The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby santa100 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:30 pm

I'd suppose when one's reached such advanced stages of meditation, one'd be able to push beyond the physiological/mental ceiling of regular human being. If we only look at it from within the regular biological scope, none of the supernatural attainments of the Buddha and His noble disciples mentioned in many suttas would even be possible (the Chalabhinna of supernormal powers/psychic powers, clairaudience, telepathy, recollection of past lives, clairvoyance, ...)..
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby daverupa » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:43 pm

santa100 wrote:I'd suppose when one's reached such advanced stages of meditation, one'd be able to push beyond the physiological/mental ceiling of regular human being.


Alternatively, through the practice of various meditations one might produce all manner of phantasms which receive culturally-supported explanations, thereby preventing any inclination toward critical inquiry or independent verification.

:shrug:
    "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: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:01 pm

santa100 wrote:I'd suppose when one's reached such advanced stages of meditation, one'd be able to push beyond the physiological/mental ceiling of regular human being. If we only look at it from within the regular biological scope, none of the supernatural attainments of the Buddha and His noble disciples mentioned in many suttas would even be possible (the Chalabhinna of supernormal powers/psychic powers, clairaudience, telepathy, recollection of past lives, clairvoyance, ...)..


Retrocognition and clairvoyance are different than flying through the air, walking on water, or breathing through skin that doesn't breathe. One group requires extra-sensory perception to be real while the other group requires that the laws of physics or the laws of the human body be broken as if we're in the matrix.

Of course, retrocognition and clairvoyance may also be impossible and any experiences of said things hallucinations or phantasms as Dave put it. Just saying, if you're going to accept rebirth you have to accept ESP but that doesn't mean you have to accept all the other weird impossible stuff that happens in the suttas.

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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 attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby santa100 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:08 pm

daverupa wrote:
...through the practice of various meditations one might produce all manner of phantasms which receive culturally-supported explanations


If the claim came from regular folks, it'd be no problem. But from Ajahn Lee, Ajahn Chah, and especially the Buddha? Wonder what the odds of that might be..

"...With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the divine ear-element. He hears — by means of the divine ear-element, purified and surpassing the human — both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near or far. Just as if a man traveling along a highway were to hear the sounds of kettledrums, small drums, conchs, cymbals, and tom-toms. He would know, 'That is the sound of kettledrums, that is the sound of small drums, that is the sound of conchs, that is the sound of cymbals, and that is the sound of tom-toms.' In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to the divine ear-element. He hears — by means of the divine ear-element, purified and surpassing the human — both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near or far ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby santa100 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:27 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:
Retrocognition and clairvoyance are different than flying through the air, walking on water, or breathing through skin that doesn't breathe. One group requires extra-sensory perception to be real while the other group requires that the laws of physics or the laws of the human body be broken as if we're in the matrix.


I myself do have reservation about the flying through the air and walking on water stuff. But the laws of physics and of human body are not permanent. They subject to change just like other conditioned phenomena. About how much change is possible, well I already mentioned one would have to wait til they can experience it for themselves. So basically my position is to "wait and see" instead of immediately conclude it as nonsense..
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:01 pm

It should be pointed out that Ajahn Lee's talk about the breath and breath channels and all that are definitely not literal, but conceptual ways of understanding the link between breath and awareness. Although it's hard to separate where the literal stuff ends and the metaphor begins, I don't think Ajahn Lee or Thanisarro are actually claiming that we really breath through our skin. When I spoke with Thanisarro, he always seemed to be clear that the through-the-skin concept was more the encourage relaxed and non-forced breathing.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby daverupa » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:33 pm

santa100 wrote:But from Ajahn Lee, Ajahn Chah, and especially the Buddha? Wonder what the odds of that might be..


Pretty good, since the first two names are exploring the same materials we are, and those materials were themselves shepherded to us via that cultural matrix to which I referred. If you like, I can cite some mysticism from other religious traditions which contradicts Buddhist cosmology et al, and ask you a question worded per this quote, above. I predict such an effort wouldn't convince you, nor should it, which is why this line of reasoning is simply dead in the water.

