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By Henepola Gunaratana

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Those excepting mindfulness of the body and mindfulness of breathing – plus the perception of repulsiveness in nutriment and the defining of the four elements. Cultivation of these subjects can cause the hindrances to subside and the jhāna factors to become manifest. However, because they are occupied with a diversity of qualities and involve an active application of discursive thought they cannot lead concentration beyond the stage of access. The other thirty subjects can all lead to absorption.

Examination of the formula reveals that it divides into two parts, one indicating the states which must be eliminated to attain the first jhāna, the other the states which accompany and define the jhāna itself. The elimination of obstructive states is covered by the expression “quite secluded from sense pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states of mind” (vivicc’eva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi). The Dhammasa ga i A hakathā and the Visuddhimagga comment upon these expressions in almost identical terms, seeking to relate them to the five hindrances.

5 Again he says: “These five 1. , p. 145. , p. 113. pariccāgeneva c’assa adhigamo hoti, 2. , pp. 145-46. , pp. 83-84. 3. , p. 147. , p. 114. 4. ” Dhammasa ga i A hakathā [Pāli Text in Burmese script] (Rangoon, Burma: Buddhasāsana Samiti, 1960), p. ). 5. C. A. F. Rhys Davids, and F. L. Woodward, trans. The Book of the Kindred Sayings (Sa yutta-Nikāya) or Grouped Suttas. [Pt. 1: Kindred Sayings with verses (Sagatha-Vagga), translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids assisted by Sūriyagoda Suma gala Thera; pt.

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A Critical Analysis of the Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation by Henepola Gunaratana


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