Jhana Question

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: Jhana Question

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:12 am

Ñāṇa wrote:Stopping speaking doesn't entail being incapable of speaking. As for hearing, this is only mentioned as such in the Kathāvatthu, and pertains to the placement of attention, not the non-fucntioning of the ear faculty. There are suttas and commentaries which suggest limiting the latter to the formless attainments.

To say that speech has ceased for the first Jhana is to imply that it is impossible. That may be a semantic difference, but the implication is clear that speech and Jhana never occur together. As for hearing, you're correct that hearing may continue up to the fourth Jhana, at which point it is definitely not possible. My mistake.

This interpretation isn't supported by the suttas, the Abhidhammapiṭaka, nor by the Peṭakopadesa:

Cetaso Abhiniropana or "application of mind" is listed as a synonym for vitakka, which implies that vitakka it is not at all a conscious thought process but instead a non-conceptual attention. However, it is correct to say that only the second Jhana fully eliminates even the most subtle of direct mental intention. I guess it depends on how you define thinking.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

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

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

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Nyana » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:20 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:To say that speech has ceased for the first Jhana is to imply that it is impossible.

No, it isn't.

LonesomeYogurt wrote:Cetaso Abhiniropana or "application of mind" is listed as a synonym for vitakka, which implies that vitakka it is not at all a conscious thought process but instead a non-conceptual attention.

The Dhammasaṅgaṇī gives the following two registers for vitakka and vicāra (the English equivalents here are those offered by Lance Cousins, who's done an exhaustive survey of all relevant Pāli sources):

    vitakka:

    1. takka 2. vitakka 3. saṅkappa 4. appanā 5. byappanā 6. cetaso abhiniropanā 7. sammāsaṅkappa

    1. speculation 2. thought 3. thought formation 4. fixing 5. firm fixing 6. applying the mind 7. right thought formation.

    vicāra:

    1. cāra 2. vicāra 3. anuvicāra 4. upavicāra 5. cittassa anusandhānatā 6. anupekkhanatā

    1. wandering 2. wandering about 3. repeated wandering about 4. frequenting 5. explorativeness of mind 6. constant examination.

These registers of terms present a spectrum of mental qualities and a range of meaning. What this implies is that there is no need to restrict definitions beyond this inclusive range of terms which correlate to a spectrum of skillful qualities relevant to sammāsamādhi.

Moreover, Sarvāstivāda, Sautrāntika, and Yogācāra commentators consistently define vitakka & vicāra as two types of "mental discourse" (manojalpa, lit: "mind-talk"). For example, Vasubandhu defines vitakka as "mental discourse which investigates" (paryeṣako manojalpa) and vicāra as "mental discourse which reflects" (pratyavekṣako manojalpa). Vitakka is considered to be coarse (cittsyaudārikatā) and vicāra comparatively more subtle (cittsyasūkṣmatā). These definitions accord well with early Pāli sources such as the Peṭakopadesa, etc.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:45 am

Ñāṇa wrote:No, it isn't.

I can say, "One stops being single when they get married." Logically it follows that it is impossible for someone to be single while being married. Speech and Jhana do not go together; you cannot have both at the same time. If a defining feature of the first Jhana is the lack of speech, then ontologically, speech is not possible in Jhana, just as bachelorhood is not possible in marriage.

The Dhammasaṅgaṇī gives the following two registers for vitakka and vicāra (the English equivalents here are those offered by Lance Cousins, who's done an exhaustive survey of all relevant Pāli sources):

    vitakka:

    1. takka 2. vitakka 3. saṅkappa 4. appanā 5. byappanā 6. cetaso abhiniropanā 7. sammāsaṅkappa

    1. speculation 2. thought 3. thought formation 4. fixing 5. firm fixing 6. applying the mind 7. right thought formation.

    vicāra:

    1. cāra 2. vicāra 3. anuvicāra 4. upavicāra 5. cittassa anusandhānatā 6. anupekkhanatā

    1. wandering 2. wandering about 3. repeated wandering about 4. frequenting 5. explorativeness of mind 6. constant examination.

These registers of terms present a spectrum of mental qualities and a range of meaning. What this implies is that there is no need to restrict definitions beyond this inclusive range of terms which correlate to a spectrum of skillful qualities relevant to sammāsamādhi.

