Jhana

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

Post by Pulsar »

Confusedlayman wrote
In 4th jhana conciousness takes confidence in 4th jhana factor and rest there
What is the 4th jhana factor you are talking about, I am not familiar with 'it'.
I need to get back to the sutta I was discussing earlier i.e. MN 66.
Be well! :candle:
Pulsar
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Yet again from the sutta on the quail simile, Buddha selects this apt simile to show us the difference between persons with undeveloped faculties and developed faculties.
The undeveloped person depicted by the quail, and the developed person being the royal elephant. Why is the quail such a ninny?
Difference between their abilities is due to the difference in development of faculties. Quail situation is like
  • a person without conviction (doubting), without energy or mindfulness (Samma Sati) or absorption (Samma Samadhi) or Dhamma vicaya. Four jhanas are never located in a vacuum, are not found in a retreat, are informed by the daily habits of a person, 4th jhana does not have a factor, it is a Samadhi informed by all factors of awakening.
Quail is trapped by a rotting creeper, and the royal elephant is trapped by thick leather snares. 
Teacher asks the monks "who can break the fetters off more easily?  quail trapped by rotting creepers? or the royal elephant trapped by thick leather thongs?" One might think the quail has it easy, the answer however is the Royal elephant.
Excerpt from MN 66 
“Suppose a quail were snared by a rotting creeper, by which it could expect injury, captivity, or death, and someone were to say, ‘This rotting creeper by which this quail is snared,  is a weak snare, a feeble snare’ Would the person speaking that way be speaking rightly?”
“No, lord. That rotting creeper, is for her a strong snare, a thick snare, a heavy snare, an unrotting snare, and a thick yoke"
“In the same way, Udāyin, there are some worthless men who, when I tell them, ‘Abandon this,’ say : ‘What? This little, trifling thing? Why is Buddha such a stickler for a minor thing? and they don’t abandon it "They’re rude to me and to the monks bent on training. For them that’s a strong snare, a thick snare, a heavy snare, an unrotting snare, and a thick yoke.

“Now there are some,  who, when I tell them, ‘Abandon this,’ say: ‘What? The One Well-Gone has us give up a trifling thing?’ they instantly give up the trifling thing. They are not rude to me or to the other monks in training.
Having abandoned it, they live unconcerned, unruffled, their wants satisfied, with their mind like a wild deer.
For them that’s a weak snare, a feeble snare, a rotting snare, an insubstantial snare.
“Suppose a royal elephant—immense, pedigreed, accustomed to battles, its tusks like chariot poles—were snared with thick leather snares, but by twisting its body a bit it could break & burst those snares and go off wherever it liked.
And suppose someone were to say, ‘Those thick leather snares by which the royal elephant… was snared, but which—by twisting its body a bit— it could break & burst and go off wherever it liked: for him they were a strong snare, a thick snare, a heavy snare, an unrotting snare, and a thick yoke.’ Would the person speaking that way be speaking rightly?’“No, lord. Those thick leather snares, were for him a weak snare, a feeble snare, a rotting snare"
the Simile of the Quail is a lesson on ease of renunciation, of giving up small pernicious habits. Such developments facilitate ease of entry to four buddhist jhanas, which in turn leads to end of suffering.
Be well :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Happiness that leads to happiness, Sona introduces Buddha, as self enlightened, arupas did not help him get enlightened, the memory of jhana experienced as a child came to his rescue on the night of enlightenment.
Buddha had not met anyone enlightened before, how does he go there? 
Around 3.16 in the video, Ven. Sona speaks of the amount of dirt left within the fingernail, vs dirt of the centuries, of  world.
At 6.8 Purifying Mindfulness takes you to 1st jhana, hindrances distort, does not allow one to go there. Samadhi is the 6th factor of awakening. 7th factor is equanimity, characteristic of 4th jhana.
At 21. 55 first jhana simile is brought in, powdered soap is poured into a dish, plus a small amount of water (a custom of old India, people bathed by rivers, wind would blow the fine powder away) kneading action as in the baking of bread, a skill and an art. Whether you are a master or apprentice? means whether you are an experienced meditator or a newbie meditator, entry to first jhana, is induced in a similar way.
  • Four buddhist jhanas are mind trainings taught by Buddha,
how bad, how hard can it be to a human who has never heard of these teachings? 
  • To even verge on a state free of hindrances?
sometimes the beginner fails, but don't let that discourage you.
Ven. Sona has published a series of talks on four buddhist jhanas, 1-6, 6th one deals with breath, or Anapanasati, how to enter jhana via breath, all is found on Youtube. Just listening to them makes one drift into jhana, powerful states presented with simplicity. I selected Jhana 3 this morning. 
Good morning!  :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

As long as one thinks of an object,
  • a subject emerges, that subtle becoming is self, self is not a steady thing,
    it is the continuously rearranging ego,
the work of Papanca. Unless one places this activity under the microscope (of samma samadhi) one is unable to dismantle the self, there is no freedom from suffering.
While firmly residing in a self, relentlessly rebuilding a self, can one disassemble it? 
Wholesome attention sati or samadhi helps peels away the notion of such self. On 6/26/20 SDS brought our attention to true meaning of kammaṭṭhāna,
that was one of the most useful posts i found on DW. Samma Sati and Samma samadhi (4 buddhist jhanas), both involving dynamic attention, would fall under such a title. 
Buddha's advice on meditation.
"Go do jhana, bhikkhus, go meditate"
as Ven, Thanissaro writes.
"Under a tree"
a poetic or dhammic reference to seclusion from sense pleasures.
Scripture has to be understood not through Pali, not through Sanskrit, not through the common vocabulary of English but via Dhammic language as Ven. Buddhadasa noted.
With love :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Asura Realm: You might wonder, why deal with asuras on a Jhana thread. Jhana is about reigning in the consciousness. Myth is a journey via human consciousness, when rightly understood, the potential within the human, to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. 
Exploring myth, I will point out a few, that left impressions on me. It begins with the downfall of Asuras,
1-4 of the video, Asuras are inebriated, intellectually, and at the highest artistic levels, hence tossed out of  heaven by Devas, (First the devas had been in human realm, and due to collected merit, got born in deva realm. Asuras were originally devas, and welcomed the new entrants) 
The Myth is built around Mt. Sumeru. Surface of the sea acts as a magic gateway, Asuras live below the sea level, and present a distorted image of devas that live at the peak, of Sumeru. Devas are immersed in sensuality of one kind, opulence, luxury, their trademark.
Asuras are sunk in the mud of cruelty, violence, vengeance.
around 7.25: ongoing battles between the two. Asuras bent on regaining a lost glory. 
Multiple levels of meaning...Around 16.00 In a battle between Devas and Asuras, as Sakka's retinue advances, they hear the anguished cries of Supannas ( a lesson for military strategists),
they decide not to harm the innocent birds, their grief stuck screams, and withdraw from battle.
Devas like to destroy evil, but not if they cause damage to innocent lives, in the process. 
At 18.51 Holy seers live in the border between Asura and higher realms.
During Asura rampages, the Rici villages get destroyed. Ricis plead with Asuras, not to ravage their villages."Partisans of Sakka! We are not going to spare you" responds Sambara, the Asura king.
The Rici chief drops a curse on him. Cursed Sambara is awoken with a splitting headache. There after, his name changes to 
Vepacitti, 'Broken mind'.
 He is subjected to bouts of madness. (Think of mad leaders in the human realm) a distinct level of consciousness. 
A warning isinserted by Ven. Sona: "Don't mess with the holy people and the spiritual, it will come to haunt you" At 22.00 how Sakka ended up marrying Vepacitti's daughter Sujatha, a lesson on family dynamics.
AT 25.00 Consciousness of whole groups of individuals succumb to the tyranny of leaders?? At 27.00 Material world is the backdrop to the play of consciousness. One in a depressed state cannot appreciate the blue kasina of sky. In the spiritually developed, that blue can lead  them to Samadhi
  • Developed (samadhi) consciousness vs Undeveloped (a powerhouse of hindrances)
 
