– Don’t be afraid of Samadhi

Today, many of Theravada schools refuse to practice Samadhi and they considered samadhi as a danger for Buddhist practitioners. I read on Facebook a page so called “Theravada Buddhism” as follow:

” On Dangers Of Samādhi
Samādhi is capable of bringing much harm or much benefit to the meditator, you can’t say it brings only one or the other. For one who has no wisdom it is harmful, but for one who has wisdom it can bring real benefit, it can lead to insight.
That which can possibly be harmful to the meditator is abso…rption samādhi (jhāna), the samādhi with deep, sustained calm. This samādhi brings great peace. Where there is peace, there is happiness. When there is happiness, attachment and clinging to that happiness arise. The meditator doesn’t want to contemplate anything else, he just wants to indulge in that pleasant feeling. When we have been practising for a long time we may become adept at entering this samādhi very quickly. As soon as we start to note our meditation object, the mind enters calm, and we don’t want to come out to investigate anything. We just get stuck on that happiness. This is a danger to one who is practising meditation.”

What is the truth?

Did Buddha teach that Samadhi is a danger?

We can’t find any of Buddha teaching in the suttas which considered SAMADHI as a danger. But on the contrary, our Buddha always praise of the Samadhi as a necessary mean for the final supreme enlightenment.
So we all know that Buddha Dhamma is: SILA – SAMADHI – PANNA

Samma Samadhi (Right Concentration) definition

“And what, monks, is right concentration? (i) There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. (ii) With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. (iii) With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.’ (iv) With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This, monks, is called right concentration.” SN 45.8

Followings are read from the NIKAYA:

“´This Dhamma is for one with samádhi, not for one without samádhi.´ So it was said. For what reason was this said? Here a monk enters and abides in the first jhána … second jhána … third jhána … fourth jhána.” AN 8.30

When the Bodhisatta had the insight that Jhana was the way to Enlightenment, he then thought, “Why am I afraid of that pleasure which has nothing to do with the five senses nor with unwholesome things? I will not be afraid of that pleasure (of Jhana)!” MN 36

The Buddha said that one who indulges in the pleasures of Jhana may expect only one of four­ consequences: Stream Winning, Once-returner, Non-returner, or Full Enlightenment!
In other words, indulging in Jhana leads only to the four stages of Enlightenment.
(Pasadika Sutta, DN 29,25)

“Jhana is to be followed, is to be developed and is to be made much of. It is not to be feared.” MN 66

“One trains in the higher virtue (sila), the higher mind, and the higher wisdom … What is the training in the higher mind? Here a monk … enters and abides in the first jhána … second jhána … third jhána … fourth jhána.” AN 3.84, 88, 89

“That one could perfect samádhi without perfecting virtue or that one could perfect wisdom without perfecting samádhi – this is impossible.” AN 5.22

“It is impossible to abandon the fetters that bind us to samsára (samyojana) without having perfected samádhi. And without abandoning those fetters it is impossible to realize Nibbána.” AN 6.68

“I say, monks, that the destruction of the mind’s poisons is dependent on the first jhána … eight jhána.” AN 9.36

‘For a person with right samádhi there is no need to arouse the wish,
´May I see things as they truly are.´
It is a natural process, it is in accordance with nature that someone with right samádhi will see things as they truly are.’ AN 10.3

‘There is no jhána without wisdom,
there is no wisdom without jhána,
but for someone with both jhána and wisdom,
Nibbána is near.’ Dhp 372

Develop concentration, bhikkhus; concentrated, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands according to reality. (Samàdhi Sutta, S.III.I.i.v)

Silenced in body, silenced in speech,
silenced in mind, without inner noise,
Blessed with silence is the sage!
He is truly washed of all evil …
(Itivuttaka 3.67)

Not even wholesome thoughts in Jhana

” … And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation / non-ill will / harmlessness arose. I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with renunciation / non-ill will / harmlessness has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night… even for a day… even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.’ So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.
… first jhana, second jhana … ” (Dvedhavitakka Sutta, MN.019)

And this this an opinion of Ajahn Brahm

….When the Bodhisatta had the insight that Jhana was the way to Enlightenment, he then thought, “Why am I afraid of that pleasure which has nothing to do with the five senses nor with unwholesome things? I will not be afraid of that pleasure {of Jhana)!” (MN 36). Even today, some meditators mistakenly believe that something as intensely pleasurable as Jhana cannot be conducive to the end of all suffering. They remain afraid of Jhana. However, in the Suttas the Buddha repeatedly stated that the pleasure of the Jhana “is to be followed, is to be developed and is to be made much o£ It is not to be feared” (MN 66).

In spite of this clear advice from the Buddha Himself, some students of meditation are misled by those who discourage Jhana on the grounds that one can become attached to Jhana and so never become enlightened. It should be pointed out that the Buddha’s word for attachment, upadana, only refers to attachment to the comfort and pleasure of the five sense or world or to attachment to various forms of wrong view (such as a view of self). It never means attachment to wholesome things, like Jhana *.

Simply put, Jhana states are stages of letting go. One cannot be attached to letting go. Just as one cannot be imprisoned by freedom. One can indulge in Jhana, in the bliss of letting go, and this is what some people are misled into fearing. But in the PASADIKA SUTTA (DN 29,25), the Buddha said that one who indulges in the pleasures of Jhana may expect only one of four­ consequences: Stream Winning, Once-returner, Non-returner, or Full Enlightenment! In other words, indulging in Jhana leads only to the four stages of Enlightenment. Thus, in the words of the Buddha “One should not fear Jhana” (MN 66).  (http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.htm#PART_ONE)

By Pham Doan MD

 


One Comment on “– Don’t be afraid of Samadhi”

  1. Minh Tuệ nói:

    Samma Samadhi luôn luôn được Đức Phật định nghĩa là Four Jhanas . Hầu hết đều nghĩ đây là Tứ thiền Hiệp thế (mundane) với đề mục là hữu tướng (form). Thực sự đây chính là Tứ thiền siêu thế (supramundane) mà Ngài đẫ tự khám phá, với đề mục là Vô tướng. Nếu không thông được điều căn bản này, hí luận sẽ còn dài dài (smile) . Vô chiêu thắng hữu chiêu nằm ở đây. Chìa khóa vào cửa Vô tướng này là space of mind, gap between thoughts. Chỉ cần trụ tâm vào khoảng trống không có ý niệm, prolong khoảng trống này ngày một dài ra thí sẽ hiểu được thế nào là pure awareness wiithout concepts, hiểu được thế nào là Định của Thiền quán. Định của Chỉ là lấy đá đè cỏ, còn Đinh của Quán là cứ để cỏ tụ mọc tự rơi, tự sinh tự diệt, dần dần hết cỏ, vừa an tịnh, vừa sáng suột, vừa thấy như thật sự sanh diệt của pháp hữu vi, vừa có khả năng sát trừ được phiền não.. Chính đây là chỗ khởi đầu của ” ly dục ly bất thiện pháp,……….( Kinh Phương quảng MN43 có nói đền điều này trong phần Vô tướng tâm giải thoát).
    Có duyên tại hạ sẽ nói thêm.
    MT


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