Which jhana as a boy

This is a sudden awakening to Anatta.
This is just one thought moment.

Hey @SarathW1, you like polemics, don’t you? hehehe :sweat_smile:

By now mentioning Abhidhammic thought moment there is a chance you will manage to bring the Abhidhamma debate into this topic! :tired_face:

Actually this is my own experience.
I still remember the day and the place I first heard the word Anatta.
It stuck to me like a liquid nail.


That must surely not have been the 1st time he went thru the four jhanas.
Many people today have the four jhanas attainment and do not claim to be arahat.
The accounts of the Buddha-to-be night of awakening are not cristal clear enough for us to deduct what exactly happened within him. As result of this situation it is really not possible to try to copy what happened to him.
Anyway other people didn’t become awakened by spending a night in meditation.

Alain, while we are all surely entitled to our opinions and views we must acknowledge that the narrative found in MN36 tells us that something special happened over the course of a night and it clearly involved the gradual penetration into and fulfillment of those four absorptions.


Here’s mine :slightly_smiling_face:: It is possible to attain to immaterial (arupa) jhana w/o going through rupa jhana- much like development of the ‘enlarged mind’ (mahaggatta) of the Brahmavihara (but not quite… ). Equally, and more easily it is possible to go to the first immaterial jhana, transcending the 4th material jhana (see relevant suttas).

Buddha attained the first Rupa jhana in his childhood as shown above. He was taught immaterial attainments by his two teachers (that is, not via the Rupa jhana path), but as attainments, as otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to remember a childhood memory vs a recent adulthood practice memory. I think he already had enough insight at this point for enlightenment. There are suttas where he recalls his insight, as a Bodhisatva. However he tried ‘forced sankhara’ of the austerities, as they were a commonly practiced path to ‘enlightenment’, albeit an ineffective one. This would have enforced ‘obsessions/latent tendencies’ (anusaya). Specifically: obsession of conceit, obsession of passion for becoming, obsession of ignorance, I think. Relaxing then had the opposite effect. I can’t prove this textually but it is in accordance with the defilements removed sequentially by the Path. The. Buddha in his final life would have been intelligent and reflective to learn broadly from the Four signs. He had a mind which could concentrate readily (perhaps suggesting past life experiences?). In essence he had been practicing for a long time -the night of his enlightenment was only the result.

With metta

Hearing it and realising it is a difference between බහුස්‍රැත and සෝ‌ථාපන්ණ!

What I am saying is you have to hear it only once.
It is one mind moment.
The same way the reaisation also a one mind moment.

This all depends on how long one mind moment is. :thinking:

With metta

It appears the mind moment is so fast we can’t comprehend it.

If it is too fast to comprehend, hearing it, no one will can comprehend it either, because it happens too fast?

What I meant was we can’t comprehend all the information coming from five senses at once. We can perceive only one at a time.

Hi there

I don’t know if his 1st 2 teachers taught him the ruupa jhaanas, but if they did, I think it would have been wrong jhaana, but still not useless.

I don’t know and doubt if the attainments (of the so-called arupa) can be attained without having to go thru the four rupas, but again, I think they would have been wrong attainments.

His remembering of his jhana experience as a boy, only seems to makes sense to me, if he had already mastered only wrong jhanas with his two teachers.

If the path is thought of in three sections: ethics, meditation and wisdom, then I would say: calm covers both ethics (calming unwholesome serious actions of word and deed) and meditation (calming unwholesome serious actions of thought), but insight is in the category of wisdom (understanding cause and effect in thought, word and deed, especially their link to emotion).

Best wishes


Hi Alaber

What Pāli term/s do you think ‘meditation’ is the translation of?

best wishes

Hi again

I agree with the other poster. I don’t think there is anything in the suttas so specific, but it seems to have been an extended period of time, not Abhidhammic mind moment. I have wondered that before.

I only know the tradition says, from the time of his leaving home till his enlightenment was six years and he taught for 45, passing away at 80yo.

best wishes

I also have not found ‘insight meditation’, in the Buddha’s teaching. But I would not step out of my bounds to say ‘it is not there’. It seems we both believe there is ‘vipassanā bhavanā’ or ‘the development of insight’ (thus my other post with the question as to the Pali word being translated as ‘meditation’), as well as samatha bhavanā,

One could say, developing the causes, is practically developing the thing. thus your ‘of course the scientist has to do the footwork before’.

I could also say, we don’t ‘do ethics’, but we develop ethics, by creating the causes for them. Understanding that ethics is a mental quality; and I could say, we don’t do concentration, but develop the causes for it. Cause and effect seems to be the essence of the Buddha’s teaching, to me, rather than a forcing to exist or not.

I agree the Buddha didn’t discover insight (vipassanā), but neither did he discover bhavanā, (a combination of samatha and vipassanā together not separate), nor probably jhanas. I would agree that he discovered how to use them to end suffering and it was his key discovery. Using them all that way, would be right bhavanā, jhāna, ethics, concentration…

best wishes

I don’t see why we need to think about time in this connection. Also, the idea of discovery can be misleading. There are different kinds of discoveries and ways to discover. We may search for something and then find it - we can make accidental discoveries. Absorption - and Nibbana - are not ‘things’ we search for and, find! They are not that kind of discovery.

When we enjoy the deep peace, joy and happiness that is present in absorption we don’t discover this, as something that has entered our field of attention. Instead, we have relaxed, we are not self conscious, we are not busy ‘doing’ something. This gives deep joy and peace the opportunity to fill that opening. The space we had previously monopolized - as self-conscious observers - ‘opens up’ so we can breath easy - Ahh! Once the meditator drops out of the picture absorption moves in - a unique joy appears.

The Time spent in different states of absorption varies. We may be in the ambit of unique joy and happiness for a short while and then vanish in formlessness.

We cannot consciously decide when to enter jhana, how long we wish to stay there or, decide that it’s time to leave. So, how long did it take for the Buddha to realise all this? Who knows? We are told it happened in one watch of the night? Along with other liberating insights. :slight_smile:


good luck with that theory, expressed in an arrogant way, as truth, imo

Correction - there is nothing to prevent us from searching for it - there is a lot of searching that has gone on and, may continue until the cows come home! The crux of the issue is whether there is anything to find? The Buddha used similes to help us to understand these teachings. There is the simile where he asks: where does the fire go - when it is extinguished? Does it go in any direction? No, it just ‘goes out’ - it is extinguished.

The other ‘telling’ story is the one where he gets the psychic who can tell where beings are reborn - by tapping on their dead skulls - to tap on an Arahants skull. The Buddha gave him a skull that had been on the shoulders of an Arahant - who ‘ceased without remainder’. The psychic could not identify a place where the Arahant had ‘reappeared’.

So, if Nibbana is a thing that we can look for and, find, where is it? Have you found it and, if that is the case, what is it that you have found? We can search - nothing wrong with looking for something - good luck!

We may undertake a noble search for the truth which liberates. In the process we learn how to relax and let go, be content with little. Those who expect nothing are never disappointed, and often, pleasantly surprised! Nibbana is a true cessation not a true acquisition. :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi all,
I am interested in @Brother_Joe’s idea of wrong jhana. There are meditators/teachers at a large, famous, jhana monastery who can practice all 4 jhanas ‘1 hour, 2 hours. 3 hours, no problem’, yet are still puthajjanas. This is not a criticism of that monastery, I’m sure it’s happens enough elsewhere.

Maybe what the Buddha is recalling is the self ‘letting go’ through contentment; sammā-sankappa. From seeing the will as a problem he could then formulate DO.

Or maybe that’s not what you meant at all Bhante!

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