Author Topic: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism  (Read 40856 times)

unprevadedrapture

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2010, 11:19:28 PM »
you seem to feel frustrated by this conversation. maybe i didn't qualify that passage well enough. how do you mean exactly when you say, "another is to use those quotes in arguments, as if they are ultimate truths or authorities?"  
Quote
many aeons of fun and then, BANG! you can be a worm, a cow, a hell-being. not out of Samsara at all!
can a deva come back as a cow, worm, or hell being? the pain is as unbearable as imaginable when they fall, but the sutta i read said one returns in some good family with lots of money and maybe access to teachings (?).
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 12:17:08 AM by unprevadedrapture »

unprevadedrapture

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2010, 12:27:59 AM »
maybe it depends on how many asuras you kill... they're all dead now i hear. there aren't any buddhas to protect or stalk either... so i couldn't imagine it would be all that fun anymore... unless... there always is that perfect jewel horse prize and wife or whatever...
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 01:02:45 AM by unprevadedrapture »

kidnovice

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Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2010, 12:43:15 AM »
Man, there is something about the controversy over the importance of Jhana that makes it like a powder keg! This debate really brings out something unwholesome in most everyone (myself included) on all sides of the discussion. Any thoughts as to why that is?

I also want to re-iterate Matthew's point about skillful speech. Lets avoid over-generalization. I don't think ANYONE really believes that the mere act of quoting sutta is somehow evidence that a person lacks direct experience.  :P  I for one, found myself increasingly interested in the suttas only after I began to have direct experiences of my own mind. The suttas offer one possible framework within which to understand and discuss these experiences. For this reason, I welcome canonical references of the kind that Jhananda offers.

Another good rule of thumb is to NEVER negatively comment on the actual person who is posting here. To do so (even if you feel they are doing the same to you) is to unleash a maelstrom of unskillfulness. It really hurts yourself. Plus, you never really know what another person has or has not experienced.  And if like me, you see all of us as works-in progress, there is something fundamentally goofy about even trying to pass judgment in the first place...

Instead, lets stick to the actually arguments a person is making. If we do that, maybe we can constructively sort out our ideas about Jhana and Insight in a way that truly informs our practice.  

with metta.
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Jhananda

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2010, 12:58:54 AM »
Quoting sources, teachers, suttas, etc, simply shows a lack of personal experience, I think. If you know something, share it, if you don't, its best to admit that.

But those are just my 2 cents, for those who are very fond of quoting Suttas as ultimate truths or some sort of authority, go ahead :) but don't expect many to take you seriously, because that's like quoting the gospel or the bible or something.

In regards to Jhananda, he's a total Jhana head, which he admits :) (well having a name like that, what do you expect!) which is like being a druggie in a way, one starts preferring Jhana over everything else.. Obviously better than a drug addict, but as the Buddha said.. many aeons of fun and then, BANG! you can be a worm, a cow, a hell-being. not out of Samsara at all! Indeed, Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta suffered a great loss.
Yes, we all know concentration is much fun, but the path is about something BEYOND the Jhanas, nibbana!

I'm pretty sure he's 100% convinced of his "Jhananda the amazing Jhana master who knows better than any other meditation teacher, only he has true mastery of the path and can vouch for it by having amazing super-duper Jhana skills" story.
I agree with kidnovice, discussions of jhana sure brings out the unwholesome behavior in its opposition.  I have been expressing my personal experiences with jhana for more than 7 years, while it should have produced a community of supporters, it has only created 7 years of offensive response from Buddhist priests, meditation teachers and their naive followers.  We can certainly be sure those who do not have the attainment of jhana are those who are most offended by those who have it. It is too bad that those who do not have jhana do not value those who have its attainment. 

Now, I think it is pretty funny when I write from personal experience with jhana, Mr. upekkha, and other Goenka-ji cult followers are offended and accuse me of breaking the vinaya for speaking about my personal meditation experiences, and often quote flawed sutta translations in support of there erroneous belief systems.  So, I guess I am damned if I do and damned if I do not.  Or, maybe, Mr. upekkha is also feeling inadequate because in addition to not having personal experience with jhana he also does not know the suttas. So I had to also include sutta quotes.

