Jhana as katastemic pleasure

Epicureans analysed the nature of pleasure, to produce arguments that would help in the therapy of desire.
They distinguished between two kinds of pleasure: ‘kinetic’ and ‘katastematic’.
Kinetic pleasures are those we experience when actively doing something to avoid pain and gain pleasure, such as eating, drinking, having sex.
Katastematic pleasure is that stable, constitutional pleasure or sense of well-being that comes from being free of bodily pain and aware of one’s own existence.
Based on the fundamental recognition that pleasure alone is good, Epicureans therefore reasoned that we should train ourselves to identify the katastematic pleasure that is constant and reliable, while practicing the observation of the changing nature of kinetic pleasure, which turns to pain when satiated.
The therapy of desire that follows this analysis of pleasure distinguishes between desires which are natural and necessary (like those for food and water), desires which are natural and unnecessary (like those for luxury foods) and desires which are groundless (like those for wealth and fame).
To be truly happy, which is our human good, is to learn to rest in the stable katastematic pleasure that becomes possible when one’s desires are limited to those easy to acquire, simple natural pleasures such as nourishing food and good friendship.
Source: Philosophy and Buddhism as Ways of Life

To what extent can we equate right stillness (i.e. jhana) of the Buddhist path with the role of Epicureans’ Katastematic pleasure?

:anjal:

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I think it is pretty close to Māgandiya’s idea of nibbana in MN 75 (excerpt):

Then at that point the Blessed One uttered this exclamation:

“The greatest of all gains is health,
Nibbāna is the greatest bliss,
The eightfold path is the best of paths
For it leads safely to the Deathless.”

When this was said, the wanderer Māgandiya said to the Blessed One: “It is wonderful, Master Gotama, it is marvellous how well that has been expressed by Master Gotama:

‘The greatest of all gains is health,
Nibbāna is the greatest bliss.’

We too have heard earlier wanderers who were teachers and teachers of teachers saying this, and it agrees, Master Gotama.”

“But, Māgandiya, when you heard earlier wanderers who were teachers and teachers of teachers saying this, what is that health, what is that Nibbāna?”

When this was said, the wanderer Māgandiya rubbed his own limbs with his hands and said: “This is that health, Master Gotama, this is that Nibbāna; for I am now healthy and happy and nothing afflicts me.”

[…]

“So too, Māgandiya, the wanderers of other sects are blind and visionless. They do not know health, they do not see Nibbāna, yet they utter this stanza thus:

‘The greatest of all gains is health,
Nibbāna is the greatest bliss.’

This stanza was uttered by the earlier Accomplished Ones, Fully Enlightened Ones, thus:

‘The greatest of all gains is health,
Nibbāna is the greatest bliss,
The eightfold path is the best of paths
For it leads to safety, to the Deathless.’

Now it has gradually become current among ordinary people. And although this body, Māgandiya, is a disease, a tumour, a dart, a calamity, and an affliction, referring to this body you say: ‘This is that health, Master Gotama, this is that Nibbāna.’ You do not have that noble vision, Māgandiya, by means of which you might know health and see Nibbāna.”

On the whole, MN 75 seems to be a quite severe rebuttal to the idea of pleasure in the five senses; e.g. similes such as the simile of the leper.

When it comes to socializing, this excerpt from MN 122 comes to mind:

"Indeed, Ananda, it is impossible that a monk who delights in company, enjoys company, is committed to delighting in company; who delights in a group, enjoys a group, rejoices in a group, will enter & remain in the awareness-release that is temporary and pleasing, or in the awareness-release that is not-temporary and beyond provocation.

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What does that mean? Is he unconscious?

I’m not sure what it means, my guess would be that awareness-release that is “temporary and pleasing” refers to the jhanas, and the non-temporary and beyond provocation refers the the mind of the arahant?

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