Anapanasati Vs. jhana

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby starter » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:44 pm

Hello Geoff,

Many thanks for the excellent quotes and advice. Matheesha kindly advised before not to wonder about if it's jhana or not but I forgot it. Indeed "it's far better to continue practicing and developing samādhi, rather than wondering about these types of questions [about jhana itself]. If you're able to commit to renunciation and solitude, then the mind will calm and vipassanā will lead to disenchantment and dispassion. When the mind is calm and clear everything else can fall into place." -- well said.

Metta,

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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby Dmytro » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:24 am

Hi,

There are at least two ways to practice Anapanasati, - with a focus on samatha (jhana, samadhi) and with a focus on vipassana.

The difference between samatha and vipassana practices of Anapanasati is explained on the page 23 of the book "In This Life Itself" by Ven. Dhammajiva:

http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/dha ... /index.php

Samadhi is when the totality (kasina) of perception is coloured by the basis (arammana) of concentration, as described in Kosala sutta:

"There are these ten totality-dimensions. Which ten? One perceives the earth-totality above, below, all-around: non-dual, unlimited. One perceives the water-totality... the fire-totality... the wind-totality... the blue-totality... the yellow-totality... the red-totality... the white-totality... the space-totality... the consciousness-totality above, below, all-around: non-dual, unlimited. These are the ten totalities."

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

The reason of establishing remembrance (sati) in the area between the mouth and the nostrils ('parimuhkhaṃ', as described in Anapanasati sutta) is to acquire the nimitta (perceptual image) of air, since the Anapanasati jhana is based on the element of air:

Pakatiassāsapakatipassāse nissāya uppannanimittampi assāsapassāsāti nāmaṃ labhati. Upaṭṭhānaṃ satīti taṃ ārammaṇaṃ upecca tiṭṭhatīti sati upaṭṭhānaṃ nāma.

"Sati upatthana" means that 'sati', having approached, is established on that basis (arammana), - nimitta (perceptual image), that arises due to natural inbreath and outbreath.

(Patisambhidamagga-Atthakatha 2.509)

Kiṃ pana pathavīkasiṇaṃ ādiṃ katvā aṭṭhikasaññāpariyosānāvesā rūpāvacarappanā, udāhu aññāpi atthīti? Atthi; ānāpānajjhānañhi kāyagatāsatibhāvanā ca idha na kathitā. Kiñcāpi na kathitā vāyokasiṇe pana gahite ānāpānajjhānaṃ gahitameva; vaṇṇakasiṇesu ca gahitesu kesādīsu catukkapañcakajjhānavasena uppannā kāyagatāsati, dasasu asubhesu gahitesu dvattiṃsākāre paṭikūlamanasikārajjhānavasena ceva navasivathikāvaṇṇajjhānavasena ca pavattā kāyagatāsati gahitāvāti. Sabbāpi rūpāvacarappanā idha kathitāva hotīti.

"But is this all the absorption belonging to the consciousness of the sphere of refined form, beginning with the earth kasiṇa and ending in the perception of the skeleton? Or is there anything else?"
"Yes, there is. There is ānāpāna jhāna and the development of kāyagatāsati, which have not been spoken of here."
"Why not?"
"Because ānāpāna jhāna is included in the air kasiṇa; the development of kāyagatāsati arisen by virtue of the fourfold and fivefold jhānas with reference to the hair etc., is included in the colour kasiṇas; the kāyagatāsati produced by virtue of the jhānas attending to the unattractiveness in the thirty-two parts of the body, and that of the jhāna attending to the colours of the nine kinds of corpses in the charnel grounds is included in the ten repulsive things. Thus all the absorptions of consciousness connected with the sphere of refined form have been included here."

(Dhammasangani-Atthakatha 200)

For practical descriptions of how this can be done, in the case of air, see:

De-perception by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ption.html

Anapanasati chapter of Vimuttimagga
http://www.archive.org/details/ArahantU ... reedom.pdf

One has to tune in the "airiness" of the air, and gradually spread it all over the body, as Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo describes:

"When you see that a nimitta has appeared, mindfully focus your awareness on it — but be sure to focus on only one at a time, choosing whichever one is most comfortable. Once you've got hold of it, expand it so that it's as large as your head. The bright white nimitta is useful to the body and mind: It's a pure breath that can cleanse the blood in the body, reducing or eliminating feelings of physical pain."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/inmind.html

The initial perceptual image of the air, thanks to which such 'colouring' of the perception can be done, is called 'nimitta'. This term is mentioned in the suttas in the context of jhana, as for example in the Gavi sutta:

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

and elsewhere - see the thread:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2770

Unfortunately, later the sense of the term 'nimitta' was pretty much lost. But it has been regained, for example, in the Pa Auk Sayadaw lineage.

