Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.
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Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby ignobleone » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:00 am

Commentaries usually describe the criteria of 1st jhana only in term of 5 jhana factors. IMO, there are two important points(criteria) from the main Nikayas that seemed to have been forgotten, rarely or even never mentioned/discussed by Buddhist monks/teachers. Those two criteria are:
1) kāmasaññā ceases, as mentioned in Anupubbanirodha Sutta (AN 9.31) http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
It depends on the translation of kāmasaññā. I believe it means kāma-based perception.
2) vācā ceases, as mentioned in Rahogata Sutta (SN 36.11) www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn3 ... .than.html
vācā means speech (verbal fabrication)

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby reflection » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:27 am

The five jhana factors mention what is present in the 1st jhana, but indeed there is also a lot that's disappeared, including speech (discursive thought) and all 5 senses (that's how I think we should interpret "the perception of sensuality").

Thanks for these references.

Reflection

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby ignobleone » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:46 am

reflection wrote:The five jhana factors mention what is present in the 1st jhana, but indeed there is also a lot that's disappeared, including speech (discursive thought) and all 5 senses (that's how I think we should interpret "the perception of sensuality").

Thanks for these references.
Reflection

I think we should look at the pali words when equating terms here, to avoid ambiguity and to make the message clear for anyone. IMO "speech = discursive thought" is inappropriate, since speech is the translation of vācā while discursive thought is the translation of vitakka. If they have the same meaning, why there are two terms with different translations. Besides, vitakka is said to cease in the 2nd jhana, not in the 1st.
For kāmasaññā, yes kāma means sensuality (related to five sense doors), and we know saññā means perception. So I believe it's reasonable to translate it as "sense-based perception" (I wrote as kāma-based). To give the examples: visual perception, hearing perception, tactile perception, and so fort. But "the perception of sensuality" sounds rather confusing to me. If the example is the same, then it's just the matter of terminology.

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby Zom » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:24 am

The five jhana factors mention what is present in the 1st jhana, but indeed there is also a lot that's disappeared, including speech (discursive thought) and all 5 senses (that's how I think we should interpret "the perception of sensuality").


No, because according to SN 48.40 (and, btw, all standard sutta formulas) in the first jhana you feel pleasant bodily sensation. So there is, at least, tactile perception in the 1st jhana. Not only "the mind" as some teachers say.

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby robertk » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:07 pm

Impossible to experience bodily feeling in jhana.

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby Dmytro » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:13 pm

Hi,

ignobleone wrote:1) kāmasaññā ceases, as mentioned in Anupubbanirodha Sutta (AN 9.31) http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
It depends on the translation of kāmasaññā. I believe it means kāma-based perception.


This is explained in more detail in Potthapada sutta:

"Quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, the monk enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. His earlier perception of sensuality ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases.

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

Metta.

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:56 pm

robertk wrote:Impossible to experience bodily feeling in jhana.


On first through fourth jhana:

MN 64 wrote:Whatever there is there of form, feeling, perception, determinations, or consciousness, such ideas he sees as impermanent, as subject to pain, as a sickness, as a tumor, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as an alienation, as a disintegration, as a void, as not-self. He averts his heart from those ideas, and for the most peaceful, the supreme goal, he turns his heart to the deathless element, that is to say, the stilling of all determinations, the relinquishment of all substance, the exhaustion of craving, the fading of passion, cessation, extinction.


When it describes the four formless attainments, the phrase runs "Whatever there is there of feeling, perception, determinations, or consciousness, such ideas he sees as impermanent...".

If what you claim was true, this distinction would not be made - the difference, above, would not exist - because it would have been an instruction which was impossible to implement.

: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: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby robertk » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:41 pm

any insight happens after leaving the jhana. never while in jhana

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby reflection » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:14 pm

ignobleone wrote:
reflection wrote:The five jhana factors mention what is present in the 1st jhana, but indeed there is also a lot that's disappeared, including speech (discursive thought) and all 5 senses (that's how I think we should interpret "the perception of sensuality").

Thanks for these references.
Reflection

I think we should look at the pali words when equating terms here, to avoid ambiguity and to make the message clear for anyone. IMO "speech = discursive thought" is inappropriate, since speech is the translation of vācā while discursive thought is the translation of vitakka. If they have the same meaning, why there are two terms with different translations. Besides, vitakka is said to cease in the 2nd jhana, not in the 1st.
For kāmasaññā, yes kāma means sensuality (related to five sense doors), and we know saññā means perception. So I believe it's reasonable to translate it as "sense-based perception" (I wrote as kāma-based). To give the examples: visual perception, hearing perception, tactile perception, and so fort. But "the perception of sensuality" sounds rather confusing to me. If the example is the same, then it's just the matter of terminology.

