Using Buddho to gain jhana

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.
DorjePhurba
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Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby DorjePhurba » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:04 pm

Yes, yet another jhana question. I've read about the usage of the mantra buddho by Ven. Ajahn Chah's students and its usage in developing samadhi. Now, I'm still unclear of whether you can use Buddho as a means to enter jhana or if it is simply a tool to calm the mind down when its acting up and it is then dropped and one
shifts their focus to the breath alone. Can anyone offer some insight?

With metta,
Chris

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby Kenshou » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:12 pm

DorjePhurba wrote: Now, I'm still unclear of whether you can use Buddho as a means to enter jhana or if it is simply a tool to calm the mind down when its acting up and it is then dropped and one shifts their focus to the breath alone.


I would say yes, yes and yes. I use a similar method sometimes, but instead of "buddho", I tell myself to "let-go", first word on the in breath, second on the out. Even when everything becomes stable it's still possible to keep the training wheel on, since it isn't as if the ability to continue mentally repeating the phrase is paralyzed. Though I find that when using that method, eventually the actual mental verbalization naturally ends but the intention that it represented remains. I'm sure the "buddho" thing could work similarly.

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:43 am

i've never seen it used this way.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby Ben » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:49 am

jcsuperstar wrote:i've never seen it used this way.


Neither have I. I know of it being used as a tool to help anchor awareness on the inbreath and outbreath. Once attention is stable, the verbalisations of budd-ho and counting are abandoned and one observes the bare breath. Its not the verbalisation that produces jhana but rather the practice of continuity of awareness of the in-breath and out-breath.

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Ledi/Anapa ... asati.html

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:00 am

yeah, i was going to post more but didnt want to start any sort of debate but my thoughts are "buddho" is a thinking practice to induce calm and sorta block out other thoughts, distracting thoughts. whereas jhana isnt a thinking practice. well at least not in my experience.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby Kenshou » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:17 am

Perhaps I should clarify my original post, I meant nothing different than the "awareness anchor" thing, and the fact that I happen to not use the same word, when I choose to do it.

And regardless of the state of thought in jhana, I don't think it would be unreasonable to think that Buddho or whatever could be used as an aid to anchor awareness during the states directly preceding jhana. Repeating a single word, especially since it's tied in to the awareness of the breath, I don't think is enough mental activity to be counterproductive to samadhi, at least in the early stages. This is just opinion, however, so I will leave it at that.

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:38 am

i think we're saying the same things basically
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby wouter_doorn » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:46 am

Hello all,

I use "buddho" as a samadhi meditation object. Focusing on the sound produced by repeating buddho (in different cadences). This is as tought to me by a birmese meditation master. Full concentration can be achieved by using buddho. With full concentration I mean being able to experience the rise and fall of citta (I have not experienced this personally, but my teacher here in the netherlands has). But it is not jhana meditation. This sounds very strange and because I have not experienced full concentration yet I can not comment from my own experience. My birmese teacher is very firm in that it is not jhana, according to him jhana is just one classification, one system.It somehow supposedly uses a different "route". When comparing experience with abhidhamma literature my teacher here in the netherlands has found that it must be comparable to 3rd/4th jhana, but again it is not directly the same. If you look at ajahn Chah I get the impression he used buddho until he could see the citta even when people where walking past him (he could experience rise and fall even when movement occured), so I am inclined to say he used buddho for full concentration as well.

Metta,

Wouter
Last edited by wouter_doorn on Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby Moggalana » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:11 am

DorjePhurba wrote:Yes, yet another jhana question. I've read about the usage of the mantra buddho by Ven. Ajahn Chah's students and its usage in developing samadhi. Now, I'm still unclear of whether you can use Buddho as a means to enter jhana or if it is simply a tool to calm the mind down when its acting up and it is then dropped and one
shifts their focus to the breath alone. Can anyone offer some insight?

Some people seem to use a mantra to enter jhanas. Have a look at this Blogpost.
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:18 am

Hi,
you may take a look here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/thate/buddho.html
Ajahn Maha Bua Nyanasampanno used "buddho" you can read it here: "Wisdom develops Samadhi"

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

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catmoon
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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby catmoon » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:36 pm

Mantras can get you to the first jhana, I think. But the next jhanas involve the setting aside of applied and sustained thought, so it seems that's as far as you can go with an active mantra in mind.

