The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

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BrokenBones
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by BrokenBones »

A much greater mind than mine (Nyana) has argued to death with the great contrarian (Sylvester) without certain acolytes seeing the light (pun intended) so why would I attempt an inferior defence? You would merely play the same linguistic games/tricks and obfuscation. Any comments I make on this subject are generally for the benefit of any casual reader who might decide to investigate further. We both realise we are not going to change each other's stand on this issue... we are merely playing to the gallery and our own egos. If my posts have encouraged anyone to investigate further into the Buddha's actual teachings then I would be happy. Why take a fifth century book (quite rambling at times) over the very words of the Buddha.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:49 pm A much greater mind than mine (Nyana) has argued to death with the great contrarian (Sylvester) without certain acolytes seeing the light (pun intended) so why would I attempt an inferior defence?
It’s a shame neither post here anymore.
You would merely play the same linguistic games/tricks and obfuscation. Any comments I make on this subject are generally for the benefit of any casual reader who might decide to investigate further. We both realise we are not going to change each other's stand on this issue... we are merely playing to the gallery and our own egos.
Even though debates are always for the audience the participants can always get something out of it.
If my posts have encouraged anyone to investigate further into the Buddha's actual teachings then I would be happy. Why take a fifth century book (quite rambling at times) over the very words of the Buddha.
You keep referring to the Vism. yet I have not once relied upon it or the Abhidhamma. I would say that just because something is in the Vism. doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I think it’s extreme to say the Vism. doesn’t get anything right at all. I think the Vism. gets Jhana right (and the Vimuttimagga) but I’m in no way relying upon them here.
"Besides the two categories of paramattha (the real) and paññatti (concept), a third category does not exist. One who is skilful in these two categories does not tremble in the face of other teachings."

Abhidhammāvatāra by Ven. Buddhadatta
BrokenBones
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by BrokenBones »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:01 pm

You keep referring to the Vism. yet I have not once relied upon it or the Abhidhamma. I would say that just because something is in the Vism. doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I think it’s extreme to say the Vism. doesn’t get anything right at all. I think the Vism. gets Jhana right (and the Vimuttimagga) but I’m in no way relying upon them here.
The whole hard jhana edifice is founded upon the Vism. Scurrilous reference to 're-translated' and 're-imagined' suttas can't hide this fact.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:05 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:01 pm

You keep referring to the Vism. yet I have not once relied upon it or the Abhidhamma. I would say that just because something is in the Vism. doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I think it’s extreme to say the Vism. doesn’t get anything right at all. I think the Vism. gets Jhana right (and the Vimuttimagga) but I’m in no way relying upon them here.
The whole hard jhana edifice is founded upon the Vism. Scurrilous reference to 're-translated' and 're-imagined' suttas can't hide this fact.
No, it isn’t. You are assuming people are back reading the Vism. into the suttas. That isn’t what I have been doing. If anything I’ve taken into account the Upanishads more than I have the Vism., which I’ve not relied upon at all. In fact I’ve even departed from it. Kāmā is one example. The Vism. follows the Abhidhamma by translating the Pali as “secluded from sensual pleasures” rather than seclusion from the 5 senses.
"Besides the two categories of paramattha (the real) and paññatti (concept), a third category does not exist. One who is skilful in these two categories does not tremble in the face of other teachings."

Abhidhammāvatāra by Ven. Buddhadatta
BrokenBones
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by BrokenBones »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:10 am






No, it isn’t. You are assuming people are back reading the Vism. into the suttas. That isn’t what I have been doing. If anything I’ve taken into account the Upanishads more than I have the Vism., ...
Maybe that's where I get the... 'Atman jhana'.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:20 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:10 am






No, it isn’t. You are assuming people are back reading the Vism. into the suttas. That isn’t what I have been doing. If anything I’ve taken into account the Upanishads more than I have the Vism., ...
Maybe that's where I get the... 'Atman jhana'.
Once again, it’s only Atman if you cling to it. The Buddha used Upanishadic terms. Doesn’t mean he believed in an Atman. Other sects knew about Jhana and taught it. Doesn’t mean it’s an Atman. This is a terrible argument on your part.
"Besides the two categories of paramattha (the real) and paññatti (concept), a third category does not exist. One who is skilful in these two categories does not tremble in the face of other teachings."

