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Is jhana better than sex?

hermitwinhermitwin Veteran
edited May 2013 in General Banter
people who has attained jhana claim that it is better than
anything they have ever experienced, including sex n drugs.
what do you think?
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Comments

  • ZeroZero Veteran
    Is eating better than drinking?
  • I imagine this would be true. Many drug addicts will tell you that certain drugs feel better than sex and I can believe that jhana would feel even better still.
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I'm not for comparing meditation to sex in terms of 'better', because people could look for the pleasantness of meditation in the wrong direction. But if I had to pick one, I'd surely choose meditation. The happiness of meditation is of a much purer quality than sex and can last for many days and even change your life. The moments in my life that were most valuable were either in meditation or a direct result. They were not between the sheets.

    A friend said to me 'meditation is overrated', and another friend once said to me 'sex is overrated'. Both are true in a way, but I tend to mostly agree with the latter. If anything sex is not half as satisfying as a good meditation.
    riverflowpersonkarmabluesInvincible_summer
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    hermitwin said:

    people who has attained jhana claim that it is better than
    anything they have ever experienced, including sex n drugs.
    what do you think?

    I think they are correct, ten thousand fold! To step over jhana to go have sex, is like stepping over a million dollar bill, to pick up a penny, that is tails up, that is also covered in dog crap! :D

    I'm no "jhana master" but that's what I believe. The Buddha was really, really smart. He said it's better than sex, I believe him!

  • FlorianFlorian Veteran
    Not even a contest.
  • Yes, it is more pleasant, more stable, more rewarding and less troublesome than sex.
    JeffreykarmabluesInvincible_summer
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    I would like to expand the question.
    What is better; jhana, sex or breaking a leg?
    Yunmen Wenyan (864-949). First studied under Muzhou Daoming. He had to knock on Muzhou’s door for three days before Muzhou opened it.
    Muzhou then grabbed Yunmen and shouted, “Speak! Speak!” Yunmen hesitated. Muzhou shouted, “Good for nothing!” and slammed the door on Yunmen’s leg. Yunmen screamed in pain, but at that moment was enlightened. However, he was crippled for life.
    http://www.treetopzencenter.org/YunMensEveryDay.html
  • howhow Veteran
    Better is a very vague word to use when you speaking of apples and oranges.
    Those who experience jhana are prejudiced for they have usually made their practise, the core of their intent, so no thing is more important for them. Perhaps if any of us put in as much time on developing a sexual high that we've put into steadfast mindfulness, then a fairer comparison of the two could be made.
    karastiBeejInvincible_summer
  • I think the Buddha said something like 'If we could spend as much energy on contemplating the truth as we do thinking about sex, Enlightenment could be achieved in a single lifetime."
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited May 2013
    how said:

    Better is a very vague word to use when you speaking of apples and oranges.
    Those who experience jhana are prejudiced for they have usually made their practise, the core of their intent, so no thing is more important for them. Perhaps if any of us put in as much time on developing a sexual high that we've put into steadfast mindfulness, then a fairer comparison of the two could be made.

    I agree. More foreplay......lololololol

    Beejperson
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    Probably better than just sex in general I could see that. I've never experienced jhana so I cannot say for sure. But I can tell you that even though it's not a big part of our marriage, there is still something much different, and more magical (for lack of better word) about sex in such a committed relationship. It's not simply the physical act of sex anymore. Even in times I have loved someone and been in a committed relationship, for me, the extra commitment makes a difference. if anything, meditation and mindfulness has improved our sex life. It is far more about connection and intimacy than just a physical act that feels good.
    riverflowVastmind
  • I think you should all stop speculating and go do jhana to find out for yourselves. :)
    LeonBasin
  • fivebells said:

    I think you should all stop speculating and go do jhana to find out for yourselves. :)

    Can I have sex at the same time please?

    LeonBasinBeej
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited May 2013

    Can I have sex at the same time please?

    Sorry, not with me, my wife would kill me.
    BeejriverflowInvincible_summer
  • jlljll Veteran
    if you reach jhana and its better than sex or drugs.

    then you will seek jhana instead of drugs or sex.

    boy, that would sure free up a lot of
    time n money.

    esp all the time n money i used to spend to look good.
    Cinorjer said:

    Then they're not doing sex right. When the right two people get freaky, nothing beats sex. Trust me on this one.

    Seriously, this sort of search for ever deeper altered states of consciousness can be a distraction from the hard work of being a Buddha. If you reach the fifth or eights or whatever level of jhana, then what? When you get home from the retreat, the grass still needs mowed, the landlord calls to say the rent is late, and your wife is complaining that you forgot her birthday.

    That's when the hard work of being a Buddha happens.

    But I'm not saying it's worthless. Meditation teaches us about our own minds.

    JeffreyBeejInvincible_summer
  • jlljll Veteran
    are you saying that you have tasted it?
    if so, you are probably the 1 st one on this forum.

    unless they are many jhanins hiding in sheepskins here.
    fivebells said:

    Yes, it is more pleasant, more stable, more rewarding and less troublesome than sex.

  • @jll, Yes, I am saying that, but note that there is a lot of variation in the criteria people use to assess whether something is jhana or not. By the standards I am using, it is not as uncommon as you seem to think.

    Because they are useful to my practice, I have developed 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th to the point where I can establish them reliably on the cushion. I have experienced 7th and one of the pureland jhanas (not sure which one) by accident a couple of times each.
    lobster
  • BeejBeej Human Being Veteran
    What about when thoughts of sex arise during meditation?

    OR

    I heard a stat once that said "Bike riders spend 80% of their rides thinking about sex, and spend 20% of their sexual activity thinking about riding a bike".

    Well lets suppose that nonsense was true.... is there anyway we could figure out a way to do both at the same time (bike sex) so we can free our minds up for acheiving total conciousness? :lol:
  • fivebells said:


    Because they are useful to my practice, I have developed 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th to the point where I can establish them reliably on the cushion. I have experienced 7th and one of the pureland jhanas (not sure which one) by accident a couple of times each.

    Would you happen to know of a website or online guide that provides good instructions on how to work toward achieving the 1st?
  • Lazy_eyeLazy_eye Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Related question: is it possible to develop the jhanas and still have a sex life? I don't mean simultaneously. :)

    There seems to be some divergence of opinion on this topic, from what I've seen. Part of the issue is that kamacchanda (sensory desire) is considered a hindrance to the jhanas. But if you succeeded in abandoning kammacchanda altogether, sex would no longer be possible nor even of any interest.

    Assuming one doesn't have celibacy as a goal, how to balance the two?
  • howhow Veteran
    The question to ask when comparing sex with jhana's is not about the relevent value of each but is instead about whether we turn either phenomena into a source of attachment or not.
    riverflowJeffrey
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    Is a chocolate milk shake better than Jhana? Is doing exercise better than meditation? I think one is more supportive of awareness practice.
  • rivercane said:

    Would you happen to know of a website or online guide that provides good instructions on how to work toward achieving the 1st?

    Each and Every Breath. Strongly recommend preceding each meditation session with any of the talks listed here (by the same author) with titles mentioning "breath," "goodwill" or "brahmaviharas." There were some good questions about it in this thread.
  • I'm with @Jeffrey, of course. @how's question is lazy FUD.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Would you dedicate the merit of your sexual activity to all beings? :lol:

    (not addressed to anyone)
    CinorjerlobsterVastmind
  • howhow Veteran

    @Jeffrey

    Most of these postings are tongue in cheek for good reason.
    Why would one actually compare sex with jhana's anyway except to focus on the worth of the feedback of either?
    "Better" is just the definition of scale on what we each consider to more important.
    But to get to your assertion that one is more supportive of awareness practise, I think that some of your own Tibetan practitioners would debate you on that.

    It easy to put "awareness" at the top of our most important list but there are important qualifiers to consider.

    The reason why the eightfold path does not just list the 8 factors but precedes each one with "correct or right", is that each factor also has it's negative. Concentration on it's own, like all the others can lead to either attachment or transcendence.

    The jhanas are no different. Attachments to sexuality is easy to dismiss for the coarseness of it's manifestation but attachments to states attributed to meditative development is a much more pervasive delusion to identify and address.

