The system of meditation known as Buddhist Jhāna is composed of eight successive steps, called jhānas: the four lower jhānas or ‘meditations on form’ (rūpajjhānā) and the four higher jhānas or ‘meditations on the formless’ (arūpajjhānā).
Meditation proceeds with the selection of a suitable object (kasiṇa) upon which to fix one's gaze. This object (parikamma-nimitta, visual image) is then contemplated until one is capable of forming in the mind's eye a replica image as vivid as the sensation of the original object. The meditator continues to contemplate the idealized image until he finds that methods become a disturbance to him, and he eliminates them; by so doing he enters the second jhāna. He then enters the third jhāna by eliminating pīti (ecstatic joy). The fourth jhāna is attained when all forms of pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy are transcended and upekkhā and mindfulness (sati) alone remain. He may now go on to develop the brahma-vihāra meditations, or the abhiññās, or make the transition to the higher jhānas of the formless realm. By now concentrating upon the infinite void or space left by the discarded image he is said to achieve the fifth jhāna. By shifting his concentration from the infinite space perceived to the act of infinite perception which does the perceiving, he enters the sixth jhāna. The seventh jhāna is marked by the removal of the act of perception itself, so that nothing at all remains. In the eighth and final jhāna the ‘idea’ of ‘nothing’ is removed and the meditator ceases conscious ideation altogether.
"Jhāna, dhyāna." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 9, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jhana-dhyana
"Jhāna, dhyāna." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 09, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jhana-dhyana
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.