New free book from Kumara Bhikkhu on the Sutta and Vipassana Jhana debate !

Nick Chab Chab, modified 1 Year ago at 1/26/23 12:03 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/26/23 12:03 PM

New free book from Kumara Bhikkhu on the Sutta and Vipassana Jhana debate !

Posts: 14 Join Date: 10/10/22 Recent Posts
Hey guys, 
here is the link : https://justpaste.it/jbook
the book is very instructive and a good food for thought. It tends to support Thanissaro and Ajahn Nanamoli's take on the matter.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 1/27/23 1:55 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/27/23 1:53 PM

RE: New free book from Kumara Bhikkhu on the Sutta and Vipassana Jhana deba

Posts: 1739 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
The book looks interesting thanks for posting the link. I also like this page also by Kumara Bhikkhu:
I added bold 
https://justpaste.it/medtips
Meditation Tips
  1. Don’t try to meditate. Just be aware of whatever that’s obvious to you now in the space of your body and mind.
  2. There is no forcing in right effort. Relax.
  3. Meditation should not cause stress. If it does, it’s wrong meditation.
  4. Be real. Don’t pretend.
  5. Don’t try to get something or get rid of something.
  6. The quality of meditation is in the doing, not in the getting.
  7. Don’t struggle with your thoughts and feelings. Relax. Just be aware of what’s happening as it is, and learn from the experience.
  8. We do not meditate to get rid of suffering; we meditate to understand it. When we fully understand suffering, it naturally ends.
  9. Don’t take meditation too seriously. Allow yourself to be joyful.
  10. Body relaxed, mind attentive.
  11. Don’t just be aware. Be aware wisely. Use your intelligence.
  12. Don’t get soaked in your experience. Step back.
  13. Be the observer, not the experiencer.
  14. If you become increasingly agitated, check if you want something..
  15. If the mind is overwhelmed, watch something neutral instead, like breathing.
  16. Don’t make meditation a chore. Delight in being aware.
  17. If you find meditation difficult, stop. Something about how you are meditating is making it difficult. Check.
  18. Meditation is not just sitting. It’s something we live engaging in.
  19. If you can’t maintain awareness, check if you’re relaxed.
  20. How well you do does not matter. What matters is that you keep learning from your experience.​​​​​​​
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Ben V, modified 1 Year ago at 1/27/23 7:02 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/27/23 7:02 PM

RE: New free book from Kumara Bhikkhu on the Sutta and Vipassana Jhana deba

Posts: 417 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Been reading it and reached p. 31 as I write this. I find the book very interesting and it seems to confirm in a scholarly way the insights of modern practitioners on jhanas, including the  Pragmatic Dharma veterans.

One thing that catches my attention is how commentarial-derived techniques tend to focus on narrow/restricted areas, while the sutta approach involves more of an open and unrestricted awareness. 

The open/unrestricted awareness seems to make a lot of sense, but I am still left thinking that there might nevertheless still be a usefulness and place for narrow focus.

I vaguely remember reading Daniel Ingram mentioning how using only wide focus could end up loosing precision sometimes or becoming dull, and that narrowing the focus could help remedy that problem. And Kenneth Folk  taught me narrow focus for first jhana and ever widening focus for higher jhanas.

Perhaps a beginner would be better served starting with narrow focus and as practice advances, widening the focus. 

Thoughts?
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Year ago at 1/28/23 12:27 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/28/23 12:27 AM

RE: New free book from Kumara Bhikkhu on the Sutta and Vipassana Jhana deba

Posts: 1738 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
I could argue the opposite of each thing in the list, depending on goal and expected results.
what recipe gets what result?
Vague as usual.
​​​​​​​~D
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 1/31/23 7:44 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/31/23 4:53 AM

RE: New free book from Kumara Bhikkhu on the Sutta and Vipassana Jhana deba

Posts: 1739 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Nick Chab Chab
Hey guys, 
here is the link : https://justpaste.it/jbook
the book is very instructive and a good food for thought. It tends to support Thanissaro and Ajahn Nanamoli's take on the matter.


