jhana required?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: jhana required?

Postby Sylvester » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:15 am

Dmytro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Dmytro wrote:
Some degree of wisdom can be attained without the completion of concentration, however the completion of wisdom requires the completion of concentration.
The "completion of concentration" means?


As seen from other suttas, - at least the first jhana.



I'm a little more lax on this.

MN 44 defines the paññākkhandha (aggregate of wisdom/discernment) to be made up of Right View and Right Intention. It appears that one fulfills/completes (paripūreti) this aggregate when one has fulfilled the samādhikkhandha. MN 44 defines the samādhikkhandha to be made up of Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

MN 44 then defines concentration as follows -

Singleness of mind is concentration, friend Visakha; the four frames of reference are its themes; the four right exertions are its requisites; and any cultivation, development, & pursuit of these qualities is its development.

Yā kho, āvuso visākha, cittassa ekaggatā ayaṃ samādhi; cattāro satipaṭṭhānā samādhinimittā; cattāro sammappadhānā samādhiparikkhārā. Yā tesaṃyeva dhammānaṃ āsevanā bhāvanā bahulīkammaṃ, ayaṃ ettha samādhibhāvanā’’ti.


This cittassa ekaggatā is not exclusive to the jhanas, and it appears to be a quality of satipaṭṭhāna as well. Given that Right Intention is in fact needed to get into the 1st Jhana, I think satipaṭṭhāna seems to be the best candidate to cultivate this aspect of the samādhikkhandha, in order to be able to fulfill the paññākkhandha.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby DAWN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:04 pm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
SN 12.70
Susima Sutta: About Susima


Now at that time a large number of monks had declared final gnosis in the Blessed One's presence: "We discern that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.'"
...
"Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you wield manifold supranormal powers? ..
"No, friend."

"Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you hear — by means of the divine ear-element, purified & surpassing the human — both kinds of sounds: divine & human, whether near or far?"
"No, friend."

"Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you know the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with your own awareness? Do you discern a mind with passion as a mind with passion...
"No, friend."
...
"We're released through discernment, friend Susima." (Bhikkhu Bodhi : We are liberated by wisdom...)


PS
Translator's note: This discourse is sometimes cited as proof that a meditator can attain Awakening (final gnosis) without having practiced the jhanas, but a close reading shows that it does not support this assertion at all. The new arahants mentioned here do not deny that they have attained any of the four "form" jhanas that make up the definition of right concentration. Instead, they simply deny that they have acquired any psychic powers or that they remain in physical contact with the higher levels of concentration, "the formless states beyond forms." In this, their definition of "discernment-release" is no different from that given in AN 9.44 (compare this with the definitions for "bodily witness" and "released in both ways" given in AN 9.43 and AN 9.45). Taken in the context of the Buddha's many other teachings on right concentration, there's every reason to believe that the new arahants mentioned in this discourse had reached at least the first jhana before attaining Awakening.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: jhana required?

Postby hermitwin » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:03 pm

jhana is definitely not required.
this is clear from many people who became arahants just by listening to the Buddha.
however, jhana is the inevitable result if you are concentrated in meditation,
unless you deliberately avoid it.
Buddha said the pleasure of the jhana is the one pleasure that he allows himself.
so all the fear of jhana is totally unfounded.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby DAWN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:48 pm

hermitwin wrote:jhana is definitely not required.
this is clear from many people who became arahants just by listening to the Buddha.
however, jhana is the inevitable result if you are concentrated in meditation,
unless you deliberately avoid it.
Buddha said the pleasure of the jhana is the one pleasure that he allows himself.
so all the fear of jhana is totally unfounded.


I would just say some word about how jhana brings pleasure:

Jhana state of mind arise from his stillness, from his purety.
When he become suffisently pure and calm, he is able to fill wery thin mouvements of body and mind. Like a pure leaf can show more details rather a dirty leaf.
More mind is pure and calm, more he is sensitive

And this very thin sensation in body and mind brings pleasure, but we must be carefull about this pleasure, dont apropriate it, dont identify with it, if the one is wise he will dont be delight in this pleasure, but be awere of that is feeling this pleasure, dwell in it, anyway if he will apropriate it and identify with it, it will disapear, so he have not a choice. It's may be paradoxal, but to get this pleasure you must take a distance with it, dont delight in it, because this pleasure it's not a fruit, is not a realisation, it's a consequance of fruit, consequance of realisation, so we have to be wise, and dont dwell in want is impermanent, but in what is permanent

When this plasure is known it's easy to stop sex, drugs, and others plesant addictions, it's like a match and bonfire. But at the same moment, if our mind will still be disturbed by sex, drugs or other, he dont will be calm and pure, and dont will rich this kind of state...
Aniway is not the aim, it's a bonus, it's not the cake, is the cherry on the cake. It's important to know.

