how do you enter jhana?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby ohnofabrications » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:01 am

Some one I respect has recommended I take down this post. It is a better idea to just practice concentration without worrying too much about jhana at all... Apparently ;)
Last edited by ohnofabrications on Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
ohnofabrications
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:07 am

DAWN wrote:Self appropriation of calm (jhana) is a condition to taboo.

it is controversial to a degree; as it can lead to an offence for monks who lay claim to it; has a wide variety of interpretations and is difficult to attain.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5743
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:15 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Modus.Ponens wrote:Just answer the questions in this OP if you feel like and if not let it go.

:anjali:

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi retro

Incredibly, and against all odds, you made the most impertinent comment (I'm not being sarcastic, because you are my favorite member here). I had two intentions with that post: to change the mentality of the inquisitors and to encourage people who are confortable to share their experiences, answerig the OP.

Well, having said this, I give up trying to make this forum a decent place to discuss meditation past the first step. Most of those in the moderation team are part of this (I certainly believe, well intentioned) inquisition, so it's useless to try making the forum a better place in this aspect if those in charge are against it.

As for those who do not have the luck of having a teacher or a buddhist friend, good luck to them on their own, and good luck asking questions in the other end of this spectrum: dharma overground. Tough luck... :shrug:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 1982
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:33 am

Hi ohnofabrications

Thank you for that. I have a question though, that I haven't read in books anywhere. How much time of daily siting practice is usualy advised in order to attain the jhanas? And what is the usual timeline of progression, with that amount of practice. I know people are different so it's difficult to answer this, but I would like to see average numbers.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 1982
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:38 am

Modus.Ponens wrote: . . . inquisitors . . .
I am going to assume you ae including me in this, and, quite frankly, this highly offensive and rather myopic.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:57 am

Greetings MP,

Modus.Ponens wrote:I had two intentions with that post: to change the mentality of the inquisitors and to encourage people who are confortable to share their experiences, answerig the OP.

I know... and not being "an inquisitor", nor having much worth sharing on the topic, I'm endorsing what you've said through my actions....

i.e. "Just answer the questions in this OP if you feel like and if not let it go.".

I chose to let it go ~ you won't find me stifling sincere and productive inquiry. Nor do I buy into the secretive nature of the discussion ~ the Buddha did not teach with a closed fist, so why would we regard the subject as something that others should not openly discuss if they wish to (so long as no monastics break Vinaya in the process)?

alan... wrote:how do you enter jhana?

what is your step by step process?

what does it feel like?

what do you do during? afterwards?

how many jhanas can you enter?

have you mastered any of them?

used them for specific purposes?

what are your goals?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14655
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby ohnofabrications » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:04 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:Hi ohnofabrications

Thank you for that. I have a question though, that I haven't read in books anywhere. How much time of daily siting practice is usualy advised in order to attain the jhanas? And what is the usual timeline of progression, with that amount of practice. I know people are different so it's difficult to answer this, but I would like to see average numbers.


I haven't taken any surveys and I really think it is more a matter of how sincerely you go at it than how much time you spend. I would say a good amount of time to formally practice is like 4-5 hours a day, though I really do think you could attain just about anything with less. The only thing really effected by 'momentum' is your concentration, so if you are in full retreat practicing 10+ hours you would be really capable of attaining really strong stillness and refinement of fabrication. Learning about the process of fabricating, generating dispassion and relinquishment though is less dependent on momentum. I think you can attain "soft" versions (versions that are phasing in and out alot) of the 8 jhanas without momentum, but if you want harder jhanas you will need the momentum.

If you only have 1-2 hours to practice formally each day, your best bet might just be to work on examining and dropping the fabrications that cause stress without first trying to manipulating them to form a stable base. The way I'd most recommend practicing that would be this:

Pay attention to the 'inner' body, i.e. all the sensations that seem to be occurring 'under' the skin. Now look for sensations that are emotional - i.e. sensations tied to thought, the bodily component of desire. Pay attention to these and try to recognize the subtle process of labeling which is occurring whenever they are present. As long as there are these desire sensations in the body there is some reactivity going on towards them - either a pushing them away or an indulging in them. This is what you are trying to eliminate, generate a total non-reactivity towards those emotional sensations and they will dissolve, though of course you can't attend to them with the expectation that they will dissolve. So if you can switch your attitude towards the desire sensations to utter and total acceptance, it might even help sometimes if you find that you are fighting them to try to 'enjoy' them, then suddenly your identity can find no more basis in them so they are no longer fabricated. Ajahn Jayasaro has a great line in his 'seen in their true light' photo/poetry book

not indulging in sorrow
not fighting with sorrow
sorrow unfed
fades away

This works at the level of sensations with all desires/aversions/delusions. If you are fighting with or indulging in greed/aversion/delusion then you are making them part of your "narrative" your "i-making" and so they stick around, when they aren't part of your i-making, i.e. you aren't labeling or reacting to them, then they dissolve. This is the kind of practice which you eventually have to do 24/7, this sort of non-reactive, self-less mode of experience becomes more and more refined, as well as more and more effortless, until you are doing it perfectly all the time.
ohnofabrications
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:25 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings MP,