My pali knowledge is small. However, about vitakka in the context of jhana, I think this is more correct:
"In the Abhidhamma it refers to "the mental factor that mounts or directs the mind onto the object".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitakka

To me inner talking is just like speech, so think we can interpret speech like thought. Also because it is quite clear there is no talkative speech present... we are meditating, not conversating ;) Why would anyone say that? Might as well say there is no playing soccer in jhana..

Anyway, just wanted to say the references are interesting.

I also think sense-based perception is a nice translation, based on what you wrote.

:namaste:

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:54 pm

robertk wrote:any insight happens after leaving the jhana. never while in jhana


Alternatively, while in jhana. "Enters & remains" followed by ""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..." in MN 27 can be read with either assumption in place.

: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: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby farmer » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:02 pm

RobertK wrote:

Impossible to experience bodily feeling in jhana.


How do you interpret the bathman simile?

"There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal."

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby Virgo » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:07 pm

farmer wrote:RobertK wrote:

Impossible to experience bodily feeling in jhana.


How do you interpret the bathman simile?

"There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal."

Jhana is freedom from the sense sphere. So what is described happens not during the actual moment of jhana but directly afterwards when the concentration is still super deep, but still of the sense world, after one exits.

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby Nyana » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:22 pm

farmer wrote:How do you interpret the bathman simile?

"There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal."


Better to follow the suttas and the word commentary of Peṭakopadesa 7.72:

    The twofold bodily and mental pain does not arise in one steadied in directed thought and evaluation, and the twofold bodily and mental pleasure does arise. The mental pleasure thus produced from directed thought is joy, while the bodily pleasure is bodily feeling.

SN 48.40 Uppaṭipāṭika Sutta states that the pain faculty (dukkhindriya) ceases completely in the first jhāna, the unhappiness faculty (domanassindriya) ceases completely in the second jhāna, the pleasure faculty (sukhindriya) ceases completely in the third jhāna, and the happiness faculty (somanassindriya) ceases completely in the fourth jhāna.

SN 48.37 Dutiyavibhaṅga Sutta informs us that the pleasure and pain faculties are born of body contact (kāyasamphassaja), whereas the happiness and unhappiness faculties are born of mind contact (manosamphassaja).

Taking all of the above passages into consideration we can deduce that the non-carnal joy (nirāmisā pīti) of the first jhāna is mental pleasure (cetasika sukha, i.e. somanassa) born of mind contact, and the non-carnal pleasure (nirāmisā sukha) of the first jhāna is bodily pleasure (kāyika sukha) born of body contact.

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:10 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Taking all of the above passages into consideration we can deduce that the non-carnal joy (nirāmisā pīti) of the first jhāna is mental pleasure (cetasika sukha, i.e. somanassa) born of mind contact, and the non-carnal pleasure (nirāmisā sukha) of the first jhāna is bodily pleasure (kāyika sukha) born of body contact.


Also, the Nirāmisa Sutta (SN.36.31) mentions that non-carnal bliss (contemplative pīti) is born from the seclusion of contemplative absorption (jhāna). And the Pīti Sutta (AN.5.176) describes further this bliss of seclusion:

    ‘Yasmiṃ bhante, samaye ariyasāvako pavivekaṃ pītiṃ upasampajja viharati. Pañcassa ṭhānāni tasmiṃ samaye na honti:

    Yampissa kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ dukkhaṃ domanassaṃ, tampissa tasmiṃ samaye na hoti. Yampissa kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ sukhaṃ somanassaṃ, tampissa tasmiṃ samaye na hoti. Yampissa akusalūpasaṃhitaṃ dukkhaṃ domanassaṃ, tampissa tasmiṃ samaye na hoti. Yampissa akusalūpasaṃhitaṃ sukhaṃ somanassaṃ, tampissa tasmiṃ samaye na hoti. Yampissa kusalūpasaṃhitaṃ dukkhaṃ domanassaṃ, tampissa tasmiṃ samaye na hoti.

    Yasmiṃ bhante, samaye ariyasāvako pavivekaṃ pītiṃ upasampajja viharati. Imānissa pañca ṭhānāni tasmiṃ samaye na hontīti
    .’

    “Venerable sir, when a noble disciple enters and remains in the bliss of seclusion, five things do not exist at that time; whatever displeasure and mental-distress connected with sensual pleasure – do not exist at that time; whatever pleasure and mental-happiness connected with sensual pleasure – do not exist at that time; whatever displeasure and mental-distress connected with unskillfulness – do not exist at that time; whatever pleasure and mental-happiness connected with the unskillfulness – do not exist at that time; whatever displeasure and mental-distress connected with skillfulness – do not exist at that time. When a noble disciple enters and remains in the bliss of seclusion – these five things do not exist at that time.”