Moreover, Sarvāstivāda, Sautrāntika, and Yogācāra commentators consistently define vitakka & vicāra as two types of "mental discourse" (manojalpa, lit: "mind-talk"). For example, Vasubandhu defines vitakka as "mental discourse which investigates" (paryeṣako manojalpa) and vicāra as "mental discourse which reflects" (pratyavekṣako manojalpa). Vitakka is considered to be coarse (cittsyaudārikatā) and vicāra comparatively more subtle (cittsyasūkṣmatā). These definitions accord well with early Pāli sources such as the Peṭakopadesa, etc.

I think it's clear that the vitakka and vicara of Jhana are not "everyday" thoughts or concepts. However, you're probably right that to say they are completely non-conceptual is a somewhat restrictive definition. However, it is definitely the falling away of any thought that characterizes the second Jhana, correct? You seem to be more knowledgeable than I!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

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

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

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Nyana » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:45 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:If a defining feature of the first Jhana is the lack of speech, then ontologically, speech is not possible in Jhana, just as bachelorhood is not possible in marriage.

Well, there's a difference between ceasing to speak for a period of time and being unable to speak for a period of time. IMO the cessation in question is the former kind, as the latter is unnecessarily restrictive with regard to possible mental states correlating with sammāsamādhi and jhāna.

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I think it's clear that the vitakka and vicara of Jhana are not "everyday" thoughts or concepts.

Right. The Peṭakopadesa lists the jhāna factor of vitakka as pertaining to the thought of renunciation, the thought of non-aversion, and the thought of harmlessness. Cf. MN 19.

LonesomeYogurt wrote:However, you're probably right that to say they are completely non-conceptual is a somewhat restrictive definition. However, it is definitely the falling away of any thought that characterizes the second Jhana, correct?

Yes, again the Peṭakopadesa informs us that it's with the second jhāna that one if free from the weariness induced by vitakka & vicāra. This explanation is also likely derived from MN 19.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:37 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Stopping speaking doesn't entail being incapable of speaking. As for hearing, this is only mentioned as such in the Kathāvatthu, and pertains to the placement of attention, not the non-fucntioning of the ear faculty. There are suttas and commentaries which suggest limiting the latter to the formless attainments.

To say that speech has ceased for the first Jhana is to imply that it is impossible. That may be a semantic difference, but the implication is clear that speech and Jhana never occur together. As for hearing, you're correct that hearing may continue up to the fourth Jhana, at which point it is definitely not possible. My mistake.

This interpretation isn't supported by the suttas, the Abhidhammapiṭaka, nor by the Peṭakopadesa:

Cetaso Abhiniropana or "application of mind" is listed as a synonym for vitakka, which implies that vitakka it is not at all a conscious thought process but instead a non-conceptual attention. However, it is correct to say that only the second Jhana fully eliminates even the most subtle of direct mental intention. I guess it depends on how you define thinking.


Hmm. How about AN 10.72 on sound being a thorn in 1st jhana?

One needs to be careful also with back reading Abhidhammic concepts into the suttas. The Abhidhamma takes the position that the 5 internal ayatanas are of rupa. This is not a position advanced in the suttas.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:14 am

manas wrote:
Hi reflection,

have you considered the following passage from the 'jhana sutta'?

"'I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the first jhana.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said? There is the case where a monk, secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'


Regarding the part I bolded - this doesn't sound like a mind incapable of being directed purposefully. Inwardly stilled? yes. Helplessly *just* watching the show? no.

However I am averse to arguments over jhana, because arguing over jhana increases mental agitation, which is a hindrance to jhana! - and although in this case there won't be any ill-will from either of us, :smile: , if we are not going to be able to agree, we should just 'agree to disagree' and simply wish each other well with our respective practices - with a mind of goodwill :anjali:

metta.

I have seen this sutta and similar quotes, but it can't convince me. To me it's like a step by step thing and the turning away of he mind is done after jhana. This to me is clearer when you see the same thing is repeated for the all the jhanas and the arupas where vitakka/vicara is not even present. But I don't think the entire debate that's somewhere else on this forum needs to be repeated here again, so indeed let's agree to disagree.

:anjali:
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby dharmagoat » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:36 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:To say that speech has ceased for the first Jhana is to imply that it is impossible. That may be a semantic difference, but the implication is clear that speech and Jhana never occur together.

Experience shows that speech is possible in the first Jhana, but that upon speaking the state of Jhana is easily lost. Is that what is meant here?
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:50 pm

dharmagoat wrote:Experience shows that speech is possible in the first Jhana, but that upon speaking the state of Jhana is easily lost. Is that what is meant here?

