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Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff

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Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/18/17 2:52 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff CJMacie 2/18/17 3:22 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/18/17 3:56 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Matthew 2/18/17 4:02 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/18/17 4:14 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff fschuhi 2/18/17 7:01 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Banned For waht? 2/18/17 9:03 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Ben V. 2/18/17 7:20 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Daniel M. Ingram 2/18/17 10:15 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff svmonk 2/18/17 12:15 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Ben V. 2/19/17 7:10 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff supaluqi 2/19/17 11:51 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Ben V. 2/19/17 4:02 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/20/17 3:34 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/20/17 2:17 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff bernd the broter 2/21/17 10:56 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Daniel M. Ingram 2/21/17 11:40 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/21/17 1:06 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Banned For waht? 2/25/17 7:43 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/25/17 2:03 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Banned For waht? 3/6/17 8:00 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff elizabeth 3/6/17 2:35 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 3/7/17 2:03 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 3/7/17 7:09 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 3/7/17 8:59 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff elizabeth 3/7/17 4:57 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 3/8/17 9:54 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Daniel M. Ingram 3/10/17 11:57 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 3/11/17 3:55 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/21/17 7:31 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Daniel M. Ingram 2/21/17 7:46 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/21/17 8:11 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Daniel M. Ingram 2/21/17 8:54 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Kim Katami 2/21/17 9:20 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff CJMacie 2/22/17 2:10 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Banned For waht? 2/18/17 7:07 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff supaluqi 2/18/17 12:49 PM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff CJMacie 2/22/17 2:18 AM
RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff Banned For waht? 2/25/17 7:24 AM
Very good and educating explanation of the jhanas, meditative states of theravada buddhism, by a senior teacher Leigh Brasington. I haven't had much interest in theravada buddhism but have started to look into it emoticon

”It's (jhana meditation) a skill. And it's mechanical. You can learn to do this and you can crank out the concentrated mind. If only we could do this for insights. Do something and crank out the insights.” - Leigh Brasington, from this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCLT64SLYZk

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 3:22 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Very good and educating explanation of the jhanas, meditative states of theravada buddhism, by a senior teacher Leigh Brasington. I haven't had much interest in theravada buddhism but have started to look into it ...
Brasington, self-styled "senior" teacher in buddhist romantic circles, and his jhana-lite interpretations, rooted in dubious historical theories and mis-representations of his teacher -- an apt place for you to begin pretending authority on Theravada.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 3:56 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
Brasington, self-styled "senior" teacher in buddhist romantic circles, and his jhana-lite interpretations, rooted in dubious historical theories and mis-representations of his teacher -- an apt place for you to begin pretending authority on Theravada.

I knew my old buddy Chris would be the first to comment. Why do you have to be such a dick Chris? Almost every post I make, you make nasty remarks aimed at my persona. Then when I reply to you, you keep quiet until the next time I make a new post. This has been going on for a while.

I don't know much about theravada buddhism but I liked what Leigh Brasington said in the video. Is that so bad despite of your ctirical view of him? He has a right to speak openly of his view, as do I and as do you. I just don't get why you have to be such an asshole in your comments. Are you that blind to your emotional impulses? I am sure everyone here knows how much contempt you have towards me so no need to keep repeating it. Everyone gets tired at the old dog that is constantly barking day in day out. No? Grow up, old man. How about some vipashyana?

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 4:02 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
Kim Katami:
Very good and educating explanation of the jhanas, meditative states of theravada buddhism, by a senior teacher Leigh Brasington. I haven't had much interest in theravada buddhism but have started to look into it ...
Brasington, self-styled "senior" teacher in buddhist romantic circles, and his jhana-lite interpretations, rooted in dubious historical theories and mis-representations of his teacher -- an apt place for you to begin pretending authority on Theravada.
I'd be interested to know more about the issues with Brasington's approach and your minimum standard for jhana. If all of the jhana factors are present, and that level of concentration is sufficient for the practitioner to reach stream-entry, does that count as jhana? 

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 4:14 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew Horn:
I'd be interested to know more about the issues with Brasington's approach and your minimum standard for jhana. If all of the jhana factors are present, and that level of concentration is sufficient for the practitioner to reach stream-entry, does that count as jhana? 

That's what I thought. If it looks like an elephant and feels like an elephant then it must be an elephant.

Sometime ago I read a small book by American couple who are teachers authorised by Pa Auk from Burma. Tat was the first time I heard that one should be able to stay in each jhana 3 or 4 hours in one sitting. Then you "got it".

Now I heard Brasington speak of "10-15 minutes" in each of the eight jhanas for it to be a valid thing. Difference of opinion and interpretation, it seems.

I think what is the point here is that there should be a clear and thorough recognition of each of the states. That's it.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 7:01 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Matthew Horn:
I'd be interested to know more about the issues with Brasington's approach and your minimum standard for jhana. If all of the jhana factors are present, and that level of concentration is sufficient for the practitioner to reach stream-entry, does that count as jhana? 

That's what I thought. If it looks like an elephant and feels like an elephant then it must be an elephant.

Practice is colored by tradition, teacher, proclivities. The Jhanas are perception attainments. As such, they are different for different practitioners. 

Because attaining the Jhanas does not count as realization (to borrow terminology from outside Theravada), there is fortunately not much use to get upset about them.

If you have a scholarly bent, you can group and grade Jhanas. The standard Theravada grading is Jhana no. 1-4, often with added 5-8. The higher you count the deeper you go. With regards to stream entry, different strands of orthodox Theravada do or don't see Jhana as being a necessary condition. This alone makes Jhana a fertile ground for spiritual materialism.

Judging from my own experience, there are different types of complete Jhanic arcs (1-8). What someone from Pa-Auk lineage calls no. 1 is probably more absorbed than higher Jhanas from a Thai Forest teacher. It is probably safe to assume that the intensity of concentration on the onset of a Jhanic arc can differ, not only between lineages, schools and teachers, but also for oneself, over time.

Until recently, because of prevailing standards, Jhana used to be something really difficult to attain. This has changed, also thanks to teachers like Leigh Brasington. He suggests to open up Jhana no. 1 by moving the focus of the access concentration from the primary object (e.g. breath) to something tinged with pleasure. This creates the necessary mix of factors which propels you into Jhana. The absorption is not as all-encompassing as with other entry points (thus often called "light"), but it is nevertheless self-stabilizing. The particular Jhanic arc started with with this method corresponds well with what the sutras say about how Jhanas progress.

