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Meditation


————————————— MATERIAL JHANAS ————————————

Lv1: First Jhāna
The first jhana is to be attained by eliminating the factors to be abandoned and by developing the factors of possession. In the case of this first jhana the factors to be abandoned are the five hindrances; sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and doubt. The factors of possession are the five jhana factor; sapplied thought, sustained thought, rapture, happiness, and one-pointedness.
After attaining the first jhana a few times the meditator is not advised to set out immediately striving for the second jhana . This would be a foolish and profitless spiritual ambition. Before he is prepared to make the second jhana the object of his endeavor he must first bring the first jhana to perfection. If he is too eager to reach the second jhana before he has perfected the first he is likely to fail to gain the second jhana and find himself unable to regain the f irst. The Buddha compares such a meditator to a foolish cow who, while still unfamiliar with her own pasture, sets out for new pastures. He gets lost in the mountains without gaining food or drink and cannot find his way back home.
The per fecting of the first jhana involves two steps of procedure: the extension of the sign and the achievement of the five masteries. The extension of the sign (nimitta-va hana ) means extending the size of the object of jhana , that is, the size of the counterpart sign (paibhaganimitta). The meditator, before entering jhana , should mentally determine the boundar ies to which he wishes to extend the sign; then he should enter the jhana and try to bring the sign to reach those boundaries. Beginning with a small area, the size of one or two fingers, he gradually learns to broaden the sign until the mental image can be made to cover the world-sphere or even beyond.
Following this the meditator should try to acquire five kinds of mastery with respect to the first jhana. These five masteries (pañca vasiyo) are: mastery in adverting, mastery in attaining, mastery in resolving, mastery in emerging, and mastery in reviewing.
Mastery in adverting is the ability to advert to the jhana factors one by one after emerging from the first jhana; the meditator must be able to advert to these factors wherever he wants, whenever he wants, and for as long as he wants.
Mastery in attaining is the ability to enter upon jhana quickly.
Mastery in resolving is the ability to remain in the jhana for exactly the pre-determined length of time.
Mastery in emerging is the ability to emerge from the jhana quickly, without difficulty.
Mastery in reviewing is mastery in reviewing the jhana and its factors by means of retrospective knowledge (paccavekkhanañaa) immediately after adverting to them.
Before he can enter upon the practice for reaching the second jhana, the meditator must first become thoroughly familiar with the first jhana and perfect it through this five kinds of mastery. Then, after achieving such mastery, he enters the first jhana, emerges from it, and begins contemplating its defective features. These defects, are two: first the attainment is threatened by the nearness of the hindrances, and second, its factors are weakened by the grossness of applied and sustained thought. The former we might call the defect of proximate corruption, the latter the inherent defect. Though the first jhana is secluded from the hindrances, it is only a step removed from the non-jhanic consciousness and thus provides only a mild protection from the hindrances. If the meditator is not mindful his contacts with sense objects can incite the defilements and thereby bring the hindrances into activity once again. Pleasant objects tend to stimulate the hindrance of desire, unpleasant ones to stimulate ill will, all five hindrances tend to break out from the deep flow of the subconscious held in check only by the rudimentary force of concentration found in the first jhana. To ensure himself of further protection from the hindrances the meditator realizes that a deeper level of absorption would be helpful. Thus he aspires to reach the second jhana which is at a further remove from the hindrances.

