Jhana

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    • #19333
      Mahendran
      Participant

      Has anyone really experienced the light and the ecstasy as a result of attaining the jhana? By nature I am a happy person and take life easy, however, I have never experienced this altered state of consciousness through meditation. Recently I attended a meditation programme, where I met many people who told me that they have experienced this ecstatic nature followed by a bright light.

    • #19367
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Here is a summary of jhana to my knowledge:

      Jhainc states correspond to the mental states in the brahma realms. The first four jhanas correspond to the rupavacara brahma realms and the higher jhanas correspond to the arupavacara brahma realms.

      The jhanic experience is the same whether they are Ariya or anariya jhana.
      The critical difference is the following: Kama raga (cravings for sense pleasures including sex) and patigha (tendency get angry) will be SUPPRESSED (vishkambana pahana) while in anariya jhana. But if one can get into even the first Ariya jhana, then kama raga and patigha would be completely REMOVED (no anusaya remain).

      Therefore, if one can get into the first Ariya jhana, one is an Anagami.

      In the same way, avijja is SUPPRESSED at the fourth anariya jhana, but is REMOVED at the fourth Ariya jhana. That means one is at or close to the Arahant stage if one can get onto the fourth Ariya jhana.

      Therefore, only that person who is experiencing a given jhana can determine whether it is an anariya jhana or an Ariya jhana.

      It is not necessary to have any jhana to attain a magga phala, including the Sotapanna stage.

      On the other hand, one could be a Sotapanna and may have anariya jhanas.

      There is nothing “bad” about anariya jhana. All jhanas are mental states corresponding to brahma realms, and one would be born in that realm at death. The difference is that one with an anariya jhana (without magga phala) will come back to human and even lower realms in the future. One with an Ariya jhana will never come back to the kama loka at all. A Sotapanna with an anariya jhana will also not come back to kama loka.

      These are discussed in detail with sutta references at: ‘Mundane versus Supramundane Jhāna”. More details at: “Samādhi, Jhāna (Dhyāna), Magga Phala“.

      Personally, I have not experienced the fourth jhana, where one is totally covered with white light (according to suttas). It is not that others can see that white light; that is what one in jhana “sees”.

      I do believe that many people who have attained Ven. Abhaya’s meditation sessions have attained the fourth jhana (I have watched a few youtube videos where their experiences are described). But the question is how many of those are actually Ariya jhanas. Only those persons would know.

      If any of your friends like to share their experiences, that would be great. Many people at this forum are not able to watch and understand those videos where jhanic experiences are described by the participants of Abhaya Thero’s sessions.

    • #19371
      Christian
      Participant

      I attained so many different states and samadhi (before I was even practicing proper Buddha Dhamma I was practicing many different types of meditation, some of the one-pointed meditations, other I will not even talk about it because it would sound like a lie)

      What I experienced.

      1) Once in samadhi, I developed abhinna power to see past of people. If I look at them and think about the topic I want to know my mind produce that knowledge. First I thought they are just mental illusion and fantasies but they felt different than regular thoughts as I could feel they are true. Once I tested it with one of the new friends I had in the workplace. I described her boyfriend, how he looks, what music he listens etc. She was creeped out later on and I never did that again with anybody. (I need to mention when I was not in that samadhi it did not work)

      2) I experienced various types of jhanas and blisses (anariya). For the first jhana, it took me a couple of minutes to enter it, but sometimes that jhana also lasted a couple of minutes or seconds. Sometimes as the wave of “orgasm like feeling” or just very pleasant loving feeling in the body mostly. My longest stay in jhana was 6 days, in that jhana, I could function like a regular person on the outside but it was very hard. I forgot to eat because the bliss was so intense it’s beyond any imagination. The world was neither existent or nonexistent. I wish just people can experience it for a brief second as it will switch the view of the whole world and their limited perspective on life.

      3) One time after meditation my hand started to disappear as it would be made from thick air. I wanted to make a photo of this phenomena but when reaching for my phone it turned back again normal.

      4) One friend of mine let me do experiments on her in relation to meditation powers I developed back in the days. For example, I could control her physical activities in the body. Move her blood flow from one hand to the different place of the body which resulted in numbing of that place as blood flow would be cut off. There were some other things which person with a vivid imagination can understand where those experiments lead further.

      5) When I was sick I once developed one samadhi that actually cured me of chronic diseases. Once I had a sore throat and I meditated for a whole night with healing samadhi and after when I left that samadhi in turned into remission by its own in the next couple of hours.

      6) Once in meditation, I felt like my body shrank as I would be very small being. As I opened my eyes my body was normal and it was just a feeling like you have sometimes that you are about to fall off when falling asleep.

      7) One time I meditated I had flickering and light before my eyes when they were closed.

      8) One time when I was asleep I woke up (it was after intense meditation period) I felt movement in my spine which turned into experiencing like thousand claps of thunder would go thru my spine and after those thunders like thousand rocks would roll in that spine in an upward movement. After that, I just moved back to sleep as nothing happened.

      9) I had some many small experiences and most of them I forgot to be honest. My conclusions are that it’s easy for someone who had experience in different types of meditation to realize the difference between those and the results of Buddha Dhamma practice.

    • #19380
      Mahendran
      Participant

      Thank you Lal and Christian. It seems and sounds like an extraordinary experience to have attained a jhana.

    • #19381
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Mahendran said: “It seems and sounds like an extraordinary experience to have attained a jhana.”

      Actually — for those people who had attained jhana in recent human lives — it is not that hard to get into (anariya) jhana.

