First Jhana...a description

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:12 pm

Zom wrote:But this is not a discursive thinking about the object or thinking on this or that theme.


It is vitakka and vicara, but no it is not papanca.
    "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: First Jhana...a description

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:42 am

Zom,(and everyone)
You wrote:
"That is I stand for that idea of completely silent but fully aware mind in the jhana. "
I think this is interesting. To say the mind is silent can be taken to mean that there is no auditory thought object arising....but it can also be taken as a metaphor for a mind that is not actively providing content but rather observing some content that is arising and is simply observed by the mind....or I suppose it could mean something somewhere between or similar to these two. For me the exact intended meaning of a completely silent mind is not understood also because you have coupled it with the mind simultaneously being fully aware....so if we are ruling out certain thoughts (auditory for example) we must still have something for the mind to be fully aware of...I guess.

This question about what the mind is fully aware of also arises from this excerpt from the link you provided in the "Fate of Jhana Practicioners" thread:
==========================
MAJJHIMA NIKâYA II
II. 2. 4. Mahàmàlunkhyaputtasuttaü
(64) The Major Discourse to Venerable Malunkhyaputta

http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ta-e1.html
"....................
ânanda, what is the path and method, to dispel the lower bonds of the sensual world? ânanda, the bhikkhu secluding the mind thoroughly, by dispelling things of demerit, removes all bodily transgressions that bring remorse. Then secluding the mind, from sensual thoughts and thoughts of demerit, with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first jhana. Established in it he reflects all things that matter, all feelings, all perceptive things, all intentions, all conscious signs are impermanent, unpleasant, an illness, an abscess, an arrow, a misfortune, an ailment, foreign, destined for destruction, is void, and devoid of a self. Then he turns the mind to the deathless element: This is peaceful, this is exalted, such as the appeasement of all determinations, the giving up of all endearments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation and extinction*1). With that mind he comes to the destruction of desires. If he does not destroy desires on account of greed and interest for those same things. He arises spontaneously, with the destruction of the five lower bonds, of the sensual world, not to proceed. ânanda, this too is a method for overcoming the five lower bonds of the sensual world.
.............."
=======================
It seems like there is alot of reflecting and turning of the mind and the mind coming to this or that etc. I agree with the basic idea I get from your statement that the mind is silent during jhana but it is difficult for me to come up with some idea about just what the mind is doing and whether it is an active doing or a passive doing (is "passive doing" an oxymoron?) or just what the limits would be without "breaking" jhana.

Also, seems like this description is of two parts...first is the secluding of the mind....and then there is the reflecting on stuff....I interpret this as being "meditation" followed by "contemplation".....so....is the stuff in the meditation part what happens "in" jhana or is it just the stuff to "attain" jhana?...........it's like watching a dvd....to watch a dvd you have to put the dvd into the player....but putting the dvd into the player is not watching a dvd...it is only the preparation for watching the dvd.........so...........is the "meditation" part only the preparation for jhana and it is actually the "contemplation" part that is jhana?...or is it both?....or is there no practical reason for me to ask this question....

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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby kirk5a » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:13 am

chownah wrote:so if we are ruling out certain thoughts (auditory for example) we must still have something for the mind to be fully aware of...I guess.

Consider it like this:

THE METHOD OF DEVELOPING BHAVANA

One begins with the body posture that is comfortable whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down, whatever is convenient. One should then make oneself fully aware with just bare awareness, not trying to be aware of "something", just knowing itself alone. One then keeps the citta there continuously, just in bare awareness. There is no need to be discursive or analytical. Don't force it but also don't let the citta be free to follow events.


http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... _Atulo.htm
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:33 am

kirk5a wrote:
chownah wrote:so if we are ruling out certain thoughts (auditory for example) we must still have something for the mind to be fully aware of...I guess.

