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I don't think (hard)jhana is needed to attain nibbana

I can be wrong though
If I am not mistaken jhana is right concentration but sattipathana sutta proves that even access concentration may be enough to attain enlightenment, so even access concentration is right concentration too

Mn10
Anyone who develops these four kinds of mindfulness meditation in this way for seven years can expect one of two results: enlightenment in the present life, or if there’s something left over, non-return.

There’s no mention of first jhana directly in sattipathana meditation

But I find this nevertheless to be interesting

4.7They practice breathing in stilling the body’s motion. They practice breathing out stilling the body’s motion

4.7‘Passambhayaṁ kāyasaṅkhāraṁ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘passambhayaṁ kāyasaṅkhāraṁ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati

If I am not mistaken in fourth jhana your breathing must be stilled but I am not sure whether you indeed develop the fourth jhana while in the first tetrad of sattipathana

This proves that dry insight followers indeed are right

What do you think ?
Can you shed some light on this issue ?

According to the Bhikkhu Bodhi it is not necessary to achieve stream entry but needed to attain nibbana. I mean even in dry insight practice you need to develop vipassana jhana among other things .You can also look up this question on the search bar since I believe it has already been discussed to oblivion :thinking: .

The problem with 18 vippassana nanas is it bears no resemblance to jhana at all

This culminate to thought that jhana is not necessary at all to attain nibbana

This doesn’t mean you can’t enter nibbana after attaining jhana though

Also you still don’t say anything to that sattipathana sutta , people can achieve nibbana within 7 years of practicing sattipathana so it’s sattipathana that’s important not jhana

Access concentration is not mentioned in the Satipatthana Sutta, or in any Sutta actually. This is a later Theravadin interpretation.

You can’t just read the Satipatthana Sutta on its own, as Sujato and Analayo have shown in their comparative studies (History of mindfulness and Perspectives on Satipatthana), the Satipatthana Sutta is a peculiar text of the Theravada school with many late features and additions.

If you read many other suttas in the Satipatthana samyutta for example, it’s made clear that Satipatthana is meant to lead to jhana. After all, right mindfulness comes before right samadhi no?

Anyways, i suggest you read the two books I mentioned, they lay all this out.

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Agree , not found in the suttas .

Imo jhana is a skillful pre-condition .

If one understand correctly and accurately what is satipatthana , practising the satipatthana without jhana would at least resulted in achieving stream entry within this very life imo .

It stands on its own it’s an independent sutta and people can make conjecture about everything what we need to realize their conjecture is not ebt it happens 2500 years after buddha’s parinibbana

It’s like the entire buddhist community waited for 2500 years just for bhante analayo and sujato writing, both are good monks I say but even before they were born the buddhist community already know how important sattipathana is they don’t need to wait bhante sujato or analayo just to understand what sattipathana is

But nevertheless I will read bhante sujato’s argument in that article since he contributes so much to me personally

It’s not just sattipathana sutta an7.45 don’t mention jhana too

1.4Unification of mind with these seven factors as prerequisites is called noble right immersion ‘with its vital conditions’ and ‘with its prerequisites’.”

You are incorrect buddha himself said for one who practice sattipathana he will attain enlightenment within 7 years

Anyone who develops these four kinds of mindfulness meditation in this way for seven years can expect one of two results: enlightenment in the present life, or if there’s something left over, non-return.

It doesn’t stand on its own, nothing stands on its own. If you pick out only one sutta out of the entire canon and not understand it within the context of the whole, you will easily miss the forest for the tree. If this one sutta was all we needed, the Buddha would have only taught one sutta.

If you just look at the other versions of Satipatthana suttas that have survived, you see that they are quite different from the Pali version. This shows that the Satipatthana sutta is really a late compilation of ebt materials. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain ebts, but that it was put together later than other suttas (or contains a lot of additions from other places in the canon). Other versions make the connection with jhana much more obvious, for example, the Sarvastivada version surviving in Chinese contains the four jhanas. And of course, let us not forget the Kayagatasati sutta, which adds the jhanas to the first satipatthana.

It’s not just Sujato and Analayo who argue that satipatthana is a practice which is supposed to lead to jhana, other scholars understand this as well, including many ancient Buddhist scholars. Rupert Gethin for example makes similar claims that satipatthana is closely connected to jhana in his The Buddhist Path to Awakening: A Study of the Bodhi-Pakkhiyā Dhammā. The Sarvastivadins also understood this, which is why they inserted the jhanas into their version.

