NOT another Jhana Thread

el gatito
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by el gatito » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:43 am

Zafutales wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:30 pm
...well........

I have seen reference at times to Shikantaza being likened to the Fourth Jhana - can someone elucidate the rationale for this please?

My understanding is that the Fourth Jhana is really a rather lofty aspiration.

Thanks,

:namaste:
To have a clear understanding of how one goes about "mental cultivation", as it is customary in the Abhidhammic tradition, one has better to Google and read a PDF copy of the Visuddhimagga (Way of Purification) freely available on the Net. Or the Abhidhammatha Sangaha (also available electronically). Then, at least theoretically, the 1,2,...8 Jhana sequence and their practical implementation would be much more clear, and possibly the very need to "compare" or "link" the term to the Shikantaza would not arise at all.

Anonymous X
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:37 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:28 am
Anonymous X wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm
SunWuKong wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:00 pm
Another concern I have about this game is why the fourth jhana or beyond are considered to be so much more important than jhana 1-3. Maybe that's why its viewed as being difficult, because the most accessable jhanas are looked down upon. I'm not seeing the wisdom of that. Especially given that most complaints about it is accessability. And quackery (imposters)

:meditate:
As you know, jhanas are a big topic amongst Theravadins. As I've come to see, there is a lot of explanation of the jhanas by many monks and scholars. This topic is too big and intricate to lay out in a forum like this so I'll just put forth a general quote from Nanamoli & Bhikkhu Bodhi.

“The jhānas and the mundane types of direct knowledge by themselves do not issue in enlightenment and liberation. As lofty and peaceful as these attainments are, they can only suppress the defilements that sustain the round of rebirths but cannot eradicate them. To uproot the defilements at the most fundamental level, and thereby yield the fruits of enlightenment and deliverance, the meditative process must be redirected along a third line of development, one which does not necessarily presuppose the former two. This is the contemplation of “things as they actually are,” which results in increasingly deeper insights into the nature of existence and culminates in the final goal, the attainment of arahantship.”

Excerpt From: Nanamoli, Bhikkhu. “The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha.”


Without the wisdom factor and its supports, the conditions for release don't come through jhana.
Exactly. Only arhantship is not our goal. The same "Factors of Concentration" ((samadhi)) apply however to Mahayana as well as Theravada. So it is written.

:buddha2:
For me, whether you think Arahantship or Bodhisattvahood is the goal, the real goal in Buddhist teachings is to ''see things the way they actually are". Putting word(s) to experiences is not it. This is not about sectarianism. Impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not self, are the 3 marks of existence, the basis of all Buddhist teaching.

Anonymous X
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:40 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:50 am
Anonymous X wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm

Without the wisdom factor and its supports, the conditions for release don't come through jhana.
The fundamental thing in realization, is realizing its not about you (me) - that self is a mentally constructed illusion, that it is kept in play by a series of misunderstandings, chiefly attachment and aversion. The other thing is that, conventionally speaking religion tends to reinforce the false notions, because we all play this game so well we know exactly how to fail at it beautifully. I'd be suspicious of someone who claims to have spent hundreds or thousands of hours on a zafu and not had extraordinary events such as the jhanas arise. It can be confusing and disorienting, and thankfully we are all now more aware of it. Jhanas arise because shackles are being broken! Some don't like to associate the factors of concentration with the specific fetters that are broken but its illustrative of a significant point. You don't break the shackles in order to practice, you practice in order to break the shackles. This wont be the first or last said on the topic, but this is my best shot at it!! :shrug:

Peace,
WuKong
Using the Buddha's words seems much more precise than philosophical musings.

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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:51 am

el gatito wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:43 am
Zafutales wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:30 pm
...well........

I have seen reference at times to Shikantaza being likened to the Fourth Jhana - can someone elucidate the rationale for this please?

My understanding is that the Fourth Jhana is really a rather lofty aspiration.

Thanks,

:namaste:
To have a clear understanding of how one goes about "mental cultivation", as it is customary in the Abhidhammic tradition, one has better to Google and read a PDF copy of the Visuddhimagga (Way of Purification) freely available on the Net. Or the Abhidhammatha Sangaha (also available electronically). Then, at least theoretically, the 1,2,...8 Jhana sequence and their practical implementation would be much more clear, and possibly the very need to "compare" or "link" the term to the Shikantaza would not arise at all.
I agree that trying to compare Shikantaza to the 4th jhana is somewhat dubious at best. But, keep in mind that Abhidhamma is hotly disputed within Theravada circles. Many dispute the Visuddhimagga claiming its author, Buddhaghosa, bit off more than he could chew. Sticking to the suttas for instruction on meditation, Satipatthana Sutta and Anapanasati Sutta should form the basis. Jhanas should only be discussed within the whole system, not as something 'stand alone' as many seem to think.

el gatito
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by el gatito » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:30 pm

Anonymous X wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:51 am
Many dispute the Visuddhimagga claiming its author, Buddhaghosa, bit off more than he could chew.
Agree. This is showing, sometimes. Especially, when there is a feeling of uncertainty when describing advanced states related to the cultivation, uncertainty with regard to what exactly the "nimitta" would be, and how it is perceived by the practitioner, and a number of passages in the text where the reader would doubt about the clarity of the personal experience of the author. However, not many from those who dispute the author's own experience would produce a text of this value. If anyone at all.

