YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

the first jhana and thinking. - Dhamma Wheel

the first jhana and thinking.

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
alan...
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

the first jhana and thinking.

Postby alan... » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:46 pm

"enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation."

many teachers teach that the first jhana is full absorption with one pointedness of mind and no thought. but this quote as well as specific talks by the buddha on someone thinking while in the first jhana make it seem otherwise.

anyone know about the original pali? is there a debate about translation here? because if not then the suttas directly say there is thinking in the first jhana and that further that thought is pointed to by the notation that there is no more thought in the second jhana:

"With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation "

-"Magga-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Path" (SN 45.8), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 1 July 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html . Retrieved on 2 February 2013.

so i understand the second jhana better than the first if you think in the first! non thought and just absorption in bliss and mind makes sense but how are we also thinking in this state? help?

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby daverupa » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:49 pm

There is a difference of opinion about whether vitakka-vicara has a unique meaning in the context of first jhana, or a common meaning.

alan...
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby alan... » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:01 pm


User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 2873
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Mr Man » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:11 pm

Alan this article "Why vitakka doesn’t mean ‘thinking’ in jhana" may be of interest
Last edited by Mr Man on Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2637
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:32 pm

The jhana debate. Well this, to me, is the main division in theravada thought. It's important to have a correct understanding of this subject in order to not waste time pursuing what is hard to attain but, surprisingly, not as useful as the jhanas described in the suttas. You can check out these two debates which were the best ones done in this forum regarding this issue. To me, the article by Nana decides this question. You will have to decide for yourself. Anyway, believe me when I say that you will gain much by reading these (long) topics:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=5761#p89675

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=4597
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 3633
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby SDC » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:32 pm

According to Venerable Punnaji, the only difference between vitakka-vicāra in the first jhāna and vitakka-vicāra in a normal state, is that in the first jhāna, while one is still able to think analytically, there can only be good (wholesome) thoughts, as opposed to normal circumstances when both wholesome and unwholesome thoughts can arise.

User avatar
IanAnd
Posts: 403
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby IanAnd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:40 am

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Sylvester » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:09 am


alan...
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby alan... » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:33 am


alan...
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby alan... » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:53 am

does anyone know of any suttas where the buddha talks about someone using the first jhana in ways that definitely involve thought that cannot be defined as just sustained and directed? i'm positive i've read one.

ah here it is:

"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,[2] 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."

MN 111*.

here is venerable thanissaro's note for this section: "Notice that, with each of the previous levels of attainment, Sariputta was able to ferret out the various mental qualities arising there while he was still in the attainment. With this attainment and the following one, however, he was not able to analyze the mental qualities present and absent there until after he had left the attainment. "

it sounds like he was in jhana but definitely still thinking, not fully absorbed in his meditation object. the amount of activity going on in this sutta does not sound like full on absorption that one must leave in order to practice insight. i don't see any room for defining or interpreting this as such either. so is it possible that the teachers teaching full absorption with no thinking in the first jhana are leading students right on past the first and into the second without realizing it? heck according to this sutta you can think in jhana up til the dimension of nothingness!

*"Anupada Sutta: One After Another" (MN 111), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 1 December 2012, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html . Retrieved on 2 February 2013.

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Sylvester » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:35 am

In time, alan, you will come to appreciate the idiosyncracies of Ven T's translations. His "ferreted" stands out in his pantheon of neologisms...

Anyway, MN 111 has been discussed here - viewtopic.php?f=44&t=15480&start=0

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Nyana » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:28 am


User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2637
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:45 pm

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Sylvester » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:21 pm


User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2637
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:59 pm

I didn't understand a word of the argument of locative/temporal. If you want to make a convincing argument you have to explain yourself to the majority of us, including the OP, who don't know pali. Arguing the way you do, which is your strategy in all these jhana debates, puts you in a position that no one can challenge you unless they realy know pali. And even then the pali ignorants, such as myself, will not be able to make an informed choice. In other words, with this strategy you never lose. So I'll consider your argument null, for now.

Regarding the thought during that state (neither perception nor non-perception), I think we have to distinguish the coarseness of thoughts involved in different levels of jhana. Of course that during access concentration thoughts arise, but they are subtler than the thoughts in normal mind. And what to say of the "thoughts" that venerable Sariputa had, described in MN111? Certainly they are a form of thinking, but not on the same level as the normal everyday thoughts. The same can be extrapolated to the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. Thinking in terms of black and white is a sure way to miss some of the message of the Buddha. For example: can metta be felt in 4th jhana? If you think in black and white, it can't, but in the suttas the Buddha advises to pursue metta to the 4th jhana. Meditation is a nuanced set of experiences, so you can only put a label on it to a certain point.

To sum it up, yes, the sutta seems to be pointing that a thought can occur during 8th jhana and the meditator can still mantain that state. It says that the thought occurs to him as he was in 8th jhana and then it says that if he were to think then he would get out of that atainment. So how can he think, remain in the atainment and then, only if he thinks he would get out of the atainment? Wouldn't he automaticaly get out of the atainment once the thought arose in him? Surely it must be due to differences in subtleness of thoughts.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby daverupa » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:40 pm

Perhaps I am forgetful, but while much relies on it, DN 9 does seem to be something of an outlier. Since it stitches the four jhanas to the immaterial attainments - a late maneuver - I am wary of letting very much hinge on it. I think it was probably the result of an absorptive teaching style employed by the Digha reciters with brahmin discussants, which became habitual only towards the end of the period of closure undergone by the various reciter traditions.

:shrug:

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Sylvester » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:04 am


Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Sylvester » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:20 am


User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2637
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:03 am

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: the first jhana and thinking.

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:09 am

Greetings Alan, all,

For anyone interested, here's a previous discussion closely related to this topic...

Vitakka and Vicara in Jhana practice
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=10355

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


Return to “Samatha Bhāvana”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine