What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Wind » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:04 am

What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana? How are they relate to one another?
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby bodom » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:12 am

Please See:

The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation by Henepola Gunaratana

Scroll down to the Jhana and Samadhi heading.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org:80/lib/a ... html#ch1.3

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Wind » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:36 am

thanks bodom
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:38 am

Wind wrote:What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana? How are they relate to one another?

the topic of jhana upsets more people :tongue:
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: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:04 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
Wind wrote:What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana? How are they relate to one another?

the topic of jhana upsets more people
That seems to be true, but it seems to be the jhana-wallahs that get upset with the vipassana-wallahs and those who hold to the commentarial take in Thewravada.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Wind » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:14 am

You guys are funny. :lol:
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Reductor » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:16 am

tiltbillings wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:
Wind wrote:What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana? How are they relate to one another?

the topic of jhana upsets more people
That seems to be true, but it seems to be the jhana-wallahs that get upset with the vipassana-wallahs and those who hold to the commentarial take in Thewravada.


If a person says 'I practice vipassana' there's a whole room full of knodding heads. But if someone says 'I would like to develop jhana' there are immediate calls to the near impossibility of the task and comments about how those claiming jhanic experience are likely to be mistaken. Perhaps those of us interested in jhana as a real practice and not abstract pie in the sky theoretical knowledge feel compelled to take a hard stance on the issue.

Just my take.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:19 am

see i never see this attack on jhana that people complain about, i hear a lot about people saying they're attacked, but never see , hear these attacks. jhana is awesome, i say go for it.
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: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:25 am

I wouldn't touch this thread with a ten yojana long pole, har.
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Reductor » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:29 am

jcsuperstar wrote:see i never see this attack on jhana that people complain about, i hear a lot about people saying they're attacked, but never see , hear these attacks. jhana is awesome, i say go for it.


I don't think I've seen an attack on 'jhana', but plenty of negativity in respect to the claimants of such. Unless they've been experienced in on retreat, of course, in which case its seen as a mark up for that particular tradition.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Wind » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:58 am

Since people tend to doubt those who says they achieve jhana, do people doubt those who says they achieve Samadhi? I would like to know if anyone here achieve Samadhi? If so, can you describe what's it like?
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Anicca » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:44 am

Wind wrote:I would like to know if anyone here achieve Samadhi?
Never achieved it here where i am, but some descriptions come to mind: "Still, running water" is a fave.

Another that sticks with me - the mind before samadhi is like an upside down bowl - thoughts are like marbles that drop down - hit the bowl - and go richocheting off into the distance with consciousness following after to observe the thought.

Call it losing your marbles.

At some point - the mind - the bowl - flips over - when the marble drops - without any effort, the thought settles right down to the center of the bowl - which just happens to have an indent to hold the marble. Your consciousness stays still yet knows the whole of the thought without having to chase after it - the law of anicca takes over and "dismisses" the thought leaving the indent ready to receive the next marble when it drops.

Me, i've just lost all my marbles...


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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby IanAnd » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:08 am

Anicca wrote:
Wind wrote:I would like to know if anyone here achieve Samadhi? If so, can you describe what's it like?

Another that sticks with me - the mind before samadhi is like an upside down bowl - thoughts are like marbles that drop down - hit the bowl - and go richocheting off into the distance with consciousness following after to observe the thought.

Call it losing your marbles.

At some point - the mind - the bowl - flips over - when the marble drops - without any effort, the thought settles right down to the center of the bowl - which just happens to have an indent to hold the marble. Your consciousness stays still yet knows the whole of the thought without having to chase after it - the law of anicca takes over and "dismisses" the thought leaving the indent ready to receive the next marble when it drops.

Anicca's description described it pretty well.

Samadhi has traditionally been translated as "concentration." Jhana has traditionally been translated as "absorption." So, the question remains: What is the difference between concentration and absorption? Basically, very little, except when these terms are being used to describe Buddhist meditation.

For the mind to become absorbed in an object or subject, it first must become concentrated. This is called samadhi. Once the mind is concentrated, there are eight (or nine) levels of absorption (jhana) described as the four material jhanas and the four (sometimes five) immaterial jhanas. The term jhana here is being used to describe a level of absorption / concentration.

Some meditation teachers teach a method of recognizing the first stages of absorption by being able to recognize what they term "neighborhood concentration" or upacara samadhi. This upacara samadhi is not quite yet full absorption, but is call "neighborhood concentration" because it is viewed as being just on the cusp of full absorption or the first level of jhana. I'm not going to describe the four main (material) levels of jhana (you can find that by doing a search on the word "jhana" using the forum search engine to search for threads and posts from the past). But these are the basic nuances involved when using these two pali terms.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:25 am

samadhi is quality of the mind which is be developed gradually, progressively. (like hight of a building in meters)
jhana is a state of mind/being that arises as a result of development of samadhi (3rd floor, 4rth floor)
With Metta

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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Wind » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:32 am

thanks Anicca for your excellent description of Samadhi. I still wonder how many here has personally achieve it. If there are many here who can achieve Samadhi then I would know it's quite attainable unlike jhana where it's seem like an improbable task.
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Kenshou » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:53 am

That's one of those questions you aren't going to get a conclusive answer to. There are as many different ideas about what constitutes actual samadhi or jhana as there are people on this forum, and for every person saying they can, they'll be someone saying that they're probably wrong. It's just one of those tricky subjects. :juggling: Go read alotta suttas and do alotta sitting and decide for yourself.
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:32 am

I'm not sure there is really anyone who really thinks jhana cant be attained, i think the argument is against those who think they can meditate 20mins or so a day while living a life not bound by the precepts and still achieve jhana. there is a huge difference. this is why "vipassana" meditation is pushed so much, you can see things as they are right now, there is no need to sit for hours a day etc. insight cant be gained in the midst of daily life. so this jhana without the hard work comes off to many as similar to those adds that tell you you can just take a pill and lose 50 pounds or whatever.
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: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Wind » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:50 am

jcsuperstar wrote: insight cant be gained in the midst of daily life.


Can you elaborate? Maybe an example?
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Re: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:25 am

Wind wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote: insight cant be gained in the midst of daily life.


Can you elaborate? Maybe an example?

typo should have been CAN be gained...sorry
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: What's the difference between Samadhi and Jhana?

Postby Kenshou » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:06 am

jcsuperstar wrote: i think the argument is against those who think they can meditate 20mins or so a day while living a life not bound by the precepts and still achieve jhana. there is a huge difference..... so this jhana without the hard work comes off to many as similar to those adds that tell you you can just take a pill and lose 50 pounds or whatever.


I don't agree with this at all, first of all, but I actually haven't ever read anything like this on these forums, or the internet in general for the most part. I've read suggestions that the beginnings of absorption can potentially be experienced by a beginner after 30 minutes or so of non-distracted practice, but to cultivate this into something like jhana would require something more like hours per day for a fairly extended time. Both of which seem to me to be reasonable estimations. But not that 20 minutes per day will get you to jhana.
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