As one keeps training via Samma sati and Samma samadhi, new realities surface (wondrousness of a human mind, bodhi). Suttas appear in a totally different light.
Buddha, Dhamma, and holy Sangha come alive, in the developed consciousness.
 
At 30.00: Rahu (largest of Asuras) sees the sun or moon, his fury leaps, he is jealous of their radiance. Rahu tries to block them with hand (partial eclipse), and then he gobbles them up (full eclipse), but he cannot stop their progress. In reality when people see a shining intelligence, or talent, or an unusual spiritual capacity, there is an agency in nature, which makes jealousy erupt, they wish to impede their unique radiance. Myth is no different from truth.
Myth continues with other examples. Rahu reflects the mentality of tyrant, that bring hoards of people under their control. Recent riots in the US.
At 28.00. Benevolent Nagas try to reward a virtuous person, offers person with heavenly pleasures, the recipient enjoys, but at end of 100 years get tired of it and wants to return to a hermit's life. An unethical person seeing this, tricks Nagas into getting him similar comforts. However, due to his gross  mentality, he is unable to enjoy the beauty,  he sees beautiful maidens, as ugly, and is repelled by them.
  • "It is all in the mind"
 or in the consciousness.
For one who is able to see through the truth in the myth, the world we live is full of mythic characters ranging from devas, nagas, supannas, Asuras, and the Four great Kings. Towards the end around 30.00...those who ask
  • "Are these realms for Real?"
Can't you see? children do not ask stupid questions, Ajhan Sona chimes in. Children of wisdom! what happens as they grow old? 
A fairy tale? I loved the creativity that went into the production of this video, and remembered the several instances from the Sutta Pitaka where Buddha brings in Asuras and Devas to bring a point home to the audience.
With love to the devas, asuras, nagas, the four great kings, and supannas amidst us. :candle:
Work on your own mind, Buddhas teach, Samma samadhi is rich with unearthly pleasures, and finally the "Mind unshooken"

