Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.
twelph
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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby twelph » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:29 pm

santa100 wrote:twelph wrote:
"I was just wondering how the monk in the sutta is able to experience this aspect of 4th jhana called the imperturbable while walking"

Are you sure the monk was "walking" instead of "standing"? To put the body into motion, one would need to breathe oxygen to generate energy for the muscles to move. But one stops breathing at the fourth jhana according to SN36.011 (ref:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.011.than.html ):
"And I have also taught the step-by-step cessation of fabrications. When one has attained the first jhana, speech has ceased. When one has attained the second jhana, directed thought & evaluation have ceased. When one has attained the third jhana, rapture has ceased. When one has attained the fourth jhana, in-and-out breathing has ceased"


While practicing walking meditation, my breathe becomes very refined and slow. I am not denying from an outside perspective that in 4th jhana the breathe can not be felt or measured, but that does not necessarily mean the breathe has stopped completely. Strong developers of pranayama are able to be buried alive for days because of how much their breathing has slowed. I'm assuming that mind objects take a considerable amount of energy and therefore oxygen to sustain at a constant pace. It doesn't seem so far fetched that someone could still be in motion while their breathe is seemingly non-existent. Though this is all just speculation, considering all I'm basing this on is a small part of a sutta.

:anjali:

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:31 pm

twelph wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:it is the same with jhana for full propper Jhana you need the full power, but at lesser power you still need the same equiptment although it can be disputed that it is Jhana proper.
if you didn't have all the jhana factors I would say that was definately not Jhana.

I was just wondering how the monk in the sutta is able to experience this aspect of 4th jhana called the imperturbable while walking. I think I'm still misunderstanding you, if it's probably not possible to enter jhana unless in the sitting position, how is this monk experiencing the condition of 4th jhana?

Edit: I admit that I might not be properly informed for this conversation, as I have purposely in the past made an effort to avoid reading detailed extrapolations of jhana. I am usually without a teacher, and fear that I may put ideas in my head that my mind will try to recreate in my experience. I feel like I'm on a slippery slope :thinking:

The factors of Jhana are present, without these being present or the momentum they create it can not be called jhana.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby daverupa » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:54 pm

santa100 wrote:Twelph wrote:
"Is there such thing as entering jhana without being absorbed in a single object?"

The stock description of the first jhana: "secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a monk enters upon and dwells in the first jhana, which is accompanied by applied thought and sustained thought, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion" indicates the existence of an object of meditation for the mind to apply Vitakka and Vicara..


However, since it is not yet second jhana's "happiness born of samadhi", and there is no cittekagatta until second jhana either, vitakka-vicara cannot be absorption in a single object to the exclusion of others, can it?
    "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: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:04 pm

daverupa wrote:
santa100 wrote:Twelph wrote:
"Is there such thing as entering jhana without being absorbed in a single object?"

The stock description of the first jhana: "secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a monk enters upon and dwells in the first jhana, which is accompanied by applied thought and sustained thought, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion" indicates the existence of an object of meditation for the mind to apply Vitakka and Vicara..


However, since it is not yet second jhana's "happiness born of samadhi", and there is no cittekagatta until second jhana either, vitakka-vicara cannot be absorption in a single object to the exclusion of others, can it?


hi Dave
just quoting myself from earlier
The first jhāna factors sometimes includes 'cittass'ekaggata' which can be translated as arriving at a unified mind, although it can also be translated as one-pointedness of mind, as-well as calmness of mind, however as cetaso ekodibhāva can also be translated in both ways, and is always used for the second Jhana, it would be reasonable to assume jhana has fixed itself upon the opject hence the dropping away of the verbal fabrications.

the second Jhana has cetaso ekodibhāva
ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ, cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ,
with internal clarity, and one-pointedness of mind,
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby daverupa » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:23 pm

Yes, sloppy Pali on my part, I apologize. In any event, I see the roughly three occasions of that fifth factor in first jhana in the MN to be accidental intrusion.
    "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: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby santa100 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:02 am

twelph wrote:
"While practicing walking meditation, my breathe becomes very refined and slow. I am not denying from an outside perspective that in 4th jhana the breathe can not be felt or measured, but that does not necessarily mean the breathe has stopped completely. Strong developers of pranayama are able to be buried alive for days because of how much their breathing has slowed. I'm assuming that mind objects take a considerable amount of energy and therefore oxygen to sustain at a constant pace. It doesn't seem so far fetched that someone could still be in motion while their breathe is seemingly non-existent. Though this is all just speculation, considering all I'm basing this on is a small part of a sutta."