But anyway, if the one is a meditative addict, and the one seek for pleasure he dont will attain this kind of pleasure, so the one who will attaint it will naturaly know what to do with this pleasure, how to work with it. So my post is adressed to those who seek for pleasure of jhana, and not for the purity of mind.

With regards :meditate:
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Maarten » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:02 pm

hermitwin wrote:jhana is definitely not required.
this is clear from many people who became arahants just by listening to the Buddha.


This is only true if you know that these people never attained Jhana before listening to the Buddha. :smile:
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Re: jhana required?

Postby daverupa » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:23 pm

hermitwin wrote:jhana is definitely not required.
this is clear from many people who became arahants just by listening to the Buddha.


Jhana is a required stage of the gradual training, coming after the suppression of the hindrances and before the destruction of the asavas.

I would like to examine any suttas which showcase someone becoming an arahant solely through listening. Can you provide a few that you had in mind, when writing that?
    "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: jhana required?

Postby reflection » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:02 pm

I think those quotes that say who and who became this and that are very dubious anyway. They are not the words of the Buddha, so who added these and how did they know?.. Very questionable and therefore I would not put any value on it.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Mr Man » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:13 pm

daverupa wrote:
hermitwin wrote:jhana is definitely not required.
this is clear from many people who became arahants just by listening to the Buddha.




I would like to examine any suttas which showcase someone becoming an arahant solely through listening. Can you provide a few that you had in mind, when writing that?


For the sake of hearing your explanation I will put forward the Adittapariyaya Sutta
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Re: jhana required?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:19 pm

Apparently you can become a buddha by hearing one speak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C4%81vakabuddha
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: jhana required?

Postby daverupa » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:23 pm

Mr Man wrote:I will put forward the Adittapariyaya Sutta


So, that sutta isn't very clear on preceding practices, is it? For example, what can we assume about how those monks practiced? The patimokkha, restraint of the senses, food restraint, mindfulness and clear comprehension... were these practices done?

Or was speaking that sutta like a magic spell, which the Buddha cast upon those monks?

---

m0rl0ck wrote:Apparently you can become a buddha by hearing one speak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C4%81vakabuddha


That article says arahants attain awakening by their own effort after hearing the Dhamma; and, the term isn't used in the Nikayas in the first place, according to the article...

Additionally,

AN 2.125-126 wrote:"Monks, there are these two conditions for the arising of wrong view. Which two? The voice of another and inappropriate attention. These are the two conditions for the arising of wrong view."

"Monks, there are these two conditions for the arising of right view. Which two? The voice of another and appropriate attention. These are the two conditions for the arising of right view."


...so, the voice of even the Buddha isn't enough, is 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: jhana required?

Postby Mr Man » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:58 pm

daverupa wrote:
Mr Man wrote:I will put forward the Adittapariyaya Sutta


So, that sutta isn't very clear on preceding practices, is it? For example, what can we assume about how those monks practiced? The patimokkha, restraint of the senses, food restraint, mindfulness and clear comprehension... were these practices done?

Or was speaking that sutta like a magic spell, which the Buddha cast upon those monks?




Well I would say they were ripe to receive the teaching but you are right it is not clear if they practiced Jhana.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:29 pm

Hi
I would say that it is reasonable to conclude that it is central from those things, reasonable to conclude that it is highly valuable - but still not necessary.

if something is central it is necessary as it shapes and operates with everything else.
a central aspect of a theory requires that aspect to be there otherwise it falls apart. a central aspect of a building requires it to be there otherwise it falls apart.

I can't prove that malunkyaputta and bahiya had never experienced jhana, just that bahiya wasn't experiencing jhana during the moment of his awakening, neither were several others talked about as gaining awakening. Unless you claim that simply experiencing jhana at some point in your life opens the door to insight further down the road when you aren't actually experiencing jhana. This seems like a strange claim, a more reasonable claim would be that being in jhana was necessary to enhance one's powers of discernment enough to cut through defilement, but clearly noble attainments occur in the suttas when people aren't in jhana.

equating the enlightenment experience with the actual presence of Jhana at the time is different from it being necessary for enlightenment to happen.

