Jhana

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Dhammanando
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Re: Jhana

Post by Dhammanando »

Pulsar wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:15 pm To bring in the background to the Mahavagga story, 
"whoever attains the deathless first, let him announce it"
Here and throughout the episode, Ven. Brahmali and Horner both agree in rendering adhigacchati as "attain".

I would like to dissent from this agreement. The verb adhigacchati has a strong sense, "to attain", and a weaker sense, "to discover", "to come to know about", "to learn of". I think that since it is only sekha-ship that they have arrived at (this is quite explicit in Moggallāna's case), it would be better to go with the weaker sense: "come to know of the deathless".
During vassa this year I shall be offline until the end of October.

Rūpehi bhikkhave arūpā santatarā.
Arūpehi nirodho santataro ti.


“Bhikkhus, the formless is more peaceful than the form realms.
Cessation is more peaceful than the formless realms.”
(Santatarasutta, Iti 73)
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Dhammanando
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Re: Jhana

Post by Dhammanando »

Pulsar wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:15 pm Bahia reached enlightenment by hearing just four lines of Dhamma. Is the Pali canon telling us that Sariputta was incapable of achieving the deathless on hearing of Dependent origination?
No, for he hasn't yet been taught dependent arising concretely, but only the general principles that underlie it.
Pulsar wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:15 pmElsewhere DN 15 tells us that Ven Ananda was incapable of understanding Dependent Origination.
Do you believe that?
Well, no, because I don't find any such statement in DN 15. What I find is Ānanda earning himself a mild rebuke for his underestimation of the difficulty of understanding dependent arising. Nowhere in the discourse is he told that he's incapable of understanding it.
Pulsar wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:15 pmDoes Ven Brahmali think that Sariputta attained liberation as described in MN 111?
I understand EBT folks are divided over whether MN 111 counts as early or not, but I don't know which side Ven. Brahmali takes.
During vassa this year I shall be offline until the end of October.

Rūpehi bhikkhave arūpā santatarā.
Arūpehi nirodho santataro ti.


“Bhikkhus, the formless is more peaceful than the form realms.
Cessation is more peaceful than the formless realms.”
(Santatarasutta, Iti 73)
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Ven Dhammanando: thank you for your many replies, these are very valuable to all those who read the thread.
You wrote
Well, no, because I don't find any such statement in DN 15. What I find is Ānanda earning himself a mild rebuke for his underestimation of the difficulty of understanding dependent arising. Nowhere in the discourse is he told that he's incapable of understanding it.
This is true, Ananda thought it was too easy, perhaps with a good reason.
I think the difficulty with understanding DO is due to the fact, that some sutta compilers present DO in different ways, and also some modern teachers teach DO in different ways. Some use a three life model, and some treat it as something to be seen here and now. I prefer the latter which is found in
Kalaha-vivada Sn 4.11.
I shall get into more details of Sn 4.11 in my next comment.
Readers need to understand how Buddha approached consciousness
  • as a continuously emerging process via the 6 sense bases, influenced by underlying tendency or karmic consciousness
Buddha did not treat consciousness as treated in the vedas.
Due to this miscomprehension people think of the consciousness of Arahant as similar to the consciousness of puthujjana.
The point of engaging in 4th jhana is to avoid the impact of underlying tendency. When impacted by karmic consciousness, the newly emerging consciousness makes ignorant contacts. The resulting train of thought leads to Nama-rupa formation. Thus the ignorant worldling cycles and recycles via Nama-rupa-> vinnana, never exiting samsara.
You continued
Pulsar wrote: ↑Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:15 am
Does Ven Brahmali think that Sariputta attained liberation as described in MN 111?
I understand EBT folks are divided over whether MN 111 counts as early or not, but I don't know which side Ven. Brahmali takes.
Those who agree with MN 111, do so, since they fail to understand dependent origination, in the simplest possible way.
When dependent origination and the 8-fold path are brought together, (reversal of DO), it is very clear that in Samma samadhi, or the 4th buddhist jhana, the needful is accomplished, why the need for Arupa samapattis?
In correctly practiced 4th jhana, no rupa forms. That is why Ajahn Brahms calls it formless jhana. Ajhan Brahms does not teach the 4 arupas as presented in some suttas of the canon.
With love :candle:
PS I appreciate your continued presence in this discussion on Buddhist jhana, and the 10-fold.
Last edited by Pulsar on Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

