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The First Jhāna


Copyright © 2023 Tomás Morales y Duran. All rights reserved


We are going to analyze the factors of the first jhāna.


MN 51: With Kandaraka

Then, totally separated from sensory pleasures, separated from vices, he enters and immerses himself in the first jhāna, which has the pleasure, happiness and joy that arise from recollection, while directing the mind and keeping it concentrated.

As the directing of the mind on the moving forms disappears, it enters and merges into the second jhāna, which has the pleasure, happiness and joy that arise from concentration, with inner clarity and confidence, and with the mind concentrated, the directing of the mind on the forms in movement disappears.



First of all, the meditator must withdraw from sensory pleasures and vices, that is, he must isolate himself from the senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch and intellect, including any kind of idea or thought that arises.

The meditator must direct the mind and keep it concentrated, directing the mind on the forms in movement. In this way, the pleasure, happiness and joy that arise from recollection will emerge, that is, that they are directly induced and not caused by the senses. This is why the meditator, as we said, must previously separate from them.

The first jhāna is induced by a consecutive series of exercises based on directing the mind in the forms in movement, while the second jhāna dispenses with such an exercise.

At this point, we cannot help but reflect on a detail that has prevented devotees in successive centuries from being able to reach the jhānas, and that is that it is impossible to transmit the forms, which are graphic, orally, so which were lost almost immediately, thus rendering Buddhism meaningless since the Buddha's parinibbāna. It is not for nothing that he himself did not do anything to continue the teachings, once Sariputta and Moggallāna had already died.

Without forms, there are no jhānas, without jhānas there is no contemplation and without contemplation there is no enlightenment. It is therefore not surprising that the true teaching was lost and we now see it falsified in many ways.



SN 16.13: The Falsification of the True Teaching

There are five harmful things that lead to the decline and disappearance of the true Teaching.

"What five?"

—It is when the bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, lay men and women lack respect and reverence for the Master, the Teaching, the Saṅgha, the Discipline and the Contemplation. These five harmful things lead to the decline and disappearance of the true Teaching.

There are five things that lead to the continuation, persistence and enduring of the true Teaching.

"What five?"

—It is when the bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, lay men and women maintain respect and reverence for the Master, the Teaching, the Saṅgha, the Discipline and the Contemplation. These five things lead to the continuation, persistence and enduring of the true Teaching.

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