Leigh got the entry method from Ayya Khema, who asked Leigh to teach the Jhanas. You might want to check out his website. He gets a little bit defensive when called out by "not-so-light" Jhana practitioners who debate the validity of his interpretation. I don't care.

A good overview over bundles of definitions and views is included in Culada's "The Mind Illuminated". In an appendix he discusses not only the above mentioned Jhana types but also a "whole body" type which fits very well with what Thanissaro Bhikkhu says about the topic.

Bhante Sujato has a nice way to put everything in perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik0B4Kip_Sc

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 7:07 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
thought i will write some of it down how i heard it, my english and terminology is poor. up to the 50 min.
----------

17.00
shift focus to pleasantness. The smile.
works only about 25 percent of students.
pleasant sensation most commonly found in hands. Sort of warm tingly glow.
otherplaces, heart, head..
19.00 pleasant sensation erupts into piti, sukkha- extacy delight euphoria. Its a physical release of pleasant energy.
20.00 you can't do the jhanas. What you can do is set up supporting conditions, then jhana comes and finds you. Setting up a postivie feedback loop.
2100 adding more pleasentness to pelsanetenss means more pleasentness. 2140- it errupts into piti and sukha. It can feel like you getting out out of control.
2400- ...nucle...reward center is on overdrive. We seemto stimulate reward center automatically with just mental lack of activity and directing of attention.
[24.50 nucleus..produces dopamine. Dopamine breaks down into nepynepfrim. It can produce heatt, alsmot like hot flash.] - its piti.
25.50 sukha the joy happiness-thats probably opioids. Makes you feel good, calminf effect. Piti dies out, sukha the emotional stuff is there.
30.00- piti goes away. rapture fades. happiness free from rapture. Contented state, a wishless state. Completly satisfied.
32. 4th jhana, state beyond pleasure and pain. Emotional neutrality. Go with the sense of dropping down to quet and stillness.
33.00 4th contains mindfullness fully purified by equanimity. Concetration now is quite supreme. Usual way of looking world isn't there.
33.40 can direct now mind t oknowing and seeing.35.00 purpose of jahan is to produce a mind that is concentrated, clear, sharp,....perfect for to investigate reality.
35.20 knowing and seeing things as they really are. Knowing and seeing wahts actually happening.
36.20- at 4th jhana, contraucting of Ego- the self is shut down.
37.00 can do insight(investigation) much less egocentricly.
37.40- sharp the mind and go out and see whats really going on. Come out and investigate your mind and body. Satiphattana sutta, 13 ways to practice insight practices.
38.45- vedana- mindfulness of initual reactions of sensory input. pleasant, unpleasant, neutral.
We running after sources of pleasant vedana and avoid unplesant. We don't pay attention to these but thats waht running our lives.
39.30- third of mindfulness establishment, mindfulness of mindstates. Investigating the mind.
39.40 4th establishment of mindfulness is investigation of phenomena as phenomena relates of the teachings of the Buddha. Investigate the reality.
40.00 end of talk of 4 jhanas. There are also 4 immaterial states. that means 8 altered states in sequence.
41.00 infinite space. 1st arupa jhana. limitless, boundless. Vast empty space appear in front of you. Huge space.
43.21- 5th jhana is realm of infinte space. 3D infinite space.
44.44- 6th realm is infinite conciousness. Trick here is you can't be concious of infinite space with a limited conciousness.
Conciousness has to be big as whatever it is concious at. Can you turn your attention from the space to your conciousness of space?! can you become aware of your awareness?!
45.07- if you do that there is a sense of becomeing absorbed into that space and then your mind is as big the space was. Union with atman.
45.40- 7th is realm of nothingness. Sense of space is gone. Object is no object.. Feeling that there is nothing there, that sense of nothingness.
46.30- people stumble all these states unintentionally too.
47.00 8th jhana. Percetion- sanna is the ability to name, identify things. 8th jhana is neither naming nor not not naming.
This sate does not have characteristics to descibe it. Except you can reqocnice this state by that it has no characteristics..

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 7:20 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
I have read Leigh Brasington's book on the jhanas, attended one of his retreat, and read almost all the suttas in the Pali canon, and I find that Leigh B.'s teachings on the jhanas are quite representative of what is said in the suttas. In his book he construes very solid arguments, using the suttas, to question commentarial assumptions on the jhanas, such as the meaning of vitakha and viccara in the first jhana. 

Also, the idea that only if you stay in a jhana 3-4- hours can it count as jhana is hard to support from a sutta perspective. The Buddha entered the fourth jhana, according to suttas, on the night of his awakening. Then in the first watch of the night (a period of about 2-3- hours) he contemplated his past lives. Then on the second watch, developed the divine eye. In the third, he contemplated the 4 Noble Truths (i.e. vipassana). He got awakened in the morning. If he had stayed in each jhana 3-4- hours, he would still be in jhana in the morning, never mind having started developing insight.

When he passed away, the suttas say he went through all eight jhanas on his death bed, then back down to first, then up to fourth jhana again, and entered final Nibbana from there. That's 19 jhanas in a row. 19 x 3 hours is 57 hours, a bit more than two days. 

Although we we culd always question whether all this is myth or not, it seems clear that the compilers of the suttas did not see jhanas as having to be absorbed into 3-4 hours to count as jhana. Not to discredit Pa-Auk style either. He's referring to amazing skills but the question is whether that's necessary for awakening.

From a practical standpoint, I like Leigh B's jhanas (sutta jhanas) because you remain connected to the body, which seems to make the transition from jhana to vipassana (at least a Mahasi style vipassana) more natural.

Benoit

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 9:03 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
the time isn't much the matter here.

You set up conditions for to hormones activate and break down. Basically its about substance, causes and effects, dependent origination.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 10:15 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Dear Benoit,

Thanks. Your views are helpful and reasonable.

How about this:

There is this wide range of what people are capable of regarding jhanas, clearly. There is a wide range of opinion on what jhana is, clearly. Anyone who has hung out here long enough knows all about this perennial debate, all about B Allan Wallace, all about Pa Auk, all about Ajahn Brahm, all about Ayya Kyema and Leigh Brasington, and most of the rest of it, as it comes up again and again and again, sometimes somewhat deficient in good pragmatic arguments for one set over the others based on people's real-world experience, so it is nice to see some adding those into the debate here.

