SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.
lotus flower
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SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby lotus flower » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:05 am

Hello dear forum members!

I have some questions about the second jhana:
- is this the only technique for enter the second jhana?:
i focus the mind on delight. i don't focus on other things. only focus the mind on delight. is it the only second jhana technique? i heard about this technique from my teacher.

- i think it is very hard. what must I do with the thoughts??
i have got a lot of thoughts when i try the second jhana. but sometimes i don't thinking 1 minute, and focus the mind to delight one minute. but it is sometimes.
sometimes i have hours when i can't do 1 minute without thoughts.
i usually try the jhana on every day 2 or 3 hours, but sometimes 0 hour, sometimes 4 hours.
this meditation is very hard for me. focus the mind on breathing is easier than focus the mind to delight. (for me breathing meditations are easier)

- i often sleeping into this meditation and don't know why?
:shrug:
thank you for the replies!
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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby lojong1 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:51 pm

Sounds like you are a long way from mastering the first jhana?

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby lotus flower » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:39 pm

lojong1 wrote:Sounds like you are a long way from mastering the first jhana?


Hello Lojong. i think i can do very good first jhana meditations. my master said my first jhana is good and i can try the second. it was more than 2 months ago.
the first jhana isn't hard to me. that was my main meditation for 2 or 3 months.
but i sometimes do the first jhana in the present, because i enter to 2th jhana from the first jhana or from samatha. but don't always enter from the first jhana.
when the first jhana was my main meditation was it short time? (2 or 3months.) what do you think?
I can do first jhana 15 or 20 minutes. without get lost in thoughts. i think it is very good and maybe i complited the first jhana.
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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:37 pm

Although I also think you are not in the first jhana, my advice would be: Before focusing on the joy/happiness/delight, thoughts have to be gone for a long time otherwise the happiness won't be stable enough.

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby lotus flower » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:07 pm

reflection wrote:Although I also think you are not in the first jhana


why do you think it? first jhana isn't perfect for me? why? i can do first jhana meditation 15 or 20 minutes without get lost in thoughts.
that was my main meditation to 2 or 3 months.

my teacher said it is enough to me and i can try the second jhana. but what happen if he hasn't true......? i think maybe i need longest time for first jhana. :?:

reflection wrote:thoughts have to be gone for a long time


how?
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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby Nyana » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:50 pm

lotus flower wrote:why do you think it? first jhana isn't perfect for me? why? i can do first jhana meditation 15 or 20 minutes without get lost in thoughts.
that was my main meditation to 2 or 3 months.

Different people have different ideas about jhāna. Some people will think the first jhāna is a deeper samādhi than what is implied by your posts above. See the following for more information on different interpretations and approaches:

Interpretations of the Jhānas by Leigh Brasington.

The Experience of Samādhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation by Richard Shankman.

lotus flower wrote:my teacher said it is enough to me and i can try the second jhana. but what happen if he hasn't true......? i think maybe i need longest time for first jhana.

I think consistency in practice is one of the most important factors for developing samādhi. If you find your teacher's approach to be helpful for abandoning the hindrances and developing mental composure then that's a probably a good approach for you at this time. It might be more useful to ask your teacher these questions.

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby Martin Po » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:54 pm

Jhana is just a tool, this tool can become an object of suffering. (MN14)

When some one practice jhana, by developement his mind become pure, and he become aware of gross states of mind, and take decision to abandon it. When he continue his purification, he become aware of more gross states of mind, and take decision to abandon it. You should practice your sammasamadhi by this way.

Samadhi is based upon sila.
Purification of virtue, then purification of mind, then purification of view. (MN24)

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:45 pm

lotus flower wrote:
reflection wrote:Although I also think you are not in the first jhana


why do you think it? first jhana isn't perfect for me? why? i can do first jhana meditation 15 or 20 minutes without get lost in thoughts.
that was my main meditation to 2 or 3 months.

my teacher said it is enough to me and i can try the second jhana. but what happen if he hasn't true......? i think maybe i need longest time for first jhana. :?:

reflection wrote:thoughts have to be gone for a long time


how?

For the "how" question I can say just stay with the breath longer until the mind is no longer interested in thinking.

I agree with what's said by Nyana. It may be best to go to your teacher with your questions. If his advice isn't satisfying for you I might in the future explain my point of view a bit further on jhana. If that's ok with you. I just don't want to confuse you unnecessarily.


:anjali:

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby manas » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:43 am

lotus flower wrote:Hello dear forum members!

I have some questions about the second jhana:
...


Hi lotus flower

how refreshing it is to see some discussion about this.

I have not managed to properly sustain even the first jhana as yet, but for what it's worth, I find the sutta 'To Tapussa' very informative; it sheds some light on how we are to surmount first sensuality (to enter into the first jhana), then when this has been mastered, vitakka-vicara (to enter into second jhana), and so on:

"So it is, Ananda. So it is. Even I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened Bodhisatta, thought: 'Renunciation is good. Seclusion is good.' But my heart didn't leap up at renunciation, didn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace. The thought occurred to me: 'What is the cause, what is the reason, why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace?' Then the thought occurred to me: 'I haven't seen the drawback of sensual pleasures; I haven't pursued [that theme]. I haven't understood the reward of renunciation; I haven't familiarized myself with it. That's why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace.'

