Are you suppose to try and eliminate all the hindrances at once or slowly elimate them one by one? If this is the case are you suppose to eliminate them slowly in one meditation session or slowly rid them until they are all gone During multiple sessions?
Jhanas are attained by suppressing the five hindrances via concentrating on objects like the breath, or a kasina object, etc. But if one contemplates on anicca, dukkha, anatta, one automatically starts reducing, not just suppressing the hindrances. In this latter type of jhana, it is attained via using Nibbana as the arammana (thought object). This is not “an object” per say but a contemplation on anicca, dukkha, anatta. In both these cases – the ‘Anariya’ or ‘Ariya’ Jhanas (or the mundane or the supra mundane), the hindrances are suppressed or reduced over time, and not all at once. For this one needs to focus the mind forcefully onto one thought object (nimitta), not letting those five hindrances come to surface.
This second kind of contemplation leads one to attain the Sotapanna (Stream Entrant) stage of the Noble Eightfold Path. Then these five hindrances are reduced to a level that is sufficient to attain the first jhana with the jhana factors of savitakka, savicara, piti, sukha, ekaggata fairly easily. When the five hindrances are kept at bay, and one feels the serenity of a mind unpolluted by the hindrances, this is called samatha meditation – that attains the ‘calming of the mind.’
The two hindrances of kamachanda and vyapada were reduced to kamaraga and patigha levels at the Sotapanna stage. Kamaraga and patigha are reduced further at the Sakadagami stage, are removed at the Anagami stage. Thus an Anagami is left with rupa raga and arupa raga, and thus one has only attachment for rupa loka and arupa loka.
On the other hand, the hindrance of thina middha is easily overcome by savitakka, i.e., when the mind is focused on Nibbana (anicca, dukkha, anatta). Thus any sleepiness or lethargic feeling cannot survive and one feels energetic. A Sotapanna is at the entry level of comprehending anicca, dukkha, anatta, and the understanding gets progressively better as one moves to higher stages.
The hindrance of Uddacca also decreases by stages. Here one should note that without cultivating jhanas, an Arahant automatically removes all five hindrances, but this also happen in stages and once it happens it is permanent. Ariya jhanas are permanent in nature compared to Anariya jhanas. Thus a Sotapanna will be able to easily get to the first Ariya jhana in any of the future lives, because some of the five hindrances have been permanently reduced, and vicikicca permanently removed.
It is Vitakka that inhibits the hindrance of sloth and torpor (thina middha). Then at the time when mental happiness (Piti) arises in the mind, this jhanic factor of piti suppresses the hindrance of ill will (vyapada). Then the body becomes light due to physical happiness (sukha), and it is this jhanic factor that counters the hindrance of restlessness and worry (uddhacca kukkucca). The moment that one gets to one-pointed-ness (ekgaggata) in meditation, this one-pointed-ness temporarily inhibits sensual desire (kamachanda).
The hindrances are gradually weaken and suppressed with the practice of the day to day life when one is dedicated to make them weak. Some meditation practices also help with suppressing them.
However, trying to tackle them during meditation only, and specially when they are strong (and when one is not very skillful in working them), is a much, much harder task -- almost impossible, perhaps. Also, it's not possible to enter jhana when they are present, so they must be absent when entering it.
In summary, the method to weaken and abandon them is to practice the eightfold path and develop the seven factors of enlightenment (SN 46.38).
In more detail:
Right effort (sammā vāyāmosammā) of the Noble Eightfold Path is a foundation to put in check sloth/torpor:
“And what, bhikkhus, is right effort? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu generates desire for the nonarising of unarisen evil unwholesome states; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives. He generates desire for the abandoning of arisen evil unwholesome states…. He generates desire for the arising of unarisen wholesome states…. He generates desire for the maintenance of arisen wholesome states, for their nondecay, increase, expansion, and fulfilment by development; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives. This is called right effort."
-- SN 45.8
This hindrance pair is more specifically counteracted through the factor of energy (viriya), which is one of the seven factors of enlightenment. What is energy?
