The Great Jhana Debate

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Kumara
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Kumara » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:10 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Kumara wrote:Also, the sutta doesn't speak of "factors". It provides descriptions of the 4 meditative states.


The factors are described here for example in MN43, the Mahavedalla Sutta.

Ya, I know about this one. In Anupada Sutta (MN111), we can see many more "factors". These seems to be the beginnings of the abhidhammika way of thought.
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:20 pm

Kumara wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
Kumara wrote:Also, the sutta doesn't speak of "factors". It provides descriptions of the 4 meditative states.


The factors are described here for example in MN43, the Mahavedalla Sutta.

Ya, I know about this one. In Anupada Sutta (MN111), we can see many more "factors". These seems to be the beginnings of the abhidhammika way of thought.


I don't know about that, but the 5 factors seem to occur repeatedly in sutta descriptions of jhana, with the factors progressively "dropping off" as one goes from 1st to 4th jhana. And I think the relationship between these 5 factors and the 5 hindrances is significant. I've also noticed a correlation between the 5 factors and the 7 factors of enlightenment.
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby dhammarelax » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:14 pm

Kumara wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
Kumara wrote:Also, the sutta doesn't speak of "factors". It provides descriptions of the 4 meditative states.


The factors are described here for example in MN43, the Mahavedalla Sutta.

Ya, I know about this one. In Anupada Sutta (MN111), we can see many more "factors". These seems to be the beginnings of the abhidhammika way of thought.


Hi,

Does anybody knows of other suttas like MN 111 that are describing the factors to be seen while in the Jhanas?

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MN 38: "Abandoning harsh speech he abstains from harsh speech, he speaks words that are gentle, pleasant to the ear, and loveable as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many and agreeable to many"

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Coyote » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:53 pm

I wonder if someone could help me understand one aspect of this debate, touched upon in this thread and elsewhere. Please excuse my ignorance if this has been addressed in this topic already.
Basically "vivicceva kāmehi" has been used to show jhana as being a state removed from the 5 senses, if I understand correctly. This hinges on kāmā meaning sense objects rather than sensual desire/sensuality ect. Does this necessarily refer to being cut off from 5 sense experience entirely, rather couldn't it refer to having guarded sense gates?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby dhammarelax » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:25 pm

Coyote wrote:I wonder if someone could help me understand one aspect of this debate, touched upon in this thread and elsewhere. Please excuse my ignorance if this has been addressed in this topic already.
Basically "vivicceva kāmehi" has been used to show jhana as being a state removed from the 5 senses, if I understand correctly. This hinges on kāmā meaning sense objects rather than sensual desire/sensuality ect. Does this necessarily refer to being cut off from 5 sense experience entirely, rather couldn't it refer to having guarded sense gates?

Hi Coyote

Both points of view exist, one is the absorption jhana and the other is the insight jhana, Ajahn Brams goes for the absorption while Thanissaro and Vimalaramsi go for the insight while in the Jhana, MN 111 seems to defend the insight jhana but it has being singled as a late addition by Bhiky Sujato in his "A history of mindfulness":

"...But the Anupada Sutta is clearly late. It consists chiefly of stock phrases and technical terms; if these are left out there are
only a few lines that make up the characteristic vocabulary of the Anupada Sutta. These lines include at least three words suggestive of a late idiom
(anupada, vavattheti, and pāramī). In addition, the text is poorly edited. The jhāna factors are listed, as per the usual Sutta idiom, with the conjunctive
particle ca. But the remaining factors are listed in the Abhidhamma style with no ca; they have clearly been inserted from another source."

However the same author in his "A swift pair of messengers":

"One passage speaks of a monk establishing the ‘mind one-pointed in samādhi’ while in all four postures, including walking.14 This would
seem to be difficult to square with the usual understanding of jhāna, although it would not necessarily directly contradict anything in the suttas." AN 4:12 http://suttacentral.net/en/an4.12

And

"The path of samatha and vipassanā yoked equally is explicitly identified in only one place. MN 149.9"

I have been in absorption jhana and is great but you don't learn much, I now practice the Insight Jhana where I learn more things while in it.

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dhammarelax
MN 38: "Abandoning harsh speech he abstains from harsh speech, he speaks words that are gentle, pleasant to the ear, and loveable as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many and agreeable to many"

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Coyote » Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:47 pm

dhammarelax,

Thanks for responding. I realise that there is a lot of complicated textual study behind either of the two viewpoints. One could probably find a basis for either idea in the canon depending on what sources one takes as authoritative or early, and seen with Bhikkhu Sujato. It's an interesting subject and not one I feel comfortable in coming to my own conclusions about just yet. I just wonder whether, from a language pov, vivicca always or usually means completely cut off from, or if there is room for it to refer to guarded senses.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby dhammarelax » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:43 pm

Coyote wrote:dhammarelax,

Thanks for responding. I realise that there is a lot of complicated textual study behind either of the two viewpoints. One could probably find a basis for either idea in the canon depending on what sources one takes as authoritative or early, and seen with Bhikkhu Sujato. It's an interesting subject and not one I feel comfortable in coming to my own conclusions about just yet. I just wonder whether, from a language pov, vivicca always or usually means completely cut off from, or if there is room for it to refer to guarded senses.

Hi Coyote

I am afraid my knowledge of Pali is very limited, I have no clue.

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Dhammarelax
MN 38: "Abandoning harsh speech he abstains from harsh speech, he speaks words that are gentle, pleasant to the ear, and loveable as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many and agreeable to many"

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:58 am

Here's a series that Ven Kumara pointed out here:

Jhana Wars!

:anjali:
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Zom » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:54 am

Jhana Wars!


Nice comments here .)

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Mkoll » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:49 am

mikenz66 wrote:Jhana Wars!