[1] "Then the thought occurred to me: 'If, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I were to pursue that theme; and if, having understood the reward of renunciation, I were to familiarize myself with it, there's the possibility that my heart would leap up at renunciation, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.'

"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace. Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.

"As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality. That was an affliction for me. Just as pain arises as an affliction for a healthy person, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality that beset me was an affliction for me.

[2] "The thought occurred to me: 'What if, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, I were to enter & remain in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.' But my heart didn't leap up at being without directed thought, didn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace. The thought occurred to me: 'What is the cause, what is the reason, why my heart doesn't leap up at being without directed thought, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace?' Then the thought occurred to me: 'I haven't seen the drawback of directed thought; I haven't pursued that theme. I haven't understood the reward of being without directed thought; I haven't familiarized myself with it. That's why my heart doesn't leap up at being without directed thought, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace.'

"Then the thought occurred to me: 'If, having seen the drawback of directed thought, I were to pursue that theme; and if, having understood the reward of being without directed thought, I were to familiarize myself with it, there's the possibility that my heart would leap up at being without directed thought, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.'

"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of directed thought, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of being without directed thought, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at being without directed thought, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.
With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, I entered & remained in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.


The pleasure of the first jhana seems to flow from the 'seclusion, aloneness' with just one object (eg this body and it's breathing process), with the mind temporarily cleansed of sensual lust, and the other hindrances. Maintaining this seclusion seems to involve a certain kind of thinking, a direction of mental energy again and again to the object (and simultaneously, unconcerned with the rest of the Universe 8-) , aware only of the particular inbreath or outbreath one is taking at this moment, with the body as a whole in this moment). So it would seem to me that we might end up getting attached to that kind of pleasure, and just as it was hard to abandon sensuality (at least for the duration of a sitting) to enter into first jhana, it is now hard to 'let go' of vitakka-vicara, due to one having 'learned' the first jhana and how it works, being able to enter into and sustain it reliably, and savouring it regularly. One might get a bit too cozy with it, and not want to let go.

Once again, I've not gotten this far myself, but from this sutta I take it that you have to see a drawback in vitakka-vicara. (See the part highlighted in blue above). I have to assume that one ought not to let go of it unless one's first jhana is already very stable, or one would not obtain the second, and even lose the first as a result (see 'Gavi Sutta, 'The Cow' http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )

Remember though: jhana is a good state, but it is still fabricated, it has a beginning and an end, and so use it for what it is good for (gaining insight). Of course there's nothing harmful about savouring it, but I think we ought to remember that it (samma samadhi) is just one limb of the Noble Path, and we need all eight limbs to reach the ending of all stress. Remember that in your travels.

The entire sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

with metta,
manas :anjali:
Last edited by manas on Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby pegembara » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:26 am

See this: 1st jhana by Ayya Khema

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X4o1Q2QP94
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby lotus flower » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:09 pm

manas wrote:
lotus flower wrote:Hello dear forum members!

I have some questions about the second jhana:
...


Hi lotus flower

how refreshing it is to see some discussion about this.

I have not managed to properly sustain even the first jhana as yet, but for what it's worth, I find the sutta 'To Tapussa' very informative; it sheds some light on how we are to surmount first sensuality (to enter into the first jhana), then when this has been mastered, vitakka-vicara (to enter into second jhana), and so on:

"So it is, Ananda. So it is. Even I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened Bodhisatta, thought: 'Renunciation is good. Seclusion is good.' But my heart didn't leap up at renunciation, didn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace. The thought occurred to me: 'What is the cause, what is the reason, why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace?' Then the thought occurred to me: 'I haven't seen the drawback of sensual pleasures; I haven't pursued [that theme]. I haven't understood the reward of renunciation; I haven't familiarized myself with it. That's why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace.'

[1] "Then the thought occurred to me: 'If, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I were to pursue that theme; and if, having understood the reward of renunciation, I were to familiarize myself with it, there's the possibility that my heart would leap up at renunciation, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.'

"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace. Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.

"As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality. That was an affliction for me. Just as pain arises as an affliction for a healthy person, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality that beset me was an affliction for me.

[2] "The thought occurred to me: 'What if, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, I were to enter & remain in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.' But my heart didn't leap up at being without directed thought, didn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace. The thought occurred to me: 'What is the cause, what is the reason, why my heart doesn't leap up at being without directed thought, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace?' Then the thought occurred to me: 'I haven't seen the drawback of directed thought; I haven't pursued that theme. I haven't understood the reward of being without directed thought; I haven't familiarized myself with it. That's why my heart doesn't leap up at being without directed thought, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace.'

"Then the thought occurred to me: 'If, having seen the drawback of directed thought, I were to pursue that theme; and if, having understood the reward of being without directed thought, I were to familiarize myself with it, there's the possibility that my heart would leap up at being without directed thought, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.'

"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of directed thought, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of being without directed thought, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at being without directed thought, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.
With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, I entered & remained in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.


