Jhana

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

Post by Visigoth »

You wrote:

"if in my past,
there had not been kammic formation (Kammabhi sankharo),
now there would not be for me these five aggregates,
feelings, perceptions etc...I will now so strive that there will not be
any kammic formation of mine producing the aggregates of the
future.
When that is absent, there will be for me no future rebirth, meaning I will so strive that the world presented by the five aggregates will be terminated"

Can you please provide link from where it is taken? I can't find it on SuttaCentral or ATI.

You said: "What shifts to the next life is the force of kamma"

Now this has perplexed a whole lot of people. What do you mean by force of Karma continuing? It is just Karma=Action and what it produces=Vipaka. Such terminological usage like 'force of Karma' has given it separate existence as if it is something "different" from Kamma/Action itself.

To begin our understanding with mundane example, watering a plant is an Act/Kamma and it's result is 'its not withering away'. Now your Act itself has created situation by making available enough water for its sustenance. There is no hidden/transmigrating/metaphysical force that produces the result. Nurturing it for years is an Act/Kamma that has created conducive situation for it to produce fruits.

I have always wondered with this Hinduised concept of Kamma being mystical force that travels like electricity or a soul, handing over devine retribution! ☺️

I believe Kamma and all it's results should not enter into our fold of understanding Buddha Dhamma for the Blessed one has categorically declared it one among the Acinteyya.😇

Then you said: "No that is not what i meant, it is the scent of resulting intention that moves over"

Replace 'scent of resulting intention' with 'force of Kamma' and we have same thing again.

Then you have elaborately dealt with "Kammic Consciousness". All i know of consciousness is six-sense consciousness described the many Suttas i.e. eye-consciousness, ear-consciousnes etc.

I would like to know how 'Kammic Consciousness' is defined by the Blessed One.

You said: " What I meant by residue was the force of kamma generated by the resulting intention of those interactions, combined with inexorable asava, that fuels transmigration from one life to another...."

Can you please explain your understanding of WHAT ACTUALLY TRANSMIGRATES? Is it just Kammic Force or Kammic Consciousness or something altogether different?

With Metta
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Dearest Visigoth: i used the phrase Force of kamma, like someone might use the phrase "Force of Metta" not as a principle of Physics, where it is written Newton's second law states that force is proportional to what is required for an object of constant mass to change its velocity, which  is equal to that object's mass multiplied by its acceleration.
I was not thinking of Force like that at all. How does Metta work? can anyone explain? This thread is not about kamma in the sense how kamma comes to pass. Kamma is too copious a subject, even Buddha stayed away from, and kept silent, or said "Don't bother me"
  • But Kamma as an ethical principle is in fact fully embedded in dependent origination,
and Buddha very much wanted us to pay attention to it religiously. 
  • Sankhāra, the second factor of dependent origination, is intention and therefore the same as kamma in its ethical sense.
As for your query on difference of kamma (Buddhist) vs other Indian religions, I have commented on this elsewhere.
viewtopic.php?p=599796#p599796
When i wrote "kammic consciousness" it was in connection with Underlying tendency. Pl read my post on 1/8/21 on this thread.
Yes Buddha said "All" is the six cognitions.
"All" is a reference to how the inflow of sensory world is registered via eye, ear etc in a sequence of Dependent Origination.
In the puthujjana "All"  operates creating more Papanca or more delusion.
  • "Underlying Tendency" plays a major role in how  "All" expresses itself, in the puthujjana.
Arahant has killed the Underlying Tendency. 
For the Theravadin it is just that. For the Theravadin who could not get his head around "Underlying Tendency", it is a big muddle. Perhaps because early buddhists constantly wrangled over this, and did not understand "Underlying Tendency", Yogacarins came up with the idea of "Store consciousness" and a few other consciousness. 
But I find it easier to attribute our ills to samsaric habitual patterns influencing our current behavior, creating false notions of "I" just to 'Underlying Tendency".  
You can read about Vasubandu, and Yogacara elsewhere.
Karmasiddhiprakarana: THE TREATISE ON ACTION BY VASUBHANDHU BY ETIENNE LAMOTTE, English translation by Leo M. Pruden is an excellent read if you need to know how various abhidhammikas speculated on Kamma. 
There must be plenty of discussions on kamma on DW, Sutta Central, and Stack exchange, if that is what you are looking for. 
My main interest is not in "how Kamma works, but how to stop the further "Origination of Kamma".  DO explains the origination.  DO and 8-fold path is all one needs to understand.
Bucknell has written an excellent paper on Paticca samuppada, covering all aspects of DO. i will find the link for you if you are interested. 
Just the second step of 8fp(right intention) combined with Metta Sutta, strong mindfulness and firm Samadhi (4 buddhist jhanas) is all that has to be done to find  freedom from suffering.
With love  :candle:
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confusedlayman
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Re: Jhana

