Jhanic Factors And Formless Realms Contemplation/Meditation

Oops! For those joining the live *(Jhanic Factors And) Formless Realms Contemplation/Meditation* I unplugged the internet while moving seats only realizing this afterwards! Obviously I need more mindfulness! We’ll see if I schedule something live like this again

Here’s the description for this June 12th Insight Timer live event:

Addressing the politics and emotional charges often associated with Jhana & nimitta before talking about jhanic factors then placing this aside for a guided meditation/contemplation based on “The Shorter Discourse on Emptiness (MN 121)” involving village, wilderness, earth & the four formless states

And the notes:

Can stay with breath during talk

Disclaimers: big can of worms. Can’t rule out the possibility this could delay advancement in practicing the jhanas. Seek out master teachers who teach jhana and study and practice with them. I may have been indirectly called out for an over simplification of jhanas and am grateful for this calling out.

No clear consensus on jhana and nimmita and even the jhanic factors as I discovered when looking into them. Perhaps interesting why not taught more in the west. Wild guess that maybe lack the proper levels conducive to the type of disagreement and division for those seeking to further divide and conquer tactics.

I have heard of the controversial nature in east of gaining “psychic powers” with jhanas. . . again, not really mentioned much why jhana hasn’t been taught more in the west. So this polarity of maybe being overly revered, protected, maybe even coveted with a dismissal or absence of availability. Maybe a stretch, but I wonder if this kind of a parallels perhaps of the Buddha’s mastery of Jhana then a kind of abandoning of this as a sole, ultimate teaching/practice

Teachers claiming their method is the correct way and others not, also claims of how the Buddha taught and didn’t teach jhana. How it ought and ought not be taught

These politics and emotional charges involved in what is and isn’t jhana and nimmita seem further complicated by monastic rule of not revealing attainments and lay practitioners not really knowing how attainments are verified.

Left with: why all of the above? From base level one can see the danger of spending so much time of one’s life practicing these and then be invalidated. On the other hand, some level of concentration mastery seems necessary for right samadhi the eighth of the eight fold noble path

Jhanic factors (not the (8) meditative absorption states known as jhana):


directed contact
initial application of mind
applied attention/thought
coarse engagement

Bringing the mind to the object (arousing, applying)


sustained application/attention/thought/contact
more thinking/examination
subtle engagement

Keeping the mind with the object (sustaining, stretching)

Bell and bowl polishing analogies


joy, rapture

  1. goose pimples or pleasantness (minor joy)
  2. flashes or sudden rushes of coolness (momentary joy)
  3. may make one feel lighter or hop or jump (uplifting/transporting joy)
  4. overwhelmed in wave-like, joyful feelings and sway (overwhelming/flood/showering joy)
  5. entire body and mind system suffused to every single particle with joy and comfort (suffusing joy)

Finding, having interest in the object (joy)


deep bliss
within or as if a very high and rapturous state

Being happy and content with the object (happiness)



Unifying the mind with the object (fixing)

Relationship to hinderances:

  • joy =as overcoming= restlessness
  • bliss = ill-will
  • one-pointedness = sensual desires because it stops the mind from flitting to sense objects and fixes onto the meditation object


  1. Vitakka/directed contact – craving for sensual pleasures
  2. Vicāra/sustained contact – ill-will
  3. Pīti/rapture – sloth and torpor
  4. Sukha/bliss – restlessness worry agitation anxiety
  5. Ekaggatā/one-pointedness – doubt


  1. village
  2. wilderness
  3. earth
  4. four formless states:
    • boundless space
    • boundless consciousness
    • boundless nothingness/no-thingness
    • neither perception nor non-perception

Audio: Jhanic Factors And Formless Realms Contemplation/Meditation

Resources and references:


Published by josh dippold


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