The Great Jhana Debate

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.
Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:40 am

Dear Geoff

Many thanks. The retreat was unproductive, in a very good sort of way.

Let me collect my thoughts on your points which are very well-put. I'm just wondering if you may be familiar with Tse-fu Kuan's "Mindfulness in Early Buddhism"? He has some really interesting comments on the Uppatipatika Sutta, SN 48.40 which seems to be the favourite resort for the proponents of cessation of the pleasure faculty in 3rd Jhana. He quite rightly points out that that sutta is very problematic and somewhat inconsistent with the sutta treatment of Jhana factors on several scores. By a coincidence, the schema in the Uppatipatika Sutta mirrors the Dhammasangini's enumeration of dhammas in the Rupa Jhanas - which text influenced what text?

I'll try to reply, but this will take some while to do justice to your propositions. Plus, I'm currently dealing with a flood in my city.

With metta

Nyana
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Re: The jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:17 pm

Freawaru wrote:Seriously, except for some Theravada *forums* I have never known anyone who believes that the elements construct the biological body.... I will turn this around. Please provide prove (suttic, meditational, rational or otherwise) stating that the gross body refers to the biological one!

Hi Freawaru,

Respectfully, it seems that you are unwilling to acknowledge that the Pāḷi sutta-s explicitly define the four elements: the earth element (pathavīdhātu), water element (āpodhātu), fire element (tejodhātu), and the wind element (vāyodhātū), in terms of the constituent parts of the "biological body" which is one and the same as the gross body (DN 9: "I posit a gross self, possessed of form, made up of the four great existents [earth, water, fire, and wind], feeding on physical food.")

Other passages from the relevant discourses dealing with the analysis of the four elements have already been provided. Yet, you continue to insist upon reading notions into the sutta-s which simply are not stated or implied by any of the discourses dealing with the elements.

Moreover, it seems that you are unwilling to comprehend the soteriological purpose of contemplating the elements in meditation practice. The purpose is to develop renunciation (nekkhamma), disenchantment (nibbidā), dispassion (virāga), eventually resulting in liberation (vimutti) from the continual round of rebirth and re-death which is saṃsāra. The contemplation of the elements as an application of mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna) has nothing to do with developing the iddhi-s per se.

And FTR, in the context of the Pāḷi sutta-s, the iddhi-s are considered mundane and superfluous. In DN 11: Kevaṭṭa Sutta the Buddha states:

    Seeing this drawback to the miracle of psychic power, Kevatta, I feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with the miracle of psychic power....

    Seeing this drawback to the miracle of telepathy, Kevatta, I feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with the miracle of telepathy.

If you are interested in learning in full the authentic systems of Tibetan yoga, I would recommend that you make a connection with a reputable tsaway lama, complete ngöndro and any other requisites, and save enough money or find a financial sponsor for three year retreat (if you haven't already done so). And that is just the beginning.

Best wishes,

Geoff

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:03 pm

Sylvester wrote:I'm just wondering if you may be familiar with Tse-fu Kuan's "Mindfulness in Early Buddhism"? He has some really interesting comments on the Uppatipatika Sutta, SN 48.40 which seems to be the favourite resort for the proponents of cessation of the pleasure faculty in 3rd Jhana. He quite rightly points out that that sutta is very problematic and somewhat inconsistent with the sutta treatment of Jhana factors on several scores.

Hi Sylvester,

Yes I'm familiar with his book, and also his paper “Clarification on Feelings in Buddhist Dhyāna/Jhāna Meditation,” Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol. 33, no. 3, June 2005. I can't remember offhand if he treats the topic in the same detail in his book as he does in the paper....

Sylvester wrote:By a coincidence, the schema in the Uppatipatika Sutta mirrors the Dhammasangini's enumeration of dhammas in the Rupa Jhanas - which text influenced what text?

There is little doubt that SN 48.40 is the product of rather late redaction of the sutta corpus. This can be inferred because there is no parallel in the extant Sarvāstivāda corpus, and the relevant sūtra cited in the Abhidharmakośabhāsya, the *Satyasiddhiśāstra, and the Yogācāra Śrāvakabhūmi gives an analysis of the feeling faculties in dhyāna which is closer to the standard jhāna/dhyāna formula.