Consider it like this:

THE METHOD OF DEVELOPING BHAVANA

One begins with the body posture that is comfortable whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down, whatever is convenient. One should then make oneself fully aware with just bare awareness, not trying to be aware of "something", just knowing itself alone. One then keeps the citta there continuously, just in bare awareness. There is no need to be discursive or analytical. Don't force it but also don't let the citta be free to follow events.


http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... _Atulo.htm

I looked at the link and frankly the approach shown (after only a cursory look, without thorough examination) looks like something I am not interested in spending too much time studying....but setting that aside and focusing on the small portion you have reproduced here I guess you are saying to consider it to be similar to one of the possibilities I mentioned above: " a mind that is not actively providing content but rather observing some content that is arising and is simply observed by the mind"....I guess....is this correct? Also, what you have suggested seems the have possible applicability to the first part of the practice....that is to say the part of the practice I call "secluding the mind" or "meditation" or that I have described as possibly "preparation for jhana".....are you suggesting that the text you have given is also a description of the second part which I have called "reflecting on stuff" or "contemplation" ? I can see the text applying to the first part but the description of the second part as given in the text I provided seems way to active in its description to be consistent with what you have provided.
What I have written seems really hard to follow...I'll rephrase it.....:
Does this:
"One should then make oneself fully aware with just bare awareness, not trying to be aware of "something", just knowing itself alone. "
Apply to this:
"...first is the secluding of the mind "
and/or does it apply to this:
" and then there is the reflecting on stuff."
Seems to me it can reasonably be thought to apply to secluding of the mind but it does not seem like it can reasonably be thought to apply to the reflecting on stuff part.
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby kirk5a » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:28 am

chownah wrote:Does this:
"One should then make oneself fully aware with just bare awareness, not trying to be aware of "something", just knowing itself alone. "
Apply to this:
"...first is the secluding of the mind "
and/or does it apply to this:
" and then there is the reflecting on stuff."
Seems to me it can reasonably be thought to apply to secluding of the mind but it does not seem like it can reasonably be thought to apply to the reflecting on stuff part.
chownah

I was responding to your earlier wondering about the meaning of "completely silent but fully aware mind" - how it is the mind can be aware without focusing on something. So I thought perhaps Ajahn Dun's instructions would clarify. I'm not sure it's helpful to try to draw a point to point comparison between those instructions and the ones you quoted from that sutta.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:21 pm

I was sort of correct I remembered it was speech not movement!
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

SN36.11 wrote:"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.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:02 pm

Manapa wrote:I was sort of correct I remembered it was speech not movement!
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

SN36.11 wrote:"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.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to follow up on this. This sutta is interesting in that it seems to indicate that throughout the first jhana there is directed thought and evaluation because indicates that these cease upon attaining second jhana.
Although there are many who tend to minimize the realms of directed thought and evaluation while in first jhana it does seem that there are some references that seem to indicate that it might be more active than some describe....of course I'm wanting first jhana to be possible during walking meditation so I have a bias to accept any shred of evidence which points that way and to minimize things that go contrary to it....
It's interesting that the reference says that in fourth jhana the in and out breathing has ceased.....I'm wondering if this is the usual comment on fourth jhana...I've never heard of this before.
Thanks again for the followup...
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:46 pm

Venerable Vimalaramsi reckons you can, http://www.leighb.com/jhanantp.htm but I have doubts that it could be called Jhana proper!

it is easy to forget that if the factors for the 1st jhana are present then their is a valid reason to call it the first Jhana, but is it really what jhana is or just a designation you are giving to it?

either way you can change the name if you later decide it is inaccurate, and personally I do have doubts but you need to see if the factors are there yourself and decide whether or not it is appropriate to call them jhana or not.

