Thursday, January 30, 2020

Ajahn Brahm's Jhabrama Jhana is not Jhāna

Kāya, rūpa, vitakka in the 4 jhānas: Mirror mirror on the wall, do I have bias, integrity, or none at all?

Image result for mirror mirror on the

You have to ask yourself a simple question. What really is your motivation? It's a simple question, but your quick response answer may not be accurate.

If your goal is seeking truth, then you should be approaching the EBT (early buddhist texts) with the attitude of trying to understand it on its own terms, and making sure inferences and assumptions connect all the dots of all the suttas, leaving a coherent EBT with no contradictions in meaning.

If you find that you have to cherry pick a few passages, use a very dubious interpretation, which then leaves the rest of the EBT body of work incoherent and in contradiction, then you probably need to do a deep introspection and revisit some simple questions. What is my motivation? Am I being honest? Do I have hidden biases? Am I just scouring the suttas looking for anything that can be taken out of context and misquoted so I can lie to myself and confirm the bias of my own previously dearly  held view?

Here's a simile. 

Anna has two mirrors in her house.  Mirror number One makes her look thin. Mirror number two  makes her look fat.
Whenever someone says she is too heavy and at risk of heart disease, she says, "No I'm not, look in this mirror number one. See? I'm thin."
Whenever someone says she is too thin and undernourished, she says, "No I'm not. Look in this mirror number two. I'm a very healthy weight and not undernourished at all."

Neither mirror is telling the truth. Either use some other instruments and means of measuring to  discern healthy weight, or get rid of your two lying mirrors and replace it with one that's accurate.

MN 61 amba-laṭṭhika-rāhul-ovāda


Every morning, the Evil Queen asked the Magic Mirror the question "Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?". The mirror always replies: "My Queen, you are the fairest in the land." The Queen is always pleased with that because the magic mirror never lies.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

tracing how vitakka works in 4 brahmaviharas from EBT, to vimt, to vism

tracing how vitakka words in 4 brahmaviharas from EBT, to vimt, to vism

Post by frank k » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:41 pm
for vimt. and vism:


Vimt. matches up quite well with EBT, especially you read the section on thoughts of metta and 'fixed meditation' , 'jhana'. It doesn't segregate the thinking in access concentration.

In Vimt., which uses an earlier much less corrupt version of abhdhamma, access concentration means there's spikes of interruption of 5 hindrances, and appana samadhi, fixed penetration, means that 5 hindrances do not interrupt at all. A very reasonable definition that actually seems to work with EBT, by adding something without clobbering existing meanings and definitions.

Vism. on the the other hand, it's a complete mess of contradictions and incoherence.
I challenge any Abhidhamma expert to give a clear explanation of how the jhanas work while doing the 4 brahmaviharas. It doesn't make much sense to me. If you're in appana samadhi, absorption fixed 'jhana', then how could you have any awareness and ability to direct intentions of metta in a direction, or targeting a specific person or group of beings? You'd have to be an upacara samadhi. But according to Vism., one can do metta in first 3 jhanas.

Monday, January 27, 2020

DN 9: B. Sujato criminal translation of rupa

DN 9 from B. Sujato suttacentral

“Furthermore, a mendicant, going totally beyond perceptions of form, with the ending of perceptions of impingement, not focusing on perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite’, enters and remains in the dimension of infinite space. 
“Puna caparaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, bhikkhu sabbaso rūpasaññānaṃ samatikkamā paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā nānattasaññānaṃ amanasikārā ‘ananto ākāso’ti ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ upasampajja viharati. 

The perception of luminous form that they had previously ceases. 
Tassa purimā rūpa-saññā, nirujjhati. 

frankk comment: 

That 'luminous' is not in the pali. Normally, as far as I know, in that standard formula for base of infinite space, B. Sujato just translates 'rupa' as 'form'. Here, he inserts a spurious 'luminous', purely based on his own wrong interpretation of the 4 jhanas.

Here is a detailed analysis, pali and english audit, glossing the keywords in the formula with absolute unequivocal evidence that the 'rupa' being referred to, is the physical anatomical body

B. Sujato's spurious translation of 'luminous form' is not only wrong, it's criminal. 
He probably translated it that in the sutta in reaction to B. Thanissaro's translation of the same DN 9 passage:

And then, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity,

frank k comment: 

Note that B. Thanissaro has 'physical' in square brackets, to indicate he's inserting a qualifying comment that doesn't come from the pali text. His interpretation as shown in the detailed article linked, is well supported. And probably, B. Thanissaro added the 'physical' as a reaction to Abhidhamma and Ajahn Brahm promulgating their interpretation of 4 jhanas which contradicts standard EBT accepted definition and interpretation.

The audacity of B. Sujato's translation is truly disturbing. That one is willing to just insert extraneous words to support one's personal interpretations shows a lack of basic integrity and honesty as a translator, as a teacher, as a practitioner. One willing to commit such fraud will not go far in their spiritual practice.

One day, hopefully sooner than later, the Buddhist community will have their 'me too' movement and bring offenders to justice.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

PTS page #, agama parallel lookup tool added to lucid24.og

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Samādhi, sati, should be active all the time, 24/7. There is no off switch, no vacation. 4nt ☸ 8aam should be on your mind. Always. If you're conscious, you should be lucid. If you're asleep and dreaming, hijack your way into a lucid dream. During waking hours, wake up and smell the Dukkha. See things as they actually are (yathā-bhūtaṃ). That's lucidity.