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Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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marc108
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby marc108 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:27 pm

"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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reflection
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby reflection » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:57 pm

danieLion, thanks for sharing your opinion.

marc108, thanks for the links!
I look forward to listening to them and hope they can benefit many who are interested in where this thread is coming from. If I find some sutta quotes in there that I find particularly helpful, I'll repost them here so they can serve for the benefit of all.

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marc108
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby marc108 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:11 pm

"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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reflection
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby reflection » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:46 pm

I do, but I never really based my faith in that approach on the suttas as much as I did on experiences and what I felt was right. But recently I saw a general opinion arise that mental jhana is only found in the Vishudimagga, which I think is not true, and at least very unhelpful for it may put confusion in those who have similar feelings or experiences. So that's why I wanted to make a thread with suttas supporting mental jhana, although admittedly I'm not the best person to do so. I hope the links you provided can help me a bit.

Also I hope it may help in changing this label "vishudimagga jhana" into something else which is a bit more productive, so I suggest "mental jhana".

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marc108
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby marc108 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:23 pm

"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."

danieLion
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby danieLion » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:38 am


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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby danieLion » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:25 am


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marc108
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby marc108 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:40 am

"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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reflection
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby reflection » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:22 am

DanieLion thanks for sharing. I know those debates exist. If you wish to add anything to those debates, may I ask you to do it in the respective thread? Thanks!

marc, I'm not practicing in a specific tradition. Thanks for the links.

Reflection
Last edited by reflection on Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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reflection
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby reflection » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:33 pm

Last edited by reflection on Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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daverupa
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby daverupa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:02 pm

I don't understand why it is being taken as referring to five senses only, and not six. Can you elaborate? I understand that the five cords are five in number, of course, but kamachanda doesn't seem limited to just those five...

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reflection
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby reflection » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:13 pm

Thanks for the question daverupa.

I can approach that from different directions, depending on why you don't understand it. Perhaps you could explain where you don't understand.

Jhana aside, another the reason the Buddha made this distinction between the mind and the other senses, is that craving for bodily sense activities has to be be let go before craving for mind activities can be let go. That's because the 5 senses are coarser than the 6th sense, which also is the master of the others, always follows the others.

In other words, non-returning comes before arahantship. The craving for mind sense is included in the fetters specific to the arahant. If it were not, but were part of kamacchando, there would be no reason for a non-returner to have another life in another realm, because there is nothing else to cling to but the 6 senses.

Hope this helps. If it's not clear yet, feel free to illustrate where you don't understand.

With metta,
Reflection

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daverupa
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby daverupa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:34 pm

Well, the entry for kama in the does not say that only five of the six senses are meant. Sense desire can operate across all six senses, based on contact, feeling, and craving, so to limit this word to encompass only five of the six senses seems artificial. So, I was hoping to see your reasoning with respect to a five-sense understanding of this term.

The five cords of sensual pleasure (kamaguna) seem to set the mentality sphere aside, so is there some other sort of desire and craving which operates in that sphere? For example, kamacchanda is a mental phenomenon, as I understand it, and there is the case of kam'asava, a mental influx. So while kamaguna is the five physical senses, kama itself as a term doesn't appear to me to be limited to 5/6.

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reflection
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby reflection » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:07 pm

Craving in the most general use of the word applies to all 6 senses, that's sure. And indeed there is another term for all those together, the Buddha used the word tanha for that. When sense activity (kama) or sense desire (kamachanda/kamatanha), is mentioned, it inexplicitly refers to just 5 senses. That's a bit confusing, I can agree, but that's a problem in the translations.

danieLion
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby danieLion » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:53 pm


danieLion
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby danieLion » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:57 pm

@ reflection, Daverupa,
When the Buddha distinguished "mind" from other things (e.g., the other five senses) do you interpret this to mean he thought "mind" and other things (e.g., the body) are independent?

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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby danieLion » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:11 pm


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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby danieLion » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:20 pm


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reflection
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby reflection » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:17 am


Sylvester
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Re: Purely mental absorption (jhana) in the suttas

Postby Sylvester » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:28 am



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