Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 11755
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by Ceisiwr »

pitithefool wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:21 pm

The Dhamma may not say anything about it, but it has a firm basis in reality and it explains why some meditators report not hearing sounds while some do.
That’s quite a bold claim.
“Aṅgulimāla, I have forever stopped"

MN 86
User avatar
pitithefool
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:39 am

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by pitithefool »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:28 pm They are, and that leads to an absorbed model. More to come.
I want to be clear, I'm not taking the stance that the absorbed model doesn't have a place, rather that it doesn't occur until deeper stages than the first jhana, and that an absorbed model leads to essentially useless jhanas (more about that later).

The only place I'm aware of in the canon where the term divorced from the 5 senses/faculties is used in conjunction with meditative attainments is MN 43:
"Friend, what can be known with the purified intellect-consciousness divorced from the five [sense] faculties?"

"Friend, with the purified intellect-consciousness divorced from the five faculties the dimension of the infinitude of space can be known [as] 'infinite space.' The dimension of the infinitude of consciousness can be known [as] 'infinite consciousness.' The dimension of nothingness can be known [as] 'There is nothing.'
This implies that divorce or separation from the sense faculties doesn't occur until one has entered the formless attainments.

On the part about absorbed first, second, third and fourth jhanas, what good does it do to simply try and block out sensory input? Isn't that craving for non-becoming or non-existence? Aren't we trying to get rid of craving?

If we take an approach similar to Leigh B. or even Thanissaro's, we end up with a first jhana that in which we are in conscious control of all of the sankhara listed in DO and in which we are using them to shape for ourselves a "pleasant abiding in the here and now". When we are keeping tabs on the in-and-out breathing, perceptions, feelings, and vitakka-vicara, and are further "corralling" them into a wholesome place, we feel no pain associated with contact at any of the sense bases, but rather pleasure. In the absence of pain, what reason does the mind have to go anywhere? When pain is not sensed beause there is piti-sukha, then the mind will naturally settle.

Further, when it is felt that the entire body is suffused and saturated with piti-sukha, I must ask, how could one have craving if everywhere one looks, they touch piti-sukha? Finding no reason to search for and feed off of sense pleasures, the mind simply stays in one spot, on the breath or the kasina, or whatever wholesome object we've taken up.

You see, the reason this model makes sense is because shutting out the senses doesn't accomplish anything, rather it seems more to be an expression of craving for non-existing, craving for non-contact. When one meditates in the way stated above, one's desire for pleasure is quenched. One then becomes dispassionate towards seeking pleasure and the whole process of becoming in the sense realm stops. But it only stops because the mind is no longer looking for pleasure and it only stops when the mind has completely surmounted pleasure and pain, i.e. in the fourth jhana leading into the realm of infinite space.
Please note: This profile picture is not actually a picture of the user.
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 11755
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by Ceisiwr »

pitithefool wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:43 pm
This implies that divorce or separation from the sense faculties doesn't occur until one has entered the formless attainments.
No. This is the logical fallacy of denying the antecedent.

If P, then Q.
Therefore, if not P, then not Q.

If you are a ski instructor, then you have a job.
You are not a ski instructor
Therefore, you have no job

If you are in the formless then you do not experience the 5 senses
You are not in the formless attainments
Therefore, you are experiencing the 5 senses
On the part about absorbed first, second, third and fourth jhanas, what good does it do to simply try and block out sensory input? Isn't that craving for non-becoming or non-existence? Aren't we trying to get rid of craving?
“This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.

“This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.

“This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge.


AN 4.159

It's use is the the clarity of mind it brings when one leaves the attainment. It's merely a tool, nothing more. One can also contemplate the impermanence of such a refined state, therefore abandoning lust since even the other worldly state of jhāna is seen to be stamped with the 3 marks:
“When serenity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Lust is abandoned.