The pleasure of the first jhana seems to flow from the 'seclusion, aloneness' with just one object (eg this body and it's breathing process), with the mind temporarily cleansed of sensual lust, and the other hindrances. Maintaining this seclusion seems to involve a certain kind of thinking, a direction of mental energy again and again to the object (and simultaneously, unconcerned with the rest of the Universe 8-) , aware only of the particular inbreath or outbreath one is taking at this moment, with the body as a whole in this moment). So it would seem to me that we might end up getting attached to that kind of pleasure, and just as it was hard to abandon sensuality (at least for the duration of a sitting) to enter into first jhana, it is now hard to 'let go' of vitakka-vicara, due to one having 'learned' the first jhana and how it works, being able to enter into and sustain it reliably, and savouring it regularly. One might get a bit too cozy with it, and not want to let go.

Once again, I've not gotten this far myself, but from this sutta I take it that you have to see a drawback in vitakka-vicara. (See the part highlighted in blue above). I have to assume that one ought not to let go of it unless one's first jhana is already very stable, or one would not obtain the second, and even lose the first as a result (see 'Gavi Sutta, 'The Cow' http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )

Remember though: jhana is a good state, but it is still fabricated, it has a beginning and an end, and so use it for what it is good for (gaining insight). Of course there's nothing harmful about savouring it, but I think we ought to remember that it (samma samadhi) is just one limb of the Noble Path, and we need all eight limbs to reach the ending of all stress. Remember that in your travels.

The entire sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

with metta,
manas :anjali:


Hello Manas,
thank you for the suttas and your reply. I satisfied with your answers. you have a lot of knowledge i think.
i think you have got the truth about you wrote about vitakka-vicara.
and you wrote "very stable". but how is the first jhana very stable? i NEVER lost in thoughts in the first jhana meditation?
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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby manas » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:49 am

lotus flower wrote:Hello Manas,
thank you for the suttas and your reply. I satisfied with your answers. you have a lot of knowledge i think.
i think you have got the truth about you wrote about vitakka-vicara.
and you wrote "very stable". but how is the first jhana very stable? i NEVER lost in thoughts in the first jhana meditation?


Thanks for your kind words, but despite having read and thought about these issues a bit, and having had a few experiences that seem to confirm what the suttas say about the first jhana, I don't think I should say any more, because until I've learned how to do what you already can - actually remain in the first jhana, rather than drift in and out of it - I'm not the right person to be advising you. As you have a teacher, you could direct further questions to him / her. But if you feel you need extra advice, I recommend the writings and talks of Thanissaro Bhikkhu very highly regarding jhana practice. You can even call him on the phone to ask questions, so I've heard.

metta
manas :anjali:

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby SarathW » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:39 am

Hi Manas
:goodpost:

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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby lotus flower » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:43 am

manas wrote:
Thanks for your kind words, but despite having read and thought about these issues a bit, and having had a few experiences that seem to confirm what the suttas say about the first jhana, I don't think I should say any more, because until I've learned how to do what you already can - actually remain in the first jhana, rather than drift in and out of it - I'm not the right person to be advising you. As you have a teacher, you could direct further questions to him / her. But if you feel you need extra advice, I recommend the writings and talks of Thanissaro Bhikkhu very highly regarding jhana practice. You can even call him on the phone to ask questions, so I've heard.

metta
manas :anjali:


i was thinking about your words. i think my samadhi isn't very stable, or isn't very deep. and maybe it the reason why i can't do good second jhana meditations.
other reason can't live. if anybody can't go to next level, usually the reason is her/him samadhi isn't very stable or very depp. i must building deeper and stabler samadhi.

metta too :)
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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby lotus flower » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:48 am

lotus flower wrote:
manas wrote:
Thanks for your kind words, but despite having read and thought about these issues a bit, and having had a few experiences that seem to confirm what the suttas say about the first jhana, I don't think I should say any more, because until I've learned how to do what you already can - actually remain in the first jhana, rather than drift in and out of it - I'm not the right person to be advising you. As you have a teacher, you could direct further questions to him / her. But if you feel you need extra advice, I recommend the writings and talks of Thanissaro Bhikkhu very highly regarding jhana practice. You can even call him on the phone to ask questions, so I've heard.

metta
manas :anjali:


i was thinking about your words. i think my samadhi isn't very stable, or isn't very deep. and maybe it is the reason why i can't do good second jhana meditations.

other reason can't live. if anybody can't go to next level, usually the reason is her/him samadhi isn't very stable or very depp. i must build deeper and stabler samadhi.

:thanks: :thanks:
metta too :)

all good wishes:)
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Re: SECOND JHANA - i have some questions about it

Postby manas » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:48 am

A clarification

In the course of this interesting discussion we've all had here, I wrote that "thus far I have only managed to drift in and out of the first (jhana)". I now believe that the truth of the matter is even more humble than that - I don't think I have entered into the first jhana at all, at least not in this current lifetime. I now think I was overestimating (not intentionally).

I bring it up in this topic, because it was in this topic that I made that mistaken claim. I want to clarify this in the same 'place' in which the error occurred.

with metta
manas :anjali:


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