Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

A Dietrich Ringle, modified 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 6:02 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 6:02 PM

Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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Well, is it or isn't it?
Adam , modified 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 6:46 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 6:46 PM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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I think this depends on whether jhana for you means quieting the mind through controlling or letting go of control. I see nirvana as the absence of trying to do anything or control anything. this is just a speculation based on the experiences which I have seen as the least stressful.

I'd love to hear it from someone experiencing nirvana though haha.
T DC, modified 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 7:33 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 7:33 PM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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No, in the sense that Jhana is a temporary state and enlightenment is final and lasting. Also no in the sense that Jhana involves suppression of thought whereas enlightenment is the result of having seen completely through all dualistic thought patterns.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 9:07 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 9:06 PM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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Saying basically the same thing in a slightly different way...

No, in the sense that jhanas involve specific qualities and that Nibbana involves a habitual misperception that no longer occurs.

Things that happen can't be sustained indefinitely, but things that no longer happen can continue to never happen again.
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Ian And, modified 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 12:26 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 12:26 PM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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T DC:
No, in the sense that Jhana is a temporary state and enlightenment is final and lasting. Also no in the sense that Jhana involves suppression of thought whereas enlightenment is the result of having seen completely through all dualistic thought patterns.


Daniel M. Ingram:
Saying basically the same thing in a slightly different way...

No, in the sense that jhanas involve specific qualities and that Nibbana involves a habitual misperception that no longer occurs.

Things that happen can't be sustained indefinitely, but things that no longer happen can continue to never happen again.

Right on, guys. Couldn't agree more. Silly question in the first place.
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 1:36 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 1:36 PM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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Ian And:
Right on, guys. Couldn't agree more. Silly question in the first place.

Hmmm, If you have not experienced either I would not say it was a silly question. It might seem silly after you have the apple and the orange and start to compare them.
Lemme up the ante....since I have not experienced Nirodha Samapatti that I know of....and it seems to be somewhere on the jhanic arc and it seems to have similarities to Nibbana...hmmm, kinda more tangled problem.
What do you think? (now I'm curious)
Thanks,
~D
T DC, modified 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 5:50 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 5:50 PM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

Posts: 464 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Dream Walker:
Ian And:
Right on, guys. Couldn't agree more. Silly question in the first place.

Hmmm, If you have not experienced either I would not say it was a silly question. It might seem silly after you have the apple and the orange and start to compare them.
Lemme up the ante....since I have not experienced Nirodha Samapatti that I know of....and it seems to be somewhere on the jhanic arc and it seems to have similarities to Nibbana...hmmm, kinda more tangled problem.
What do you think? (now I'm curious)
Thanks,
~D


It is an interesting question, because I seem to remember reading something about Buddha sitting down for a bit and 'entering Nirvana' as if this was sort a jhanic-like option for him. In my experience however this is not the case.

As for Nirodha Sampatti, it is such a brief experience of Nibbana, or complete cessation, that it is difficult to draw conclusions about what is was one experienced. Perhaps the obvious thing is that for a second nothing occurred, but was this Nibbana? Having experience Nirodah, and currently having attained full enlightenment or Nibbana, I cannot say. At any rate it is extremely brief and could not really be categorized as a state.

Tibetan Buddhists refer to 'Nibbana' as 'clear light of mind'. They teach we experience fractional moments of this in daily life when having an orgasm, or sneezing. So there's that too..
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Ian And, modified 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 10:11 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 10:11 PM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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Dream Walker:
Ian And:
Right on, guys. Couldn't agree more. Silly question in the first place.

Hmmm, If you have not experienced either I would not say it was a silly question. It might seem silly after you have the apple and the orange and start to compare them.

People who post questions like the one that started this thread without any contextual background to explain it, deserve whatever false impression it conjures in the mind of any respondent.

Nothing personal meant. But now I will explain what went through my mind (sans any context behind the question) and why I made the comment I made. Not that I need to. But I thought it might be instructive.

A D R has been posting here for over 2 years. I've never followed his posts in particular, so have little knowledge of his background and practice. He admits to having practiced meditation for 3 years (learned about this in another thread). So I assumed that he had obtained at least a good working knowledge of any of the terms he uses.

Anyone these days who takes up a study of the Buddhadhamma should be conscientious enough to look into the terminology being used predominately and figure out just what it is all referring to. In other words, obtain a working definition of the term that he understands and can use to help build his knowledge of the study.

Now, forty (and maybe even twenty) years ago, before the Internet and the explosion of information openly available to people on this planet, one could be arguably excused for not knowing or having a precise enough definition of Pali or Sanskrit terms to work with in order to assist himself with figuring out the path of the Dhamma. The only resources we had forty years ago were books, many of which were written by non-English speaking writers or writers who spoke English but were not practitioners of the path. In both these cases, it leaves room for misunderstanding of the Dhamma taught by Gotama, either because the non-English speaking writer/practitioner didn't grasp closely enough the nuances in intent when attempting to translate foreign words into English, or in the case of the English speaking non-practitioner/writer, did not have enough of a grip on the practice itself to be able to accurately translate key terms (such as nibbana/nirvana) in such a way that English speaking readers could clearly grasp the contextual and conceptual meaning of the term.

Assuming A D R had a fairly accurate grasp of the term nirvana — meaning that it did not refer to any kind of spiritual roof garden heaven, but rather to a cessation of extraneous unwholesome thought — then attempting to equate that with a dhyana-type meditation state seemed, to my way of thinking on first seeing it, silly and superflous. It seemed to imply a misunderstanding of the term itself. Someone who correctly understood the term, it seemed clear to me, wouldn't have asked such a question in the first place.

Now, I'm not an uncompassionate person. I had not looked at the other thread he recently started. Having read his other thread ("My suffering level hasn't really changed"), I now have the context for the question he posed in this thread. That helps me to understand where he is coming from. Yet, without that context being explained in this thread, you get whatever comes to mind first in terms of commentary. And deservedly so.
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Richard Zen, modified 8 Years ago at 2/13/14 12:10 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/13/14 12:10 AM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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Shaila Catherine says that fruition attainments are called "supramundane jhanas" but in the paragraph before that in her book it is quoted as "one directly knows Nibbana as Nibbana. One does not conceive of oneself as one with Nibbana. One does not conceive one self as in Nibbana. Why is that? So that one may fully understand it".

So I think it's more like consciousness is aimed at Nibbana after it experiences a cessation and that would be a fruition attainment.

Obviously until one goes through this non-experience all that can be described is the afterglow.
Adam , modified 8 Years ago at 2/13/14 12:31 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/13/14 12:31 AM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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dharma forums are srs business
Mattias Wilhelm Stenberg, modified 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 4:24 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 4:24 PM

RE: Is Nirvana a Jhana-like attainment?

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Daniel M. Ingram:

Things that happen can't be sustained indefinitely, but things that no longer happen can continue to never happen again.

This quote gave me a small mental orgasm and a nice purring vibration in my chest that's been going on for a minute now. emoticon

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