Metta, Dmytro
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby Dmytro » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:29 am

P.S. And the best start for Ananapasati is clearing the initial hindrances, as described in Patisambhidamagga:

"Consciousness becoming distracted is avoided for the following six reasons:

(i) By avoiding consciousness which runs after the past (breaths) and is attacked by distraction, (consciousness) is concentrated in one place.[19]

(ii) By avoiding consciousness which looks forward to the future (breaths) and is attacked by wavering, (consciousness) is fixed (there).

(iii) By exerting[20] slack consciousness attacked by indolence, one abandons indolence.

(iv) By restraining[21] over-exerted consciousness attacked by agitation, one abandons agitation.

(v) By being clearly comprehending[22] about consciousness which is attracted and attacked by greed, one abandons greed.

(vi) By being clearly comprehending[23] about consciousness which is discontented and attacked by ill will, one abandons ill will."

http://www.bps.lk/bp_library/bp502s/bp502_part3.html

As described in Vimuttimagga and Visuddhimagga, clearing of these obstacles paves the way to achieving jhana.
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby starter » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:26 pm

Hello Dmytro,

Many thanks for kindly translates the following:

"Pakatiassāsapakatipassāse nissāya uppannanimittampi assāsapassāsāti nāmaṃ labhati. Upaṭṭhānaṃ satīti taṃ ārammaṇaṃ upecca tiṭṭhatīti sati upaṭṭhānaṃ nāma.

"Sati upatthana" means that 'sati', having approached, is established on that basis (arammana), - nimitta (perceptual image), that arises due to natural inbreath and outbreath.

(Patisambhidamagga-Atthakatha 2.509)

Kiṃ pana pathavīkasiṇaṃ ādiṃ katvā aṭṭhikasaññāpariyosānāvesā rūpāvacarappanā, udāhu aññāpi atthīti? Atthi; ānāpānajjhānañhi kāyagatāsatibhāvanā ca idha na kathitā. Kiñcāpi na kathitā vāyokasiṇe pana gahite ānāpānajjhānaṃ gahitameva; vaṇṇakasiṇesu ca gahitesu kesādīsu catukkapañcakajjhānavasena uppannā kāyagatāsati, dasasu asubhesu gahitesu dvattiṃsākāre paṭikūlamanasikārajjhānavasena ceva navasivathikāvaṇṇajjhānavasena ca pavattā kāyagatāsati gahitāvāti. Sabbāpi rūpāvacarappanā idha kathitāva hotīti.

"But is this all the absorption belonging to the consciousness of the sphere of refined form, beginning with the earth kasiṇa and ending in the perception of the skeleton? Or is there anything else?"
"Yes, there is. There is ānāpāna jhāna and the development of kāyagatāsati, which have not been spoken of here."
"Why not?"
"Because ānāpāna jhāna is included in the air kasiṇa; the development of kāyagatāsati arisen by virtue of the fourfold and fivefold jhānas with reference to the hair etc., is included in the colour kasiṇas; the kāyagatāsati produced by virtue of the jhānas attending to the unattractiveness in the thirty-two parts of the body, and that of the jhāna attending to the colours of the nine kinds of corpses in the charnel grounds is included in the ten repulsive things. Thus all the absorptions of consciousness connected with the sphere of refined form have been included here."

(Dhammasangani-Atthakatha 200)"

Is Dhammasangani-Atthakatha 200 included in sutta pitaka?

Metta,

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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby IanAnd » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:14 pm

starter wrote:Is Dhammasangani-Atthakatha 200 included in sutta pitaka?

It's part of the commentarial tradition. The term "Atthakatha" is a reference to a commentary. And yes, it is included in the sutta pitaka (the three baskets). The Dhammasangani is part of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, as would be this commentarial work that Dmytro referenced.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby legolas » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:16 pm

IanAnd wrote:
starter wrote:Is Dhammasangani-Atthakatha 200 included in sutta pitaka?