There are some things which we should repeat to ourselves like a mantra. It is not a word that pleases, perhaps short term it helps, say a word, like love or metta, buddo with added h or minus h.
However, when it comes to spelling, errors the sutta compilers made while copying Pali text could lead to warped Dhamma.
In BB's footnotes, he mentions stuff like this. I call it behind the scenes emergence of truth. So before folks embark on "learning Pali" it is better to learn how to correctly engage in Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi. Based on the chats going on about jhana on some of the threads here, one would think folks don't know how to breathe. 
Lessons in breathing...
Eric Frauwallner taught me this. 
Out of all the modern scholars I am indebted to him the most. I had struggled for ten years, to understand the Buddha of the Pali canon, but then Vinasp wrote on DW he spent 20 years doing so, and he did not listen to any of the scholars. 
E. Frauwallner wrote just this,
"if you want to understand Buddha, learn to meditate".
That is all I needed to know? but it took me a few years. 
First I tried Analayo, it was in his PhD thesis, telling us how to enter nibbana via Ekayana. But then Analayo got it all wrong, and anyone who followed him???
Later I stumbled upon a sutta called Origination SN 47.42. Thanissaro was the only scholar, who appeared to notice how very different it was from other instructions on Samma Sati.
Back to E. Frauwallner 
He taught me how to fish, he did not bring me fish. It is only via right meditation that one can understand the Buddha.
  • In the early suttas DO does not function as an abstract theory of causation. Rather it focuses on the way human suffering is produced and the manner by which it is terminated.
How do we create suffering? Buddha is not talking about physical injuries.
To fix that, one must go to modern medicine.
This morning I revisited Sn 4.11 one of the earliest suttas on DO, a sutta that got it right.
It begins with something like
"Why do people quarrel so much?"
The simplest answer is "It is due to misunderstanding of Dhamma"
12th verse of Kalaha vivada runs like this.
"What pursuit leads a person to get rid of form?"
The sutta is not speaking of the form, in a purely physical sense.
  • Corpses have no soteriological importance.
Buddha focussed on bodies equipped with sense bases, these appear in our minds too.
Such bodies are like magic tricks, they mislead you, they imagine all kinds of nonsense, like Asuras exiting through Lily stalks, SN 56.41. Returning to the current sutta, the questioner asks
"How can suffering and pleasure cease to exist? This is what I want to know about?"
Saddhatissa translates. The French translation
"what must i do to make form or shape disappear?"
"How do pleasure and pain go away?"
(translator knows what he is talking about? He understands that the appearance of form or rupa in our minds has something to do with suffering?)
Another translator Hirakawa writes 
"At what stage of one's practice does form cease to exist?"
he appears to think it is a meditative stage.
Could it be 4th Jhana? 
Laurence Khantipola Mills writes
"For one in what state does form cease to be, how bliss and dukkha come to cease as well?"
Mills too understands that the appearance of rupa in mind has something to do with bliss and dukkha.
All these translators understood that crucial step in Dependent Origination.
In fact that is all you need to know, generation of rupa in mind leads to naming. 4th jhana tells you how to stop it.
  • Nama-rupa generation creates samsara.
Read every translation you can get your hands on, of this sutta, you will see how translators understood DO, in varying ways, but they did not make an error. 
Some translators translate text without understanding the Dhamma. They are technicians of language, they stick to every rule in spelling, and grammar. Their translations appear as corpses, strewn in the field of Dhamma.
When a translator has understood how suffering arises, her words  come to life, as if the very Budddha is addressing you.
Let Buddha speak to you, via the canon, not the compilers who inserted their own ideas.
With love  :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Elsewhere a friend asked