“When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Wisdom is developed. And when wisdom is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned."
AN 2.31
If we take an approach similar to Leigh B. or even Thanissaro's, we end up with a first jhana that in which we are in conscious control of all of the sankhara listed in DO and in which we are using them to shape for ourselves a "pleasant abiding in the here and now". When we are keeping tabs on the in-and-out breathing, perceptions, feelings, and vitakka-vicara, and are further "corralling" them into a wholesome place, we feel no pain associated with contact at any of the sense bases, but rather pleasure. In the absence of pain, what reason does the mind have to go anywhere? When pain is not sensed beause there is piti-sukha, then the mind will naturally settle.
Even Leigh admits that his meditation methods are not actual jhāna. As for Ven. Thanissaro, he can claim what he likes. I'm more interested in what the suttas and agamas have to say.
Further, when it is felt that the entire body is suffused and saturated with piti-sukha, I must ask, how could one have craving if everywhere one looks, they touch piti-sukha? Finding no reason to search for and feed off of sense pleasures, the mind simply stays in one spot, on the breath or the kasina, or whatever wholesome object we've taken up.
The underlying tendencies aren't able to activate. They haven't disappeared completely. When jhāna ends they can return.
You see, the reason this model makes sense is because shutting out the senses doesn't accomplish anything, rather it seems more to be an expression of craving for non-existing, craving for non-contact.


Quite wrong.
When one meditates in the way stated above, one's desire for pleasure is quenched. One then becomes dispassionate towards seeking pleasure and the whole process of becoming in the sense realm stops. But it only stops because the mind is no longer looking for pleasure and it only stops when the mind has completely surmounted pleasure and pain, i.e. in the fourth jhana leading into the realm of infinite space.
You do not get to nibbāna by satisfying your desire for pleasure. This is ADhamma.

As to the rest of what you said, especially the role attention has to play in experiencing the 5 senses, please see here as it is easier to refer you than to repeat myself: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=39705&start=75
“Aṅgulimāla, I have forever stopped"

MN 86
User avatar
pitithefool
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:39 am

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by pitithefool »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:53 pm
No. This is the logical fallacy of denying the antecedent.

If P, then Q.
Therefore, if not P, then not Q.
Not true.
I used the word implicit for that very reason.
I'm also using inductive reasoning rather than deductive reasoning, and even if I were using deductive reasoning, that isn't the line of logic that I used in the first place, so that fallacy doesn't apply here.

This is the line of reasoning that I'm actually using:
In MN 43, the five faculties are listed, jhana is mentioned, AND states of being "divorced from the five sense faculties" are mentioned.
The states of being mentioned that are divorced from the 5 faculties are infinite space, infinite consciousness and nothingness.
The states listed do not include jhana.
If the jhanas are also divorced from the five senses, they should also be listed here.
Therefore, this sutta likely implies that jhanas are not divorced from the five senses.
“This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.

“This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.

“This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge.

Correct and my (and Thanissaro and others') conceptualization for jhana provides for exactly that.
By relying on craving for jhana, we cut craving for sense pleasures.
By relying on craving for becoming in the formless realm, we cut craving for jhana.
After that, there is no other source of pleasure to be found, and thus craving is no longer possible.
It's use is the the clarity of mind it brings when one leaves the attainment. It's merely a tool, nothing more. One can also contemplate the impermanence of such a refined state, therefore abandoning lust since even the other worldly state of jhāna is seen to be stamped with the 3 marks:
“When serenity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Lust is abandoned.

“When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Wisdom is developed. And when wisdom is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned."
Yes precisely! And when craving is abandoned, clinging is abaonded. When clinging is abandoned, becoming is abandoned. When becoming is abandoned, birth, aging and death and this whole mass are abandoned.

Like the Buddha said, Dispassion, then cessation, then release. It is by dispassion that cessation occurs, not by passion.
Even Leigh admits that his meditation methods are not actual jhāna. As for Ven. Thanissaro, he can claim what he likes. I'm more interested in what the suttas and agamas have to say.
Leigh's a special case because he's claiming that his concentration is not canonical. Thanissaro's is pretty similar and he's claiming that his is canonical. I think we can probably leave Leigh out of this on that regard and I think he would probably like that.
The underlying tendencies aren't able to activate. They haven't disappeared completely. When jhāna ends they can return.