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SunWuKong
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by SunWuKong » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:31 am

I'm not sure if we are adding clarity to the question. "Buddha's Words" vs. "Sutta" vs. "direct experience." That can be argued forever. Suffice it to say that jhanas are not there for no reason at all, but one can practice fully no matter what happens.
"Cast off body and mind" (身心脱落 shēn xīn tuō luò)

Varis
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Varis » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:19 am

Anonymous X wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:51 am
I agree that trying to compare Shikantaza to the 4th jhana is somewhat dubious at best. But, keep in mind that Abhidhamma is hotly disputed within Theravada circles. Many dispute the Visuddhimagga claiming its author, Buddhaghosa, bit off more than he could chew. Sticking to the suttas for instruction on meditation, Satipatthana Sutta and Anapanasati Sutta should form the basis. Jhanas should only be discussed within the whole system, not as something 'stand alone' as many seem to think.
The only teachers who seem to teach strictly from the Suttas and dispute the Visuddhimagga as legitimate are westerners.

I would not write off the Vishuddhimagga as the sole invention of Buddhagosa, it must have been the orthodox view of Theravada at the time or else it would have been rejected. Let's also not forget about the Vimuttimagga which predated the Visuddhimagga and differs from it in minor ways.

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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:06 am

Varis wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:19 am
Anonymous X wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:51 am
I agree that trying to compare Shikantaza to the 4th jhana is somewhat dubious at best. But, keep in mind that Abhidhamma is hotly disputed within Theravada circles. Many dispute the Visuddhimagga claiming its author, Buddhaghosa, bit off more than he could chew. Sticking to the suttas for instruction on meditation, Satipatthana Sutta and Anapanasati Sutta should form the basis. Jhanas should only be discussed within the whole system, not as something 'stand alone' as many seem to think.
The only teachers who seem to teach strictly from the Suttas and dispute the Visuddhimagga as legitimate are westerners.

I would not write off the Vishuddhimagga as the sole invention of Buddhagosa, it must have been the orthodox view of Theravada at the time or else it would have been rejected. Let's also not forget about the Vimuttimagga which predated the Visuddhimagga and differs from it in minor ways.
There are several Sri Lankan monks who don't agree with Visuddhimagga and Buddhaghosa. This is a view that seems to be growing. I've read that Buddhaghosa was a Vedic scholar who was 'hired' to translate into Pali, a language that has different meanings for similar words for Sanskrit. You can read the views if you search on google. Many key words are mis-translated and what has passed for orthodox Theravada since then is being re-assessed by modern translators and monks who are intimate with Pali and Sinhala script. This is not an uncommon thing translating from Sanskrit, which was not the language of the Buddha, into other languages. You can start here.

Varis
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Varis » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:55 am

Anonymous X wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:06 am
There are several Sri Lankan monks who don't agree with Visuddhimagga and Buddhaghosa. This is a view that seems to be growing. I've read that Buddhaghosa was a Vedic scholar who was 'hired' to translate into Pali, a language that has different meanings for similar words for Sanskrit. You can read the views if you search on google. Many key words are mis-translated and what has passed for orthodox Theravada since then is being re-assessed by modern translators and monks who are intimate with Pali and Sinhala script. This is not an uncommon thing translating from Sanskrit, which was not the language of the Buddha, into other languages. You can start here.
I'm assuming they are influenced by western scholarship, no?
My point still stand that this is a western position, in opposition to orthodox Theravada.

The arguments on puredhamma fail to take into account the Vimuttimagga which not only predates the Visuddhimagga, but it also contains the same so-called "vedic ideas" that they're claiming Buddhaghosa introduced.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:42 am

Zafutales wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:30 pm
My understanding is that the Fourth Jhana is really a rather lofty aspiration.
According to the Buddha himself it is the way to liberation.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
SunWuKong wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:00 pm
Another concern I have about this game is why the fourth jhana or beyond are considered to be so much more important than jhana 1-3.
It's because according to the Buddha himself fourth jhana is the way to awakening.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
SunWuKong wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:00 pm
Maybe that's why its viewed as being difficult
4th jhana is difficult to enter because 3rd jhana is so pleasurable.
Tolya M wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:17 am
arupa dhyanas
The formless attainments are not called jhana in the early suttas, later in the commentaries they are, but not by the Buddha.
Anonymous X wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm
The jhānas and the mundane types of direct knowledge by themselves do not issue in enlightenment and liberation.
Really?
Because if you read the Buddhas own account of his awakening, it paints a different picture:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Anonymous X wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:37 am
the real goal in Buddhist teachings is to ''see things the way they actually are".
Please show me that in any early text. I'll be surprised if it's even in the digha-nikaya
Varis wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:19 am
The only teachers who seem to teach strictly from the Suttas and dispute the Visuddhimagga as legitimate are westerners.
I assure you that is not the case.
And I'd be very interested to hear what western teachers teach like this. Really, I'd be very interested to know who you mean.