And like I said, If you read the Satipatthana Samyutta and its parallels, the connection with samadhi and the jhana factors is much more obvious. For example, SN 47.10 says:

What four? It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. As they meditate observing an aspect of the body, based on the body there arises physical tension, or mental sluggishness, or the mind is externally scattered. That mendicant should direct their mind towards an inspiring foundation. As they do so, joy springs up. Being joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, one feels bliss. And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi. Then they reflect: ‘I have accomplished the goal for which I directed my mind. Let me now pull back.’ They pull back, and neither place the mind nor keep it connected. They understand: ‘I’m neither placing the mind nor keeping it connected. Mindful within myself, I’m happy.’

SN 47.8 says:

In the same way, an astute, competent, skillful mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. As they meditate observing an aspect of the body, their mind enters immersion, and their corruptions are given up. They take the hint. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings … mind … principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. As they meditate observing an aspect of principles, their mind enters immersion, and their corruptions are given up. They take the hint.

All of this stuff is an old debate, its been covered by many people before. Nothing new is going to be added to this discussion. So all I can say is read Sujato’s History of Mindfulness, read Analayo’s studies, read other people who have looked into this (Gethin, Tse Fu Kuan etc) and make up your mind. But even better, read the suttas, read the entire SN, and then you’ll see what the Buddha has to say about how important jhanas are.

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But what about an7.45 ? Buddha described ekaggata alone as right samadhi there is no jhana there

An7.45
“Mendicants, there are these seven prerequisites for immersion. What seven? Right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness. Unification of mind with these seven factors as prerequisites is called noble right immersion ‘with its vital conditions’ and ‘with its prerequisites’.”

IMO ekagatta is a metonym for jhana here. It could even be a case of synecdoche, since ekagatta is a jhana factor

But even if this is not the case, Samadhi is defined as the jhanas in numerous places in the canon.

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Discourses on the Five Faculties and Five Powers in particular define samadhi in terms of the Four Dhyanas. For example, in SN 48.10:

And what is the faculty of immersion? It’s when a noble disciple, relying on letting go, gains immersion, gains unification of mind. Quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, they enter and remain in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. As the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled, they enter and remain in the second absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of immersion, with internal clarity and confidence, and unified mind, without placing the mind and keeping it connected. And with the fading away of rapture, they enter and remain in the third absorption, where they meditate with equanimity, mindful and aware, personally experiencing the bliss of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’ Giving up pleasure and pain, and ending former happiness and sadness, they enter and remain in the fourth absorption, without pleasure or pain, with pure equanimity and mindfulness. This is called the faculty of immersion.

SA 647, SA 655, and SA 658 are agama parallels to SN 48.10 that say similar things, e.g.:

何等為定根?謂四禪。

What is the faculty of samādhi? Namely, the Four Dhyānas.

SA / SN materials on the Five Faculties and Five Powers seem to pretty consistently define mindfulness in terms of the Four Bases of Mindfulness, samadhi in terms of the Four Dhyanas, and wisdom in terms of insight into the Four Noble Truths.

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Jhanas are needed for non-returner at least.

From MN 64: SuttaCentral

“There is a path, Ānanda, a way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters; that anyone, without relying on that path, on that way, shall know or see or abandon the five lower fetters—this is not possible. Just as when there is a great tree standing possessed of heartwood, it is not possible that anyone shall cut out its heartwood without cutting through its bark and sapwood, so too, there is a path…this is not possible.

“There is a path, Ānanda, a way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters; that someone, by relying on that path, on that way, shall know and see and abandon the five lower fetters—this is possible. Just as, when there is a great tree standing possessed of heartwood, it is possible that someone shall cut out its heartwood by cutting through its bark and sapwood, so too, there is a path…this is possible.

“Suppose, Ānanda, the river Ganges were full of water right up to the brim so that crows could drink from it, and then a feeble man came thinking: ‘By swimming across the stream with my arms, I shall get safely across to the further shore of this river Ganges’; yet he would not be able to get safely across. So too, when the Dhamma is being taught to someone for the cessation of personality, if his mind does not enter into it and acquire confidence, steadiness, and resolution, then he can be regarded as like the feeble man.