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Are you asura, supanna, naga, rici, or god? motifs??? this comment relates to my previous comment. If you examine your mind under a microscope (the foundations of  mindfulness) you will notice these characters trapeze through your mind, and If you know this, you have come a long way. 
In those times when mindfulness slips and Asuras take over you, vihimsa ( cruelty), the grasping, is rampant, those times when gods of wisdom desert you.
The Rici motif, would be the time, you engage in samma sati or samma samadhi. You can fill in the blanks for the remaining categories.
Excerpts from MN 19 modified, a sutta that helps me most in entering samadhi, the very meditation on this sutta, brings on balmy results, I have addressed this previously.
Sutta describes how Buddha chased the Asuras away. For us, it helps win small battles temporarily, on a daily basis.
But if we persist! nibbana will be at our door, not as an empty conception, but as a realized goal.
"When evil unwholesome thoughts are abandoned, and mind becomes steadied internally, quieted, brought to singleness, and concentrated"
"This bhikkhu is then called a master of the courses of thought"
"S/he will think whatever thoughts s/he wishes to think and s/he will not think any thought  that s/he does not wish to think"
"S/he has severed craving, the thirst, this incessant need for what is not in the moment, s/he has flung off fetters, and with the penetration of conceit, s/he has made an end of suffering."
Some say one can ride to end of suffering ie using the divine vehicle via Arupa samapatthis. This i find to be curious. SammaSambuddha had rejected Aupa samapatthis as a vehicle to Nibbana, in MN 36 the Grand Words to Saccaka.
Excerpt from MN 19, shows the attainment of arahantship,
  • the fetters that must be destroyed,
    conceit at the most subtle level, is the conceit "I am", which lingers in the mental continuum, (scenting our thoughts).
The attainment of arahantship, is the penetration of conceit, manabhisamaya, i.e. seeing through conceit, and abandoning it, which are accomplished simultaneously.
It is a long road, of course one stumbles, but unless one begins at samma samadhi informed by right view, nibbana remains a dream in the land of Papanca. In other words Nibbana becomes mere Conceiving, another conception in the deluded mind, the twisted thought of an unenlightened mind.
With love :candle:  
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Emptiness! Sujato pauses at the beginning, 5 sec. 10 sec. the most, blurts out "that is it'" now that is emptiness.
Rest is commentary, he says.
around 2,0. he continues the commentary, whole idea of emptiness is ambiguous. Emptiness is complete fullness, or consummation. Idea of emptiness or sunyata is central to the doctrine.
To speak of dhamma, we create a space, where words of Dhamma have a powerful impact. Samadhi is such an instance, when we are empty of disruptive thought.
We cannot speak of Dhamma in the fishmarket of mind.
He brings in concepts from Quantum Physics. 'a black hole' space without matter, and matter without space...it is worth reflecting on these, in a quiet space.
  • Concept of emptiness was developed by Buddha in MN 121
Emptying space sequentially of things, of people, of traffic, a simple reflection, empty of things that create stress by their presence.
shrine, candle light, buddha rupa. reflect on these, and move to another level,
go deeper into the mind
Around 12.25 he communicates "How to empty", deeper you go into the mind, leaving stuff one by one, shedding them, peace emerges,
when you have put down the burden, eyes closed, what is left is a body full of feelings, 
now let go of the past, and future, deeper you go into the mind, lighter is the mind,
emptiness is filled with blissfulness.
At 18, he presents
  • Nagarjuna as the great architect of emptiness
a 2nd century philosopher, 600 years after the Buddha. Some call him annihilistic, because he refutes everything, and wipes all and leaves you with nothing. But it is more subtle than that.
Nagarjuna repudiates the idea that he is teaching nothing. He says in fact he is teaching how to understand the Four Noble truths and  8-fold path sensibly (To an imaginary critic) 
At 19.5
  • If you assert that something exists in and of itself, then how can you say that thing is conditioned?
Nagrajuna is very subtle philosopher. it is not easy to pin him down. At 20.2 he critiques the Sarvastivadins that reified phenomena, in order to explain them,
for instance take "Prapti". Prapti, or possession means there is an owner and the thing, that is owned. But for Sarvastivadins there is an additional third thing. There is an existing thing that does it???  
this is an unneccessary complication. You cannot capture truth in these kinds of systems, you can't expect to have a one to one relationship between the words you use and the truth you describe. Language is provisional,N says.
Sujatho continues, take suffering or painful feeling for example. For abhidhammikas it is an actual thing, like a Dukkha particle or atom.
  • It exists in and of itself AKA svabhava,
like an essence, or say a Na atom. 
If dukkha exists in and of itself, Nagarjuna asks how can it be conditioned? Phenomena or experience is through and through interdependent. 
Things exist in relation to other things... At 29.00 Suffering or dukkha does not sit in a corner, by itself. It is experienced in context of our lives, in context of our thoughts, in context of our beliefs, of our bodies. a web of inter-relationships makes up our lives. For saying this, Nagarjuna was accused as an annihilist, by the opponents.
Nagarjuna responded he is neither annihilist nor eternalist, these are two extremes. Kaccanagotta
N speaks of a Middle Way, Dependent origination is emptiness, Pali suttas do not directly say this, or explicitly say so, there are several contexts that relate together however, & it is implicated. N was taking his cue from Sarvastivadin agama, the language he was dealing with is Sanskrit.
They have slightly different phrasing.That DO is emptiness is a piece of info found in the Sarvastivadin canon. Scholars have recovered one of these manuscripts. Nagarjuna was not making a new kind of proposition, he was drawing out some of its implications.
Nagarjuna was merely referring to a well known Sanskrit quote, which Buddhists of his time were familiar with. In fact Budhha says so in the Parayana vagga.
Nagarjuna was not making things up. He was following his philosophy right through to conclusion.
At 26. Sujatho brings up the controversial claim that 'Nibbana and Samsara', are the same, which  the Theravadins found shocking.
A few jokes aside... of Arahants enjoying Nibbana,  puffing their cigars, looking down on the despicable creatures of Samsara.....cool, Sujathao explains that what Nagarjuna said was there is no distinction between (no visesa) between Nibbana and Samsara.
It is different from saying they are similar. Whatever type of analytical tool you use to divide Nibbana and samsara, it is always going to leak. You cannot seal off one from the other.
Nibbana and samsara are not things that exist inherently in and of itself.
  • It is only because we suffer we practice. It is only because we practice, that we incline towards Nibbana.
NIbbana in one sense is unconditioned, but in another sense it is conditioned, it is only through practice that we find Nibbana or peace.
At 29. A famous claim "We can never discern a first point of existence" This is different from saying that there is no first point of existence. Nagarjuna twisting this, in his own way says 'first point of Samsara is the first point of Nibbana' He uses an optative. 'If there was a first point, of samsara then that would be the first point of samsara"it is a relativity but not an essence of things
We should be grateful to samsara. What he means by emptiness is not that there is nothing, or nothing exists, but things exist in relationship.
That is absolutely and universally true.
 At 32.40 Experience is structured interdependently. The structure of our experience is not inert, not a bunch of empty things. It is emerging through ongoing relationships. Reflect on this.
At 36. Nothing, not even meditation, exists by itself..
around 40...when we can begin to appreciate the depth of practice of our meditation ...take the elephants out, if you keep on emptying, at end even every little emotional twinge is taken out
what is left? self!
take the self away what is left? emptiness! Emptiness is finally not-self, the two are syonyms.
around 41...emptiness is the last medicine, One who clings to emptiness, is incurable. People get attached to an idea of emptiness, or an idea of letting go.
This can be very damaging. It can overthrow common sense.
Clinging to the idea of existence of anything even of Nibbana or the absence of everything (all is illusion) is taking the teaching the wrong way.
It is misconceiving the Dhamma.
At 44. Emptiness comes only when there is a beautiful and balanced sense of contenetment, and when you have that you can take on emptiness. 
If you have a sense of joy, sense of play, then emptiness gives a vessel for that.
Within that spacious emptiness, you can let things move through you according to their causes and conditions.
Highest kind of emptiness is meditative absorption where Ven. Sariputta often abided, free of suffering, free of defilement.
Thank you Ven Sujatho, for a lesson on emptiness...
With love :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Guises of Mara. How to creatively stay relaxed in frenetic dependently originated world.
When asked about 'origin of world' Buddha would refer to "limits of knowledge" the limited non-Arhant.
At 6.11 Role of creativity in Dhamma practice,
  • You can't practice Dhamma according to a formula. It should not be constrained by previous knowledge, One needs to listen to Dhamma with a flexible or mobile mind. "Creative act" is key, in one's progress.
At 7.4. Dhamma gives us a framework, it gives us an orientation. 
At 8.37. Defilements means akusala. Carpenter is akusala ie "he is no good". Akusala leads to harm and suffering. Greed, hate and delusion,
  • Greed is the attractive force drawing one to...
    Hate is the repulsive force, exerted towards a thing.
    Delusion is the fog of the mind, that does not care, does not bother to understand, twisting and pulling the mind out of shape.
A mind bent out of shape cannot proceed, on the Right path...
One has to be constantly inquiring, saddled with greed, hatred, and delusion, what do you do about it?
these are guises of Mara?
Dhamma offers the means of dealing with Mara. MInd not in Samadhi is in the bondage of Mara.
At 10. Bhikkhuni Samyutta, Mara scaring and debating the bhikkhunis. Why are you meditating? woman?
It is a task for men, great sages found it difficult,
You! with your two fingered wisdom?
how can it hold Dhmma properly? mocking woman's wisdom!
Bhikkhuni answers: "when the mind is concentrated, i.e. in Samadhi, who cares whether it is male or female?  If anyone thinks of male-ness or feamle-ness, Mara can go and occupy himself with them".
At 13.00-14.00 with Uppalavanna, Mara asks "Aren't you afraid?' a lone woman in the forest!"
Answer: Even if a thousand rogues came, it would not stir a  hair of mine
"I can make myself so small and walk between your eyebrows...and you would not know what happened"
challenging Mara.
Mara takes a hike, sad and disappointed, Mara the guitar player! How to deal with Mara?
At 16.00 Sometimes just the recognition of Mara, when it is assailing one's thoughts, calling him out, is enuf, he goes away, defeated, embarrassed.
Failing that, other techniques help bring the mind to a balance, or help shift out the forces that bring disturbances to the mind, to regain coherence and stability. 
It is essential to get acquainted with Mara, what kinds of problems are assailing mind? 
Method of opposites work for some, if issue is ordinary, random stuff, just the calling out is enuf.
  • "Relishing of Peace" is crucial,  love of peace? if you really love peace, and incline towards peace, quiet, and stillness of heart, then you won't go looking for things that create disquiet.
You would be disinclined towards fragmentation, towards indulgence.
At 19.00 If there is a force that is hurting you? you need to change the external conditions.
When meditation does not work, experiment, use your creativity. 
If you have to deal with an impossible character, a fractured person, a broken person, remove the external.
At 21. 40 World that we live in, is constantly being created from moment to moment, it is created from external and internal conditions.A process of continual creation! 
  • a continuous origination, dependent on causes.
DO is shaping and reshaping 'Forces that created the universe into being'. These are just as potent and alive within us.
We influence the conditions that create the world.
At 25, Sujatho refers to the aggressive exchanges on chat forums, regarding "Jhana", "enlightenment"  or "Nibbana"
At 26.14 To attain stream entry, to realize "The vision of Truth" for the first time, two qualities are crucial. A. Yoniso manasikara. A sincere inner reflection and inquiry.
B. Voice of another. Acknowledgement of Dhamma, to listen over and over again. 🐇🐿
At 29. Artistic endeavour, creation of wholeness, there are definite boundaries, and rules to deal with. Buddhist belief has been a huge stimulus for creative artistry. 🦋🐳
A wholeness, which has enuf complexity, ambiguity, and contradiction! It has to be realistic and meaningful to reflect the real world, is a process of integration, the sense of contentment!
one is pulled in different directions, but one must learn how to negotiate.
When the wholeness is there, in the mind within body, it draws in a sense of peace, of joy.
This is exactly what we do with Metta, a good place to be in, on a good platform, that enables development.
Further we go in our meditation, more we value, and more we realize!
Getting too much involved in the external?? of course there are external things that need to be attended to. When things come our way that are damaging, which inevitably happens, there is a place,
  • a refuge where hurt cannot enter, a place of Safety!
Dear Ven. Sujatho: thank you for creating a "Place of safety"
These talks of yours, resonate with an authenticity, that i love.
With love 🐾🕊