Nevertheless, given that SN 48.36-48.39 define the feeling faculties the way they do, these vibhaṅga sutta-s are enough to differentiate the suttantika interpretation of SN 48.40 from how the feeling faculties in relation to jhāna are defined in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka.

Best wishes,

Geoff

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:30 am

Brizzy wrote:What is one thing that the Buddha continuously asked his followers to practice? - Mindfulness of Body.

What is the most common reference to meditation the Buddha makes? - Jhana.

Now without being a genius, would'nt the jhana taught by the Buddha be the actual means for the the fulfillment of Mindfulness of Body.

Why would the Buddha exhort his followers to practice a meditation that cut off the tie between body & mind?

Would'nt he rather teach a means of experiencing a calmed body with a perfectly calm mind?

Hi Brizzy,

Indeed. It’s worth noting just how closely related mindfulness of the body (kāyānupassanā, kāyagatāsati) and the mental factors of mindfulness and full awareness (sati and sampajañña) are to the development of the four jhāna-s. This can be seen from the following sutta excerpts.

    You should train yourself thus: ‘I will remain focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.’ That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity. [AN 8.63]

    Monks, those monks who are trainees, who have not attained their mind’s ideal, who dwell aspiring for the unsurpassed security from bondage – they too dwell contemplating the body in the body, ardent, alert, unified, with limpid mind, concentrated, with one-pointed mind, in order to fully understand the body as it really is. [SN 47.4]

    When one thing is practiced & pursued, the body is calmed (kāya passambhati), the mind is calmed (citta passambhati), thinking & evaluating are stilled (vitakkavicārā vūpasama), and all qualities on the side of clear knowing go to the culmination of their development. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body (kāyagatāsati). [AN 1.227]

    And how is mindfulness immersed in the body developed, how is it pursued, so as to be of great fruit & great benefit?

    There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

    Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long. Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short. He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body. He trains himself to breathe in calming bodily fabrication (the breath) and to breathe out calming bodily fabrication. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body (kāyagatāsati). [MN 119]

    Having abandoned the five hindrances — imperfections of awareness that weaken discernment — the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. [MN 125]

    As he remains thus focused on the body in & of itself, his mind becomes concentrated, his defilements are abandoned. He takes note of that fact.... As a result, he is rewarded with a pleasant abiding here & now, together with mindfulness & alertness (satisampajañña). [SN 47.8]

    Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil (pītimanassa kāyo passambhati). His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure (passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ vedeti). Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated (sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati). [DN 2]

    Furthermore, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body (kāyagatāsati). [MN 119]

    Then the Tathagata trains him further: 'Come, monk, remain focused on the body in & of itself, but do not think any thoughts connected with the body.....' With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. [MN 125]

    He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of composure. Just like a lake with spring-water welling up from within, having no inflow from the east, west, north, or south, and with the skies supplying abundant showers time & again, so that the cool fount of water welling up from within the lake would permeate & pervade, suffuse & fill it with cool waters, there being no part of the lake unpervaded by the cool waters; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born of composure. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

    And furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert (upekkhā, sati, sampajāna), and senses pleasure with the body (sukhañca kāyena paṭisaṃvedeti). He enters & remains in the third jhāna, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful (upekkhako sati), he has a pleasant abiding.'

    He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture. Just as in a lotus pond, some of the lotuses, born & growing in the water, stay immersed in the water and flourish without standing up out of the water, so that they are permeated & pervaded, suffused & filled with cool water from their roots to their tips, and nothing of those lotuses would be unpervaded with cool water; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

    And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness (upekkhāsatipārisuddhi), neither-pleasure-nor-pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. Just as if a man were sitting covered from head to foot with a white cloth so that there would be no part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend; even so, the monk sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body. [MN 119]

    On seeing a form with the eye, he does not lust after it if it is pleasing; he does not dislike it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body established (kāyagatāsati), with an immeasurable mind, and he understands as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having thus abandoned favoring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant, painful, or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it, or remain holding to it. As he does not do so, delight in feelings ceases in him. With the cessation of his delight comes cessation of clinging; with the cessation of clinging, cessation of being; with the cessation of being, cessation of birth; with the cessation of birth, aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

    On hearing a sound with the ear....
    On smelling an odor with the nose....
    On tasting a flavor with the tongue....
    On touching a tactile sensation with the body....