Post by confusedlayman »

Pulsar wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:04 pm Dearest Visigoth: i used the phrase Force of kamma, like someone might use the phrase "Force of Metta" not as a principle of Physics, where it is written Newton's second law states that force is proportional to what is required for an object of constant mass to change its velocity, which  is equal to that object's mass multiplied by its acceleration.
I was not thinking of Force like that at all. How does Metta work? can anyone explain? This thread is not about kamma in the sense how kamma comes to pass. Kamma is too copious a subject, even Buddha stayed away from, and kept silent, or said "Don't bother me"
  • But Kamma as an ethical principle is in fact fully embedded in dependent origination,
and Buddha very much wanted us to pay attention to it religiously. 
  • Sankhāra, the second factor of dependent origination, is intention and therefore the same as kamma in its ethical sense.
As for your query on difference of kamma (Buddhist) vs other Indian religions, I have commented on this elsewhere.
viewtopic.php?p=599796#p599796
When i wrote "kammic consciousness" it was in connection with Underlying tendency. Pl read my post on 1/8/21 on this thread.
Yes Buddha said "All" is the six cognitions.
"All" is a reference to how the inflow of sensory world is registered via eye, ear etc in a sequence of Dependent Origination.
In the puthujjana "All"  operates creating more Papanca or more delusion.
  • "Underlying Tendency" plays a major role in how  "All" expresses itself, in the puthujjana.
Arahant has killed the Underlying Tendency. 
For the Theravadin it is just that. For the Theravadin who could not get his head around "Underlying Tendency", it is a big muddle. Perhaps because early buddhists constantly wrangled over this, and did not understand "Underlying Tendency", Yogacarins came up with the idea of "Store consciousness" and a few other consciousness. 
But I find it easier to attribute our ills to samsaric habitual patterns influencing our current behavior, creating false notions of "I" just to 'Underlying Tendency".  
You can read about Vasubandu, and Yogacara elsewhere.
Karmasiddhiprakarana: THE TREATISE ON ACTION BY VASUBHANDHU BY ETIENNE LAMOTTE, English translation by Leo M. Pruden is an excellent read if you need to know how various abhidhammikas speculated on Kamma. 
There must be plenty of discussions on kamma on DW, Sutta Central, and Stack exchange, if that is what you are looking for. 
My main interest is not in "how Kamma works, but how to stop the further "Origination of Kamma".  DO explains the origination.  DO and 8-fold path is all one needs to understand.
Bucknell has written an excellent paper on Paticca samuppada, covering all aspects of DO. i will find the link for you if you are interested. 
Just the second step of 8fp(right intention) combined with Metta Sutta, strong mindfulness and firm Samadhi (4 buddhist jhanas) is all that has to be done to find  freedom from suffering.
With love  :candle:
it is impossible to get rid of underlying tendency without 4th jhana ...
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Dearest Confusedlayman: Can you pl. refrain from adding to the bulk of the thread pointlessly. If you want to address one point in a comment, pl. copy that one point only.
You wrote
it is impossible to get rid of underlying tendency without 4th jhana
Can you pl. explain what you mean by 4th jhana? but don't copy and paste this comment, as you begin to answer. It is impossible that I would forget the last comment I wrote. Thank you for your consideration.
With love :candle:
PS I juts noticed that Spiny Norman gave you some good advice when you asked "Is it possible to lose Jhana" viewtopic.php?f=43&t=38074
It might help to "reset" and go back to basics. Allow a more natural development.
It can feel like one step forward and two back at times. And shit happens (Second Truth).
Also, you don't have to get bogged down in the technicalities of jhana, you can just develop some solid samadhi, and see where it leads. You can treat it more like an adventure than a set of "levels" to be achieved. More like an exploration than a set of tasks.
And don't be discouraged by negative or belittling comments about your progress so far.
It is fair to say that I could not do any better than that.
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confusedlayman
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Re: Jhana