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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:15 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:42 am
Anonymous X wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm
The jhānas and the mundane types of direct knowledge by themselves do not issue in enlightenment and liberation.
Really?
Because if you read the Buddhas own account of his awakening, it paints a different picture:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Anonymous X wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:37 am
the real goal in Buddhist teachings is to ''see things the way they actually are".
Please show me that in any early text. I'll be surprised if it's even in the digha-nikaya
Arupa samadhi and the subsequent states of infinite space, infinite perception, the realm of nothingness, and the realm of neither sensation nor non sensation, are the states that the Buddha went through and let go of, 'arriving' at Sanna Vedayita Nirodha, the cessation of sensation and feeling, said to be similar to death and the stopping of the mind. With his restarting of the mind, he saw how this activity creates world, self, and suffering and his enlightenment, vijja, the knowledge of the cause of suffering, its end, and the way leading to its end. Samadhi/jhanas are enlightenment factors but not enlightenment. The expression 'seeing things the way the are' is the generally used term for seeing the nature of things, impermanent/changeable, unsatisfactory/no ultimate pleasure, and not self, The 3 Marks of Existence. You can also look up Nirodha Samapatti, the end of the dream of existence.

Anonymous X
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:18 pm

Varis wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:55 am
Anonymous X wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:06 am
There are several Sri Lankan monks who don't agree with Visuddhimagga and Buddhaghosa. This is a view that seems to be growing. I've read that Buddhaghosa was a Vedic scholar who was 'hired' to translate into Pali, a language that has different meanings for similar words for Sanskrit. You can read the views if you search on google. Many key words are mis-translated and what has passed for orthodox Theravada since then is being re-assessed by modern translators and monks who are intimate with Pali and Sinhala script. This is not an uncommon thing translating from Sanskrit, which was not the language of the Buddha, into other languages. You can start here.
I'm assuming they are influenced by western scholarship, no?
My point still stand that this is a western position, in opposition to orthodox Theravada.

The arguments on puredhamma fail to take into account the Vimuttimagga which not only predates the Visuddhimagga, but it also contains the same so-called "vedic ideas" that they're claiming Buddhaghosa introduced.
I believe the Vimuttimagga is not one of the disputed commentaries. I'm not sure why. Doesn't that site talk about it? There are probably other sites that also talk about this. You didn't think that the arguments made on puredhamma were valid?

Tolya M
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Tolya M » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:01 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:42 am
Tolya M wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:17 am
arupa dhyanas
The formless attainments are not called jhana in the early suttas, later in the commentaries they are, but not by the Buddha.
Khm... in early suttas according to X-name professor or to according cooking-my-own-dhamma follower or to pseudo-zen idle talks of poor educated teacher... I'm well versed in Abhidhamma and I know for sure that you can not read 10% of what is translated into English (suttas especially) and make loud statements that jhanas are the path to liberation or awakening and so on. Every sutta has a commentary and even nibbana and liberation are of many kinds. The jhanas are not considered the Path to the supramundane liberation by anyone in the Theravada. Even the special supramundane jhanas are called so simply because they are associated with cittas of saints. Moreover theravada magga and phala cittas are repeating of darshana-marga several times in the vaibhashika-sarvastivada terminology. Everything is much worse than it seems for our time if we are speaking about jhanas. I'm not interested in curtsy to the western audience or the emasculation of tradition by archaeological research.

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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:27 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:42 am
Anonymous X wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm
The jhānas and the mundane types of direct knowledge by themselves do not issue in enlightenment and liberation.
Really?
Because if you read the Buddhas own account of his awakening, it paints a different picture:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Anonymous X wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:37 am
the real goal in Buddhist teachings is to ''see things the way they actually are".
Please show me that in any early text. I'll be surprised if it's even in the digha-nikaya
Anonymous X wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm
The expression 'seeing things the way the are' is the generally used term for seeing the nature of things, impermanent/changeable, unsatisfactory/no ultimate pleasure, and not self, The 3 Marks of Existence. You can also look up Nirodha Samapatti, the end of the dream of existence.
Is that the goal of Buddhist teachings? Like I said:
Please show me that in any early text. I'll be surprised if it's even in the digha-nikaya
Also how do you reconcile the 'extinction of perception' with the eightfold path? or the buddha's own awakening?