It's part of the commentarial tradition. The term "Atthakatha" is a reference to a commentary. And yes, it is included in the sutta pitaka (the three baskets). The Dhammasangani is part of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, as would be this commentarial work that Dmytro referenced.


A commentary can hardly belong to the suttas. Sutta pitaka contains suttas. The three baskets are tipitaka, a term which came into use centuries after the Buddha when material was added to the sutta/vinaya. It was good PR, tipitaka sounds so cool a bit like the christian holy trinity. Sutta's are the Buddha's teachings. Vinaya are the Buddha's teachings.
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby starter » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:29 pm

Hello Matheesha,

Since your following posts are more relevant to this thread, I copied them here and would like to continue our discussion in this thread instead.

“Long breath, short breath, whole body of breath, stopping of the breath-30%

Piti, sukha, mental fabrication, calming mental fabrication -60%

Sensitive/experiencing the mind, gladdening the mind, unifying the mind, releasing the mind (first jhana) -100%”

-- If the breath has already stopped at step 4, how can we "shall breathe in/out to experience piti / sukha / ..."? The sequence of the 16 steps doesn't seem to suggest the stopping of the breath at step 4, but rather calmed breath?

"My experience with 'calming the mental fabrication' has been the absorption into nimitta/background of the mind. -A bit like draining the water from the fish tank until the water surface hits the white sand at the bottom."
-- Since I don't tend to use nimitta, I've started trying to experience the stillness of mental fabrication (step 8), which is similar to your absorption into the "background of the mind". I'd like to know if you do this only for step 8, and then move to step 9-10? Do you only return to the breath at step 11 (unifying the mind)?

I'm a bit confused about the the singleness of the mind now. Steps 5-10 don't seem to be only focused on the breathing, but rather on a variety of things (feelings, perceptions, mind, ...) while paying attention to breathing. Only steps 1-4 seem to be single-minded on breathing, or probably also step 11?

Metta,

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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby Vossaga (Element) » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:11 pm

starter wrote:When we practice Anapanasati for samadhi, should we only practice Step1-4 until reaching jhana someday, and then continue with Step 5-16 for vipassana? I suppose if we practice Anapanasati for vipassana after reaching access concentration, it's OK to do all the 16 steps; however, it's hard to enter jhana this way due to too many steps and changes.

Dear Starter

Anapanasati is a natural unfolding of sixteen experiences. When your mind can engage wisdom (panna) appropriately, in a manner that results in letting go, then stage 3 [onto stage 16] will commence. Please carefully read the Anapanasati Sutta, where beginning at stage 3, the Buddha uses the words: "He trains himself". This training is the fulfilment of the three trainings, which are sila, samadhi & panna. Anapanasati without panna is not the Buddha's anapanasati. Please read my other posts on this forum for more detail (here: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7360).

If you wish to succeed at Anapanasati, I can only suggest you let go of the samadhi/vipassana dichotomies you have learned. As I have already said, the last fourteen stages unfold naturally when the mind is established in the ariya samma samadhi, where right view is the leader, as described in MN 117, which is the prepatory sutta for MN 118 (the Anapanasati Sutta).

When the ariya samma samadhi (established in letting go, as Ajahn Brahm and I have recommended) is immature, Anapanasati will proceed on the path of neighbourhood concentration. Here, the mind can experience a plentitude of rapture & happiness, sufficient for profound vipassana. However, this level of practise is not yet jhana. Where rapture & happiness last only for a short time before subsiding, say 10 to 30 minutes, this is not yet jhana.

When and if the sixteen stages are completed on the level of neighbourhood concentration, the meditator must begin again on a much more refined level, which will lead to the jhana level. In jhana, the abiding in rapture & happiness will last for many hours, in perfect unity of mind.

The suttas do not reconcile Anapanasati and jhana. For example, the jhana discourses do not mention the experience of the underlying mental defilements (stage 9) that arise when rapture & happiness are calmed at stage 8. Stage 12 of Anapanasati, which liberates the mind from all mental defilements, including liberating the mind from any one-pointed concentration (leaving the mind bright, open, malleable & pure), seems to equate with the fourth jhana.

To end, there are many ways to use the mind. But if the mind from the outset is not established in letting go, in the abandonment of craving (including the craving to be 'concentrated'), this is not the Buddha's Anapanasati. In the Buddha's anapanasati, the practitioner "trains himself/herself" in the unification of sila, samadhi & panna, where panna is the forerunner or leader, as described in MN 117.