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby Mukunda » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:52 am

catmoon wrote:Mantras can get you to the first jhana, I think. But the next jhanas involve the setting aside of applied and sustained thought, so it seems that's as far as you can go with an active mantra in mind.


With proper, consistent and dedicated mantra practice, there is no applied or sustained thought. The mantra is just another object of meditation, just like the breath, which can lead to deeper and deeper levels of concentration.

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby wouter_doorn » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:43 am

Dear all,

I want to try to explain my previous post a little more. I hope this will make it a little clearer.
the way I use the Buddho meditation is by concentrating on the sound. This makes sound the object, using the ear sense and repeating "buddho", "buddho". This is similar to using a kasina, say the earth kasina as an object, using the eye sense and repeating "earth", "earth". When using Buddho in this way, it is not a long repetition of a text as for example shown in the visuddhimagga. It is just sound as an object of meditation using the ear.

Ajahn Chah used Buddho in a far more difficult way. He used Buddho as a mind object, using the mind from the beginning, repeating "buddho", "buddho" in his mind. Still it is not a repetition of a long text. Just Buddho as object of meditation using the mind. He used breath as an anchor, the way I use a mala as an anchor. His way is more difficult since the object is far more subtle then for example sound, to begin with. But in the end it is both the same object of meditation using (in the beginning) a different sense.

Now to the goal of Buddho meditation (and I hope all buddhist meditation). When looking at abhidhamma it becomes clear that each of the 5 jhana are just citta with a different set of cetasika. There are these jhana citta as fine-material spheres of absorption. But these same citta are also there in the 20 fold way of the supramundane path and fruition citta. The goal of buddhist meditation is getting to the supramundane citta, as they permanently eradicate defilements. Buddho as an object of samadhi meditation can lead to jhana citta because it calmes the mind, but far more importantly, it can lead to the supramundane citta.

Why do I say this? for some reason people have the idea that it is necessary to switch to breathing after Buddho. Or do something else before or after Buddho. Why? Experiencing Jhana as a fine-material sphere of absorption as a goal in itself has no value. It is only a timely suppression of defilements. Of course calming the mind is imporntant, and jhana citta are a result of this, but this is not the goal in itself. So why change meditation or do all kinds of different difficult things just to try and get fine-material jhana? If it is possible to use Buddho to get to supramundane path and fruition citta, is this not enough? Ajahn Chah is one example of a meditator using Buddho consistently and experiencing both jhana and path and fruition citta.

So, when you are interested in Buddho as object, find a good teacher who truly knows Buddho meditation. It can lead from beginning to end, no need to switch or change or anything. Just using "buddho", "buddho" is enough. Fine-material jhana is not the purpose of buddhist meditation, just a nice by product, supramundane path and fruition is the goal.

I hope this makes it a little bit more clear...

Metta,

Wouter

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby catmoon » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:57 pm

Mukunda wrote:
catmoon wrote:Mantras can get you to the first jhana, I think. But the next jhanas involve the setting aside of applied and sustained thought, so it seems that's as far as you can go with an active mantra in mind.


With proper, consistent and dedicated mantra practice, there is no applied or sustained thought. The mantra is just another object of meditation, just like the breath, which can lead to deeper and deeper levels of concentration.



Do you have the PDF of "A critical analysis of the Jhanas?". It's is not cut-and-pasteable, but at the bottom of page 69 the author quotes the Culavedalla Sutta as follows:

The mind without vitakka and vicara is unable to make a verbal sound


If this is true then the very least one can say is that reciting a mantra out loud is a barrier to the second and higher jhanas.

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Re: Using Buddho to gain jhana

Postby Mukunda » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:19 am

catmoon wrote:
The mind without vitakka and vicara is unable to make a verbal sound


If this is true then the very least one can say is that reciting a mantra out loud is a barrier to the second and higher jhanas.


The strongest mantra practice is silent mantra practice.


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