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Anyone experienced both fruitions and hard jhanas?

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I'm interested to hear from anyone who has experienced both fruitions (as described in Daniel's book) and hard jhanas. By hard jhana I mean something like Ajahan Brahm describes - no awareness of body or senses, no thinking, full immersion in nimitta and volition left at the door so you can't decide to come out once you're in until it happens of its own accord.

I had two or three fruition-like experiences a few months ago, but I'm not 100% confident because I wasn't on retreat, couldn't immediately repeat and didn't have any external guidance/confirmatiion. Since then I've been mostly trying to get into hard jhana and slowly getting closer (obviously trying is the wrong word because apparently you have to just let it happen!). Often I will have what I call a "jhana bounce", where the mind gets really still and quiet, it's starts to light up with an approaching nimitta, I feel myself falling into it and then I panic or get excited or start thinking and fall away from it. Ajahn Brahm calls this ping pong jhana I think. To me it seems like these jhana bounces are quite similar to what I classified as my fruitions before. The fruitions were a little more suprising and weird, whereas these jhana bounces seem more predictable, but mayabe I'm just getting used to these kind of experiences. I've been meditating pretty hard the last few months and made significant life changes and generally riding the spiritual horse as hard as I dare, so I'm suprised I've not experienced any more fruitions, if indeed that's what they were.

So here are my questions for anyone who has experienced both fruitions and hard jhanas:

1) Have you experienced jhana bounces? If so, were your fruitions definitely different experiences from jhana bounces? How so?

2) Did you experience fruitions before hard jhana and, if so, did they change after attaining hard jhana?

3) If you have attained fruition with duration, how does this differ from being in a hard jhana?

I know this may be a little controversial but it's a genunie practice-related question as it's been confusing the hell out of me from the limited perspective of where I stand. I know that fruition experiences are more recently documented (starting with Mahasi Sayadaw?) whereas jhanas were obviously in the suttas and have been hard since at least the Visuddhimagga. I'm surprised there's not more discussion of hard jhana on DhO since it's such a clearly defined attainment. It seems that fruition can cover quite a wide range of experiences whereas the accounts of people who have attained hard jhana are pretty consistent. My suspicion is that fruitions are easier to attain than hard jhana, but that's just my experience and as I say maybe I never experienced a fruition either ...

RE: Anyone experienced both fruitions and hard jhanas?
Answer
1/14/20 9:46 PM as a reply to agnostic.
I like A.B. and listen to his podcasts frequently, but he's one of very few contemporary practitioners I know of who claims access to hard jhana as 'pure' as he describes.

Personally I spent a lot of time trying to perfect A.B. style hard jhana and could fade all the senses except for hearing. On my best days I could decrease hearing to the point where normal ambient noises faded out to 'nada' noise but really sharp noises could still draw my attention briefly out of the jhana, let alone if someone blew an airhorn next to my ear haha. If you get there my hat is off to you, and please do share your technique : )

RE: Anyone experienced both fruitions and hard jhanas?
Answer
1/14/20 9:51 PM as a reply to Milo.
Also, if you are looking for a way to tell that apart from MCTB fruitions, identifying fruitions tends to be about the setup, as others have reminded me on a few occasions, so I would review that part of MCTB if interested.

RE: Anyone experienced both fruitions and hard jhanas?
Answer
1/14/20 10:05 PM as a reply to Milo.
Also if you listen to A.B.'s podcasts you'll actually hear him hedge a little on what qualifies as (hard) jhana. Possibly he skips some nuance in his written material for the sake of motivating people, but I've never heard anyone ask him directly about that.

RE: Anyone experienced both fruitions and hard jhanas?
Answer
1/15/20 4:32 AM as a reply to agnostic.
agnostic:
 
By hard jhana I mean something like Ajahn Brahm describes - no awareness of body or senses, no thinking, full immersion in nimitta and volition left at the door so you can't decide to come out once you're in until it happens of its own accord.
The above is true except the last part. The mind can decide to exit jhana. Do we think if the Buddha had to give a Dhamma talk at 6pm he could not exit jhana exactly at 6pm as his chosing? 