“one with energy aroused, one with energy aroused.” In what way, venerable sir, does one have energy aroused?’ The Blessed One then said to me: ‘Here, Moggallana, a bhikkhu with energy aroused dwells thus: “Willingly, let only my skin, sinews, and bones remain, and let the flesh and blood dry up in my body, but I will not relax my energy so long as I have not attained what can be attained by manly strength, by manly energy, by manly exertion.” It is in such a way, Moggallana, that one has aroused energy.’”
-- SN 21.3
In another discourse, the eight grounds for arousal of energy (AN 8.80) are described as occasions where a sense of urgency for the striving on the practice is developed during the many circumstances of the daily life .
Also, the Buddha instructed Maha Moggallana to attend to perception of light as a way to shake off his drowsiness.
The Sāratthappakāsini summarizes six ways of abandoning restlessness and remorse, among them: learning, investigation, association with mature people, good friendship and suitable talk.
This pair denotes agitations of the mind, where the first is marked by anxiety and lack of steadiness and the second is the regret that occur after having done something wrong, a misconduct.
With the higher virtue group developed (right speech, right action and right livelihood), one has a foundation to be freed from remorse. When this foundation is built one becomes virtuous. When one is virtuous it's harder to misbehave, so the opportunity for remorse to arise is rarer. But even then, when one does something wrong and remorse strikes, it likely won't be strong or excessive:
“Suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into a small amount of water in a cup. What do you think? Would the water in the cup become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?”
“Yes, lord. Why is that? There being only a small amount of water in the cup, it would become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink.”
“Now suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into the River Ganges. What do you think? Would the water in the River Ganges become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?”
“No, lord. Why is that? There being a great mass of water in the River Ganges, it would not become salty because of the salt crystal or unfit to drink.”
"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual ...
-- AN 3.100
It might be as little as just enough to direct one to make amends. Anything else is an excess of remorse. Thus, a hindrance and should be abandoned:
"Bhikkhus, the taints increase for two [kinds of persons]. What two? One who feels remorse about a matter over which one need not feel remorse and one who does not feel remorse about a matter over which one should feel remorse. The taints increase for these two."
-- AN 2.108
Also, the Buddha describes five types of persons (AN 5.142), and ascribe a practice for each of them [so they become as the fifth]:
One who violates, becomes remorseful and does not understand as it really is the liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where these arisen bad unwholesome states of his cease without reminder.
Advice: "Taints born of violation are found in you, and taints born of remorse increase. Please abandon the taints born of violation, dispel the taints born of remorse and develop your mind and wisdom".
One who violates and does not become remorseful and does not understand ...
Advice: "Taints born of violation are found in you, but taints born of remorse do not increase. Please abandon the taints born of violation and develop your mind and wisdom".
One who does not violate and yet becomes remorseful and does not understand ...
Advice: "Taints born of violation are not found in you and yet taints born of remorse increase. Please dispel the taints born of remorse and develop your mind and wisdom".
One who does not violate and does not become remorseful and does not understand ...
Advice: "Taints born of violation are not found in you and taints born of remorse do not increase. Please develop your mind and wisdom".
One who does not violate, does not become remorseful, and understands as it really is the liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where these arisen bad unwholesome states of his cease without reminder.
Restlessness is most directly counteracted with the development of tranquility (passaddhi), another enlightenment factor. But again, one should take the eightfold path as foundation, particularly the higher virtue group, otherwise it's a fragile endeavor.
With the foundation set, tranquility requires contentment, so one would benefit from organizing one's life so as to be easily content. Moreover, tranquility develops alongside with joy and rapture (piti: another enlightenment factor):
When there is no joy, for one deficient in joy, (4) rapture lacks its proximate cause. When there is no rapture, for one deficient in rapture, (5) tranquility lacks its proximate cause. When there is no tranquility, for one deficient in tranquility, (6) pleasure lacks its proximate cause.
-- AN 10.3
Concurrently, one can use anapanasati practices to further develop tranquility:
“Breathing in long, he understands: ‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he understands: ‘I breathe out long.’ Breathing in short, he understands: ‘I breathe in short’; or breathing out short, he understands: ‘I breathe out short.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body of breath’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body of breath.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation.’