Specifically: anybody got to a place where their body was totally gone, bright white pervaded their entire field of experience stably for 4-24 hours, and there were no thoughts of any kind during that entire period? If so, would honestly love to hear your reports and descriptions, as well as why you feel that anything less than that couldn't possibly be jhana.

I personally find the duration criteria noxious, to be honest, not only due to the obvious time problem, such as the set up for Nirodha Samapatti taking a minimum of 32 hours by the 4-hour per jhana criteria (or 8+ days using the 24-hour criteria found in BAW's work?), during which point someone would likely have to at least pee...

If the body and form disappear with retained high perceptual and mental clarity but it only did so for 5 minutes, was that not some formless attainment? Really?

It would be sort of like a marathon runner saying that anything less than running a marathon is not really running.

It gets, well, a bit macho, even for this place. It is not that there is anything wrong with running marathons, nor is there anything that intrinsically toxic about having some benevolent and skillful pride at that accomplishment, as that is an impressive thing to do, but to then take that and say that everyone else who did it for slightly less or moderately less isn't running isn't just obnoxious, it shows a level of rigid categorical and concrete thinking that is unseemly in an adult, lacking the nuance we all hope people develop as they mature from childhood.

Am a similarly being noxiously prideful about having the ability to think with nuance and in shades of grey and dimensions rather than ultra-rigid categories over those who apparently can't? Perhaps, and I will try to show more sensitivity towards their condition.

So, we likely have at least 4 types of people here:

1) People who can get into ultra-hard jhanas with perfect unwavering stability for greater than 240 minutes and also who can think with nuance and realize that someone in that same or very similar state with all the defined jhanic factors present for, say, 239 minutes and 59 seconds, was actually in jhana also.

2) People who can get into ultra-hard jhanas with perfect unwavering stability for greater than 240 minutes who are congenitally incapable of conceiving that those who were in some very similar state with all jhanic factors present for, say, 239 minutes and 59 seconds, were also in jhana.

3) People who can't get into ultra-hard jhanas with perfect unwavering stability for 240 minutes who can yet think with nuance and realize that someone who was in a very similar state with all defined jhanic factors present for, say, 239 minutes and 59 seconds, were also in jhana.

4) People who neither can get into ultra-hard jhana with perfect unwavering for 240 minutes who also are incapable of conceiving that those who were in a similar state with all classically defined jhanic factors present for 239 minutes and 59 seconds were also in jhana.

Which type are you? Are you sure that is the best type to be? If so, why?

Speaking of jhana...

Very brief retreat report:

I went on retreat solo down at the Gulf beaches of Florida for 17 days, just got back last night. I did mostly elemental concentration practices, fire kasina, water kasina, light kasina, that sort of thing, with a moderate amount of brahma viharas thrown in for good measure.

Plenty of jhanic factors arose, sometimes very strongly, pervading the body and producing deep tranquility and stability of mind and body, but none for 4 hours with perfect unwavering stability. Plenty of visions arose, as I was doing a visual-based kasina, some to become so complete as to emerse me entirely in a world as real-feeling and looking as this one, just not this one.

Instead, long before 4 hours elapsed, my body would sometimes vanish, space would open up, the sense of consciousness would pervade a vast space, that would disappear to nothing, then that would vanish also, then form would reappear again.

Then, on day fourteen, just on a lark, I did something I hadn't done in 10 years. After the world reappeared after even nothing had vanished, I made a quiet resolution to attain to Nirodha Samapatti. About 30 seconds later: total mental power failure, like someone had pulled the plug on experience itself, then power back up, then massive afterglow. It felt like coming out of deep anesthesia, for those who have had surgery or some fully-sedated procedure.

Since it had been 10 years since I had done this, I was stunned by the afterglow. This time the effects were clearly evident over 24 hours later. My body felt totally different, like every single little hint of muscle tension or pain had just vanished.

I went to get a massage during this time, and the massage therapist commented, "Wow, you have no tension at all!", which is basically unheard of for my back, which does bad things sometimes and basically always has some moderate number of knots. I had had two massages by her during the previous 15 days, and each time there had been plenty to work on. She also kept commenting that my skin feld oddly cold, but I felt warm myself. She said this was very different from how it had felt before. I am not sure what to make of that, but just offering it as a phenomenological data point.

My mind felt so weirdly chill yet uncannily clear that at points I thought, "Holy shit, what have I done to myself? How long is this going to last? If this persists until I have to drive home, will I be able to drive in this state of profound relaxation and react appropriately if there is a need for fast maneuvering around some dangerous situation? Could I work a shift at the emergency department in this state at the required speed?"

Both luckily and unluckily, after about a day the body and mind were beginning to feel mostly back to my retreat-baseline, which was still pretty chill but not anything like that.

I also now remember why I hadn't done this in 10 years, as my current life is totally unconducive to having to navigate in that afterglow, which, while remarkably pleasant, has elements that would make much of what I do feel like being drilled by a dentist, as, as the texts rightly say, the mind post NS inclines to peace and solitude.

BTW: I know for certain that this power-down didn't last for 4 hours, as I sat down at about 2:30pm and got up about 3:15pm or so, and the setup took at least 20 minutes, I would guess. How long Nirodha lasted, I don't know, but clearly less than about 25 minutes.

Clearly, this would not qualify as any jhanic attainment for the 240-minute Kids, and they would likely scoff at it. For me, it totally blew my doors off, and I am pretty used to meditative experiences and afterglows. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Make of all that what you will.

If you adopt a set of jhanic criteria, critically ask yourself what practical value that set of criteria has for your practice and how it helps or harms you and those around you.

Practice well,

Daniel

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 12:49 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
hey Kim,
Perhaps useful contrasts to Brasington are
Ajahn Brahm:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.pdf

Pa-auk Tawya Sayadaw:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books13/Pa-Auk-Sayadaw_Knowing-and-Seeing-4th-Ed-2010.pdf

My guess is you'll like Ajahn Brahm especially!

Edit: to be clear Daniels post hadnt shown up yet when I posted this.

