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Is the bliss of jhana addictive?

Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
8/28/17 7:44 AM
I once read somewhere that because such biss arises from non-attachment, it isn't addicitve.

But it is mediated by all the same chemicals as pleasure derived from attachment. 

So is it addicitve?

Thanks.

RE: Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
8/28/17 8:52 AM as a reply to LoveQuest.
LoveQuest:
I once read somewhere that because such biss arises from non-attachment, it isn't addicitve.

But it is mediated by all the same chemicals as pleasure derived from attachment. 

So is it addicitve?

Thanks.


It can be, especially as a barrier to one not doing vipassana and keep on going along the samatha path.

RE: Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
8/28/17 10:07 AM as a reply to LoveQuest.
LoveQuest:

But it is mediated by all the same chemicals as pleasure derived from attachment. 

Wherever you read any information on what "chemicals" mediate the jhana factors is most likely pseudoscientific bullshit, unless they quoted the exact peer-reviewed study in which measurements have been carried out of such "chemicals", and these "chemicals" are listed, with blood concentrations from inside and outside of jhana.

is it addicitve? 
No. But like many other things, you can get addicted to it, even though there is nothing specifically addictive about it.

RE: Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
8/30/17 2:09 AM as a reply to LoveQuest.
LoveQuest...:
So is it addicitve?
An addiction-inclined mind can use it so. It's nothing inherent in jhāna experience itself.

There's much talk in Western modernist circles warning so -- often a function of the speakers' not having concrete training and experience in appana-samadhi (absorptive concentration, aka jhana), and hence a bit of sour-grapes attitude.

Also there's a tendency in many Westerners (especially Americans) to be prone to rather serious neuroses of one sort or another, and deep concentration can trigger psychic crisis for them.

[here edited and added to]
Serious samatha-vipassana practice is intended for psychically relatively healthy people. It's not psycho-therapy in the modern sense.

It should also be noted that although samadhi is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for awakening,  jhāna (appanā-samādhi) is not the only form of samadhi that does the job. What Mahasi Sayadaw calls "vipassanā khaṇika samādhi" can also fill the role (at least according to his analysis of the Pali Canon); that is the momentary concentration of deep "noting" (gnosis) of all arising conscious phenomena. Mahasi distinguishes two types of practice, according to the temperamental leaning (and/or the practice method learned) of the practitioner, as either a "samathayānika" individual (one who can use jhāna) or a "suddhavipassanayānika" ("pure insight") individual (who can make better use of vipassanā khaṇika samādhi).  Neither is inherently better or worse, nor preferentially emphasized in the Buddha's teachings.

RE: Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
8/29/17 6:53 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
...psychically relatively people...

What does that mean?

RE: Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
8/30/17 1:31 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
...psychically relatively people...

What does that mean?


Sorry, left out a word there. Thanks for noting. The whole passage is edited, with another critical point added.

RE: Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
9/7/17 4:47 AM as a reply to LoveQuest.
Well, not addictive like opiates, benzos, or alcohol, etc. are addictive, in that there aren't withdrawals in any physical way, but there are definitely some people that really like jhanas and will cultivate them again and again, sometimes causing some them to be less interested in the world, but insight practices can cause that sort of thing as well, just by different mechanisms.

So, yes, for some the jhanas can have some psychological addiction component, but it is true that they do cultivate positive mental qualities, and so, as addictions go, they beat most (perhaps all) standard addictions in terms of benefit to harm ratio.

The point about some getting stuck in them and not doing insight practice or seeing their true nature is clearly a real phenomena, as well as imagining them being more than they are, as those effects are routinely noticed.

Still, they are a very valid path and, properly used and related to, are a hell of a lot easier than dry insight, though dry insight is the path I took most of the time, at least initially. Later, I came to appreciate the benefits of jhana, but that was after stream entry, and before stream entry the risks are higher. After, not quite so much, though they do still exist.

RE: Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
8/30/17 5:39 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks for all the replies.

RE: Is the bliss of jhana addictive?
Answer
8/30/17 7:03 PM as a reply to LoveQuest.
It's a good sublimation for other addictions. Jhana's vs. slot-machines is a no brainer, but I never found it that addicting. In some ways you need it to avoid getting into a more common trap which is treating meditation as a grinding chore. There's too little joy and pleasure and it should be emphasized more. 

The biggest problem with jhanas, when you don't have enough insights, is that the brain is disappointed in the fading of the jhana within a few hours. Insight helps us understand what we are not seeing with our clinging.