Studying as a method of jhana?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Individual
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Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby Individual » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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appicchato
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby appicchato » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:01 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:11 am

Greetings Individual,

I doubt intense study would lead to jhana because there's still "too much going on" - even though the focus of what you're paying attention to has narrowed (it now excludes video games, Buddhism, family etc.) there's still a lot of perception, conceptualisation and thinking going on.

The feeling you feel afterwards (ignoring the caffeine) may relate to the fact you've narrowed your focus as mentioned above, and therefore to some degree stabilised your mind. Because of the narrow focus, which is now devoid of clinging and craving (because its former object of attention has been done, finished, let go of), you're experiencing calmness in the absence of craving and clinging. In time however this wears off as our habitual tendencies resume their prominence and that modicum of concentration dissipates.

You said, "It is this occasional feeling from time to time that supports my faith in the total elimination of suffering". I think that is a good observation and a good way to look at it.

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

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Ben
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:08 am

Hi Individual

I seem to remember answering the same question from you not so long ago.
My view is that what you are experiencing is not even close to jhana. For samadhi to develop you need to have your mind focused on a singular object for sustained periods of time. When you are studying, you are reading and comprehending different words, different ideas one after the other, so the object is continually changing. While you might be experiencing a range of unusual sensations, don't confuse them, through auto-suggestion, with jhana.
The extract from Nyanaponika Thera's dictionary, kindly posted by Venerable, should give you a clear idea of what Jhana is. And on a personal note - its a lot harder to set up the right conditions and 'achieve' than what some people believe.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

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Moggalana
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby Moggalana » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:57 am

You are most likely experiencing .
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

Individual
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby Individual » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:06 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


Moggalana
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby Moggalana » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:11 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

PeterB
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:10 pm

I wonder whether this is similar to what athletes call being" in the zone" ? Where things flow with only a minimum of self referencing ?

Moggalana
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby Moggalana » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:17 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

PeterB
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby PeterB » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:23 am

I wonder whether the practice of " Sutta Copying " would also come into this catagory. Where people sit formally to copy Sutta's with pen and ink, as mindfully and neatly as they can.

Moggalana
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Re: Studying as a method of jhana?

Postby Moggalana » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:40 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.


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