      It is like once one learns how to ride a bike, that habit stays. Even if one does not ride a bike for many years, it would be easy to do.

    • #19384
      Christian
      Participant

      They are extraordinary, especially higher ones (Most of jhanas experiences I read around got nothing to do with it, rather than just some results of samadhi which are different) but they are like drugs or going out to the circus or some fun park when your emotions are higher to give your spike but in reality anariya jhana just leads to discarding this world for another world of jhanas which is still subject of suffering which is even harder to drop once you get used to jhana practice you do not see nature of either world or jhana but you sees jhana worlds just as better than regular life experiences.

      Let imagine the world as a skin of a fruit, sometimes sweet and mostly dry and bitter. World of jhana is like getting into juice and fruit itself that’s why the world can be easily discarded by ascetics as they have a better way to experience bliss then any regular person can attain but either of them does not see the true nature of this fruit and Nibbana lies beyond this fruit by discarding as its sweetness not fulfilling anyway.

    • #19388
      Mahendran
      Participant

      Riding a bicycle is a good analogy Lal, perhaps as you said, I have not attained jhana in my previous livesa and now it may be a long way to go to get that experience of “dhyana sukha”. Nevertheless I am contented as it is, and always have been, but I had this “eureka moment” when I heard Abhaya Thero for the first time and then much of the understanding came after reading the Puredhamma pages.Thank you for giving the insight and merits come to you and all the participants in all the fora, which I read often.

    • #19389
      Christian
      Participant

      I had this “eureka moment” when I heard Abhaya Thero for the first time and then much of the understanding came after reading the Puredhamma pages.

      I will give you an example that what you attained now is better then all jhanas masters can even imagine. For example, you are addicted to something like drugs or whatever but you get rid of that addiction and you get back to “normal state” or sober state. In spirituality, everybody looks for something like that but Buddha comes and taught us to attain Nibbana (like being sober from addictions/cravings of this world). So even if attainments of Sotapanna or Sakadagami are not going to blow in your face but you will definitely sober from sansara.

      If you will be oriented in being sober then liberation with wisdom and clarity of the nature of this world will be easier.

    • #19395
      Mahendran
      Participant

      Thank you Christian for sharing your dhamma knowledge and experiences. Your example is a good one. My field is addictive behaviour and often we find that people with addictive behaviors can be signposted towards a useful addition. I have introduced pure dhamma pages and Ajhan Jayasoro’s lectures to many of our clients. It’s truly amazing what the mind can do.

    • #24026
      Anonymous

      wish to explain my reading of jhana’s as a method for getting nirvana.
      jhana’s are a pause in suffering as the mental states such as grasping at a sense of self have been suppressed for the period of the jhana. This non conceptual period of meditation gives one a direct experience of the absence of a self (doer, knower) and suffering. When one emerges from the jhana one can use discursive (thoughts) meditation to analyse with a laser like level of concentration a direct counter example of samsaric states that one has just emerged from. This method provides the object of refutation and the ability to hold the understanding with this powerful level of concentration in order to realize sotapanna

      To try and realize no self, dukkha or impermanence without a direct comparison of with and without samsara paused by suppressing samsara through being in a jhana and without a level of focus that can cut thru would only lead to a intellectual understanding. This reading of how to and why comes from reading Mindfulness bliss and beyond a meditators handbook by Ajahn Brahm.

    • #24027
      Anonymous

      Also in my reading of jhana states(8) is that while in a jhana all five of one’s senses have been withdrawn, making awareness of ones one body impossible.No sounds, smells, tactile sensations, sights or thought processes. A sense of duality between a doer and doing or a knower and known also disappear. One is in a state of absorption and only after the jhana has finished does a self reemerge and world.
      On emerges back into the sense world and has access to what happened via memory and can use for the next several hours the strength of focus to access past life memories and various psychic powers.
      it is very useful if understood as a tool for focusing and reflecting on Buddhist topics (sattipana sutta) and not and end in its self.

    • #24032
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Welcome to the forum, Chris!

      It is not bad to cultivate jhana, but one must be careful not to get addicted to “jhanic pleasures”. As I mentioned above, “Jhanic states correspond to the mental states in the brahma realms. The first four jhanas correspond to the rupavacara brahma realms and the higher jhanas correspond to the arupavacara brahma realms.”

      The end result of cultivating jhana is having a rebirth in a brahma realm. Just like the human realm, those brahma realms are also temporary.
      – However, if one cultivates jhana, AND THEN contemplate on the unsatisfactory nature of them, THEN one can make progress towards Nibbana (nirvana is the Sanskrit word).

      Also, you may want to read the post, “Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta – Wrong Interpretations“.
      – Anicca is not “impermanence” and anatta is not “no-self”.
      – What one should focus on is the unsatisfactory nature of even the higher realms (human, deva, brahma). All those are not permanent and have finite lifetimes. Then, one maybe even reborn in lower realms, including the animal realm), and that is where real suffering is.
      – Some people automatically attain jhana while contemplating the anicca, dukkha, anatta nature. For some others, it is virtually impossible to attain jhana even with practice. It is mainly a samsaric habit. Those who had cultivated jhana in recent past lives can easily get to jhana; see, “Samādhi, Jhāna (Dhyāna), Magga Phala“.

    • #31966
      Lvalio
      Participant

      “If one understand, frequently associates and chants even a single gāthā, in terms of Dhamma (dependent origination) and sub-Dhamma (anicca-dukka-anatta), he could practice the four jhānas and he becomes a Théra”.
      Waharaka Thero

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