I would recommend you to read 'The experiance of Samadhi' by richard shankman, it is a very thorough book on the subject and covers both sutta and visudhimagga 'methods' and includs interviews with some very well knows teachers, however, if you know and trust a teacher upon the list in the link above, follow their instructions and please not because they agree with you on this (at this stage). if you know the teachings and respect Thanissaro Bhikkhu thus have faith in him, follow it try to get in contact with him, etc or one of the other teachers, but only because you know of and trust in them first, second would be you can have easier contact with them, and definitely last is that they agree with you on this at this stage.and there are many more teachers who teach Jhana not just those on the list, one may live very close to you.

BTW some say you can hear sounds and others say you definitely cant hear anything in any Jhana, but who are we to listen to? our experience!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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access concentration?

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:04 am

Hi All,

Im wondering if there is a Sutta source for the state which Manapa mentions called "access concentration". I am aware of a whole spectrum of deepening meditative absorption. In my experience it is not a two dimensional progression because many positive factors progress and recede in varying degrees. This is why I ask. If there is some description of a state which is approaching jhana but discerned from it in a helpful manner by the Buddha as recorded in the Suttas, then it might help me navigate my progression into states conducive to awakening.


Thanks

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"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby chownah » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:53 am

Manapa,
Thanks for the link....I went there and found a reference to MN111 which I found at accesstoinsight and I found this:
""There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him."

This seems to indicate that there can be a variety of mental activities happening within the first jhana....including contact, feeling, perception, and intention. It seems from this that walking meditation might be possible while in first jhana as pretty much all that is required for walking seems to be included.....I'm wondering if many people consider that the conditions necessary for entering first jhana to be what all that is possible while in jhana....I'm starting to be of the view that the conditions for entering are more restrictive but once attained it can be maintained through quite a bit of mental activity....but of course the mind must be very focused so the quality of the mental activity would be quite different from what we do in our usual mode of being.
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Re: access concentration?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:47 am

Prasadachitta wrote:Hi All,

Im wondering if there is a Sutta source for the state which Manapa mentions called "access concentration". I am aware of a whole spectrum of deepening meditative absorption. In my experience it is not a two dimensional progression because many positive factors progress and recede in varying degrees. This is why I ask. If there is some description of a state which is approaching jhana but discerned from it in a helpful manner by the Buddha as recorded in the Suttas, then it might help me navigate my progression into states conducive to awakening.


Thanks

Prasadachitta


They are from the commentaries, but they have a use in describing pre-jhana stages, so I use them in that regard, but they can be infered to a degree as in the factors are present or the concentration is strong but it is not quite jhana, or it is samadhi (as in the training/forest monastic use of the term).
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:52 am

chownah wrote:Manapa,
Thanks for the link....I went there and found a reference to MN111 which I found at accesstoinsight and I found this:
""There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him."

This seems to indicate that there can be a variety of mental activities happening within the first jhana....including contact, feeling, perception, and intention. It seems from this that walking meditation might be possible while in first jhana as pretty much all that is required for walking seems to be included.....I'm wondering if many people consider that the conditions necessary for entering first jhana to be what all that is possible while in jhana....I'm starting to be of the view that the conditions for entering are more restrictive but once attained it can be maintained through quite a bit of mental activity....but of course the mind must be very focused so the quality of the mental activity would be quite different from what we do in our usual mode of being.
chownah


Hi Chownah,
mental activities or mental qualities, there is a difference!
I would be reluctant to say Jhana and walking meditation are compatible as I certainly don't know of any textual reference to it and all the descriptions describe sitting practice, but I maybe wrong.

but does it matter what you call the state if you are finding the state useful in developing upon the path?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby chownah » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:12 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi Chownah,
mental activities or mental qualities, there is a difference!
I would be reluctant to say Jhana and walking meditation are compatible as I certainly don't know of any textual reference to it and all the descriptions describe sitting practice, but I maybe wrong.

but does it matter what you call the state if you are finding the state useful in developing upon the path?

