how do you enter jhana?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Sylvester » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:47 am

Modus.Ponens wrote: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.



The sutta at A iv 418 is Gāvīupamā Sutta, AN 9.35 here - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby daverupa » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:49 am

AN 9.35 wrote:"In the same way, there are cases where a monk — foolish, inexperienced, unfamiliar with his pasture, unskilled in being quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, and entering & remaining in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation — doesn't stick with that theme, doesn't develop it, pursue it, or establish himself firmly in it. The thought occurs to him, 'What if I, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, were to enter & remain in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.' He is not able... to enter & remain in the second jhana... The thought occurs to him, 'What if I... were to enter & remain in the first jhana... He is not able... to enter & remain in the first jhana. This is called a monk who has slipped & fallen from both sides, like the mountain cow, foolish, inexperienced, unfamiliar with her pasture, unskilled in roaming on rugged mountains.
    "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: how do you enter jhana?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:09 am

Thanks people,

MN111 is another sutta that discusses various aspect of mastery:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.


Ascending/desecending (including formless attainments):
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby mirco » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:02 am

:off topic:
mirco wrote:
Very interesting. Since I like the Suttas I'm curious where to find that.

Modus.Ponens wrote:Mirco, Bhante Gunaratana says this in "The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation", http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el351.html (A.iv, 418-19).

Thanks Modus (&Sylvester), but in the Gāvīupamā suttaṃ one does not find categories like in the text Dhammanando gave us. Furthermore, I think, that we won't find those categories in the Suttas at all. I bet it's a (visuddhimagga) commentary thing only.

But, back to topic, which is personal jhana experience.

Kind Regards :-)
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:15 am

mirco wrote:Furthermore, I think, that we won't find those categories in the Suttas at all. I bet it's a (visuddhimagga) commentary thing only.
And if it is from the VM, that is a problem?
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.

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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:49 am

AN 9.36

The Suttas are permeated with talk of the jhanas, although the formulaic response each time they are mentioned is very similar.
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:21 am

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


I expect Ven. Sujīva's source would be the Visuddhimagga.

But in the Suttanta Piṭaka the five masteries (pañca vasiyo) are found in the Ñāṇakathā of the Paṭisambhidāmagga (Paṭi. i.99-100. English translation: Path of Discrimination 97-8).
    ...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,
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Dmytro » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:13 am

Hi Alan,

alan... wrote:what is your step by step process?


The best description is given by Buddha, for example, in Ganaka-Moggalana sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .horn.html
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:42 am

alan...
Some people, myself included, like Shaila Catherine's books about jhāna: Focused & Fearless and Wisdom Wide & Deep. The former was written before she studied with Pa Auk Sayadaw, and the latter afterwards (he asked her to write it). They are full of instructions on entering and sustaining jhāna, and Wisdom Wide & Deep combines Abhidhamma, Visuddhimagga and Sutta approaches with lots of scholaraly references.

I also like the Ajahn Lee/Ajahn Fuang/Ajhan Geoff (Thannisaro) approach which is very different but, IMO, extremely compatible with the above. Then again, I also like pulling my mind in several directions, so just consider that another caveat lector.

IMO, there is not one way to enter jhāna. IMO, if you have to ask a teacher of friend if it's jhāna, it's probably not.

Metta-bhavana is personally one of my favorite ways to cultivate the jhāna factors.

"INQUISITORS": Maybe it's helpful to talk about cultivating the jhāna factors instead of entering jhāna?
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby mirco » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:25 pm

Dhammanando wrote:I expect Ven. Sujīva's source would be the Visuddhimagga. But in the Suttanta Piṭaka the five masteries (pañca vasiyo) are found in the Ñāṇakathā of the Paṭisambhidāmagga (Paṭi. i.99-100. English translation: Path of Discrimination 97-8).

Patisambhida was personal between the Buddha and Sariputta. Maybe if your teacher asks you to learn this mastery it's o.k. because he knows you well and what suits you, but since the Buddha didn't generally emphasised it, why should we? I think, if it would have been a major point in His method, He would have talked about it more often and we would find it overall in the Suttas or at least in the main training instructions.

Kind regards :-)
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:32 pm

mirco wrote:Patisambhida was personal between the Buddha and Sariputta.
Your support for that statement?
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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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:40 pm

mirco wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:I expect Ven. Sujīva's source would be the Visuddhimagga. But in the Suttanta Piṭaka the five masteries (pañca vasiyo) are found in the Ñāṇakathā of the Paṭisambhidāmagga (Paṭi. i.99-100. English translation: Path of Discrimination 97-8).

Patisambhida was personal between the Buddha and Sariputta. Maybe if your teacher asks you to learn this mastery it's o.k. because he knows you well and what suits you, but since the Buddha didn't generally emphasised it, why should we? I think, if it would have been a major point in His method, He would have talked about it more often and we would find it overall in the Suttas or at least in the main training instructions.

