questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

sohil shrenik nanavati, modified 7 Years ago.

questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

Posts: 26 Join Date: 3/29/13 Recent Posts
Hello! Kindness to all in advance, thank you for your wisdom and time.

Recently I purchased and read beyond mindfulness in plain english

the author makes a point that for attaining 1st jhana, one most remove the 5 hindrances and focus on an object, this object in the case of the book being either the breath or metta

now where my confusion comes into place, is can one enter jhana while practicing metta and concentrating on the breath?

does one have to pick either metta, or the breath as an object? or can both be done at the same time


very confused on this subject, thank you in advance!

sohil nanavati
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fivebells ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Yes, you can mix them. It is useful to cultivate metta for the breath itself, for instance. This is recommended in Ajahn Brahm's Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond..

Also, with this kind of question, there is no harm in experimenting, and going with what gives good results (i.e., greater stability of mind, mindfulness, discernment, etc.) But there is no harm in asking, either. emoticon
sohil shrenik nanavati, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

Posts: 26 Join Date: 3/29/13 Recent Posts
thank you! I'd been a lurker to this wonder community for a long time and figured it was about time for me to enter its realms of discussion, thank you for welcoming me so warmly fivebells!
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fivebells ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
You're very welcome, sohil. May your meditation bring you happiness and respite from suffering. Let us know how it goes.
sohil shrenik nanavati, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

Posts: 26 Join Date: 3/29/13 Recent Posts
question fivebells,

when I meditate and in daily life it feels as if you have the ability to almost, "play around" with sensations, feelings, and intentions in ones mind. I have a hard time explaining it other then describing it as, exploring ones own mind and states of consciousness.

Do you have any idea what this might be? I can clarify if need be.

Ill try to make an analogy

if the mind is a pond in motion, and meditation is to simply allow the ripples to naturally calm and stop, this would be akin to swimming through the pond, its confusing.


im sure you can see the impact my other question has on my practice by now, the fear of "doing meditation wrong"

but thank you for your help! I can clarify if need be, these things are terribly hard to convey in words.
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fivebells ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Hi, Sohil. Yes, meditation develops that ability to manipulate sensations, feelings and intentions. Exploring which physical/verbal/mental actions lead to which mental consequences so that you can fashion skillful mental states is in a sense the whole of the practice. The goal is to head for more peaceful, still, concentrated states of mind, and the final goal nibbana can be described as complete freedom from all fabrications. A lot of people get ahead of themselves and try to experience freedom from fabrication too early, by attempting to simply drop all fabrications. However, on the way to that final goal, you have to fashion skillful fabrications in order to tame the hindrances and bring the mind to peace, stillness and concentration. Metta is an example of such fabrication: fashioning it is a way to bring ill-will to an end. So if you find yourself doing things in your meditation in order to manipulate your mental state, that is not in and of itself a sign that you're meditating wrong. It's always good to check with a teacher, but the key test is always whether the results of that manipulation have tamed the hindrances and/or enhanced the factors for awakening.

You would probably gain valuable perspective from that Thanissaro essay I referenced in the other thread, and the Food Sutta on which it is based.
sohil shrenik nanavati, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

Posts: 26 Join Date: 3/29/13 Recent Posts
thank you! You honestly help so very much.
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neem nyima, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: questions about 1st jhana and the object of meditation

Posts: 168 Join Date: 8/6/10 Recent Posts
Access Concentration, High Equanimity & Vipassana Jhana?

I did a summary of mindfulness bliss and beyond and also the attention revolution; probably two of the best books on how to attain Jhana, from the samadhi schools point of view.

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