The Mind Illuminated archive

TCMC 13 May 2010, Part I Q&A On Jhanas



Automated transcription

Yes, sir. Just up that makes you share that first step Balance. Yes. Okay. John our absorption, medi absorption. Okay. And Okay. The way that... Well, first of all, the sense search is you make the mind very single pointed to the point that essentially, the the mine just becomes absorbed into the object of egyptian. K. Damn, There are four basic four basic levels of John can be distinguished depending on how far you take this... How how much more you refine the single point in this? Wonder verify if I have this connection I think.

So I'll give you the classical description and maybe a little interpretation of it. The first donna is said to... All of the Genres are characterized by single point and unification of mine. But the first shot is characterized by directed the sustained attention, and joy and happiness. Our pleasure. Not none of these explanations are ever simple already. The word Su means both natural pleasure, which is hacking and physical flavor. So anyway, the first Donna is characterized by directed to sustained detention and the a state of joy and mental happiness and a and also a pleasure that is of a somewhat physical nature although it gets really mental too.

So then the medi refine that by going to the second john. Which is said to be characterized by joy and Sutra as a pleasure happiness as combined, but not by direct sustained detention. So in other words, the mind of the is fully absorbed in the experience of the mental state of Joy. And the experience of the the affect to the results from that. The mental and the the the mental come physical pleasurable state that i'm sorry of that. Then into the third child by setting aside the awareness of the mental state of joy.

When the becoming fully absorbed into the... Just the experience of pleasure happiness. So it's more refined it's in more they the joy was a more energetic confinement quality to it when the medi was absorbed and the chart. When he sat aside the joy, just focuses on the pleasure happiness us, maybe we becomes more refining and serene, content happiness within the partner joyful. And then to enter into the fourth China, the medi aside cease to focus awareness on the pleasure happiness yes. And instead cultivate.

And so was essentially a aware of mind itself, ignoring the state. Joyful state of the mind are ignoring any happiness and pressure that may be pleasant. And instead, the awareness is it's very economists. Like the the clarity of the mind itself is what stands out about everything else. It's like the the the luminous quality of the consciousness just engaged with the minor up. Now these these four levels of Java as I've described them to you are all said to be Chavez with form. And you even though they're all taking place within the mind and from the first shot on, the medi is withdrawing the awareness from the sense of.

And mine his withdrawn from the senses to the degree that that really not aware of anything. Somebody came up and shipped your shoulder then they you know, the bring out of the on request any other... There there's really no fiber input that is registering, not just mine. Which means that entering the first shot, you need to have a meditation all object. To apply directive and is sustained attention to. That is not sensory in nature. It has to be a mental object. Because of options objects, but you...

Well, it depends, you can enter into these there there are some very light forms of nissan on us and there's some very deep forms of nissan on that you can enter into. And so that kind of object that he use will depend on on... It depend mostly on the quality of your concentration, but calls up to this point. But given that it depends on that. For example, you can enter the live on by taking the taking pleasurable sensations in the body as your mental and then focusing on the pleasurable of that.

And you won't be complete. This is a light johnny won't be completely Withdrawn from the sensors here. You still have that connection. To go into a little bit deeper gentlemen where you really are more fully trying the life in the senses, you might take the elimination that arises in the concentration. There and you focus on that light completely generated within the mind. So there needs be no no which mean the census and and the mind that that object is dependent upon. And then other possibilities or Jana.

Oh, basically. Anything that is a mental object that can be very thoroughly thoroughly absorbed and very clearly sustained and thoroughly absorbed into and serve as He's John. Their absorption, everyone is experienced some absorption. And and the medicaid Genres are just you know, like the the the extreme form of the kind of absorption that we all experienced. Would be become extremely absorbed and something that's interesting to. There's something we're doing or watching something. Right? We even become absorbed in our meditation object.