Quite wrong.

You do not get to nibbāna by satisfying your desire for pleasure. This is ADhamma.
First off,
You literally quoted passages above that say "it's by using craving that craving is cut", which is what I'm espousing.

We're not satisfying the mind so much as getting it to do what we want.
Just as a fish swimming in a pond sees a worm on a hook and thinks "how lucky I am this delicious food has just appeared before me!"
And when he bites that hook, the fisherman can do what he wishes with that fish.

So too, when the mind sees piti-sukha it thinks "how lucky I am this delicious food has just appeared before me!"
And when the mind bites on to it, we can gladden it, we can concentrate it, we can calm it and most importantly, we can see with insight while we're doing our business with that concentrated mind "this is suffering, this is the cause, this is its cessation and this is the path leading to its cessation."

I want to ask you, how is forcefully suppressing the senses going to do any of that?

Isn't that more akin to unconsciousness than it is to the noble eightfold path?

Please explain how suppressing the senses is going to cut craving?
Please note: This profile picture is not actually a picture of the user.
User avatar
frank k
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by frank k »

Thanks. Yes, 7 books of Ab are canonical. KN is one of the 5 sutta nikayas, Khuddhaka.
Could you locate the exact part of the passage you quoted?
https://legacy.suttacentral.net/kv

They have digital English versions of several of the 7 books in Ab.
-frank

robertk wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:45 pm
frank k wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:27 pm
robertk wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:29 pm ...
where is kattahvathu? I don't see it in KN.

And it reads like commentary, not part of canonical tipitaka.
Even if it was, you'd have a hard time proving it's earlier than all the suttas that I cited in the linked article that clearly explain the 5 sense faculties are not divorced from the mind in the 4 jhanas.
Kathāvatthu is one of the 7 books of the Abhidhamma, and is part of the canon, part of the Tipitaka. It has its own Commentary ( also translated by PTS). The page I gave did have a cleary defined paragraph from the Commentary.

I don't know what KN is.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
User avatar
frank k
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by frank k »

Bhante, I think you know perfectly well what I mean when I stated what I said, and are trying to bog down discussion.
How about you tell me how I should have correctly stated what I mean, to meet your standards of properly differentiating between texts preserved, people from the 3 councils, elder Bhikkhus, and then address the actual issue:
That Theravada commentary, Vism., and possibly canonical Ab contradict a straightforward reading of EBT suttas?

Dhammanando wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:17 pm
frank k wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:31 pm I don't see how that nitpicking on semantics helps your case.
I don't see how it's "nitpicking" to point out that you are applying to the word "thera" a meaning that it simply doesn't have, for your argument depends on the erroneous premise that it does have this meaning.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
User avatar
frank k
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by frank k »

Off topic question:
What does your screen name mean? Great name by the way.
Let me know if I guess correctly:
You like a show from the 80's called A-team, and the character Mr. T., a burly huge black guy with a mohawk, gold chains, had the famous catchphrase, "I pity the fool.", that he would say referring to the various criminals he would beat up in each episode, or even his friends on occasion.

So you're turning the phrase from one of mockery and violence into something more akin to mudita and compassion (mudita being closely related to pīti the awakening factor and pāmojja).
pitithefool wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:25 pm
frank k wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:31 pm
[...] later teachings contradict the earlier ones, and that the earlier ones, whether you attribute that to elder bhikkhus or the texts they compose, should have precedence in resolving contradictions.
I agree wish this sentiment compeltely. If the later texts don't agree with older ones, the older ones (sutta pitaka) must be given precedence.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
User avatar
robertk
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by robertk »

frank k wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:26 pm Thanks. Yes, 7 books of Ab are canonical. KN is one of the 5 sutta nikayas, Khuddhaka.
Could you locate the exact part of the passage you quoted?
https://legacy.suttacentral.net/kv

They have digital English versions of several of the 7 books in Ab.
-frank

robertk wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:45 pm
frank k wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:27 pm

where is kattahvathu? I don't see it in KN.