Upon speaking, one is no longer in jhana. Just like upon divorcing, one is no longer married. The divorce does not take place "in" the marriage.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

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

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

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby manas » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:07 am

sorry, upon reflection decided to extinguish this post

metta
Last edited by manas on Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:19 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:Experience shows that speech is possible in the first Jhana, but that upon speaking the state of Jhana is easily lost. Is that what is meant here?

Upon speaking, one is no longer in jhana. Just like upon divorcing, one is no longer married. The divorce does not take place "in" the marriage.

On reflection I can see how this can be the case. It clarifies my understanding of what jhana actually is.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby danieLion » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:00 am

Hi Aloka, Mike

The Buddha Didn't Play Gotcha
Thanissaro wrote:Sometimes when you hear the Buddha’s teachings explained, it’s almost as if he’s playing gotcha. He talks about jhana—the ease, the rapture that can come from concentration—but then you’re told that if you try to attain jhana, you’re not going to get there. Or once you get there, you have to be very careful not to get attached to it. It’s dangerous, so you shouldn’t do it too much. Similarly with nibbana: We’re told that nibbana’s the highest ease, the highest happiness, and yet if you want it, you can’t get it. It’s like he’s dangling these things in front of you and taunting you, saying you can’t have them.

That’s not the way he taught at all.

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... Gotcha.pdf

And:
Jhana Not By the Numbers
Thanissaro wrote:When I first went to study with my teacher, Ajaan Fuang, he handed me a small booklet of meditation instructions and sent me up the hill behind the monastery to meditate. The booklet — written by his teacher, Ajaan Lee — began with a breath meditation technique and concluded with a section showing how the technique was used to induce the first four levels of jhana.

In the following years, I saw Ajaan Fuang hand the same booklet to each of his new students, lay and ordained. Yet despite the booklet's detailed descriptions of jhana, he himself rarely mentioned the word jhana in his conversations, and never indicated to any of his students that they had reached a particular level of jhana in their practice. When a student told him of a recurring meditative experience, he liked to discuss not what it was, but what to do with it: what to focus on, what to drop, what to change, what to maintain the same. Then he'd teach the student how to experiment with it — to make it even more stable and restful — and how to judge the results of the experiments. If his students wanted to measure their progress against the descriptions of jhana in the booklet, that was their business and none of his. He never said this in so many words, but given the way he taught, the implicit message was clear.

As were the implicit reasons for his attitude. He had told me once about his own experiences as a young meditator: "Back in those days you didn't have books explaining everything the way we do now. When I first studied with Ajaan Lee, he told me to bring my mind down. So I focused on getting it down, down, down, but the more I brought it down, the heavily and duller it got. I thought, 'This can't be right.' So I turned around and focused on bringing it up, up, up, until I found a balance and could figure out what he was talking about." This incident was one of many that taught him some important lessons: that you have to test things for yourself, to see where the instructions had to be taken literally and where they had to be taken figuratively; that you had to judge for yourself how well you were doing; and that you had to be ingenious, experimenting and taking risks to find ways to deal with problems as they arose.

So as a teacher, he tried to instill in his students these qualities of self-reliance, ingenuity, and a willingness to take risks and test things for themselves. He did that not only by talking about these qualities, but also by forcing you into situations where you'd have to develop them. Had he always been there to confirm for you that, "Yes, you've reached the third jhana," or, "No, that's only the second jhana," he would have short-circuited the qualities he was trying to instill. He, rather than your own powers of observation, would have been the authority on what was going on in your mind; and you would have been absolved of any responsibility for correctly evaluating what you had experienced. At the same time, he would have been feeding your childish desire to please or impress him, and undermining your ability to deal with the task at hand, which was how to develop your own powers of sensitivity to put an end to suffering and stress. As he once told me, "If I have to explain everything, you'll get used to having things handed to you on a platter. And then what will you do when problems come up in your meditation and you don't have any experience in figuring things out on your own?"

So, studying with him, I had to learn to take risks in the midst of uncertainties. If something interesting came up in the practice, I'd have to stick with it, observing it over time, before reaching any conclusions about it. Even then, I learned, the labels I applied to my experiences couldn't be chiseled in rock. They had to be more like post-it notes: convenient markers for my own reference that I might have to peel off and stick elsewhere as I became more familiar with the territory of my mind. This proved to be a valuable lesson that applied to all areas of my practice.