In the earlier stages of our our practice, And if we become too absorbed in the sensations of the breath, and we suddenly find that we read falling asleep or our mine has taking a little round the world cruise. So so we all know whether it search in but for for the search and the constitute Jana, you need to have gone through the stages of training so that you can become absorbed without either. Slipping into dull or or forgetting what you're doing. So you could really stay right and clear fully present with the object?

And the value of the the value of doing that is on the one hand, it further it in further increases the power your concentration awareness. But On the other hand, when you become absorbed and something to that degree, And then when you can progressively refine it as I described on through. These different Genres. It's really like dissect in your mind. You start out and you're focusing just on the line, but the mine that has an object and a mine that has a conducive mental state joy as a very can conducive mental state.

And a mine that has an effective of quality, the pleasure happiness. And so it's like it's like healing off the layers that make up your mind and seeing what it takes you to. When you get to that fourth, that I spoke up. There there are four for things you can do with this, which are they're referred to as being far. So the it's really form has to do with the way the mine perceives. External reality. And even in the fourth jaw, there is an element of form there. Which is the experience is still of being located in a particular place and and space, And, you know, so the first formulas gentleman that you can enter into is to transcend that sense of spatial locality, and so called the base of infinite space.

And very easily from that one, I... Medi realizes that their perception has been based on a presumption that consciousness was limited. And by taking infinite space as as an object, then consciousness likewise becomes infinite. And so that's part the base of infant consciousness. And then as the medi familiarize themselves of that, they recognized that the consciousness is always limited by an object. That can. So they practice the awareness of nothingness. That's called the base no thing that's.

It's very final state. And then the the final refine of address is to is recognizing that even with the... Even the perception of no thing, even the perception of an absence there's still a active line. It's said, yes say. It's the act consciousness filtering through the per mechanisms of the mine. So now of first Non perception is what happens when we're unconscious or fall asleep. So this final level of foreign genre that he can achieve is called the base of neither perception or non perception because you're you're the wedding go of the normal act, but you're not seeking into the non perception about consciousness.

So the John are these very specialized and refined Medicaid states, which Why did you do this on in one hand? They... When you sit in jonah, and when you do John practice afterwards, it's it's very delightful. You have a lot of energy, you have a lot of joy around a lot of tranquility. You're awareness say very strong. It's very easy to be mindful as you go through your life. And you have the same kind of concentration that you have in medication, and so you can approach all things that you're experiencing in your life with that.

So the joy and the tranquility and the concentration of the awareness, our benefit of John and practice. But I think the review benefit of it is that you practice inside. You examine them. Like I said, it's a serial dissection line with a serial dissection of the presumption that meth experience is based on. And usually even dissect rate and and exposing revealing to direct experience like the nature sure of the process. So it's like a serial section of the mine. You practice a practice kind of insight practice observing was present before you enter you observe what what is is presently and what his absent in each of these islamic states.

And then you in the genre and you notice, once again, what the difference is. And so it provides a lot of insight into the nature of environment nature of consciousness. You can begin to practice Cha? When you get to the point where even though you're aware of some... The occasional fault in your mind in your carrier occasional sensation you can keep your mind on the meditation object fairly easily. And the occasional thought or sensation that you're aware of doesn't really improve. And you can you can access the Jonathan from from that state.

That corresponds to about seventh stage of the ten stations. There's also a kind of genre not one that I've really gotten around of packaging myself. I just learned that fairly recently come. From someone else that you can do from the six stage and it's really a an extension of the practice of it's experience and the whole body with the. How many of you are familiar of experiencing the whole body of the graphs. Earlier, we we can workshops cynthia you are. You are most the rest of you line. But as a part of mastering the fifth and six stages, is a way practicing where you expand your awareness so that you're still following with breath, but in the entire body, so aware the entire body at same time.

And will come to be aware of sensations related to the graph that you're quite amazed the quite pace that they're even there. The the point of it is is that you they're aware of your entire body. This is very conducive to a kind of light absorption. The reason is... What does it need to become absorbed in your meditation? It's like your mind has a certain capacity for what it can hold in consciousness at one time. So to be absorbed and something, is to that all of your conscious capacity devoted to one single thing.