Post by confusedlayman »

Pulsar wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:26 pm
4th jhana according to sutta and emerging from it. I am saying without investigating 3 characteristic using jhana, it is impossible to achieve arhantship
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Confusedlayman wrote
4th jhana according to sutta and emerging from it. I am saying without investigating 3 characteristic using jhana, it is impossible to achieve arhantship
Can you restate it in simpler words, without using "Emergence" or 3 characteristics. What is your primary goal in resorting to Samma samadhi? or 4 buddhist Jhanas?
You appear to give prominence to arupa samapatthis at times, based on your other threads. How do you combine the Buddhist Jhanas with Arupas. I know some suttas do this. it has been an eternal puzzle to me.
Perhaps you can help me out here, since you are a proponent of those too, and have written much about
those also, elsewhere.
With love :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Friday morning thoughts, If a cruelty is targeted at you, don't attribute it to the person who is cruel to you, don't shoot the messenger, they merely serve as conduits to conduct towards you,
a karmic uprising
perhaps. To soften this blow Buddha taught us train in this manner
"You are neither here nor there, nor in the in between"
to be crushed by the mountains speeding towards you.
Death too is rushing towards you, but if we are neither here nor there, who can death kill?
like copper wires conduct electricity, kamma likewise from the storehouse of its deeds, transmit kammic energies.
Stop making kamma. Withdraw so that when thunderbolt strikes you, you are not there.
The well trained mind finds solace in the void.  
  • Void is another word for the 4th Buddhist Jhana.
So it is worth trying to figure out what 4th jhana really is.
  • Jhana is not an attainment,
nor sitting on the cushion,
  • when mindfulness is at its soteriological peak that is 4th jhana.
Some think jhana is an exotic thing, a magic wand that teleports one to ecstasy. It does not work like that.
In every effort you make to guard your senses, you are working towards jhana, jhana is your everyday life, when you tweak your lifestyle to match buddhist renunciation.
In some moments you will find a state free of suffering, when underlying tendencies do not asail you, you have descended into the Void. Think of that as 4th Jhana.
With love  :candle:
SunWuKong
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Re: Jhana

Post by SunWuKong »

Jhana is not an attainment, because it is revealing only what already is there. It is the overcoming of ignorance that makes it so it cannot be seen. Jhana is awakening that requires adept practice, whether sitting, standing, walking, etc. In the 4th jhana, object and subject both disappear. In the sitting practice there are several orientations of the mind to the object. What is important to be said about jhana isn't that there is a "goal" to attain, but that when jhana factors arise, and hindrances fall away, it confirms and verifies right practice. Teachers will of course try to knock the ego out of a pupil that becomes enamored with jhana factors, or Jhana 1,2, 3 etc., because the pupil will naturally be so blown away that they will think the have "arrived" when in fact it's at that moment that they need to practice the most diligently. At first, it is common to struggle with the object, for the mind to wander. The mind is so accustom to agitation out of habit, it is a hard habit to break. Returning to the object, remembering the object, being mindful of the object, with practice becomes more natural. The mind becomes more disciplined, but really, its the practice getting easier too. Eventually the thought directed towards the object becomes sustained thought. This is often overlooked in these discussions. Sustained means, like the terminology in music, the mind rests on the object without breaking away from it, like a note that is struck, but the tone continues to be heard. I would like to put forward that most people can get to this. The idea that jhana is difficult or impossible, that might in some cases be true, but emphasis must be placed on getting strong, sustained mindfulness. My 2 cents worth... : )
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Visigoth wrote on Jan 19/21
"if in my past,
there had not been kammic formation (Kammabhi sankharo),
now there would not be for me these five aggregates, 
feelings, perceptions etc...I will now so strive that there will not be
any kammic formation of mine producing the aggregates of the
future.
When that is absent, there will be for me no future rebirth, meaning
I will so strive that the world presented by the five aggregates
will be terminated"