Still, Ajaan Fuang didn't leave me to reinvent the dharma wheel totally on my own....
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... mbers.html


Aloka wrote:Hi Mike,

I'm not sure if the mind will reach jhana if one is intentionally watching breathing.

Bull pucky. The Buddha mastered jhana by intentionally watching his breath. The breathe is a perfectly suitable object for jhana and it would never get watched without intention.

Aloka wrote:Buddha said : "There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn48/sn48.010.than.html

"There is a case" implies there are other cases (objects of samadhi).

Ajaan Lee wrote:The highest level of concentration — fixed penetration — follows on threshold concentration. If mindfulness and alertness arise while you are in threshold concentration, they turn it into jhana.

Jhana means focusing the mind, making it absorbed in a single object, such as the internal sense of the form of the body. If you want jhana to arise and not deteriorate, you have to practice until you are skilled. Here's how it's done: Think of a single object, such as the breath. Don't think of anything else. Practice focusing on your single object. Now add the other factors: Vitakka — think about the object; and vicara — evaluate it until you arrive at an understanding of it, e.g., seeing the body as unclean or as composed of impersonal properties. The mind then becomes light; the body becomes light; both body and mind feel satisfied and refreshed: This is piti, rapture. The body has no feelings of pain, and the mind experiences no pain: This is sukha, pleasure and ease. This is the first level of rupa jhana, which has five factors appearing in this order; singleness of object (ekaggata), thought, evaluation, rapture, and pleasure.

When you practice, start out by focusing on a single object, such as the breath.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... html#p2-18


Aloka wrote:I highly recommend that you read Ajahn Brahm's book "Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond " for some preliminary instructions.

Don't do that. Brahm's "method" is confusing at best (for instance, he claims "whole body breathing" refers only to the breath). Try these:
Immersed in the Body
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... l#immersed
Analyzing the Breath
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... #analyzing
Jhana: Responsible Happiness
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ehappiness
The Four Jhanas
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... fourjhanas
Jhana Not By the Numbers
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... mbers.html
Go, Do Jhana
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#jhana
Keeping The Breath In Mind
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/inmind.html
The Meaning of the Body
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#meaning
The Path of Concentration & Mindfulness
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... cmind.html
Body Contemplation
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/bodymind.html
The Four Jhanas
http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... Jhanas.pdf
On The Path of The Breath
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... pathbreath

Best wishes,
Daniel
Last edited by danieLion on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby reflection » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 am

danieLion wrote:
Aloka wrote:I highly recommend that you read Ajahn Brahm's book "Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond " for some preliminary instructions.

Don't do that. Brahm's "method" is confusing at best (for instance, he claims "whole body breathing" refers only to the breath).

Maybe you find it confusing, but a lot of people don't and they greatly benefit from the general method of Ajahn Brahm. Different people, different techniques, different understanding. Just because it doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it can't work for others.

Metta,
:anjali:
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby danieLion » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:28 am

reflection wrote:
danieLion wrote:
Aloka wrote:I highly recommend that you read Ajahn Brahm's book "Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond " for some preliminary instructions.

Don't do that. Brahm's "method" is confusing at best (for instance, he claims "whole body breathing" refers only to the breath).

Maybe you find it confusing, but a lot of people don't and they greatly benefit from the general method of Ajahn Brahm. Different people, different techniques, different understanding. Just because it doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it can't work for others.

Metta,
:anjali:

Hi reflection,
I didn't say I find it confusing.

And if it's different for different people, why does Brahm present his method as the right or best way?

And if it's different for different people, why did Brahm go into such detail? You only need general instructions, like the ones in the suttas (or Reverend Lee's)--if it's different for different people.

It likely is different for different people, but is that Brahm's take or your take on Brahm's take?

Regards,
Daniel
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby reflection » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:58 am

Those questions you should not ask me. Obviously, I can't speak for Ajahn Brahm, nor do I intend to. But this hasn't got a lot to do with the topic anyway.

So I'd say Micheal, try out and whatever works, do that. Get stuck? Perhaps try a different method. Find more peace slowly but surely. That's the only way to find out what the Buddha taught.

Metta!
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:29 pm

reflection wrote: Get stuck? Perhaps try a different method.


I think that's good advice. We are all different, and it may be that a particular method isn't best suited to our temperament.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Micheal Kush » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:11 pm

Thank you for the links and advice. Ive read many articles posted on access to insight and find them quite reliable.

