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Jhana Question - Page 3 - Dhamma Wheel

Jhana Question

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

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:44 am

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


pegembara
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby pegembara » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:52 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

pegembara
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby pegembara » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:52 am

Last edited by pegembara on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Son
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:29 am

A seed sleeps in soil.
It's cold and alone, hopeless.
Until it blooms above.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:41 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

Micheal Kush
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Micheal Kush » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:21 pm


RatherSkeptic
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby RatherSkeptic » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:42 pm

Hello here,

I think I could use this thread, because I also have some issues about Samatha meditation. The more I read about it, the more confused I am. But I definitely need some advice, as my own progress in samatha after a whole year of practise is somewhere around 0,00% :

I always wonder how exactly you have to "look" at your meditation objekt in samatha, because it seems like the teachings are somewhat contradictive. On one hand, it is taught that I have to analyse the breath moment by moment, eliminating all the disctractions and knowing about every single detail of how it feels like, right?

But on the other hand, I read that the breath - in samatha - should be just regarded as a concept, just noting "in" and "out" all the time, not paying attention to the qualities of that breath. I have found this side () on the internet, and the teacher here, Chanmyay Sayādaw, talks about this:

Say you come into the room through the door and go out of the room through the door. We may ask, “What is this coming in and going out?” it is neither you, nor a person. It is just ‘coming-in’ and ‘going-out.’ It is just concept. In the same way, when you concentrate on the coming in and going out of the breath, it is just a concept. Since concept is the object of meditation, it is samatha meditation. You cannot realise any specific characteristics or general characteristics of ‘coming-in’ and ‘going-out’ because they are not realities, just concepts, so that’s samatha meditation.

However, if you focus your mind on the point where the breath touches whenever it comes in or goes out, it touches the nostrils. When you observe this touching sensation and are mindful of it, then it is (ultimate) reality. That touching point is composed of the four primary material elements: pathavī dhātu, hard or soft; āpo dhātu, liquidity or cohesion; tejo dhātu, hot or cold; vāyo dhātu, movement or vibration. These four elements are there whenever you focus your mind on the touching sensation. So the object is absolute reality. What can we call it — samatha or vipassanā meditation? It is vipassanā.


According to him, it seems like analysing the touch/feeling of the breath is wrong if you want to practise samatha successfully...

This is not the only thing that confuses me, but I think it's enough for now.

santa100
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby santa100 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:42 pm

It's a gradual process. At the beginning, you could try the simple thing first, like the awareness of the in and out breaths at the nostrils gates. Once a certain level of concentration has been firmly established, then you can get into those more detail analysis with feeling, mind, etc..

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reflection
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby reflection » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:46 pm

The best way to get around confusion is to try and see what works. Stick with what works for as long as it's useful and be wise enough to switch techniques if you see no more progression in a certain approach.

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daverupa
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:36 pm

I recommend pursuing the anapanasati instructions, and conforming to that practice after one has familiarized oneself with sense restraint, food restraint, and made satisampajanna something of a daily activity. Meditation is greatly facilitated by these preliminary grades.

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:52 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


RatherSkeptic
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 7:25 am

Re: Jhana Question

Postby RatherSkeptic » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:20 pm

If I understood your answers correctly, you are recommending the use of concept-method first to gain samadhi. Allright then, even if it sometimes reminds me of hypnosis.

Now, there's another question which has been certainly discussed before, but I feel the need to bring it up again: Where to locate the breath?

I know many of you allready spoke about that the breath needs to be observed at one particular point, like at the nostril or the upper lip, and that your attention should stay fixed there, not following the breath all the way down to the lungs. And I also read about it in books of Bhante Gunaratana and other teachers.

Therefore, I was surprised to find out that some others respected authorities like Ajahn Brahm tell exactly the opposite:

In fact it is best not to locate the breath anywhere! If you locate the breath at the tip of your nose then it becomes nose awareness, not breath awareness, and if you locate it at your abdomen then it becomes abdomen awareness. Just ask yourself the question right now, 'Am I breathing in or am I breathing out?' How do you know? There! That experience which tells you what the breath is doing, that is what you focus on in breath meditation. Let go of concern about where this experience is located; just focus on the experience itself.


Source: http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_ ... tation.htm - it's in part 2.

Of course, I've tried both, and both methods have their benefits and difficulties:

Just focussing one point strongly was indeed more calming for the mind - until the moment where either the point went numb (after only a few minutes) or my entire nose started feeling so itchy that I had to interrupt and scratch, again and again.

On the other hand, focusing on the experience without looking at any point at my nose allowed me not to lose touch with the breath ( I would first feel it around the left nostril, then the right nostril, then more up in the nose, and so on...). The bad thing about this: My mind wanders around with the breath as well, and it also feels so different in these multiple areas that feel I like...this: :juggling:

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daverupa
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:10 pm

I don't use breathing-spots as I don't think they are essential, and in my case they aren't helpful; anapanasati, as I understand the instructions in the Suttas, doesn't advise focusing on the breath at all, but rather the performance of the instructions alongside breathing, which acts something like a metronome. I understand the fourth instruction in the first tetrad, for example, to suggest calming intention with respect to the breath, rather than calming the breath itself.

:shrug:

danieLion
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby danieLion » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:18 am


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daverupa
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby daverupa » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:46 am


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Son
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby Son » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:11 pm

A seed sleeps in soil.
It's cold and alone, hopeless.
Until it blooms above.

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LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: Jhana Question

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:08 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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manas
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Jhana Question

Postby manas » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:17 am

I keep noticing something and thought this topic would be as appropriate a place as any to mention it.

I so often see jhana classified as 'samatha'. But from my modest brushes with jhana cultivation, I can say that (for me at least), calling it 'samatha' is the wrong term. If we examine how the five hindrances are to be overcome, we can plainly see that insight and wisdom are just as integral to it, as is tranquillity.

We should not call jhana 'samatha', but rather just jhana, cos that's what it is. If i *just* wanted calm I would lie down in the grass, in the light of a sunset, by a beautiful lake and listen to the crickets chirp. But we all know that's not what jhana is really about. Jhana is the path to freedom, is it not? IMHO jhana is tough 'spiritual work'.

Hope my words did not cause offense to anyone, but I wanted to get that off my chest.

metta.
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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tiltbillings
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:05 am


pegembara
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Re: Jhana Question

Postby pegembara » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:29 am

Silenced in body, silenced in speech,
silenced in mind, without inner noise,
Blessed with silence is the sage!
He is truly washed of all evil ...
(Itivuttaka 3.67)

That is the goal of jhana but:

There is no jhána without wisdom,
there is no wisdom without jhána,
but for someone with both jhána and wisdom,
Nibbána is near.' (Dhp 372)

And:


'For a person with right samádhi there is no need to arouse the wish,
´May I see things as they truly are.´
It is a natural process, it is in accordance with nature that someone with right samádhi will see things as they truly are.' (AN 10.3)
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.


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