Manapa,
There is a difference in modern Engish betweent qualities and activities....it's hard to know just where the description of first jhana falls with respect to them....I think the bias for translators and interpretors has been to use the more passive term in that traditionally most meditators do it very passively while on the cushion....consider that although it calls them "qualities" it indicates that they "arise": "Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose ".........doesn't it seem that if directed thought, evaluatin, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence and mindfulness can arise then something besides passively sitting might provide the setting for the arising?....it seems to me that in first jhana some of these are unlikely to arise in isolation...like feeling without contact or perception without contact and feeling....etc. Of course I might be completely wrong about this but it does look like alot more is happening in first jhana than what many people suggest...I'm getting the idea that many people take the method for entering first jhana to be its entirety whereas the sutta seems to indicate that after entering first jhana the mind gets fairly busy.....

Believe me, I am not WORRIED about whether any meditative experience is jhana or not....the tradition I come from practices sitting meditation (mosty breathing meditation)for the purpose of supporting off cushion meditative practice....I have found the practice very effective in bringing meditative and contemplative practice right into daily life but it takes a long time before this happens (years)....most of my introspective practice that I do has developed from that practice....the sitting breath meditation is my main connection to Buddhist meditative practice in that it is pretty much identical to what many Buddhist teachers teach. My mindfulness and insight practice comes from mostly off the cushion so it may be helpful for me if I can make some connections between what I experience and what the Buddha teaches. Other things the Buddha teaches are very familiar to me in that pretty much identical concepts were taught before...although they were taught in different ways and forms than what the Buddha is recorded to have taught....I see no real disonance between what the Buddha seems to have taught and what I have been taught.
Anyway....I am not overly concerned about the label "jhana" and am certainly not clinging to "jhana"...I'm just trying to make connections to help me progress on the path.....
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby pegembara » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:46 pm

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of nothingness. Whatever qualities there are in the dimension of nothingness — the perception of the dimension of nothingness, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.[4]

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, Sariputta entered & remained in the cessation of feeling & perception. Seeing with discernment, his fermentations were totally ended. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is no further escape,' and pursuing it there really wasn't for him.


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

Sorry for a digression from the OP.

Seems that all the jhana levels starting from the 1st level of form to the formless dimension of nothingness, there is awareness/knowing of arising & passing away ie. vipassana element. The remaining levels are not accompanied by this awareness. It is only after emerging from these states that the meditator reflects on the rise & fall phenomena.

Also that attaining the cessation of feeling & perception [nirodha samapatti] is synonymous to attaining nibbana (He discerned that 'There is no further escape).
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: access concentration?

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:30 pm

Manapa wrote:
They are from the commentaries, but they have a use in describing pre-jhana stages, so I use them in that regard, but they can be infered to a degree as in the factors are present or the concentration is strong but it is not quite jhana, or it is samadhi (as in the training/forest monastic use of the term).


Thanks Manapa,

Can you give or point me to a brief description of what is meant by access concentration? Im interested in any details.

Metta

Prasadachitta
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby chownah » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:49 am


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

Sorry for a digression from the OP.

Seems that all the jhana levels starting from the 1st level of form to the formless dimension of nothingness, there is awareness/knowing of arising & passing away ie. vipassana element. The remaining levels are not accompanied by this awareness. It is only after emerging from these states that the meditator reflects on the rise & fall phenomena.

Also that attaining the cessation of feeling & perception [nirodha samapatti] is synonymous to attaining nibbana (He discerned that 'There is no further escape).

pegembara,
I guess from what you've shown my idea that perhaps first jhana can happen while walking can be extended all the way up the line of jhanas all the way to and including the dimension of nothingness.
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby chownah » Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:06 am

Prasadachitta,
Not a commentary....but its something.
http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... ration.pdf
Three Levels of Concentration
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
April 14,