After much reviewing, im still trying to get the notion of jhana out of my head and just focus on the breath. However i have a few questions. I have heard that if one were to practice to attain jhana, that one should follow a set of guidelines that benefit the practitioner:

Such as

-Avoid social engagement
-Moderete food intake
-Avoid sensual pleasures or anything that makes you distracted
-Seclusion from social activity. Seclusion also from books,teachings or possibly anything.

Ive read the The Path of Purfication by Buddhaghosa and it outlines certian conditions one should go through to advance in practice including being confined solitarily to a forest or empty dwelling.

Now my question is, is all that absolutely neccessary or just highly reccomended?
Also does duration play a factor in advancing in practice or attaining the jhanas?

I meditate from 20-30 a session and told that was quite low to actually see any obvious benefits. I tend to progress forward with both duration and concentration, just needed those questions clarified

With metta, mike
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby danieLion » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:20 am

Micheal Kush wrote:Thank you for the links and advice. Ive read many articles posted on access to insight and find them quite reliable.

After much reviewing, im still trying to get the notion of jhana out of my head and just focus on the breath. However i have a few questions. I have heard that if one were to practice to attain jhana, that one should follow a set of guidelines that benefit the practitioner:

Such as

-Avoid social engagement
-Moderete food intake
-Avoid sensual pleasures or anything that makes you distracted
-Seclusion from social activity. Seclusion also from books,teachings or possibly anything.

Ive read the The Path of Purfication by Buddhaghosa and it outlines certian conditions one should go through to advance in practice including being confined solitarily to a forest or empty dwelling.

Now my question is, is all that absolutely neccessary or just highly reccomended?
Also does duration play a factor in advancing in practice or attaining the jhanas?

I meditate from 20-30 a session and told that was quite low to actually see any obvious benefits. I tend to progress forward with both duration and concentration, just needed those questions clarified

With metta, mike

Hi Mike,
I'm pretty sure Nana/Geoff et al have addressed these things in what I think of as the Greater Dhamma Wheel Discourse on Jhana actually titled "The Great Jhana Debate," (or something like that).
My main point stands though: the more you figure out on your own the better (but seek help when necessary).
Best,
Daniel
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:44 am

Micheal Kush wrote:Thanks for the beneficial advice. As a matter of fact, i believe i corrected that mistake during my last session. In my last session, i felt a deep aura of relaxation and noticed that my breath became quite subtle but not subtle enough that it felt like i wasnt breath, i was aware that i was breathing. So far, my thoughts have slowly evaporated and i feel with continued persistence, i may access concentration but i feel unsure on how the nimitta would arise. When i fel that deep relaxation, i questioned whether it was the bliss factor building up or just a product of the meditation so i just continued on with the breath.

I just find it hard to believe that i am close to attaining jhana because for one thing, my duration is what you would* call professional(20 minutes is sort of newbish) . But thanks a million for the info, it is truly indespensable!

With Metta, mike

P.S i always try hard to brush away the concept of attaining jhana and just remain absorped in the breathing hope that helps

Edit: Wouldnt is the right word srry



You sound like your headed the right direction.
Also his advice is very amazingly helpful. :goodpost: 's
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It's cold and alone, hopeless.
Until it blooms above.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:49 am

reflection wrote:Those questions you should not ask me. Obviously, I can't speak for Ajahn Brahm, nor do I intend to. But this hasn't got a lot to do with the topic anyway.

So I'd say Micheal, try out and whatever works, do that. Get stuck? Perhaps try a different method. Find more peace slowly but surely. That's the only way to find out what the Buddha taught.

Metta!



I would suggest, for you, more seclusion. I don't just mean from people, but seclusion from things that generally surround you. From objects, familiarities. While focusing on breath, try to exclude the advice and practicals of attaining jhana. And seclude yourself from... well anything that comes into your mind--it is all just disturbances my friend, tickling that keeps the stillness necessary for establishing jhana away. The stillness is what you're trying for. Once stillness arises, the bliss emerges, and once you have utterly surrendered to the stillness (which requires absolute seclusion), you simply ABSORB into the bliss. That's the jhana. You have then "attained" it.

The animals in the forest analogy was PERFECT.
A seed sleeps in soil.
It's cold and alone, hopeless.
Until it blooms above.
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:54 am

Son wrote: Once stillness arises, the bliss emerges, and once you have utterly surrendered to the stillness (which requires absolute seclusion), you simply ABSORB into the bliss. That's the jhana. You have then "attained" it.
Then what?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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