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non-traditional ideas about jhana


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#1 RobertK

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 12:43 PM

http://www.geocities...74/jhanantp.htm
QUOTE
Ayya Khema taught a level of absorption that at least some of her students could learn in a 10 day meditation retreat. Although the depth of concentration is not terribly strong in the first three Jhanas, she did want her students to be absorbed enough in the fourth Jhana that sounds stopped being heard, or at least seemed noticably muffled. Ayya taught using the breath, Metta, and "sweeping" as access methods. She took The Graduated Training as her guide for what to do with the Jhanas: "With one's mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, one directs and inclines it to knowledge and vision" of things as they are.
Leigh Brasington, a student of Ayya Khema, teaches in her style, but wants a bit more absortion in the first Jhana than Ayya wanted, and is willing to accept less absorption in the fourth Jhana.


#2 mike

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 02:19 PM

Hi Robert,

Do you suppose the "jhanas" taught by these two folks are the same as those taught in the vihaaras of the the sangha in the Buddha's day? How do you suppose one could make that determination before submitting to the indoctrination? It seems very risky to me, considering the possibility of arousing and reinforcing wrong view among other unwholesome factors.

mike

#3 RobertK

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 02:44 PM

Hi Mike
I consider the 'jhanas' mentioned above to be simply wrong estimation, not jhana.
Rob

#4 Guest_Scott_*

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 11:13 AM

Dear Mike and Robert,

Speaking only of views and not 'persons', I encountered someone, during the early months when I was finding my bearings within Buddhism, who was a jhaana practitioner and teacher of sorts and who proposed to show me how to engage in the jhaanas. This person, perhaps well-intentioned, was influenced by these two teachers, Leigh Brasington in particular, and would quote him.

QUOTE
...Leigh Brasington, a student of Ayya Khema, teaches in her style, but wants a bit more absorption in the first Jhana than Ayya wanted, and is willing to accept less absorption in the fourth Jhana.


This sort of attitude was what gave me pause. One would think here that jhaana was a matter of taking ingredients and combining them with total control over them, as one would following a recipe, and that one can concoct different flavours of jhaana according to one's tastes. Is it possible for one to titrate, by will, the amounts of the various jhaana factors to the extent that one can regulate the amount of absorption one achieves? Is it possible to control 'absorption' as if it were connected to a volume knob?

A most helpful thing was told me, prior to my breaking with that person mentioned above, and this was given as almost an aside, with the same sort of attitude as above. It was suggested that, prior to practising to attain jhaana, one ought to be able to be mindful all or most of the time during one's waking hours, as some sort of preparation. It is likely, given my great lack of experience, that I misunderstood the instructions, but I nonetheless was able to discern that here, what was being asked, was such a great task that I could never be ready to actually sit for jhaana. I figured that if sati could be treated as a state one could learn to have with practise, then the whole enterprise was out of kilter due to the same view; sati does not respond to will - this is self-view. While the development of sati is possible and desirable, it is sati which develops, not someone who develops sati.

Sincerely,

Scott.