Kind regards :-)


He did talk about mastering the Jhanas quite often, and certainly didn't want people to be amateurish and hap hazard with their mental cultivation!
AN4.25 as an example.
"He attains — whenever he wants, without strain, without difficulty — the four jhanas that are heightened mental states, pleasant abidings in the here-&-now."

However there are slightly different wordings depending upon the context. such as
DN15 wrote:"Now, when a monk attains these eight emancipations in forward order, in reverse order, in forward and reverse order, when he attains them and emerges from them wherever he wants, however he wants, and for as long as he wants, when through the ending of the mental fermentations he enters and remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release and discernment-release, having directly known it and realized it in the here and now, he is said to be a monk released in both ways. And as for another release in both ways, higher or more sublime than this, there is none."

MN53 wrote:"There is the case, Mahanama, where a disciple of the noble ones is consummate in virtue, guards the doors to his sense faculties, knows moderation in eating, is devoted to wakefulness, is endowed with seven qualities, and obtains at will — without trouble or difficulty — the four jhanas that constitute heightened awareness and a pleasant abiding in the here-&-now.

You will also find dialogues between two Arahants are not because one does not know the answer but for the benefit of others around at the time. but the Paṭisambhidāmagga is ascribed to Sariputta alone not the Buddha. this is quite easy to find out.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby mirco » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:
mirco wrote:Patisambhida was personal between the Buddha and Sariputta.
Your support for that statement?

D'oh! I was wrong with that. Wiki sais:

"Tradition ascribes the Patisambhidamagga to the Buddha's great disciple, Sariputta. [...] The Patisambhidamagga has been described as an "attempt to systematize the Abhidhamma" ..."

Well, if that's the case, I'm not interested to dig any deeper over there. But, that's my story.

Regards :-)
Last edited by mirco on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby mirco » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:53 am

Cittasanto wrote:He did talk about mastering the Jhanas quite often, and certainly didn't want people to be amateurish and hap hazard with their mental cultivation! AN4.25 as an example.
"He attains — whenever he wants, without strain, without difficulty — the four jhanas that are heightened mental states, pleasant abidings in the here-&-now."

However there are slightly different wordings depending upon the context. such as
DN15 wrote:"Now, when a monk attains these eight emancipations in forward order, in reverse order, in forward and reverse order, when he attains them and emerges from them wherever he wants, however he wants, and for as long as he wants, when through the ending of the mental fermentations he enters and remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release and discernment-release, having directly known it and realized it in the here and now, he is said to be a monk released in both ways. And as for another release in both ways, higher or more sublime than this, there is none."
MN53 wrote:"There is the case, Mahanama, where a disciple of the noble ones is consummate in virtue, guards the doors to his sense faculties, knows moderation in eating, is devoted to wakefulness, is endowed with seven qualities, and obtains at will — without trouble or difficulty — the four jhanas that constitute heightened awareness and a pleasant abiding in the here-&-now.
You will also find dialogues between two Arahants are not because one does not know the answer but for the benefit of others around at the time. but the Paṭisambhidāmagga is ascribed to Sariputta alone not the Buddha. this is quite easy to find out.

Thank you. That was helpful.

Regards :-)
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:09 pm

mirco wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
mirco wrote:Patisambhida was personal between the Buddha and Sariputta.
Your support for that statement?

D'oh! I was wrong with that. Wiki sais:

"Tradition ascribes the Patisambhidamagga to the Buddha's great disciple, Sariputta. [...] The Patisambhidamagga has been described as an "attempt to systematize the Abhidhamma" ..."

Well, if that's the case, I'm not interested to dig any deeper over there. But, that's my story.

Regards :-)
The Patisambhidamagga is a very useful discussion of the Dhamma in terms of actual practice. The English translation we have is, however, extremely difficult, making access to the Patisambhidamagga difficult. It deserves to be carefully translated and made available.
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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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby SarathW » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:00 am

I found some thing relate to your question in the following link. third chapter there is a paragraph labled "The entrance to Jhana"

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/printguna.pdf
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby danieLion » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:48 am

:stirthepot:
...and how does one exit jhana?
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:52 am

danieLion wrote::stirthepot:
...and how does one exit jhana?


If jhana is not stable, then one comes out of it as soon as one or more of the jhana factors subside.

If one's practice is stable then one only comes out of jhana after a period set by the meditator before he or she enters jhana.
kind regards,

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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:07 am

danieLion wrote::stirthepot:
...and how does one exit jhana?


If you read DN 9 together with MN 44, that might suggest the answer...
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Re: how do you enter jhana?

Postby alan... » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:19 am

danieLion wrote::stirthepot:
...and how does one exit jhana?


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