piti-sukkha for jhana

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
shazan
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piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby shazan » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:10 am

Hi,

I have been meditating for 6-8 months now for 45-60 minutes twice a day with good mindfullness. I can stay without any hindering thought for around 10 minutes, and when thoughts come I am usually able to suppress them pretty easily by "looking at them". My teachings come from Attention revolution by Alan wallace (Dzogchen influence) and Mindfulness, bliss and beyond by Ajhan Brahm (Theravada influence).

The problem is that I am not able to go deeper and my mindspace isnt perfectly still. ONly once in my practice did a bilssful feeling arouse that was strong enough to focus upon, and then as the texts say, it expanded and drenched me with bliss, and as a result my mind went completely standstill (standard first jhana I guess). But apart from that one instance, I am unable to get any strong pleasant feeling that I would be able to hook on too. And without that I am unable to get any deeper.

So any guidelines for inducing piti-sukkha, or making it strong enough to focus upon? I am doing mindfulness of breathing right now.

Thanks

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daverupa
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby daverupa » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:24 pm


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fivebells
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby fivebells » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:19 pm


culaavuso
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

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SarathW
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby SarathW » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:17 pm

Great teaching by Joseph Goldstein.
He speaks from his experience.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20255#p283899
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

K.Dhamma
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby K.Dhamma » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:47 pm

It's always been my experience that the moment you can let go of trying to get to it, and truly letting go of it, is the moment it comes. :)
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah

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Sati1
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby Sati1 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:07 pm

I find that the nimita approach of Ajahn Brahm doesn't work for everyone and that aiming to "see the light" can actually be a distraction to some (myself included). For me, the greatest hindrance to attaining bliss is desiring it, and that it's more effective to simply try to establish concentration (sustained attention) and then just wait and see what happens. Concentration alone without bliss is already very enjoyable, after all. I have gone for months without any bliss and then for unkown reasons it comes back for some time. Not sure really what the variations in conditions are...
Sati1
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----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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James the Giant
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby James the Giant » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:12 am

Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.

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Sati1
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby Sati1 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:29 am

Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

shazan
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby shazan » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:24 pm

Thankyou guys for your replies. Well my anapanasati practice is going quiet good even without piti, but it takes moderate effort to sustain it. With piti, as Brasington says it creates a positive feedback loop that makes sustaining onepointedness almost effortless. One can even experience this in everyday life. Pleasure suppresses analytical thinking and makes concentration on pleasure inducing activity effortless. It destroys any hinderence automatically.

Ajhan Brahm if I remember correctly says that if there is no bliss then it should be worked upon. But he doesnt give any instruction regarding how.

So my "particular effort" is basically to have "stable effortless 1st jhana". I am having a good shamata even before it, but its neither stable nor effortless. With piti, its just sit, surrender, experience the awesomeness

shazan
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby shazan » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:29 pm


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Zom
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby Zom » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:58 pm

To experience jhanic piti and sukha you need to drop completely both gross and subtle defilements like sensuality, ill-will and so on. Suttas directly tell what is the cause for piti and sukha:... "secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the first jhana, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of (this) seclusion... In MN 125 Buddha tells that it is impossible for a layman, who enjoys sensuality, to experience this jhanic bliss. So, you need a long way of preliminary practices (undertaken, presumably, for many many years) to remove such hindrances before you can reach jhanic piti and sukha. Jhana is not a spiritual fast-food. This is a fruit of a recluse life (DN 2), a super-human state (MN 31). 8-)

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beeblebrox
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:22 pm


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Modus.Ponens
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Re: piti-sukkha for jhana

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:43 pm

I has always been difficult to me to buy into the "you have to let go to get it" instruction. Because you'll always have the desire for jhana.
The way I solved this (personal ?) paradox was that instead of being enthusiastic that I will be blissful, I am now enthusiastic that I'm going to let go more than I am leting go now. I'm not sure if this works, though. But it seems like a step in the right direction. Any feedback?
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)


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