"Kaya" when not meaning "physical body" is never "metaphorical". "Kaya" literally means "group" or "collection".
The above question is irrelevant. I think the question should be asked: "Why is kaya mentioned in the 3rd jhana?" The possible answer to this question is the 3rd jhana is deemed as somewhat special for whatever reason, as follows: "the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’". Therefore, the question should be asked: "Why does the stock 4 jhana description include the phrase: noble ones declare"?
The Buddha and Sariputta never said "sukha" was "metaphorical" in AN 9.34.
Hello Frank. I think you probably should substantiate the above comment with some quotes from B. Bodhi & Rupert Gethin. I have read B. Thanissaro say "touching with the body" has a "somatic" aspect but the suttas I posted show B. Thanissaro's ideas are very questionable here (because the suttas I posted say the immaterial spheres are "touched with the body").
Also, in B. Thanissaro's footnote, below, he says the PTS translation is "personal experience". I pointed out before this is how I.B. Horner translated the phrase. Therefore, if Rupert Gethin's ideas are as you claim, they really are merely his personal ideas rather than a view that represents the PTS as a whole.
I think, so far, you are being thoroughly defeated in this debate. You seem to be relying on "guru worship" to support your personal views rather than relying on the suttas .Thanissaro wrote:2. Numerical Discourses of the Buddha translates this phrase as "[those] who have personal experience of the deathless element." However, AN 9.43 and 44 make a distinction between touching a meditative dimension with the body and knowing it with discernment. In both cases, the experience is direct and personal, and in both it leads to the ending of the mental effluents. Thus, "touching with the body" seems to have a more precise meaning than simple personal experience. It could mean that there is a somatic aspect to the experience or that the awareness of the deathless occupies the same fullness of awareness that had been occupied by the body.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Unlikely. The sutta say the mind experiences one-pointedness & happiness. If the mind experienced the physical body, how could it be one-pointed?
Jhana is serene and can last for many hours. I doubt it can be compared at all to sexual orgasm. About the body immediately preceding jhana, the suttas say:
The body being untroubled (Bodhi), undisturbed (Sujato), impassible ('incapable of suffering or feeling pain'; Horner) or unaroused (Thanissaro) does not sound like sexual orgasm.
Concise Pali English Dictionary
not excited; cool.
PTS Pali English Dictionary
not excited, cool AN.i.148 = Iti.119 (passaddho kāyo a.; variant reading assāraddha).
a + sāraddha