Abhidhammāvatāra by Ven. Buddhadatta
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mikenz66
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by mikenz66 »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:01 pm You keep referring to the Vism. yet I have not once relied upon it or the Abhidhamma. I would say that just because something is in the Vism. doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I think it’s extreme to say the Vism. doesn’t get anything right at all. I think the Vism. gets Jhana right (and the Vimuttimagga) but I’m in no way relying upon them here.
Also, even without taking sides, the problem with the labelling Vism vs Sutta Jhana is the there are a number of people who interpret the suttas as jhana-heavy, or, at least, a lot heavier than most of the "sutta jhana" proponents (though these vary a lot---Ven Thanissaro sounds a lot "heavier" than Ven Vimalaramsi). As well as Sylvester, there are Vens Brahm, Analayo, Sujato, Brahmali, etc...

:heart:
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skandha
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by skandha »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:51 pm
You are indeed correct when you say DN15 is profound. It is, in my opinion, an extremely important sutta since it helps to unlock quite a bit of the Dhamma. Personally I am thankful that this sutta has been preserved and passed down both in the Pali suttas and the Northern Agamas.
I just noticed DN15 also mentions the ekattasaññino, 1 perception you talk about.
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:51 pm I quite radically depart from the Abhidhamma here by defining rūpa as "image" or "appearance" rather than "matter. With this definition in mind rūpakāyassa are thus phenomenon, or perhaps we could say sense datum, which "impinge" upon the nāmakāya. On this basis then the 4 jhānas then do not transcend "form" as they are meditations involving an "image", what the later commentaries would call the "nimitta". As you have noticed, the sutta does not say this:

"If those qualities, traits, signs, and indicators through which there is a description of the form-group were all absent, would designation-contact be discerned in the name-group?"

If it had said that then there could be no designation-contact, no nāma, without rūpa. The fact that this sutta omits it shows that we can have designation contact, that is nāma, without rūpa. This is what allows for the immaterial realms. In those attainments rūpa, defined as "image" or "appearance", has been transcended. On this interpretation then yes, you can have nāma without rūpa and you can also have the 4 jhānas without any experience of the 5 senses.
Seems like we are on the same page on this.

There can be designation-contact with just the mental body without the material/form body. However it is inconceivable to have impingement-contact with just the material/form body as there is no mental body to impinge upon, hence no discernment. All contact requires a mental body to receive and be impinged upon; or it requires a mental body to designate outward and towards the sense datum (bāhirāni āyatanāni or external sense base).

The Digha Agama 13 seems to imply the above though in a different way from the Pali. It gives the scenario of what if just materiality/form is not present but it never gave the scenario where just mentality is not present. In scenarios where mentality is not present it always include the absence of materiality/form as well. It's like saying if namakaya is not present then you might as well consider rupakaya as irrelevant and meaningless but the converse is not true.
Form is like a lump of foam, Feeling like a water bubble; Perception is like a mirage, Volitions like a plantain trunk, and consciousness like an illusion
- SN 22.95
skandha
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by skandha »

mikenz66 wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:36 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:01 pm You keep referring to the Vism. yet I have not once relied upon it or the Abhidhamma. I would say that just because something is in the Vism. doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I think it’s extreme to say the Vism. doesn’t get anything right at all. I think the Vism. gets Jhana right (and the Vimuttimagga) but I’m in no way relying upon them here.
Also, even without taking sides, the problem with the labelling Vism vs Sutta Jhana is the there are a number of people who interpret the suttas as jhana-heavy, or, at least, a lot heavier than most of the "sutta jhana" proponents (though these vary a lot---Ven Thanissaro sounds a lot "heavier" than Ven Vimalaramsi). As well as Sylvester, there are Vens Brahm, Analayo, Sujato, Brahmali, etc...

