Daniel M. Ingram, 12 hours ago.

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the jhanas and arahatship

quincy edgar despres, modified 11 Years ago.

the jhanas and arahatship

Post: 1 Join Date: 1/11/10 Recent Posts

My understanding is that the suttas can be read to support and some modern meditation masters teach that absorption is not necessary for stream entry. It has been rather more difficult to find a definitive statement regarding jhana and nibbana. I'm not a Buddhist scholar by any means, and I know there are people here much more learned that I, so any thoughts would be appreciated.
Daniel M. Ingram, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: the jhanas and arahatship

Posts: 3158 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Just a study of one, but hope this helps:

I sucked big-time at the samatha jhanas before stream entry. I could get all kinds of buzzy and tear down things into their component sensations, but peace and tranquility and anything like those were very elusive for me early on. After stream entry I suddenly had access to them at times, though colored by the ├▒ana cycling aspects. I could suddenly hit the formless realms just by asking for them when my concentration was strong.

When you mean Nibbana, I assume you mean arahatship and not Fruition, as the word is used both ways.

As to arahatship, I don't know any that didn't have some sort of jhanic abilities that just arose relatively naturally as a result of practice. By the time I got arahatship, I had all kinds of jhana, having become really, really fascinated with it in the anagami phase, which is related to identification with those very jhanas, so perhaps no surprise there.

As to scholarship, there are in theory "Dry Insight Workers", those who in theory go all the way without samatha jhana, but I have two answers to this:

A) Each vipassana jhana starts out with a pretty heavy samatha jhana component to it in its early presentation even if that is not what one is looking for.
emoticon Samatha jhanas arise so naturally and spontaneously to those with the sufficient strength of mind to penetrate objects that well that I have a hard time imagining someone going all the way without chancing into them even if for some strange reason they didn't want to. This is obviously different from mastery, but still...