BUT, isnt this 4hr criteria in Paauk Sayadaw a criteria for 'mastery' not that someone hasnt been in that particular jhana at that particular time, so even a master in the Pauk Sayadaw tradition may technically have only sat the full 4hrs or more a handful of times. Thus the account of Buddha's awakening was long in time enough for him to have visited (Paauk Sayadaw style) full hard jhana if he wished.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/18/17 12:15 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
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RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/19/17 7:10 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks Daniel for sharing those personal experiences with the jhanas and NS! To me that's so much more valuable and helpful than any theoretical discussions.
And the only set of criteria that really interest me are those that are related to helping attain path. In all testimonials of awakening/paths I've read and heard so far, none involved having previously been in hard jhanas for hours emoticon

Regards,

Benoit

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/19/17 11:51 AM as a reply to Ben V..
hi Benoit,
Apologies, my edit was written rapidly and could be read as being unfairly pointed at you.

I certainly agree with you and Daniel "the idea that only if you stay in a jhana 3-4- hours can it count as jhana" is preposterous, and indeed how could it be so given the account of Buddha's awakening (knock out!).

However, I think it should be said clearly that this view has nothing to do with Pa-auk Sayadaw, and neednt discourage anyone from reading 'knowing and seeing' for example. Pa-auk Sayadaw has high standards where jhana mastery is concerned, including sustaining full/extreme jhana for 4 hours, which Im guessing is a requirement to be able to teach in his tradition. This is also probably from where 'some people' (hands up if you're one of these 'some people'!) unfortunately misconstrue it for being a criteria for being in proper jhana at all. Perhaps this is also implied by the book as it is structured such that, after jhana mastery then vipassana for abhidhamma style granularity of insight. Undoubtedly in my view path experiences would be at abhidhamma granularity of insight too, which I'd imagine would be qualitatively quite different and richer especially given Daniels account of NS above.

Further I doubt anyone doesnt think monster concentration isnt awesome!! Daniel's fire kasina and Gulf Beach retreats are fantastic accounts of this (including an account of a Pa-auk/Brahm style hard jhana), and btw great incentive for me....

Personally I think you need a fair amount of insight to be able to sit for four hours comfortably and consistently (an impression I didnt get from his book incidentally), and perhaps for types of people like me working to achieve this, brings up the silla stuff and insights in the proper order, to be able to sustain a four path journey, even enjoyably and in higher definition than otherwise I could manage!

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/19/17 4:02 PM as a reply to supaluqi.
I didn't perceive any unfairness toward me in your edit emoticon Thanks for clarifying the meaning of the 3-4 hours jhana in Pa Auk tradition. 

Benoit

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/20/17 2:17 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

...
Specifically: anybody got to a place where their body was totally gone, bright white pervaded their entire field of experience stably for 4-24 hours, and there were no thoughts of any kind during that entire period? If so, would honestly love to hear your reports and descriptions, as well as why you feel that anything less than that couldn't possibly be jhana.

...

It gets, well, a bit macho, even for this place. It is not that there is anything wrong with running marathons, nor is there anything that intrinsically toxic about having some benevolent and skillful pride at that accomplishment, as that is an impressive thing to do, but to then take that and say that everyone else who did it for slightly less or moderately less isn't running isn't just obnoxious, it shows a level of rigid categorical and concrete thinking that is unseemly in an adult, lacking the nuance we all hope people develop as they mature from childhood.
...

Years ago, prior to 2010, I used to sit a lot and practice kriya yoga. I would practice the techniques and then go into a state called paravastha. Para+avastha refers to a state of meditation where after magnetising the central channel in the spine (breathing up and down along it) and after some mantras, you shoot your attention through the crown towards the sky, to the subtle centers above the crown. I've talked about these centers in relation to Open Heart Bhumi Model. It's some of these centers that one shoots one's attention to in phowa, when leaving the body when dying. Anyway. I would practice a lot of kriya yoga techniques on daily basis and spend hours and hours in various states of paravastha, meaning absorbed in these various centers. Often I would begin my practice early in the morning, first do some techs for half an hour or so, and then shoot up... to resume my body awareness several hours later and have breakfast at midday. I did that for a few years. I would sit like that 8 hours a day in 2-4 sessions (4x2h or 2x4h).

I loved it until I realised it was going no where emoticon Then I was taught vipashyana. I haven't really looked back to those states of absorption since.

When seeing Kenneth Folk's video of jhanic arc a few years ago online, by looking at him and Nikolai, I recognised that some of the jhanas they did matched my exp from kriya yoga paravastha. I emailed Folk and asked if I could publicly bhumi analyse the jhanic arc, sent two emails, but he never replied.

I did my first theravada light* jhana-session two nights ago and got a few of them going but I couldn't remember the descriptions of them or their names so didn't go through the whole arc of 8 jhanas. Will get back to it in my practoce log, Kim's tool shed, when I have time to get to it properly.

But to answer Daniel's question: I think the four hour thing is absurd. It seems like one of those imbesile things that men do when they gather together in robes*

Nice to hear of your retreat Dan. Sometime ago I saw you looking for a place for it, and I meant to invite you over here, but then felt that you probably find something more warmer closer emoticon

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/20/17 3:34 PM as a reply to Ben V..
Sid:
I don't mean this as too much of a throw-away post but I just wanted to say that much of what is above is the content I'm here for, reminding me that DhO is an awesome resource.

Also if you see this Kim Katami, for what it's worth I'll add that I personally like a good portion of the dharma writings and videos you've put out there (at least what I've read or watched). I saw the photo of you as a Zen monk from ages ago and I actually find it rather inspiring and supportive of your case as a teacher that you admit that during years of living in Japan as a monk and getting your estimated 8,000 hours of cushion time in you made no progress then and eventually came to suspect that some of your teachers weren't even enlightened. I suspect that many people here on this forum had experiences similar to yours: wasting lots time with ineffective or altogether worthless gurus (and in some cases the kind trying to sap away your money as well as your attention). I like that you find that you made progress only later with different and more powerful (and organized) practices. I'm also glad that it sounds like you picked up a couple students from your posts here. 

Looking at the Dharma Overground as a whole your posts about your bhumi rating system are interestingly controversial but not in my mind too inappropriate as we probably care more about concrete/estimated/measured/demonstrated attainments and maps of attainments than maybe any other online forum does... there is of course a shadow-side to attaintment-fixations that could be embodied in such a form that people should be on the lookout for. Your posts about steps beyond arahatship are pretty interesting given that there has been debate here for ages about what to do after 4th path (whether Actual Freedom work, tantric stuff, concentration work/siddhis, whatever)... I would urge those who criticize you for not placing arahatship as final bhumi to acknowledge that this common to Mahayana schools (some of which think that arahats will blink out into a false parinibbana only to re-manifest later after a few kalpas) and this is not an eccentric view unique to Kim. Of course on the flipside of that, from the Theravada standpoint Kim/many Mahayanists are very wrong to downplay arahats. ;)

I am also not surprised that you have received some resistance here since you are mostly writing about Dzogchen or tantric practices that lie outside of the work of many Theravada Buddhists.