“He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing rapture’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing rapture.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing pleasure’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing pleasure.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the mental formation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the mental formation. ’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the mental formation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the mental formation.’
-- MN 118
Proper attention and careless attention are particularly important in how it makes us subject to restlessness and remorse:
"When one attends carelessly, unarisen restlessness and remorse arise and arisen restlessness and remorse increase and expand [...]
“When one attends carefully, unarisen restlessness and remorse do not arise and arisen restlessness and remorse are abandoned.
-- SN 46.24
One type of careless attention is simply giving frequent attention to things that makes them increase [e.g. like obsessing over those things]:
By frequently giving attention to things that are a basis for restlessness and remorse, unarisen restlessness and remorse arise and arisen restlessness and remorse increase and expand.
-- SN 46.23
I think this is more straightforward.
While some doubt about the practice can be dispelled through actual practice, if one is practicing without knowing what is going on or what one should be doing, one needs to search for answers: studying, investigating, asking experienced teachers, etc.
So, naturally, questions like these are a product of doubt and asking for answers here is an attempt to eliminate this very hindrance -- which certainly does not involve meditating.
Sensual desire (kāmacchanda)
That is, desire to see a pleasant form, desire to hear a pleasant sound, desire to feel a pleasant touch, desire to feel a pleasant taste, desire to feel a pleasant scent.
“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sensual desire and for the increase and expansion of arisen sensual desire? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the beautiful [...]
-- SN 46.2
One particular practice for diminishing sensual desires is attention/mindfulness on unattractiveness:
“And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen sensual desire from arising and arisen sensual desire from increasing and expanding? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of foulness: frequently giving careful attention to it is the denourishment that prevents unarisen sensual desire from arising and arisen sensual desire from increasing and expanding.
-- SN 46.51
“For those who live contemplating foulness in the body, the tendency to lust with regard to the element of beauty is abandoned.
-- Iti 85
A little more detail on mindfulness on unattractiveness:
Furthermore, a monastic examines their own body, up from the soles of the feet, down from the hairs of the head, and surrounded by skin, as full of various kinds of impurities: ‘In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, undigested food, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spit, snot, synovial fluid, and urine.’
It is as if there were a bag with openings at both ends, filled with various kinds of grains, such as hill rice, wheat, mung beans, peas, millet, and white rice. And someone with good eyesight were to open it and examine the contents: ‘This is hill rice, this is wheat, these are mung beans, these are peas, this is millet, and this is white rice.’
In the same way, a monastic examines their own body, up from the soles of the feet, down from the hairs of the head, and surrounded by skin, as full of various kinds of impurities: ‘In this body there is head-hair, body-hair … urine.’
In this way they meditate by observing an aspect of the body inside … This too is how a monastic meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
-- MN 10
As result, one should end up with the senses restrained:
So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has not developed and cultivated mindfulness directed to the body, the eye pulls in the direction of agreeable forms and disagreeable forms are repulsive; the ear pulls in the direction of agreeable sounds and disagreeable sounds are repulsive; the nose pulls in the direction of agreeable odours and disagreeable odours are repulsive; the tongue pulls in the direction of agreeable tastes and disagreeable tastes are repulsive; the body pulls in the direction of agreeable tactile objects and disagreeable tactile objects are repulsive; the mind pulls in the direction of agreeable mental phenomena and disagreeable mental phenomena are repulsive.
“And how, bhikkhus, is there restraint? Here, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu is not intent upon a pleasing form and not repelled by a displeasing form. He dwells having set up mindfulness of the body, with a measureless mind, and he understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having heard a sound with the ear … Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, he is not intent upon a pleasing mental phenomenon and not repelled by a displeasing mental phenomenon. He dwells having set up mindfulness of the body, with a measureless mind, and he understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. It is in such a way that there is restraint.
-- SN 35.257
The role of mindfulness in this subject is shown in the following passage:
"On having seen a form with the eye, if right mindfulness is lost, then in the form that is seen one grasps it's characteristics (nimitta) with thoughts of craving"
-- SĀ 312
Other practices are also described to overcome this hindrance: the perception of impermanence, the perception of suffering due to impermanence, the perception of not-self (AN 9.16) and the four brahma viharas (MN 7).