An excerpt:
".................
This brings you to the next level, which is called “threshold,” “access,” or “neighborhood” concentration. It’s in the neighborhood of getting really settled down, but it’s not quite there yet. This is where the mind grows fairly peaceful, but at this stage it can easily lose its focus. As I said, with momentary concentration, the problem is that it can’t withstand displeasure. Well, the
problem with access concentration is that it can’t withstand pleasure. It loses focus when it runs into real pleasure................
............."
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:41 am

chownah wrote:There is a difference in modern Engish betweent qualities and activities....it's hard to know just where the description of first jhana falls with respect to them....I think the bias for translators and interpretors has been to use the more passive term in that traditionally most meditators do it very passively while on the cushion....consider that although it calls them "qualities" it indicates that they "arise": "Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose ".........doesn't it seem that if directed thought, evaluatin, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence and mindfulness can arise then something besides passively sitting might provide the setting for the arising?....it seems to me that in first jhana some of these are unlikely to arise in isolation...like feeling without contact or perception without contact and feeling....etc. Of course I might be completely wrong about this but it does look like alot more is happening in first jhana than what many people suggest...I'm getting the idea that many people take the method for entering first jhana to be its entirety whereas the sutta seems to indicate that after entering first jhana the mind gets fairly busy.....


there maybe an activity to get the quality and the quality may be active in some way, but don't confuse a quality of the mind with what the the mind is active in doing. i.e. thinking is an activity not a quality, but joy is a quality with associated activities such as certain types of perceptions. there are five faculties and five strengths both identical lists but one points to a quality the other to the activity of the quality, both supporting each other, and as such one provides the causes and conditions for the other, a feedback loop, this can be seen also with the enlightening factors, the list is given in a dependent origination fashion at times and yet at other times the factor can arise without the dependence upon another factor, based upon how well the supports have been developed for the factors. and if you read the great forty MN117 the same could be said for the eightfold path.

but I digress, to simply put my point, it is the quality which needs to be established, the activities only support the establishment.

My mindfulness and insight practice comes from mostly off the cushion so it may be helpful for me if I can make some connections between what I experience and what the Buddha teaches.


how about this

my translation of the mahasatipatthana sutta wrote:The Section on Clear Knowing - Sampajānapabbaṃ
2.3.1 Clearly knowing our bodily actions
Mendicants, at another time the meditator while leaning forward, or leaning back, is one who exists mindfully; while looking towards, or inspecting something, is one who exists mindfully; while bending, or stretching, is one who exists mindfully; while using their robes, alms-bowl, and double-robe, is one who exists mindfully; while eating, drinking, chewing, or tasting, is one who exists mindfully; while going to the toilet, they exist mindfully; while walking, standing still, and sitting; while asleep, or awake; while talking, and remaining silent, they are those who exists mindfully;

2.3.2 Insight Refrain
You should also abide contemplating the body as a collection of parts regarding yourselves (internally,) or abide contemplating the body as a collection of parts regarding others (externally,) or abide contemplating the body as a collection of parts regarding yourselves (internally,) and others (externally,) or abide contemplating qualities of origination regarding the body, or abide contemplating qualities of cessation regarding the body, or abide contemplating qualities of origination, and cessation regarding the body, or else mindfulness is that “there is a body,” is present for the purpose of fully developing knowledge and mindfulness, abide not dependent on or grasping for something in the world.
Mendicants, it is a meditator who abides contemplating the body as a collection of parts just so.
The end of the section on clear knowing.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby chownah » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:33 pm

Manapa,
Thanks for focusing on qualities....are you saying that directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention are all qualities of the mind?...it seems to me that some are but contact for instance seems more like something that is happening. This is mostly a side issue in that for a quality to establish there will be an activity associated...at least I think you said this. For me the bottom line is that the list of "whatever qualities there are in the first Jhana" seems to allow that there could be physical activity other than breathing...perhaps walking....a let me say that the walking meditation I've learned is much more refined than any description I've heard of Buddhist walking meditation...it's way slower for instance. Anyway....I hope you can see my view on the list of qualities and if you can provide any information that can show my views to be incorrect please do so....I have no problem with being wrong about things and appreciate information which helps me to challenge my views....for instance if I really should be seeing contact as a quality please let me know.
Also, I found http://images.manapa.multiply.multiplyc ... =376229246 by googling a portion of what you reproduced above. I'm interested in the footnote to Clear Knowing that being:
"Also called clear comprehension, and maybe related to the first two stages
of ānāpānasati practice, that of discerning the length of the breath. This
would expand our initial focus within a formal posture to general
movements, and then further, from how we are moving, too why we are
moving/acting."
Can you talk about "expand ouir initial focus within a formal posture to general movements"....could this be general movements like walking?

