what is ariya jhana?

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confusedlayman
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what is ariya jhana?

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what is it? how different it is from entering? it has Piti sukha etc? is it good for investigation of reality?
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

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confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 am what is it?
Ariya jhana is described in MN 117, SN 48.10, end of MN 118, for example. Ariya jhana is supported by Right View (about the abandonment of craving, attachment, becoming & self-view) and has letting go ("vossagga") as its primary meditation object.
confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 amhow different it is from entering?
what is meant by "entering" above?
confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 am it has Piti sukha etc?
yes
confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 am is it good for investigation of reality?
the above question is not relevant. Ariya jhana is a natural fruition of properly practising the Noble Path. It cannot be avoided by minds that are adept at letting go and that have already realised the Four Noble Truths (at least as stream-entry). The Noble Disciple has already clearly investigated reality as a stream-enterer prior to jhana; will clearly investigate the reality of jhana itself while in jhana; and will further clearly investigate reality after the 4th jhana or when emerging from the 4th jhana. Since the Ariya Jhana of the Noble Disciple is based on letting go; the Noble Disciple will not get stuck on jhana.

Ariya jhana is taught by Ajahn Brahm and was also taught by Ajahn Buddhadasa, below:
Ajahn Buddadasa 1961 wrote:As for samadhi, an empty mind is the supreme samadhi, the supremely focused firmness of mind. The straining and striving sort of samadhi isn't the real thing and the samadhi which aims at anything other than non-clinging to the five khandas is micchasamadhi (wrong or perverted samadhi). You should be aware that there is both micchasamadhi and sammasamadhi (right or correct samadhi). Only the mind that is empty of grasping at and clinging to 'I' and 'mine' can have the true and perfect stability of sammasamadhi. One who has an empty mind has correct samadhi.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikk ... o_Tree.htm
While Ajahn Buddhadasa said "an empty mind has correct samadhi"; since Nagarjuna did not understand emptiness, Nagarjuna cannot help reaching jhana because Nagarjuna is conceptual thinking about concepts of emptiness rather than "letting go" into clear light emptiness.
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

Post by anagaarika »

DooDoot wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 11:33 am
confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 am what is it?
Ariya jhana is described in MN 117, SN 48.10, end of MN 118, for example. Ariya jhana is supported by Right View (about the abandonment of craving, attachment, becoming & self-view) and has letting go ("vossagga") as its primary meditation object.
confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 amhow different it is from entering?
what is meant by "entering" above?
confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 am it has Piti sukha etc?
yes
confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 am is it good for investigation of reality?
the above question is not relevant. Ariya jhana is a natural fruition of properly practising the Noble Path. It cannot be avoided by minds that are adept at letting go and that have already realised the Four Noble Truths (at least as stream-entry). The Noble Disciple has already clearly investigated reality as a stream-enterer prior to jhana; will clearly investigate the reality of jhana itself while in jhana; and will further clearly investigate reality after the 4th jhana or when emerging from the 4th jhana. Since the Ariya Jhana of the Noble Disciple is based on letting go; the Noble Disciple will not get stuck on jhana.

Ariya jhana is taught by Ajahn Brahm and was also taught by Ajahn Buddhadasa, below:
Ajahn Buddadasa 1961 wrote:As for samadhi, an empty mind is the supreme samadhi, the supremely focused firmness of mind. The straining and striving sort of samadhi isn't the real thing and the samadhi which aims at anything other than non-clinging to the five khandas is micchasamadhi (wrong or perverted samadhi). You should be aware that there is both micchasamadhi and sammasamadhi (right or correct samadhi). Only the mind that is empty of grasping at and clinging to 'I' and 'mine' can have the true and perfect stability of sammasamadhi. One who has an empty mind has correct samadhi.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikk ... o_Tree.htm
While Ajahn Buddhadasa said "an empty mind has correct samadhi"; since Nagarjuna did not understand emptiness, Nagarjuna cannot help reaching jhana because Nagarjuna is conceptual thinking about concepts of emptiness rather than "letting go" into clear light emptiness.
Could you please comment on the relationship between ariya jhana and contemplation of Nibbana? Can this practice be seen as a pre-requisite to attaining ariya jhana? Or does ariya jhana arise spontaneously as the person removes the defilements step by step?
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

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anagaarika wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:02 pm Could you please comment on the relationship between ariya jhana and contemplation of Nibbana?
Ariya jhana includes the contemplation of Nibbana. It is the contemplation of Nibbana itself that defines Ariya Jhana.

