Fourth Jhana vs. Silent Illumination

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guo gu
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Re: Fourth Jhana vs. Silent Illumination

Post by guo gu » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:29 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:13 am
Samadhi is ‘rapture’, right? Yogis enter states where their metabolic activities slow down and they appear to be non-conscious. I read that one reason that yogis sit in the lotus posture, is that in this position the body stays immobile even if the yogi falls into a trance state. (Actually there was a macabre story years ago in Sydney that a person had taken a poison and then died in the lotus position in a public park and it took some time for it to be noticed that he had actually died.). Those kinds of trance states were not particular to Buddhism, as the above sources indicate. So I would have thought references to states of ‘neither perception nor non-perception’ refer to these kinds of trance states, do they not?

There’s another question I have, which is the sense in which such states are ‘experienced’. I mean, part of ‘having an experience’ is being conscious of your experience. Like when you’re doing mundane activities, like swimming or ski-ing or whatever, you’re very much aware of the experience. But if you were to enter into these states (not that I ever have or am likely to) then I would have thought part of that would be the absence of awareness of being in a particular state. I had thought that was one of the reasons why in Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind you’re told not to seek any special state.
wayfarer,
there are many samadhi states... shallower ones feel like rapture, which is really the beginning of the ending the state, some are not rapturous. shallower ones there's awareness of experiencing it. the deeper one goes the fewer faculties of perception function.
be well,
guo gu

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fuki
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Re: Fourth Jhana vs. Silent Illumination

Post by fuki » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:45 pm

guo gu wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:29 pm
wayfarer,
there are many samadhi states... shallower ones feel like rapture, which is really the beginning of the ending the state, some are not rapturous. shallower ones there's awareness of experiencing it. the deeper one goes the fewer faculties of perception function.
be well,
guo gu
For me it's like a deep sleep, all pitch blackness with no world to conceive of nor notion of there not being a world.
It's where there's no history of a world, of a fuki, nor knowledge of there ever being one.
I'm not sure what kind of Samadhi that is, I did hear there was still a self though (as GG told me)

But I am interested in what you say on this Guo Gu, I have not experienced this but could you shed your light on it?
The Blue Samadhi of the Natural State of Consciousness

As Zen master Nan Huai Chin mentioned, you will see dark blue color and even stars when you reach real samadhi, the real natural foundational state of the mind. But this samadhi is quite rare as compared to the first four dhyana.

The same description was supplied by Advaita Vedanta Master Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:

[This state] I something like a deer taking rest in the shadow of a tree. The color of the shadow is neither light nor very dark, thisis the borderland. Neither jet black nor very bright, halfway between them, that is that shadow. Deep blue, like clouds, that is that state. That is also the grace of the Sat-Guru. Everything is flowing out of that state, but this principle does not claim anything, is not involved in anything that is coming out of it, but this beingness is available. That deep, dark blue state, the grace of the Sat-Guru. This is the state of the jnani, this is a very, very, rare, natural samadhi state, the most natural state, the highest state.

Prior to Consciousness: Talks With Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, ed. By Jean Dunn, (Acorn Press, Durham: North Carolina, 1995) p. 8.

Sri Nisargadatta also said,

The state of a jnani, the highest state, has transcended the beingness, but the beingness is still there, so together with the beingness is the Absolute – the deep blue, benign state, without eyes. Knowledge takes rest in that deep blue, quiet, peaceful, benign shade. When that shade is shifted aside, then he sees the various manifestations in the form of universes and worlds. But when the shade is there, it is the deep, dark blue state, fully relaxed.

Prior to Consciousness: Talks With Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, ed. By Jean Dunn, (Acorn Press, Durham: North Carolina, 1995) p. 11.
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guo gu
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Re: Fourth Jhana vs. Silent Illumination

Post by guo gu » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:29 am

fuki wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:45 pm
guo gu wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:29 pm
wayfarer,
there are many samadhi states... shallower ones feel like rapture, which is really the beginning of the ending the state, some are not rapturous. shallower ones there's awareness of experiencing it. the deeper one goes the fewer faculties of perception function.
be well,
guo gu
For me it's like a deep sleep, all pitch blackness with no world to conceive of nor notion of there not being a world.
It's where there's no history of a world, of a fuki, nor knowledge of there ever being one.
I'm not sure what kind of Samadhi that is, I did hear there was still a self though (as GG told me)

But I am interested in what you say on this Guo Gu, I have not experienced this but could you shed your light on it?
fuki,

my experience with samadhi is limited. but from experience, i know that samadhi is not sleepy or darkness or loss of consciousness, there should be clarity. if one experiences pitch blackness, at best it's loosing consciousness or resting; worse, it's what chan calls "dwelling in the ghost cave on the dark side of the mountain" (where sun don't ever shine)--for years i was stuck in this state. very dangerous because it's addictive and kills one's wisdom life.