I couldn't find the place in the suttas where the buddha praised the arahants who had the jhanas, sorry. As for the other reference - here is the quote from the dhammapada (the rest of what you asked me to reference were just my opinions on the quote):

There's no jhana
for one with no discernment,
no discernment
for one with no jhana.
But one with both jhana
& discernment:
he's on the verge
of Unbinding.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#dhp-372

I only asked for what you were referring to, not where your personal opinions are placed in the texts.
I would suggest you find a reference to an Arahant not having Jhana Attainments.

It is still my opinion that according to the suttas jhanas are optional (insofar as jhanas are specific states of concentration, rather than concentration generally). I make this thread for the many people on the dry-insight path who might accept the suttas as authoritative and have doubt due to sutta-interpretations of jhana-necessity. I am not really making this regarding my own practice, I really just want this to be a discussion of the suttas, sorry if i derailed it by mentioning my practice in the OP.

there are far to many references to right concentration as the Jhanas being attained through different ways such as the precious quote from MN117 and similar passages regarding the factors to awakening and pericopes such as this found in the chinese version of the satipatthana sutta
Translated from the Chinese by NJ Smith, 10/2001. wrote:“Whatever Ones-Thus-Come there were... There will be... and I, the current Thus-Come-One, that do not cling to complete right enlightenment, all have cut the five hindrances which pollute the mind and weaken wisdom, established the mind and rightly abide in the four foundations of mindfulness, practised the seven limbs of awakening and realised enlightenment, the unsurpassed right and perfect enlightenment.”

which does have a corresponding version found in the pali texts although I can not place it right now.(if anyone knows where it is I would like to know its exact placement as I have lost the reference!)

this argument that Jhana is not necessary comes from the compartmental period where dry insight started to be described. this is not a sutta distinction, nor an abhidhamma distinction (i do not believe,) but a useful means to understand an aspect of the path. the suttas are quite clear that calm and insight go hand in hand, and your quote from AN4.41 does show the distinction to an extent as samādhi looks like it is being used in a general sense, but that does not mean that they do not intermingle in practice or one can supplant another when a specific definition is used to describe an aspect elsewhere. do remember that the other forms can be seen elsewhere and due to the frequency of the definition of the Jhanas being Sammasamadhi it is accurate to say that this is the culmination & full development of appropriate practice whether through a sequential Noble Eightfold path as described in Mn117 or of the factors of Awakening.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby ohnofabrications » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:11 am

hi Cittasanto,

I think we mostly agree on the things you stated, but I still don't interpret the pali canon such that awakening can't possibly occur without jhana.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:37 am

Maybe this listing is useful to get not caught by names:

Concentration:
Four Bases for Power
Right Concentration (Eightfold Path)
Rapture (Factors for Awakening)
Serenity (Factors for Awakening)
Concentration (Factors for Awakening)
Equanimity (Factors for Awakening)
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: jhana required?

Postby ground » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:37 am

ohnofabrications wrote:I think we mostly agree on the things you stated, but I still don't interpret the pali canon such that awakening can't possibly occur without jhana.

The misunderstanding occurs when the idea "jhana" and the idea engendered by descriptions of the ascending process from jhana 1 upwards is reified. The question "Is jhana required?" should be replaced by "what are the characteristics of the nama-rupa state required?" because the attainment of this state does not require the ascencing process but this state can obviously be "entered" spontaneously which is indicated by suttas showing that only through listening disciples of the Buddha had attained liberation.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:45 am

Which does not assume that one did not went through the states of concentration. Or was spontaneously meant as a synonym for "so quick that, while falling from the tree the branches crossed have not been seen".
Of cause, one would maybe not be able to explain who it came that way.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: jhana required?

Postby ground » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:47 am

Hanzze wrote:Which does not assume that one did not went through the states of concentration.

Of course that is an option. An option, not more and not less.

Hanzze wrote:Or was spontaneously meant as a synonym for "so quick that, while falling from the tree the branches crossed have not been seen".

"spontaneously" in this context means not depending on the ascending process of concentrations.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:57 am

So the sevenfold path? Or an unconditioned path?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: jhana required?

Postby ground » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:11 am

When there is a lack of experience there is a lack of certainty. Therefore clinging to the raft of ideas generated after having contacted words may protect some from doubt and the fear arising from that. If clinging to the raft of ideas is helpful through providing felt support for consciousness, a preliminary home for consciousness, then it may be conducive, if not then not.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:23 am

How does one come to experiances?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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