With metta

:meditate:
Last edited by Vossaga (Element) on Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:16 pm

Hi Starter,

The breath stops only for a few seconds. We use the breath to go in deeper than that- so the breath has to 'start up' again. I would suggest just focusing on the breath for now, without guessing where you are on the anapanasati progression scale. This is because we can jump to wrong conclusions if we are not well traversed on this samadhi 'ladder'. All the first 12 steps will happen on their own- just by focusing on the breath, without anything else added. That is what I would recommend in the first instance.

Note that the monks in the vicinity were already heavily into practice, when he taught the anapanasati sutta- so this is not beginners practice.

with metta

Matheesha
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby starter » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:22 am

Hello Vossaga,

Welcome to our "sanga". It's very nice to have you join us.

Your very helpful advice is most appreciated. To my understanding, you post seems to suggest "Anapanasati" contains 16 stages/experiences rather than 16 steps to be practiced/completed in one sitting by the beginners whose "ariya samma samadhi" hasn't been established or stabilized (?). I also had this thought before and hence practiced for a while the breathing meditation in the satipatthana sutta (which seems to suit the beginners better):
• Step 1 & 2: with mental labeling – breathe in / out while discerning long/short …;
• Step 3: Experiencing the formations/movements of the whole body, breathe in/out;
• Step 4: Experiencing the calmed formations/movements of the whole body, breathe in/out;
• Step 5: Discern this body’s breathing, other bodies’ breathing, this body and other bodies’ breathing;
• Step 6: Discern the arising, ceasing, arising and ceasing of the breathing.
Then the mindfulness/awareness that 'there is a body' (a fine sense of body awareness?) is maintained just to the extent of knowledge & remembrance [by following breathing or imaginary breathing when the breath is not detectable].

Please see my post (viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1631&start=20) for the reason why I interpreted "bodily fabrication" as "the formations/movements of the whole body involved in breathing".

I guess I'd better go back to this set of sitting meditation instead of doing the whole 16 steps of anapanasati now. Of course, as you've already pointed out, I should train myslef in the unification of sila, samadhi & panna, and get established in letting-go of "self" and craving.

Your comments and advice would be most welcome.

Metta,

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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby starter » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:30 am

Hello Matheesha,

Many thanks for your kind advice:

"just by focusing on the breath, without anything else added [to the breath]"
-- do you consider Step 5 &6 of my satipatthana practice (as stated above) as the "added"?

At the beginning of my meditation, I usually need some contemplation ("directed thoughts") to settle my mind.

Metta,

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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby Vossaga (Element) » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:00 am

starter wrote:Step 1 & 2: with mental labeling – breathe in / out while discerning long/short …;
• Step 3: Experiencing the formations/movements of the whole body, breathe in/out;
• Step 4: Experiencing the calmed formations/movements of the whole body, breathe in/out;
• Step 5: Discern this body’s breathing, other bodies’ breathing, this body and other bodies’ breathing;
• Step 6: Discern the arising, ceasing, arising and ceasing of the breathing.

Please see my post (http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1&start=20) for the reason why I interpreted "bodily fabrication" as "the formations/movements of the whole body involved in breathing".

Your comments and advice would be most welcome.

Hello Starter

Thank you for inviting me to comment on your response.

My comment is your interpretation is certainly beneficial, in a practical sense. In my opinion, your interpretation is more beneficial & practical than the phrase: "the whole body [of the breath]". Step 3 certainly involves discerning the formations/movements of the whole body involved in breathing.

Differently, my interpretation tends to follow the definition provided in the Culavedalla Sutta, where the kaya sankhara is identified as the in & out breathing. It follows step 4 is calming or stilling the in & out breathing. However, when the breathing in & out is calmed or stilled, the physical body will simultaneously be calmed & stilled. So step 4 certainly includes stilling the movements of the physical body.

I recall there was once a discussion on E-Sangha, where Venerable Dhammanando agreed it was not unacceptable to consider the term sankhara as 'fabricator' rather than exclusively as 'fabrication'. It follows, for me, the term kaya sankhara means 'the body fabricator' because the in & out breathing fabricates or conditions the state of the physical body.

For example, if the physical body feels tired, taking some deep breaths will nourish & re-energise the physical body. Or if the physical body is dead, some mouth to mouth resuscitation can bring life back to the physical body. Similarly, in meditation, calm, smooth, refined & lengthy breathing will result in the physical body being calm. Conversely, agitated, short, laboured, rough breathing will result in the physical body being agitated.

