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Jhanas v. Vipassana - Dhamma Wheel

Jhanas v. Vipassana

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
ricketybridge
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Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby ricketybridge » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:03 pm

Hi all,

I was wondering what the balance or order is usually advised (if anything) for jhana and vipassana meditation. Is it usually advisable to get a handle on one before the other, or to cultivate both of them at the same time? If the latter, is it usually advised to do each every other day, or what...?

Thanks. :)
-rick
Last edited by ricketybridge on Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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daverupa
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:38 pm

Samatha and vipassana are both states of mind, not practices. The Dhamma is the practice, and when done rightly it is the cause and condition for the development and perfection of both states.

ricketybridge
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby ricketybridge » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:33 pm

Thanks, I edited it to mean the separate meditations for the purposes of attaining each.

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daverupa
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:42 pm


rowyourboat
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:34 pm

Hi Rick,

In my tradition we start with developing jhana first. There is a sutta which suggests removing the hindrances (to some degree) before starting satipatthana practice. When you develop samadhi first this aspect takes care of it. But I guess there is no hard and fast rule, as the sutta quote shows. In either case, developing mindfulness in your daily activities is essential. Then we musnt forget Dana/ generosity and sila/morality as important practices in their own right and form a foundation for meditative practices. Exploring the teachings, listening to the dhamma (try Joseph Goldstein) helps develop Right View- once again important elements of practice, without which practice might become misguided. Don't mean to scare you - you can start meditating right away, but let these other elements grow as well, otherwise there can be a certain lop-sided development. Good luck,

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

ricketybridge
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby ricketybridge » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:30 pm


ricketybridge
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby ricketybridge » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:33 pm


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altar
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby altar » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:44 am

sorry for intruding, its a good thread, but here is an alternate translation for the fourth way mentioned in that sutta:
4.
"Then there is the case where a bhikkhu’s mind is seized by agitation concerning the Dhamma ( dhammuddhaccaviggahitam manasam) . But there comes a time when his mind becomes internally steadied , settles down, and becomes unified and concentrated ( samadhiyati) ; then the path arises in him. He now frequents that path, cultivates, and pursues it. While he is doing so his fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies destroyed.
( Note: It is possible that the “agitation caused by higher states of mind” is mental restlessness brought on by eagerness to realize the Dhamma, a state of spiritual anxiety that sometimes can precipitate an instantaneous enlightenment experience. For an example, see the story of Bāhiya Dārucīriya at Ud 1.10.)

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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby Sylvester » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:54 am


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Dmytro
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby Dmytro » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:36 am

Hi Rick,

Usually Sutta recommends developing samadhi before developing wisdom (panna).

One can start as well with developing wisdom, and obtain right view in such a way, or one can develop samadhi and wisdom simultaneously, but as Buddha said in Dutia-agarava sutta (AN 3.15), for a full development of wisdom, full development of samadhi is necessary:

Dutiya - agāravasuttaṃ - Second on unruliness

Bhikkhus, that bhikkhu who is unruly, rebellious and not of the sharing nature with co-associates in the holy life should complete the lesser ethics is not a possibility. Without becoming complete in the lesser ethics, that he should complete the training is not a possibility. Without completing the training, that he should complete the mass of virtues is not a possibility. Without completing the mass of virtues, that he should be complete in concentration is not a possibility. Without becoming complete in the mass of concentration, that he should be complete in wisdom is not a possibility.

‘‘So vata, bhikkhave, bhikkhu agāravo appatisso asabhāgavuttiko ‘sabrahmacārīsu ābhisamācārikaṃ dhammaṃ paripūressatī’ti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati. ‘Ābhisamācārikaṃ dhammaṃ aparipūretvā sekhaṃ dhammaṃ paripūressatī’ti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati. ‘Sekhaṃ dhammaṃ aparipūretvā sīlakkhandhaṃ paripūressatī’ti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati. ‘Sīlakkhandhaṃ aparipūretvā samādhikkhandhaṃ paripūressatī’ti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati. ‘Samādhikkhandhaṃ aparipūretvā paññākkhandhaṃ paripūressatī’ti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ggo-e.html

This sutta also highlights another important point - the development of ethics, largely overlooked in modern "technical" Western Buddhism.

I would recommend to start every session with a reflection of actions
( see http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... dhi-e.html )
then work on the development of samadhi, and finish the session with the development of wisdom.

Gradual training is described in Ganaka-Moggalana sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .horn.html

Best wishes, Dmytro


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Nibbida
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby Nibbida » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:14 am

There is no general consensus on this issue. Some teachers recommend jhana first and then doing vipassana, others recommend dry insight by developing access concentration and using that to develop insight through vipassana. Both are legitimate and effective ways. I'm not sure that any one is better than the other. Richard Shankman does a thorough and balanced job of talking about this in his book The Experience of Samadhi.

My personal preference is to develop jhana first. When the hindrances are held at bay, vipassana becomes very effective. The development of jhana has many beneficial effects on a person's mood and attention which carry over into everyday life. Whatever the mind dwells on becomes the inclination of the mind. However, the most convincing reason for me is that dry vipassana is notorious for having a difficult time through the tougher insight knowledges, though certainly not in all people. The emotinal and cognitive effects of jhana can greatly mitigate that. On the other hand, people can get potentially preoccupied with the bliss and peace of jhana that they don't go on to do the insight practice needed for awakening. However, with the guidance of a teacher, this tends not to be a problem.

But to each their own.

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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby IanAnd » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:45 am

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

rowyourboat
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:55 pm

Bliss is a problem when the Right View that everything is impermanent is absent. It is also a problem when the Right Intension of letting go (renunciation) in what ever practice we do, is absent.

With metta
With Metta

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Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:04 pm


ricketybridge
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby ricketybridge » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:55 pm


ricketybridge
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby ricketybridge » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:58 pm


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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:20 pm


rowyourboat
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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:56 am

Hi Rick

Samatha (jhana) and vipassana has been likened to the two wheels of the chariot of the noble eightfold path. If you have both it is best to develop them both further. Even the samadhi in jhanas can be refined further - the quality vs quantity issue :). I would set aside time for both at separate times of the day, or one after the other in the same sitting. It would be personal preference which one came first.

Struggling with boredom and agitation sounds like you were at a stage still working on the five hindrances. The vipassana experience is far richer, if done correctly. Are you conversant with the five aggregates of experience, the three characteristics, Nama-rupa etc?

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby Sylvester » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:45 am


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Re: Jhanas v. Vipassana

Postby Dmytro » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:32 am




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