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Re: First Jhana...a description

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:54 pm

Thanks for focusing on qualities....are you saying that directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention are all qualities of the mind?...it seems to me that some are but contact for instance seems more like something that is happening.

with contact, Why not both? why do each have to be one or the other specifically? the focus should be on the quality but the activity is what brings it about, so it then stays a while, then goes.
at present I am typing on a keyboard, it is something that is happening, but the quality of the action is something that is also present. the power and the faculty of mindfulness (for instance) the quality of keeping something in mind, or to mind, isn't the same as the strength of mindfulness the longevity of it, but the faculty is only as good as the strength, and vice versa.

This is mostly a side issue in that for a quality to establish there will be an activity associated...at least I think you said this. For me the bottom line is that the list of "whatever qualities there are in the first Jhana" seems to allow that there could be physical activity other than breathing...perhaps walking....a let me say that the walking meditation I've learned is much more refined than any description I've heard of Buddhist walking meditation...it's way slower for instance.

slower than mahasi?
walking meditation can be as slow as the practitioner wishes, I prefer a natural pace rather than a deliberately slow pace. but here is where

Anyway....I hope you can see my view on the list of qualities and if you can provide any information that can show my views to be incorrect please do so....I have no problem with being wrong about things and appreciate information which helps me to challenge my views....for instance if I really should be seeing contact as a quality please let me know.

from ignorance comes fabrications.... but at the end of the day you need to see for yourself, I personally do not believe that it is possible, but that doesn't mean I am correct!

but to the last part, their is a updated version, and one is being looked at to clear up any inconsistencies etc in the english/footnotes.
but
Mendicants, at another time the meditator while leaning forward, or leaning back, is one who exists mindfully; while looking towards, or inspecting something, is one who exists mindfully; while bending, or stretching, is one who exists mindfully; while using their robes, alms-bowl, and double-robe, is one who exists mindfully; while eating, drinking, chewing, or tasting, is one who exists mindfully; while going to the toilet, they exist mindfully; while walking, standing still, and sitting; while asleep, or awake; while talking, and remaining silent, they are those who exists mindfully;

it is there in the quote! and it is also within the second section of the sutta right after mindfulness of breathing. this being the third section.
but it could also be this 'expanded focus' which may cause the problem indicated Jhana isn't likely, as there are more things going on than in sitting practice, however, I could be wrong and it could discount attaining a higher jhana than the first. remember if the factors are there it could be Jhana.

however for me (at present) this section is about clearly knowing what we are doing, why we are doing it, is it for distraction or for a purpose? it also includes restraint of the senses, a deliberate focus away from distraction, keeping within our home resort (the four satipatthana - quail similie in SN47), being introspective and developing hightened sila rathar than being outgoingly exuberant and allowing our mind free reign. in formal practice we take up an object and stick with it, sure we can change object but it would be something like anapana or metta, as examples, however here it seams to indicate a more natural daily life routine (and other instances of this passage do put it before anapana) which may require the quality of metta to be present, but not the time for formal cultivation, the mental calm anapana allows but not the time to allow that calm to be cultivated fully; in short an expanded focus adds to our workload, a quiet dinner for 4 or a function for 400!


p.s. taking some time off for a few days now so may not be swift in responding, but I am sure their will be others who are more than capable to respond in a timely manner.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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