Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI to 1st Path?

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Robert C, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 6:25 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 6:25 AM

Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI to 1st Path?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/5/21 Recent Posts
Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI until 1st Path? I find seeing things to be very depressing. Am I allowed to cultivate the happiness born of jhana practice (be it full time or on the side), or will this slow down my progress up the PoI? How much jhana practice (using time that could be spent doing insight meditation) is a distraction and a hindrance to getting stream entry? I would love to find out what a good ratio would be.

Thank you and with metta,
​​​​​​​Robert
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 7:46 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 7:46 AM

RE: Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI to 1st Path?

Posts: 107 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
The joy born of seclusion and letting go of worldly conncerns is one of the factors of awakening.

If you are relatively new to practice and you are meditating upto one hour or a bit more everyday then the split between shamatha - vipashyana should be 80% - 20% on an average. So 4 sits of jhana practice then one sit of insight meditation. If you are meditating in the range of 1.5 hours upwards per day, and are devoting a lot more time on weekends, then the split can be 50% - 50%. Jhana practice will not slow down anything. The more shamatha and ekkagrata we cultivate, the faster we learn from insight opportunities, the faster we gain insights, the faster we conclude the project.

As practice progresses, close to Stream Entry and beyond, the distinction between shamatha and vipashyana is seen as an artifice. There is really no difference between the two practices. All jhana factors come up annd are strong in the practice of momentatry concentration or kshanik samadhi. The characteristics of unreliability or Not-self become the primary 'object' and thus a continuity is maintained despite the base object changing. But for this there has to be a lot of practice time and skills already acquired.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 10:16 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 10:16 AM

RE: Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI to 1st Path?

Posts: 2394 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Let me add to a nice post from Adi; 

There can be joy of seclusion inside strong misery and disgust as well as in fear! 

It's a mistake to look at Joy as always only Joyfull! emoticon as in only pleasant 100% 

Joy of seclusion is also a realisation that I can not avoid This unfolding no matter what This unfolding is; pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. 


To "progress" you note/notice you matter of fact unfolding experience. 

As Adi mentioned it is good to first establish a good Calm-abiding (Shamatha) base for good Insight (noting) practice, as insight practice can be a shaky ground at times. Tranquility for the sake of insight practice rather than just sitting in tranquility for the sake of being high emoticon 

I hope what I wrote is of help and if not feel free to ignore it emoticon 

Best wishes! 
T DC, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 5:33 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 5:29 PM

RE: Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI to 1st Path?

Posts: 437 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
You are "allowed" to do whatever you want.  ;) 

Part of the beauty of the path is that you get to experiment and figure out what works best for your own individual practice out of the many available options. 

Generally speaking, I see no benefit to being depressed on the path.  If concentration practice / jhana helps you maintain a positive outlook, by all means go for it.  Concentration and insight practiced hand in hand is a good option for most people as well, so no issues there. 

As far as a good ratio, I would say somewhere between 30:70 and 50:50 concentration to insight practice.  Personally I found it helpful to start a session with concentration, then apply that refinement of awareness to vipassana.  Feel free to experiment though. 
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Robert C, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 11:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/22 11:19 PM

RE: Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI to 1st Path?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/5/21 Recent Posts
All great suggestions. Thanks everyone, this has brought me a lot more clarity around this topic.
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago at 3/12/22 4:51 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/12/22 4:51 AM

RE: Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI to 1st Path?

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
You can try doing Vipassana ~1.618034 times what you do Shamatha. Should be close to perfect ratio emoticon

Jhana doesn't create happiness. The happiness can arise due to eg. successfully having jhana but it is temporary emotion at most. You can however cultivate something like happiness and I do recommend it. Just do not try to make it feel like anything you already know,l including it moment ago, and it will work.
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Robert C, modified 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 2:08 PM
Created 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 2:07 PM

RE: Is being happy a way to progress up the PoI to 1st Path?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/5/21 Recent Posts
Just do not try to make it feel like anything you already know
Thank you for your reply, my friend emoticon. Is it ungraspable? 

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