This by default of what is not mentioned in this section indicates that it is pleasure and mental-happiness connected with skillfulness (of contemplative effort) that would exist at that time as non-carnal pīti born of seclusion.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby ignobleone » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:46 am

reflection wrote:My pali knowledge is small. However, about vitakka in the context of jhana, I think this is more correct:
"In the Abhidhamma it refers to "the mental factor that mounts or directs the mind onto the object".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitakka

To me inner talking is just like speech, so think we can interpret speech like thought. Also because it is quite clear there is no talkative speech present... we are meditating, not conversating ;) Why would anyone say that? Might as well say there is no playing soccer in jhana..

Anyway, just wanted to say the references are interesting.

I also think sense-based perception is a nice translation, based on what you wrote.

:namaste:

If I didn't recall it wrong, I remember reading from a book or online somewhere which translated vitakka as discursive thought. It was my mistake to rely on my memory (which is not good anymore, I guess) instead of looking up the meaning first (from dictionary, wikipedia, etc). You're right about vitakka. Anyway, I do think the same as you regarding speech. We can say inner conversation/talking in our head is a form of speech. It doesn't have to be talkative.

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby ignobleone » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:06 am

Zom wrote:No, because according to SN 48.40 (and, btw, all standard sutta formulas) in the first jhana you feel pleasant bodily sensation. So there is, at least, tactile perception in the 1st jhana. Not only "the mind" as some teachers say.

I want to read SN 48.40 but it's not available at accesstoinsight.org. I couldn't find it from google either. Can you please provide the link to any english version?
Would you mind to give some example of pleasant bodily sensation? Examples can help in understanding what you mean by pleasant bodily sensation. If sense-based perception exists in the 1st jhana, then you might have different interpretation of kāmasaññā. What do you think kāmasaññā means?

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby ignobleone » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:18 am

robertk wrote:Impossible to experience bodily feeling in jhana.

robertk wrote:any insight happens after leaving the jhana. never while in jhana

Would you please provide any Sutta reference for each of your opinion? Because this thread is in "Mental Cultivation in the Sutta Pitaka" discussion. Or at least provide some explanation.
Thanks.

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby ignobleone » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:54 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi,

ignobleone wrote:1) kāmasaññā ceases, as mentioned in Anupubbanirodha Sutta (AN 9.31) http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
It depends on the translation of kāmasaññā. I believe it means kāma-based perception.


This is explained in more detail in Potthapada sutta:

"Quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, the monk enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. His earlier perception of sensuality ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases.

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

Metta.

Hi Dmytro,
Anupubbanirodha Sutta's content is kinda summary, it's much shorter than Potthapada sutta.
Btw, DN 9 is my favorite (as I wrote in the thread: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9080) IMO since it's a sutta which contains the best explanation of what jhana is all about. Jhana is "with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases."
:anjali:

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby marc108 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:05 pm

robertk wrote:Impossible to experience bodily feeling in jhana.


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


you may also enjoy this series of talks:
http://www.audiodharma.org/series/135/talk/1854/
Samadhi: Exploring the Range of Teachings and Controversies on Concentration & Jhana
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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Re: Rarely mentioned criteria of the 1st jhana

Postby Zom » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:32 am

I want to read SN 48.40 but it's not available at accesstoinsight.org. I couldn't find it from google either. Can you please provide the link to any english version? Would you mind to give some example of pleasant bodily sensation? Examples can help in understanding what you mean by pleasant bodily sensation.


No link. But Buddha says there very interesting thing. He says about 5 feelings:

1. Pleasant feeling experienced by bodily contact
2. Unpleasant feeling experienced by bodily contact
3. Pleasant feeling experienced by mind contact
4. Unpleasant feeling experienced by mind contact
5. Neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant feeling experienced by bodily or mind contact

Then he says that:

Feeling №2 totally ceases in the 1st jhana
Feeling №4 totally ceases in the 2nd jhana
Feeling №1 totally ceases in the 3rd jhana
Feeling №3 totally ceases in the 4st jhana
Feeling №5 totally ceases in the nirodha-samapatti (that is also nibbana, where "there is nothing felt at all")

So, in the 1st jhana feeling №2 completely ceases (that is why there is no bodily pains in the 1st jhana and you can sit in meditation for hours). But, as we see, he does not say that pleasant bodily feeling ceases also. No, instead he says, that pleasant bodily feeling (feeling №1) ceases in the 3rd jhana. So, as we see, while in the first and second jhanas you experience pleasant bodily feelings. However, even in the 3rd jhana there, as it seems, there is still a bodily feeling - that is №5. It seems such kind of bodily feeling ceases only in arupa-jhanas. While such kind of mental feeling ceases only in nirodha-samapatti.

If sense-based perception exists in the 1st jhana, then you might have different interpretation of kāmasaññā. What do you think kāmasaññā means?


I think this is a perception of kama-nimittas. That is, for example, while seating in such 1st jhana meditation, this is impossible that some fantasy about sensuality will appear. While not in jhana some thought or imagination or "picture" may pop up that will cause sensual craving to arise immidiately. That is a trigger for one of the hindraces. Anf in the 1st jhana you have no such triggers.


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