No sure bets in the realm of likelihoods, however, so it seems as though it's going to have to remain conjecture for us.
    "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: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby santa100 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:09 pm

daverupa wrote:
Pretty good, since the first two names are exploring the same materials we are, and those materials were themselves shepherded to us via that cultural matrix to which I referred


Actually I already mentioned my position as "wait and see", not "convinced" but also not "it's all cultural matrix" as how you view it. Simply because it requires just as much proof if not more to prove that yep, it's definitely a cultural herb to spice things up..
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby SarathW » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:15 pm

Is it possible air to get in to our body if you are not breathing?
What I meant was can't air go through your nostrils to lungs even if you are not breathing, as the same way air getting to a room? :juggling:
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:46 pm

SarathW wrote:Is it possible air to get in to our body if you are not breathing?
What I meant was can't air go through your nostrils to lungs even if you are not breathing, as the same way air getting to a room? :juggling:


Air enters the lungs when the lungs expand thus sucking in air like a vacuum and then pushes air out when the lungs contract and as far as I know the lungs will always expand and contract so long as one is not purposely holding their breath and provided the person is not dead with the exception perhaps of those rare instances in extreme cold when the heart seems to be not beating (and thus not circulating oxygen and blood through the body) but brain death has not occurred.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"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 attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:42 am

santa100 wrote: So basically my position is to "wait and see" instead of immediately conclude it as nonsense..


Me too. I think an overly dismissive attitude is counterproductive - the attitude of "It can't exist because I haven't seen it".
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby SarathW » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:57 pm

Some info regarding op:

=================================
In discerning41 the formation is gross, and it is subtle in the
first jhána access; also it is gross in that (and) subtle in the first
jhána; in the first jhána and second jhána access it is gross, (and)
in the second jhána subtle; in the second jhána and third jhána
access it is gross, (and) in the third jhána subtle; in the third
jhána and fourth jhána access it is gross, and in the fourth jhána
it is exceedingly subtle and even reaches suspension. This is the
opinion of the Dìgha and Saíyutta reciters. But the Majjhima
reciters would have it that it is more subtle in the access than in
the jhána immediately below,
(saying) “in the first jhána it is
gross, in the second jhána access it is subtle” (and so on). It is
however, the opinion of all that the occurrence of the bodily
formation at the time of not discerning is tranquillized at the
time of discerning; the bodily formation that arose at the time of
discerning is tranquillized in the first jhána access … the bodily
formation that arose in the fourth jhána access is tranquillized in
the fourth jhána. This is the method in so far as concerns


Page 20

http://bps.lk/olib/bp/bp502s.pdf
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby seeker242 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:57 am

"The fifth through the eighth jhanas are the “absorptions without form.” This is because they refer to states of consciousness where there is no perception of a form or body." http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... y_of_Space

"The immaterial jhanas are designated, not by numerical names like their predecessors, but by the names of their objective spheres: the base of boundless space, the base of boundless consciousness, the base of nothingness, and the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.[18] They receive the designation "immaterial" or " formless" (arupa) because they are achieved by surmounting all perceptions of material form," http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 1.html#ch4

Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, could a monk have an attainment of concentration such that he would neither be percipient of earth with regard to earth, nor of water with regard to water, nor of fire... wind... the dimension of the infinitude of space... the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness... the dimension of nothingness... the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception... this world... nor of the next world with regard to the next world, and yet he would still be percipient?"

"Yes, Ananda, he could..." http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Where does it say that the body actually stops breathing? Everything I have seen says that the perception of body breathing ceases, not the actual body breathing? AKA no longer "percipient of... wind with regard to ... wind"

percipient
adj.
Having the power of perceiving

If you no longer have any perception of body or breathing, you could rightly say "breathing has ceased" while the body is still breathing all by itself.
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby Zom » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:08 pm

Sutta SN 36.11 says about "in-out breathing" and not about "perception of in-out breathing". So yes, breath completely stops in 4th jhana. As well as all mental formations completely stop in sannya-vedaita-nirodha. And as all defilements stop when reaching arahantship ,)

"And I have also taught the step-by-step cessation of fabrications.
- When one has attained the first jhāna, speech has ceased.
- When one has attained the second jhāna, directed thought & evaluation have ceased.
- When one has attained the third jhāna, rapture has ceased.
- When one has attained the fourth jhāna, in-and-out breathing has ceased.
- When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of space, the perception of forms has ceased.
- When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space has ceased.
- When one has attained the dimension of nothingness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness has ceased.
- When one has attained the dimension of neither-perception nor non-perception, the perception of the dimension of nothingness has ceased.
- When one has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, perception & feeling have ceased.
- When a monk's effluents have ended, passion has ceased, aversion has ceased, delusion has ceased.
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby seeker242 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:14 pm