Modus.Ponens wrote: Nor do I buy into the secretive nature of the discussion ~ the Buddha did not teach with a closed fist, so why would we regard the subject as something that others should not openly discuss if they wish to (so long as no monastics break Vinaya in the process)?
The issue is not a matter of being secretive; it is simply a matter of caveat lector, as has been carefully spelled out above.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby manas » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:26 am

Hi alan...,

you are not alone in wanting to share your samadhi experience. And, you are not alone if you now feel some regret that you did (not because you did anything wrong, no; but rather, because you opened up a bit and shared something that feels quite personal in a public forum, and that those replying thus far have not similarly shared their experiences so openly (not that there is anything wrong with that, either). I'm also not game to; I've learned to keep such things to myself. But for the record, I don't slam you for sharing it, and neither has anyone else on this topic thus far. Saying 'these things are best discussed between a teacher and pupil' isn't the same as slamming.

As to your original question, I can only offer that it's a bit like detective work as far as I'm concerned, and that I'm not even sure if I've 'entered into' or 'attained' or 'issued forth' the first jhana yet, or not...I can't say with certainty. Anyway, for me there is a passage in the sammanaphala sutta that, if studied thoroughly and also compared with other suttas such as the satipatthana suttas, the kayagatasati sutta, and the anapanasati sutta, might be of assistance. Bear in mind that this section in the sutta occurs after a whole lot of groundwork has already been discussed: one has cultivated and established virtue, sense restraint, mindfulness and alertness (in all one's activites), and contentedness (it's discussing a forest monk who is content with little...no wonder jhana is quite challenging for us layfolk). Then:

Abandoning the Hindrances

"Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness and alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

"Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth and drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth and drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth and drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

"Suppose that a man, taking a loan, invests it in his business affairs. His business affairs succeed. He repays his old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining his wife. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, taking a loan, I invested it in my business affairs. Now my business affairs have succeeded. I have repaid my old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining my wife.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man falls sick — in pain and seriously ill. He does not enjoy his meals, and there is no strength in his body. As time passes, he eventually recovers from that sickness. He enjoys his meals and there is strength in his body. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was sick... Now I am recovered from that sickness. I enjoy my meals and there is strength in my body.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man is bound in prison. As time passes, he eventually is released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was bound in prison. Now I am released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man is a slave, subject to others, not subject to himself, unable to go where he likes. As time passes, he eventually is released from that slavery, subject to himself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where he likes. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was a slave... Now I am released from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where I like.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man, carrying money and goods, is traveling by a road through desolate country. As time passes, he eventually emerges from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, carrying money and goods, I was traveling by a road through desolate country. Now I have emerged from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"In the same way, when these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security. Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

(The Four Jhanas)

"Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he 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. Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again and again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within and without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal.

...


Now there is a guide to entering jhana from the Buddha himself. But, one also needs an object and for many of us it's the breath, and for that one also needs a few other suttas to assist one. So, for me, one needs to compare the suttas against each other, and against one's own personal experiences, and gradually come to a better and better understanding, by degrees. That's how I find it, anyway. But others might find it otherwise.

With metta, and don't worry! :anjali:
______________________*__*__*______________________

I could die today, and I don't want to die without having done
some citta-bhavana, so I will do some citta-bhavana today.
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 2106
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby barcsimalsi » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:56 am

David N. Snyder wrote: There have been numerous enlightenment claimants here at Dhamma Wheel and they all leave in a huff.

But when they realize they are f, they can let go of their old identity and return with a new user name/account. This is happening in what ever forum especially in Buddhist's where we are trained for detachment and rebirth so don't worry about that.
I respect the administrative advice and i do not intend to encourage something crazy. I think Forum is a place for all out inquisition accompanied by advices, arguments and corrections.

To the question of the OP, i don't because i'm still working towards it.
barcsimalsi
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 am

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:52 am

barcsimalsi wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote: There have been numerous enlightenment claimants here at Dhamma Wheel and they all leave in a huff.

But when they realize they are f, they can let go of their old identity and return with a new user name/account. This is happening in what ever forum especially in Buddhist's where we are trained for detachment and rebirth so don't worry about that.
I respect the administrative advice and i do not intend to encourage something crazy. I think Forum is a place for all out inquisition accompanied by advices, arguments and corrections.


