Quite secluded from sense pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states of mind, he enters and dwells in the first jhana, which is accompanied by applied thought and sustained thought with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. (M.i,1818; Vbh.245)
The first jhana possesses five component factors: applied thought, sustained thought, rapture, happiness and one-pointedness of mind. Four of these are explicitly mentioned in the formula for the jhana; the fifth, one-pointedness, is mentioned elsewhere in the suttas but is already suggested by the notion of jhana itself. These five states receive their name, first because they lead the mind from the level of ordinary consciousness to the jhanic level, and second because they constitute the first jhana and give it its distinct definition.
Kenshou wrote:But as catalyst for conversation maybe, I'd like to add this: What do you consider to be the adequate "intensity" of one-pointedness to qualify as jhana? Is a strong presence of the jhana factors enough? Or the complete immersion that the Visuddimagga describes? Or something between? This does seem to be somewhat of a topic with various views.
DorjePhurba wrote:Earlier today someone posted on the thread about thoughts in jhana and gave a link to website that I found a bit intrigueing. The author believes there are 4 factors in the first jhana. The article is http://www.leighb.com/jhana_4factors.htm Is the authors view accurate?
MN 43 "The first Jhana", trans by Thanissaro
"And how many factors does the first jhana have?"
"The first jhana has five factors. There is the case where, in a monk who has attained the five-factored first jhana, there occurs directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, & singleness of mind. It's in this way that the first jhana has five factors."
MN 44, trans by Thanissaro
"Now what is concentration, lady, what qualities are its themes, what qualities are its requisites, and what is its development?"
"Singleness of mind is concentration, friend Visakha; the four frames of reference are its themes; the four right exertions are its requisites; and any cultivation, development, & pursuit of these qualities is its development."
Kenshou wrote:Thanks for that bit from Samadhi, quincy, I've never thought about it that way before, but it makes a lot of sense. I can do it better so my way is right!
So Branston guesses Suttic jhana could be within reach with a monthish of retreat, eh? Specific timeframes aside, that's sort of comforting, that's quite an accessible amount of time. Even if you aren't able to formally retreat (cough cough) I would hope that a diligent layperson might be able to reach it within a few months time, which isn't cake, but certainly much more reasonable than the stories of spending a year in retreat and still not getting it, in the case of the Visudhimagga-type-Jhana. Boy that'd be a spirit-breaker.
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