Right? So there's there really no room for anything else. She just you're totally there where I want object to the exclusion of of everything else. Now As compared with the sensations of the graphic for nose, the sensations graph entire bodies to do that successfully pretty much uses up all of your consciousness capacity. And so it is it is a way of entering into a absorption. It's a very light absorption. You haven't really lived on the mine from the census because you're still aware of sensations in the body.

But it is an absorption of glass. And there is not the really powerful ecstatic joy of the deeper on, but there's a very state joy and happiness associated with. So you can even you can even do a a kind of job practice from about the six days and it's a bit deeper from the seventh then. And the stronger, the your hours of concentration are the deeper that's kind of Donna that you can experience it. But you can't really experience donna four to six states for the simple reason that if you become that absorbed of a meditation object, your mind hasn't been turning out of the habit of either looking into the dull or tripping out on something else.

So if you get too absorbed with your meditation, I need all notice this. Right? If you get two absorbed in your notation, I'll, the next thing is you're you're going. And then you come back a few minutes later. So it's not something that you can do until you've develop a lot of potential stability. But once you reach the sufficient degree of potential stability, the job is did become accessible. And then practicing these lighter, On us, really helps to increase the power of your concentration awareness.

And it's a way of progressing more quickly through the latter stages. Gave you you much more information and then expect. It's just what I need. But just right you need. Oh. I should think it emergency. So a look verification when we stay. You're in this landscape day that all sudden you're gone. Do you mean that you have lost front of time? Well, what I when I say your guy, I'm referring to the fact that if you if you become to observe with your meditation too soon. You get lost in distraction your doing.

So well, but all of a sudden you they need all. Yeah. Okay. Right. Now when you when you get absorbed into Jana, you you do your sense of time because very started and with the deeper john, you know, you really don't have much sense of time at all. Right. They is John the nonetheless awareness of time there is. Yeah. So easily be absorbed for a hour, not recognize that it was... Any amount of time for any last night correct. Yes. And is matter in a fact? For exactly that reason, there is not a lot of value and long absorption in the genre.

The only the only benefit of a long period of absorption is that the residual joy and clarity do tend to last longer. So, you know, that is one reason, but If if you're practicing John is more for the sake inside into your mind, you're better off Have you sit for an hour to enter and leave John four or five times a nine hour, rather than sit and John for now. And and you're better off actually, as you mastered these different genres to practice things like moving between John, you know, answering one after another sequence and leaving and then maybe entering one and leaving the next without coming out and things like that because that will help the insight.

That's right. Good. That will promote the inside. Whereas just sitting in Jonah sitting in absorption for an hour, or for twelve years. Is not going to do very much more than than answering entering and leaving with vagina after ten. Yeah. This is alan sort of meditation question. Okay. Yeah Well, my. Anyway, I found that lately I Well, one time you said building like it's spiral. Yeah. And which we mean that you sort of really revisit the same things again during that level. Yeah. So what I'm...

No, I didn't i see me on more time now. And I thought well not there more time. And was, you know, the pressure some of things So... Anyway, but indeed my meditation is scott of wildly bleeding Well not wildly. But it's just... Well, it's more relaxed, but it's not focused. And so what i asking? Well, part of what I'm asking the other email as me if I try or I get chance. Mh. And so I have to be careful of I try not to try. Yes. And yeah. Well, so this whole mechanism of trying has me a bit puzzled technology how you sort of started out that i'm getting tense.

And what part of your mind does... I mean, seems like young very deaf, and we I can't really... Oh, maybe you can talk about that. Mh can he me how do discipline yourself i okay. How how do you discipline yourself too? Be consistent in your practice for the whole time you're sitting there without making yourself the become tense? You which just been my habit in my life in order you make myself do something. I of go with myself and test my body. Right. Well, what what I really ask you is Do you have some experience of...