“Suppose, Ānanda, the river Ganges were full of water right up to the brim so that crows could drink from it, and then a strong man came thinking: ‘By swimming across the stream with my arms, I shall get safely across to the further shore of this river Ganges’; and he would be able to get safely across. So too, when the Dhamma is being taught to someone for the cessation of personality, if his mind enters into it and acquires confidence, steadiness, and resolution, then he can be regarded as like the strong man.

“And what, Ānanda, is the path, the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters? Here, with seclusion from the acquisitions, with the abandoning of unwholesome states, with the complete tranquillization of bodily inertia, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion.

“Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumour, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element thus: ‘This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna.’ If he is steady in that, he attains the destruction of the taints. But if he does not attain the destruction of the taints because of that desire for the Dhamma, that delight in the Dhamma, then with the destruction of the five lower fetters he becomes one due to reappear spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and there attain final Nibbāna without ever returning from that world. This is the path, the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters.

“Again, with the stilling of applied and sustained thought, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the second jhāna…Again, with the fading away as well of rapture, a bhikkhu…enters upon and abides in the third jhāna…Again,a with the abandoning of pleasure and pain…a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the fourth jhāna, which has neither-pain-nor-pleasure and purity of mindfulness due to equanimity.

“Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent…as not self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element…This is the path, the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters.

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If you look at bahiya sutta, just by hearing 5 sentences from the buddha he attained arahantship there is no jhana involved only ekaggata or the same concentration you use to drive your car without hitting other vehicles

Ud1.1
For a third time, Bāhiya said, “But you never know, sir, when life is at risk, either the Buddha’s or my own. Let the Blessed One teach me the Dhamma! Let the Holy One teach me the Dhamma! That would be for my lasting welfare and happiness.”

“In that case, Bāhiya, you should train like this: ‘In the seen will be merely the seen; in the heard will be merely the heard; in the thought will be merely the thought; in the known will be merely the known.’ That’s how you should train. When you have trained in this way, you won’t be ‘by that’. When you’re not ‘by that’, you won’t be ‘in that’. When you’re not ‘in that’, you won’t be in this world or the world beyond or in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering.”

Then, due to this brief Dhamma teaching of the Buddha, Bāhiya’s mind was right away freed from defilements by not grasping.

According to SN 22.5-6 = SA 65; SN 35.99-100, 159-160 = SA 207, 206; and SN 56.1-2 = SA 429, 428, practise samādhi ‘concentration’ is needed for knowing-seeing [things] as they really are (yathābhūtam) (pp. 47-8, 88-9, 238-9 in Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism). But the texts do not indicate clearly at least up to which jhana is needed for knowing-seeing as they really are, which can refer to nibbana (the cessation of dukkha).

I think at the minimum first jhana is needed?

Here’s the common answer to this:

Past life cultivation.

Here’s an add on.

If it’s so easy to attain to enlightenment, why aren’t you enlighten after listening to the same thing that Bahiya got? Same answer: past life cultivation.

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The patisambhidamagga is clear that any concentration is unification of cognizance, any concentration is ekaggata which was what the buddha said as right samadhi

(Patisambhidamagga 1.268)
One kind of concentration: Unification
of cognizance.

Two kinds of concentration:
1.Mundane concentration and
2 supramundane concentration.

Three kinds of concentration: 1.Concentration with applied-thought and
sustained-thought,
2.concentration without applied-thought and with only
sustained-thought,
3 concentration without applied-thought and sustained-
thought.

Four kinds of concentration:
1.Concentration partaking of diminution,
2.concentration partaking of stagnation,
3.concentration partaking of distinction,
4.concentration partaking of penetration.

Five kinds of concentration:
1.Intentness upon (pervasion) with happiness,
2.intentness upon (pervasion) with pleasure,
3.intentness upon (pervasion) with
equanimity,
4.intentness upon (pervasion) with light,
5.the sign of reviewing.

Six kinds of concentration: 1.Concentration as mental unification and
non-distraction through the recollection of the Enlightened One,
2.concentration … through the recollection of the True Idea, 3.concentration
… through the recollection of the Community (Order),
4.concentration …
through the recollection of virtue,
5 concentration … through the recollection of generosity,
6 concentration as mental unification and non-distraction
through the recollection of deities.