Now, upekkha, claims MN-36 states that Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta, mastered the seventh and eighth Jhanas but were still unenlightened.  Now, here is an example of one of the many flaws in how the suttas have been mistranslated and misinterpreted.  

There is no place in the suttas where the Buddha can be quoted as using the term “seventh or eighth Jhana,” because no where in the suttas is jhana associated with the fifth through eighth levels of samadhi.  In the suttas jhana only refers to the first 4 levels of samadhi.  And, the point of MN-36 is that Siddhartha Gautama’s teachers were seeking only immaterial attainments and were overlooking the lower samadhi states (jhanas).  The point that the Buddha was making in that same sutta, was the four jhanas offer valuable personal transformational qualities, such as bliss, joy, tranquility, equanimity and cessation of manic depression.

From the Buddha’s Night of enlightenment
Mahaasaccaka sutta (MN 36)
"It occurred to me: Doing these difficult exertions (his earlier ascetic practices), I will not attain, any noble distinctive knowledge and vision above human. There should be some other method for the realization of enlightenment. Then Aggivessana, I recalled the experience under the shade of the rose apple tree near my father’s field: Secluded from sensory stimuli and secluded from unwholesome thoughts, with applied and sustained attention (vitakka and vicára) and with joy (sukha) and pleasure (piiti) originating from seclusion, I attained to the first ecstasy (jhana). Then the wisdom (pana) arose in him ‘this is the path to enlightenment.’ I thought, why should I fear this pleasantness, which is other than sensual pleasure and away from unwholesome thoughts?"
(Based upon a translation by Bhikkhus Nanamoli & Bodhi Majjhima Nikaya, Wisdom, 1995, with editorial corrections by Jhananda)
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/Phala_Nikaya/mahaasaccakasutta.htm

And, for those who are so deluded to think that jhana is just for junkies:

Dhammapada Verse 372
"There is no meditative absorption (jhana) without wisdom (panna),
No wisdom without meditative absorption.
One who is in the proximity of enlightenment (nibbana/nirvana)
Has both wisdom and meditative absorption."
Translated from the Pali by Jhananda

Natthi jhaanam apan~n~assa, pan~n~aa natthi ajhaayato,
Yamhi jhaanan~ ca pan~n~an~ ca sa ve nibbaanasantike.
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/dhammapada372.htm

Now, I only refer to my translations and website, whenever possible, because I have found all too often priests, meditation teachers and translators are advancing their own flawed ideas in the name of the Buddha. So, do check your sources, and study the suttas, and learn Pali.  On this subject some of you may find it valuable to read my essay Exposing translator bias in the translation of the Pali Canon and other Asian literature.

Jhananda

unprevadedrapture

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2010, 04:44:06 AM »
what's this about the abhayagiri sangha boycotting you?

Matthew

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Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2010, 05:12:37 AM »
Now, I think it is pretty funny when I write from personal experience with jhana, Mr. upekkha, and other Goenka-ji cult followers are offended and accuse me of breaking the vinaya for speaking about my personal meditation experiences, and often quote flawed sutta translations in support of there erroneous belief systems.  So, I guess I am damned if I do and damned if I do not.

Neither, but you are damned when your experience of Jhana doesn't stop you in engaging in exactly the type of unwholesome speech that leads to division.

There are seven other folds to the path Jeffrey, all need attention.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

upekkha

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2010, 08:29:23 AM »
I'm sorry about the unwholesome speech and will try to get my point through in more compassionate ways.

Now, my point is: There are many Jhana teachers nowadays, who may or may not be good according to Jeff's standards. He is not the one to judge who is competent and who is not (my guess is that he's going to reiterate that none of them know what they're talking about, but that's part of it).

The reason many people are boycotting you Jeff, is not because of your experience with Jhana, nor is it the problem of religions, it has something to do with your personality and style which has nothing to do with meditation attainments.