#5 Jimmy

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:49 PM

Firstly, the replies to the subject of the jhanas by some of the people here are absurd laugh.gif blink.gif huh.gif and show they have never experienced them. I have been teaching the jhanas for over 8 years now, not just as a dharma teacher but also as a counselor (CADC II) in the addictions field. I work with drug, alcohol, gambling addictions. For those of you who think they are hard to enter and manintain; I teach the jhanas to people just coming into sobriety and 4 out of 10 people in a group of 12 can go into the 1 st jhana within 2 weeks just sitting 30 minutes a day. Im talking Jhana, here because im guiding them into it without them knowing anything about jhana.
Whatever you might speculate or think about the jhanas means nothing. They are experiential and objective states of consciousness mentioned in over 32 suttas of the Tripitaka.
In fact the Buddha never teaches meditation without mentioning them. As they are objective states of consciousness, a teacher can recognize when a student enters them simply by leading them through exercises without ever telling them what to expect. So that means that, for example, in the 4th jhana everyone (atheist or any culture) experiences the feeling of falling continuously. Though this may very, meaning that some experience falling backward, some forward, they all experience falling. The experiences of each level of jhana is dependent upon the level of access concentration that one develops during the day through there mindfulness practice. This technology is not widely known in the US because of the influence of certain dharma teachers who were influenced by the teachings of U Ba Khin and S.N. Goenka.
The most prevalent form of Theravadan Buddhism known in the United States has primarily come down from the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition in Burma. Mahasi Sayadaw’s teaching influenced Westerners who studied with him such as Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg. The Sayadaws teachings also influenced a government civil servant of Burma named U Ba Khin who emphasized a method of meditation that involves scanning the body repeatedly and observing sensations. He called his method Vipassana and taught that it was the most definitive form of insight practice. That it alone would be sufficient to remove all karmic obscurations. This opinion held by U Ba Khin would be passed on many other meditation teachers and would come to greatly influence the thinking of westerners who would bring his Vipassana method back to the United States. Western students however would fail to take into account the Buddha’s many teachings on Samatha Vipassana within the suttas themselves and so be teaching a very different variation on Vipassana. A Vipassana that does not involve the stabilizing of ones mind within the jhanas as a prerequisite. In fact proponents of this method, such as S.N. Goenka would even go so far as to say that the Jhana’s were dangerous. In my understanding of the suttas. Vipassana means insight, it does not mean body scanning method. It is an insight that comes from using Samatha the silence of the mind (Jhana-which are 8 levels of silence my friends) as a platform or catalyst from which to meditate upon phenomena.
This style of teaching insight meditation without establishing Samatha first was recorded in the Vishuddhi Magga (commentaries) as a "dry insight" (non-Jhanic) tradition (Vishudhimagga), as opposed to the “wet insight” which includes Jhana meditation. Thus the Jhanas are seldom mentioned, let alone taught, in modern Western Theravadan Buddhist teaching due to the strong influence of Mahasi Sayadaw and U Bha Khin. As a result, westerners now studying Theravada Buddhism assume that Vipassana means the body scanning method.
So the Jhanas are a lost art. However if you enter them with a skilled teacher you would never say, “Do you suppose the "jhanas" taught by these two folks are the same as those taught in the viharas of the the sangha in the Buddha's day? How do you suppose one could make that determination before submitting to the indoctrination? It seems very risky to me, considering the possibility of arousing and reinforcing wrong view among other unwholesome factors”. You would know through the direct gnosis the application of the dharmas. It is a dramatic difference between going into the Jhanas first and then using the jhanic states to meditate or contemplate ones karma (or do body scan for that matter); and the old way of meditating which is just sitting and watching the breath and then scanning your body. You would know that it is impossible to enter Sunyata without them. You would stop asking such intellectual questions because they show your lack of seriousness in practice and investigation of states. First experiement with them, then decide whether or not they will delude you with bliss.
The Jhanas are one of the most misunderstood buddhist teachings today along with the siddhis. I have heard so many dharma teachers critisize siddhis. So one day I confronted one in private meeting and asked him if he actually knew any prescriptions for such siddhis? He said no. So hes critisizing something hes never experienced and thus knows nothing about. Did Buddha do this??

#6 Wolfgang

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:55 PM

Hi Jimmy,

I appreciate you bringing in this interesting perspective that 4 out of 10 meditators would experience Jhana. However, would you be so kind and describe what Jhana experientally means to you? And most interesting, what further on effect such Jhanas bring to formerly addicted? Any 3th party references?

Because that simply isn't my experience, but I can totally agree that Jhanas are misunderstood so often these days to claim superiority to one's personal meditation teaching approach ;-). Though you think otherwise, and out of this assumptions don't agree with - there are some with many decades of experience on practicing the noble 8-fold path in an integral way here. And you don't have the exclusive rights on meditation experiences alone. It its so simplistic if you would think you're the one who is right because only you talk out of experience, therefore all others must be wrong.

May I ask you who have been your Meditation teachers? It can't be Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw, not S.N.Goenka. Because if you seriously did practice with these traditions you wouldn't think Jhanas are assumed dangerous, for example by Goenka. They are taught, especially in longer courses there. But even in ordinary 10-day courses they aren't discouraged.

And this put your criticism in a really bad light, though I would appreciate a real inquiry in these matters. But if you make them out of wrong preconceptions, it's useless to everyone.

hope you could clarify, kind regards..

#7 Jimmy

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 10:18 PM

[quote name='Wolfgang' date='Feb 20 2008, 12:55 PM' post='1241']
"Hi Jimmy,

I appreciate you bringing in this interesting perspective that 4 out of 10 meditators would experience Jhana. However, would you be so kind and describe what Jhana experientally means to you? "


Before I go any further Wolfgang, I realize your from Austria, Do you understand what the word experiential means?? Do you understand what you are saying/ asking with the last question?

Please tell me what it means to you.