Ill will (vyapada)
Again, the higher virtue group should be a foundation to make it easy to weaken ill will. Generally, one also benefits when organizing one's life (and how one approaches people around) in order to avoid circumstances that create anger and hate.
In the suttas, one of the most effective practices to overcome ill will are the four brahma viharas. In particular, karuna and metta:
Friends, it is impossible, it cannot happen, that when the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness is maintained in being and made much of, used as one's vehicle, used as one's foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed, ill-will can invade the heart and remain; for this, that is to say, the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness, is the escape from ill-will.
-- DN 33
More detailed teachings on anger from the pali canon can be found in What does Buddhism teach about anger?
Concurrently, all the above benefit from developing the enlightenment factor of equanimity (upekkha). Equanimity is one of the three pillars that should be trained together along with concentration and energy in balance, since focusing only in one of them creates room for unwholesome states to rise (see AN 3.102):
It's good to keep in mind that, in general, the methods for overcoming taints/hinfrances fall in to the following groups:
“Bhikkhus, there are taints that should be abandoned by seeing. There are taints that should be abandoned by restraining. There are taints that should be abandoned by using. There are taints that should be abandoned by enduring. There are taints that should be abandoned by avoiding. There are taints that should be abandoned by removing. There are taints that should be abandoned by developing.
-- MN 2
Finally, the Buddha's report on his own experience trying to tame the hindrances during meditation may also be helpful:
[...] As I abided thus, diligent, ardent and resolute, a thought of [sensual desire, ill will, cruelty] arose in me. I understood thus: 'This thought of [sensual desire, ill will, cruelty] arose in me. This leads to my own affliction, to others affliction, and to the affliction of both; it obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna'. When I considered: 'This leads to my own affliction', it subsided in me; When I considered: 'This leads to others affliction', it subsided in me; When I considered: 'This leads to the affliction of both', it subsided in me; When I considered: 'This obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna', it subsided in me. Whenever a thought of [sensual desire, ill will, cruelty] arose in me, I abandoned it, removed it, did away with it.
Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. [...]
But with excessive thinking and pondering I might tire my body, and when the body is tired, the mind becomes strained, and when the mind is strained, it is far from concentration. So I steadied my mind internally, quieted it, brought it to singleness, and concentrated it. Why is that? So my mind should not be strained.
-- Dvedhāvitakka Sutta [Bodhi trans.], MN 19
[...] If, while he is examining the danger in those thoughts, there still arise in him evil unwholesome thoughts connected with desire, with hate, with delusion, then he should try to forget those thoughts and should not give attention to them. When he tries to forget those thoughts and does not give attention to them, then any evil unwholesome thoughts connected with desire, with hate, and with delusion are abandoned in him and subside. With the abandoning of them his mind becomes steadied internally, quieted, brought to singleness, and concentrated. [...]
If, while he is trying to forget those thoughts and is not giving attention to them, there still arise in him evil unwholesome thoughts connected with desire, with hate and with delusion, then he should give attention to stilling the thought-formation of those thoughts. [...]
If while he is giving attention to stilling the thought-formation of those thoughts, there still arise in him evil unwholesome thoughts connected with desire, with hate, and with delusion, then, with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the roof of his mouth, he should beat down, constrain and crush mind with mind.
-- Vitakkasanthāna Sutta, [Bodhi Trans.] MN 20
That is, when meditating, if one identifies the presence of a hindrance, then one should simply strive to abandon it by whatever wholesome means. It's not a matter of abandoning them all at once, or at what speed. As one identifies the presence of a hindrance, one should remove it. If it persists through all the meditation session, then one should reflect and plan on how one can make it weak by the next time one sits in meditation -- or how can it be abandoned by that time.
We can not use jhāna for slowly stopping 5 hindrances one by one, but we use vipassanā for eliminating each kilesa one by one.