Jeff, do you truely believe you are the only person in the world who has an idea about what Jhana is in your own experience? many accomplished meditators, teachers, and so on, who have very profound understanding of the same territory you walk, and none of them know what they're talking about?
They're all boycotting you because you know more than them? I doubt it.

unprevadedrapture

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2010, 09:10:00 AM »
Quote
He is demonized for shining a light somewhere traditional Buddhism did not want it shined. Specifically the fact that thousands of years of practice has not lead to thousands of Buddhas which is what one would expect. His experience of Jhana opens up a wormhole for many schools of Buddhism.

maybe additionally the way he addresses himself as a stream enterer with jhannic attainments, or self-ordains outside of established lineage. that could press a few buttons i imagine.

upekkha2

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2010, 05:02:09 PM »
Jeffery,

Sorry for disparaging you in my previous posts.

I have read some of the posts on your blog and your lifestyle is quite fascinating. Good on you.
You are quite eccentric and peculiar, but still, a remarkable dedicated practitioner.

Be happy,
Upekkha

(oops screwed my old account)

Matthew

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Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2010, 06:26:24 PM »
upekkha,

Send me a PM with your correct email address and I will unscrew your old account.


Done. I've emailed you a new password.

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 08:19:43 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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Jhananda

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2010, 12:09:24 AM »
what's this about the abhayagiri sangha boycotting you?
Hello Matthew, et al, yes, unprevadedrapture, my work has been boycotted by a number of dharma centers, such as abhayagiri, Spirit Rock, Insight Meditation Society, Bhante Gunarattana, etc.  I can only say that their boycott of my work only proves their lack of attainment.  I wrote an essay on the subject and have documented the boycott extensively on my website, I have included copies of some of the hate mail that I have received from Buddhist priests and meditation teachers and I read a paper on the subject to the 2006 CESNUR conference at UCSD.  Links to those essays are below.

The Witch-hunt, The Oppression of the Ecstatic Contemplative, paper read at the 2006 CESNUR conference.
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/criticism/witch-hunt.htm
http://www.cesnur.org/2006/sd_brooks.htm
Neither, but you are damned when your experience of Jhana doesn't stop you in engaging in exactly the type of unwholesome speech that leads to division.

There are seven other folds to the path Jeffrey, all need attention.

Warmly,

Matthew
Matthew, to not get that jhana is the fulfillment of the Noble Eightfold Path, and thus requires successfully negotiating the N8P, is a typical response from those who do not understand the dhamma.

Your comment regarding divisive speach refers to the classic Orthodox criticism of mystics.  They argue: mystics are arrogant; divisive; break the viniya, regarding speaking of their religious experiences in public; and there is fear that the mystic may over estimate their religious experiences, and thus break more serious viniya rules supposedly resulting in being propelled into a deep hell.

Now, as a mystic who regularly experiences the full range of samadhi states that were described by the Buddha and other mystics, I know that the priesthood of the various religions have appropriated, subverted, obfuscated and mystified the religious experience and doctrine of their progenitor to make its attainment inaccessible.  To me such activity leads to a retrograde birth as a cow, which generally ends in a hellish demise in a slaughterhouse.  Thus, such vinaya rules seem not to be the work of the Buddha, but are most probably the work of a self-serving pretentious priesthood, who are threatened by enlightened teachers coming along and exposing their lies.

The development of the vinaya seems to be post suttic period and very probably belongs to the first century BCE Melinda period. So, I have not been interested in studying the vinaya pitaka. The above vinaya generally refers to the episode of Devadata, who figures as a kind of Judas in Buddhism. Devadata was one of the Buddha’s cousins who tried to start his own religious movement by undermining the Buddha’s teachings and attempted to appropriate followers from the Buddha’s sangha. 

Most commentarial references claim that Devadata had the attainment of ecstasy (jhana), but he did not have the attainment of revelatory, intuitive, insight (vipassana), nor liberation (nirodha).  They tend to site the various Heartwood suttas, as their support. 