    On cognizing a mind-object with the mind, he does not lust after it if it is pleasing; he does not dislike it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body established, with an immeasurable mind, and he understands as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having thus abandoned favoring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant, painful, or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it, or remain holding to it. As he does not do so, delight in feelings ceases in him. With the cessation of his delight comes cessation of clinging; with the cessation of clinging, cessation of being; with the cessation of being, cessation of birth; with the cessation of birth, aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering. [MN 38]

All the best,

Geoff

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:36 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:Regarding deep jhana, I see no more than indirect sugestions that deep (visuddhimagga) jhana is the jhana that the Buddha teached. In this subject, MN111 is a direct proof of the contrary as is also other suttas quoted in the essay.

Hello Modus

Personally, I do not agree.

My view is MN 111 is not a testament to shallow 'jhana'. My view is MN 111 is a testament to the Venerable Sariputta's lucidity.

With metta

:meditate:

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:54 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born of composure.

A similie is that of watering a garden. When watering a garden, there is water (citta), there is holding the hose in the appropriate direction (vitakka) and there is sustaining (vicara) the direction of the hose & the water flow.

This is watering a garden.

But when the water suffuses & fills the soil, this is not known by the mind. The mind simply knows the direction of the hose and the flow of water to the surface of the soil.

Jhana is the same. The mind has ekkagattacitta or one-pointed mind. The mind is stuck on the arisien nimitta & factors of jhana. Mind awareness is no longer within the body (kayanupassana) but the body receives the flowing benefits of jhana.

Naturally the whole body is suffused with bliss because each nerve within the physical body has been liberated or tranquilised from stress.

But the mind has gone beyong being aware of this. The mind is elsewhere.

With metta

:smile:

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:26 pm

Yundi wrote:A similie is that of watering a garden. When watering a garden, there is water (citta), there is holding the hose in the appropriate direction (vitakka) and there is sustaining (vicara) the direction of the hose & the water flow.

This is watering a garden.

Hi Yundi,

Actually the simile in question, pertaining to the first jhāna, is the following:

    Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal.


Yundi wrote:Jhana is the same. The mind has ekkagattacitta or one-pointed mind. The mind is stuck on the arisien nimitta & factors of jhana. Mind awareness is no longer within the body (kayanupassana) but the body receives the flowing benefits of jhana.

But the mind has gone beyong being aware of this. The mind is elsewhere.

What you are describing is a case of being "stuck internally" (MN 138). Such a description of jhāna as sammāsamādhi cannot be sustained by a close reading of the sutta-s.


Phenomena present and abandoned in each jhāna

• the five hindrances are abandoned (pañcanīvaraṇā): sensual desire (kāmacchanda), aversion (vyāpāda), dullness and drowsiness (thīnamiddha), restlessness and anxiety (uddhaccakukkucca), doubt (vicikicchā) [MN 43]


1st jhāna:

• pain faculty ceases (dukkhindriya) [SN 48.40] which is any physical pain, physical discomfort born of body-contact to be experienced as pain and discomfort [SN 48.37]

• apperception of sensual pleasure ceases (kāmasaññā) [DN 9, AN 9.31]; sensual pleasure (kāma) is the resolve of passion (saṅkapparāga) [AN 6.63]

• unskillful resolves cease (akusalā saṅkappā), which are the resolves of sensual pleasure, aversion, harmfulness (kāmasaṅkappa, byāpādasaṅkappa, vihiṃsāsaṅkappa) [MN 117]

• sign of first jhāna (nimitta): the first jhāna which includes directed thought and evaluation, as well as rapture and pleasure born of seclusion; he sticks with that sign, develops it, pursues it, and establishes himself firmly in it [AN 9.35]

• directed thought and evaluation are present (vitakkavicārā) [DN 22: standard jhāna formula]