Can you please provide link from where it is taken? I can't find it on SuttaCentral or ATI.
My  apologies for neglecting this part of your question. It is not found in the main body of Sutta, only in BB footnote to SN 22.55. Passage i selected was the best explanation, for the inspired Utterance of the main sutta
"It might not be, and it might not be for me;
It will not be, and it will not be for me: resolving thus,
a bhikkhu can cut off the lower fetters''
The footnote explains best what cannot be understood by merely reading the sutta. There is too much repetition in the sutta. I attribute the chaos not to Buddha, but to how the abhidhammikes tried to interpret Buddha's words (and some of those got inserted into the suttas, maybe).
According to BB, suttas were not available in the manner presented in the Pitaka, many a time. There were fragments of Buddha's teaching floating around incomplete,
the compilers organized them into suttas, and sometimes their own struggle at understanding crept into the sutta, I imagine.
Endless repetition in a sutta makes it tedious to read, yet i found the intended meaning in the foot note remarkable. What I copied is found in a very long footnote attached to SN 22.55, the entire footnote is 3-pages long.
It is a revelation of what goes into sutta compilation.
If you are serious about studies, it is well worth purchasing the hard bound copies of Bhikkhu Bodhi. BB did a ton of work in coming up with the footnotes. He writes that his understanding of this sutta is influenced by discussions with other monks. Peter Skilling helped him with Skt and Tibetan versions of the formula. 
I tried to find Sujatho's translation. It is not available at Sutta Central.
Here is a meaningful passage from Thanissaro's translation of SN 22.55
There is no fear for an instructed disciple of the noble ones [who thinks],
'It should not be, it should not occur to me;
it will not be, it will not occur to me.
'
since s/he engages in a lifestyle conducive to cutting off
of fetters.
But for the uninstructed person it is an issue since s/he engages in a sensuous lifestyle, not withdrawn from the senses, and is bound to be reborn, the aggregates will reappear, in another life. In my simplified words, Samsara continues,
Regarding Kamma,
since you had asked, i've paid a attention to suttas, that mention kamma. There are several. 
Here is a sutta that came to my attention  https://suttacentral.net/an3.77/en/thanissaro
Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture.
The intention & aspiration of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a lower, middling or refined property.
Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.
This is how there is becoming.”
Be well :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Dear Visigoth, since you had inquired about Kamma previously this caught my attention. It is from Piya Tan's Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/piyatan?commen ... AyOA%3D%3D

I love this simplified, and 'to the point' version of kamma.
SOUL OR NO SOUL?
The Buddha’s teaching on non-self

Some teachers assert that
“the Buddha never said that there is no self. He never said that there is a self. The whole question of whether or not the self exists was one he put aside.”
Hence, it is argued, the Buddha starts with no self and then teaches karma, “which makes no sense.” If there’s no self, nobody does the kamma and nobody receives the results, so actions and their results wouldn’t matter, because there’s no one choosing to act, and no one to suffer the results.
But that’s putting the context backwards,
as Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu explains,
“Actually, the Buddha started with the reality of kamma, and then viewed ideas of ‘self’ and ‘not-self’ as types of kamma within that context.