And it reads like commentary, not part of canonical tipitaka.
Even if it was, you'd have a hard time proving it's earlier than all the suttas that I cited in the linked article that clearly explain the 5 sense faculties are not divorced from the mind in the 4 jhanas.
Kathāvatthu is one of the 7 books of the Abhidhamma, and is part of the canon, part of the Tipitaka. It has its own Commentary ( also translated by PTS). The page I gave did have a cleary defined paragraph from the Commentary.

I don't know what KN is.
Thanks for the link to sutta central
Here is the link to the page I gave (although the pali there excludes the paragraph from the Commentary given in the English translation)
https://legacy.suttacentral.net/pi/kv18.8
Kathāvatthu

Mahāpaṇṇāsaka

Aṭṭhā­ra­sa­ma­vagga

Saddaṃ­suṇātī­tika­thā
☑ Samāpanno saddaṃ suṇātīti? Āmantā. Samāpanno cakkhunā rūpaṃ passati … pe … sotena … pe … ghānena … pe … jivhāya … pe … kāyena phoṭṭhabbaṃ phusatīti? Na hevaṃ vattabbe … pe ….

☑ Samāpanno saddaṃ suṇātīti? Āmantā. Sota­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅgī samāpannoti? Na hevaṃ vattabbe. Nanu samādhi mano­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅ­gis­sāti? Āmantā. Hañci samādhi mano­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅ­gissa, no ca vata re vattabbe—“samāpanno saddaṃ suṇātī”ti.

☑ Samādhi mano­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅ­gissa, sota­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅgī saddaṃ suṇātīti? Āmantā. Hañci samādhi mano­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅ­gissa, sota­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅgī saddaṃ suṇāti, no ca vata re vattabbe—“samāpanno saddaṃ suṇātī”ti. Samādhi mano­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅ­gissa, sota­viñ­ñā­ṇa­samaṅgī saddaṃ suṇātīti? Āmantā. Dvinnaṃ phassānaṃ … pe … dvinnaṃ cittānaṃ samodhānaṃ hotīti? Na hevaṃ vattabbe … pe ….

☒ Na vattabbaṃ—“samāpanno saddaṃ suṇātī”ti? Āmantā. Nanu paṭhamassa jhānassa saddo kaṇṭako vutto bhagavatāti? Āmantā. Hañci paṭhamassa jhānassa saddo kaṇṭako vutto bhagavatā, tena vata re vattabbe—“samāpanno saddaṃ suṇātī”ti.

☑ Paṭhamassa jhānassa saddo kaṇṭako vutto bhagavatāti, samāpanno saddaṃ suṇātīti? Āmantā. Dutiyassa jhānassa vitakko vicāro kaṇṭako vutto bhagavatā, atthi tassa vitak­ka­vicārāti? Na hevaṃ vattabbe … pe ….

☑ Paṭhamassa jhānassa saddo kaṇṭako vutto bhagavatāti, samāpanno saddaṃ suṇātīti? Āmantā. Tatiyassa jhānassa pīti kaṇṭako … pe … catutthassa jhānassa assāsapassāso kaṇṭako … ākāsānañ­cāyata­naṃ samāpannassa rūpasaññā kaṇṭako … viñ­ñā­ṇañ­cāyata­naṃ samāpannassa ākāsānañ­cāyata­na­saññā kaṇṭako … ākiñ­cañ­ñā­yatanaṃ samāpannassa viñ­ñā­ṇañ­cāyata­na­saññā kaṇṭako … neva­saññā­nā­sañ­ñāyata­naṃ samāpannassa ākiñ­cañ­ñā­yatana­saññā kaṇṭako … saññā­ve­dayi­ta­nirodhaṃ samāpannassa saññā ca vedanā ca kaṇṭako vutto bhagavatā, atthi tassa saññā ca vedanā cāti? Na hevaṃ vattabbe … pe ….

