teknix wrote:Ok, let me see if I am understanding this correctly, the first Jhana would be bliss, and sinking that energy into the heart, to love (metta) would be the second jhana, then letting go of that sensation would bring you to the third jhana? I think the third jhana would be more akin to inner-fire? I say that because the fire was hidden beneath the heart from my experience. It seems like the descriptions of jhana are describing the energy body, from top down. The edge of the void being on the way to the lower dan tien, or the navel chakra.
I am actually most familiar with Taoist internal alchemy such as MCO and Kundalini. I use Buddhism for teachings on anatta and metta, and I love reading the koans.
Hmm, although Venerable Ayya Khema is teaching standard buddhist jhana, Virgo's sugestion will be helpful here. Let's look at how the first four levels of concentration are described, in short, in the sriptures:1st jhana
: The Blessed One said: "Now what, monks, is five-factored noble right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal.2nd jhana
: (...) Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure.
: (...) And furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture4th jhana
: (...) And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure and stress — as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress — he enters and remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness.
This is the standard description, which Ayya Khema follows. I believe the metta she was describing there is a feeling that arises naturaly with these states. But metta is not the goal of jhana, nor the focus of the attention. Things seem to be more nuanced in actual practice, so that's what she's refering to.
By the way, it seems like your description matches the first jhana.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"