#8 Wolfgang

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:12 PM


Hi Jimmy,

experiential, to correct my typo, means for me how an individual experiences pheno- and noumena. Others would might want to emphasis that it only means direct- (understood as bodily-) experience, however I consider that much too narrow, since especially in meditation, but for example also in experiential- and process- oriented psychotherapy or philosophy, one can learn to 'experience' the thought-process from an existential perspective too.

Loosing any perspective towards experience, for example loosing this perspective towards the thought, 'I am ..' and identifying with the capital 'I', even though possibly experienced as haven just arisen and passed in a particular thought as a representation for a much wider experience - in other words, taking and talking as if the pointers (with all it's implied associations) would be what they are pointing at - one wouldn't speak from the experiential but conceptual point of view.

So when I ask you to describe Jhanas experientially, I ask you what and how you experience it - and what you think you experienced declared as such.

For example, when you said Goenka would warn from Jhanas, that is what you thought about it without being declared as such, and been given the appearance of a fact. Unless it originates from a experience you just forgot to mention.
While I spoke from my experience of speaking to the teachers of Goenka at different occasions about different noumena arising out of practicing meditation, like a bright light with closed eyes or overwhelming joy due to hindrances disappearing, and they invariably answered in essence: 'don't try to force anything, just let it happen naturally.'


When I ask you for a reference for your claim, that 4 out of 10 formerly addicted meditators would experience Jhana - let my clarify again - I would want that reverence to include also long term effects of these Jhanas to this group of meditators.

Because the outcome of 'start again' - a drug therapy institution in Zurich, where they use 30 minutes of Anapana daily, in the long term is as successful or unsuccessful in keeping formerly addicted away from drugs as any other stationary drug therapy around here.

So if your work with this group of meditators would have been really more successful in the long term, and you documented it well, I'm sure there are few institutions who would gladly implement your meditation approach for the benefit of their clients.

But would be useless if this claim couldn't be verified through lack of documentation, and therefore you would make yourself vulnerable to the accusation, that through your negligence in approaching this issue, you would use such claims only to assert your superiority in teaching meditation. And not out of compassion for a much wider clientel.

I repeat my question: Whom are you teachers in meditation?

Or do you need to know first what I mean by that? - And you can avoid for a long time to give any clear answers?

Please let me assure you also, that despite me making wild assumptions about your intentions out of lack of further evidence, even if you couldn't provide credibility, that doesn't mean I question you as a private person at all. And wouldn't want you to explore meditation in any other way than it has been meaningful to you, experiential or not.

kind regards..


#9 RobertK

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:58 AM

from scott
http://groups.yahoo....p/message/99175
The Inconvenient truth - Renunciation


Dear Dan,

Regarding:

D: "Just a few brief comments..."

Scott: I'd hate to see lengthy comments. ;-) Well, see below for that, I guess.

D: "...I'd caution against outright denial (and the associated scorn) of
someone's jhana claims by citing some vague generalities..."

Scott: I'd caution people to keep their jhaana claims to themselves - to each
his own, eh?

D: "'uncontrollability of dhammaa'?! This sounds more like fatalism than
Dhamma..."

Scott: You've read here long enough to know the drill, I suppose. No further
commment on this, Dan, asked and answered, as they say.

D: "In a striking contrast, Buddha says, "Manopubbangama dhamma; manosettha,
manomaya." Mind precedes all dhamma. Mind is their chief; they are all
mind-wrought. [Dhp 1:1]"

Scott: I appreciate the textual material. I think you misunderstand 'mind.'
Here (a couple of translations, the Paa.li):

Dhammapada 1-2:

1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all
mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering
follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all
mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness
follows him like his never-departing shadow. (Ven. Buddharakkhita)

1. Mind is the forerunner of (all evil) states. Mind is chief;
mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with wicked mind, because of
that, suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoof of the
draught-ox.

2. Mind is the forerunner of (all good) states. Mind is chief;
mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with pure mind, because of
that, happiness follows one, even as one's shadow that never leaves.
(Ven. Naarada)

1. Manopubba"ngamaa dhammaa, - manose.t.thaa manomayaa,
Manasaa ce padu.t.thena - bhaasati vaa karoti vaa,
Tato na.m dukkham-anveti - cakka.m va vahato pada.m.

2. Manopubba"ngamaa dhammaa, - manose.t.thaa manomayaa,
Manasaa ce pasannena - bhaasati vaa karoti vaa,
Tato na.m sukham-anveti - chaayaa va anapaayinii.