The problem with this premise is: the suttas do not specifically state what Devadata’s problem was, other than he was apparently a vegetarian and thus advocated vegetarianism, whereas the Buddha was not a vegetarian and did not advocated vegetarianism.  Also, anyone with the genuine attainment of jhana would also have insight and at least some liberation relative to the depth of jhanic attainment that they can sustain within their daily contemplative practice.

Dhammapada Verse 372
"There is no meditative absorption (jhana) without wisdom (panna),
No wisdom without meditative absorption.
One who is in the proximity of enlightenment (nibbana/nirvana)
Has both wisdom and meditative absorption."
Translated from the Pali by Jhananda

Natthi jhaanam apan~n~assa, pan~n~aa natthi ajhaayato,
Yamhi jhaanan~ ca pan~n~an~ ca sa ve nibbaanasantike.
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/dhammapada372.htm

Now, arguing that a mystic is arrogant and causes division in the sangha for showing how the priesthood of the various religions has appropriated, subverted, obfuscated and mystified the religious experience to make its attainment inaccessible, is not valid, because anyone who has genuine attainment has fully effaced the ego, has no clinging attachments and is thus free from neuroses, such as arrogance. 

If you examine the lives of the authentic mystics you will see that it is in fact the job of the mystics to show how the priesthood of the various religions has appropriated, subverted, obfuscated and mystified the religion. After all, is it more important to preserve a priesthood who has been perpetuating lies for thousands of years, or is it more important to expose those lies and the liars for what they are, and correct the errors, to show there is a path to liberation and enlightenment?  Every mystic exposes the lies and liars at the risk of martyrdom and assassination by the priesthood, and they do it gladly, so that a few people with eyes to see, and ears to hear, will embrace an authentic contemplative life which leads to liberation and enlightenment.
[/quote]
I'm sorry about the unwholesome speech and will try to get my point through in more compassionate ways.

Now, my point is: There are many Jhana teachers nowadays, who may or may not be good according to Jeff's standards. He is not the one to judge who is competent and who is not (my guess is that he's going to reiterate that none of them know what they're talking about, but that's part of it).

The reason many people are boycotting you Jeff, is not because of your experience with Jhana, nor is it the problem of religions, it has something to do with your personality and style which has nothing to do with meditation attainments.

Jeff, do you truely believe you are the only person in the world who has an idea about what Jhana is in your own experience? many accomplished meditators, teachers, and so on, who have very profound understanding of the same territory you walk, and none of them know what they're talking about?
They're all boycotting you because you know more than them? I doubt it.
Upekkha, first of all, your arguments do not take in a factual history of how I have been abused by the various sanghas.  The facts are that I maintained a daily meditation practice for 27 years, and found jhana from the first year on.  I attended a number of meditation retreats and saw many meditation teachers, who I shared my meditation experiences with.  It was they who marginalized me once they had learned of my meditation experiences.  I at no time attempted to express myself in a public forum until 2003, when I had given up finding a Buddhist priest or meditation teacher who valued my meditation experience. 

Further, in 2003 I started the first forum for open discussion of meditation experiences.  A few thousand people have joined that group, and several hundred of them reported experiences that I recognized as one level of jhana or another.  In not one case was any of those people validated by a meditation teacher or priest.  After expressing myself freely on the web for 7 years now, and from speaking to a number of meditation teachers and Buddhist priests, I am now convinced that anyone who has any level of meditation attainment is immediately deselected from any sangha, so the “sangha” is a system that is setup to empower the pretentious, and dis-empower mystics.  The response of some of the members of this forum to my commentary should serve as adequate evidence of how my expression of my insights and attainments is not valued on the on the WWW except on my own forums.

Also, I have found so few contemplatives with any attainment whatsoever that I am convinced that most people are just playing mind-games with themselves when they think they are meditating.

Best regards, Jhananda

unprevadedrapture

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2010, 12:32:17 AM »
how can you estimate the attainments of others that aren't allowed, or find reason not to share them? to what extent is it your experience that they devalue, or the manner in which you present it or relate to it? do you believe that jhana is an ends unto itself?