The case of yogis being buried alive and survived for days seems possible because they didn't "move" their bodies. I'm not sure about the case of the 'walking' monk though. But if you could provide reference to that sutta that you read, that'd be very helpful..

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby santa100 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:47 am

daverupa wrote:
"In any event, I see the roughly three occasions of that fifth factor in first jhana in the MN to be accidental intrusion."

I think it makes sense that all 5 jhana factors are there in the first jhana. We know that the five hindrances are absent in the first jhana. And I remember Bhikkhu Bodhi in his MN Audio series mentioned that the five jhana factors serve as the antidotes to those hindrances: Applied thought counters Sloth/torpor, Sustained thought counters Doubt, Rapture counters Anger, Happiness counters Restlessness/remorse, and One-pointedness/ekaggata counters Lust; so, if Lust's been absent in the 1st jhana, that'd mean its antidote, ekaggata must be present..

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby daverupa » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:58 am

santa100 wrote:...so, if Lust's been absent in the 1st jhana, that'd mean its antidote, ekaggata must be present..


Where do we learn that the antidote to lust is ekagatta, again?
    "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: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby santa100 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:01 am

It's from the MN Audio lecture series by Bhikkhu Bodhi. It's kind of tough to "search" for the instance through these mp3 files... :tongue:

http://bodhimonastery.org/a-systematic- ... ikaya.html

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:09 am

santa100 wrote:It's from the MN Audio lecture series by Bhikkhu Bodhi. It's kind of tough to "search" for the instance through these mp3 files...

We need that facility that Google now has of searching images to be extended to mp3s... :tongue:

Perhaps this would give a clue of where to look:

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby santa100 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:20 am

That'd be very nice Mike.. Anyway, I did a quick search and found it on Bhikkhu Bodhi's essay at: http://www.budsas.org/ebud/bd8p/bd8p_17.htm ..

"When concentration is developed, these five factors spring up and counteract the five hindrances. Each absorption factor opposes a particular hindrance. Initial application of mind, through its work of lifting the mind up to the object, counters dullness and drowsiness. Sustained application, by anchoring the mind on the object, drives away doubt. Rapture shuts out ill will, happiness excludes restlessness and worry, and one-pointedness counters sensual desire, the most alluring inducement to distraction. Thus, with the strengthening of the absorption factors, the hindrances fade out and subside"

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby daverupa » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:51 am

I just can't understand why it's missing from the vast majority of pericopes on the matter, and why the ekagatta-lust connection isn't made explicit in the Suttas. Lust is talked about a lot; why is the antidote never mentioned there?

:coffee:
    "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: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby santa100 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:03 am

I find reading the Suttas alone is not enough. Dhamma essays from great teachers like Ven. Thanissaro and Bhikkhu Bodhi do clarify a lot of confusion I had. Never under-estimate the importance of teachers..

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby manas » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:38 am

Hi all

I wonder if 'one-pointed' is really the most appropriate translation for 'ekagata'. 'One pointed' might lead some to believe that the mind has to be literally brought in on 'a single point in space', rather than there being an awareness of the entire body (as the suttas seem to be describing). Being 'sensitive to' the entire body would not preclude awareness of the breath as well, because it is this very body that moves with each breath in any case. Looking at the definition of 'gata'

Gata [pp. of gacchati in medio -- reflexive function] gone, in all meanings of gacchati (q. v.) viz. 1. literal: gone away, arrived at, directed to

then maybe a better definition of ekagata could be 'gone (to), arrived at, directed to one-(ness)', that 'one' being 'one object' - ie, kaya, rather than the mind flitting about between various objects.

EDIT: On second thoughts, I will defer to the translations of ekaggata offered by others, because it seems that I misunderstood how the pali term was actually put together.

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby twelph » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:56 am

santa100 wrote:The case of yogis being buried alive and survived for days seems possible because they didn't "move" their bodies. I'm not sure about the case of the 'walking' monk though. But if you could provide reference to that sutta that you read, that'd be very helpful..