"Is it true that Buddha can walk while in jhana'?"
that discussion was about "Kinds of meditation Buddha engages in?" I wrote something there, in passing.
But my answer was too brief, therefore unclear.
Now I have time. This  thread is on Jhana, and folks who read this thread are better informed of the subject, in a buddhist way, un-influenced by other traditions.
Jhana is not something that Buddha, and the jain Mahavira commonly practised. Their meditations were not similar at all.
According to the pali canon, the Jains did not practice Buddhist jhana, even though some modern Theravadins insist so.
In the past when I made a mistake on DW, even if it is something as silly as a typo,
someone would pounce on my comment "that my spelling is ike this, because i am from such and such a country" Does it matter where I am from? I am a scientist, so my English may not be perfect, like that of an English lit. major.
English majors get English right, but Dhamma wrong. I try my best to get Dhamma right. 
People get hung up on spelling like anatta/anattha, without trying to get rid of conceit.
  • The conceit that "I am" this is our biggest nemesis
Pali confuses me. I am going to stick with bad english, bad spelling and good Dhamma. 
My only interest is in buddhist jhana as practised by Buddha and his close disciples 2600 years ago. 
Samma-Sati derived from the 8-fold path, is important to the understanding of Jhana, but not as described in DN 22, and MN 10. It is admitted that those are late fabrications. Some have even called those frauds. If there are Arupa samapattis that do not matter to the 8-fold path, that would not concern me.
It would not be conducive to the end of suffering. With that, out of the way, let me try to explain how Buddha may have meditated?  
Sutta Pitaka says in several instances not to speculate about the Arahant, and I can understand why.
4 jhanas are presented in the suttas, as the way Buddha reached enlightenment.
But once enlightened, why does he have to bother with those at all?
He is in a permanent jhanic mode, no matter what else he does.
The way the 4 buddhist jhanas are described for the novice, would no more apply to the Buddha.
  • To understand this one has to have a clear grasp of buddhist jhana, in relation to dependent origination, but many don't. 
So when folks comment on stuff like this, pl. be Aware!
Why is there any need for Buddha to go back to square one ie jhana 1 or 2 or even 3?
Even though some suttas write, Buddha went on alms round, returned, sat down, entered 2nd jhana and so forth, do you believe that? 
Do you think all sutta compilers understood jhana as in the 8-fold path?
If they did we would not have any suttas that promote Arupa samapatti, because Buddha frowned upon those. 
If so, why would you believe everything sutta compilers wrote is true?
Some suttas are wrong, even according to Vinasp, who posted on DW. i like him.
He offended some by saying that, but why would we be offended by truth.
Do you believe that Buddha went on alms round, came back, sat down and entered 2nd jhana?
I find such statements in the sutta pitaka, to be meaningless. 
What makes more sense to me is "The Descent into the Void" as in MN 121, because in that sutta Buddha says to Ananda ..
"this is how I spend my time when I am not interacting with others"
or something similar.
To me it seems there is absolutely no need for Buddha to try to get to 1st to 3rd Jhana.  
Perhaps this is exactly what the sutta in question AN 3.63 is saying,
  • the sutta that got it right.
an excerpt condensed..
Dwelling in Brahma Vihara ...walking back and forth, sitting, standing lying down....Buddha dwells in jhana....This is Buddha's high and luxurious bed, a simile is used.
So when a friend writes 
Jhana is the complete calming of thought & breathing???
is that not very misleading?
If we could ask Vinasp, he would reply "AN 3.63 is about right" regarding this matter.
Buddha can descend into the Void at a moment's notice, writes MN 121, (this would be his meditation).
Void means nothing else but nibbanic peace.
Buddha always dwelled in Nibbanic peace, when away from the maddning crowd.
With love  :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