This means that he focused on seeing the way we define our sense of self as an action.”
or to put it another way, an action that results from intention, since Buddha defined kamma as intention, more precisely.
KARMA
Then, the question becomes: When is the act of identifying things as our self wholesome, and when is it not? When is the act of identifying things as not-self wholesome, and when is it not?
When a healthy sense of self is needed to be responsible, self-reliant and heedful of the future, it’s a wholesome view. When the perception of non-self helps us not to identify with harmful desires, it’s a wholesome view.
In other words, both “self” and “non-self” are “skilful means” or strategies for achieving happiness. They should be used and mastered, he adds, as needed for the sake of true happiness, and abandoned when no longer needed. Hence, instead of getting involved in the tangle of trying to define what a self is and whether it exists, the Buddha advises us to see “self” and “non-self” as processes to be mastered as mental tools.
To give you an example, if one thinks "I must train according to Samma sati, and Samma samadhi, using Metta to begin with" the notion of self helps in that determination.
But the practice itself is geared towards getting rid of conceit, i.e. the idea of clinging to a self, since soteriologically, clinging to a notion of self, is not conducive to awakening to the fact that, that there really is no self, but a series of processes.
With love :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

What is the point of 4 buddhist jhanas? Is it not the dismantling of Paticca samuppada?
Consider Son's Flesh and Some salient points from "Sariputta" in SN 35.120. 
First Guarding of the sense doors? It does not mean passively thinking, like
"noting body, taking note the body is present". It means something far more dynamic regarding this conscious body.
  • One is guarding the sense doors so as not to let in signs and features of a thing, so as not to let a sight or a sound drag in the unskillful as they enter, stuff that hooks the mind, and enslaves it to do Mara's bidding.
For the Arahant who has killed the underlying tendency this is a natural state, nothing unwholesome is dragged in. For the non-adept this is a carefully orchestrated state. 
Second salient point is
  • Nutriment.
First impression one gets from the word is eating, or feeding, or being nourished. It is a matter of consumption. Consuming food? sutta intends
"eat just enough to keep the spiritual stuff strengthening"
If you eat too much? the spirit of awakening, dies, metaphorically. It makes the body and mind heedless.
In the Sutta on eating SN 12.63 (son's flesh) food is not the only thing that Buddha is interested in.
  • The teacher uses food to draw our attention to the five cords of sensual pleasure.
Excerpt
"When the nutriment edible food is fully understood, lust for the five cords of sensual  pleasure is fully understood"
implying that the craving for tastes arisen at the tongue door is the same craving that arises at all five sense doors
"When lust for the five cords ... is fully understood there is no fetter bound by which a noble disciple might come back again to this world"
Buddha is keen on drawing our attention to other things we feed on,  i.e. along with contact we enjoy sensations of 3 kinds, right?. 
  • Based on sensation, a nourishing intention arises
From the intention arises consciousness. Overfeeding on consciousness, creates
  • sensory addicts
leading to heedlessness. Buddha cautions
"Be mindful of what you make contact with"
 Sutta leads us to Dependent Origination curiously. It writes
"when the nutriment consciousness is fully understood, name-and-form is fully understood. When name and form is fully understood, I say, there is nothing further that a noble disciple needs to do"
Name and form is rooted in consciousness and arises along with it.
  • A marvel of a sutta, only a SammaSambuddha could wing it, using food to bring us home to Paticca samuppada.
3rd salient point: Devotion to wakefulness. The advice here is During the day while walking back and forth (mundane activity) pay attention to troublesome states, things that pop up to cancel the good work done, MN 19 and Metta sutta come to mind. Thoughts that cancel uprightness, open mindedness, gentleness, freedom from pride? Likewise in the middle of night (any time you are awake) be mindful and be clearly comprehending, not wayward, keenly aware of the origination of feeling, and perception. SN 47. 42 titled "Origination" comes to mind.
After rising, while walking back and forth be devoted to wakefulness. The word wakefulness here is spiritually rich. Sariputta (or the author of the sutta) ends the sutta by gently prodding
  • "Friend you must train like this, guarding the doors of sense faculties, moderate in consumption, devoted to wakefulness"
Some think samadhi or jhanas of Mahavira and Uddakaramaputta and Buddha's are alike, but that is one extreme of ignorance.
  • For Buddha Kamma was the intention, for the others it was not so.
Thus began, Buddha's teaching,
  • spotlighting intention.
The Samadhi of Buddha's dispensation begins with Right View, which includes the right understanding of kamma, that self we think of as self is a constantly changing mechanism, unstable and unreliable. How is such an unstable situation dealt with? By being on the lookout constantly "A Vigilante".
To feed the components of a self indiscriminately is like
  • gouging one's own son's flesh,
to pacify an ill conceived hunger. Right view feeds into Right Samadhi,  Right Intention likewise. Right intention is accompanied by a withdrawal from the sensory world. That does not mean a loss of the senses. The loss is in the loss of clinging, or the loss of thirst for the sensory world. In Samma sankappa one resolves not to consort with suffering, not becoming partners of kamma, thus lengthening Samsara. Kamma can do what it wants with us only if we consent to do so.
Our feeding on the sensory world is fuelled by our kammic tendency  AKA Underlying tendency.  Arahant has done away with it.
With love :candle:
auto
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Re: Jhana