Saddaṃ suṇātītikathā niṭṭhitā
User avatar
robertk
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by robertk »

pitithefool wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:21 pm
robertk wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:43 am
This idea of parallel processing has no basis in Dhamma. If taken up as a view it would compound the errors of those believing they hear in mundane jhana.
The Dhamma may not say anything about it, but it has a firm basis in reality and it explains why some meditators report not hearing sounds while some do.

Processing here doesn't necessarily imply contact. The brain figuring out how to breath is an example of this. We aren't aware of most of what the brain actually does unless we pay attention to it specifically.
here is part of the citation from the Tipitaka where the Theravada shows what is wrong with the thinking of those who think that sound can be heard in jhana "Controverted Point: That one who has attained jhāna hears sound.
Theravādin: If so, it must be equally allowed that he can also see, smell, taste and touch objects. This you deny… You must also allow that he enters .Jhana enjoying auditory consciousness. You deny, for you agree that samādhi arises in one who is enjoying mental objects as such? But if you admit that anyone who is actually enjoying sounds hears sounds, and that samādhi is the property of one who is actually enjoying mental objects as such, you should not affirm that one in the samādhi of jhāna hears sounds. If you insist that he does, you have here two parallel mental procedures going on at the same time…
Even the heretic didn't try to make that peculiar argument.
User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 6014
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by Dhammanando »

frank k wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:34 pm Bhante, I think you know perfectly well what I mean when I stated what I said, and are trying to bog down discussion.
I replied to your post in good faith.

If your intended meaning was something other than what I took it to be, then I can assure you I did not know this at all, let alone "perfectly well".
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
User avatar
pitithefool
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:39 am

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by pitithefool »

frank k wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:40 pm Off topic question:
What does your screen name mean? Great name by the way.
Let me know if I guess correctly:
You like a show from the 80's called A-team, and the character Mr. T., a burly huge black guy with a mohawk, gold chains, had the famous catchphrase, "I pity the fool.", that he would say referring to the various criminals he would beat up in each episode, or even his friends on occasion.

So you're turning the phrase from one of mockery and violence into something more akin to mudita and compassion (mudita being closely related to pīti the awakening factor and pāmojja).
Yes exactly thank you lol! :D

I haven't figured out how to do a profile picture but I really want a picture of Mr. T as my profile pic on here.
Please note: This profile picture is not actually a picture of the user.
User avatar
pitithefool
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:39 am

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by pitithefool »

robertk wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:49 pm
Theravādin: If so, it must be equally allowed that he can also see, smell, taste and touch objects. This you deny… You must also allow that he enters .Jhana enjoying auditory consciousness. You deny, for you agree that samādhi arises in one who is enjoying mental objects as such? But if you admit that anyone who is actually enjoying sounds hears sounds, and that samādhi is the property of one who is actually enjoying mental objects as such, you should not affirm that one in the samādhi of jhāna hears sounds. If you insist that he does, you have here two parallel mental procedures going on at the same time…
Where exactly is this quote from?
Please note: This profile picture is not actually a picture of the user.
User avatar
robertk
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by robertk »

pitithefool wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:13 pm
robertk wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:49 pm
Theravādin: If so, it must be equally allowed that he can also see, smell, taste and touch objects. This you deny… You must also allow that he enters .Jhana enjoying auditory consciousness. You deny, for you agree that samādhi arises in one who is enjoying mental objects as such? But if you admit that anyone who is actually enjoying sounds hears sounds, and that samādhi is the property of one who is actually enjoying mental objects as such, you should not affirm that one in the samādhi of jhāna hears sounds. If you insist that he does, you have here two parallel mental procedures going on at the same time…
Where exactly is this quote from?
From the Abhidhamma
Kathāvatthu
User avatar
frank k
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by frank k »

robertk wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:43 pm ...
Thanks Robert. I'll do a careful study of that section.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
User avatar
robertk
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Can We Hear Sound in Jhāna?

Post by robertk »

frank k wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:20 pm
robertk wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:43 pm ...
Thanks Robert. I'll do a careful study of that section.
:thumbsup:
Nice to see the Abhidhamma so easy to access now. Hope they follow up with the Commentaries.
Post Reply