Lv2: Second Jhāna
The first jhana is to be attained by eliminating the two initial factors of the first jhana; applied thought (vitakka) and sustained thought (vicara), and by developing the three remaining jhana factors; rapture (piti), happiness (sukha), and one-pointedness (ekaggata). Hence the for mula begins “with the subsiding of applied thought and sustained thought”, and then goes into the jhana’s good endowments.
The inherent defect of the first jhana is its inclusion of vitakka and vicara. When striving for the first jhana these appeared to the meditator to be helpers in the struggle against the hindrances, vitakka directing the mind onto the object, vicara anchoring it there preventing it from drifting away. But after mastering the first jhana the meditator comes to see that vitakka and vicara are relatively gross. They are gross in themselves, and also by reason of their grossness, they weaken the other factors. The rapture, happiness, and one-pointedness associated with applied and sustained thought, he sees, are not as powerful and peaceful as they would be if they were freed from applied and sustained thought. Hence he regards vitakka and vicara as impediments needing to be eliminated. What the meditator previously perceived as subtle and actual subsequently appears to him to be gross and harmful. Then he eliminates it by attaining a higher jhana.
The meditator thus comprehends that in spite of his mastery of the first jhana, his progress is not fully satisfactory; the first jhana, the cherished object of his early striving, itself turns out to be defective, corrupted by the proximity of the hindrances and by the g rossness of its factors. He then calls to mind his theoretical knowledge of the second jhana. He reflects that the second jhana is free from vitakka and vicara, that it is therefore more tranquil, subtle, and sublime than the first jhana. While vitakka and vicara appear gross, rapture, happiness, and one-pointedness appear peaceful. By so ref lecting the meditator ends his attachment to the first jhana and engages in renewed striving with the aim of reaching the second jhana.
The meditator applies his mind to his meditation subject a repeatedly concentrating on it with the intention of overcoming applied thought and sustained thought. When his practice is sufficiently matured the second jhana arises equipped with its three factors__rapture, happiness, and one-pointedness.
Because the second jhana is free from vitakka and vicara it is called the “noble silence.” Once when the Venerable Moggallana was meditating in seclusion he wondered “What is it that we call ‘noble silence’ (ariyo tunhibhavo)?” Then it occured to him: When with the subsiding of applied thought and sustained thought a bhikkhu enters and abides in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without applied thought and sustained thought, and is filled with rapture and happiness born of concentration, then this is what we call noble silence.
Vitakka and vicara are as we saw, conditions causing vocal activity (vacisa khara). As the Culavedalla Sutta says: “Having first had applied thought and sustained thought one subsequently breaks out into speech; therefore applied and sustained thought are activity of speech.” When vitakka and vicara, the springs of verbal activity, come to a stop inner mental verbalization also comes to a stop, replaced by a profound inward silence of the mind. Since this stilling of vitakka and vicara occurs at the level of the second jhana, the jhana acquires the name “noble silence.”

Lv3: Third Jhāna
To attain the third jhana the meditator must apply the same method he used to ascend from the first to the second. He must first master the second jhana in the five ways already described. Then he must enter it, emerge from it and ref lect upon its defects. When he does so he sees that this attainment is threatened by the two f laws, the defect of proximate cor ruption and the inherent defect. The defect of proximate corr uption is the nearness of applied and sustained thought. If these should arise they will disr upt the serenity and power ful concentration of the second jhana and bring the mind back down to the first jhana or to lower states of consciousness. The inherent defect is the presence of rapture (piti), a relatively gross factor which weakens the other jhana factors remaining in the mind.
Since the meditator finds that the second jhana is insecure and corrupted by rapture, he cultivates an attitude of indifference towards it. With mindfulness and awareness he contemplates the defectiveness of rapture, and intensif ies his attention to happiness (sukha) and one-pointedness (ekaggata), considering them as more peaceful and sublime. Putting away attachment to the second jhana, he focusses his mind on gaining the third jhana, which appears superior for the reason that it possesses happiness and mental unif ication free from the disturbing inf luence of rapture. He again renews concentration on his meditation object with the aim of abandoning rapture and ascending to the higher jhana. When his practice matures, he attains the third jhana with its factors of happiness and one-pointedness. The third jhana carries this progressive refinement of consciousness a step further, eliminating rapture. It retains happiness and one-pointedness, which are now purer and more powerful because free from admixture with the gross rapture.

Lv4: Fourth Jhāna
Having achieved the fivefold mastery over the third jhana, the meditator enters it, emerges from it, and reviews its constituting factors. When he reviews the factors the meditator sees that the attainment is threatened by the nearness of rapture (piti); this is the fault of proximate corruption. The inherent defect is the presence of happiness (sukha), which he sees to be a relatively gross factor that weakens the entire attainment. As he reflects equanimous feeling and one-pointedness appear more subtle, peaceful, and secure, and thus more desirable. Because of their proximity, happiness in the third jhana is threatened by the possibility of a rearising of rapture. Rapture was suppressed with the attainment of the third jhana, but threatens to swell up again due to its natural association with happiness. Therefore if the meditator is not mindful his meditation can fall back to a lower level conjoined with rapture. The attainment of the fourth jhana appears valuable as a protection from such a fall. It is also desired because of its more profound peacefulness and subtlety, stemming from its factors of equanimous feeling and one-pointedness of mind. Then, taking as his object the same counterpart sign he took for the earlier attainments, the meditator repeats his concentration with the purpose of abandoning the gross factor of happiness and attaining the higher jhana. When his practice matures the mind enters upon the thought-process culminating in absorption of the fourth.