    The next time you wonder how well acclaimed Buddhist masters can make the egregious errors that we are hearing of today....Look no further.

    Attachments to meditative acomplishments qualifies as one of the hardest of the compounded delusions to deal with.
    Beejkarmablues
  • Thank you @fivebells, I will get started on this tonight.
  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2013
    @Jeffrey
    I think one either offers up the merit of your sexuality union to all beings or you accept that it's really all about you.

    & @Fivebells
    The only fear I am hearing about is that something you consider to be infallable (jhana,s) is being questioned. No where do I say it's not something to explore & experience, just that if one treats it a something more special than the mundane world around us..you've already been snared.
    karmablues
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited May 2013
    @how, was that post of yours (three posts up) meant to be addressed to me? I don't think it's going to out on a limb to say meditation is generally more to do with awareness than sex.

    This is how my teacher teaches in her dharma talks "Turning away from Samsara". My teacher didn't mention sex or chocolate or whatever, but I got the clear idea that we are in samsara and we have to do something.

    Anyhow not sure if you were talking to me and I think it's not a bad categorization to say meditation is generally awareness practice whereas sex for pleasure is like eating food because you are hungry.

    The post one up was talking about sexuality and merit. I kind of was using humor to point something out and I kinda was making a wise crack.
  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2013

    Well..As long as you don't keep badmouthing chocolate.
    riverflowJohn_Spencer
  • BeejBeej Human Being Veteran
    how said:



    Most of these postings are tongue in cheek for good reason.

    Yup. Because putting the tongue anywhere else would make this an entirely different website. :) :lol: :vimp: :rockon: :dunce: :clap:
    howriverflowlobster
  • Is @federica 's finger hovering over the 'close discussion' button again?
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    hermitwin said:

    people who has attained jhana claim that it is better than
    anything they have ever experienced, including sex n drugs.
    what do you think?

    any one can think anything and say anything

    but

    this claim is true


    please do not write anything unwholesome about the above italic, bold and underline letters

    thanks a lot
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    rivercane said:



    Would you happen to know of a website or online guide that provides good instructions on how to work toward achieving the 1st?

    I've always found this to be pretty good. :) http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma7/enterjhana.html

  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited May 2013
    It sometimes happens that when an inexperienced meditator falls into the nimitta [image of the mind], they immediately bounce back to where they began. I call this "Yo, yo Jhanas," after the children's toy that goes up and down on the end of a string. It isn't real Jhana, because it doesn't last long enough, but it is so close that I give it this label. It is that enemy "excitement," which I explained above, that caused the mindfulness to bounce right back from Jhana. Such a reaction is quite understandable since the bliss that one experiences when falling into the nimitta is so much more joy than one can ever imagine. If one thought that the best sexual orgasm was something nice, then one now discovers that it is nothing, trivial, compared to the bliss of these Jhanas.
    http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.htm
    Link contains much information on the jhanas as Ajahn Brahm teaches them, for those interested. It's a good read I think.

    I am one very susceptible to the yoyo effect.. working on it. Craving & fear for jhana/nimitta in meditation is still something I have trouble with. Just like craving & fear for women :rolleyes: In that sense there is not much difference. :D
    karmablues
  • Lazy_eyeLazy_eye Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I realize this may be a hopelessly pedestrian and misguided question, but what I'm still trying to figure out here is whether jhana practice is feasible if you're in a sexual relationship or not aiming to be celibate. If jhana bliss makes sex seem "trivial...nothing" by comparison, then wouldn't one just start to lose all interest in erotic behavior? And seeing as sensory desire is a "hindrance" that one abandons in the course of developing jhana, wouldn't this practice automatically result in loss of libido?

