a thing if he isn't aware of and focused upon it. But on the other hand one can be focused upon a thing without analyzing it. So there is a bit of Shamata in Vipassana, but not vice versa.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:57 pm

shazan wrote:So there is a bit of Shamata in Vipassana, but not vice versa.


This is like saying that, when washing hands, the right hand washes the left but the left hand doesn't wash the right.

In fact both hands wash each other, and so it is with samatha-vipassana. In fact they are a swift pair of messengers, not a set of messengers that are sometimes together, and sometimes just the one.

Just a thought: consider bhavana to be the overall act, and when parsing the presence (vinnana) of this act you can discuss the vipassana (sanna) or the samatha (vedana) - but these are properly understood as conjoined.
    "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]
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby atipattoh » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:08 am

I heard once at a dhamma talk by a Sayadaw that a pure samatha meditator can EXIT from Jhanna and immediately discern the nature of annica, dukkha and anatta of the breath it self.
imo, discerning is a process of vipasana practice.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby pegembara » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:35 am

"If anyone were to say, 'The intellect is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable. The arising & falling away of the intellect are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it wouldn't be tenable if anyone were to say, 'The intellect is the self.'.....

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with craving. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The key point is that special type of observation of the sense experience(sankhara) that brings direct understanding of dependent origination. Without such an examination there is no release.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:08 am

daverupa wrote:In fact both hands wash each other, and so it is with samatha-vipassana. In fact they are a swift pair of messengers, not a set of messengers that are sometimes together, and sometimes just the one.


I think they are 2 sides of the same coin. Calm and insight, stillness and clarity.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby pegembara » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:54 am

"These are the four developments of concentration. Which four? There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

(1) "And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the development of concentration that... leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now.

(2) "And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision? There is the case where a monk attends to the perception of light and is resolved on the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day]. Day [for him] is the same as night, night is the same as day. By means of an awareness open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision.

(3) "And what is the development of concentration that... leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.

(4) "And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

"These are the four developments of concentration."

— AN 4.41


It is only the 4th development that leads to nibbana.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:17 am

Can someone clarify this?

(2) "And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision? There is the case where a monk attends to the perception of light and is resolved on the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day]. Day [for him] is the same as night, night is the same as day. By means of an awareness open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision.
==========
What does it mean to say "Night is the same as day"?
Can he sees in dark?
:thinking:
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:45 am

atipattoh wrote:I heard once at a dhamma talk by a Sayadaw that a pure samatha meditator can EXIT from Jhanna and immediately discern the nature of annica, dukkha and anatta of the breath it self.


I think that's one way of looking at the 4 tetrads of anapanasati. I find the description "pure samatha meditator" a little puzzling, since samatha and vipassana are paired qualities, not methods.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby tsurezuregusa » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:58 pm

Hi,

Spiny Norman wrote:since samatha and vipassana are paired qualities


I don’t think this is necessarily true. To my understanding there is no bidirectional causation between samatha and vipassana.

By this I mean: if there is vipassana there is samatha. But this does not work the other direction. When there is samatha there is not necessarily vipassana.

If there would be a bidirectional causation, for non-Buddhist meditation this would mean one of two things. (1) Through their meditation they are not able to cultivate samatha or (2) they develop both samatha and vipassana and thereby reach nibbana just fine. Therefore no need for the Buddha’s path.

I do not believe this to be true. Buddha’s meditation teachers were developing samatha to a high degree and so are Christian, Hindu etc. yogis all over. But their samatha is not paired with vipassana, because they are not practicing samma sati and therefore do not develop samma samadhi which is paired with vipassana. Their samadhi is purely samatha samadhi.

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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby shazan » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:37 pm

Well the main reason for the question was that I read some where that there are two approaches to nirvana. One is what is termed wet approach, where one develops good command over jhanas, and then starts doing vipassana. The other one is the dry approach where after developing access concentration one directly goes on to vipassana. This made me think, what if one does only jhana meditations to the 4th, or 8th. Does one attain nirvana through that path?

In my very basic experiences with sustained concentration, and trying to go around every day life in that state of mind, where mind is totally quiet and I just cognize/realize reality rather that conceptualizing or emotionalizing it, I have seen that many realizations come naturally, without trying to "sit and meditate" upon them. Many confusions, pains, baggages and attachments fall off naturally.

