7th Fetter & Jhanas

Freya , modified 4 Months ago at 7/22/22 5:10 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/22/22 5:10 PM

7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 34 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi
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Could someone explain the following to me?

Using the fetter model one needs to eradicate all 10 fetters, the 7th fetter is craving for formless realms. If one has to drop all attachments to formless realms, why is the instruction on this forum and MCTB to keep cycling through the Jhanas?

Thanks
Freya , modified 4 Months ago at 7/22/22 6:25 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/22/22 6:25 PM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 34 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi thank you for you response, 

If you have already cut fetters 1-7, and are working on fetter 8, why would you go into the formless realms to cut fetter 8 when you have eradicated attachments to formless realms? 

I'm asking as I have spent time recently working on fetter 8, which when bringing awareness to any thought processes of self and other, I went into a place of which I can't quite describe, but you could call it any of the following - infinite love, peace, god which I was one with. It felt different from Jhanas. 
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago at 7/22/22 9:22 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/22/22 8:58 PM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 1218 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Freya .
Hi thank you for you response, 

If you have already cut fetters 1-7, and are working on fetter 8, why would you go into the formless realms to cut fetter 8 when you have eradicated attachments to formless realms? 

I'm asking as I have spent time recently working on fetter 8, which when bringing awareness to any thought processes of self and other, I went into a place of which I can't quite describe, but you could call it any of the following - infinite love, peace, god which I was one with. It felt different from Jhanas. 
I'm not 100% sure I understand exactly what you are asking, but this might help...

If you found what you find is a better way to practice, my advice is to go with your own intuition. Everyone is different some practices work better for some while other practices work better for others. People who teach understand the path they took better than the other paths so they teach what they know worked for them - it doesn't mean their path is the best for everyone.

Are you asking why entering the formless realms helps to cut fetter 8? Maybe it is just a practical observation someone made. Or maybe dwelling in the formless realms helps to undermine the conventional notion of self thus undermining foundations of conceit (the ego).

So just because someone practices the formless realms does not mean they are attached to them.  

You can eat food because you are hungry and know that you need to eat to live. Or, you can eat because you crave food, go on a binge, vomit, and then eat more.

You can do the same thing with the formless realms. You can practice them because they help you end suffering, or you can dwell in them as an escape from life while ignoring all other responibilities including making further progress on the path to awakening. 

Can you carry over into daily life some of the peace in the experience you describe? That is one of the uses I find for states like that. Learning in meditation to be at peace as practice for doing the same in daily life. Another use is as a kind of emotional counterbalance to help you face unpleasant truths which you must do to let go of your aversion to them.
T DC, modified 4 Months ago at 7/22/22 11:55 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/22/22 11:55 PM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 478 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
The 7th fetter has several translations - attachment to immaterial rebirth, or attachment to formless realms.  They both mean the same thing, i.e. the fetter of hoping to be reborn as a god.  Probably more of a problem if you ascribe literally to traditional Buddhist cosmology.  The overlap in language with the jhana states is really just unfortunate coincidence. 
Freya , modified 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 2:31 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 2:31 AM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 34 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Why has the post from SigmaTropic been deleted? 
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Freya , modified 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 2:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 2:47 AM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 34 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi Jim,

It seems you've understood my question from you response. It is simply why am I cutting one fetter (attachment to formless realms) only to have to use it (formless realms) to cut the remaining. 

Thanks for your response, it is helpful. 
Freya , modified 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 2:49 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 2:49 AM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 34 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
T DC
The 7th fetter has several translations - attachment to immaterial rebirth, or attachment to formless realms.  They both mean the same thing, i.e. the fetter of hoping to be reborn as a god.  Probably more of a problem if you ascribe literally to traditional Buddhist cosmology.  The overlap in language with the jhana states is really just unfortunate coincidence. 

If this fetter relates to rebirth then that would make more sense. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 6:44 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 6:27 AM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 6857 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
He probably deleted it himself.
Freya , modified 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 7:12 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 7:12 AM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 34 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Yeah just wondering why, I was still trying to make sense of it.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 8:06 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 8:06 AM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

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Sigmatropic has been deleting various comments that he has made here that include references to his claims to attainments, specifically arahatship. This is tied to his recent experience at a retreat center where he was not allowed to teach because of those claims.
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/24/22 6:27 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/24/22 6:27 AM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 2603 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Rebirth is a change of mental state. 7th fetter is attachment to “rebirth” in immaterial/formless mental states. These can be hard immaterial jhanas where there is no awareness of the material body, softer jhanic states such as a pervading sense of “spaciousness” or “awareness” or “emptiness”, or other “god-like” states such as the infinite love & peace you mention.

You can practice jhanas without being attached to them. The Buddha continued practicing jhana post-awakening and recommended them as ‘a pleasant abiding in the here and now’. Jhanas and other Immaterial states are only a fetter if you use them to bypass other stuff in your life or if you mistake them for enlightenment itself. Other than that they are great for relaxing and healing, investigating subtle forms of dukkha and putting the mind in a receptive state for other insights.

Incidentally, the 9th fetter which is restlessness is one of the five hindrances to jhana, so that’s an example where jhana practice will definitely attenuate a higher fetter.
Freya , modified 4 Months ago at 7/26/22 12:27 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/26/22 12:27 PM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 34 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Thanks Steve, that makes sense, "rebirth" makes me think of a new life rather than a new mental state. I found cutting the 7th Fetter surprisingly easy, however cutting the 8th, seems like a different beast entirely. 

I haven't got to the 9th Fetter yet, I'm still a way off, but then again who knows with this path! 
Freya , modified 4 Months ago at 7/26/22 12:28 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/26/22 12:28 PM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 34 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi, 
Ok thanks for letting me know. 
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/26/22 5:19 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/26/22 5:19 PM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 2603 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Well a "new life" is a new mental state!

Since mental states are not-self, there's no real ownership of mental states whereby one can say 'this was me in the past' or 'that will be me in the future'. This would fall under first fetter (self-identity view).
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago at 7/27/22 2:41 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/27/22 2:00 PM

RE: 7th Fetter & Jhanas

Posts: 1218 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Freya .
Thanks Steve, that makes sense, "rebirth" makes me think of a new life rather than a new mental state.
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I think of it as a new "self". If you try to understand the concept of self you might notice people have different ideas of self from time to time. At different times they might think of themselves as child of their parent, or a parent of their children, or a student or an employee or someone who lives in a certain country or someone who speaks a language, or supports a political party or a sports team or musical group, or who has a certain hobby.

If you start looking for these different selves as they arise in your mind you might notice every emotion is like a different self, it brings a different quality to existence, there is a happy self, a sad self, an angry self, a tolerant self, or proud, humble, arrogant, etc etc. It's like there are different personalities inside you.

If you notice that, you might notice every thought or perception or impulse or sensory experience has it's own unique feeling or quality of being and also seems like a different self.

In fact every distinct moment of consciousness can seem like a different self arising and fading (being reborn).

You can practice this way of experiencing self just by recognizing each distinct moment of consciousness and noticing the unique as well as the familiar quality of the experience.

If you do this you can see how we build an illusion of a continuous constant self from these rapidly changing frames in the movie of our experience. It's that constant unchanging self that we become attached to that leads to dukkha. So noticing experience as moments of consciousness, as different selves, can help weaken that attachment, it helps us to let go of attachments, to relax our clinging to self, to be relaxed in the present moment, to be relaxed in each distinct moment of consciousness (nibbana).

Then whatever comes to us in the present moment is our "self" there is no separation of self and not-self.

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