Moderators can see IP addresses. Those who left in a huff have not returned; hence the friendly advice I and others gave so that one can get the most out of this forum in the long-term, rather than a short visit (not banning, they left on their own). It was just some advice that is not required to be taken or accepted; to each his own.

:popcorn:
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8041
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby barcsimalsi » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:10 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Moderators can see IP addresses. Those who left in a huff have not returned; hence the friendly advice I and others gave so that one can get the most out of this forum in the long-term, rather than a short visit (not banning, they left on their own). It was just some advice that is not required to be taken or accepted; to each his own.

:popcorn:

Got it! :bow:
Thanks.
barcsimalsi
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 am

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:24 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings MP,

Modus.Ponens wrote:I had two intentions with that post: to change the mentality of the inquisitors and to encourage people who are confortable to share their experiences, answerig the OP.

I know... and not being "an inquisitor", nor having much worth sharing on the topic, I'm endorsing what you've said through my actions....

i.e. "Just answer the questions in this OP if you feel like and if not let it go.".

I chose to let it go ~ you won't find me stifling sincere and productive inquiry. Nor do I buy into the secretive nature of the discussion ~ the Buddha did not teach with a closed fist, so why would we regard the subject as something that others should not openly discuss if they wish to (so long as no monastics break Vinaya in the process)?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Retro,

Sorry for misinterpreting you.

Tilt,

One key word you missed: hyperbole.

I've called some of my friends fascists on ocasion, hyperbolically as a way to make a point. I'm still very good friends with them, because they know I didn't mean that they are really fascists.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 1982
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby convivium » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:52 pm

i would recommend finding a teacher who's understanding of jhana is something you have faith in. then, if you can, go there and live with that teacher. the internet is not a great teacher; but there are a lot of meditation instructions on the internet for jhana (for what they're worth). you can call teachers and ask if they have any recommendations for texts on jhana. e.g. ajahn thanissaro recommends ajahn lee method #2 in keeping the breath in mind to visitors, but if you didn't go there, or talk with him, you probably wouldn't know that. i don't have a teacher like that, so i just do what i know. if you keep perfect sila over time, then doing jhana will come more naturally. and if your samadhi isn't that refined, it doesn't mean you can't contemplate the body, and your actions, etc. .

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... .html#path
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
User avatar
convivium
 
Posts: 574
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:17 pm

I apologise to everyone involved in my name calling, especially to the mod team and even more to the mod I contacted privatly. It was biting the hand of those who give me food. I feel guilty and ashamed. I'm sorry.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 1982
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:30 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I apologise to everyone involved in my name calling, especially to the mod team and even more to the mod I contacted privatly. It was biting the hand of those who give me food. I feel guilty and ashamed. I'm sorry.

:twothumbsup:
to see a fault as a fault is a wonderful thing!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5743
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby mirco » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:58 pm

alan... wrote:what is your step by step process? what does it feel like? what do you do during? afterwards? how many jhanas can you enter? have you mastered any of them? used them for specific purposes? what are your goals?


I do not enter jhana, it's no act of willpower. It just happens when the conditions are right. Mostly it's first jhana, sometimes second. Especially being in second very joyfull. Afterwards I have a very alert, calm and clear mind.

What do you mean with "have you mastered any of them?"

Kind Regards :-)
I get what I give
User avatar
mirco
 
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:53 pm

mirco wrote:
alan... wrote:What do you mean with "have you mastered any of them?"


http://www.buddhanet.net/mettaf3.htm
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby mirco » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:00 am


Very interesting. Since I like the Suttas I'm curious where to find that.

Kind Regards :-)
I get what I give
User avatar
mirco
 
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:33 am

Thanks Cittasanto.

Mirco, Bhante Gunaratana says this in "The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation", http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el351.html

After attaining the first jhana a few times the meditator is not advised to set out immediately striving for the second jhana. This would be a foolish and profitless spiritual ambition. Before he is prepared to make the second jhana the goal of his endeavor he must first bring the first jhana to perfection. If he is too eager to reach the second jhana before he has perfected the first, he is likely to fail to gain the second and find himself unable to regain the first. The Buddha compares such a meditator to a foolish cow who, while still unfamiliar with her own pasture, sets out for new pastures and gets lost in the mountains: she fails to find food or drink and is unable to find her way home (A.iv, 418-19).


The underlined part is a sutta reference. Unfortunately, I don't know that code for representing the suttas. Other members who are familiar with it can help.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 1982
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

PreviousNext

Return to Samatha Meditation and Jhana

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests