chapter
Jhāna, Contemplation
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Although the first references in the canonical writings are to 'jhana'2 in the singular, or mental absorption in a non-particularized sense, the contemplatory exercises known as the four Jhanas are undoubtedly as early as the enumerated Brahmaviharas. Here the objects of concentration are of form, riipa, and formless, ariipa, the latter referring to the spheres of (I) boundless space, (2) boundless consciousness, (3) nothingness, and (4) neither perception nor non-perception. The Jhanas constitute another interesting connexion between brahma1).ic Hinduism and Buddhism, but it should be noted that the Buddhist ihana goes beyond the Hindu absorptions.