Jhananda

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2010, 12:55:47 AM »
how can you estimate the attainments of others that aren't allowed, or find reason not to share them? to what extent is it your experience that they devalue, or the manner in which you present it or relate to it? do you believe that jhana is an ends unto itself?
Hello unprevadedrapture, I was speaking of the case histories with meditation experiences, which I collect.  When I find someone who in my estimation has found jhana, then I ask them what their meditation teacher said to them about it, and whether they found validation or empowerment in their sangha.  In each case they were marginalized by their Buddhist priest or meditation teacher.

Now, the person with genuine jhana attainment is very often self-effacing and unassuming.  So, when I find someone who is proud of their meditation experience, then I find the rest of their description tends to lack authenticity.  Someone with jhana is simply not going to be pretentious or arrogant, but that does not mean that they will not speak out against falsehood in the sangha if they find it, for which there is plenty of evidence.

No, I have never stated that jhana is end of the contemplative life, however, my experience has revealed that without jhana there is no insight, or liberation.  This is why in MN-36 the Buddha realized upon attaining the first jhana that it was THE path to liberation and enlightenment.

Mahaasaccaka sutta (MN 36)
"It occurred to me: Doing these difficult exertions (his earlier ascetic practices), I will not attain, any noble distinctive knowledge and vision above human. There should be some other method for the realization of enlightenment. Then Aggivessana, I recalled the experience under the shade of the rose apple tree near my father’s field: Secluded from sensory stimuli and secluded from unwholesome thoughts, with applied and sustained attention (vitakka and vicára) and with joy (sukha) and pleasure (piiti) originating from seclusion, I attained to the first ecstasy (jhana). Then the wisdom (pana) arose in him ‘this is the path to enlightenment.’ I thought, why should I fear this pleasantness, which is other than sensual pleasure and away from unwholesome thoughts?"
(Based upon a translation by Bhikkhus Nanamoli & Bodhi Majjhima Nikaya, Wisdom, 1995, with editorial corrections by Jhananda)
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/Phala_Nikaya/mahaasaccakasutta.htm

Best regards, Jhananda

unprevadedrapture

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2010, 01:20:04 AM »
thanks for your reply.

Quote
Someone with jhana is simply not going to be pretentious or arrogant.

sometimes they are very absolute in their views, especially if they are on the higher paths. look at how the buddha acted. some can read a person very well for example, and don't give false compassion, or false sympathy to misled views, etc.

on the other hand i've found teachers in my own experience that disparage jhana and act very arrogant and judgmental.

one comment i'd like to make is that i feel you underestimated and misjudged both the person and teachings of Ajahn Geoff (Wat Metta). Have you met him or visited there?
 


Matthew

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Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2010, 01:41:50 AM »
Jhananda,

Jhana is not fulfilment of the path. It is an enabler to fulfilment. Extinction at the roots of greed, hatred and anger are also essential to fulfilment of the path. You have to let go of Jhana to progress further. I am not playing any orthodox game. Look at my chosen Dhamma name: "The Irreverent Buddhist" - hardly expressing anything orthodox. My given Dhamma names are "Great Ocean of excellent understanding" and "Great ocean beyond fear".

Irreverent, excellent understanding and fearless. Does that sound orthodox?

You have completely misunderstood me. There is no doubt in my mind of your attainments of Jhana and their benefit. Staying stuck in them may have become too cosy for you - and perhaps it is time to move beyond.

When I asked you to refrain from unwholesome speech I also asked others to.
Screw orthodoxy. Let's deal with reality. It's a better place to start, to be and to finish.

Warmly,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 01:45:50 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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Jhananda

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2010, 01:59:08 AM »
thanks for your reply.
...on the other hand i've found teachers in my own experience that disparage jhana and act very arrogant and judgmental.

one comment i'd like to make is that i feel you underestimated and misjudged both the person and teachings of Ajahn Geoff (Wat Metta). Have you met him or visited there?
Hello unprevadedrapture and Matthew and thank-you for posting your thoughtful and respectful responses.  I have found Buddhist criticism too often results in offensive responses; however, without peer-review we have ended up with any old nonsense passed off as the Buddha dhamma for thousands of years.