I like the chapter where he writes that full awakening is a gradual process and the way to measure progress is by reduction in attachents and aversions.
Therefore, if our way of practising the Dhamma is indeed correct and suitable for us, it should cause us to gradually know and see things as they are, and witness the gradual letting go of craving and clinging and the corresponding gradual release from dukkha.


We should also compare our practice with the Buddha’s instructions for the second and third noble truths. Does it bring about abandonment of craving for sensuality, for being and for non-being? Does it lead to witnessing the cessation of dukkha: the “remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.” 154 This is the purpose for which we practice. And so we ask: Has this been the result of our jhāna (meditation) practice?

This way of evaluating tallies with this passage from Satthusāsana Sutta (AN7.83):

“… those things which you might know thus: ‘These things lead exclusively to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to nibbāna,’ you should definitely recognize: ‘This is the Dhamma; this is the discipline; this is the teaching of the Teacher.’” (NDB, p1100)

As it speaks of Nibbāna, the ultimate liberation, it can seem like a criterion too demanding to go by, but it’s not really so. We just need to understand what Nibbāna is. “The evaporation of passion, the evaporation of aversion,the evaporation of delusion—this, friend, is called Nibbāna.” (Nibbānapañhā Sutta, SN38.1)

And so we should check: With my present way of practice, have I become freer from mental defilements: passion, aversion and delusion? This, for me, is the litmus test of spiritual progress. Through our practice, has desire lessened in us? In meeting undesirable situations similar as before, are we less angry, less afraid, less hurt? Have we become less jealous, less conceited, less stubborn, less vain, less muddled, less attached (e.g. to views)? To evaluate the trueness of our way of practice, we need to answer these questions honestly.

In addition, bear in mind that all our problems—worldly and spiritual—consist of mental defilements. Our practice should bring about their evaporation at all levels and in all aspects of our lives, not only when we’re on the meditation cushion or in a retreat.

Considering that the strength of noticeable defilements fluctuates, one teacher suggests comparing between the recent period and five years ago. If that’s too long for you, how about three years? If, after more than that, nothing has changed for the better, then something is wrong somewhere, and it’s good to step back and re-evaluate our way of practice, and make the necessary changes. If defilements have grown instead, then surely we should do something immediately!

There’s another list of criteria in Saṅkhitta Sutta (AN8.53). You may find the following advice from the Buddha to his step-mother more concrete and immediately experiential:

“As for the qualities of which you may know, ‘These qualities lead

• to dispassion, not to passion;
• to being unfettered, not to being fettered;
• to shedding, not to accumulating;
• to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement;
• to contentment, not to discontent;
• to seclusion, not to entanglement;
• to aroused persistence, not to laziness;
• to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome’:

You may categorically hold, ‘This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher’s instruction.’” 155

So, we can also compare our practice with these eight points, and see if it is the Dhamma, the Vinaya, the Teacher’s instruction.

Back to the cessation of dukkha due to the relinquishment of craving, we needn’t limit our thinking to en bloc cessation. As the Buddha said in Uposatha Sutta (Ud5.5 & AN8.20),
Just as, bhikkhus, the great ocean is gradually sloped, gradually slanted, gradually inclined, with no abrupt drop-off; even so, bhikkhus, in this Dhamma-Discipline, there is gradual training, gradual practice, gradual progress, with no abrupt gnosis-penetration.

Therefore, if our way of practising the Dhamma is indeed correct and suitable for us, it should cause us to gradually know and see things as they are, and witness the gradual letting go of craving and clinging and the corresponding gradual release from dukkha.
In the past I have seen that quote from the sutras about the ocean dropping off. unfortunatel the vesion I saw said there is a sudden drop off after a long stretch. When I saw this different translation I checked with what I consider to be the most authorative site and found this:

https://www.themindingcentre.org/dharmafarer/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/59.2a-Atthaka-Uposatha-S-1-a8.20.pdf
Even so, bhikshus, just as the great ocean slopes gradually, slides gradually, inclines gradually, not abruptly like a precipice — so, too, in this Dharma-Vinaya, penetration into final knowledge occurs by gradual training, not abruptly

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