The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

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LonesomeYogurt
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The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:32 am

I've heard a few people make claims that enlightenment is no longer possible in this day and age, and just today I read in another discussion here someone claiming that the higher Jhanas (above the first) were no longer available either. I was wondering if there is anything to back this claim up, where the idea comes from, and how it is justified? I don't mean to attack those who hold these beliefs, but I'm just curious as to whether or not they have a reasonable basis in the Suttas?
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


Goob
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby Goob » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:11 am

How would these people know if other people in other continents aren't accessing higher states of meditation?

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cooran
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:18 am

Hello LY,

There are previous discussions around the Dhamma Ending Age and what disappears at that point. Here is one of the threads:

Dhamma-ending age
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2733

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

detrop
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby detrop » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:05 pm


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robertk
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby robertk » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:07 pm


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Alex123
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby Alex123 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:34 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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m0rl0ck
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:21 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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pilgrim
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby pilgrim » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:32 pm


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Kamran
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby Kamran » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:07 pm

You may be interested in the second part of Bronkhorst's Absorbtion: the Psychology of the Buddha.

"This study is an experiment, or rather, it takes you on a voyage of discovery. It begins with a
map that shows the way to a treasure. It follows the map faithfully, and exhibits the treasure
that it finds.

This study is not about a real map, nor is it about a physical treasure. It starts with the
working hypothesis that certain central claims of the early Buddhist texts are true and tries to
determine what implications this has for psychological theory."

Absorption PDF

http://ebookbrowse.com/absorption-bronk ... d125112604
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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robertk
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby robertk » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:19 pm


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daverupa
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby daverupa » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:21 pm


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Anagarika
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby Anagarika » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:41 pm


pulga
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby pulga » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:48 pm

The Buddha may have recognized the Dionysian element in women, but being progressive and compassionate in his outlook he saw the need for inclusiveness in any society, including the Sangha. The concept of the Dionysian and the Apollonian lends itself to some interesting speculations. Camille Paglia's theory is particularly entertaining, and yet to me it does seem to have some merit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonian ... .27s_usage

perkele
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby perkele » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:11 am

Mmmh..., this thread has gone quite a bit :offtopic:, hasn't it?

Okay, so what I can say on the topic:
I am quite confident that there are people who attain all kinds of jhanas today, and, much more importantly, that there are living sotapannas, sakadagamis, anagamis and arahants on our planet.
I find it quite astounding especially how the former point can be doubted so much, and on what basis?
If you just look at the Pa Auk system for example and people who follow that, it all seems quite solid, the people seem to reach jhana etc. And even if one doubts that, still, on what basis do people make such claims as "This cannot be reached anymore today"?
As for sotapanna and more, the scriptural basis for this has been pointed out here, and I have been confused by that for quite some time, too. It still confuses me how such a thing can be in the Tipitaka, especially considering what purpose it should serve. I have no idea, and I want to leave it at that. I just can say I have faith that this and that person in this day and age has reached such a stage.

In the end, it's all a matter of faith and doubt. Be it faith or doubt in the absolute validity of every text in the scriptures, or in this and that person's attainments, or one's own experience. I think there's not too much to be gained by arguing back and forth.
But still for this one point I would like to see the argument behind it: Where does the idea come from that jhanas cannot be reached anymore? Does it have to do with the idea that jhanas are part and parcel of stages of awakening, maybe even that only a sotapanna or higher could (and must be able to?) reach jhana?

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Cittasanto
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:53 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

perkele
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby perkele » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:56 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:31 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

perkele
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:37 pm

Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby perkele » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:08 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:48 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

perkele
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:37 pm

Re: The possibility of Jhana and enlightenment

Postby perkele » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:14 am



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