• non-carnal rapture and pleasure are present (nirāmisā pīti, nirāmisa sukha) [SN 36.31]

• actual refined apperception of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion is present (vivekajapītisukhasukhumasaccasaññā) [DN 9]

• rapture of seclusion (viveka pīti): When a noble disciple enters and remains in the rapture of seclusion, at that time five things do not occur for him: (1) pain and unhappiness connected with sensual pleasure do not exist at that time; (2) pleasure and happiness connected with sensual pleasure do not exist at that time; (3) pain and unhappiness connected with the unskillful do not exist at that time; (4) pleasure and happiness connected with the unskillful do not exist at that time; (5) pain and unhappiness connected with the skillful do not exist at that time. [AN 5.176]

• clear seeing of mental phenomena one by one as they occur (anupadadhammavipassanā): Whatever mental phenomena there are in the first jhāna: directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, apperception, intention, mind, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, and attention; he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' (Ye ca paṭhame jhāne dhammā vitakko ca vicāro ca pīti ca sukhañca cittekaggatā ca, phasso vedanā saññā cetanā cittaṃ chando adhimokkho vīriyaṃ sati upekkhā manasikāro – tyāssa dhammā anupadavavatthitā honti. Tyāssa dhammā viditā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṃ gacchanti. So evaṃ pajānāti – ‘evaṃ kirame dhammā ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventi.) [MN 111]

• seeing the three characteristics of the five aggregates (samanupassati): He sees whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, apperception, fabrications, and consciousness, as impermanent, unsatisfactory, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. (So yadeva tattha hoti rūpagataṃ vedanāgataṃ saññāgataṃ saṅkhāragataṃ viññāṇagataṃ, te dhamme aniccato dukkhato rogato gaṇḍato sallato aghato ābādhato parato palokato suññato anattato samanupassati.) [MN 64, AN 9.36]


2nd jhāna:

• unhappiness faculty ceases (domanassindriya) [SN 48.40] which is any mental pain, mental discomfort born of mind-contact to be experienced as pain and discomfort [SN 48.37]

• directed thought and evaluation ceases (vitakkavicārā) [AN 9.31]

• skillful resolves cease (kusalā saṅkappā), which are the resolves of renunciation, non-aversion, harmlessness (nekkhammasaṅkappa, abyāpādasaṅkappa, avihiṃsāsaṅkappa) [MN 117]

• sign of second jhāna (nimitta): the second jhāna which has internal serene-clarity and unification of mind free from thought and evaluation, and has rapture and pleasure born of concentration; he sticks with that sign, develops it, pursues it, and establishes himself firmly in it [AN 9.35]

• non-carnal rapture and pleasure are present (nirāmisā pīti, nirāmisa sukha) [SN 36.31]

• actual refined apperception of rapture and pleasure born of concentration is present (samādhijapītisukhasukhumasaccasaññā) [DN 9]

• clear seeing of mental phenomena one by one as they occur (anupadadhammavipassanā): same as first jhāna minus eliminated mental phenomena [MN 111]

• seeing the three characteristics of the five aggregates (samanupassati): same as first jhāna minus eliminated mental phenomena [MN 64, AN 9.36]


3rd jhāna:

• pleasure faculty ceases (sukhindriya) [SN 48.40, AN 9.31] which is any physical pleasure, physical comfort born of body-contact to be experienced as pleasure and comfort [SN 48.37]

• sign of third jhāna (nimitta): he remains equanimous, mindful and fully aware, and experiences pleasure with the body; he sticks with that sign, develops it, pursues it, and establishes himself firmly in it [AN 9.35]

• pleasure of equanimity is present (upekkhāsukha) [AN 9.42]

• non-carnal pleasure is present (nirāmisa sukha) [SN 36.31]

• actual refined apperception of equanimity is present (upekkhāsukhasukhumasaccasaññā) [DN 9]

• clear seeing of mental phenomena one by one as they occur (anupadadhammavipassanā): same as first jhāna minus eliminated mental phenomena [MN 111]

• seeing the three characteristics of the five aggregates (samanupassati): same as first jhāna minus eliminated mental phenomena [MN 64, AN 9.36]


4th jhāna:

