Jhana Duration?

Andy, modified 29 Days ago.

Jhana Duration?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 12/1/19 Recent Posts
How long do ya'll remain in jhana? I normally stop around 60 to 90 minutes only because my legs start hurting pretty bad.
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David Matte, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Jhana Duration?

Posts: 81 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
Hi Andy,

Usually 90 minutes as that's when the suppressed leg pains are apparent enough to be a hinderance to concentration.  Longest are about 120 minutes.

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Andy, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Jhana Duration?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 12/1/19 Recent Posts
Excellent, thank you. I just wanted to corroborate my experience. I saw a beginner on reddit who could only get in the 1st jhana claiming to practice for 16 hours at a time, until they got tired. Someone else backed up their statement. Seemed a little suspect to me. I just read an essay by Alan Wallace stating that a real expression of moderate mastery is to be able to sustain the state for at least 4 hours. I think I could probably do that if I didn't have legs. Though I do prefer having legs. 
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David Matte, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Jhana Duration?

Posts: 81 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
Yeah crazy! Four hours doesn't sound too unrealistic but to sit 16 hours or longer — I'd love to talk to one of those people lol

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Jim Smith, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Jhana Duration?

Posts: 972 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Which jhana? Soft or hard?

Some soft jhana's you don't have to be sitting.

1st jhana (soft) for 16 hrs is credible if they are not sitting all the time.  

With practice it can become second nature and you can be walking around and you don't have to think about it. Having your brain chemicals maxed out all the time can become tedius so most people would probably not really do that. They might keep the intensity moderated and/or move beyond 2nd jhana.

Some people meditate sitting in a chair.

What is the point of sitting on the floor if it limits the amount of meditation you can do? Maybe it's just another attachment.

​​​​​​​You can start on the floor and move to a chair if you want to do more meditation.
Andy, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Jhana Duration?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 12/1/19 Recent Posts
Interesting... yeah I was just thinking hard. And I guess I just kind of assumed everyone does jhana crossed legged. I've tried other positions briefly in the past and it just seemed not as effective. That was back when I first started though. Maybe I'll try experimenting again.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Jhana Duration?

Posts: 5468 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Do you mean one specific jhana or going through the arch? And with hard jhana, do you mean the nimitta based one? Trying to determine whether any answer from me would be relevant.
Andy, modified 27 Days ago.

RE: Jhana Duration?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 12/1/19 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Do you mean one specific jhana or going through the arch? And with hard jhana, do you mean the nimitta based one? Trying to determine whether any answer from me would be relevant.


Yeah I mean the whole arch. I'm not particularly familiar with nimitta. I've encountered the concept but I've never worked with it to navigate jhana. When I'm in really deep I get a sense of being bathed in light. Though not sure if that is nimitta, as my understanding is nimitta is something that occurs as you enter absorption, not at the end. So yeah, not nimitta based jhana, though I'm not sure what the difference is.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 27 Days ago.

RE: Jhana Duration?

Posts: 5468 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Ah, right. Then my answers are relevant. The way I understand it, what you are talking about is actually soft jhanas, which is a confusing name, because you can get very deep into soft jhanas too. Hard jhana refers to a school of jhanas that require nimitta already for first jhana, and in that school you typically stay with first jhana until you have completely mastered it. Mastering it involves among other things those very long sessions and being able to get into it from all the different kasinas. That's the Pa Auk Sayadaw tradition described for instance by Stephen Snyder and Tina Rasmussen. It is extremely demanding. 

My duration is about the same as yours, except for rare times when I just keep getting drawn into it for hours. My concentration practice is rusty at the moment so I'm not very up to date with this. As for positions, it might be worth mentioning that I have done most of my shamatha reclining and that has worked just fine. 

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