the clarity in different states of samadhi are usually accompanied by particular psychosomatic de-conditioning states (sense organs inoperable/loosing functioning etc-- hence, seeing colors, experiencing spaciousness, infinite light, expansive consciousness, purity, etc). there is, however, a samadhi state that is "without content" a kinda, perfect equipoise where temporarily afflictions are absent. the buddha supposedly entered nirvana from this samadhi/jhana.

btw, generally speaking, these samadhi states usually for novices last for a day or so, fading in and out in the beginning going in and coming out of it in the end, while the middle abiding part maybe several hours. sometimes deeper ones lasting for days (all of these are while sitting). when i was a boy my first teacher, master guangqin, was able to enter in these states for weeks on end. anything less than a day in these samadhi states would most likely be loosing consciousness or the mind resting.

experientially, there would be no sense of time in samadhi, so there's no sense of going in or coming out (i'm only using these terms out of convenience). if one senses going "in" or coming "out" then that's not samadhi--maybe pre-samadhi rapture states--because experientially not even a mind exists; the clarity (and it's accompanying states) completely takes over--there's no separation like wayfarer says there isn't "experience" and the experiencer.

all that said, these sort of samadhi are not necessary to realize (glimpses of) awakening in chan/seon/zen. in fact, my teacher master sheng yen used to warn us not to cultivate them before seeing self-nature, less one becomes easily attached to them. there is self in all of these states. however, those with samadhi powers generally realize awakening with lasting tranformative effect (like vexations don't ever arise or very few vexations would arise for the rest of one's life if one continues to practice)--these are rare. most often, after seeing self-nature, one nourishes it by going into solitary retreat--in other words, cultivating samadhi. having seen self-nature, one wouldn't attach to those states writ large. my experiences with samadhi mostly dates back to the mid-90s, in this context, under my teacher's close watch and were limited.

ppl are fascinated with samadhi or jhana states. so having read books and descriptions on it, it's easy to imagine one is experiencing them or seek after them. in reality they are very rare and achievable only under good guidance of a qualified teacher who can identify what's what, lest it would be like the blind leading the blind. to be safe, it's best to just practice without seeking anything--just practice, and not be captivated by anything.

be well,
guo gu

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fuki
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Re: Fourth Jhana vs. Silent Illumination

Post by fuki » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:37 am

Thank you Guo Gu for reminding me again, it's all clear. :)

I sometimes get curious :117:
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Re: Fourth Jhana vs. Silent Illumination

Post by jundocohen » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:16 pm

This debate on whether the Jhanas are the highly concentrated form often associated with the Visuddhimagga, or a "lighter" form of experience (free of the "other worldly" 5th and higher Jhanas) is actually a hot topic on the Theravadan side of the world. For example, this article by Leigh Brasington:

http://leighb.com/jhanantp.htm
In the Theravada tradition there are, at least, two schools regarding the Jhanas: the Visuddhimagga school and the Sutta school.
The Visuddhimagga (800 years after the Buddha) school presents a type of Jhanas (with five items for Jhana 1) that are very difficult to attain. If we expend the Visuddhimagga statements about the chance to get into Jhana 1 we have a probability of something like one in a million. So lay people and many monastics have a bit of a challenge to get there.

The Sutta school (list of some teachers: Thailand: Ajaan Lee, Sri Lanka: Ven. Nannarama Thera, U.S. Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Leigh Brasington, Germany/Australia: Ayya Khema, U.K. Rob Burbea) presents a more “doable” type of Jhanas ....
Some of the descriptions of the "Fourth Jhana" (the highest of the Buddha's attainments in some interpretations) certainly do resonate of Shikantaza.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: Fourth Jhana vs. Silent Illumination

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:35 am

jundocohen wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:16 pm
This debate on whether the Jhanas are the highly concentrated form often associated with the Visuddhimagga, or a "lighter" form of experience (free of the "other worldly" 5th and higher Jhanas) is actually a hot topic on the Theravadan side of the world. For example, this article by Leigh Brasington:

http://leighb.com/jhanantp.htm
In the Theravada tradition there are, at least, two schools regarding the Jhanas: the Visuddhimagga school and the Sutta school.
The Visuddhimagga (800 years after the Buddha) school presents a type of Jhanas (with five items for Jhana 1) that are very difficult to attain. If we expend the Visuddhimagga statements about the chance to get into Jhana 1 we have a probability of something like one in a million. So lay people and many monastics have a bit of a challenge to get there.

The Sutta school (list of some teachers: Thailand: Ajaan Lee, Sri Lanka: Ven. Nannarama Thera, U.S. Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Leigh Brasington, Germany/Australia: Ayya Khema, U.K. Rob Burbea) presents a more “doable” type of Jhanas ....
Some of the descriptions of the "Fourth Jhana" (the highest of the Buddha's attainments in some interpretations) certainly do resonate of Shikantaza.

Gassho, J
I think it would be a bad place for me if i ended up in absolute Eternity or Infinity right now. Taking a rain check, thanks.
--- Eric H., also know as Sun Wu Kong, "an authentic genuine human being"
Birth is thus
Death is thus
Verse or no verse
What’s the fuss?

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