:heart:
Mike
The Burmese tradition is very Visuddhimagga oriented but many teachers encourage the "lite" approach, the so called upacara samadhi and vipassana jhanas. Whilst sutta advocates like Vens Brahm, Analayo, Sujato, Brahmali are pretty uncompromising on their "heavy" approach right from the get go.

The way I see it, it culminates towards the "heavy" approach sooner or later. With craving towards the senses dropped the "fuel" for the senses also dries out as well and you witness the deactivation of the senses. Definitely not seclusion of the senses by heavy force.
Last edited by skandha on Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Form is like a lump of foam, Feeling like a water bubble; Perception is like a mirage, Volitions like a plantain trunk, and consciousness like an illusion
- SN 22.95
BrokenBones
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by BrokenBones »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:25 am



Once again, it’s only Atman if you cling to it. The Buddha used Upanishadic terms. Doesn’t mean he believed in an Atman. Other sects knew about Jhana and taught it. Doesn’t mean it’s an Atman. This is a terrible argument on your part.
I'm not making an argument. I'm commenting, making known my opinion for the reason given earlier... the arguments have been argued ad nauseam... if I wanted to argue about this subject with a hard jhana advocate then I have four very suitable walls at home thank you.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:37 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:25 am



Once again, it’s only Atman if you cling to it. The Buddha used Upanishadic terms. Doesn’t mean he believed in an Atman. Other sects knew about Jhana and taught it. Doesn’t mean it’s an Atman. This is a terrible argument on your part.
I'm not making an argument. I'm commenting, making known my opinion for the reason given earlier... the arguments have been argued ad nauseam... if I wanted to argue about this subject with a hard jhana advocate then I have four very suitable walls at home thank you.
Ok, so it’s a silly comment then.
"Besides the two categories of paramattha (the real) and paññatti (concept), a third category does not exist. One who is skilful in these two categories does not tremble in the face of other teachings."

Abhidhammāvatāra by Ven. Buddhadatta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

skandha wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:58 am
I just noticed DN15 also mentions the ekattasaññino, 1 perception you talk about.
It does indeed. Also check out AN 9.41, where saññāmanasikārā is part of what is going wrong:
“As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality. That was an affliction for me. Just as pain arises as an affliction for a healthy person, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality that beset me was an affliction for me...

“As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with directed thought. That was an affliction for me. Just as pain arises as an affliction for a healthy person, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with directed thought that beset me was an affliction for me...

“As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with rapture. That was an affliction for me. Just as pain arises as an affliction for a healthy person, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with rapture that beset me was an affliction for me...
https://suttacentral.net/an9.41/en/thanissaro

Also:
When I understood that doubt is a corruption of the mind, I gave it up. When I understood that loss of focus, dullness and drowsiness, terror, excitement, discomfort, excessive energy, overly lax energy, longing, perception of diversity, and excessive concentration on forms are corruptions of the mind, I gave them up.
https://suttacentral.net/mn128/en/sujato#sc19

If we take a meditation like ānāpānasati it is, essentially, an air kasiṇa practice. 1 perception and 1 perception only, becoming the basis for jhāna.

"One person perceives the air kasiṇa above, below, across, undivided, measureless."
There can be designation-contact with just the mental body without the material/form body. However it is inconceivable to have impingement-contact with just the material/form body as there is no mental body to impinge upon, hence no discernment. All contact requires a mental body to receive and be impinged upon; or it requires a mental body to designate outward and towards the sense datum (bāhirāni āyatanāni or external sense base).

The Digha Agama 13 seems to imply the above though in a different way from the Pali. It gives the scenario of what if just materiality/form is not present but it never gave the scenario where just mentality is not present. In scenarios where mentality is not present it always include the absence of materiality/form as well. It's like saying if namakaya is not present then you might as well consider rupakaya as irrelevant and meaningless but the converse is not true.
:thumbsup:
Seems like we are on the same page on this.
It seems so

:anjali:
"Besides the two categories of paramattha (the real) and paññatti (concept), a third category does not exist. One who is skilful in these two categories does not tremble in the face of other teachings."

Abhidhammāvatāra by Ven. Buddhadatta
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