Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhana?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhana?

Postby suriyopama » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:40 am

This is a quote from Ajahn Brahm's book "The Jahnas"

A lay disciple once told me how he had "fluked" a deep Jhana while meditating at home. His wife thought he had died and sent for an ambulance. He was rushed to hospital in a wail of loud sirens. In the emergency room, there was no heartbeat registered on the E.C.G., nor brain activity to be seen by the E.E.G. So the doctor on put defibrillators on his chest to reactivate his heart. Even though he was being bounced up and down on the hospital bed through the force of the electric shocks, he didn't feel a thing! When he emerged from the Jhana in the emergency room, perfectly all right, he had no knowledge of how he had got there, nor of ambulances and sirens, nor of body-jerking defibrillators. All that long time that he was in Jhana, he was fully aware, but only of bliss. This is an example of what is meant by the five senses shutting down within the experience of Jhana.

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.htm

Although that is not the direct experience of Ajahn Brahm; it is a "lay disciple once told me...", Doesn't it sound scary, if it happens to you while you are not in a safe meditation retreat? :jawdrop:

Does anyone have ever had that kind of experiences of not waking up from Jhana?
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby frank k » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:22 pm

That's one of the greatest subject lines I've seen in a while to hook people's interest and click on your post to see what it's about. This thread certainly will get a lot of views and maybe some good and hopefully entertaining answers. :)
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby reflection » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:31 pm

Not if you want to be cremated. :tongue:

I tend not to put much weight on second hand stories such as this.
Last edited by reflection on Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:32 pm

Is there any chance of gaining deep jhāna if buried alive?
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby santa100 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:04 pm

In MN 50, there was that story of Ven. Sanjiva, who entered that last stage of meditation, the cessation of perception and feeling. The village folks thought he was dead and cremated him. The next morning he emerged from his meditation and went back to the village for alms!!

As for venerable Sa~njiiva, gone to the forest, to the root of a tree or to an empty house, would without difficulty attain the cessation of peceptions and feelings. It happended that one day venerable Sa~njiiva attained to the cessation of perceptions and feelings. Then the cowherds, cattle-herds, farmers and wayfarers saw venerable Sa~jiiva attained to the cessation of perceptions and feelings, at the root of a certain tree. Then it occurred to them, it is wonderful, and surprising this recluse has fulfilled time seated. Then they collected grass, sticks, cowdung and dirt on top of him and set fire to it, and went away. Then venerable Sa~njiiva got up from the cessation of perceptions and feelings at the end of that night. Cleaning up his bowl and robes and putting on robes and taking bowl and robes entered that village for alms. The cowherds, cattleherds, farmers and wayfarers seeing venerable Sa~njiiva going for alms were surprised and said, this recluse had fulfilled time seated and now he has got up from it, he is alive again. Thus the name sa~njiiva came to him. ( http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Maratajjaniya_Sutta )
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:13 pm

There is some health and safety guidance in SN41.6:

"In the case of a monk who has died & passed away, his bodily fabrication has ceased & subsided, verbal fabrication has ceased & subsided, mental fabrication has ceased & subsided, his life force is totally ended, his heat is dissipated, and his faculties are shut down. But in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his bodily fabrication has ceased & subsided, verbal fabrication has ceased & subsided, mental fabrication has ceased & subsided, his life force is not ended, his heat is not dissipated, and his faculties are bright & clear. This is the difference between a monk who has died & passed away and a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling."

:tongue:
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:23 pm

Maybe mortuary attendants in Buddhist countries could try ringing a meditation bell, then stand back and see what happens...
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby pilgrim » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:38 pm

I've heard of stories like these. Strictly from heresay, you can tell a person is in deep jhana and not dead if the area around his heart remains warm.
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby EmptyShadow » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:52 pm

I think you should worry more if you wake up during your autopsy and see your body chopped up. That would be probably unpleasant experience :thinking:

I think that in most countries funeral/cremation is performed couple days after death and it's very unlikely that spontaneous jhana will last more then several hours. I dont know about autopcy though :tongue:
But if you worry about this you can warn your family not to rush in conclusions too fast if you look dead. :D
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby suriyopama » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:19 am

Thank you for all your comments. The quotes of SN41.6 and MN 50 are very interesting.