Cittasanto posted the sutta earlier:

Cittasanto wrote:there is a text where walking meditation is talked about in relation to the fourth jhana (in this case called the imperturbable) here http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html although I have not looked this further I do believe it won't be full fledged Jhana which can easily be argued as only attainable while sitting silent..., but refering to the qualities of jhana being pressent to the point it can legitimately be called Jhana, yet not to the strength described as Sammasamadhi in the texts, although this list does not discount weaker levels of samadhi whether in its path factor form or training form being right samadhi.

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby Dmytro » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:44 am

Hi Daverupa,

daverupa wrote:I just can't understand why it's missing from the vast majority of pericopes on the matter, and why the ekagatta-lust connection isn't made explicit in the Suttas. Lust is talked about a lot; why is the antidote never mentioned there?


Samatha development is the antidote to pasion:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby santa100 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:49 am

twelph wrote:
"Cittasanto posted the sutta earlier:..."

Hi twelph, in the sutta (ref: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ), there're separate sections: Right Concentration section, which is liberation through Emptiness and Imperturbable; and then Right Mindfulness section, which is minding the Four Postures(walking, standing, sitting, lying down), and then Right Speech section, Right Intention section, etc.. I don't see where the Jhana section got mixed in with the Minding of the Four Postures section..

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby daverupa » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:52 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Daverupa,

daverupa wrote:I just can't understand why it's missing from the vast majority of pericopes on the matter, and why the ekagatta-lust connection isn't made explicit in the Suttas. Lust is talked about a lot; why is the antidote never mentioned there?


Samatha development is the antidote to pasion:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Brilliant find; yet I am unable to see how those two qualities, developed in tandem in the course of practice, allow us to conclude that first jhana has a fifth factor. It's an absolute non sequitur.
    "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: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby Dmytro » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:04 am

Hi Manas,

manas wrote:I wonder if 'one-pointed' is really the most appropriate translation for 'ekagata'.


Yes, that's an erroneous translation.

"Ekaggata" is rather "single-tuned'ness":
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5550

The components of this compound are 'eka' (one) and 'agga' (predominant).

'One pointed' might lead some to believe that the mind has to be literally brought in on 'a single point in space', rather than there being an awareness of the entire body (as the suttas seem to be describing). Being 'sensitive to' the entire body would not preclude awareness of the breath as well, because it is this very body that moves with each breath in any case.


In case of Anapanasati samatha practice, which is a variation of air kasina practice ( viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4097#p90648 ), the perceptual image (nimitta) of air is indeed spread over the entire body.

However there is also ekaggata with basic colors ( viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5631 ) where the situation is different, since the perceptual image (nimitta) is spread all over the visual perception:

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

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

:anjali:
Last edited by Dmytro on Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Entering Jhana Without Single Object Absorption

Postby twelph » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:16 am

santa100 wrote:twelph wrote:
"Cittasanto posted the sutta earlier:..."

Hi twelph, in the sutta (ref: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ), there're separate sections: Right Concentration section, which is liberation through Emptiness and Imperturbable; and then Right Mindfulness section, which is minding the Four Postures(walking, standing, sitting, lying down), and then Right Speech section, Right Intention section, etc.. I don't see where the Jhana section got mixed in with the Minding of the Four Postures section..


When the second paragraph says "dwelling by means of this dwelling" it seems to be referring to the prior paragraph, in which it is stated he is attending to the " imperturbable", which I have been lead to believe is the 4th Jhana.

"He attends to the imperturbable. While he is attending to the imperturbable, his mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, grows steady, & indulges in the imperturbable. When this is the case, he discerns, 'While I am attending to the imperturbable, my mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, grows steady, & indulges in the imperturbable.' In this way he is alert there.

"If, while the monk is dwelling by means of this dwelling, his mind inclines to walking back & forth, he walks back & forth [thinking,] 'While I am walking thus, no covetousness or sadness, no evil, unskillful qualities will take possession of me.' In this way he is alert there.


Possibly you can get up and start walking around while in the 4th jhana? All of this is extremely new to me, and I was just going by what Cittasanto commented on.


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