Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
rowyourboat
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:01 pm

Hi Geoff

Thank you- I appreciate your efforts.

I would like to share my personal opinion and experience on vitakka vicara:

"But what are bodily fabrications? What are verbal fabrications? What are mental fabrications?"
"In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Directed thought (vitakka) & evaluation (vicara) are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications." - MN44

When one practices mastery of jhana it is possible to absorb into these factors individually to see what they are. It is very difficult (other than piti, sukha and samadhi) to distinguish out vitakka vicara while they were mixed in together with the rest of the jhana factors. Experientially of vitakka vicara was more in line with what the above sutta said. Vitakka and vicara was more to do with verbal thought. ie it is not verbal though itself but to do with a fabrication, a preverbal mental 'movement' which was present in the first jhana. The feel of Vitakka was like a a racer perched on his starting blocks, while vicara was more like a brook lazily bubbling in this direction and that ready to explore.

Subsequently I have not found it necessary to look beyond this experience and this sutta to explain what it is.

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Reductor
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Reductor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:34 pm

Hey there Retro,

In my humble opinion you're putting the cart before the horse here when you try to go from 4 to 13. The reason I think so is that, in the process of overcoming hindrances in the first four steps you will learn a great deal about your mind, and about inconsistency. You need not run off prematurely to another exercise in order to observe this, as anicca is evident from the earliest stages to the last.

If you focus on those first four, looking for ways to overcome this hindrance or that, then you will eventually overcome them. When you do, you allow yourself a mental 'pat on the back', and feel good about your accomplishment. This can lead nicely into joy which, when attended to along with steady focus on the breath, becomes stronger. The whole experience becomes very pleasant, and you can relax into it.

Now, you say that you don't get much time to meditate so you try to get the important work done. That is a trouble I can appreciate. But I don't think that focusing on samatha is a waste, nor do I think you would be commended by the teacher for trying to jump over the intermediate steps. If you practice all the steps in order each time you meditate, then you will become more adept at them. So what might initially take 40 minutes will eventually take 20, or even 10-15. Then you will have a pleasant practice, the mere thought of which makes you want to go and sit.

You will also be in a much better place to observe anicca, but on a more subtle level than just that you get while contending with the arising and passing away of the hindrances. And no, I seldom sit more than 40 to 50 minutes.

So seriously, don't go putting the cart before the horse. :soap:

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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Reductor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:52 pm


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Sobeh
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Sobeh » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:12 pm

That's the Sutta that made me want to read the Samyutta Nikaya.

:heart:

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bodom
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:27 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Reductor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:39 pm


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bodom
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:53 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Reductor
Posts: 1381
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Reductor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:55 pm


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bodom
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:05 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Reductor
Posts: 1381
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Reductor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:22 pm


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bodom
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:29 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Reductor
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Reductor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:47 pm


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bodom
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:51 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Reductor
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Reductor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:11 pm


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bodom
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:33 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Nyana
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:40 pm


Nyana
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:06 pm


Kenshou
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Kenshou » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:28 pm

I like where this thread went, practical discussion is good.

Though there isn't much more I could say about the whole thing that hasn't been for the most part, there is one other thing that I find helpful in jumpstarting this practice, weather it be just a baseline degree of mental calm or deeper absorption.

I have found that, by simply taking notice of the 5 aggregates, 4 satipatthana etc. and noticing how it is that they are unreliable, unsatisfactory, not me, mine, or I, and then noticing how that understanding is a source of relief and joy for the mind, is a very efficient way of igniting the spark of niramisa piti-sukha. It's also a given that a degree of basic mindfulness is established before engaging that contemplation, though. It's really just what the 5 factors of awakening state, mindfulness >investigation > energy > piti. But then of course the presence of piti itself does not mean jhana but it is a step towards deeper meditative absorption, if a person wants it. I've blabbered about that aspect already elsewhere, at least as it pertains to how I find that it works: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5648&start=0#p88147

I suppose this may tie in somewhat with what Geoff has mentioned on the use of "unfixed" concentration as a preliminary for fixed concentration, or if not that, it shows how the themes of insight can become the themes of concentration. I guess my point is that simply taking notice of the skilfull happiness that the dhamma provides can itself be a tool, and I mention it at all because it seems to be a very efficient one. Even if it isn't used as a basis for jhana, it's still a useful means for calming and concentrating the mind which then provides the means for insight. Looks like Geoff happened to beat me to the punch a little bit on that subject.

Nyana
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:26 pm


Kenshou
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Re: Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas

Postby Kenshou » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:32 pm

Thanks! My impression is that niramisa-piti(sukha) is an important tool in the path presented to us in the suttas, and it also seems to be an aspect that isn't much talked about, but it's made all the difference for me. Which is a point I know you've pointed out every now and again, in fact. A subject that deserves a little more attention.


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