I had two or three fruition-like experiences a few months ago, but I'm not 100% confident because I wasn't on retreat, couldn't immediately repeat and didn't have any external guidance/confirmatiion.
Full immersion in nimitta means the mind locks onto the nimitta like a magnet so they cannot seperate. If actual fruition occured it would be unmistakable, i.e., 100% confident. 

 Often I will have what I call a "jhana bounce", where the mind gets really still and quiet, it's starts to light up with an approaching nimitta, I feel myself falling into it and then I panic or get excited or start thinking and fall away from it.
The above is not close to jhana. Ajahn Brahm makes it clear in his book all thinking has stopped well before jhana. Similarly, other teachers say all thinking has stopped during "Neighbourhood Concentration", which is not yet jhana. "Lights" are not necessarily "nimitta". The jhana nimitta is so clear & defined that it is unmistakeable. As previously said, the mind locks onto the nimitta as though the nimitta was a magnet. Vague fluffy bright lights are not the jhana nimitta or even close to the jhana nimitta. 

Ajahn Brahm calls this ping pong jhana I think.
Other teachers also teach about weak nimittas however this is only one type of practise, The Buddha taught jhana is reached by making letting go the meditation object. When the Buddha's method is practised fully, the only solid nimitta is at fruition. Prior to jhana, when there is the tendency for the mind to absorb into subtle states, the true practitioners lets go of this. By 'opening/expanding the mind', the true practitioner dissolves any vague nimittas. But when jhana fruition ocurrs, the subtle volition to let go (open the mind) is even lost. When jhana fruition occurs, as Ajahn Brahm explains, all volition is lost. The five jhana factors form on their own and the mind is enchained or handcuffed to the nimitta (which is ekaggata). 

To me it seems like these jhana bounces are quite similar to what I classified as my fruitions before.
No. They are not fruitions. 

I've been meditating pretty hard the last few months and made significant life changes and generally riding the spiritual horse as hard as I dare, so I'm suprised I've not experienced any more fruitions, if indeed that's what they were.
Based on your post, your mind has not even mastered letting go, which is far from jhana; not even Neighbourhood Concentration (Upacara Samadhi) . It does matter how hard you practise. Practise is about quality rather than quantity. All thought of attainment should already be thoroughly abandoned; all attachment to any meditation experience should already be abandoned; all thought of the past & future should already be abandoned. 

My suspicion is that fruitions are easier to attain than hard jhana, but that's just my experience and as I say maybe I never experienced a fruition either ...

Yes. Fruition of lucid stream-entry level is much easier to attain than hard jhana. In fruition of stream-entry, the mind will not cling to anything in meditation because the mind has seen clearly via lucidity of breath vibrations that any amount of attachment causes stress or disturbance. 

When I first practised, years ago, no one talked about jhana. But today, people talk about jhana like it is a commodity, like it is an entitlement; like they deserve it. Ajahn Brahm says jhanas are states of letting go. Ego or self does not attain hard jhana. 

Best wishes 

RE: Anyone experienced both fruitions and hard jhanas?
Answer
1/15/20 6:25 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Can you just give a few pointers on what you qualify as "quality?" I am genuinely interested in your experience and practice. 

I have read quite a number of books describing practice. Daniel often says that practicing well is vital. I interpret that as really paying attention intently and noting the hell out of everything. 

RE: Anyone experienced both fruitions and hard jhanas?
Answer
1/15/20 11:34 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Thanks for the tough love Nicky. In my gut I know you are probably right - no fruitions, no stream entry and certainly not hard jhana. My mind is still full of thoughts of attainment (and yes entitlement). It seems I've only just begun to learn the meaning of letting go. Back to the drawing board. Day 1. Again.