—————————————- IMMATERIAL JHANAS ————————————

Lv5: Unbounded Space
The “unbounded space” which the meditator becomes aware of is the space left by the removal of the object after the latter has been extended boundlessly. The space is called The Base of Boundless Space because neither a beginning boundary nor a terminal boundary can be perceived for it. The meditator enters upon and dwells in the base of boundless space in the sense that after reaching that attainment he abides in the jhana which has the base of boundless space as its object.

Lv6: The Base of Boundless Consciousness
To attain the second immaterial jhana the monk must gain mastery over the base consisting of boundless space; then he must discer n its defects. The first immaterial state is defective, firstly, because it is still close to the fine material jhanas, and secondly, because it is not as peaceful as the base consisting of boundless consciousness. By reflecting on these defects he develops indifference to the attainment and turns his attention to the base of boundless consciousness.
To develop the second aruppa the meditator focuses upon the consciousness that occurred pervading the boundless space of the first aruppa.
In other words, the second aruppa has as its object the consciousness per taining to the first aruppa. Since the object of the first aruppa, space, was boundless, the consciousness of this object also contained an aspect of boundlessness, and it is to this boundless consciousness that the aspirant for the second aruppa should advert. He is not to attend to it merely as boundless, but as “boundless consciousness” or simply as “consciousness.” As he does so the hindrances are suppressed and the mind enters access concentration. He continues to cultivate this sign again and again, until the consciousness belonging to the base of boundless consciousness arises in absorption. The cognitive series should be understood as in the previous attainment, with the appropriate changes made to fit the case.

Lv7: The Base of Nothingness
the meditator who has mastered the base of boundless consciousness must contemplate its defects in the same twofold manner and advert to the superior peacefulness of the base of nothingness. Without giving any more attention to the base of boundless consciousness, he should “give attention to the present non-existence, voidness, secluded aspect of that same past consciousness belonging to the base consisting of boundless space” (Vism. 333; PP.362). In other words, the meditator is to focus upon the present absence or non-existence of the consciousness belonging to the base of boundless space, adverting to it over and over thus: “There is not, there is not” or “void, void”. When his efforts fructify there arises in absorption a consciousness belonging to the base of nothingness, with the non-existence of the consciousness of boundless space as its object. Whereas the second immaterial state relates to the consciousness of boundless space positively, by focusing upon the content of that consciousness and appropriating its boundlessness, the third immaterial state relates to it negatively, by excluding that consciousness from awareness and making the absence or present non-existence of that consciousness its object.

Lv8: The Base of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception
The fourth immaterial jhana, the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, is reached through the same preliminary procedure. The meditator can also reflect upon the unsatisfactoriness of perception, thinking: “Perception is a disease, perception is a boil, perception is a dart… this is peaceful, this is sublime, that is to say, neither-perception-nor-non-perception” (M.ii,231). In this way he ends his attachment to the base of nothingness and strengthens his resolve to attain the next higher stage. He then adverts to the four mental aggregates that constitute the attainment of the base of nothingness — its feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness — contemplating them as “peaceful, peaceful,” reviewing that base and striking at it with applied and sustained thought. As he does so the hindrances are suppressed, the mind passes through access and enters the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.
This jhana receives its name because, on the one hand, it lacks gross perception with its function of clearly discerning objects, and thus cannot be said to have perception; on the other, it retains a very subtle perception, and thus cannot be said to be without perception. Because all the mental functions are here reduced to the finest and most subtle level, this jhana is also named the attainment with residual formations. At this level the mind has reached the highest possible development in the direction of pure serenity. It has attained the most intense degree of concentration, becoming so refined that consciousness can no longer be described in terms of existence or non-existence. Yet even this attainment, from the Buddhist point of view, is still a mundane state which must finally give way to insight that alone leads to true liberation.

———————————————– SUPRAMUNDANE JHANAS ———————————————

Lv9: Sannavedayitanirodha
“cessation of feelings and perceptions”.

Lv10: Nibbana
“cessation of becoming”.

5 Responses to “Meditation”

  1. andy said

    Please reply to my email as soon as possible. i need a few important help and need you to figure out these few important steps and not just the breathing exercise but about my issues that i should drop and the way to drop it . thanx

    • Sorry, I can’t. I am meditating these days.

      • andy said

        is it good to do sigil magick to make my mind always positive, to heal my psychezophrenia?

      • andy said

        i feel bad killing bugs becuse they have bothered me and i dont really mean it and would it be bad karma for me? and im afirad in other lives they would try to kill me and can you please answer on this issues? thanks

  2. Yea. Its, ok.

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