Yes, unprevadedrapture, I know that it is common practice for Buddhist teachers and priests to disparage jhana and act very arrogant and judgmental toward those who discuss it openly, as I do.  In fact, as we can see from Matt’s response, he believes jhana is something that a skilled Buddhist contemplative will “leave behind.”  However, since jhana was the Buddha’s definition of the eighth fold of his Noble Eightfold Path, does it even make sense that jhana, or the eighth fold, is dispensable?  If so, then why is the eighth fold dispensable, when the rest of the Noble Eightfold Path is not?  Or, is the whole of the N8P disposable for one who is seeking enlightenment in this very lifetime? 

My answer is the Noble Eightfold Path is not just a path to liberation and enlightenment, but the very means of sustaining that liberation and enlightenment, which means that jhana must somehow be a part of liberation and enlightenment, according to the Buddha.  And, if jhana, or the Eighth fold, or the whole of the Noble Eightfold Path, is disposable, then why did the Buddha visit the jhanas upon his death, according to DN-16.  No offense to Matt, but I would propose that because most Buddhists priests and meditation teachers believe that jhana is dispensable, demonstrates just how corrupt Buddhism has become.

Maha-Parinibbana Sutta (DN-16)
The Great Final Enlightenment at the Buddha’s moment of death:

Then (Atha) indeed (kho) the Blessed One (bhagavà) entered into (samàpajji) the first ecstasy (pañhamaü jhànaü), then rising from (vuññhahitvà) the first ecstasy (Pañhamajjhànà) he entered into the second ecstasy (dutiyaü jhànaü), then rising from (vuññhahitvà) the second ecstasy (Dutiyajjhànà) he entered into the third ecstasy (tatiyaü jhànaü), then rising from (vuññhahitvà) the third ecstasy (Tatiyajjhànà) he entered into the fourth ecstasy (catutthaü jhànaü), then rising from (vuññhahitvà) the fourth ecstasy (Catutthajjhànà) he entered into the astral plane (àkàsànañcàyatanaü), then rising from (vuññhahitvà) the astral plane (âkàsànañcàyatanasamàpattiyà) he entered into the domain of volition (viññàõañcàyatanaü), then rising from (vuññhahitvà) the domain of volition (Viññàõañcàyatanasamàpattiyà) he entered into the domain of no-evil (àkiñcaññàyatanaü), then rising from (vuññhahitvà) the domain of no-evil (âkiñcaññàyatanasamàpattiyà) he entered into the domain of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (nevasaññànàsaññàyatanaü), then arising from (vuññhahitvà) the domain of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (Nevasaññànàsaññàyatanasamàpattiyà) he entered into extinction (saññàvedayitanirodhaü),

Translated from the Pali by Jhananda
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/1Digha-Nikaya/Digha2/16-mahaparinibbana-e2.htm

This is my response to why I find little in common with most Buddhist priests and meditation teachers, such as Bodhi, Walshe, Kornfield, Goldstein, Goenka, Thanasero, et al.  Perhaps the difference is I am a rigorous contemplative, whereas, the above appear to be just intellectuals.

Best regards, Jhananda

unprevadedrapture

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2010, 02:30:32 AM »
some are far from dry intellectuals... especially mahathera thanisarro. don't misjudge him on the extent of his writings as I did before visiting there.

Matthew

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Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2010, 07:00:02 AM »
Jeffrey,

Please call me Matthew or if you can't type 7 letters then "TIB".

Jhana is not the definition of the eigth fold. It is a core component of the eight fold but not the be all and end all of meditation:

Sitting in Jhana and not progressing your insight/understanding to extinguish totally the three root poisons is a form of either (1) ignorance regarding the path (2) manifestation of clinging or (3) fear of progressing. You can not say "what has to be done has been done". Reflect on that.

When I said drop the Jhana's I did not mean drop them forever, just stop clinging to them as this is your greatest hindrance on the path.

