How do you interpret the lotus analogy for the third jhana?

It would be circular reasoning to say that “body” here means the physical body because it says “body”. Since the 5 senses are shut down, temporarily, in the jhānā what is being referred to here is the nāmakāya. What psychotherapy has to say isn’t all that relevant, since we are discussing what the EBT say.

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I don’t accept that “rūpa” means the physical body, much less matter. Please see here for my reasons as to why it likely means “image” or “appearance”: Meaning of rūpa and its implications - Q & A - Discuss & Discover (

What you are aware of in the jhānā is an image (rūpa). This is what is transcended in the formless attainments (along will the 5 senses). For example, when working with the earth kasiṇa one’s entire perceptual field will be filled with one perception, one image (rūpa). This is what is then dropped to enter the formless. The perception of the 5 senses, which includes the body, is dropped to even enter the 1st jhāna. The jhānā are of one perception and one perception only, which is why you can’t be aware of the physical body in them and so why body here does not mean the physical body. To be aware of the physical body whilst in any of the jhānā would be a hindrance, since multiple perceptions (saññāmanasikārā)are a hindrance to the attainment.

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Yes, agreed! What I personally see in the suttas, is a kind of split - or differentiation - between cognitive and affective. I feel that this has been missed, but sheds very significant light on the Buddha’s teachings.

As for affect, that always relates to the body in some way, unlike the cognitive aspect. But we have 3 kinds of affect, and only two, homeostatic and sensory affect, are ‘of the 5 senses’. The third, emotional affect, is mind-created. Of course the others are also in some sense. But not int he same way. The first are more automated, they evolved a lot longer ago, long before mammals existed. Emotions however are much less automated and it’s possible to take conscious control over them, their creation, and their cessation.

But if people are coming with a world view of ‘mind’ and ‘body’, then they may try to overlay that model onto this one, and, they do not match up. Affect spans body and mind. Hence, wrong framework to apply!

And I think this becomes quite significant when it comes to translating. I.e. not to translate into the wrong framework, otherwise the meaning may be lost.

I’m not concerned with abstract psychotherapy theories. Rather, I’m concerned with what my direct experience has to say, and my experience working with the mind through psychotherapy, for me has great relevance to this. Due to the direct investigation into how emotions are experienced embodied, as I witness in myself and others.

But in the spirit of challenge - can you find any example of any usage of ‘touching with the body’ where it is a cognitive experience, as opposed to affective? You should not be able to, if my hypothesis is correct.

You might also consider psychadelic drug use, or maybe even some other drugs. You may be unaware of your body in the sense of your physical body, maybe even feeling as if your body is the whole universe, or whatever, but, still have very clear feelings, which may be very profound for example. Great bliss or great love or whatever. And not ‘thoughts’, not something cognitive, but a feeling. Which may be experienced permeating your entire being. This I would also count as ‘touching it with your body’. It’s a direct, felt experience, not some kind of cognitive clarity etc.

Now we could argue, if you’re tripping and you feel that the whole universe is your body, and permeated with bliss, then can we call that ‘body’? We could also ask, if a person is dreaming, and in the dream, they experience fully embodied anger, in their body, since it’s a dream, can we call it ‘body’? We could even ask, if a person is daydreaming about someone they love, and are filled with love, and feel that, then can we say that is ‘body’, since the experience is generated in their mind and perceived by their mind?

Well, if we do call all of them ‘body’, then there are differences between them. However, there is also something they all have in common. It’s all about felt experience, that you feel filling your being. Affective experience.

In English we also talk about the physicality of emotions. ‘That song really touched me’. What’s that about? It’s referring directly to the embodied nature of affect, in this case emotional affect. Or your friend dies, and it ‘really hits you’. Maybe you felt ‘crushed’. Or ‘about to explode’. Or someone winds you up so much you say they’re ‘getting under my skin’. Or that someone ‘makes your skin crawl’.

So yes you don’t literally mean your actual skin they’re under. But it communicates the embodied nature of the experience. Which characterises affect. And I believe it is in this affective meaning the Buddha is referring to the embodied nature of affect by referring to ‘touching with the body’.

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Well, I will try to read and research all 7000 suttas and even patisambhidamagga since not my opinions or your opinions were ebts, our opinions were created 2500 years after buddha’s parinibbana so we need to refer to arahant’s opinion

If you sir say “I don’t agree” that means you already close the possibility that others can be right, in that case no one can convince you not even the buddha let alone I

“I don’t agree” means you still cling to your view

Instead of “I don’t agree” it’s much better if you say “I don’t find enough evidences” you should give others the necessary hints about how you can be convinced

If you don’t want to be convinced at all then there is no condition for a honest discussion to happen since the requirement of a honest discussion is willingness to accept others view

I have forgiven you but please be careful with your words next time

Regarding access concentration it’s not an ebt term it doesn’t exist in suttas or even patisambhidamagga so I don’t know what to say to you

I will read your links sir thank for that

Do you think people can be aware of their breathing in jhana, formless attainment and even cessation attainment ?

If you answer no I have a killer sutta that I will give to you that even if I am in your position I say I would not have any room to deny it I will even cry for how wrong I am

I have a suggestion - it is completely derived from experience - but it is still a suggestion.

Why not a “yellow lotus flower”. They exist! Why merely red, blue, and white?

So maybe the jhanas have a relationship with the colour kasinas.

Water is described in the earlier analogies. For the first, it is a description of bath powder and water. For the second, a description of a cool lake, fountain of water at the bottom, and occasional showers from the sky.

So if the red, blue, and white kasinas correspond to the first, second, and third jhanas - then we have a sort of elevation of the missing colour - the yellow colour.

Red does not penetrate the pool of water. Nor does white, or blue.

Yellow, however is the dominating factor of the third jhana. And this is why no “yellow lotus” is mentioned (despite the fact that yellow lotus exist).

So, this is how I understand the simile. The red kasina leads to rapture and pleasure. The blue also leads to rapture and pleasure. The white - as the third jhana indicates - dispenses of rapture and leads directly to pleasure - so we have the white lotus not penetrating the surface - remaining within the limits of the body.

The yellow then emerges as the predominant pleasure of the third jhana.

I have thought about this. That is the closest I have got to unraveling this mystery.

Cheers. Pondera. :face_with_monocle:

That is an interesting line of reasoning, but I’m not sure that the Buddha specifically draws any distinctions between any of the colors (red, white or blue). While this could be a reference to the kasinas, it is odd that only 3 colors are explicitly mentioned. Also, could you explain what you mean by yellow being the predominant color of the third jhana?

Well. I should preface that it’s a very personal and idiosyncratic experience for me when I use the word “jhana”.

So, I follow this reasoning. The first four jhanas are “form” jhanas. Form is defined as earth; water; fire; and wind. Each element becomes less course as you progress.

So, my interpretation of the form jhanas is that they are related to the elements.

The “fire” jhana (third) happens to be associated with the white and yellow kasinas (in my very idiosyncratic experience). And that is why I say that yellow is the predominant colour of the third jhana.

And that is why I find it peculiar to see red, blue, and white in the third jhana simile - but not yellow.