PS ridding of Mara is essential before one begins meditation. 
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Samadhi is relief: When one is relieved of hindrances, presented as the burden of credit, imprisonment, sickness, a desert trek without GPS, that freedom is the path to Samadhi. Freed from psychic irritants, begins a completion, a togetherness;
  • centeredness is intrinsic to samadhi,
vs being submerged in debt, heavy mortgage, where does the money come from, doubt? difficult relatives.
At the point of receiving the loan, it is fun, but the pay back?
A Visit to Sandha sutta: an unwise donkey (meditator) on seeing food delights
"Barley grain barley grain!"
 thrills in it. The wise donkey (meditator) on seeing the cornucopia of "barley grain" thinks
"if i enjoy the food, what kind of slavery will be required of me, the obligation?"
Enslaved by the sensual, its enjoyment.
The wise meditator finds fear and loathing in the seductions of sensory world.
S/he finds
Mara sitting in various guises, in the friendly gestures of the sensory world, eye, ear, nose, taste, touch; impressions that spell doom, if partaken, without caution, if not mindfully engaged in
The wise meditator leaves behind the Sensual world. Withdrawn, s/he
  • finds the true happiness, independent  of sensory impulses.
Short periods of such meditation, as short as a moment, or as long as a half hour, frequently practised, leads to one's well being. That short period's side effects spills over, into the common activities of an ordinary day, a gradual transformation, ensues. Such is the reward of a life lived mindfully, right mindfully. 
We live in a time (regardless of what happens in the world), when we  have access to Buddhist Retreats without having to attend. Ajahn Sona offers his talks delivered during Rains retreats on his Youtube channel. Ven. Sujatho's series of lectures on the "Far Shore" recorded during his Rains Retreats 2008- ??? is priceless. It is as if the very Buddha lives amidst us, side by side with Mara. I recently listened to Sujatho's
"Kneeling King"
it was 'poetry in motion' the
empty chair, bodhi tree, Stupa, a pair of empty footprints, a riderless horse with a parasol floating above an empty space. These used to be the symbols of Buddha, for 500 years since Buddha's passing away,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniconism_in_Buddhism
and then man had to fill the emptiness with things that masked emptiness, and it became increasingly difficult to find meaning in suttas like or MN 121, MN 122 or AN 11.9.
Recently i heard someone say on a chat Forum, not here "Sandha was meant for Arahants!" Seriously? or just in the last two weeks a monastic voicing, on that same forum "The opinion of the great masters is that in the Sandha Sutta the Buddha was talking about “intention” when i brought up Sandha Sutta, as an instance of Right Samadhi. Ajahn Sona says in one of his talks there comes a time when even some monastics will misinterpret Dhamma.
"The wise elders of the days gone by, interpreted Sandha differently?" Go figure. 
Did the wise elders who wrote commentaries in the 5th or 11th centuries have a special wisdom, that meditating monks of today like Ajahn Sona or Ven. Sujatho do not have access to?
The dhamma is immediate? is timeless! Buddha of the earliest suttas, left us with such an impression.
Abhidhammikas (scholar monks) mapped the brain of Buddha intellectualy. Intellecual endeavour, does not bring us the end of suffering. Some practiced 8-fold path, scrupulously, without skipping steps such as Right View, Right Mindfulness, Right Samadhi, without embracing the 5th century twist given to Right samadhi. 
An appreciation for an "Empty throne" "A pair of Foot prints" still lingers among some of us. And a longing to fill that emptiness with an all pervading loving kindness, a friendliness, ultimately equanimity.
One is no more shattered by the parade of events as they originate due to causes created by man.
In one of Rev. Sona's "Morning coffee" talks titled "Equanimity of Wisdom" I find this.
A treasure is hidden within a field, a man sells all his wealth to buy the empty field
Sona comments "Did the christians understand this fable?
Ultimate treasure is found, when one empties self of all the sad and useless stuff.
What other way than the 4 Jhanas introduced by the Buddha?
With love :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Nibbana is the only reality, thus spake the Buddha, everything else is unreal? Obviously then, everything revealed by the five aggregates, our forms, our thoughts, are unreal, too.
  • Only thing real is that which does not disintegrate, and that which  does not originate.
If so when some abhidhammikas choose to  speak of
"Nibbana as existence"
it misleads people who are trapped within the aggregates, for their tendency is to think that Nibbana exists within the five aggregates, as the universe, or as the mountains do, both of which are subject to disintegration, a technical difficulty, in assimilating info via a limited vocabulary.
A thing that exists (ie nibbana) within the five aggregates would disintegrate as the aggregates dissolve at death. That is an unreal nibbana.
Nibbana is the only reality, but it does not exist as the universe does, or as the mountains do, both of which are subject to crumbling.
A sutta on 5 aggregates explains,
a mound of foam floating on a river as rupa, a  bursting bubble our feelings, our perceptions as a mirage, our volitions as essenceless, as a banana trunk, a spineless thing, all this come to be based on a magic trick.
What fuels consciousness? consciousness.
Fed by a magic trick, we are!
But this does not remove our responsibility to deal with the situation, we are confronted by nama, rupa, and as long as we embrace these as real (and not a magic trick) we hook ourselves to suffering.
It is a paradox.
Such is the Dhamma taught by Buddha and the reason why he hesitated at the outset, to reveal what he awakened to.The teaching is not easy  for the shallow minded. It was not meant to be tossed around by scholar monks, and debated through the livelong day. 
Samma sati and Samma samadhi need to be taken seriously by the devout buddhist. Anapanasati sutta combines breath, satipatthana, and 4 buddhist jhanas, one does not exist without the other.
It is through breath that Buddha gained awakening, MN 4.
A sharp butcher's knife is the noble wisdom that cuts, severs and carves away the inner defilements,  a teaching to Bhikkhunis by an Arahant,"Nandaka's Exhortation"
It is wisdom we strive for.
Once i read on Dhammawheel
'IMO it is not that useful to place these two forms of meditation into little 'boxes'. To do so cuts off a lot of productive avenues for calm and insight coming from implementing a combination of them. anapansati vs Satiptthana"
Folks like this were on  DW. I was inspired by DW.
Once Ajahn Lee Dhammadaro wrote
"By this point I had gotten really fed up with laypeople and monks. I no longer wanted to live with the human race. The one thought in my mind was to go off and live alone on a mountaintop,  because nibbana is always present"
with love 🦋
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Who awakens in this world? Brahmali speaks about the qualities of those who are able to. The one who wakes up, is the wno is able to understand the perceptions that lead to decline, stability, distinction and penetration.
Around 3.00 Perception is a path to awakening, all it takes is to perceive in the right way - just this takes you all the way to awakening, Brahmali speaks. 
If you perceive the right way, you are following the 10-fold path, to its end. The talk is pretty straightforward, Brahmali is a forceful speaker. He has degrees in Engineering and Finance. It shows in the manner of his speech. it is very structured.
On another talk to a Sri Lankan audience, he revealed, he is a salesperson of Dhamma. Nicely put.
Let us delve deeper into the sutta, upon which Brahmali bases this talk on.
AN 4.179 title 'Nibbana'
Excerpt: Ananda asks Sariputta
"Why do some beings attain Nibbana in this very life?"
"There's the case, friend Ananda, where beings discern, as it actually is present,
that 'This perception has a share in decline'; 'This perception has a share in stability'; 'This perception has a share in distinction'; 'This perception has a share in penetration.
'This is the cause, this is the reason, why some beings become totally unbound in the present life.'
Reversely or conversely, persons who do not discern in the above manner are glued to samsara.
I use BB footnotes to the sutta, which may be interpreted as follows.
  • "When perception and attention are accompanied by sensuality in one who attains first jhana, perception pertains to deterioration; 
    (In the footnote wisdom is used in place of perception. Right perception is an aspect of wisdom)
  • when mindfulness is stabilized in accordance with its nature, perception pertains to stabilization;
  • when perception and attention are unaccompanied by thought, perception pertains to distinction.
  • When perception and attention are accompanied by disenchantment, conjoined with dispassion, perception pertains to penetration.
The perception spoken of in this sutta is achieved via 4 buddhist jhanas, which is AKA Samma samadhi. 
At 22.00 Brahmali says people ask, how do you attain deep samadhi, the answer is "by repetition" 
At 25.00 he says development of perception helps in daily life.
Hope the following details I bring in, are helpful in understanding the sutta further.
Arahant has perfected Samma samadhi.
  • Perceptions that cause Papanca do not arise in Arahant.
Arahant has done away with underlying tendencies. Upon contact with an object, sanna that arises, is not subject to underlying tendencies. 
Take memory for instance, when an arahant makes contact with a thought of the past, it is not impacted by underlying tendency, thus s/he is not a slave to memory.
Refer to Honeyball sutta MN 18
Feelings and perceptions of the Arahant do not mislead him.
Sujatho emphasizes the 4 buddhist jhanas (discussed in great detail at an earlier time, on this thread).
  • Second factor of the path, Right Intention is crucial to accomplishing Samma Samadhi. It is the preparatory work.
Right Intention/Samma samkappa: implies renunciation,
aim is peaceful renunciation
away from sensuality, bending towards non-ill-will (ie loving-kindness), away from cruelty, leaning towards compassion.
Intention has to come from the heart. It comes from a realization, that shapes your intentions. One has to find skillful means of expediting this, ability to develop Metta meditation. Overcome anger, irritation, and negativity. 
At 29.00 You have to develop these over and over again.
Goal of Right Intention is the equanimity gained by this development.
  • Samma Samadhi yields an equanimity of a more elegant nature, that leads to insight or vipassana.
It is not the Vipassana method of Burmese meditators, which has infected Goenka etc.
Rightly spoken, vipassana is a synonym for insight. Some think vipassana is a method of meditation, it is not. That is a Burmese invention, not Buddha's teaching.
In the next comment i might address the issue of Burmese meditation, pointed out by Thanissaro, Sujatho, and Sona. 
Brahmali once wrote on Sutta central
I just wonder how useful it is to say that jhāna is not required. It might encourage people to stop short, with the potential of stopping their progress on the path. And I am not speaking from theory; I know people who have had this exact problem. 
Thank you Ven. Brahmali for being a most excellent salesperson for Dhamma.
With love :candle:

Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Conversion by magic, Tathagata voodoo? was an accusation, directed at Buddha. It misrepresented Tathagata, it was baseless, false, and untruthful. What Buddha taught was not voodoo, AN 4.193 writes, his advice was
"You should constantly remove greed, do not do any action born of greed,
whether by body, speech, or mind. Likewise by hatred, likewise by delusion, likewise by vehemence. 
To repeat the last, you should constantly remove vehemence, do neither any action born of vehemence, whether by body, speech, or mind, nor encourage another to do so.
Just by these words Bhaddiya was converted,
  • magical words?
was that the dwarf Bhaddiya spoken of in https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN21_6.html
or the one in Udana 7.2https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ ... .than.html.
Or were they all the same person???
Whoever it was, what it tells  me is the ugly Arahant is a far far better deal than than the handsome, star of the movies? unless he is an Arahant.
That was the magic of Buddha,
 "Excellent is that converting magic, Good is that converting magic"
Bhaddiya replied.
The sutta ends by saying
"If these Sal trees would be converted, by these words,
that would lead to the welfare and happiness even of those great Sal trees
for a long time, if they could choose"
How much more for a human being? Was Buddha using Sal tree awakening as a metaphor? to impress upon Bhaddiya the power of Skillfulness.
But Buddha says "if sal trees could choose" Sal Trees cannot choose, this we know.
  • "Vehemence" placed alongside the category of "greed, hate and delusion?'
is thought provoking, an intentional emphasis.
Removing vehemence? Did Buddha mean the  quality of impetuousness, that rises in the mind, and its role in unskillfulness? 
The point in introducing this sutta on the jhana thread is the impression
"constant removal",
left on me.
In order to constantly remove unskillful qualities, one must be aware of them as they arise.
Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi (4 buddhist jhanas) are the only means of doing so.
MN19 helps, in guiding one towards that, but AN 4.193 takes it a notch higher by stressing body and speech.
Side effects of jhana practice needs to spill over to one's daily activity.
Actions and speech are informed by what one thinks, and one's thinking is transformed only via Rupa Jhanas.
As phenomena grow clear to the
brahman— ardent, in jhāna —
his doubts all vanish when he discerns a phenomenon
with its cause.
from Udana1.1

