One After Another

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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 2/10/08 10:23 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 2/10/08 10:23 AM

One After Another

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Soakn108
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

Is the significance of this Sutta the fact that Jhana and Nana are described as being not separate events, but instead the same event?

Thank you

Greg
Nathan I S, modified 14 Years ago at 2/11/08 4:35 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 2/11/08 4:35 AM

RE: One After Another

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/26/09 Recent Posts
As Daniel mentioned in the thread on Jhana, "this is a very old debate" with, obviously, a lot of practical ramifications. In the Vimuttimagga there's a differentiation between "mundane Jhana" and "supramundane Jhana", which in my reading would be the difference between a samatha jhana and a vipassana jhana; then there is "there's no discernment without concentration, no concentration without discernment". Beyond the texts, however, I don't feel well versed enough to comment. Jhana factors rise while doing pure vipassana, and can aid it as well as provide objects for it as well as hinder it, and apparently for many people discernment arises while doing concentration, at least enough people that it's in contention after millenia.
Hokai Sobol, modified 14 Years ago at 2/11/08 7:24 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 2/11/08 7:24 AM

RE: One After Another

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
The subject of Jhana/Nana or Dhyana/Jnana or Samadhi/Prajna has been presented in every Buddhist school with a different spin, though with some fundamental features found in every version. That tranquility equals insight, or somehow contains insight, or is somehow identical to it, has been stated by more than one master. However, it is not to be taken without interpretation (or at least qualification): what that means is that tranquility bereft of insight is not true tranquility in that paradigm, and that tranquility and insight should be "joined as one" (skt. yuganadha), and practiced side by side, complementing each other while retaining their conventional distinction. It must be made clear, though, that tranquility is quite regularly practiced and developed separately from insight, and that in fact tranquility can become an obstacle to insight, so much so that there are those who teach cultivating insight not just without mastering tranquility, but without a basis in tranquility as such, claiming this time that such practice of insight contains the necessary degree of tranquility (or concentration). All this is made into a veritable sectarian dispute, since it gives birth to apparently disparate modes of practicing and evaluating stages of realization. Too much fun for a human.:-)
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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 2/11/08 1:03 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 2/11/08 1:03 PM

RE: One After Another

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Soakn108

This is a Youtube link to Bhante Gunaratana talking about this subject, I thought it was pretty darn interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaFOjJtEd2g&NR=1

= )

G.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 14 Years ago at 2/13/08 5:47 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 2/13/08 5:47 AM

RE: One After Another

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
The original Pali texts do not differentiate on the face of things between vipassana jhana and samatha jhana, but compare the practice, focus and description of the jhanas between, say, The Fruits of the Homeless Life (DN 2) with One by One as They Occurred (MN 111) and you will notice a very wide distinction between the two practices to such a degree that it is amazing the same word is used for both. More distinction arose later with the enumeration of the ñanas (insight stages) in the commentaries, with the culmination of these descriptions arising in the Visuddhimagga in ancient times and with works such as Mahasi Sayadaw's Practical Insight Meditation in this age and others, such as Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart and my work.

In terms of Bhante G's take on mundane vs. supramundane jhana, supramundane jhana is accomplished by stream enterers and above, see his work "The Path of Serenity and Insight".
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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 2/13/08 6:11 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 2/13/08 6:11 PM

RE: One After Another

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Soakn108

Would it be correct to say that the basic difference between Vipassana Jhana and Samatha Jhana is that both have a subject of attention, except in Vipassana Jhana you notice the three marks/doors? If this is the case, then it would explain to me why mindfulness of breathing is described as a method for both and that it can take one the whole distance.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 14 Years ago at 2/13/08 6:44 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 2/13/08 6:44 PM

RE: One After Another

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Exactly. The vipassana jhanas try to incorporate and/or balance seven factors of enlightenment, including investiation (the second factor), whereas samatha jhanas involve 6 of the 7 (they don't involve investigation), and are on this front the antithesis of investigation of the three characteristics, so that in vipassana one tries to see each little arising and vanishing component, in samatha one ignores these and tries to pretend the thing is stable, in vipassana one tries to detect any hint of suffering in each sensation, and in samatha one tries to ignore suffering and cultivate more enjoyable, relaxing, etc. aspects, in vipassana one tries to see all things arising on their own, whereas samatha is very much an exercise in conscious creation and conscious illusion, i.e. a deliberate act of will.

Thus, they may seem antithetical, and yet, at various points, they may look a lot alike, such as in Mind and Body, which is very much the same as the early first samatha jhana, in the Arising and Passing Away, which often has very heavy second samatha jhana overtones, Dissolution, which can have heavy third samatha jhana overtones, and the middle section of High Equanimity, which often has very heavy fourth samatha jhana and sometimes formless overtones.

Thus, even on the path of insight, samatha aspects are hard to entirely avoid, and on the path of serenity one often ends up noticing the Three Characteristics even if one doesn't want to (as happened to me and was how I got into this whole business). Interesting?
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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 2/14/08 4:24 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 2/14/08 4:24 PM

RE: One After Another

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Soakn108

Yes, very interesting. Thank you for your response. It’s great to be able to explore this stuff with Dharma friends.

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