Definition - What does Akasanancayatana Jhana mean?
Akasanancayatana jhana is defined as a meditative state where the mind contemplates the infinite nature of space. It is one of four jhanas, which is a Pali term that means "meditation." Jhana is often considered synonymous with the Sanskrit term, dhyana, which is commonly used in the yogic teachings, whereas jhana is more often used in Buddhism.
As the first and most accessible of the four jhanas, akasanancayatana jhana must be realized first in order to reach the other three higher states of jhana.
Yogapedia explains Akasanancayatana Jhana
To enter the first state of akasanancayatana jhana, the yogi focuses on a mental image of an object. Then the yogi must discard that image and replace it with space. At this point, the focus of the mind is on the idea that “space is infinite.”
Within Buddhist teaching, jhanas are described as a series of carefully cultivated and developed states of mind. These states cumulatively lead to what is called upekkhii-sati-piirisuddhi, or "perfect mental awareness and equanimity."
After akasanancayatana jhana, the next three jhanas are:
- Vinnanancayatana jhana - a meditative state where the mind is absorbed in realizing that consciousness is infinite.
- Akincannayatana jhana - a meditative state where the mind contemplates the idea that nothing is there.
- Nevasannanasannayatana jhana - a meditative state of neither perception nor non-perception.