Furthermore you claim to have seen ghosts since you were a child and to work with the dead and powerful spirit gurus - I'm actually willing to totally go with you there that this is a possibility and even a powerful expedient (and shame on anyone who denies that some Tibetan schools don't go for things exactly this or don't allow supernatural knowledge generally whether in the form of termas or whatever... heck read the Vimuttimagga and you'll get several good notes for interacting with "non-humans" and getting them to like you and tips for hanging out in graveyards... the Pali canon also includes suttas with notes about making offerings to the dead/ancestors and to place spirits) - but for a lot of materialists + those people who are used to dangerous pompously mystical gurus the fact that you are open about this will always be a reactive barrier and will likely generate acidity like what we see in some of the replies to your posts.

Anyway, long story short I don't think it's a mystery why some people won't like your posts but you also should know that there are others who do. Really I can't actually speak for other people (I'm just taking my best guess/assessment of things). I personally hope you continue to post and to share your perspective and tools.

~S

As Sid's post is off topic I answered him here.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 7:31 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Suttas wrote:
Buddha, when he passed away, the suttas say he went through all eight jhanas on his death bed, then back down to first, then up to fourth jhana again, and entered final Nibbana from there. 

(quoted from Benoit's post)

Buddha by definition is fully awakened, always abiding in the natural state. Why did he still practice jhanas after several decades of his attainment? Why did he go to altered states of consciousness (often used description of jhanas) before his death when he was already a fully awakened one and in the natural state without a pause?

Anyone authoritative ever talked about this?

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 7:46 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
As the Pali Canon goes on and on about, after awakening there is still pain, still sickness, still discomfort. Jhanas help with those.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 8:11 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Are you referring to the food poisoning Daniel? Discomfort due to high age? Geriatric issues?

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 8:54 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
All that and more.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 9:20 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
All that and more.

"And more". Do you know something us rest don't? emoticon

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 10:56 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

Then, on day fourteen, just on a lark, I did something I hadn't done in 10 years. After the world reappeared after even nothing had vanished, I made a quiet resolution to attain to Nirodha Samapatti. About 30 seconds later: total mental power failure, like someone had pulled the plug on experience itself, then power back up, then massive afterglow. It felt like coming out of deep anesthesia, for those who have had surgery or some fully-sedated procedure.

Since it had been 10 years since I had done this, I was stunned by the afterglow. This time the effects were clearly evident over 24 hours later. My body felt totally different, like every single little hint of muscle tension or pain had just vanished.

I went to get a massage during this time, and the massage therapist commented, "Wow, you have no tension at all!", which is basically unheard of for my back, which does bad things sometimes and basically always has some moderate number of knots. I had had two massages by her during the previous 15 days, and each time there had been plenty to work on. She also kept commenting that my skin feld oddly cold, but I felt warm myself. She said this was very different from how it had felt before. I am not sure what to make of that, but just offering it as a phenomenological data point.

My mind felt so weirdly chill yet uncannily clear that at points I thought, "Holy shit, what have I done to myself? How long is this going to last? If this persists until I have to drive home, will I be able to drive in this state of profound relaxation and react appropriately if there is a need for fast maneuvering around some dangerous situation? Could I work a shift at the emergency department in this state at the required speed?"

Both luckily and unluckily, after about a day the body and mind were beginning to feel mostly back to my retreat-baseline, which was still pretty chill but not anything like that.

I also now remember why I hadn't done this in 10 years, as my current life is totally unconducive to having to navigate in that afterglow, which, while remarkably pleasant, has elements that would make much of what I do feel like being drilled by a dentist, as, as the texts rightly say, the mind post NS inclines to peace and solitude.
Everytime you speak about experiences of Nirodha Samapatti, I think to myself:
This must be the best thing ever. Why isn't everyone hanging out all day in NS afterglow? Or maybe those people who aren't doctors actually do this? Remarkably, hardly anyone here even speaks about it.
Is it because NS is so hard to attain or is it actually not all that great?

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 11:40 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
The real thing is awesome and hard to attain.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/21/17 1:06 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
Nirodha Samapatti...
This must be the best thing ever. Why isn't everyone hanging out all day in NS afterglow? Remarkably, hardly anyone here even speaks about it. Is it because NS is so hard to attain or is it actually not all that great?

Crucial questions.

Nirodha samapatti. Tibetan term trekcho that is used in dzogchen is a translation of samapatti. It refers to cutting through of all mind stuff. It is a good question why very few worldwide ever achieve this. I've expressed some of my critical conclusions about this here. Perhaps I should write a longer text of this.

The only ones who seem to attain samapatti are from mahamudra and dzogchen traditions. But still they are few (which to me doesn't make sense either). A very general conclusion is that there must be something problematic in the paradigms and methods of systems other than mm and dz, as this is the case.

Based on my own exp I divide cessations into two categories: dramatic and natural. Dramatic cessation is where the drop into and re-emerging from cessation is dramatic like a blow to which one initially reacts as "Wow! What was that!?". When the treshold of dropping into and re-emerging from wears out, also the dramaticality of the cessation is relaxed. Natural cessation which in Tibetan terms is rigpa (dz) or tha mal gyi shes pa (mm) is an intense place. But still it is a good question why it doesn't happen more.

A comparison of the views and methods of the higher vehicles with the lower vehicles of buddhism can help in understanding this.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/22/17 2:10 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Suttas wrote:
Buddha, when he passed away, the suttas say he went through all eight jhanas on his death bed, then back down to first, then up to fourth jhana again, and entered final Nibbana from there. 

(quoted from Benoit's post)

Buddha by definition is fully awakened, always abiding in the natural state [1]. Why did he still practice jhanas after several decades of his attainment? [2] Why did he go to altered states of consciousness (often used description of jhanas) before his death when he was already a fully awakened one and in the natural state without a pause?

Anyone authoritative ever talked about this?