Jhāna-wholesome-mind just avoid 5 hindrances-mind-factors by arising instead, not eliminate. So, 5 hindrances can stop by just make jhāna arises. After Jhāna-wholesome-mind vanished, unwholesome-mind can arise with 5 hindrances-mind-factors again.
Vipassanā-wholesome-mind eliminate each kilesa, such as each hindrance, by eliminating every taṇhā, attachment. Vipassanā is not the substitution, but it is the real eliminate.
However, jhāna is the most important base of vipassanā.
In regard of contemplatives, Nyom DeusIIXII and those open to it:
No hindrances are starved by just/only Jhana, either one or endless sessions. Listening/reminding/knowing the Dhamma and appropriate attention are necessary, where ever one might dwell. Now (the guessed paradox is that) hindrances need to be abounded ("temporary") to reach Jhana and for that case they might be (prompted/unprompted) suppressed.
"Listen & pay close attention. My person will copy & paste on to you:"
"Monks, there are these five hindrances. Which five? Sensual desire as a hindrance, ill will as a hindrance, sloth & drowsiness as a hindrance, restlessness & anxiety as a hindrance, and uncertainty as a hindrance. These are the five hindrances.
"To abandon these five hindrances, one should develop the four frames of reference. Which four? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. To abandon the five hindrances, one should develop these four frames of reference." ✳
"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.
"Let alone seven years. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for six years... five... four... three... two years... one year... seven months... six months... five... four... three... two months... one month... half a month, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.
"Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.
"'This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said."
We noted in II/A that some of the sets in the Wings to Awakening list jhāna as a condition for discernment, whereas others list discernment as a condition for jhāna. Place both of these patterns into the context of this/that conditionality, and they convey the point that jhāna and discernment in practice are mutually supporting. Passage §171 states this point explicitly, while §165 and §166 show that the difference between the two causal patterns relates to differences in meditators: some develop strong powers of concentration before developing strong discernment, whereas others gain a sound theoretical understanding of the Dhamma before developing strong concentration. In either case, both strong concentration and sound discernment are needed to bring about Awakening. Passage §111 makes the point that when the practice reaches the culmination of its development, concentration and discernment act in tandem. The passages in this section deal with this topic in more detail...
There's no jhana for one with no discernment, no discernment for one with no jhana. But one with both jhana & discernment: he's on the verge of Unbinding. — Dhp 372
[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purpose or other low wordily gains by means of trade and exchange.]
This is progressive:
The meditative state The factor needed to be resolved (let go of) (1) The first dhyana sensuality (kāma), (2) The second dhyana initial application & thinking (vitakka), (3) The third dhyana zest (pīti), (4) The fourth dhyana happiness (sukha), (5) The sphere of infinite space form (rūpa), (6) The sphere of infinite consciousness the sphere of infinite space (ākāsānañcāyatana), (7) The sphere of nothingness the sphere of infinite consciousness (viññāṇañc’- āyatana), (8) The sphere of neither-perceptionnor-non-perception the sphere of nothingness (ākiñcaññ’āyatana), (9) The signless concentration of mind the signs (nimitta).
Why would everybody try to suppress hindrances, that's like forcing hindrances to go away.
"Tranquilizing" is the best way to get into Jhana.
"He trains thus: 'I will breathe in tranquilizing the bodily formation'; he trains thus: 'I will breathe out tranquilizing the bodily formation.'" ---Satipatthana (Bhiku Bodhi's translation)
This is how i describe jhana you become happy with your meditation and can stay with the object . you can stay with the object longer and you will feel that your body is very light. you feel like as if you don't have arms and legs and peaceful. you don't feel your body anymore and you don't feel your breath as if you don't have body. then you will experience that you're in a very spacious place with no walls just like the space. then you will experience some blinking or white bulb that keep rising and fall in your senses. then you will feel very peaceful because there's nothing in there. you will feel like you don't want to stand up in feeling of attachment to happy feeling that will block your way to get deeper unless you let go of the feeling. then you will start seeing craving and all those links of dependent origination. then you will disenchanted with it dispassion and then finally everything ceased.
then... i will leave this for you to experience "it" yourself.