Where Bodhi uses "vehemence" Sujatho uses "aggressiveness". Is forcefulness any better?
language is limited, and our thinking is limited by our skillful use of language. Sujatho once wrote,
translation is tricky, there is as much a chance of getting the meaning right, as Shrodinger's cat had of being alive.
Where BB uses
  • non-greed, non-hatred, non-delusion, non-vehemence as the positive qualities,
Sujatho uses
  • contentment, love, understanding and benevolence.
Meaning used positively helps the heart's healing, at times. 
With love :candle:
PS All comments on this thread are based on the
4 buddhist jhanas
which are also called Rupa jhanas. Many discuss Arupa on other threads, which are not teachings of the Buddha.
Buyer Beware! the canon contains teachings of Buddha, and also of other teachers. Engaging in Arupas do not lead to the end of suffering, it keeps suffering alive, via journeys in the brahma worlds.
Bhaddiya sutta AN4.193 https://suttacentral.net/an4.193/en/sujato.
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Non-self - a unique teaching of the Buddha. Non-self is the archetypal buddhist thing, how to make non-self help in the simplest possible way? the other religions that prevailed at the time of Buddha, understood issues of feelings and clinging too, spoke of a deliverance, of a Moksa. 
Buddha introduced the radical notion of non-self, profound, a paradox?
There is the illusion of self, moving through events of the day, yet Buddha claims there is none. To really get to the heart of seeing this, one has to have a clear grasp of dependent origination.
This arose in the mind of Buddha upon awakening. He reflected
How Come?
This being, that is;
from the arising of this, that arises?
  • on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:
    When things become manifest
    To the ardent meditating brahman, All his doubts then vanish since he understands
    Each thing along with its cause
How do we approach this awakening practically, until we too begin to see intricacies of DO, spiritually? 
If you have not grasped DO well enough to apply it to your routine and  cannot maintain the required mindfulness to do so? we can try the best we can...
Self implies a sense of identity. Identity is founded on continuity. 
At 4.00 Brahmali brings in the simile of a car that has been completely overhauled, after 20 years of usage, not a single original screw is left, so it is with the human condition. 
At 8.00 Classifying the human, using 5 piles, 5 khandas, 5 aggregates? Personality is divided into groupings, the basis is equipped with 6 sense faculties? how do these fit in? Kind of abstract, however these can be understood as part of experience.
Our experience is the sum-total of our reality.
There is nothing (no person) that goes from one experience to the next, as the day moves, even though there is the illusion of such,
a doorbell rings, a sound, baking bread, aroma? events? 
you choose something (volition), and then you don't...
  • Across these, the 'sense of i' does not have a foundation, yet one is built in,"I", as crutch.
Without which we tend to wobble. It is a tightrope walk without one, since we have to act with responsibility, The ethical life beckons?  We don't have the energy to do the tightrope thingy,
during the mundane hours of the day, constant meditation is hard for us lay people.
At 15.00 To fully understand, one has to develop the tools that Budddha came up with, mindfulness polished via 4 buddhist jhana development. Sutta on Adze handle https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN22_101.html
At 16.54  While watching the kaleidoscope of things moving, with a seemingly stable perception of change running through, there is the freedom to see, there is no ground for the sense of 'I', yet this "I" is kind of a safety valve, in case  you lose your bearing, to that extent it is OK ??? wisely executed...
in the insightful moments one knows the truth, one sees that happiness is correlated with that conviction of 'non-self'. Things are subtle you see, nothing goes from event A to event B,  the things that manifested at A changed when B manifested..they changed according to cause and condition 
At 18.54 It is pure simplicity, everything is so basic, extremely subtle, you cut through the core of events, and fully penetrate the idea of non-self...
That sense of non-identity, It gives you an incredible sense of relief,
delusion  creates
"sense of I" It is built into the DNA one might say... such is the power of 'I" to tweak the expression of DNA, yet No identity shifts as things morph.
It is as if there were a series of events into which a computer program rapidly inserted an "I" to each event, and we are fooled, by the "I" inserting meachnaism of our past lives.
  • Arahant is wise enough to break through this habit pattern. Events occur to her/him, but the i-inserting mechanism is abolished.
There is transitioning, but no one transiting, things change!
River of events flow, without the "dam of I" The flow suffers when a dam is built of conceit, pride, and arrogance. Even in the thought "spiritually I'm better off than the other" the hard problem of 'I" sits, with a smirk on its face.
Damning causes suffering in the "flow". Instead of creating a damn of 'I' to control flow, transcend the flow.
Samyutta nikaya begins with a deva asking
"How did  you cross the stream of samsara?"
 "neither standing nor swimming, i crossed the flow"
This brief poem incorporates the entire doctrine, if only one had eyes to see.
At 35.00 Instead of trying to control the outer,  the way you experience the world, reorient your attitude. Arahant's feelings are reoriented. They do not proceed towards craving. 