Warmly,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jhananda

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2010, 11:53:13 PM »
Jeffrey,

Please call me Matthew or if you can't type 7 letters then "TIB".

Jhana is not the definition of the eigth fold. It is a core component of the eight fold but not the be all and end all of meditation:

Sitting in Jhana and not progressing your insight/understanding to extinguish totally the three root poisons is a form of either (1) ignorance regarding the path (2) manifestation of clinging or (3) fear of progressing. You can not say "what has to be done has been done". Reflect on that.

When I said drop the Jhana's I did not mean drop them forever, just stop clinging to them as this is your greatest hindrance on the path.

Warmly,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
Sorry Matthew, just before I had posted that response here I had sent an email to an archaeologist that I had camped out with for three weeks while doing a survey over the December/January holidays.  His name is Matthew as well, but he tends to go by 'Mat.'  But, I find it interesting that you demand I use certain names for you, but you are unwilling to refer to me with the name I use here for myself.  Is this an example of selective behavior?  I think so.  Why is that?

Anyway, the earliest literature of Buddhism, which is the Pali canon, clearly states in numerous places that jhana was most definitely the Buddha's definition of the 8th fold of his Noble Eightfold Path.  You will find it in any translation of the sutta-pitaka at DN-22.21.  Here is the quote below in translation with the Pali in-line:

The Buddha’s definition of the 8th fold of the Noble Eightfold Path
Maha-satipatthana Sutta (DN 22.22)
 (1st Jhana)
[22]"And what (Katamo ca) seekers of Buddhahood (Bhikkhus) is right absorption (sammàsamàdhi)? There is the case where (Idha) a seeker of Buddhahood (bhikkhave bhikkhu) is withdrawn (vivicceva) from sensuality (kàmehi), withdrawn from unwholesome mental states and beliefs (akusalehi dhammehi) with applied and sustained attention (savitakkaü savicàraü) resides (viharati) in the bliss, joy (pãtisukhaü) and clarity (upasampajja) of the first ecstasy (pañhamaü jhànaü).
Translated from the Pali by Jhananda 11-02-06
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/Phala_Nikaya/mahasatipatthanasutta.htm

Also, insight, which is a translation for the Sanskrit term 'vipassana' is never used in the sutta-pitaka in the sense of 'understanding,' as you are using it, nor in the sense of a meditation technique, as many Theravadans tend to use it.  It is generally used in the sense of the charism of intutitive, revelatory, insight that arises due to arriving at the ecstatic altered states of consciousness, which is what jhana is. 

The Buddha used the Sanskrit term 'phala' to refer to the various charisms that are the product of a successfully executed contemplative life.  He also referred to these fruit, or phala, as Samaññaphala, as in the Samaññaphala Sutta (DN 2), where the term 'vipassana' appears as one of the fruit.  He also referred to the charisms as 'superior fruit,' or 'mahapphalà' as in the Anapanasati Sutta (MN 118), translated below:

The Fruit (phala) of the Contemplative Life

Anapanasati Sutta (MN 118)
"In this community of monks there are aspirants who remain devoted to contemplation of in-and-out breathing (ànàpànasati). Contemplation of in-and-out breathing, when developed and pursued, can lead to superior fruit (mahapphalà), which is of great benefit. Contemplation of in-and-out breathing, when developed and pursued, brings the four paths of contemplation (satipatthana) to their culmination. The four paths of contemplation (satipatthana), when developed and pursued, bring the seven factors for awakening (bojjhanga) to their culmination. The seven factors for awakening, when developed and pursued, lead to the higher knowledge of liberation (vijjàvimuttiü).

Santi bhikkhave, bhikkhå imasmiü bhikkhusaïghe ànàpànasati1bhàvanànuyogamanuyuttà viharanti. ânàpànasati bhikkhave, bhàvità bahulãkatà mahapphalà hoti mahànisaüsà. ânàpànasati bhikkhave bhàvità bahulãkatà cattàro satipaññhàne paripåreti2 cattàro satipaññhànà bhàvità bahulãkatà satta bojjhaïge paripårenti satta bojjhaïgà bhàvità bahulãkatà vijjàvimuttiü paripårenti.