FYI

1) In the Pali Canon (Theravada) there's no “natural” state, or “Buddha nature”. What ever the merits or reality of that idea, it's clearly a Mahayana (or other) accretion. Well-documented Theravada interpretations characterize the Buddha's teaching such that the mind has the potential for achieving purity, but being by conditioning (perhaps it could be said “naturally”) defiled by hindrances, fetters, etc. that it requires a rightly-viewed path of effort and cultivation to realize that purity.

The “path”, in this tradition, involves the concerted cultivation of mental skills that work to purify the mind of habits, overt and latent, that block clear seeing, understanding, and “realization”.

2) Why did G. Buddha, reportedly as per the Pali Canon, use jhanic consciousness so often, and at critical junctures (notably awakening to Nibbāna, and arrival at Parinibbāna)?

At the critical junctures in so far as jhāna-s enable the critical degree of intense concentration to make it possible for the mind to see and know (gnosis-wise), to realize with absolute clarity what's what, so to speak.*

As to GB's frequent use of jhāna-s otherwise, he clearly states “as a pleasant abiding”, as “blameless pleasure”, nourishing the body and mind and a ready alternative to spending time seeking less rewarding gratification in pursuing things like sensual pleasures, or anything else  contingent upon external stimuli.

And his clear admonition to his followers to do likewise – a) for using the same “blameless pleasure” as above for everyone, and b) for those yet working along the path, to cultivate intensification, towards mastery of the skill (jhāna), as it's a “necessary but not sufficient” prerequisite to full awakening (to quote Ayya Khema, and others).

* Jhāna as appanā-samādhi (absorptive concentration) is considered, even by the Mahasi Sayadaw, as the proper meaning of “sammā-samādhi” (“Right-Concentration”), although he argues, quite astutely, from the Sutta-s and commentaries, that “vipassan-khanikha-samādhi” (momentary-insight concentration), or even upacāra-samādhi (access-concentration), under certain circumstances, can achieve the intensity to qualify as “samm-samādhi”, i.e. as gateway to full awakening.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/22/17 2:18 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
One illustrative point about Leigh Brasington's claims...

Attending a week-long retreat with him (and Gil Fronsdal) teaching, about two years ago, he made statements to the effect that “absorption” is NOT a part of “sutta-jhāna, as well as other, IMO, ill-considered statements about traditional views of jhāna (statements he repeats and elaborates in Part 2 of his book).

In interviews with him during that retreat (though less than impressed with his dhamma-talk stances, I found talking with him informally to be quite interesting and amicable), I inquired as to the background sources of his take on “sutta-jhāna”. He cited a paper by Rod Bucknell, and teachings of Ayya Khema. Later researching the Bucknell article (and it's sources) it's clear this line of rationale is deeply problematic, and also questioned by authoritative scholars... but that's a long story.

The point here, however, is that Ayya Khema's recorded teaching repeatedly stresses that absorption is a critical, definitive component of jhāna. (I have audio documentation of both Leigh's assertion in that retreat and Ayya Khema's teachings that document this discrepancy between the two teachings.)

Senior teacher” in terms of longevity, yes; in terms of authority and accuracy, more a mixed bag. Though I do believe it's beneficial overall he's doing what he does.

Btw: The whole issue of 4-hours sustained jhāna is, IMO, a straw-man argument, as seen here where so much of the discussion gets obsessed with it, distracted by it. The issue of jhāna as mental absorption, as an unmistakable quantum shift of consciousness, however, is a key dimension, which is rarely discussed to any depth in this (or other) forums, as there's so much impetus to downplay the degree of proper training necessary, and to foster the illusion that any- and everyone can have easy access to it. By no means “impossibly” difficult, but it's a serious skill, that takes serious effort to gain, let alone master.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/25/17 7:24 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
LB jhana method uses conditions what are already mastered like smile. But not much about generetaing merit like getting your ass kicked or learning etc to gain merit.

You could do awareness practice right away, or satiphattana. But If you don't have enough merit you do 1-4jhana.

Useage of willpower and noticing it on sensations etc. Avoiding giving away your will. Will allow you do mindfulness a lot. And then maybe you can eventually discover backwards concentration on a substance, avoiding awarenss practice. So you could see how awareness will come, instead of using same old awareness..

Point is there is always more and better way. Hence the diferent types how you could practice depending on your merit.

/it matters who does the practice. You can do LB jhana and get more wisdom out than more "higher" level practice.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/25/17 7:43 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
bernd the broter:
Nirodha Samapatti...
This must be the best thing ever. Why isn't everyone hanging out all day in NS afterglow? Remarkably, hardly anyone here even speaks about it. Is it because NS is so hard to attain or is it actually not all that great?

Crucial questions.

Nirodha samapatti. Tibetan term trekcho that is used in dzogchen is a translation of samapatti. It refers to cutting through of all mind stuff. It is a good question why very few worldwide ever achieve this. I've expressed some of my critical conclusions about this here. Perhaps I should write a longer text of this.

The only ones who seem to attain samapatti are from mahamudra and dzogchen traditions. But still they are few (which to me doesn't make sense either). A very general conclusion is that there must be something problematic in the paradigms and methods of systems other than mm and dz, as this is the case.

Based on my own exp I divide cessations into two categories: dramatic and natural. Dramatic cessation is where the drop into and re-emerging from cessation is dramatic like a blow to which one initially reacts as "Wow! What was that!?". When the treshold of dropping into and re-emerging from wears out, also the dramaticality of the cessation is relaxed. Natural cessation which in Tibetan terms is rigpa (dz) or tha mal gyi shes pa (mm) is an intense place. But still it is a good question why it doesn't happen more.

A comparison of the views and methods of the higher vehicles with the lower vehicles of buddhism can help in understanding this.
when you have intense urge to eat icecream. Then cesastion is when there is no urge anymore and the being is same as you would have ate the icecream and urge satisifed. But in truth no icecreams were eaten. But the cessation is not that easy to do, what you need is faith that you can do it, because in that moment you have urge there is no signs of other possibilities, you only see icecream.

Urge itself is a feeling but you don't see it as feeling, after you have purified you have more feelinglike desire and easier to satisfy it.

Just saying, it doesn't really come out, why you practice or why you have cessation, whats the point? I mafter superpowers, lighbody, walking on water, becoming billionaire etc, whats your goals, Kim?

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
2/25/17 2:03 PM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
Must Do:

...