• happiness faculty ceases (somanassindriya) [SN 48.40] which is any mental pleasure, mental comfort born of mind-contact to be experienced as pleasure and comfort [SN 48.37]

• in and out breathing has been calmed, has been stilled, has ceased (assāsapassāsā) [SN 36.11, AN 9.31]

• sign of fourth jhāna (nimitta): the fourth jhāna, which is without pleasure or pain, and includes the purity of equanimity and mindfulness; he sticks with that sign, develops it, pursues it, and establishes himself firmly in it [AN 9.35]

• non-carnal equanimity is present (nirāmisā upekkhā) [SN 36.31]

• actual refined apperception of neither pleasure nor pain is present (adukkhamasukhasukhumasaccasaññā) [DN9]

• apperception of form is present (rūpasaññā) [AN 9.42]

• clear seeing of mental phenomena one by one as they occur (anupadadhammavipassanā): same as first jhāna minus eliminated mental phenomena [MN 111]

• seeing the three characteristics of the five aggregates (samanupassati): same as first jhāna minus eliminated mental phenomena [MN 64, AN 9.36]


Formless attainments:

• only when abiding in the fully purified formless attainments is the mind isolated from the five sense faculties [MN 43] and does not experience any of the five sensory spheres [AN 9.37]


Attainment of the cessation of apperception and feeling:

• equanimity faculty ceases (upekkhindriya) [SN 48.40]

Best wishes,

Geoff

Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:52 pm

Dear Geoff

Can we be certain that "kaya" may not be a Pali idiom for something in addition to the physical kaya? The usage of "kaya" in the Susima Sutta, SN 12.70, where the released-both-ways arahants "dwell touching with their kaya the formless attainments" does open up a clear and distinct possibility that "kaya" (at least in this context) has nothing to do with the rupa kaya.

Likewise, the standard exegetical understanding of feelings as the 2 darts enumerated in the Salla Sutta, ie "bodily feeling" as the first dart of painful feelings (kāyikañca) and "mental feeling" as the 2nd dart of worry and grief (cetasikañca) may be too constricting in interpreting this "kaya" to refer to the feelings originating from the physical body. I think the kaya in kāyikañca refers to the totality of Nama-Rupa. A clear example of this is given in the 3 Satipatthanas enumerated in the Salayatavibangha Sutta, MN 137. It looks to me that the feelings of "satisfaction" and "dissatisfaction" that touched the Buddha were the 1st dart of "kāyikañca" feelings (born of contact with mind-objects), and his equanimity is simply the freedom from the 2nd dart of "mental" feelings.

A 2nd example occurs in MN 137, where the Buddha explains household grief and enumerates the 2 cases for its arising - (i) the actual non-gain as it occurs, and (ii) the recollection of past non-gain. Surely, it is more reasonable to read case (ii) as an example of the 1st dart arising from a mind-object (sanna perhaps?), rather than physical-based phassa, that then gives rise to the 2nd dart of household grief. A similar derivation is made for household joy.

I think, that if we allow for the possibility that "kāyikañca vedana" actually refers to feelings born at any of the 6 ayatanas, many of the difficulties posed by the Uppapatika Sutta, SN 40.10 would disappear. Otherwise, it would really be difficult to reconcile the persistance of the "bodily" equanimity feeling in the formless attainment with how the formless attainments are understood.

With metta

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:34 pm

Sylvester wrote:Dear Geoff

Can we be certain that "kaya" may not be a Pali idiom for something in addition to the physical kaya? The usage of "kaya" in the Susima Sutta, SN 12.70, where the released-both-ways arahants "dwell touching with their kaya the formless attainments" does open up a clear and distinct possibility that "kaya" (at least in this context) has nothing to do with the rupa kaya.

Sadhu Sylvester, well spoken & well timed

You pre-empted my research given the bath powder simile, as rendered by Nana, does not accord with the actual experience of jhana.

The Pali word 'kaya' means 'group'. Kāya [der. probably fr. ci, cinoti to heap up, cp. nikāya heaping up, accumulation or collection; Sk. kāya] group, heap, collection, aggregate, body.