Scott: There is also AN 1 (6):

"Monks, whatsoever states are unwholesome, partake of the unwholesome,
pertain to the unwholesome - all these have the mind as their
forerunner. Mind arises as the first of them, followed by unwholesome
states.

"Monks, whatsoever states are wholesome, partake of the wholesome,
pertain to the wholesome - all these have the mind as their
forerunner. Mind arises as the first of them, followed by wholesome
states..."

1. 6. 6.
Ye keci bhikkhave dhammaa akusalaa akusalabhaagiyaa akusalapakkhikaa,
sabbe te manopubba"ngamaa. Mano tesa.m dhammaana.m pa.thama.m
uppajjati, anvadeva akusalaa dhammaati.

1. 6. 7.
Ye keci bhikkhave dhammaa kusalaa kusalabhaagiyaa kusalapakkhikaa,
sabbe te manopubba"ngamaa. Mano tesa.m dhammaana.m pa.thama.m
uppajjati, anvadeva kusalaa dhammaati.

Scott: Atthasaalinii (pp. 162, 185-186) clarifies:

"Mind (mano) is minding, that is, it discerns (cognizes). But the authors of
the Commentary say: like measuring by the naa.li or balancing by a great weight,
mind knows the object. It exercises governance (over associated states) by the
characteristic of measuring, hence it is a controlling faculty, giving the
compound 'mind-faculty.' It is just a synonym for consciousness (citta)
mentioned above."

"...In the exposition of consciousness, 'consciousness' (citta) is so called
because of its variegated (citta) nature. 'Mind' (mano) is so called because it
knows the measure of an object. 'Mental action' (maanasa) is just
'mind'...maanasa (sense impression) is [an adjunct of] mano...'Mind as an organ
of mind' - here as [an act of grasping] 'mind' (mano) is declared to be a
sense-organ (aayatana)...Vi~n~naa.na is cognizing. Vi~n~naa.na-khandha is
consciousness as an aggregate

Let's see how this jives with the following views you posit:

D: "Dhammas are a product of mind, and the mind controls them. Granted, dhammas
don't seem to ever do what 'we' want them to, but that's due to a lack of
training and a clinging to the 'we' and the 'want' rather than inherent
uncontrollability of dhammas. 'Anatta' does not mean 'no control', but the
'anatta = no control' formulation can be a useful check on gross clingings to
the illusion of Self."

Scott: This is inaccurate I think, Dan. I'd advise you check on the meanings of
'dhamma'. In the above, 'mano' is the Paa.li for 'mind' (see Atthasaalinii,
above). Mind *is* dhammaa - cittaa, cetasikaa, and I think that 'mano' refers
to the function of 'mind' (citta, cetasika). It makes no sense when you assert
that 'dhammas are a product of mind'. In the phrase 'the mind controls them' to
what do you refer when you refer to 'mind'? Consciousness (citta) and mental
factors (cetasika) have their own characteristics and functions - there is no
uber-controller. And who is it who uses 'the anatta = no control' formulation'
as 'a useful check'?

In the phrase 'due to a lack of training', can you clarify that which 'lacks
training' and that which 'trains'? As I understand it, the development of
dhammaa proceeds by conditions. The characteristic of anatta is
uncontrollability.

Dan: "It is true that no one can attain jhana while harboring the notion of a
Self that can be trained to control dhammas, it is also true that such harboring
is subject to rise and fall."

Scott: Please explain this, if you would, Dan. I'd have thought that all the
jhaana attainers during the Buddha's time were doing just fine in that regard,
for instance - no doubt fully imbued with Self. Remember, I'm making the point
that jhaana attainment does not come easily in this day and age - not that it
isn't what it is. As I've noted, jhaana is real. I doubt many have the
requisite accumulations to do it today. This is the commentarial position, as I
understand it. This is what I'm suggesting, the corollary of which is: If it
can't be done, focus on something that can - and quit fooling yourselves.

D: 'And then: 'what the jhaana advocates write about jhaana as experience and it
is often incoherent, inconsistent, contradictory, sensationalistic,
quasi-mystical, and doesn't conform with the texts I read.' It doesn't matter.
Language is a funny thing. The dhammas/experiences are one thing, and putting
together the descriptions is quite another..."

Scott: I've not been clear, I'm afraid. I'm not speaking of the inability to
describe jhaana in words. I'm talking about how jhaana advocates talk about all
sorts of 'insights', thoughts, visions and such , experienced purportedly
*during* jhaana when it is clear that jhaana is consciousness that does not
partake of the five senses at all and that none of the stuff they are talking
about has anything to do with jhaana.

