Vinnanancayatana Jhana

Definition - What does Vinnanancayatana Jhana mean?

Vinnanancayatana jhana is a meditative state where the mind contemplates the infinite consciousness. 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 second of the four jhanas, vinnanancayatana jhana can only be entered into after the first state of akasanancayatana jhana has been realized.

Yogapedia explains Vinnanancayatana Jhana

To enter vinnanancayatana jhana, the yogi's focus must shift from “space is infinite” to “consciousness is infinite.” In making this shift, the mind can progress to the next stage of meditation.

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."

The other three jhanas are:

  1. Akasanancayatana jhana - a meditative state where the mind is absorbed in realizing that space is infinite.
  2. Akincannayatana jhana - a meditative state where the mind contemplates the idea that nothing is there.
  3. Nevasannanasannayatana jhana - a meditative state of neither perception nor non-perception.

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