For example, in the Anapanasati Sutta, the Buddha states:
Kāyesu kāyaññatarāhaṃ, bhikkhave, evaṃ vadāmi yadidaṃ – assāsapassāsā

I tell you, monks, that this — the in-&-out breath — is classed as a body among bodies


The Pali here in the simile about the bath powder is sabbāvato kāyassa. 'Sabba' means 'all' rather than 'whole'.

So the simile is something like the practitioner takes all factors in the group (kaya) of jhana factors and rolls them into a ball so nothing leaks or drips. The mind is completely free of discursiveness or flowing elsewhere. The mind is absorbed in & pervaded by the factors of jhana or jhana itself.

This is the actual experience of jhana.

:smile:
Last edited by Yundi on Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:10 pm, edited 8 times in total.

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:49 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Actually the simile in question, pertaining to the first jhāna, is the following:

    Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal.

Dear Nana

Scholarship cannot be based on inaccurate translation. I would say the Buddha is not referring to the physical body here. I would say he is referring to the kaya or group of jhana factors. The similie is of a ball of bath powder that does not drip. Now, if the rapture suffused into the physical body, that would be "dripping".

The first jhana is described as a ball and that is the nature of the actual experience of jhana. It is a ball of bliss in the mind or brain.

The non-dripping is the similie for ekkagattacitta or one-pointed mind.

Ñāṇa wrote:What you are describing is a case of being "stuck internally" (MN 138). Such a description of jhāna as sammāsamādhi cannot be sustained by a close reading of the sutta-s.

I am not describing what you are inferring. I am describing ekkagattacitta, when the mind becomes fixed upon the arisen nimitta. This is not being 'stuck' or attached to jhana factors, in terms of craving & delight. It is one-pointedness, one of the five factors of jhana.

Scholarship cannot be sustained by non-experience of actual jhana and an incorrect rendering of the suttas.

With metta

:smile:
Last edited by Yundi on Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kenshou
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:55 pm

I am sometimes not so sure that certain interpretations would be gleaned from the suttas if there were not a previously ingrained disposition to see them that way.

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:20 pm

Ñāṇa wrote: 1st jhāna:

• pain faculty ceases (dukkhindriya) [SN 48.40] which is any physical pain, physical discomfort born of body-contact to be experienced as pain and discomfort [SN 48.37]

Friend

I have little interest in your second hand scholarship, where you have not demonstrated to date knowledge of Pali.

However, if the pain faculty ceases, then awareness of the body has ceased, showing the awareness of the physical body ends in jhana.

Allow me to question you.

If a practitioner sits in jhana for many hours, do you think they would physical emerge from that jhana without any stiffness in their legs?

Or when Sariputta was asborbed in jhana and the Yakka dealt him a blow on the head, why did he not feel this in meditation but felt a headache upon emerging?

With metta

:smile:

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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:41 pm

Sylvester wrote:I think, that if we allow for the possibility that "kāyikañca vedana" actually refers to feelings born at any of the 6 ayatanas, many of the difficulties posed by the Uppapatika Sutta, SN 40.10 would disappear. Otherwise, it would really be difficult to reconcile the persistance of the "bodily" equanimity feeling in the formless attainment with how the formless attainments are understood.

Hi Sylvester,

Regarding the Uppaṭipāṭika Sutta (SN 48.40). since it is speaking specifically about the five feeling indriya-s in relation to the jhāna-s, if we first look at what other sutta-s have to tell us on these specific points, then we can find a very satisfactory reading of the Uppaṭipāṭika Sutta.

First, if we look at AN 9.42 it tells us that the pleasure commonly referred to in the descriptions of the third jhāna is actually the pleasure of equanimity (upekkhāsukha). This accords well with SN 48.40, when it states that the pleasure faculty (sukhindriya) ceases in the third jhāna. What remains is the equanimity faculty (upekkhindriya) and the happiness faculty (somanassindriya), which in light of SN 48.37, in the third jhāna refers to bodily equanimity (kāya upekkhā) and mental pleasure (cetasika sukha).

And when SN 48.40 tells us that the happiness faculty (somanassindriya) ceases in the fourth jhāna, what remains is both bodily and mental equanimity (kāya & cetasika upekkhā) as stated in SN 48.37.