D: "Even very brief moments of understanding are packed with meaning and so
startling different from the everyday thinking about things that the language
someone uses to describe them will often sound incoherent, inconsistent,
contradictory, etc. Making it especially difficult is that the moments can pass
so quickly, while the descriptions--encumbered by a slow, clumsy process of
concept-construction--muddle their way along, never quite hitting the target and
sometimes even seeming to be a mile off. Usually, incoherent, inconsistent,
contradictory, sensationalistic language is a sign of a muddled thinking, but
sometimes it might just be: (i) an inartful description of true understanding,
or (ii) your own misunderstanding of the words they use. The laws of chance
dictate that the quick judgment: 'Muddled Thinking!' will usually be right, but
'usually right' is not a good enough excuse to cultivate ditthi."

Scott: I doubt it, Dan. Here it seems you are talking about thinking only. I
don't buy the theory you propose. Anyway, it seems to refer to 'understanding'
and I thought we were talking about 'jhaana.' I think you mean 'brief moments
of understanding' to mean something other than the function of pa~n~naa. The
object of jhaana-citta is its only focus. None of the other will be going on
during jhaana.

Anyway, this was not brief. I think I get where you are coming from. I guess
your reply will tell, and we will likely have to agree to disagree - I've read
your stuff before. This is more of the same... :-)

Sincerely,

Scott.


#10 RobertK

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 06:17 AM


http://groups.yahoo....p/message/99053
dsg] Re: The Inconvinient truth - Renunciation


Hi Alex,

--------
> So do you try to tell me that you can equally well develop
satipatthana at marketplace or strip club as you would be able to do in
physical seclusion?
--------

Yes, no doubt about it! Wherever you are right now is the best place
for satipatthana development. In fact, it is the only place.

It is the only place because any idea of continued existence (which
would be necessary for reaching another place) would be contrary to
satipatthana.

--------------------
A: > What about access concentration? Can it equally well be developed
for beginners at a mall or strip club Vs in a physical retreat?
--------------------

That depends on how you define the 'beginner' who wants to take the next
step towards jhana. It could be (1) someone who knows with certainty
whether the present citta is kusala or akusala. Or it could be (2)
someone who does not yet have any such highly developed knowledge.

In case (1) further development would require seclusion. In case (2)
just the present situation is sufficient.

-------------------------------
A: > What about Jhana? Can it equally well be developed for beginners at
a mall or strip club Vs a physical retreat?
-------------------------------

My answer would be the same as for access concentration because (correct
me if I am wrong) I have always thought it was a stage of jhana
development. (?)

Ken H



#11 RobertK

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:37 PM

from dhammawheel
Brain correlates....
by Myotai » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:08 am

Just listened to Leigh Brasington talk about Jhanas - "Focus and Freedom" - he often spoke of brain chemistry in terms of Jhanic states.....always makes me feel uncomfortable. If what the Buddha taught can be reduced to chemical changes in the brain, why not just develop a Jhana pill?
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#12 Johann (Hanzze)

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:31 AM


From "Beyond the Stream of the World" by Phra Acariya Thoon Khippapanno


Wrong Samádhi Causes Unwitting Deviations

To practice concentration without correct understanding may lead to wrong concentration, from which the person develops abnormal perceptions, the so-called vipassanupakkilesa. You may have heard that samádhi can cause mental abnormality. When it happens, all perceptions arising from the wrong samádhi are abnormal. This is the case when the practice is without wisdom, bringing about misunderstanding in the mind.

I would like to give three suggestions to prevent such abnormality:

1 Samadhi practice according to the Noble Path must always be based on Right View (sammaditthi). After each concentration exercise one must always use wisdom to contemplate things to know and see the truth about them. If during the practice you should perceive any new knowledge, do not believe it right away, for it may be merely tricks of defilements to delude the mind. There must always be wisdom in the practice.

2 For those who do not yet have wisdom as in the Noble Path, I would suggest that they not aim at the enlightenment of the Truth, Nibbána, while practicing samádhi. They should not wish to employ samádhi as the means to eradicate suffering. But they should simply practice samádhi by fixing their minds on certain parikamma words, knowing that nay calmness and happiness of the mind are the consequence of the still mind in samádhi, as happening with hermits. In this way mental abnormality will not occur.