Just saying, it doesn't really come out, why you practice or why you have cessation, whats the point? I mafter superpowers, lighbody, walking on water, becoming billionaire etc, whats your goals, Kim?

Hi. You are asking me why I practice and why I have had cessations. Well, I do not wish to be dualistically deluded. Instead I wish to know myself fully, know my true being. Nothing more exotic than that.

I've had numerous brief cessations since childhood. Why those happened? I suppose mainly because of a karmic momentum from previous lives but focused training in martial arts and music might have had to do with it, as well as, a lot of suffering as a child due to family conditions. Why have (dramatic) cessations happened later on in my life? Related to practice, mostly dzogchen practice.

I don't have extensive knowledge of theravada but from what I gather it seems that the theravada take on cessation is closer to that dramatic description while the way the natural state is seen in mahamudra and dzogchen is more the natural relaxed type of cessation. In my view both are talking about the same thing but their take on it is quite different. Theravada approach seems like trying and wanting to catch fish while in mm and dz you casually wait for the fish to catch the bait. This is the impression I have.

Despite of the orientation I think that knowing oneself as this state of wonderment, without a self, imbued with brilliance and life, is essential.

Jhana, shamatha and vipashyana (whether about the mind elements or the natural state itself) practices are preliminaries, preparation, sorthing out stuff. Natural cessation is our true being, our true nature, home.

Here's something to experiment with.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/6/17 8:00 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
To be OT,
i bet the jhana and hormones connection is a right direction.

as to get to know your true being, you need to learn entire human body and its sciences and also experimentally. You should know all the hormonal functions and productions. Eventually your own magus opus, presenting how you reverse age and influence environment, also change your eye color, skin color... 

having a cessation is well small step for body but great big step for you.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/6/17 2:35 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
...
Nirodha samapatti. Tibetan term trekcho that is used in dzogchen is a translation of samapatti. It refers to cutting through of all mind stuff. It is a good question why very few worldwide ever achieve this. I've expressed some of my critical conclusions about this here. Perhaps I should write a longer text of this.
...

Based on my own exp I divide cessations into two categories: dramatic and natural. Dramatic cessation is where the drop into and re-emerging from cessation is dramatic like a blow to which one initially reacts as "Wow! What was that!?". When the treshold of dropping into and re-emerging from wears out, also the dramaticality of the cessation is relaxed. Natural cessation which in Tibetan terms is rigpa (dz) or tha mal gyi shes pa (mm) is an intense place. But still it is a good question why it doesn't happen more.


Hi Kim

I’m wondering whether we are using the word cessation to refer to different experiences.

You mention a “what was that” sense for dramatic cessation and compare natural cessation to rigpa. Is the the difference is how dramatic the entry and reemerge are, not what is dropped into? What is dropped into during cessation? I am not sure how you are using the term but Rigpa is sometimes used for to a mentally quiet, (add superlative adjectives of your choice), awareness that never the less has duration and consciousness.  Do you see either or both ‘natural’ and ‘dramatic’ cessations as having any sense of awareness and or duration during the cessation?

This seems rather different than my understanding of the way Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk talk of cessation (and Nirodha Samapatti). I think they state there is no sense of duration at all, no awareness at all, no consciousness at all. Powering off the computer and having it come back on. More like a deep dreamless sleep or unconsciousness.

For what it is worth, I've experienced both a lights out, no duration thing as well as a non-conceptual awareness that has duration. In their own ways, each has brought insight into the three characteristics. Both seem to be ongoing parts of my path. But, at least for me, they are very different phenomenological experiences. 

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/7/17 2:03 PM as a reply to elizabeth.
elizabeth:

Hi Kim

I’m wondering whether we are using the word cessation to refer to different experiences.

You mention a “what was that” sense for dramatic cessation and compare natural cessation to rigpa. Is the the difference is how dramatic the entry and reemerge are, not what is dropped into? What is dropped into during cessation? I am not sure how you are using the term but Rigpa is sometimes used for to a mentally quiet, (add superlative adjectives of your choice), awareness that never the less has duration and consciousness.  Do you see either or both ‘natural’ and ‘dramatic’ cessations as having any sense of awareness and or duration during the cessation?

This seems rather different than my understanding of the way Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk talk of cessation (and Nirodha Samapatti). I think they state there is no sense of duration at all, no awareness at all, no consciousness at all. Powering off the computer and having it come back on. More like a deep dreamless sleep or unconsciousness.

For what it is worth, I've experienced both a lights out, no duration thing as well as a non-conceptual awareness that has duration. In their own ways, each has brought insight into the three characteristics. Both seem to be ongoing parts of my path. But, at least for me, they are very different phenomenological experiences. 

Hi Elizabeth.

>Is the the difference is how dramatic the entry and reemerge are, not what is dropped into?

- Yes, the steepness of the treshold (for the lack of better term) is what makes it dramatic, and specifically afterwards when the lights come back (when you are still at the stage when they come back).

>What is dropped into during cessation?

- What ceases is the mind with all of it's content and mechanisms. It's stripping off of everything except that which doesn't come and go. That is a very dramatic happening for an untrained person and can be very concerning without knowledge of what happened. What is dropped into? That is a good question, really difficult to answer, everyone fails in answering this one.

>Rigpa is sometimes used for to a mentally quiet, (add superlative adjectives of your choice), awareness that never the less has duration and consciousness.  Do you see either or both ‘natural’ and ‘dramatic’ cessations as having any sense of awareness and or duration during the cessation?

- I don't know of different traditional uses of the term but I use rigpa or awareness just for only-awareness. It could also be used as a term defining the empty nature of all mind phenomena but I think dharmakaya is better for that. To me, neither of these types of cessation has sense of being aware or sense of duration, if they did there'd be someone there.

>Powering off the computer and having it come back on. More like a deep dreamless sleep or unconsciousness.

- I often use the analogy of a big media building with many computers, machines, lights and cadgets in it switched on. Then when someone at the basement switches off the main electricity, all of a sudden * ... until the power comes back on, and that's the moment of the wonder and amazement. This is dramatic cessation which seems to be how theravadins describe it. Using the same analogy, with natural cessation electricity is switched off but the lights and cadgets are on and in motion. So it's not akin to unconsciousness anymore. In my experience these two cessations are a natural continuum, that is, there is maturation from the former to the latter

- To me non-conceptual awareness or rigpa has no duration, if it did there'd be someone there. This process of maturation between the two cessations is where the paradigm shift from self-based mode to selfless mode happens. In the terms of OHBM, the paradigm shift happens when hitting the 11th bhumi.