With regard to the formless attainments, since MN 43 states that it is with the attainment of the fully purified formless apperception attainments that the mind is isolated from the five sense faculties and AN 9.37 states that the same is the case with regard to the experience of the five sensory spheres, we can deduce from this that with entrance into the formless attainments bodily equanimity (kāya upekkhā) is no longer experienced, and what remains is mental equanimity (cetasika upekkhā). And as SN 48.40 states, the equanimity faculty, i.e. mental equanimity, ceases with the attainment of the cessation of apperception and feeling.

Once again the sutta-s explicate themselves, revealing an integral symmetry and remarkably high degree of internal coherence.

Also, if we look at some discourses where the reference is specifically to the first satipaṭṭhāna, then it becomes clear that the meaning of kāya in the context of jhāna doesn't entail interpreting it in terms of nāmakāya, and in fact to interpret it as nāmakāya is completely uncalled for. As an example, MN 125:

    Then the Tathagata trains him further: 'Come, monk, remain focused on the body in & of itself, but do not think any thoughts connected with the body.' (Tamenaṃ tathāgato uttariṃ vineti – 'ehi tvaṃ, bhikkhu, kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi , mā ca kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkesi.') ... With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.

And AN 8.63:

    You should train yourself thus: ‘I will remain focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.’ That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity. (Evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ: ‘kāye kāyānupassī viharissāmi ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassa’nti. Evañhi te, bhikkhu, sikkhitabbaṃ. Yato kho te, bhikkhu, ayaṃ samādhi evaṃ bhāvito hoti bahulīkato, tato tvaṃ, bhikkhu, imaṃ samādhiṃ savitakkasavicārampi bhāveyyāsi, avitakkavicāramattampi bhāveyyāsi, avitakkaavicārampi bhāveyyāsi, sappītikampi bhāveyyāsi, nippītikampi bhāveyyāsi, sātasahagatampi bhāveyyāsi, upekkhāsahagatampi bhāveyyāsi.

And AN 1.227:

    When one thing is practiced & pursued, the body is calmed (kāya passambhati), the mind is calmed (citta passambhati), thinking & evaluating are stilled (vitakkavicārā vūpasama), and all qualities on the side of clear knowing go to the culmination of their development. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body (kāyagatāsati).

Etc....

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:02 pm

Yundi wrote:However, if the pain faculty ceases, then awareness of the body has ceased, showing the awareness of the physical body ends in jhana.

Such convoluted analysis.... Your statement entails that at any time one isn't experiencing physical pain then awareness of the body has ceased.

Yundi wrote:If a practitioner sits in jhana for many hours, do you think they would physical emerge from that jhana without any stiffness in their legs?

This question has no bearing on the discussion at hand regarding what phenomena are experienced while in jhāna.

Yundi wrote:Or when Sariputta was asborbed in jhana and the Yakka dealt him a blow on the head, why did he not feel this in meditation but felt a headache upon emerging?

Udana 4.4 doesn't state what level of samādhi Ven. Sāriputta was in. Hence this question also has no bearing on the discussion.

Yundi wrote:I have little interest in your second hand scholarship, where you have not demonstrated to date knowledge of Pali.

In that case, here's an idea: don't read my posts.

Be well. :smile:

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:33 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:In that case, here's an idea: don't read my posts.

You replied to my post with your long list.

Thus I am providing you with my view of your reply to my post.

Quantity does not mean quality, let alone accuracy.

However, I am happy to burst your bubble, as successfully done with the bathpowder simile.

I will continue to do so if able.

:smile:

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:39 pm

Ñāṇa wrote: AN 9.37

AN 9.37 states only in respect of the third jhana: "senses pleasure with the body (kāyena)."

This refutes your assertion that the first & second jhana consciously suffuse rapture & happiness throughout the physical body.

The suttas state it is only the third jhana where there is awareness of the body.

The fourth jhana is described as followed:

Having attained the fourth absorption, inhalation and exhalation have ceased [stilled, tranquilised].