Seven kinds of concentration:
1 Skill in concentration,
2.skill in attainment
of concentration,
3.skill in remaining in concentration, 4.skill in emerging from
concentration,
5.skill in health of concentration,
6.skill in the domain of
concentration,
7.skill in guiding concentration.

Eight kinds of concentration: 1.Concentration as mental unification and non-distraction through the earth kasina,
2 concentration … through the water kasina…
3 through the fire kasina…
4.through the air kasina…
5.through
the blue kasina…
6.through the yellow kasina …
7.through the red kasina…
8.concentration as mental unification and non-distraction through the
white kasina.

Nine kinds of concentration:
1.There is inferior,
2.medium and
3.superior
material concentration; there is
4.inferior,
5.medium and
6.superior immaterial
concentration; there is
7.void concentration; there is
8.signless concentration;
there is
9.desireless concentration.

Ten kinds of concentration: 1.Concentration as mental unification and
non-distraction through the bloated, concentration …
2 through the livid…
3 through the festering…
4.through the cut-up…
5.through the gnawed…
6.through
the scattered …
7.through the hacked and scattered … 8.through the
bleeding …
9.through the worm-infested … 10.concentration as mental unifi-
cation and non-distraction through a skeleton.

These are fifty-five kinds of concentration.

(Patisambhidamagga 1.268)
Kathaṁ saṁvaritvā samādahane paññā samādhibhāvanāmaye ñāṇaṁ?

Eko samādhi— cittassa ekaggatā.

Dve samādhī—
1.lokiyo samādhi,
2.lokuttaro samādhi.

Tayo samādhī—
1.savitakkasavicāro samādhi, 2.avitakkavicāramatto samādhi, 3.avitakkaavicāro samādhi.

Cattāro samādhī—
1.hānabhāgiyo samādhi,
2.ṭhitibhāgiyo samādhi,
3.visesabhāgiyo samādhi, 4.nibbedhabhāgiyo samādhi.

Pañca samādhī—
1.pītipharaṇatā,
2.sukhapharaṇatā,
3.cetopharaṇatā,
4.ālokapharaṇatā,

Cha samādhī—
1.buddhānussativasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi, 2.dhammānussativasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi, 3.saṅghānussativasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi,
4.sīlānussativasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi,
5.cāgānussativasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi, 6.devatānussativasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi.

Satta samādhī—
1.samādhikusalatā,
2.samādhissa samāpattikusalatā, 3.samādhissa ṭhitikusalatā,
4.samādhissa vuṭṭhānakusalatā, 5.samādhissa kallatākusalatā, 6.samādhissa gocarakusalatā, 7.samādhissa abhinīhārakusalatā.

Aṭṭha samādhī—
1.pathavīkasiṇavasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi,
2.āpokasiṇavasena …pe… 3.tejokasiṇavasena … 4.vāyokasiṇavasena … 5.nīlakasiṇavasena …
6.pītakasiṇavasena … 7.lohitakasiṇavasena … 8.odātakasiṇavasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi.

Nava samādhī—
1.rūpāvacaro samādhi atthi hīno,
2.atthi majjho,
3.atthi paṇīto;
4…arūpāvacaro samādhi atthi hīno,
5.atthi majjho,
6.atthi paṇīto;
7.suññato samādhi,
8.animitto samādhi,
9.appaṇihito samādhi.

Dasa samādhī— 1.uddhumātakasaññāvasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi, 2.vinīlakasaññāvasena … 3.vipubbakasaññāvasena … 4.vicchiddakasaññāvasena … 5.vikkhāyitakasaññāvasena … 6.vikkhittakasaññāvasena … 7.hatavikkhittakasaññāvasena … 8.lohitakasaññāvasena … 9.puḷavakasaññāvasena …
10.aṭṭhikasaññāvasena cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi.

Ime pañcapaññāsa samādhī.

This is supported by many suttas

Mn44 sujato
12.1 But ma’am, what is immersion? What things are the foundations of immersion? What things are the prerequisites for immersion? What is the development of immersion?”

12.2 “Unification of the mind is immersion. 12.3 The four kinds of mindfulness meditation are the foundations of immersion. 12.4 The four right efforts are the prerequisites for immersion

Mn44 thanissaro
“Now what is concentration, lady, what qualities are its themes, what qualities are its requisites, and what is its development?”

“Singleness of mind is concentration, friend Visākha; the four establishings of mindfulness are its themes; the four right exertions are its requisites;

Mn44
12.1Katamo panāyye, samādhi, katame dhammā samādhinimittā, katame dhammā samādhiparikkhārā, katamā samādhibhāvanā”ti?