Trying hard enough but not too hard. I mean, is he your point before you're trying too hard you get tense when when you feel like you're your chime heard enough? I've never figured that up. You know, it's no if you currently don't a see i again do the best him. And, you know, I really do that man how. And it's never been quite clear me much Well what do we mean by China? What is important as it is that you consistently do what it is you're supposed to do. So you consistently attempt to maintain an appropriate degree of focus on your meditation object.

While at the same time, depending on where you are in the process allowing other things to be present, but just keeping on in the background of your awareness. Wherever you find that that's not the case, then what you're supposed to do is to take an appropriate action to bring your attention back. You find yourself slipping into dull, what you're supposed to do? Is taking appropriate action to your emi mind. And as long as you consistently do that, you don't need to try any harder than that. Because.

Trying is is try is acting as though through putting yourself in a state of exert intention, you're gonna to produce a result, then in fact you're not going to be able to you know, it's like you've downloaded things on the computer and we take a long time sometimes? No matter how hard you how make it go faster has no effect. Right? And you have to recognize it, the trying that we don't wanna do is that fruit was trying to rem try make something happen. We don't really have control over it. Know, there's during part of the process of of meditating?

Your mind is not to drift to something else. And know about a trying is gonna keep that from happening. But by being more alert to when it's happening, you can notice it more and more quickly to the point that you notice the mine is about to drift before it actually does. Then not causes tension right there in that moment. I am would see it coming or you already seen it and you are want think about it. And you already are stuck. So you you have to watch it. We can't number. And then you get frustrated Well, if it causes attention no know you think about it.

If it caused tension on all, where is that tension and coming from. Because redirecting your attention doesn't take a huge amount of effort and energy like I mean, nvidia the thought that came up was a really juicy attractive line, and, you know, it's it's a struggle to dis from it. But Other than that, where is the effort? The effort is all in your judgment. The effort is all in you're wanting and desi and your patience. And not wanting this sort happened in the first place and being frustrated that it didn't happen.

So if you just accept that it's happened. And take the appropriate action, which isn't especially effort in itself. Then then you shouldn't experience as much stitch. And to the degree, you still experience tension that's there Try to be aware. Okay. Where is the section really County fun? Because is it really that part? Just to bring my attention back to the graph. You see what I'm saying? No. Well, Yeah. And I'm not saying that, you know, I'm not saying it. Well, you're just going to immediately go away and never experience.

Tension and and strain and meditation again. But if you understand that that that is not really coming for the meditation from the process of no. It's coming from the other parts of your own mind wanting things to be in a particular way judging what's happened. Frustrated because something's happening and so on. If you can recognize that and just practice letting go of that. So now not only do you bring the attention back to the graph? But at the same time you notice if that attention is there. Just look all of it.

And say, you know, I I don't need... It doesn't help to get tense if I get chance. I'm just gonna have more problems rather than fewer. And so and it's not that... Don't miss misunderstand this. Everybody experiences what you you do. Maybe some radio degree and on Roster but anybody experiences this. Is trying too hard and and and and creating some stress around their practice. Everybody has to learn to let go. Learning let learning to relax and let is as much a part of the practice as letting go of a distraction and bringing your attention back.

To your notation number object. It's it's... It... And until you've learned to let go of it, you keep generating tension keep getting in the away. So it's part of what you have to do and what you have to go through. And some of this? Some of us are much more driven and provide reasons. And the more that is in your personality. The more might have to to work with this for while before you have done it. So quickly you brought this. I mean everybody else experience that find yourself trying too hard and and you're not enjoying the meditation, you frustrated and you're saying, this is hard.

But be honest and real. Every time you have, he time you have a salt like like, this is hard. But this is difficult, you know, say wait minute. How converting my attention from one thing another we heard or difficult So think is always chapter. It's like gold. Yeah. And And my mind wants to go there. And then I have wait to the open couch. Mh Well. Well, that worry. I I think think there's lots little things that we can do to to You know, you can promise yourself you'll think about this thing later or Another thing you can do is just remind yourself that...