Post by auto »

https://suttacentral.net/sn5.6/en/sujato wrote: There are beings in the realm of luminous form,Ye ca rūpūpagā sattā,
and others established in the formless.ye ca arūpaṭṭhāyino;
Not understanding cessation,Nirodhaṃ appajānantā,
they come back in future lives.”āgantāro punabbhavan”ti.
reason for the going of elsewhere from the teachings of Āḷāra Kālāma and Uddaka son of Rāma were that theirs teachings were not complete, there is also nirodha. Uddaka's peak was 'neither perception nor non-perception'.
What Buddha(before awakening) found out is,
https://suttacentral.net/mn100/en/sujato wrote:Then it occurred to me,Tassa mayhaṃ, bhāradvāja, etadahosi:
‘This teaching doesn’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. It only leads as far as rebirth in dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.’
‘nāyaṃ dhammo nibbidāya na virāgāya na nirodhāya na upasamāya na abhiññāya na sambodhāya na nibbānāya saṃvattati, yāvadeva nevasaññānāsaññāyatanūpapattiyā’ti.
Realizing that this teaching was inadequate, I left disappointed.So kho ahaṃ, bhāradvāja, taṃ dhammaṃ analaṅkaritvā tasmā dhammā nibbijja apakkamiṃ.
The teaching may be brahmin origin whatever, anyone can reach those highs regardless of the birth or caste, but these aren't high enough to touch cessation. A question would if it is possible to attain nirodha/cessation without realizing the peak of perception and touch cessation?
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/DN/DN09.html wrote: “Now, when the monk is percipient of himself here, then from there to there, step by step, he touches the peak of perception. As he remains at the peak of perception, the thought occurs to him, ‘Thinking is bad for me. Not thinking is better for me. If I were to think and will, this perception of mine would cease, and a grosser perception would appear.
What if I were neither to think nor to will?’3 So he neither thinks nor wills, and as he is neither thinking nor willing, that perception ceases4 and another, grosser perception does not appear. He touches cessation.
So did buddha promote this brahman practice? can't be, because no-one else teaches cessation besides himself because no-one haven't reached that far yet, remember that the highest so far were taught by Uddaka son of Rāma.
Buddha said,
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/DN/DN09.html wrote:“Now what do you think, Poṭṭhapāda? Have you ever before heard of such an alert step-by step attainment of the ultimate cessation of perception?”
pitithefool
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Re: Jhana

Post by pitithefool »

sunnat wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:24 am The jhanas along with all other steps on the path are anicca. They are attained by practice as a matter of course, not by seeking them. Seeking them with any craving is walking in the wrong direction. They come and pass away. When they come, just observe, don't become attached. Don't be attached in the first place.
I have to add one thing to this, and it's that the Buddha did list desire for jhana as a wholesome desire, and the desire for Nibbana as essential for practicing the path.
pitithefool
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Re: Jhana

Post by pitithefool »

