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Re: [Pali] All of that is consid ered JhÃ" ?na ?

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  • Dieter Moeller
    Hi Gerard and Ven.Kumara, I suppose the term absorption is differently understood, perhaps you may agree on following sense: The Buddha mentioned that the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 26, 2013
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      Hi Gerard and Ven.Kumara,

      I suppose the term absorption is differently understood, perhaps you may agree on following sense:

      The Buddha mentioned that the state reminded him when he -as a younster-was sitting under the shadow of a Roseapple tree watching his father at work. I can imagine: a hot day , one is a bit idle and starts to doze ,it is daydreaming . In this daydreaming the (cognition of the ) 5 senses are absorbed in imagination. And there is this taking up thoughts/ideas and follow them whatever associations comes up).
      Especially children are great in that , immersed (or absorbed) in the world of Oz , or Peter Pan , etc.)
      But in the first Jhana, so my understanding, the imagination follows a intended direction (diskursive thinking) , a selection of associations occur and we note the most important factor , the pleasant feeling (of piti , rapture ).

      By the focus on this pleasant feeling , the activity of thinking (vitakka-vicara )is diminishing , it becomes absorbed within the feeling ... and by that the 2nd Jhana applies....

      with Metta Dieter




      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Kumara Bhikkhu
      To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:36 AM
      Subject: Re: [Pali] All of that is consid ered JhÃ" ?na ?



      Well said, Gerard.

      In Anupada Sutta, the description of states are
      given in the similar manner, except for the base
      of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, where
      the state is known only upon emerging it. It
      clear implies that the meditative state is known
      during the experience while in the other states.

      Although some people regard Anupada Sutta to be a
      later addition (In the Chinese records MN came
      out of the 2nd council.), it presents an
      relatively early understanding of jhana, which is
      unlike the Visuddhimagga kind.

      kb

      Gerard wrote thus at 05:28 PM 19-01-13:
      >Hi Dieter,
      >
      >I am not a specialist in these matters, but still I venture to make some
      >observations:
      >
      >I think it is not true that "absorption" and "burning up" refer to the same
      >thing. Absorption is a highly concentrated state in which the senses don't
      >function anymore, or, at least, don't function in a normal way. Somebody is
      >said to be in absorption means, as I understand it, that he or she is one
      >with the object, without any thinking or awareness of the body. Sujiva
      >describes it as follows: "When one enters fixed concentration, the mind
      >undergoes a specific form of mental process,...,which leaves behind any
      >conscious subject-object experiences. This fixation can be cleary
      >experienced as a merging of the mind with its object."
      >I think this is the way "jhana" is normally interpreted. The
      >Buddhaghosa 'etymology is indeed a popular one: according to Nyanatiloka's
      >"Pali-Anthologie und Wörterbuch", the word "jhana" is from the Sanskrit root
      >"dhyaa", or "dhi", which means to perceive, to think. Nyanatiloka writes:
      >"erscheinen, bemerken, denken". There is also the word "jhana" that has the
      >meaning "burn, to set on fire", but that is from the Sanskrit root "ksha".
      >
      >The meaning of jhana as absorption is the way Sujiva uses - and, if I am
      >right, that is the normal conception of 'jhana" - is not in keeping with the
      >sutta's.
      >Let's take an example: in sutta 111 of the Majjhima Nikaya, the Anuppada
      >Sutta, Sariputta's path to deliverance is described.
      >
      >"And the states in the first jhana - the applied thought, the sustained
      >thought, the rapture, the pleasure, and the unification of mind; the
      >contact, feeling, perception, volition, and mind" (that is: the 5 khanda's,
      >GB); the zeal, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and attention -
      >these states were defined by him one by one as they occurred; known to him
      >these states arose, known they were present, known they disappeared. He
      >understood thus: "So indeed, these states, not having been, come into being;
      >having been, they vanish." Regarding those states, he abided unattracted,
      >unrepelled, independent, detached, free, dissociated, with a mind rid of
      >barriers. He understood: "There is an escape beyond", and with the
      >cultivation of that attainment, he confirmed that there is." (Bikkhu Bodhi:
      >the next attainment, the second jhana)
      >Sariputta goes through all jhana's. At the end of the cycle, after reaching
      >the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, he abides in the
      >"cessation of perception and feeling'. Then follow the words: " And the
      >taints were destroyed by his seeing with wisdom."
      >
      >So, it seems clear to me that jhana can coincide with awareness of the body
      >and all other khanda's, that during the jhana's insight (vipassana...) into
      >the arising and falling away of phenomena, i.e. awareness of impermanence,
      >is present, and that the jhana-way can lead to complete liberation.
      >This implies, I think, that the usual interpretation of 'jhana' as
      >absorption, as one pointed concentration, is not in accordance with the
      >sutta's.
      >
      >Metta,
      >
      >Gerard




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    • Kumara Bhikkhu
      Thanks for clarifying, Dieter. 5 senses are absorbed in imagination seems to me a strange phrasing. Do you mean 5 senses are cut off because the mind is
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 27, 2013
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        Thanks for clarifying, Dieter.

