Is jhana possible?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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mydoghasfleas
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby mydoghasfleas » Fri May 21, 2010 11:35 am

Thank you all for your kind and thoughtful responses. It seems the general consensus is that it IS possible for lay practitioners, but not without a significant investment of time on the cushion everyday -- which in itself would put it out of reach of most "householders." Also being a householder has obligations which make it even more difficult to put aside or eliminate the hindrances (restlessness and worry come to mind.)

A secondary question, then, is can jhana arise spontaneously when all the conditions are there, or is an active effort or intention to attain jhana necessary?

I ask these questions not through any disappointment in my own practice, but because the suttas seem to indicate that it is natural and normal to attain jhana.

Also, nathan mentioned the vipassana nanas. I have never heard the term "nanas." Could you please explain, or direct me to further study?

Thank you all so much.

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Ben
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Ben » Fri May 21, 2010 11:56 am

“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) • •

e: [email protected]..

Kenshou
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Kenshou » Fri May 21, 2010 6:35 pm

Last edited by Kenshou on Fri May 21, 2010 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Anicca » Fri May 21, 2010 7:13 pm


Reductor
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Reductor » Fri May 21, 2010 9:57 pm


Anicca
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Anicca » Fri May 21, 2010 10:54 pm


Anicca
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Anicca » Fri May 21, 2010 11:36 pm

Duh ~ reading the above - Kenshou's ~ helped.

Sutta - less absorption - more accessible
Visuddhimagga / Abidhamma - more absorption - less accessible

i am nagged by a remembrance of a sutta that said "no jhana - no vipassana" - is this correct?

Nimitta are not as pampered, er ... ah - developed and prominent in the sutta style?

still feeling :rolleye:

Metta

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mikenz66
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 21, 2010 11:41 pm

Hi Annica,

Yes, as you said, the link Kenshou gave has a reasonable summary and has several references/links.

The (usually visual) nimittas associated with increased absorption are not described in any sort of detail in the Suttas, but are described in great detail in the Visuddhimagga and by various modern teachers, including some, such as Ajahn Brahm, who generally focus more on Suttas than Commentary. One might conclude, therefore, that they are useful.

Mike

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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Anicca » Fri May 21, 2010 11:52 pm

So Visuddhimagga style allows 1 out of a million entry? Is Jhana possible? - NOT LIKELY Visuddhimagga style!

Yet the sutta style - when the Buddha was describing the exceptionally pervasive pains of old age to Ananda - he said his only escape was through jhana - which must then provide 'enough' absorption - or was the Buddha referencing those states beyond the jhanas - but either way those are accessible through the sutta style jhana?

Metta

Kenshou
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Kenshou » Fri May 21, 2010 11:58 pm


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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Anicca » Sat May 22, 2010 12:05 am


Kenshou
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Kenshou » Sat May 22, 2010 12:11 am

Well hey, those amazing degrees of absorption are possible if someone wants to put in the enormous investment of time to obtain them, but it'd be better to let people around you know that you're going to go off into a meditative state for awhile, so that that doesn't happen. :tongue:

Reductor
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Reductor » Sat May 22, 2010 1:00 am


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FrankT
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby FrankT » Sat May 22, 2010 3:48 am

The 2nd Recollection: The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed One, directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise. (AN 6:10; III 284-88)

Brizzy

Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Brizzy » Sat May 22, 2010 5:20 am


Anicca
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Anicca » Sat May 22, 2010 5:22 am


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mydoghasfleas
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby mydoghasfleas » Sun May 23, 2010 5:05 pm

Now I understand more directly why the Buddha said it's important to have noble friends. All your contributions to this dialogue have been most helpful. When you speak from your personal experience of the dhamma it often makes the things I've read "click" and have more meaning.

I am grateful to those who provide links for further study. The link about the different types of jhana from the leighb site was especially interesting. And thereductor provided a valuable piece of advice to stick with one main author. In my enthusiasm for the dhamma, I find myself wanting to read as much as I can get my hands on ... and it certainly has lead to confusion at times. (I have had the sense, at least, to stick to Theravadin authors, because I am aware that I would be totally confused if I tried to introduce methods from other traditions to my practice.)

It also occurred to me this morning that if it were relatively easy for a lay practitioner to attain higher states of meditation, there would be no reason for anyone to chose to be ordained, I suppose. That reinforces to me the importance of overcoming the hindrances (for the purpose of attaining jhana), and how difficult that is to do as a lay person.

Thanks to all....
Last edited by mydoghasfleas on Sun May 23, 2010 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alex123
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Alex123 » Sun May 23, 2010 6:03 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

Kenshou
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Kenshou » Sun May 23, 2010 7:38 pm


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Alex123
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Re: Is jhana possible?

Postby Alex123 » Sun May 23, 2010 8:56 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


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