THE BEAUTIFUL BREATH: THE BEGINNING OF THE JOURNEY INTO JHANAS
THE FIRST JHANAS
THE SECOND JHANAS
THE THIRD JHANAS
THE FOURTH JHANAS
THE BUDDHA'S SIMILES FOR THE FOUR JHANAS
MOVING FROM JHANAS TO JHANAS
THE IMMATERIAL ATTAINMENTS
NIBBANA, THE END OF ALL PERCEPTION
As Buddhist meditation becomes ever more popular in our modern world, it is vital that clear and accurate guidance is available. For many years, there has been an unfortunate lack of thorough instruction in simple English on the deeper states of meditation called Jhana. Even though the Jhanas are, perhaps, the theme most repeated by the Buddha in the Suttas, and in spite of the fact that the old teachers of the Thai forest tradition encouraged, preached, and taught Jhanas, a description of their development is hard to come by.
BODHINYANA MONASTERY, MAY 2546 AB
- THE BUDDHA'S REDISCOVERY
- CAN ONE BE ATTACHED TO JHANA?
- FOR THOSE A LONG WAY FROM JHANA
- FOR THOSE A LITTLE CLOSER TO JHANA
THE BEGINNING OF THE JOURNEY INTO JHANAS
- DO NOT BE AFRAID OF DELIGHT
- THE BEAUTIFUL BREATH AND NO EFFORT
- PlTlSUKHA - JOY AND HAPPINESS
- THREE MAJOR TYPES OF PlTlSUKHA
- BEAUTIFUL BREATH, BEAUTIFUL METTA,
- BEAUTIFUL SKULL!
- WHAT IF PlTlSUKHA HASN'T APPEARED?
- THE WAY INTO SILENCE
- WHEN THE BREATH DISAPPEARS
- THE CALMING OF THE SENSES
In the original Buddhist scriptures, there is only one word for level of meditation. Jhana designates meditation proper, where meditator's mind is stilled from all thought, secluded from all five sense activity and is radiant with other-worldly bliss. Put bluntly, if it isn't Jhana then it isn't true Buddhist meditation! Perhaps this is why the culminating factor of the Buddha's Noble Eightfold the one that deals with right meditation, is nothing less than Jhanas.
THE BUDDHA'S REDISCOVERY
In the ancient Buddhist texts, the Buddha is said to have discovered Jhana (SN 2,7). This claim is repeated with full explanation by Venerable Ananda in another Sutta (AN 9,42). The fact that the Buddha rediscovered Jhana should not be overlooked, for the rediscovery was a central act in the drama of the Enlightenment.
When it is said that the Buddha discovered Jhana, it is not to be understood that no one had ever experienced Jhana before. For instance, in the era of the previous Buddha Kassapa, countless men and women achieved Jhana and subsequently realized Enlightenment. But in the India of twenty six centuries ago, all knowledge of Jhana had disappeared. This was one reason that there is no mention at all of Jhana in any religious text before the time of the Buddha.
Some might raise an objection that the teachers Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta preached on Jhana, because the texts state that they taught the Bodhisatta (the Buddha-to-be) the attainment of the state of nothingness and the attainment of the state of neither perception nor non-perception. However, those two attainments could not have been connected to Jhana, because the Bodhisatta recalled, just prior to sitting under the Bodhi Tree, that the only time in his life that he had experienced any Jhana was as a young boy, while sitting under a Rose Apple Tree as his father conducted the first-ploughing ceremony (MN 36). That spontaneous early experience of Jhana had been untaught, unplanned and since forgotten. If that was the only Jhana experienced by the Bodhisatta prior to his experience under the Bodhi Tree, then the two teachers Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta could not have taught Jhana at all....
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