Rahogata Sutta


With compassion

:heart:

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:52 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Also, if we look at some discourses where the reference is specifically to the first satipaṭṭhāna, then it becomes clear that the meaning of kāya in the context of jhāna doesn't entail interpreting it in terms of nāmakāya, and in fact to interpret it as nāmakāya is completely uncalled for. As an example, MN 125:

Nana

I already quoted MN 118, where it states 'the in & breathing is a kaya (body) amongst kaya (bodies)'.

The word 'kaya' here does not exclusively refer to the physical body.

This is my third refutation.

With metta

:smile:

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:57 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Your statement entails that at any time one isn't experiencing physical pain then awareness of the body has ceased.

I did not say this. This is the second time you inferred I said something I did not say.

I said when awareness of the body ceases, the awareness of pain will naturally cease.

:smile:

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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:05 pm

Dear Geoff

Finally, La Nina has let up enough to give me some time to address your points.

About kāmā

I suppose we must agree to disagree on the import of the Pancaraja Sutta.

It appears to me to contextualise the likes and dislikes of the different perceivers as being merely subjective responses which do not bear on the objective nature of that guna. A perceiver’s interpretive overlay to phassa, in my view, constitutes “agreeableness”, “disagreeableness” or “neither”, but that overlay is part of Nama, not part of the guna. So it does not make any sense to me to speak of a pleasant or attractive guna as if a guna could be limited by an adjective; only the response will reveal itself to be such or otherwise.

This falls in neatly with the Vipallasa Sutta, AN 4.49 which identifies as a vipallasa the identification of something “not attractive” (asubha) as being “attractive” (subha). Without any objective “attractiveness” to speak of, an observer will still add on the perception of “attractiveness” to the kamaguna.

This is also in line with the Nibbedhika Sutta, AN 6.63. I think the Buddha was trying to re-direct the focus from the kamagunas to kāmo as being the problem when He suggests that –

Saṅkapparāgo purisassa kāmo
Nete kāmā yāni citrāni loke …
Tiṭṭhanti citrāni tatheva loke;


The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality (kāmo)
not the beautiful sensual pleasures (kāmā) found in the world….
The beauties remain as they are in the world,


In fact, the Piti Sutta, AN 5.176 which you cited expressly sanctions the idea that kamagunas are not just the pleasing and attractive. It says that in 1st Jhana “pain and unhappiness connected with sensual pleasure do not exist at that time, pleasure and happiness connected with sensual pleasure do not exist at that time”. This is only possible if the kamagunas are themselves affectively neutral.

Which leads to the question – are there neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant feelings connected to the kamagunas in Jhana? I would suggest that those who assert suffusing the “body” (as in the physical body) with the bliss and pleasure of Jhana would have to overcome the Mahaniddana Sutta’s allowance for only one type of feeling at a time. You can’t assert neutral “bodily” feelings concurrently with “bodily” bliss and pleasure.

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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:06 pm

On the Arupa formula “with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance (paṭighasaññāna)..”

On the relevance of DN 15 to the transcending of patighasanna for reaching “Infinite Space”, I don’t think it is conclusive.

DN 15 broaches the subject of resistance contact (paṭighasamphasso, not paṭighasaññāna), but patigha in itself need not culminate in contact – see MN 28. So, according to this sutta, an ayatana may touch its indriya without triggering the corresponding consciousness. This permits patigha to be present in any of the Jhanas, without the corresponding phassa.

This does not contradict MN 43’s message about the purified mind-consciousness released from the five indriyas (but more on that later). Read in the context of the first 2 of the 8 Deliverances, it does appear that the Rupa Jhanas are so-called because their attainment initially depend on form, before metta comes in as the 3rd Deliverance per the Mettasahagata Sutta, SN 46.54. But it does not necessarily follow that phassa based on form needs to remain in a Rupa Jhana, even if form was the mode of entry.

I think it is more plausible to read the rupasanna, patighasanna and nanattasanna as conceptions or ideas of anything that has to do with materiality, rather than apperception of form etc. Rupa, patigha and nanatta all involve rupa and its interaction with the indriyas, which in itself the “thing” that defines and delimits space. “Infinite space” as a conceptual category would be untouched by anything, including conceptions, pertaining to form.


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