Jhanas -
Question and Answer

By the Venerable U Vimalaramsi 




I did not realise there were different levels within the same jhana. What is the difference between these levels? How do you work with a single jhana level?
With metta to all


Dhamma Greetings,

The way it works is if the meditator can only occasionally attain a jhana but is not able to attain it  regularly then that is the lowest part of that Brahmaloka. When the meditator is able to get in and out of jhana pretty regularly then that is the middle part of that Brahmaloka. When the meditator has gained mastery of going into and out of a jhana quickly and easily everytime they want to then this is the highest attainment of that particular Brahmaloka. This holds true for the first three jhanas. In the fourth jhana there are two levels of attainment to enter the Brahmalokas for 500 Maha Kappas  this attainment has to do with what the meditator is doing while in the 4th jhana focusing on deep stillness or developing the ability to see the subtleties of dependent origination. 

The arupa jhanas last for very long periods of time. I teach the meditator how to experience all of the lower jhanas as well as all of the arupa jhanas. Then on to the cessation of perception and feeling. When the meditator comes out of that cessation of perception and feeling they will see up close and personal the links of dependent origination. This is such a strong and eye opening experience that the meditator then experiences the unconditioned state of nibbana. Why does the unconditioned state arise when the meditator sees the cessation of all of the links of dependent origination? Because there is no condition that arises to start the entire process of dependent origination thus without a cause for the ignorance to arise there is the unconditioned state! Do you see?

So even though a meditator can experience all of the jhanas there is still some work to do. I hope this has been helpful!
Maha-Metta 2U

Bhante Vimalaramsi


Source : http://www.dhammasukha.org


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