Returning to step 3, I tend to agree with Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's translation of 'sabbakaya'. Sabba or sabbe means 'all', as is commonly translated. Kaya means bodies. I draw your attention to the Anapanasati Sutta, where the Buddha utters the sentence: "I tell you bhikkus, in & out breathes are classed as bodies amongst bodies". Here, it appears unambiguous that when the Buddha used the term 'kaya', he was also referring to the in & out breathing itself.

In a practical sense, step 3 is experiencing the interrelationship between the in & out breathing (as one kaya) and the physical body (as another kaya). Of this cause & effect interrelationship, I have already given a number of examples above.

It follows your interpretation of experiencing the formations/movements of the whole body involved in breathing is intrinstic in step 3.

But I sense step 3 is much broader than your interpretation. It is not only to experience the movement of the breath & body together but also to discern the spiritual quality & interrelationship of those movements, as in, certain kinds of movements bring calm to the body and other kinds of movements bring stress to the body.

May your practise of Anapanasati progress.

With metta

:smile:
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby mlswe » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:07 pm

Vossaga wrote:
starter wrote:When we practice Anapanasati for samadhi, should we only practice Step1-4 until reaching jhana someday, and then continue with Step 5-16 for vipassana? I suppose if we practice Anapanasati for vipassana after reaching access concentration, it's OK to do all the 16 steps; however, it's hard to enter jhana this way due to too many steps and changes.

Dear Starter

Anapanasati is a natural unfolding of sixteen experiences. When your mind can engage wisdom (panna) appropriately, in a manner that results in letting go, then stage 3 [onto stage 16] will commence. Please carefully read the Anapanasati Sutta, where beginning at stage 3, the Buddha uses the words: "He trains himself". This training is the fulfilment of the three trainings, which are sila, samadhi & panna. Anapanasati without panna is not the Buddha's anapanasati. Please read my other posts on this forum for more detail (here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7360).

If you wish to succeed at Anapanasati, I can only suggest you let go of the samadhi/vipassana dichotomies you have learned. As I have already said, the last fourteen stages unfold naturally when the mind is established in the ariya samma samadhi, where right view is the leader, as described in MN 117, which is the prepatory sutta for MN 118 (the Anapanasati Sutta).

When the ariya samma samadhi (established in letting go, as Ajahn Brahm and I have recommended) is immature, Anapanasati will proceed on the path of neighbourhood concentration. Here, the mind can experience a plentitude of rapture & happiness, sufficient for profound vipassana. However, this level of practise is not yet jhana. Where rapture & happiness last only for a short time before subsiding, say 10 to 30 minutes, this is not yet jhana.

When and if the sixteen stages are completed on the level of neighbourhood concentration, the meditator must begin again on a much more refined level, which will lead to the jhana level. In jhana, the abiding in rapture & happiness will last for many hours, in perfect unity of mind.

The suttas do not reconcile Anapanasati and jhana. For example, the jhana discourses do not mention the experience of the underlying mental defilements (stage 9) that arise when rapture & happiness are calmed at stage 8. Stage 12 of Anapanasati, which liberates the mind from all mental defilements, including liberating the mind from any one-pointed concentration (leaving the mind bright, open, malleable & pure), seems to equate with the fourth jhana.

To end, there are many ways to use the mind. But if the mind from the outset is not established in letting go, in the abandonment of craving (including the craving to be 'concentrated'), this is not the Buddha's Anapanasati. In the Buddha's anapanasati, the practitioner "trains himself/herself" in the unification of sila, samadhi & panna, where panna is the forerunner or leader, as described in MN 117.

With metta

:meditate:


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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:42 pm

starter wrote:Hello Matheesha,

Many thanks for your kind advice:

"just by focusing on the breath, without anything else added [to the breath]"
-- do you consider Step 5 &6 of my satipatthana practice (as stated above) as the "added"?

At the beginning of my meditation, I usually need some contemplation ("directed thoughts") to settle my mind.

Metta,

Starter


Hi Starter,

Yes, just watch the breath- all these stages 1-12 will take care of themselves. An attitude of renunciation is most beneficial. Do whatever you need to do to settle the mind at the start. Keep the practice simple, when starting- only complicate it when you are familiar with the 'terrain' and the extra bits don't disturb your concentration anymore.