This thread is about the 4 buddhist jhanas, but elsewhere, sometimes the question pops up,
"Why do we find the Arupas integrated into the four jhanas, in some suttas?"
The following should explain this anomaly. Several scholars have pointed out that Arupa samapattis are either of Jain (Bronkhorst) or Brahmanic (Alexander Wynne) origin, and later found its way into the Buddhist canon.
Keren Arbel writing about early buddhist meditation points out the following.
Daniel Stuart studying Prsthalasutra of the (Mula) Sarvastivadin Dirghagama, noted
The Arupas artificially separated the jhanas from the attainment of cessation.
Practice of 4 dhyanas (Jhanas) was one of the fundamental practices of the
early tradition. Thus the idea that liberation was obtained directly from the
4th dhyana
is as old as the tradition.
Over time outside influences entered the tradition.
The artificial product created by outside entries led to misconceptions that jhana
was 'absorption concentration'
meditation states disengaged from sense experience.
As a result polarized models of the meditative path appeared and created tensions, in the integration of jhanas into Satipatthana.
This last quote is of paramount importance, in understanding the 8-fold path in correct sequence.
I shall elaborate on this, some time later.
With love on a beautiful Sunday morning. :candle:
Last edited by Pulsar on Sun May 02, 2021 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Jhana

Post by Ceisiwr »

Pulsar wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 1:09 pm
"Why do we find the Arupas integrated into the four jhanas, in some suttas?"
The following should explain this anomaly:
Keren Arbel writing about early buddhist meditation points out the following.
Daniel Stuart studying Prsthalasutra of the (Mula) Sarvastivadin Dirghagama, noted
"The Arupas artificially separated the jhanas from the attainment of cessation.
Practice of 4 dhyanas (Jhanas) was one of the fundamental practices of the
early tradition. Thus the idea that liberation was obtained directly from the
4th dhyana
is as old as the tradition.
This seems to be trying to equate the Jhānā with cessation.
The artificial product led to misconceptions that jhana
was 'absorption concentration'
The Jhānā are absorbed states, cut off 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
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Caesiwier wrote
The Jhānā are absorbed states, cut off from the 5 senses.
Is this according to the canon of Mahavira the Jain?
According to the Pali canon, MN 152 Indriyabhavana condensed, in my own words.
"Thus have i heard ...
Brahmin student Uttara, pupil of the brahmin Parasariya, encounters Buddha.
Buddha matter of factly asks him
"Uttara, does Parasariya teach his disciples the
development of the faculties?"
He does like this. "One does not see forms with the eye, one does not
hear sounds with the ear... and so forth"
Buddha replies
"O well then Uttara, it is best to be blind and deaf, right?
for a blind man does not see forms with the eye, and a deaf man
does not hear sounds with the ear"
Sutta ends like this:
There are these roots of trees, these empty huts.
Meditate, do not delay, do not meditate like Parasariya, (or the Jain mahavira, forgive them, for they do not know what they do).
Do not delay or else you will regret it later. This is our instruction to you.
Also for the rest of those following this thread, do not meditate like Caesiwier.
Perhaps if we add a bit of humor, the message will sink in better.
Do not meditate like one who has lost all the senses. That is not sensible.
With love  :candle:
BrokenBones
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Re: Jhana

Post by BrokenBones »

Pulsar :goodpost: ... I've made the same point myself in the past.

Throw in hypoesthesia, anosmia & hypogeusia and voila... first jhana 😉
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Jhana

Post by Ceisiwr »

Pulsar wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 12:19 pm
Is this according to the canon of Mahavira the Jain?
I've not read many Jain texts myself. The suttas themselves are quite clear on the matter.
According to the Pali canon, MN 152 Indriyabhavana condensed, in my own words.
I was going to provide a longer post, but in looking at the sutta summary on SuttaCentral I don't think I need to since it sums it up quite well:
A brahmin teacher advocates that purification of the senses consists in simply avoiding seeing and hearing things. The Buddha explains that it is not about avoiding sense experience, but understanding it and learning to not be affected by sense experience.
It's rather obvious that this sutta does not support your anti-absorbed Jhānā views.
Caesiwier
In case this is a misunderstanding, my username has nothing to do with Caesar. I'm Welsh, and Ceisiwr is welsh for "seeker".
"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
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

