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MN 106 or how to attain the formless jhanas

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I just came across sutta MN 106, and as it seems to be about how to access the formless jhana’s which is a subject I’m currently very much interested in, I was curious if this lines up with anyone’s experience: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.106.than.html

Basically the sutta describes how to access “The Imperturbable” (i.e. jhana 4-6 according to the footnote), the dimension of nothingness (i.e. 7t jhana) and the “the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception”(i.e. 8th jhana).
 
For reaching the boundless space and boundless consciousness jhana’s (The “imperturbable or 4-6th Jhana) the sutta suggests three different techniques:
  1. “dwell with an awareness that was abundant & enlarged
  2. “Practicing & frequently abiding in this way 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come: whatever is form, every form, is the four great elements or a form derived from the four great elements.'
  3. Practicing & frequently abiding in this way “Whatever is inconstant is not worth relishing, is not worth welcoming, is not worth remaining fastened to."
 
The first one seems to correlate with the advice to go up to the 4th jhana and then take in the sense of space and start expanding it. The second and third method seem to suggest that you can also get into the formless jhana’s through meditating on impermanence and the four elements? Anybody have any experience with this? This sounds more like a vipassana practice?
 
For the 7th jhana (dimension of nothingness) the following methods are suggested:
  1. 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable: all are perceptions. Where they cease without remainder: that is peaceful, that is exquisite, i.e., the dimension of nothingness.' This is declared to be the first practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness.”
  2. 'This is empty of self or of anything pertaining to self.' This is declared to be the second practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness.
  3. 'I am not anyone's anything anywhere; nor is anything of mine in anyone anywhere.' This is declared to be the third practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness.
 
So the first method seems to suggest going up to the 6th jhana, then seeing that even the perception of infinite consciousness is ‘just a perception’ and look to where they ‘cease without remainder’. This sounds similar to the advice to take the perception of the 6th jhana and then focus on what’s in between the flickers of perception, or get out of sync with perception.
 
The second method seems like an anatta practice, and the third one seems like a “not me, not mine” practice. Anyone have experience practicing with these in the higher jhana’s?
 
Finally:
 
 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable; perceptions of the dimension of nothingness: all are perceptions. Where they cease without remainder: that is peaceful, that is exquisite, i.e., the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.
 
It seems you can tune out perceptions of even nothingness, and get to NPNYNP.
 
As usual the sutta instructions do not strike me as very clear (then again, sometimes I still get confused with the IKEA instructions as well after 2500 years of instructional science development emoticon, so anybody up for ‘translating’ these to more applied practice instructions? 

RE: MN 106 or how to attain the formless jhanas
Answer
5/27/15 4:44 PM as a reply to Oochdd.
These are very good instructions, I think.  There is a similar theme among all of them - no matter what is currently happening, there is nothing you need to take as belonging to you, or as a part of you belonging to someone else, or as something to be controlled, manipulated, aspired to, or rejected.

The way the Buddha describes the jhanas in the suttas always struck me as being a description of what happens as you let go of objects.  It isn't suprising that it sounds like a vipassana practice because the Buddha didn't make a distinction between jhana and vipassana.

There are a number of ways to refer to the cause of stress: clinging to objects, attachment, craving, aversion, self.  These are all the same thing.  The progression through the jhanas is simply what happens when you stop doing that thing.

Here's another way to think about it: When you care about sensual objects (the way you look, the taste of a certain food, the feeling of accomplishment, the action of a video game or movie, getting lost in a book, thinking about work, who you're friends with, what is happening in the news) you will always have something in the future you're looking forward to.  When you let go of this level of fabricating, you are "secluded from sensuality" and will find yourself simply present.  This feels like concentration, but it's really just being carefree.  After this, you can stop caring about how you feel.  Then you can stop caring that you have a body.  Then you can stop caring about existing.  Eventually you get to the point where you don't even care that you're paying attention.  There is nothing you're attached to.  You're just completely without definition and have nothing you're thinking about, looking at, feeling, sensing, etc.  The simplification, itself, creates a draw because as simplification happens, the subjective experience is more refined, more relaxed, easier, etc.

In Taoism, they call it "sitting and forgetting," which I always thought was a good pointer right in the name itself.  Just forget whatever comes up.  Let it go.  Stop caring about.  Set it free.  And keep in mind that it's the simplification, itself, that is pleasant, not the special effects that seem to happen.  If you look carefully at any state that feels good, you can see that the feeling comes from the freedom from grasping, not the object that happens to be presenting at the time.  The skill I've found to be the most useful is the ability to remain detached while objects are presenting - this allows you to live in the world while still maintaining tranqility.