Idea of self resides in the doer, trying to control what is uncontrollable. How do you let go of control? 
At 36.00 why do people get upset? get angry? this happens daily.
Anger cannot control, it is the worst expression of an identity.
At 40.00 when you start seeing the limitations of the world, it moves you into an amazing spirituality. You feel the suffering of the world. Reorient yourself, development of the mind, is the solution, via 8-fold path, via Samma sati, and Samma samadhi. 
Rome was not built in a day, Cycle the path a trillion times, don't skip samma sati and samma samadhi. Do the best you can...Reorient life towards reality.

Above are some highlights from Rev. Brahmali's talk,
he has a way of bringing Dhamma down to earth, it is good to listen to the same talk across a few days.
A thing that did not sink in before sinks in on the third time?
I have emphasised what i thought was most critical, and have elaborated these with my words, to bring points home, and added a few suttas to reinforce the concepts.
 
Missing part of Udana 1.1, from the previous quote.
One becomes convinced of  the absence  of "I" over time, when one  spends time with
Buddha's first reflections upon awakening. Don't overthink DO, 3-life models etc, leave that to the scholar,
just use what is relevant to your life, think like this, 'here and now' 
How shall i use the teaching to lessen suffering over the course of half a day, or for a single hour?
As you cut off the links to "I"  relief grows, and thereby happiness..

From Udana 1.1
That is: 
with ignorance as condition, volitional activities come to be;
with volitional activities as condition, consciousness comes to be;
with consciousness as condition, name-and-form comes to be;
with name-and-form as condition, the sixfold base comes to be;
with the sixfold base as condition, contact comes to be;
with contact as condition, feeling comes to be;
with feeling as condition, craving comes to be;
with craving as condition, grasping comes to be;
with grasping as condition, being comes to be;
with being as condition, birth comes to be;
with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be.
This is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
With love  :candle:
PS. Link to the video...
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Stream of tears
At 9.0 Imagine you've come to the end of life, in the in between of lives you meet Yama the king of underworld. At the point of death, life happens in a flash, will it be beautiful or will that flash be of full of sore regret? don't let regret flash by.
Que sera sera! whatever will be, will be!  don't let it  be like that.
All around us, feel dependent origination in action, its impact on our lives. Be not helpless.
  • Exert the force of ten elephants to reverse DO. How do you develop elephantine force? It is just this Iddhipada, and Five Faculties, companions of awakening factors
I think of Iddhipada as legs that give you the height (like a walker on stilts) to surmount difficulties, and walk ahead in spite of the crowds blocking, crowd of the defiled.
Buddha often says
"Few in the world see, most are blind"
Don't join the blind majority. Yama is a metaphor, for the activities of consciousness
King Yama? who are the messengers?
joining  with the unloved, severed from the loved, we wonder hindered by avijja, fettered by craving, craving drags one by the nose
At 20.00 Attention is drawn to the stark reality of samsara, if only you could regress and see the many past lives; amount of times you were born; horror of horrors!
at 21 Simile of the stick; Tossed stick, where does it land? a new birth has as much a chance of heaven or not; SN 56.33 http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samy ... 6-033.html Excerpt: 
Just as, bhikkhus, a stick thrown up towards the sky falls down, sometimes on the bottom, sometimes on the top, just so, bhikkhus....
parents dying, spouses weeping, tears filling the ocean, SN15.3 https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"what is the greater?: water in the four oceans or the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing

sometimes the lucky birth conducive to nibbana, next time one leading away from....(suicide bomber); a matter of conditionining in life;
  • things proceed, no one is proceeding,  a progression of interconnected chains of events, luck of the draw, who can say what a new life latches on to?
The yielding kamma is like a product of an algorithm, kammic acts derived from a million lives, to choose from, and fit into one life, birth depends on many things, chance? should i pray to chance "Pl god next time let it be a lucky throw" or incline more towards Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi? as that inclination involves a better chance towards a life favoring nibbana? If not in this life but in next.
  • Eightfold path is about peace and happiness achieved via Samadhi, right now
(that opens the window to deep wisdom). Beyond that there is Samma Nana and Samma Vimutti which makes it Ten-fold. Suttas write  
"as puddles fill, streams flow, and rivers overflow"
there is a movement heading to ocean, a metaphor for nibbana. it is the result of kamma that you are born! A sutta writes 
"this body is not yours, neither is it another's"
but you know that it is your responsibility what you do with it, not another's. The Paradox. Sutta on the Wise Man and the Fool SN 12.19 writes
"For the fool hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body has thereby originated"
Buddha insists
"Stop speculating of Kamma"
find the escape hatch.
At 23.00 that sense of self? how do you handle it? try to un-velcro from the "I"
At 24. it is hard to find anyone who has not been your spouse, your child. so think motherly love, you don't want to be mean to a child of another life; mother remembers the baby, and loves the grown man regardless of flaws.
At 26. As you focus on DO on a daily basis,
a revulsion develops towards all things, Samadhi is a maker of dispassion.
all sankharas, all formations mental or physical, are subject to decay, repeated contemplation of DO, has an advantage, one gradually loses the hold on the world as avijja vanishes and vijja springs. This does not mean you love your family less, but your kindness and compassion increases, seeing their plight too.
Brahmali brings in MN 36 Mahatanhasankhaya sutta, at this point, talks of descent of embryo. Gandhaba, heavenly musician? but it is also a name for a descending cognitive energy into mother's womb, that is loaded with lust, which arrives from Antarabhava or bhado (Tibetan).
It is lust that drags you from life to life. Brahmali brings in MN 98 that presents brahmanical views,  Buddhists took on brahmanical views, (just consider the 4 Arupas:not Buddha's teaching, but how many people here mention these as if it is found in the holy bible).
We find in suttas sometimes, ideas not of Buddha, later Buddhists took these on Brahmali says.
There is an interesting foot note on MN 98 by BB. It relates to verse 60.
Kamma undergoes a shift in meaning signaled by the term Dependent Origination. Kamma here no longer means simply present action determining one's social status, but action in the special sense of a force binding beings to the round of existence
At 31 he presents an interesting idea on abortion, and repuercusions on killing, the stigma of abortion. Don't be quick to judge, have a compassionate approach. Buddha never commented on these things, others did. When does gandhaba enter the womb? it could be second month? third month??? who is to say? When do the sense bases form and fetus make contact, have feeling, Pulsar is stretching it.
At 36.00 the imagery of child growing up, playing games, attaching to things, sense bases well formed, making powerful contacts with the sensory world.
At 38.00:
Things seen, heard, touched provoke lust.
contact, feeling, origination of lust; our limited minds, are confined by sensuality; 
On the spiritual side, mIndfulness means you are grounded. In meditation ie Samma sati and Samma samadhi (4 buddhist jhanas) mind is pried open, one breaks through the shell of ignorance MN 53. I have commented of this sutta at length, before on this thread.
selfishness confines, self occupied vs unoccupied. In the unoccupied,  there is freedom. Defiled vs undefiled Quoting from Mahanidana sutta:
From greed arises conflict, that makes a path to  violence;
parents die, children fight over properties left behind, siblings remain enemies for the rest of life. Such is the power of greed.
Around 45.00 Deliverance of mind, by wisdom, when bad qualities are halted and good qualities prevail; Regular practice of 4 jhanas lead to stream entry. Alternately constant engagement in the sensual world, delighting in it, ignoring the 4 jhanas, firms up the bonding to samsara. Existence or bhava thrives based on delight and longing, when favoring and opposing thrives; consciousness lands on the sensory realm, hence begins this whole mass of suffering.
Guard yourself well, find out who you are, life goes by so fast, spend time  learning dependent origination (what buddha awakened to), get in touch with it. Once you understand the mechanism,  
dependent origination is shocking, how it gives rise to life after life
a mass of suffering! check out the bridge to end all suffering, the tenfold path, is the guarantor to the end of suffering;
  • Thus you see,  the process of enlightenment is about reversing dependent origination of suffering.
This is what Buddha awakened to. Engage in the four Buddhist jhanas. Right view leads you right there; Right intention leads you right there,(being free of cruelty)
Right view is not an individual view, it is a process  laid out succinctly in MN 9. It will take you a couple of months to figure it out, or several years, or a lifetime, or several.   
Path guarantees the ending of all views (fulfillment of Right view).
In Buddha's dispensation there is nothing called your right view and my right view, that is plain baloney, or plain delusion, or plain madness.
Therefore, bhikkhus, you should yoke yourselves to understanding of how things arise, how conditions arise based on pre-existing conditions  ...you should yoke yourselves to the path leading to the cessation of suffering.
With love :candle:

