I fully agree wtth GS that "it's really a matter
of what each of us has tried and found helpful for our own practice."
However, I'd like to question the conclusion of
"all 3 approaches are seemingly in line with the
texts " Hope you don't mind referring to what GS wrote again:
* For the second one, he said, "I consider
the resultant meditative state of this second
approach to represent an accurate assessment of
jhana as it's presented in the suttas."
* For the third, "Thus this approach can
certainly lead to jhana. This is entirely in
keeping with what is outlined in the suttas."
Nothing of this sort was said for the first. From
my own research (though nowhere as extensive as his), I can see why.
Nonetheless, as GS said so very well, "everyone
is free to make up their own mind regarding what
they feel is necessary for their practice."
I'd like to add though that regardless of one's
decision, please bear in mind the purpose of the
Buddha's teachings, esp his instruction in
Dhammacakkappavatana Sutta "This first noble
truth of suffering is to be fully understood."
I try to be open minded about different
approaches. However, having taught meditation for
quite some years now, I've met quite a few who
are so inclined to absorptions that they are not
willing to meet suffering to understand it. Some
can't even get back to absorptions anymore, yet
they keep on trying and hoping. One was
eventually forced to meet suffering when she
became clinically depressed. A "gifted" student
of mine helped her through. Hope she has learnt the lesson.
Dieter Moeller wrote thus at 03:11 AM 10-02-13:
>Dear Venerable Kumara and Gerard,
>back to the original issue:
>Dieter Moeller wrote thus at 10:54 AM 07-01-13:
> >D: I wonder whether he put it this way, as it
> is obvious according >to the suttas , that
> within the first Jhana the 5 senses media
> is >absorbed , and in the second , the 6xt sense .
>Ven: I'm interested to know where you find the Suttas say that.
>The matter has already been very well researched
>and explained by Richard Shankman in his book
>"The Experience of Samadhi". Geoff Shatz has also
>done a good share of research, presented in
>Dhammawheel (by the name Ñana). E.g. Jhana According to the Pali Nikayas.
>As I can tell from their writing, both of them
>are experienced meditator. They quote much from
>texts to substantiate their view points, but
>aren't speaking from mere textual understanding.
>They are well qualified to speak on the matter.
>D: I started to read this thread of more 200
>postings..which already by it's numbers confirms
>"Although the Jhanas appear very frequently in
>the discourses of the Buddha (suttas), now two
>and a half millenna later there is no generally
>agreed upon interpretation of what exactly these
>states of concentration are " (Interpretations
>of the Jhanas http://www.leighb.com/jhanantp.htm )
>and like to emphasize a conclusion by Geoff Shatz:
>It might be worth mentioning again that there
>are basically three approaches to mental
>development in the context of meditation:
> (i) attention training where one absorbs into
> a single object and thereby stills all mental
> factors to the point where, as Ajahn
> Brahmavamso explains, "Consciousness is so
> focused on the one thing that the faculty of
> comprehension is suspended . there is no comprehension of what is going on."
> (ii) attention training where one attends to
> a single object and thereby calms and unifies
> all mental factors to the point where, as Leigh
> Brasington explains, "It is possible to examine
> the experience because the state is so stable and self sustaining on its own."
> (iii) attention training where one attends to
> whatever occurs in the present moment (either
> with the aid of a support object such as
> abdominal movement, or choiceless awareness
> without the aid of a support object).
> With this in mind, it's really a matter of
> what each of us has tried and found helpful for
> our own practice. All three of these approaches
> can be developed to the point of attaining the
> resultant state of that approach if one has the
> time and commitment to follow their chosen path
> of practice in a sustained, dedicated way.
> It is only with the first of these three
> approaches that the five senses must
> necessarily be shut down and ceased for that
> resultant state to be entered and sustained.
> However, the lack of comprehension in this
> state makes it impossible for vipassana to occur while abiding therein.
> The resultant state of the second approach
> allows for the mind to be internally unified
> while still fully comprehending the mental
> factors present. Thus vipassana can be fully
> present and functional while abiding therein. I
> consider the resultant meditative state of this
> second approach to represent an accurate
> assessment of jhana as it's presented in the
> suttas. Other people consider the resultant
> state of the first approach to be necessary.
> It's not my intention to debate this issue
> here. Obviously, everyone is free to make up
> their own mind regarding what they feel is necessary for their practice.
> The third approach can eventually lead to the
> resultant state of the second approach, but it
> isn't a direct pathway to that state of mental
> unification. The level of concentration
> employed in this third approach is often
> designated as "momentary concentration." This
> approach can be applied as somewhat of a
> conjoined calm (samatha) and vipassana method.
> By using the instruction to follow the movement
> of the abdomen as one breathes and to come back
> to that as the support object after any
> distractions, this approach enables many
> practitioners to develop deep samatha in the
> course of their practice. Thus this approach
> can certainly lead to jhana. This is entirely
> in keeping with what is outlined in the suttas.
> I look forward to hearing what other members
> have to contribute to this discussion."
> all 3 approaches are seemingly in line with
> the texts . As G.S. states " it's really a
> matter of what each of us has tried and found helpful for our own practice".
>Well, I stick to the first , which refers clearly to absorption ..
>with Metta Dieter
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