Translated from the Pali by Jhananda 11-02-06
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/phalanikaya/anapanasatisutta.htm

To presume that one can be 'attached' or 'addicted' or 'cling' to the ecstatic altered states of consciousness that are what 'jhana' is all about, is to not understand what jhana is.  I have found from daily saturation in all four jhanas for more than a decade now that, not only is one "withdrawn (vivicceva) from sensuality (kàmehi), withdrawn from unwholesome mental states and beliefs (akusalehi dhammehi)" (DN-22 above), but one has also "blinded ('andhamakàsi) Mara. Trackless (apadaü), he has destroyed Mara's vision (màracakkhuü) and has become invisible (adassanaü) to the Evil One (pàpimato)." (MN-26, below).

Ariyapariyesana Sutta (MN 26.28)
(1st Jhana)
"Suppose that a wild deer is living in a wilderness glen. Carefree it walks, carefree it stands, carefree it sits, carefree it lies down. Why is that? Because it has gone beyond the hunter's range. In the same way, a seeker of Buddhahood (bhikkhave bhikkhu) renounces (vivicceva) sensuality (kàmehi), renounces unwholesome mental states and beliefs (akusalehi dhammehi) with applied and sustained attention (savitakkaü savicàraü) and bliss and joy (pãtisukhaü) one resides (viharati) in the clarity (upasampajja) of the first ecstasy (pañhamaü jhànaü). This seeker of Buddhahood is said to have blinded ('andhamakàsi) Mara. Trackless (apadaü), he has destroyed Mara's vision (màracakkhuü) and has become invisible (adassanaü) to the Evil One (pàpimato).
Translated from the Pali by Jhananda
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/tipitaka/sutta/majjhima/mn026-tb0.html

Best regards, Jhananda

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2010, 08:58:07 AM »
Matthew, to not get that jhana is the fulfillment of the Noble Eightfold Path......

No, I have never stated that jhana is end of the contemplative life, .....

Make your mind up. It either is fulfilment of the path or it isn't. In this thread you stated it is then state you never made such claims.

It seems that your being challenged in the inconsistencies of what you say is problematic for you.

Sorry Matthew, just before I had posted that response here I had sent an email to an archaeologist that I had camped out with for three weeks while doing a survey over the December/January holidays.  His name is Matthew as well, but he tends to go by 'Mat.'  But, I find it interesting that you demand I use certain names for you, but you are unwilling to refer to me with the name I use here for myself.  Is this an example of selective behavior?  I think so.  Why is that?

No it is not. I regularly call you Jhananda and noticed others were addressing you as Jeffrey so also started on occasion using your familiar name. I have not noticed you complaining to those others - your behaviour is therefore an example of selective behaviour.

You will find wherever anyone has addressed me as "Matt" on this forum I have asked them to use my full name, so sorry Jhananda, BUT YOU ARE MISTAKEN - I ask no more or less of you than anyone else.

Warmly,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

unprevadedrapture

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2010, 09:05:47 PM »
maybe in this context:
Quote
The Blessed One said, "Monks, I will teach you noble right concentration with its supports and requisite conditions. Listen, and pay close attention. I will speak."

"Yes, lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said: "Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions.

"Of those, right view is the forerunner...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.117.than.html

kidnovice

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Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #46 on: April 29, 2010, 05:22:54 AM »
/
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Jhananda

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2010, 02:03:10 PM »

Renze

  • Member
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Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2010, 09:45:32 AM »
Hi Jhananda,

I'm glad to see you're still around!

Kind regards,

Renze

Jhananda

Re: Jhananda and Ecstatic Buddhism
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2010, 01:54:04 PM »
Thank-you Renze, for posting your kind support for my work.  However, too often when I express the insights and attainments of nearly 40 years of daily meditation brings out a lot of unpleasant reactions from those who feel their belief systems are being violated, so I tend to keep a low profile and just express myself with little debating.

 

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