PS Using the Dhamma talk as background, I bring in my thoughts  to elaborate on the path to Nibbana, the tenfold path MN 117, and the four buddhist jhanas.

SN 12.1 Brahmali 
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

To Arittha on breath and jhana.
Finely tuned breath, is instrumental in leading one away from the sensory world, to the non-sensory, via buddhist jhanas, upeksha sati parisuddhi.

Beauty emanates from 4th jhana, a thing independent of sensory world. Rev. Sona created a video clip of 4th jhana, if you watched his jhana series you would be familiar with that. 
Without beauty, without peace, without non-interference from intruding thought, without imperturbability, one cannot pry the deluded eyes open to the heaviness of Impermanence or the Dukkha that is born relentlessly via paticca samuppada, in this Samsara, within us.
In the quiet of jhana, one sees the 'absence of a steady self' 
Visuddhimagga is not the content of a book (i recall Ajahn Brahmali saying, i was amused) it is this cleansing via jhana, removal of impurities via awakening factors.
Finely tuned breath meditation buffers the contact with sensory world.
Several suttas use air kasina as a means of entry to the void, examples MN 118, SN 54.6.
In MN 121, earth kasina is relied upon instead. Goal is the same,
  • Descent into the void
Flowing rivers helps, in guiding one towards samadhi, rippling of water has a mesmerizing effect, facilitating the gathering of thought, granting entry to 1st and 2nd jhana. Such is the power of nature around us.
Exploring SN 54.6
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN54_6.html 
In this sutta Buddha corrects Arittha. Arittha thinks he has mastered breath meditation to the fullest, but there is more to it. excerpt:
Arittha claims "Having abandoned sensual desire for past sensual pleasures, lord, having done away with sensual desire for future sensual pleasures, and having thoroughly subdued perceptions of irritation with regard to internal & external events, I breathe in mindfully and breathe out mindfully."
to which Buddha responds
"There is that mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, Arittha. I don't say that there isn't. But as to how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is brought in detail to its culmination, listen and pay close attention. I will speak."
Notice how Buddha carefully orchestrates his answer, like a parent guiding a son
"What you are doing is right, Arittha,  i don't say it is wrong, now i will show you how to refine breath further, to lead you towards the goal"
In other words not putting off the son, but engaging him further.
Has there ever been a teacher more magnificen? more loving? 

2nd  excerpt outlines the incorporation of breath into jhana meditation.
Buddha continues: 
'He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.'
He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.'
He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to papanca...(ie inner sinful tendencies)' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to papanca.'
He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming papanca.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming papanca.'
Notice how this teaching is also a hybrid of Samma sati and Samma samadhi.
  • Breath, Samma Sati, and Samma Samadhi are fitted into one box.
A case of Minimalism unlike in the case of Anapanasati sutta. MN 118. 
Calming of papanca is a big deal which is also the goal of Four Foundations of Mindfulness (I don't quite see this happening in Vipassana-vada). In the excerpt Pulsar replaces mental fabrications/volitions with Papanca, to direct reader's attention to the goal of Buddhist meditation.
Sometimes tweaking a word ie fabrication, guides the reader towards the goal more efficiently.
  • The aim is reversal of Paticca samuppada
Many miss this point, hence Buddha in the core teaching is missed.
'Those who see Dependent origination, sees the Buddha'
thus writes the canon.
When papanca (sankhara) is not resorted via phassa, vedana, sanna, their concerted effects to bring about Sankhara is wiped out. One wipes out that aspect of consciousness which generates nama and rupa. Arahant has wiped out the relentless regeneration of nama-rupa.
Four Foundations of mindfulness when practiced sensibly, as in SN 47. 42 of Satipatthana samyutta, leads to an end of suffering, this sutta is called "On Origination or Samudaya".
A marvellous sutta! it is a work of minimalism, which lays the foundation for the dismantling DO. Samma Sati practised accordingly in combination with Samma Samadhi, guides meditators towards the end of suffering.
i commented on 'Origination' SN 46.42, on this thread some time back.
Year is almost coming to a close, urgency to finesse the Dhamma!
like a whisper in the air.
With love  :candle:
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