12.2“Yā kho, āvuso visākha, cittassa ekaggatā ayaṁ samādhi; 12.3cattāro satipaṭṭhānā samādhinimittā; 12.4cattāro sammappadhānā samādhiparikkhārā.

Sn48.11
4.1And what is the faculty of immersion? 4.2It’s when a noble disciple, relying on letting go, gains immersion, gains unification of mind. 4.3This is called the faculty of immersion.

Sn48.11
4.1Katamañca, bhikkhave, samādhindriyaṁ? 4.2Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako vossaggārammaṇaṁ karitvā labhati samādhiṁ, labhati cittassa ekaggataṁ— 4.3idaṁ vuccati, bhikkhave, samādhindriyaṁ.

So ekaggata alone is called concentration/immersion/samadhi by the buddha and arahant, there is no piti or sukha or even vitakka there ,there is no jhana mentioned in those suttas

This doesn’t mean jhana is a bad thing ,this means ekaggata alone can suffice as right immersion/right immersion/right samadhi, jhana is not needed if you have ekaggata

Both ekaggata and jhana qualify as right samadhi

Using ekaggata/jhana/right immersion/right concentration/right samadhi then we can achieve nibbana

The notion that only jhana is right samadhi is incorrect

Dn18
What do the good gods of the Thirty-Three think about how much the Buddha has clearly described the seven prerequisites of immersion for the development and fulfillment of right immersion? 27.5What seven? 27.6Right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness. 27.7Unification of mind with these seven factors as prerequisites is called noble right immersion ‘with its vital conditions’ and ‘with its prerequisites’.

Dn18
Taṁ kiṁ maññanti, bhonto devā tāvatiṁsā, yāva supaññattā cime tena bhagavatā jānatā passatā arahatā sammāsambuddhena satta samādhiparikkhārā sammāsamādhissa paribhāvanāya sammāsamādhissa pāripūriyā. 27.5Katame satta? 27.6Sammādiṭṭhi sammāsaṅkappo sammāvācā sammākammanto sammāājīvo sammāvāyāmo sammāsati. 27.7Yā kho, bho, imehi sattahaṅgehi cittassa ekaggatā parikkhatā, ayaṁ vuccati, bho, ariyo sammāsamādhi saupaniso itipi saparikkhāro itipi.

Here cittasa ekaggata = sammasamadhi, buddha is very explicit here I don’t think buddha can be more explicit than this in explaining that ekaggata alone is sammasamadhi that jhana is not necessary to attain nibbana

Note that by jhana is not necessary doesn’t mean you should abandon the jhana you already attained because jhana too is right samadhi

Because our ekaggata is not that stable and high please refer to my above answer

I don’t think you can even walk without sufficient amount of ekaggata but we don’t use our ekaggata regarding reading the suttas as dedicated as we use it for worldly things I think by reading sutta alone is enough to attain nibbana if we can sustain our ekaggata long and deep enough

In order to have strong ekaggata we need to have practices and enough store of good kammas

So to answer you, I think bahiya is fortunate enough to have strong ekaggata, he used his ekaggata to understand buddha dhamma on the spot , do you even understand what the buddha said in those 5 sentences ?

So we meditate in order to understand those 5 sentences, the purpose of meditation is understanding, as long as you don’t understand those 5 sentences you need to meditate, you can stop meditating if you finally understand what those 5 secret/hidden meaning sentences mean because buddha said the 8 fold path is a raft finally you will even abandon the raft that you use to understand reality

In many suttas of Nikayas and Agamas, the Buddha’s account of attaining enlightenment is through jhanas after he secluded from five hindrances. So without jhanas, the hindrances cannot be given up. The goal of samadhi/ekaggata-citta is to give up of hindrances…

Friend,

It is indeed a unfortunate thing that there are quarrels regarding the path. That being so: “Let the seen be merely the seen. Let the heard be merely the heard. Let the thought be merely the thought. Let the known be merely the known”

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I think that plain everyday unbroken mindfulness can bring me quite far, but that it doesn’t harm my practice to have experiences that go as deep as to any of the jhana’s either. Not to become attached to some state, but more to know that there is this and there is that.

I can easily walk 10 miles, but I know I can push myself twice as much.