Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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pitithefool
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Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by pitithefool »

ToVincent wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:23 am
pitithefool wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:53 pm .....
Personally, I translate it: "separating oneself from objects of sensual pleasures".
But that's my take.

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I think that makes sense. I really feel that the whole point of jhana is to happiness that doesn't depend on sense pleasures rather than anything else. A happiness that's more reliable and can quell the thirst of the mind more thoroughly and more consistently than sense pleasures can.
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ToVincent
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Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by ToVincent »

pitithefool wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:43 pm I really feel that the whole point of jhana is to happiness that doesn't depend on sense pleasures rather than anything else. A happiness that's more reliable and can quell the thirst of the mind more thoroughly and more consistently than sense pleasures can.
I could not agree more.
Something different than on a purely moral sense - more like the only way to reach higher and finer states.
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Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
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Those who desire good are few, and those who desire evil are many.
Buddha
(And you just can't imagine how much goodness, those who desire evil, are ready to display - ToVincent).
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pitithefool
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Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by pitithefool »

ToVincent wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:00 pm
pitithefool wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:43 pm I really feel that the whole point of jhana is to happiness that doesn't depend on sense pleasures rather than anything else. A happiness that's more reliable and can quell the thirst of the mind more thoroughly and more consistently than sense pleasures can.
I could not agree more.
Something different than on a purely moral sense - more like the only way to reach higher and finer states.
.
.
Indeed :anjali: :anjali: :anjali:
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BrokenBones
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Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by BrokenBones »

pitithefool wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:43 pm
ToVincent wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:23 am
pitithefool wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:53 pm .....
Personally, I translate it: "separating oneself from objects of sensual pleasures".
But that's my take.

Personal jhāna Cheatsheet: https://rentry.co/m3inp
.
.
I think that makes sense. I really feel that the whole point of jhana is to happiness that doesn't depend on sense pleasures rather than anything else. A happiness that's more reliable and can quell the thirst of the mind more thoroughly and more consistently than sense pleasures can.
Absolutely spot on. A total cutting off of sense objects seems a temporary fix that will leave you back at square one when you re-emerge. It's almost like hiding in a room to avoid your problems rather than tackling them head on and finding a more fruitful and pleasurable alternative to grief and desire.
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pitithefool
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Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by pitithefool »

BrokenBones wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:39 pm
pitithefool wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:43 pm
ToVincent wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:23 am
Absolutely spot on. A total cutting off of sense objects seems a temporary fix that will leave you back at square one when you re-emerge. It's almost like hiding in a room to avoid your problems rather than tackling them head on and finding a more fruitful and pleasurable alternative to grief and desire.
Awesome! And like ToVincent said, it's like the door out of samsara. If it's practiced wisely, it leads to a place where you don't need to feed any more at all.
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pitithefool
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Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

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Are there any references to the specific view that "one cannot hear sound in the first jhana" older than the Kathavatthu? I read that section on hearing sound and it uses the same "sound is a thorn argument" but seems to leave out AN 10.72 which renders it meaningless.

I'll quote here:
You say that one in Jhāna can hear sound, and quote the Word as to it being for First Jhāna a “thorn”. Now it was further said that thought applied and sustained is a thorn for Second Jhāna—does one in Second Jhāna have applied and sustained thought? … Again, it was further said that the mental factor last eliminated is a thorn for the stage newly attained—zest for Third, respiration for Fourth Jhāna, perception of visible objects for consciousness of space-infinity, this perception for that of consciousness as infinite, this perception for that of nothingness, perception and feeling for cessation of these in trance. Now is “the thorn” actually present on the winning of the stage whence it is pronounced to be a thorn? If not, then how can you say that the “thorn” of hearing sound is present to one in First Jhāna?
AN 10.72:
Mendicants, there are these ten thorns. What ten? Relishing company is a thorn for someone who loves seclusion. Focusing on the beautiful feature of things is a thorn for someone pursuing the meditation on ugliness. Seeing shows is a thorn to someone restraining the senses. Lingering in the neighborhood of females is a thorn to celibacy. Sound is a thorn to the first absorption. Placing the mind and keeping it connected are a thorn to the second absorption. Rapture is a thorn to the third absorption. Breathing is a thorn to the fourth absorption. Perception and feeling are a thorn to the attainment of the cessation of perception and feeling. Greed, hate, and delusion are thorns.
Notice the firs three listed as thorns and compare that with the argument made in the Kathavatthu.

Here's Thanissaro's commentary on this:
This passage has been cited as proof that a person in the first jhāna must be unable to hear sounds, the argument being that directed thoughts and evaluations are not present in the second jhāna, rapture is not present in the third, and so forth, so sounds must not be present in the first. This argument, however, ignores two points in the larger context of the sutta:

a) If “thorn” were to mean something that cannot be present without destroying what is thorned, then nearness to women would destroy a man’s celibacy, watching a show would destroy one’s guarding of the senses, and so on. And yet it is possible to maintain one’s celibacy and one’s guard over ones’ senses in situations of this sort. An interpretation of “thorn” that consistently fits all ten examples, however, would be something that creates difficulties for what is thorned. Thus to say that noise is a thorn for the first jhāna would simply mean that noise makes it difficult to enter or stay in the jhāna.

b) If the Buddha had wanted to make the point that noise cannot be heard in the first jhāna, he would have criticized the elder monks for going to the trouble of leaving the Great Forest, and recommended that if they wanted to escape the disturbance of noise, they should have entered the first jhāna and dwelled comfortably there instead.
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