Wow isn't it wonderful i mind is so full of so many good ideas. Obviously, I don't have to hold on to this one because there's a lot of hard to come. That's good. Yeah. So yeah. What i mean she's suggesting here. Is it's just You get to know you're online? And you get to find the strategy. The problem is obvious, you're wanting to hold on to some pretty stop picking. And in order to do practice, you need to be able, like, go it. So you do you know yourself well enough that is a way that you can do it more easily than beating yourself up for.

For being interested. Okay. You're welcome. So... And welcome to saint that are here I i don't think you've been here before he said, right? At least not recently. K. So we just finished our little question and answer period well. That we do before I said so I wanted to to do this sip. And Nancy, I forgot to bring two copies of a dollar prepared. You k please piece or kind to get some. Yes. I'm lot a friend creature just a guideline about doing meditation. Oh, sure. Yeah. She never meditate her.

I she's never been here today. Before name's older of like. Okay. Hi Olga. Have you ever before? Not at a all. Okay. Well we we normally meditate for forty five minutes. And you deserve a whole handful of build stars if you can sit still for forty five minutes with without having done this before. And so I won't expect you to do that. So if you find this goes on too one for you very, very quietly get up if you need to and just walk around and until word out or something like that. Okay? But give it your best shot.

You basically what you want to do. Is to get completely relaxed and comfortable and then observe the sensations that are produced as the air moves in and out of the. Excuse me, out of your nose as you breathe naturally. So can you just right now notice a sensation you can get familiar with them while are we're getting ready to do in here? Okay. And you feel it pretty clearly. Yeah. Okay. So when we get ready to meditate, close your eyes and put your attention there and just see if you can continue to be aware of those sensations or as many breaths in the row as you can.

Probably what you'll find is that your view server is an awful lot of stuff going on in your mind. Or than you would eyes. And sooner later, one of some someone of the many things going on the line he's gonna capture. It attention, long in enough... You forget that he you'll forget that you were intending to be aware of those sensations. But at some point, you realize that's happened. And what I want you to notice, first of all, is that when you realize what's happened. The notice the quality of your awareness in that moment?

How much more a work awake and present you are compared to when you were just a moment before your mind was wandering or dealing with whatever thoughts. So adam and nephew you knows that, feel good about, you know, say, you might say yourself something I mean don't... Don't say this unless. It's true, but but you might you might find yourself saying something like, well, I'd like my mind to be radius now. All the time said of the way it was just a moment ago. Anyway. Once you've realized that your mind is one away from the sensations the graph, just gently bring it back.

And begin to observe those sensations again. And just do that over over again as many times as you need to. When you are looking at sensations of your breath after a little while, you may think... Well, this is kind of boring? So then make it a little more interesting, so I see if you can notice exactly when the breadth begins and exactly when it ends. And try to see exactly when the begins and then it ends. And then you might try to notice the pause between the out hand breath and pause training in in the see how clearly you can see the...

In other words, see if you can make the power or your awareness become stronger by by closely examining the sensations of the graph. And no matter how many times your attention is drawn away and you forget what you're doing. Don't be bothered by it. Don't worry about it. Just as soon as you recognize that. Be glad that you recognize and bring your attention back. Okay? So that's the essence so. You can do it for the whole five, forty five minutes. That would be wonderful? That's. And both posture?

Yeah. Oh, yes. Very good. Should say something about posture you. If you've never medicaid, you probably never sat on the floor cross I on a Cushion for a long time either. So that's something to get used to. And as a matter of fact, you might even consider sitting on a chair to be more comfortable. But if you want to say the cushion there, Before we even start sitting, you should try to make sure you're as comfortable as possible that there's no stress in your knees or your hips so your back or like that.

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