On the second thought, may be I am doing vipassana without "sitting for" it.
Last edited by shazan on Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:03 pm

shazan wrote:On the second thought, may be I am doing vipassana without "sitting for" it.

Perhaps if you've truly taken the Buddha's teachings to heart and practice them well, this may be the case.

:shrug:
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby daverupa » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:21 pm

tsurezuregusa wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:since samatha and vipassana are paired qualities


I don’t think this is necessarily true.... Buddha’s meditation teachers were developing samatha to a high degree and so are Christian, Hindu etc. yogis all over. But their samatha is not paired with vipassana... Their samadhi is purely samatha samadhi.


This seems to be your objection: that since samatha can occur outside the Dhamma, it must not be paired with vipassana which is only found in the Dhamma.

You also seem to think that these are two sorts of meditation methods.

But (1) they are not paired qualities in that way, and (2) they are not methods.

1. It is not as though they were each one side of a piece of paper, such that having one was having both. It isn't the case either that one causes the other. So, there is no "bidirectional causation" but neither is there "unidirectional causation" among them, either. The fact is, they both do complementary things, and therefore count as a swift pair of messengers, a skillful pair of companions who each have a share of the load to haul.

To extend the messenger analogy: there are a pair of messengers so that, when remembering and delivering the oral message, they can act as a check on each others' accuracy. In this way, they are a supporting pair.

2. As you can see, both samatha & vipassana are qualities to assess in one's own case, not meditation methods. So there's no "samatha-samadhi" but there can be an emphasis on samatha to the exclusion of vipassana, the obverse case, both together, or a case with neither - miccha-samadhi.

Again: no such thing as e.g. "vipassana-samadhi". There's sammasamadhi, which develops both over time, or miccha-samadhi, which does not. You can even notice above, at AN 10.54, that sometimes a disciple will develop samatha first, and vipassana later. So we can't even say that developing samatha first is off-target, unless we also say that vipassana first is off-target to the same degree.

---

And, for what it's worth, there's no wet vs. dry approach specified in the Suttas, just the gradual training. The ending of the asavas depends on jhana.
    "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]
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby atipattoh » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:09 am

Spiny Norman wrote:I think that's one way of looking at the 4 tetrads of anapanasati. I find the description "pure samatha meditator" a little puzzling, since samatha and vipassana are paired qualities, not methods.

Hi Norman, Goodday!
Due to many are parallel practitioners, to show differences, I added the word pure. In actual fact, there is no pure samatha meditator, there exist only samatha meditator.

Meditators of great parami attain Jhanas in couple of weeks and proceed on to vipassana, if a few weeks is considered as short period, then yes I would say that it is parallel. The time frame of what is considered parallel is subjective.

Instead of saying they share pair quality, I would prefer to say that samatha and vipassana ‘works’ in pair; former support the later, vice versa; and may continue for many lifetimes.
:anjali:
Last edited by atipattoh on Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby tsurezuregusa » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:42 pm

Hi daverupa,

not sure I understand everything you wrote.

daverupa wrote:To extend the messenger analogy: there are a pair of messengers so that, when remembering and delivering the oral message, they can act as a check on each others' accuracy. In this way, they are a supporting pair.


I personally agree with the analogy of the pair of messengers.

But interestingly, in the Sarvastivada tradition there is no pair. There is only one messenger and it is vipassana. So samatha is missing. If you couple this with the Susima Sutra in the Sarvastivada tradition one can arrive at the conclusion that vipassana is doing just fine by itself.

daverupa wrote:So there's no "samatha-samadhi" but there can be an emphasis on samatha to the exclusion of vipassana


I don't see the difference. Looks like a play of words to me. Why wouldn't you call a concentrated state of mind with the exclusion of vipassana "samatha-samadhi"?

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Re: nirvana through jhana?

Postby daverupa » Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:38 am

tsurezuregusa wrote:Looks like a play of words to me. Why wouldn't you call a concentrated state of mind with the exclusion of vipassana "samatha-samadhi"?


Because I'm not sure what you mean by "concentrated state of mind", samatha-vipassana are not necessarily qualities of jhana, the terms simply start to become confused and obtuse, etc.
    "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]
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