BrokenBones wrote
Throw in hypoesthesia, anosmia & hypogeusia and voila... first jhana 😉
Add Sutta Central to the mix according to the Seeker Ceaisivier, the Welsh guy. That will succeed in teaching us that Buddha learned First jhana from Jain Mahavira.
Buddha's jhana are directly evolved from Samma sati, not Mahavira the Jain.
Mahavira the Jain died spewing blood when his disciple Upali (MN 56 Upali Sutta)
switched allegiance to Buddha's jhana.
In many of Buddha's suttas (not Jain Mahhavira's) it is said
"One does not grasp signs and features of the sensed or cognized"
SN 35.239
"He trains in guarding the the six sense faculties (but not making himself blind and deaf)"
The issue here is in grasping the signs and features that enter with the seen and heard.
  • There is nothing wrong with seeing and hearing, as long as one does not grasp the
    signs and features which leads to Origination of Suffering.
One trains in taming them and pacifying them.
Buddha's entire doctrine is linked to his doctrine of Dependent Origination of Suffering. First jhana originates once you train in Samma sati in this manner, not Jain Mhavira.
Those who misread Buddha think that Buddha copied from Jain Mahavira.
Buddha must have foreseen this, because in AN 3.128, we find him admonishing a monk.
"Bhikkhu, bhikkhu, do not pollute yourself, it is inevitable that flies will pursue and attack one who has
polluted himself by
stench"
But apparently hearing this
  • that bhikkhu acquired a sense of urgency.
Dearest BrokenBones: ler us hope that others who hear of the
Soothing words of Buddha
gain a sense of urgency and not pursue Jain Mahavira.
With love to all mostly to the seeker, :candle:
Last edited by Pulsar on Mon May 03, 2021 3:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Jhana

Post by Coëmgenu »

Pulsar wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 3:32 pmCeaisivier
Typical sad aggressive behaviour from you. Restrain your rage, please. We don't need typical Anglo digs at Celtic names.
It is because the valleys are empty that they echo. It is because the mirror is empty that it reflects. It is because the flute is empty that it affects sound. It is because the ears are empty that they can listen. It is because the eyes are empty that they can see. It is because the nose is empty that it can smell.

If these were of substance inside, then there would be obstruction in these.

(from the writings of Master Liè, Daoist text, ~370AD)
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Coemgnu wrote
Typical sad aggressive behaviour from you. Restrain your rage, please. We don't need typical Anglo digs at Celtic names.
When I joke it is not due to rage, but merely due to sadness at how the Seeker misrepresents the Buddha. Forgive my sense of humor. I bear no ill-will towards anyone. Why be so hung up on identification?
With love mostly to you :candle:
PS I don't want anyone to miss my last comment due to the diversion ...
a small snippet from it.
In AN 3.128 the Buddha says
"Bhikkhu, bhikkhu, do not pollute yourself, it is inevitable that flies will pursue and attack one who has
polluted himself by stench"
Last edited by Pulsar on Mon May 03, 2021 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jhana

Post by Coëmgenu »

In relation to your "Why be so hung up on identification," I think that very often that is how abusers get away with gaslighting those they tease, like children on a playground, on this very forum. "I just disparaged you in front of many. Why are you so obsessed with people who disparage you? You should quit whinging about who disparages you." Just like you don't like to be identified as a bird that chirps, I'm sure that Ceisiwr doesn't need to be identified as Caeiosiwiwr or other creative supposed "jokes" like that.
It is because the valleys are empty that they echo. It is because the mirror is empty that it reflects. It is because the flute is empty that it affects sound. It is because the ears are empty that they can listen. It is because the eyes are empty that they can see. It is because the nose is empty that it can smell.

If these were of substance inside, then there would be obstruction in these.

(from the writings of Master Liè, Daoist text, ~370AD)
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Coëmgenu wrote
Just like you don't like to be identified as a bird that chirps,
thank you, but pl don't create a diversion. The topic is about the 10-fold path and mostly 4 buddhist jhanas. You can insult me all you want, but pl. comment on the main topic too, while you are here.
That will be helpful, or else I will have to copy and paste my comment of substance on the jhana.
Perhaps I will wait until you tire of all that you have to say.
With utmost love :candle:
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