Is it just me, or is there a pretty strong consensus building that the visuddhimagga is likely not the best place to get one's guidance from? I'm wholeheartedly of the opinion that it can be somewhat misleading and that if you're trying to figure out how to meditate, you're better off sticking with the canon and the canon only, specifically MN 118, MN 119 and DN 22 (and MN 121 if you're feeling adventurous). After many years of researching this and practicing meditation, it seems pretty clear that it's not nearly as difficult as the vissuddhimagga makes it out to be.
Pulsar
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Re: Jhana

Post by Pulsar »

Consciousness, Kamma, Jhana and all that Jazz, Shakespeare, Munch and Praxis too
Bhikkhus have you seen a masterpiece of painting?
"Yes Lord"
"That masterpiece of art is designed by the mind" "Indeed bhikkhus, the mind is even more artistic than the masterpiece"
these are the sentiments of SN 12.64. What does this mean for one who wants to do away with suffering or its origination, as in the palm stump simile?
  • The "Painter"  is about the artistry of mind or its skillfulness,
or a master architect of forms?
  • It is only in the 4th foundation of mindfulness or in the 4th jhana, that cessation happens,
i.e. ceasing of the artist, or the death of the architect.
In other words in these domains,
  • consciousness or the mind stops painting or sculpting.
Samsaric consciousness comes to rest. Forms do not appear, without the aid of the kamma. When forms don't appear, there is no bumping into. Friction of contact, causes release of sparks, marks, nimittas, identifiers, which lead to a subtle recognition thereby a naming.  Remember the Seamstress? Sn 4.2
The naming or designating or denomination is an indicator that kamma has gained entry into picture, in the form of a seamstress. She has snuck in, pushing the needle through, binding the form to the name. 
  • Denomination is the one thing that has everything under control
S 1.39.
By kamma the world moves, by kamma men live, and by kamma are all beings bound, As by its pin the rolling chariot of wheel
(sutta nipata 654). 
Beings are originated by kamma, kamma is its relative, are sheltered by it, or ruined by it.
  • In worldly phenomena, consciousness is the chief, consciousness is the principal, consciousness is the forerunner.
  • In transcendental phenomena, however, understanding is the chief, understanding is the principal, understanding is the forerunner.
The Arahant has done away with worldly consciousness, s/he resides in the Right knowledge and is thus Rightly liberated, MN 117, operates on the principle of immeasurable.
How can we measure that consciousness? The consciousness of Arahant has disappeared from our sight.  Trying to do so brings to mind the blind man describing the elephant.
It is a bit silly.
It is not one or two suttas that this writing is based on but all the suttas that make sense, that speaks to me of how Buddha taught. It is not based on the teachings of compilers who just did not get the Buddha. 
A friend wrote on DW, referring to the sheaves of reed simile in SĀ 288 Vs SN 12.67
the Sarvastivadin version is difficult because it implies that there are no formless existences because, when you take away form, mind and name plummet in that version.
But why would it surprise anyone? This is exactly what happens in 4th jhana? Samsaric consciousness or underlying tendency is abolished. Curiously in the agama version of the sutta on Reed simile, there are three reeds not two, as in SN 12.67. A glitch in the memory of a compiler? I don't think so, the Agama version makes more sense.
If there is no forming (painting, sculpting), samsaric consciousness collapses. Form, and naming of the form, and consciousness need the support of all. In the Agama version of Reed simile there are 3 reeds, supporting each other.
Have you seen the work of Praxiteles? Consciousness is a better sculptor at sculpting faces with eyes, ears and noses, etc, nay it is far more efficient. Don't forget that
  • consciousness is a magic trick
. It makes the forms that have been painted or sculpted come to life, desire rushes in, sharp needles are thrust through. In the power of hunger! hunger for power of lust, some bonds or marriages (between form and name) are made in hell.
Where consciousness is samsarically active, with the aid of kamma, stuff representative of life happens, meaning
  • people walk, people talk, people make love and people make war, people fall in love with ice cream.
Anything goes, it is a veritable fairy tale in the domain of consciousness, Shakespearean plays are constantly reenacted. Munch is at work, so is Monet.
No one takes a holiday in the unguarded mind.
Outflow of metta to all! :candle:
Last edited by Pulsar on Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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