Coming soon to a theater near you?

Image

:tongue:
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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
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you mindfully grow calm.
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:30 pm

One overcomes rūpasaññānaṃ, paṭighasaññānaṃ and nānattasaññānaṃ going from 4th Jhāna to base of infinite space (ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ).

Exactly what is:
a) rūpasaññānaṃ . The wording suggest that it is rūpa not purely mental objects (dhāmmasaññā) that one overcomes.

b) paṭighasaññānaṃ. Can purely mental objects impinge like physical ones?

c) nānattasaññānaṃ. Diversity of what kind of rūpa can be found in 4th Jhāna and below?

It seems to suggest that 5 senses perceptions are finished between 4th Jhāna and ākāsānañcāyatana.
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Kumara » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:02 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Kumara wrote:Ya, I know about this one. In Anupada Sutta (MN111), we can see many more "factors". These seems to be the beginnings of the abhidhammika way of thought.


I don't know about that, but the 5 factors seem to occur repeatedly in sutta descriptions of jhana, with the factors progressively "dropping off" as one goes from 1st to 4th jhana.

Tell me the five factors in the most standard description of 1st jhana.
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 30, 2015 10:31 pm

A helpful analysis fromBhikkhu Cintita Dinsmore:
Buddha’s Meditation and its Variants

The daunting plethora of modern Buddhist meditation techniques has proved itself a source of bewilderment, doubt and contention. As a result meditators bandy about many terms, like “mindfulness,” “insight,” and “jhana” with little agreement on what these mean, and with much uncertainty about the relative merits of alternative techniques or doubts about the viability of their own chosen practices. In spite of this, the Buddha actually gave some us some very clear instructions about meditation, available to us today in the Pali Suttas and in the Chinese Agamas. This series of posts considers, first, the Buddha’s meditation and its unique characteristics, and, second, its later variants and how these came to differ from their origins.

https://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/home/topics-in-the-dharma/buddhas-meditation-and-its-variants/

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun May 31, 2015 3:59 pm

mikenz66 wrote:A helpful analysis fromBhikkhu Cintita Dinsmore:
Buddha’s Meditation and its Variants

The daunting plethora of modern Buddhist meditation techniques has proved itself a source of bewilderment, doubt and contention. As a result meditators bandy about many terms, like “mindfulness,” “insight,” and “jhana” with little agreement on what these mean, and with much uncertainty about the relative merits of alternative techniques or doubts about the viability of their own chosen practices. In spite of this, the Buddha actually gave some us some very clear instructions about meditation, available to us today in the Pali Suttas and in the Chinese Agamas. This series of posts considers, first, the Buddha’s meditation and its unique characteristics, and, second, its later variants and how these came to differ from their origins.

https://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/home/topics-in-the-dharma/buddhas-meditation-and-its-variants/

:anjali:
Mike



I think that the problem is with putting too much emphasis on "technique" rather on the reason why one is doing what one is doing.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby Pondera » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:55 am

There are those who say jhana is so absorbing that sound and awareness cease, among other things, to exist. Yet, in suttas the Buddha repeatedly references the "saturation" and "permeation" of Jhana throughout the body. How does one accomplish this if one is in a state of non-conscious absorption? This is my argument for jhana as a "subtle material body" absorption vs. a purely "mind made" absorption.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=RDdLIZdKwSqW0&params=OALAAQE%253D&v=dLIZdKwSqW0

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby polarbear101 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:01 am

I just want to point people to two lectures by Venerable Anālayo where he gives a very thorough investigation of the various controversies around jhana and he approaches from a very agreeable and open-minded perspective.

In the first 30 minutes or so of this lecture he talks about the meaning of vittaka and vicara, whether one can hear sound in jhana, whether jhana is specifically buddhist or not, how familiar the buddha was with jhana on the night of his awakening, and I think that about covers it.

In this lecture from about 2 minutes in Analayo gives some references to suttas from the last lecture (posted above) on jhana and then he goes into the relation between jhana experience and the body. The first 12 minutes of this lecture are the key points but I would also recommend going into at least the first 23 minutes.

These are the least biased and most backed up discussions I've ever heard on the the matter and highly recommend anyone with an inkling of interest in samadhi to listen to them.

:anjali:
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"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby samseva » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:36 pm

polarbear101 wrote:I just want to point people to two lectures by Venerable Anālayo where he gives a very thorough investigation of the various controversies around jhana and he approaches from a very agreeable and open-minded perspective.

In the first 30 minutes or so of this lecture he talks about the meaning of vittaka and vicara, whether one can hear sound in jhana, whether jhana is specifically buddhist or not, how familiar the buddha was with jhana on the night of his awakening, and I think that about covers it.

In this lecture from about 2 minutes in Analayo gives some references to suttas from the last lecture (posted above) on jhana and then he goes into the relation between jhana experience and the body. The first 12 minutes of this lecture are the key points but I would also recommend going into at least the first 23 minutes.

These are the least biased and most backed up discussions I've ever heard on the the matter and highly recommend anyone with an inkling of interest in samadhi to listen to them.

:anjali:

Thank you, polarbear.

By the way, for anyone interested, you can both download the video and the PDF files from the website itself ('Download' tab below the video).
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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:54 am

polarbear101 wrote:I just want to point people to two lectures by Venerable Anālayo where he gives a very thorough investigation of the various controversies around jhana and he approaches from a very agreeable and open-minded perspective. ...

Thanks. Nice talks. I really appreciate commentators with an open-minded non-argumentative approach.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby SarathW » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:05 am

I have a streaming problem.
So it is not easy to follow the talk.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The Great Jhana Debate

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:08 am

Click on Dowload, below the picture, then click on video or audio to start a download.

:anjali:
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