Zom wrote:Sutta SN 36.11 says about "in-out breathing" and not about "perception of in-out breathing". So yes, breath completely stops in 4th jhana. As well as all mental formations completely stop in sannya-vedaita-nirodha. And as all defilements stop when reaching arahantship ,)

"And I have also taught the step-by-step cessation of fabrications.
- When one has attained the first jhāna, speech has ceased.
- When one has attained the second jhāna, directed thought & evaluation have ceased.
- When one has attained the third jhāna, rapture has ceased.
- When one has attained the fourth jhāna, in-and-out breathing has ceased.
- When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of space, the perception of forms has ceased.
- When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space has ceased.
- When one has attained the dimension of nothingness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness has ceased.
- When one has attained the dimension of neither-perception nor non-perception, the perception of the dimension of nothingness has ceased.
- When one has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, perception & feeling have ceased.
- When a monk's effluents have ended, passion has ceased, aversion has ceased, delusion has ceased.


Is there some other sutta to corroborate the idea that "in and out breathing" refers to the autonomic physical activity of the body and not the mental activity of the mind with regards to "in and out breathing"?

:namaste:
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby Zom » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:23 am

There is.

"In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That's why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Having first directed one's thoughts and made an evaluation, one then breaks out into speech. That's why directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental; these are things tied up with the mind. That's why perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications."

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


As you can see, these are separate fabrications from mental fabrications which are "feelings and perceptions".
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:31 am

This doesn't appear to make much epistemological sense; if the jhanas are without perception of the five physical senses, bodily breathing wouldn't be apparent to the individual in jhana, ever, to say nothing of it arising or ceasing. Therefore, this statement that the breath physically ceases would never be something that could be verified for oneself here and now.
    "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: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby Zom » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:32 pm

Well, in the 4th jhana you actually can see if there is a breathing or not since this is not arupa-loka, where you no longer perceive forms. So, as I see it, it can be verified here and now by oneself. The only problem is to reach 4th jhana.

Btw, all proficient meditatiors do know that breath becomes very refined long before even 1st jhana. What to say about 4th -)
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Re: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:50 pm

Zom wrote:Well, in the 4th jhana you actually can see if there is a breathing or not since this is not arupa-loka, where you no longer perceive forms.


So then, the breathing which can be detected in jhana is that breathing-dhamma which, with mano and vinnana, contacts? This dhamma, then, is what ceases in fourth 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: The attainment of the fifth Jhàna breathing ceases.How?

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:39 pm

It might be interesting to analyze more closely the way that a body breathes.

The lungs actually don't do any work when it comes to breathing... it's all due to the diaphragm (contracting and doming) and the changes in the pressure from inside (the cavity around the lungs) in relative to the outside (atmospheric pressure).

So, when the diaphragm flattens, this causes the pressure to drop around the lungs. The air then enters due to its higher pressure... it also causes the lungs to stretch.

When the diaphragm domes back up, the inner pressure goes back to normal. The elasticity of the lungs pushes the air back out.

These are why it's more difficult to breathe when we go higher up in the altitude (because of lower air pressure on the outside), and when the lungs become less elastic (due to age, or smoking, for example).

When I meditate I actually sometimes focus on just allowing the air to enter, instead of "inhaling" it into the body, and then just allowing the body's natural pressure to push it back out, instead of "exhaling" (or "blowing" it out through the nose).

It's not something I do in a regular practice, but these kind of changes in the perspective are still interesting.

I also found these on Wikipedia about breathing, maybe they'll be helpful or not:

[ . . . ] while exercising, the level of carbon dioxide in the blood increases due to increased cellular respiration by the muscles, which activates carotid and aortic bodies and the respiration center, which ultimately cause a higher rate of respiration.

During rest, the level of carbon dioxide is lower, so breathing rate is lower. This ensures an appropriate amount of oxygen is delivered to the muscles and other organs. It is important to reiterate that it is the buildup of carbon dioxide making the blood acidic that elicits the desperation for a breath much more than lack of oxygen.


and:

[ . . . ] there have been instances where people have survived for as long as two hours without air; this is only possible when submerged in cold water, as this triggers the mammalian diving reflex[6] as well as putting the subject into a state of suspended animation.


and:

If a healthy person were to voluntarily stop breathing (i.e. hold his or her breath) for a long enough amount of time, he or she would lose consciousness, and the body would resume breathing on its own. Because of this one cannot commit suicide with this method, unless one's breathing was also restricted by something else (e.g. water, see drowning).


:anjali:
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