Thank you for sharing emoticon

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/7/17 7:09 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
How convenient that this quote from Ajahn Amaro's Small boat, Great mountain came by today emoticon

Quote:
Right in the Pali Canon, the Buddha points directly to this. In the Udana (the collection of “Inspired Utterances” of the Buddha), he says:

There is that sphere of being where there is no earth, no water, no fire, nor wind; no experience of infinity of space, of infinity of
consciousness, of no-thingness, or even of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; here there is neither this world nor another world, neither moon nor sun; this sphere of being I call neither a coming nor a going nor a staying still, neither a dying nor a reappearance; it has no basis, no evolution, and no support: it is the end of dukkha. (ud. 8.1)”

Rigpa, nondual awareness, is the direct knowing of this. It’s the quality
of mind that knows, while abiding nowhere. - Ajahn Amaro

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/7/17 8:59 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami paradigm shift from self-based mode to selfless mode happens. In the terms of OHBM, the paradigm shift happens when hitting the 11th bhumi.
"He (Ajahn Chah) spoke about maintaining a continuity of practice whether one was walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. The same was true for eating, using the bathroom,and working. The point was always to sustain a continuity of awareness." - Ajahn Amaro in Small boat, great mountain.

What happens with the paradigm shift I mentioned is that the need for sustaining the continuity of awareness disappears as rigpa/awareness/natural cessation becomes the basic mode of being. I know two people who have broke through to this stage within one calendar year, six such people in total.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/7/17 4:57 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:


- To me non-conceptual awareness or rigpa has no duration, if it did there'd be someone there. This process of maturation between the two cessations is where the paradigm shift from self-based mode to selfless mode happens. In the terms of OHBM, the paradigm shift happens when hitting the 11th bhumi.

Thank you for sharing emoticon


Thanks Kim, I appreciate your willingness to help me sort through these experiences.
I think by duration I was trying to get at whether there was ongoing experience, sensation, awareness or not. That is one of the ways the two experiences I’ve had differ.

A couple of retreat i.e. intense examples:

Practice focus inquiry and pointing out. There were frequent intense periods of non conceptual awareness, both in sitting practice and what activity there was, eating, walking and more. No verbal thought, no concepts, ‘No someone to be found’, there was a sense of ‘something that had always been there’. There was continued awareness / consciousness, and if not a sense of “passage of time” at least a sequence of images, activities, experience and some memory thereof. So I would say there was duration.  

In contrast, at a different retreat, practice focus closer to notice as much as possible without verbal noting or any attempt to manipulate experience.  I was  at dinner eating, everything was ‘normal’ and very ok, then  I was suddenly very aware of coming slowly back online. I’d clearly been gone - no images, no sequence of events, no memory, no awareness at all – conceptual or non-conceptual, no conciousness. In retrospect was clear a bit of time had passed for others that I had missed entirely.  So I would call that no duration.  

 thanks for the quote from small boat, great mountain.  I put it on my kindle again.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/8/17 9:54 AM as a reply to elizabeth.
elizabeth:


Thanks Kim, I appreciate your willingness to help me sort through these experiences.
I think by duration I was trying to get at whether there was ongoing experience, sensation, awareness or not. That is one of the ways the two experiences I’ve had differ.

A couple of retreat i.e. intense examples:

Practice focus inquiry and pointing out. There were frequent intense periods of non conceptual awareness, both in sitting practice and what activity there was, eating, walking and more. No verbal thought, no concepts, ‘No someone to be found’, there was a sense of ‘something that had always been there’. There was continued awareness / consciousness, and if not a sense of “passage of time” at least a sequence of images, activities, experience and some memory thereof. So I would say there was duration.  

In contrast, at a different retreat, practice focus closer to notice as much as possible without verbal noting or any attempt to manipulate experience.  I was  at dinner eating, everything was ‘normal’ and very ok, then  I was suddenly very aware of coming slowly back online. I’d clearly been gone - no images, no sequence of events, no memory, no awareness at all – conceptual or non-conceptual, no conciousness. In retrospect was clear a bit of time had passed for others that I had missed entirely.  So I would call that no duration.  

 thanks for the quote from small boat, great mountain.  I put it on my kindle again.

Yes, I got what you meant.

>there was a sense of ‘something that had always been there’. There was continued awareness / consciousness, and if not a sense of “passage of time” at least a sequence of images, activities, experience and some memory thereof. So I would say there was duration

A simple way to check whether it is rigpa or not, is to consider that sensation or experience, and see if there is something (for the lack of better word) that can be aware of that. It's like taking a step backwards and then recognising again whether there was a shift or not.

Continuity and duration. When the mentioned recognition of natural awareness happens all sense of time and location, that is, any type of  selfing, disappears. And that's natural cessation, rigpa.

It seems that there was a dramatic kind of cessation at your second retreat. Nice emoticon

You use the word "unconsciousness" above. Although in nirodha one is not unconscious like a boxer knocked out in the ring, it has that dramatic lights out feel to it. It'd be interesting to see what theravadins say about how it develops into permanent nirvana or pari nibbana (I think I saw Amaro use that term in his book). My exp has been that the treshold wears off, it becomes thinner and thinner until there is no treshold anymore, and so the dichotomy (lights out or back on) used in this analogy is transcended.

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/10/17 11:57 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Back to topics mentioned farther up the thread, recently listened to a talk by B Allan Wallace at Harvard with Wisdom Publications, and again noticed how far apart our views are on numerous topics. I had forgotten that for him, the fourth jhana lasts for 2 weeks and involves the total physiological cessation of all breathing for that entire two weeks... While I can appreciate high standards, well, polite words fail me at this point...

RE: Leigh Brasington on jhanas and other stuff
Answer
3/11/17 3:55 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Back to topics mentioned farther up the thread, recently listened to a talk by B Allan Wallace at Harvard with Wisdom Publications, and again noticed how far apart our views are on numerous topics. I had forgotten that for him, the fourth jhana lasts for 2 weeks and involves the total physiological cessation of all breathing for that entire two weeks... While I can appreciate high standards, well, polite words fail me at this point...
He extends this to his vajrayana and dzogchen-area as well, which is where things get quite distorted. It's almost like he is purposefully talking nonsense and is totally fine with it.