A question about second jhana

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    • #36732

      I was reading this post

      Under heading point #4 Experience in the second jhana. It mentions that “the bhikkhu enters and dwells in the second jhāna, which is accompanied by internal confidence and unification of mind, is without applied and sustained thought”

      What I’m not exactly sure of is what is meant by “without applied and sustained thought”. I have some ideas, but not exactly sure if they are correct. It seems like there might be several ways to explain what is meant by “without applied and sustain thought”. One if the ways that I can think of is that when one cultivates and understands / realized the truth about this world through anuloma khanti, which in my opinion does take some applied and sustain thoughts especially in the beginning to develop our anicca sanna towards this world and nicca sanna towards nibbana. Long story short, it seems like when one is cultivating sammattaniyama, there seems to be actually less applied and sustained thoughts when one is cultivating sammattaniyama? The reason I say this is because when I’m cultivating anuloma khanti, it seems like I have to use a lot of applied and sustained thoughts (do sankhara’s), but when I’m cultivating sammattaniyama, it seems like much less applied and sustain thoughts are needed (cessation of sankhara’s)?

      For example, when I’m cultivate sammattaniyama, I mostly use the etan santan kammattana with some slight modifications that helps to remind me of the benefits of attaining nibbana and what I must do in order to attain Nibbana. Something I realized recently and that made a tremendous impact in my practice is that by attaining Nibbana, we’ll be fulfilled/contented/satisfied (that’s one meaning/way for me to understand what nicca is, no more wants and ESPECIALLY NEEDS. When one has no more needs and wants that brings tranquility and peace of mind (sukha)). In nibbana, I believe there’s nothing more we need to do, I bring this realization into my everyday practice and it helps me to realize / understand that in this world, there’s really nothing “worth” or that I really need to do (sankhara’s) to be happy / fulfil / content besides keeping my mind focused on nibbana (cessation of all sankhara’s) or draw backs of having to do sankhara’s. This understanding along with the culivation of anuloma khanati really helped me to remove some of my upadana for the five aggregates, as well cease some of my abhi sankhara’s. I’m starting to realize on a deeper level is that because of all my doing (sankhara’s), wanting and craving that’s actually taking me away from the ultimate bliss, so why not work on or work towards minimizing all the sankhara’s that I have to do in my life. I understand that I still need to do sankhara’s to fulfil my duties and responsibilities in my lay life as well to learn and practice the Buddha dhamma (such as listening, reading, contemplating on the dhamma). But at the same time, I feel there’s really nothing I need to do or worth doing in this world besides cultivating anuloma khanti and sammattaniyama. Especially when cultivating sammattaniyama, I feel that there’s way less mano / vaci sankhara’s that I need to do.

      I’m just wondering if this could be one of the possible / make sense way of understanding what is meant by “without applied and sustained thought” for the second jhana or does it mean something else entirely?

      As well based on some of the things I mentioned above, for some reason I feel very confident in that I have finally understood for myself the meaning of the last message from Gotama Buddha before his parinibbana. It’s really thanks to Lal and this website that it has given me another translation in English for the last message of the Buddha. The keywords that really helped me was “sort out san”. I realized that living / being in this world, we have to do sankhara’s really no matter what. But we need to sort out / understand which sankhara’s that are beneficial to us and that we must do to facilitate our path to Nibbana. Which sankhara’s that does not benefit us and that we should strive to cease / avoid / put a stop to. In the end though, I would like to cease all sankhara’s because . . .

      Sabbe sankhara anicca
      Sabbe sankhara dukkha
      Sabbe dhamma anatta

      Although I could be wrong about the Buddha last message before parinibbana. To me it’s really unfortunate that many Buddhist practitioners out there “blindly” believe that the Buddha last message was to “see this world as impermanent” . . . Ooof

    • #36737

      “without applied and sustained thought” means without vitakka/vicāra.

      … and per #3 of the post vitakka/vicāra are kāma and akusala thoughts

    • #36738

      cubibobi is quite right.

      To make it easier, I must have copied the English translation somewhere else and made revisions to it. You can see that at the start of #4:
      “Further, great king, with the removal of vitakka/vicāra (but savitakka/savicāra remain),..”

      At the second jhana, you get rid of any kāma and akusala thoughts.
      But nekkamma and kusala thoughts remain. Those will remain from that point on.

      See, “Vitakka, Vicāra, Savitakka, Savicāra, and Avitakka, Avicāra

      I need to revise the original post to make this clear. Thanks to TripleGemStudent for pointing that out.

      TripleGemStudent wrote: ” In the end though, I would like to cease all sankhara’s because . . .

      Sabbe sankhara anicca
      Sabbe sankhara dukkha..”

      That is right. All sankhara are anicca nature. But we need to cultivate “punnabhisankhara” and “kusala-mula sankhara” until we get to the Arahant stage.
      – Note that punnabhisankhara AUTOMATICALLY BECOME kusala-mula sankhara as one comprehends Tilakkhana/Paticca Samuppada/Four Noble Noble Truths.

      P.S. I just revised #4 of the post, “Jhānic Experience in Detail – Sāmañ­ña­phala Sutta (DN 2)

    • #36751

      Thank you Lang and Lal, your feedback helped me.

      In regards to a part in the vittaka, vicara post.

      “avitakka vicāramattaṃ samādhi (absence of vitakka with a trace of vicāra left)”

      I was wondering what is an explanation or description can be for the “absence of vitakka with a trace of vicara left”?

      #1. Does “absence of vitakka” mean absence of bad thoughts?
      #2. “Trace of vicara left” Is this trace of vicara bad thoughts or is it a trace of savicara?

    • #36752

      Please give the bullet # when quoting, so that I don’t have to read the whole post to find it.

      Where does the quote appear?

      P.S. I later saw that TGS has sent me an email too.

      I think the confusion arose because of the following.

      1. In the Suttas, there are only four jhana mentioned.
      2. In Abhidhamma, the second jhana is split into two: “avitakka vicāramattaṃ samādhi (absence of vitakka with a trace of vicāra left)” AND “avitakka AVICARA samādhi (absence of BOTH vitakka and vicara)”

      P.P.S: Most suttas have just one (second one in the suttas) with “avitakka AVICARA samādhi (absence of BOTH vitakka and vicara)”.

      The verse that TGS quote appears in #13 in the post “Vitakka, Vicāra, Savitakka, Savicāra, and Avitakka, Avicāra
      – So, it appears that different suttas describe jhanas a bit differently.
      – But the main difference is whether there are 4 or 5 rupavacara jhanas, as mentioned above.

      Feel free to ask questions if this is not the issue.

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