        "5 senses are absorbed in imagination" seems to
        me a strange phrasing. Do you mean "5 senses are
        cut off because the mind is absorbed in imagination"?

        In any case, it sounds like you mean the mind is
        no longer with the 5 senses. Right? If so, what
        you provided below still falls short of substantiating that view.

        Anyway, please have a look at this
        sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.036.than.html

        After the standard description of the 1st jhana, we see
        He regards whatever phenomena there that are
        connected with form, feeling, perception,
        fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant,
        stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow,
        painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration,
        an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away
        from those phenomena, and having done so,
        inclines his mind to the property of
        deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite
        — the resolution of all fabrications; the
        relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of
        craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'

        The same is repeated for the 2nd to 4th jhana.
        Notice all the 5 khandhas are included?

        In the same sutta, for the first 3 aruppas, we
        see the same wordings too, except that "form
        (rupa)" is absent. It clearly implies that for
        all the 4 jhanas, form is indeed among the
        phenomena that the practitioner is able to pay
        attention to. It is only in the aruppas (as the
        name itself indicates) that form is not perceived.

        An orthodox Theravadin would try to explain that
        the regarding of phenomena that are connected
        with form and others is done only after emerging
        from jhana, not while in it. If so, why can't the same be done for the aruppas?

        This is not the only sutta that provides such
        evidence, but it's an easier one to understand.

        kb

        Dieter Moeller wrote thus at 04:46 PM 26-01-13:
        >Hi Gerard and Ven.Kumara,
        >
        >I suppose the term absorption is differently
        >understood, perhaps you may agree on following sense:
        >
        >The Buddha mentioned that the state reminded him
        >when he -as a younster-was sitting under the
        >shadow of a Roseapple tree watching his father
        >at work. I can imagine: a hot day , one is a
        >bit idle and starts to doze ,it is daydreaming
        >. In this daydreaming the (cognition of the ) 5
        >senses are absorbed in imagination. And there is
        >this taking up thoughts/ideas and follow them
        >whatever associations comes up).
        >Especially children are great in that , immersed
        >(or absorbed) in the world of Oz , or Peter Pan , etc.)
        >But in the first Jhana, so my
        >understanding, the imagination follows a
        >intended direction (diskursive thinking) , a
        >selection of associations occur and we note the
        >most important factor , the pleasant feeling (of piti , rapture ).
        >
        >By the focus on this pleasant feeling , the
        >activity of thinking (vitakka-vicara )is
        >diminishing , it becomes absorbed within the
        >feeling ... and by that the 2nd Jhana applies....
        >
        >with Metta Dieter
      • Dieter Moeller
        Dear Ven. Kumara, you wrote: Thanks for clarifying, Dieter. D: and thank you for still following the issue Ven.: 5 senses are absorbed in imagination seems
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 3, 2013
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          Dear Ven. Kumara,

          you wrote:

          Thanks for clarifying, Dieter.

          D: and thank you for still following the issue

          Ven.: "5 senses are absorbed in imagination" seems to me a strange phrasing. Do you mean "5 senses are cut off because the mind is absorbed in imagination"?
          In any case, it sounds like you mean the mind is no longer with the 5 senses. Right? If so, what you provided below still falls short of substantiating that view.

          D: how to put it ? the experience of day-dreaming when the impulses of the 5 senses media are monotonous , like assembly line work , facing a dull environment , are moments we call absent minded , a day-by-day experience. The mind is busy with events of the past planning
          a possible future. Usually the mind wanders from association to association (like described by the simile of the monkey (SN12,61)
          The difference to Jhana -as far as I understand- is represented when the mind is directed ,discursive thinking like stated of the first Jhana
          and from there further progress can be made, in a way the Buddha recalled from his youth , sitting under the Rose Apple tree or -more advanced - Ven Sariputta fanning the Buddha.

          Ven:Anyway, please have a look at this sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.036.than.html

          After the standard description of the 1st jhana, we see e regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception,
          fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration,
          an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of
          deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite - the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of
          craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
          The same is repeated for the 2nd to 4th jhana. Notice all the 5 khandhas are included?
          In the same sutta, for the first 3 aruppas, we see the same wordings too, except that "form (rupa)" is absent. It clearly implies that for
          all the 4 jhanas, form is indeed among the phenomena that the practitioner is able to pay attention to. It is only in the aruppas (as the
          name itself indicates) that form is not perceived.
          An orthodox Theravadin would try to explain that the regarding of phenomena that are connected with form and others is done only after emerging
          from jhana, not while in it. If so, why can't the same be done for the aruppas?
          This is not the only sutta that provides such evidence, but it's an easier one to understand.

          D: I will come back to above incl. the links you provided before, please excuse my slowness.

          with Metta Dieter




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