With metta

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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby Dmytro » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:18 pm

Dear Vosagga,

Vossaga wrote:But if the mind from the outset is not established in letting go, in the abandonment of craving (including the craving to be 'concentrated'), this is not the Buddha's Anapanasati.


This is similar to the instructions of Ven. Sariputta in Patisambhidamagga:

"For these six reasons consciousness becomes purified, cleansed, and arrives at the unities. These are:

(vii) The unity which is the establishing of relinquishment in giving[24] which is (peculiar) to those resolved on generosity.

(viii) The unity which is the establishment of the sign of tranquillity which is (peculiar) to those who practise the higher consciousness.[25]

(ix) The unity which is the establishment of the characteristic of decay which is (peculiar) to those who have insight.[26]

(x) The unity which is the establishment of cessation which is (peculiar) to the noble persons.[27]"

http://www.bps.lk/bp_library/bp502s/bp5 ... c166300489

Metta, Dmytro
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby starter » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:11 pm

Just to share with you my new understanding of the four jhanas:

"If a monk should wish: 'May I — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — enter & remain in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.
-- probably equivalent to the commentarial "neighborhood/access samadhi" with piti and sukha [the mind is not yet unified] ?

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enter & remain in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.
-- probably similar to the 1st level of commentarial jhana [the mind is unified but still has mental and physical feelings]?

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the fading of rapture, remain equnimous, mindful, & alert, sense pleasure with the body, and enter & remain in the third jhana, of which the noble ones declare, "Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding,"' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.
-- probably similar to the 2nd level of commentarial jhana [mental feelings have disappeared but physical feelings/sensations are still present]?

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress — as with the earlier disappearance of joys & distresses — enter & remain in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.
-- probably similar to the deep level of commentarial jhana [both mental and physical feelings/sensations have disappeared]?

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

Metta to all!
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby darvki » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:57 am

starter wrote:Just to share with you my new understanding of the four jhanas:


I know of at least one long-time practitioner who agrees (as far as I can tell) with your suttas/commentaries comparison.
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby altar » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:41 am

Your approach sounds like a mix of how mine was when starting out, and more recently after reviewing the anapanasati sutta and sariputta's advice to rahula (suttanta). I've found, without reaching jhana, that some of these states do arise, even if for short durations only. I think it's partly due to them arising amidst impurities in the mind, other factors, and partly because of lack of environment and sustainment, and sila. There is the sutta which states that like two sticks rubbed together won't bring fire unless rubbed without stop, one doesn't reach jhana (mental purification of some sort, likely jhana). On the other hand consistency is probably more valuable than short, dedicated spurts. I would be interested to hear more about your practice.
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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby starter » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:26 pm

Hello, I've just found out my previous understanding of the 1st and 2nd jhana (see below) is wrong after reading MN 43. Since the correct understanding of the 1st jhana (according to the Buddha's teaching) is very important for those who wish to be liberated by wisdom, I'd like to share with you about my new understanding:

MN 43:

The first jhana

"What, friend, is the first jhana?"
"There is the case, friend, where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. This is called the first jhana."

"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."

-- The Buddha's 1st jhana is NOT equivalent to the commentarial "Upacara samadhi" [with piti and sukha but the mind is not yet unified]. Instead the mind is unified [without disturbing thoughts].

"And how many factors are abandoned in the first jhana, and with how many is it endowed?"
"Five factors are abandoned in the first jhana, and with five is it endowed. There is the case where, in a monk who has attained the first jhana, sensual desire is abandoned, ill will is abandoned, sloth & torpor is abandoned, restlessness & anxiety is abandoned, uncertainty is abandoned.
-- This is why the Buddha always emphasized the 1st jhana before Vipassana, because only a hindrance-free mind can see the truth.

And there occur directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, & singleness of mind. It's in this way that five factors are abandoned in the first jhana, and with five it is endowed."

Metta to all,

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Re: Anapanasati Vs. jhana

Postby Alexei » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:45 pm

Hello starter,

starter wrote:"And how many factors does the first jhana have?"

It's a controversial question.

    In the vast majority of cases - over 100 suttas, the first jhana is described as having only the 4 factors listed above.
    ...
    Now there are 2 suttas where 5 factors are given for the first jhana and a 3rd sutta where unification of mind is mentioned in regard to the 1st Jhana.

    http://leighb.com/jhana_4factors.htm
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