3 Some people practice samádhi without wisdom as in the Noble Path, but with very strong intention and determination, and with firm belief that they will become enlightened in the Truth and reach the final Goal, Nibbána, in this life. They then practice samádhi with perseverance while walking and sitting with no time for wisdom to develop at all. They think that they can force defilements, desires and ignorance out of their minds by practicing mindfulness and concentration seriously. The mind without wisdom as mentioned will be deluded by defilements and compounded thoughts. The delusions may appear as sights, sounds, or smells. Or they may be new knowledge that arises very clearly in the mind. In that situation the unwise mind believes what it perceives wholeheartedly, and the formation of defilement continues. First there are some right things mixed with the wrong knowledge, but later on there are only wrong views. The mind is full of wrong knowledge and wrong views and deviates from the line of truth easily.

In some cases knowledge arises clearly from the calm mind in samádhi to answer all Dhamma questions in the mind. The response seems so real as if Dhamma arose in one’s mind. One then thinks that one is a wise and well-rounded man of Dhamma. One believes firmly and confidently that it is the knowledge of the Noble Truth. When the mind questions about the Dhamma of sotápanna, Sakadagami, Anagami or arahant (the four stages of Buddhist Nobles or holiness), one gets clear answers in the mind. At this stage, one thinks that he has attained such and such level of holiness. So, he appears in public and preaches daringly and shamelessly and answers Dhamma questions according to his own understanding without knowing about his departure from the right path. Even though some wise men try to give him advice, he does not accept it at all.

The deviant practice described above is due to Wrong View in the beginning. It happens to the person who has focused on concentration only and has paid no attention to wisdom development based on Right View. No matter how much he wishes to become enlightened in the Truth or how persistently he practices samádhi hoping to get rid of defilements and to reach Nibbána, he can never attain the Noble Attainments (ariya) in Buddhism merely be practicing concentration. If anyone wants to argue on this point, can you think of an example of a person who killed defilements, desires and ignorance with samádhi alone?

In the time of the Lord Buddha, He sent His disciples to teach the world about the Truth. He had given them the best tool for teaching, the Noble Eightfold Path. It starts with Right View as the important principle to assure that Dhamma students become wise all around in the principles of the Truth and its causal factors, able to understand the truth about the body and mind and to analyze them as they really are. Wisdom based on right View is in fact the basis for the establishment and the existence of Buddhism. It is the foundation of Dhamma practice directing toward the fruitions of the Noble Path, Nibbána.



#13 Johann (Hanzze)

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:36 AM

from dhammawheel
Brain correlates....
by Myotai » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:08 am

Just listened to Leigh Brasington talk about Jhanas - "Focus and Freedom" - he often spoke of brain chemistry in terms of Jhanic states.....always makes me feel uncomfortable. If what the Buddha taught can be reduced to chemical changes in the brain, why not just develop a Jhana pill?
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I had to remember this:

from "Selves & Not-self"

...
In the first noble truth, the Buddha identifies suffering with the five clinging-aggregates. Notice that the aggregates themselves are not suffering. The mind suffers because it clings to them. As I've already mentioned, clinging is also similar to the process of feeding. We keep doing something again and again — that's the clinging — as a means of finding happiness: That's the feeding.

A good example of this is an experiment some neurobiologists once did with mice. They located the pleasure center in each mouse's brain and planted a little electrode in there. When the mice pushed their heads against a little bar, the bar would give a mild electric stimulation to the pleasure center. They got so addicted to pressing their heads against the bar — doing it again and again and again — that they forgot to eat and they died. They were "feeding" on a pleasure that was very immediate and intense, but provided no nourishment. That's why they died.

The same principle applies to the human mind. We usually feed on the aggregates in a way that provides no real nourishment, and so our goodness dies.

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#14 RobertK

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:44 AM

From "Beyond the Stream of the World" by Phra Acariya Thoon Khippapanno

 

nice!



#15 Johann (Hanzze)

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 12:56 PM

Indeed, anyhow it gives me some troubles this time. Ven. Bhante Mettiko had transated it into German from the Thai version and the work (even the general content is the same) is very different. So if anybody knows where this English translation is coming from, it would be a great help. Of course one need to know Thai as well and knows the original to be able to go into detail.

dhammatalks.net is a really nice place, put you can burn you fingers like hell.

I already put a request/hint in direction of Ven. Bhante Mettiko, but generally I had not often any replays if it is about any request.

Edited by Johann (Hanzze), 24 November 2013 - 12:57 PM.