I am not worried at all about that possibility. My problem is the contrary: chronic restlessness and agitation

I am curious to know what is the mechanism that pulls one away from Jhana after certain time, since Ajahn Brahm says that it is not a volunteer decision.

Sam Vara wrote:Maybe mortuary attendants in Buddhist countries could try ringing a meditation bell, then stand back and see what happens...


It may not work above first Jhana. Quoting Ajahn Brahm from the same book:

Another strange quality that distinguishes Jhana from all other experiences is that within Jhana all the five senses are totally shut down. One cannot see, one cannot hear, one cannot smell, taste nor feel touch. One cannot hear the sound of the birds, nor a person coughing. Even if there were a thunderclap nearby, it wouldn't be heard in a Jhana. If someone tapped one on the shoulder, or picked one up and let one down, in Jhana one cannot know this. The mind in Jhana is so completely cut off from these five senses that they cannot break in.*

* Although sound can disturb the first Jhana, the fact is that when one perceives the sound, one is no longer in Jhana.


According to that, I understand that if you stop meditating by hearing a bell, then it was not deep Jhana.
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:51 am

Sam Vara wrote:Maybe mortuary attendants in Buddhist countries could try ringing a meditation bell, then stand back and see what happens...


:clap:

Very Pavlovian solution... ;)
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby santa100 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:53 pm

suriyopama wrote:I am curious to know what is the mechanism that pulls one away from Jhana after certain time, since Ajahn Brahm says that it is not a volunteer decision


From Ven. Bodhi's footnote to the MN, it seems like when one's been able to get to the level of cessation of perception and feeling, one's able to register in their mind a set length of time to be in that state, and then emerge out of it, sort of like setting an internal alarm clock...

Cessation can be attained only by a non-returner or an arahant with mastery over the eight jhānic attainments. The meditator enters each attainment in turn, emerges from it, and contemplates it with insight as impermanent, suffering, and not self. After completing this procedure through the base of nothingness, he attends to certain preliminary duties, and then determines to be without mind for a particular length of time. He then briefly enters the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, after which mind and mental functions utterly cease. Thus his determination, backed by his previous accomplishments and preparations, leads him into the attainment of cessation. See Vsm XXIII, 32–43.
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby suriyopama » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:47 am

Thank you very much for the clarification, santa100.
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby gavesako » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:34 pm

Now the scientists claim to have discovered a "consciousness meter" to measure whether you are still in there or not:

http://www.livescience.com/38890-consci ... ments.html

:shock:
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby mirco » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:23 pm

gavesako wrote:Now the scientists claim to have discovered a "consciousness meter" to measure whether you are still in there or not:
http://www.livescience.com/38890-consci ... ments.html
:shock:

Won't take long and you'll get that as a google glass extension.
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby Virgo » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:03 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Is there any chance of gaining deep jhāna if buried alive?

lol Bhante.
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby Zimesky » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:36 pm

According to that, I understand that if you stop meditating by hearing a bell, then it was not deep Jhana.


Maybe it's a special esoteric bell, or somethin. I have no idea, I haven't attained the state, or met anyone who has to confirm anything. I also heard it's not good to touch anyone in Jhana. Esoteric Buddhism and Taoism believes that a lot of energy flows through your body while in Jhana, it could be detrimental to the natural flow of the chi. That's just random stuff I read somewhere, :reading: I really have no clue, hah.

I did hear a neat story about 2 Monks that went to meditate in a forest, under some trees.

Two Monks traveled to a forest to meditate, they then entered into deep Dhyana/Jhana meditation that lasted for many years. During that time the trees grew around and over the monks, hiding them away. One day a woodsman cut down one of the trees and found it to be not only hollow, but had a monk sitting silently inside. The Monk looked up at the woodsman and took a look around, trying to find his brother and asked "Did you happen to cut down another tree that had my friend inside?" The stunned woodsman said he hadn't, and the Monk thanked him and climbed out of the tree and wandered off into the forest.
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Re: Is there a risk of being buried alive while in Deep Jhan

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:41 am

gavesako wrote:Now the scientists claim to have discovered a "consciousness meter" to measure whether you are still in there or not:


I would like to know. :tongue:
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