    Not saying there's anything wrong with such a path for those who want to be celibate -- I'm just wondering whether it's a suitable practice for those who don't have that goal. If anyone participating in the thread feels they have found a workable balance, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. I don't do this kind of practice myself but have thought about taking it up at some point.
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    Well, I've had sex and I haven't experienced any kind of meaningful jhana so I feel I can say without question that sex is better and its a waste of time and your life to give up sensual pleasures for a more ascetic lifestyle of meditation and contemplation. :mullet:
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I've heard people say that jhana is like pizza. Even when it's bad it's still pretty good.
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    there are stages of Enlightenment

    at the beginning you make effort to gain control of your mind
    then with the help of controlled mind you 'investigate' whether 'what Budda says is true or not'
    then you get the Right View
    (first stage of Enlightenment)

    then you try to live with your gained Right View but you will not be successful all the time (you will see your hate and greed are reducing by degrees)
    (second stage of Enlightenment)

    you continue to live with your gained Right View, by this time you have more confidence and your efforts to live according to Right View is much more successful before
    (period between after second stage of Enlightenment and third stage of Enlightenment)

    [you might or might not have sex life and can live as a nice, gentle, caring householder]

    one day you will know you have no hate within you anymore
    (third stage of Enlightenment)
    after this stage, such person has no craving for sex


    so have no doubt,
    you will be a better person, if you start to practice today itself
    personseeker242
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    how said:


    Well..As long as you don't keep badmouthing chocolate.

    Make it dark chocolate!


    riverflow
  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2013
    @lazy_eye
    When jhanic states visit, sexual desire has been nowhere to be found. When sexually has arisen, I have had no interest in jhana states.
    It is not that the jhanic bliss makes sex "trivial" it's that the practise that allows such jhanic states to manifest would not occur if you were also feeding your sexual identity in anyway.

    Perhaps those in tantric practises might know of some exceptions to this.
    Lazy_eyelobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    I've had meditation where I got excited but without any fantasy and it just seemed like energy in my body.
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    Each has their place. :thumbsup:
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Lazy_eye said:

    I realize this may be a hopelessly pedestrian and misguided question, but what I'm still trying to figure out here is whether jhana practice is feasible if you're in a sexual relationship or not aiming to be celibate. If jhana bliss makes sex seem "trivial...nothing" by comparison, then wouldn't one just start to lose all interest in erotic behavior? And seeing as sensory desire is a "hindrance" that one abandons in the course of developing jhana, wouldn't this practice automatically result in loss of libido?

    Not saying there's anything wrong with such a path for those who want to be celibate -- I'm just wondering whether it's a suitable practice for those who don't have that goal. If anyone participating in the thread feels they have found a workable balance, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. I don't do this kind of practice myself but have thought about taking it up at some point.

    Although I don't think it is as black and white that celibacy is a requisite for jhana, the refraining from sex and the ability to enter jhana will have a strong correlation. When the Buddha described the gradual path, renunciation is always before the jhanas and renunciation from sex is very much recommended by him.

    Losing interest in sex is also a result of the path, I'd say yes. The Buddha was celibate and so where all other enlightened beings since, by their nature. I still have a sex drive, but noticed it decreasing as a result. I can see it fade more with more practice and consider becoming celibate. The higher pleasure of meditation is partly the cause of this.

    But all of that I think doesn't make the deeper meditations inaccessible for one who is in a sexual relationship, not necessarily.
    lobsterVastmindLazy_eyekarmablues
  • jlljll Veteran
    @seeker, why did you say that?
    'When I was doing 4+ hours of meditation on a daily basis I found that my sex drive reduced to near zero! '

    now nobody is going to meditate!
    jhana vs sex, sex 1: 0 jhana
    riverflowInvincible_summerkarmablues
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    edited June 2013
    Jhana = orgasm = breaking a leg

    That is to say potentially, when we have an orgasm or when we’re breaking a leg, these are moments we can “stop”.

    The intensity of the moment sucks up all the energy that we usually put in adding concepts and preferences upon the experience. There is nothing else, and without context the whole structure of our usual perception crumbles. The absolute is here and now and on such an occasion we encounter it.

    And then we move on. We put on our socks, we do the dishes; because the most stupid thing we can do is to start craving for these moments when we completely forgot about our craving.
    Instead we try to relax here and now, where we found this base.

    (Our baseless base if you like. But that could maybe annoy people who hate hearing about gateless gates or goalless goals ;)
    ways of saying that our practice is about relaxing or “stopping” here and now, without adding words, concepts and preferences on what is complete already.)

    riverflowupekka
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