As posted, this is described in SN 48.10, as follows:
And what is the faculty of immersion?
Katamañca, bhikkhave, samādhindriyaṁ?

It’s when a noble disciple, relying on letting go, gains immersion, gains unification of mind.
Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako vossaggārammaṇaṁ karitvā labhati samādhiṁ, labhati cittassa ekaggataṁ.

https://suttacentral.net/sn48.10/en/sujato
Bhikkhu Bodhi has translated "vossaggā" above as "release" and said the commentary says it means: "having made Nibbana the object". While it is not the final Nibbana of an Arahant that is the object, I agree with the commentary. The object is the taste of Nibbana known by all Noble Ones when they have mastered dwelling in the release or peace of non-attachment and non-craving.
anagaarika wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:02 pm Can this practice be seen as a pre-requisite to attaining ariya jhana?
Yes. The contemplation of Nibbana by the stream-enterer is a pre-requisite to attaining ariya jhana. As SN 48.10 or the end of MN 118 says, the stream-enterer (Noble Disciple) makes "vossagga" ("letting go"; "release"; "little Nibbana") the primary meditation object prior to attaining the 1st jhana.
anagaarika wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:02 pmOr does ariya jhana arise spontaneously as the person removes the defilements step by step?
Any removal of and experience of absence of defilements is an experience of Nibbana or the taste/flavor of Nibbana. Therefore, the contemplation of Nibbana and the removal of defilements is one & the same. Ariya jhana arises spontaneously when the continual practise of letting go has purified the body of the accumulations of the residue of past defilements, i.e., the five hindrances.
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

Post by anagaarika »

DooDoot wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:02 pm
Yes. The contemplation of Nibbana by the stream-enterer is a pre-requisite to attaining ariya jhana. As SN 48.10 or the end of MN 118 says, the stream-enterer (Noble Disciple) makes "vossagga" ("letting go"; "release"; "little Nibbana") the primary meditation object prior to attaining the 1st jhana.
So you are suggesting that one incorporates this contemplation into one´s practice already at a very early stage, even before developing the first jhana? This has some practical implications then - I tend to notice that the contemplation of Nibbana is largely ignored by the teachers despite the fact that it seems to be quite useful. Personally, I sometimes begin my regular session with 10-15 minutes of this just to calm down the mind and remember the ultimate goal, which works quite nicely. However, I haven´t found this recommendation anywhere.

I looked it up in Vissudhimagga which says:

One who wants to develop the recollection of peace mentioned next to mindfulness of breathing (III.105) should go into solitary retreat and recollect
the special qualities of Nibbána, in other words, the stilling of all suffering, as follows:

“Bhikkhus, in so far as there are dhammas, whether formed or unformed, fading away is pronounced the best of them, that is to say, the disillusionment of vanity, the elimination of thirst, the abolition of reliance, the termination of the round, the destruction of craving, fading away, cessation, Nibbana” (A II 34).

And then there is the distinction between "access" and "absorption" jhana:
As he recollects peace in its special qualities of disillusionment of vanity, etc., in this way, then: “On that occasion his mind is not obsessed by greed or obsessed by hate or obsessed by delusion; his mind has rectitude on that occasion, being inspired by peace” (see VII.65, etc.). So when he has suppressed the hindrances in the way already described under the recollection of the Enlightened One, etc., the jhana factors arise in a single moment. But owing to the profundity of the special qualities of peace, or owing to his being occupied in recollecting special qualities of various kinds, the jhana is only access and does not reach absorption. And that jhana itself is known as “recollection of peace” too because it arises by means of the special qualities of peace.
As I understand this passage, the jhana is called "access" because there is too much directed thought (vicara) going on, right? Does this mean that this kind of jhana is always at the level of access, or can it become absorbed when the insight into the qualities of Nibbana is more intuitive and requires less directed thought?
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

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anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:34 am So you are suggesting that one incorporates this contemplation into one´s practice already at a very early stage, even before developing the first jhana?
Yes. The stream-enterer is free from doubt via realising the path, namely, non-attachment that results in nibbana.
anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:34 amI looked it up in Vissudhimagga which says:

One who wants to develop the recollection of peace mentioned next to mindfulness of breathing (III.105) should go into solitary retreat and recollect
the special qualities of Nibbána, in other words, the stilling of all suffering, as follows:

“Bhikkhus, in so far as there are dhammas, whether formed or unformed, fading away is pronounced the best of them, that is to say, the disillusionment of vanity, the elimination of thirst, the abolition of reliance, the termination of the round, the destruction of craving, fading away, cessation, Nibbana” (A II 34).
Yes.

anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:34 amAnd then there is the distinction between "access" and "absorption" jhana:
As he recollects peace in its special qualities of disillusionment of vanity, etc., in this way, then: “On that occasion his mind is not obsessed by greed or obsessed by hate or obsessed by delusion; his mind has rectitude on that occasion, being inspired by peace” (see VII.65, etc.). So when he has suppressed the hindrances in the way already described under the recollection of the Enlightened One, etc., the jhana factors arise in a single moment. But owing to the profundity of the special qualities of peace, or owing to his being occupied in recollecting special qualities of various kinds, the jhana is only access and does not reach absorption. And that jhana itself is known as “recollection of peace” too because it arises by means of the special qualities of peace.
Yes, access concentration can know/taste Nibbana. However, it is confusing to called access concentration "access jhana". Generally, the term "access concentration" is not used for jhana.
anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:34 amAs I understand this passage, the jhana is called "access" because there is too much directed thought (vicara) going on, right? Does this mean that this kind of jhana is always at the level of access, or can it become absorbed when the insight into the qualities of Nibbana is more intuitive and requires less directed thought?
Personally, i find the language above convoluted. The "recollection" of Nibbana appears not the same as the direct experience (contemplation; anupassi) of Nibbana.

Returning to sutta, AN 9.36 again descibes Ariya Jhana:
There is the case where a monk, secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

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DooDoot wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 8:09 am

Returning to sutta, AN 9.36 again descibes Ariya Jhana:
There is the case where a monk, secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
This passage, however, seems to equate the ariya jhana with the first jhana. The above quote says that the monk first enters and remains in the first jhana and while in that state regards arising phenomena as anicca, dukha and anatta. Could it be that the early suttas were not as technical and strict in categorization of various meditative states as later commentaries? Vissudhimagga, on the other hand, describes ariya jhana as a separate meditation.
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

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anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:08 am This passage, however, seems to equate the ariya jhana with the first jhana.
each is described in the same way, where the meditator knows The Deathless while in each jhana.
anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:08 amVissudhimagga, on the other hand, describes ariya jhana as a separate meditation.
Thank you. I personally have no interest in the Visuddhimagga. Regards :smile:
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

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anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:08 am
DooDoot wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 8:09 am

Returning to sutta, AN 9.36 again descibes Ariya Jhana:
There is the case where a monk, secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
This passage, however, seems to equate the ariya jhana with the first jhana. The above quote says that the monk first enters and remains in the first jhana and while in that state regards arising phenomena as anicca, dukha and anatta. Could it be that the early suttas were not as technical and strict in categorization of various meditative states as later commentaries? Vissudhimagga, on the other hand, describes ariya jhana as a separate meditation.
can you pls post what visudhimagga says? or tell me page number so I can read it ...
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

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confusedlayman wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 3:26 pm
anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:08 am
DooDoot wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 8:09 am

Returning to sutta, AN 9.36 again descibes Ariya Jhana:

This passage, however, seems to equate the ariya jhana with the first jhana. The above quote says that the monk first enters and remains in the first jhana and while in that state regards arising phenomena as anicca, dukha and anatta. Could it be that the early suttas were not as technical and strict in categorization of various meditative states as later commentaries? Vissudhimagga, on the other hand, describes ariya jhana as a separate meditation.
can you pls post what visudhimagga says? or tell me page number so I can read it ...
Visuddhimagga does not mention ariya jhana specifically - the part I was quoting from was about the recollection of Nibbana (Part II: Concentration, Chapter VIII: Other Recollections as Meditation Subjects, 10: The Recollection of Peace).
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Re: what is ariya jhana?

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anagaarika wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 7:09 am
confusedlayman wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 3:26 pm
anagaarika wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:08 am

This passage, however, seems to equate the ariya jhana with the first jhana. The above quote says that the monk first enters and remains in the first jhana and while in that state regards arising phenomena as anicca, dukha and anatta. Could it be that the early suttas were not as technical and strict in categorization of various meditative states as later commentaries? Vissudhimagga, on the other hand, describes ariya jhana as a separate meditation.
can you pls post what visudhimagga says? or tell me page number so I can read it ...
Visuddhimagga does not mention ariya jhana specifically - the part I was quoting from was about the recollection of Nibbana (Part II: Concentration, Chapter VIII: Other Recollections as Meditation Subjects, 10: The Recollection of Peace).
See also the points XXIII.3 to XXIII.52 about "B. The Taste of the Noble Fruit" and "C. The Attainment of Cessation" (pages 730 to 742 of the Visuddhimagga available on Access to Insight . org).
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta
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