would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
alan...
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would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:22 am

is this possible? assuming no other knowledge of meditation could one read every sutta on jhana and perhaps on meditation in general and end up with the know how to enter jhana?

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polarbear101
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby polarbear101 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:24 am

I think if you read the anapanasati sutta and a bunch of suttas on jhana then all you need to do after that is be virtuous and go find a secluded place to meditate and eventually you'll enter into jhana.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:37 am

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


nibbuti
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby nibbuti » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:43 am


alan...
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:56 am

thanks all. that's what i was thinking. glad everyone agrees.

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marc108
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby marc108 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:36 am

i think its possible, especially to someone gifted. Bhante G learned to meditate from the Suttas.
"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."

Goob
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Goob » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:03 pm

Like most of the suttas I feel that it is a collection of a number of important key points which is used mostly for memorization and that it takes a community of experienced practitioners to elaborate upon on it in order for it to be understood properly. Kinda like a rough sketch of a road map which makes sense once someone learned who has been through the terrain can explain the intricacies and fill in the details.

alan...
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:42 pm


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Jerrod Lopes
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:42 pm

In my experience, you don't even have to have ever heard of Buddhism or meditation to eventually enter into jhana. Suttas and doctrines are not required whatsoever. Then of course one wouldn't know to call it jhana, but why care to put a name to it anyway? I wish I had never been told about jhanas. :)

Goob
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Goob » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:45 pm

Last edited by Goob on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dmytro
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Dmytro » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:45 pm



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Jerrod Lopes
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:33 am


Goob
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Goob » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:35 am


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Jerrod Lopes
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:59 pm

Richard,

Suffice it to say that I know someone. I don't think it necessary for anyone to know who exactly in name. With respect and a warm tone I say it is just going to be a matter of that you take me at my word or you don't. As a 5 Preceptor, I do my best never to lie, among other things, if that is any reassurance to you. I am sorry if this isn't satisfactory. Be well. :)

PS When I said in the previous post I made that "It is much easier to get into jhana states when one isn't aware of their existence" the word their was meant to convey jhanas. So I am saying that it is easier to enter and dwell in the jhanas without knowledge of the existence of jhanas or any such state to begin with. The desire for the bliss components or to say one has experienced this or that are a few conditions that may very well preclude one from entering these states to begin with. I hope that is more clear. Sorry for any confusion.

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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Goob » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:08 pm


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Jerrod Lopes
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:47 am

Richard,

The person that experienced this was interested in square breathing techniques and dwelling on thoughts of gratitude at the suggestion of a therapist he was seeing at the time as a way to deal with some PTSD due to the terror attacks in the US on 09-11-01. He kept at the breathing practice to relieve stress. Eventually he developed a small interest in spirituality to also help deal with his problem. He started experiencing some interesting and sometimes even startling things so he looked to the meditation experts, namely Buddhists for advice. One of his first few posts on a "Buddhist" forum was to ask what these strange meditation sessions and the resultant effects were all about. The near unanimous replies were the first he had ever known of the word jhana. Up until then, meditation was just meditation to him... a way to relax and relieve stress through concentrated effort on breathing is all he thought of it.

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tiltbillings
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:15 am


SarathW
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:15 am

Many people experience mind body separation (Nama rupa Paricheda Nana) without realising that they are experiencing a type of meditative experience.
As a young child I experience this many times. They last only for few seconds. I thought that I was going mad and complained to my mother.
My niece also experienced the same and they take her to the doctors and the doctors said that there is nothing wrong with her.
I remember Mrs. Robert Holmes A Court talking about the same experience when she lost her husband Mr.H.A.Court (once Australia's richest man).
Sports people such as Tiger Wood also may have some level of onepointedness.

Onepointedness is a universal mental faculty and we all possess it that is why we all can realise Nirvana.

I know about this only now, as I have studied it and have a better undestandigng of it.

Meditation was there before Buddha’s time.

Please read attached for more info.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/printguna.pdf

I may be wrong, if please correct me.

PS: As a child I was very much in to Buddha's teaching.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:17 am

Hey Tilt
You are reading my mind! see the time. :twothumbsup:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

mynameisadahn
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Re: would learning jhana solely from sutta be possible?

Postby mynameisadahn » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:16 pm

To answer the OP's question directly. Yes.

You can learn directly from the suttas. My example would be Ayya Khema. If you are interested in more explicit discussion about the jhanas then I would suggest googling her name (she was a buddhist nun, originally from germany, who passed away several years ago). As I understand, she learned jhanas from the suttas herself, before she was later told she did it correctly (or something like that). Many of her talks can be found online in audio file form. She appears to have done what you are interested in doing, so she would seem like a good source.

Personally, I really like her dhamma talks and find them very helpful. Learning about the jhanas directly may not be really emphasized by many of the posters in this forum, though, so perhaps Ayya Khema's approach is a bit different and more focused on teaching the jhanas in advance, and trying in some way to get into them, before the experiences actually happen.

To the OP, also, I would suggest that this forum -- while a great forum -- isn't going to be focused on explicitly discussing different jhanas and teachings of how to get into them. (IME). I have seen you post at least one other question about the jhanas. If you are taking a somewhat different approach and wanting to learn more explicitly about the absorptions, you may want to branch out some in your research.

This isn't disparaging anyone here. I am just answering the OP, who asked a very reasonable question, even if some people here think other approaches are better.


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