MN36:
Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed
"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it was actually present, that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

Fortyeightvows
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:32 pm

Tolya M wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:01 pm
in early suttas according to X-name professor or to according cooking-my-own-dhamma follower or to pseudo-zen idle talks of poor educated teacher...
Can you find a sutta which describes the formless as jhana?
Tolya M wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:01 pm
I'm well versed in Abhidhamma
Yes, and in the Abhidhamma the formless are called jhana, but not in the suttas.
Tolya M wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:01 pm
I know for sure that you can not read 10% of what is translated into English (suttas especially) and make loud statements that jhanas are the path to liberation or awakening and so on.
He rejected the formless attainments and then went back to the jhana he had entered in his youth, then achieved awakening.

Tolya M
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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Tolya M » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:08 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:32 pm

Can you find a sutta which describes the formless as jhana?
Oh, man... You assume that you found in the canon what the monks did not notice for 2000 years... Ok. ))
Tolya M wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:01 pm

Yes, and in the Abhidhamma the formless are called jhana, but not in the suttas.
Suttas are points for subsequent comments. I fully admit that some of the suttas are writings of arahants and part of canon was definitely lost. In the etymology of jhana even some of kamavacarakusala cittas fits. Ayatana, dhatu etc. What are the consequences? )
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:32 pm
He rejected the formless attainments and then went back to the jhana he had entered in his youth, then achieved awakening.
Buddha achieved awakening under the Bodhi tree. 4 arupas are not included in sammasamadhi common matika but these concentrations can be practiced by samathayanika yogis on the Path up to nirodha samapatti. The Buddha could not reject the arupa jhanas because he himself told his disciples to free the mind by N8P and the body by arupa jhanas. Where with such an interpretation do you place body-witnesses, eight liberations? One cannot become a saint apart from nanas of vipassana but it is ok not to posess any jhana attaiment. Exept upacara samadhi for first jhana but it is a debatable point.

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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Fortyeightvows » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:01 am

Oh, man... You assume that you found in the canon what the monks did not notice for 2000 years... Ok. ))

What?
Its actually that your claim (which follows abhidhamma and the commentaries) is not found in the suttas.
Your finding something in the canon that isn't there.
One cannot become a saint apart from nanas of vipassana but it is ok not to posess any jhana attaiment.
The emphasis on vipassana is a very very modern idea. If you set aside the commentaries for a bit, and look at the early texts, you will find that vipassana is mentioned very rarely, while jhana and the terms associated and used to describe jhana is pervasive.

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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:35 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:27 pm
Anonymous X wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:37 am
the real goal in Buddhist teachings is to ''see things the way they actually are".
Please show me that in any early text. I'll be surprised if it's even in the digha-nikaya
SA301: “Why is this? One who rightly sees and knows, as it really is, the arising of the world, does not hold to the non-existence of the world. One who rightly sees and knows, as it really is, the cessation (passing away) of the world, does not hold to the existence of the world.

SF168: “Why is that? Arising in the world, Kātyayana, seen and correctly understood just as it is, shows there is no non-existence in the world. Cessation in the world, Kātyayana, seen and correctly understood just as it is, shows there is no permanent existence in the world.”

SN12.15 But for one who sees the origin of the world as it really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of nonexistence in regard to the world. And for one who sees the cessation of the world as it really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of existence in regard to the world.


Is this enough to satisfy you?

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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:40 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:27 pm
Also how do you reconcile the 'extinction of perception' with the eightfold path? or the buddha's own awakening?
Please quote where I said the "extinction of perception?" I cannot find this statement.

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Re: NOT another Jhana Thread

Post by Anonymous X » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:51 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:01 am
Oh, man... You assume that you found in the canon what the monks did not notice for 2000 years... Ok. ))

What?
Its actually that your claim (which follows abhidhamma and the commentaries) is not found in the suttas.
Your finding something in the canon that isn't there.
One cannot become a saint apart from nanas of vipassana but it is ok not to posess any jhana attaiment.
The emphasis on vipassana is a very very modern idea. If you set aside the commentaries for a bit, and look at the early texts, you will find that vipassana is mentioned very rarely, while jhana and the terms associated and used to describe jhana is pervasive.
You should really re-think this. Vipassana, insight, is part of the wisdom factor. There are many ways to interpret suttas and what they say and don't say. Because we rely on 'popular' translations, we get to pick and choose key words that we personally like and dislike. You need to look deeper at the meanings, not the words that are written. Even Malcolm has mentioned this problem of translation and meaning. In Dzogchen, translators have different meanings for key words like Rigpa. You might as well throw a dart at one of them and stick with it. This wisdom is not in the word.

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