What is the goal for this mastery exactly? I'm guessing it's to look back at your jhana meditation and see what happen. What went wrong, what are things you can improve, what lead to jhana & lsot the jhana etc.

Is this correct? I want to make sure i understand completely.

2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, when we start on the spiritual path, we almost completely lack a feedback mechanism. It's like we are numb. It's like we dance with a woman stepping on her feet and not even noticing it, and not seeing how she cringes. Or we see, and feel something we step on, but can't connect the two. Untrained mind is like that.

Then as we watch ourselves critically in our day to day life, and as we stare at ourselves for hours during meditation, we start getting some sensitivity. It's like iceskating, initially we don't feel much with our feet and then we begin to feel the surface, and then it's almost like we grow eyes on our feet and can see every nuance of the surface. Same with our ability to reflect upon our state of mind, it gets clearer and smarter and more precise year after year of practice, until it becomes a superuseful everpresent feedback mechanism.

Eventually what we get is this wonderful ability to balance and tune our mind dynamically, right in the midst of any situation, by plugging the self-reflective ability as feedback into the state of the mind itself. So at the mastery level, we never get angry or selfish or miserable not because we are now gods, but because we can see troublesome mindstates from miles away coming up, before they really descend and become a problem. And we can counterbalance them with very little effort pretty early on.

So that's the goal of developing mastery of reflection, is to eventually get an automatic mind balancing mechanism.

  • 1
    That was a really simple yet understandable explanation
    – DeusIIXII
    Jan 13, 2018 at 2:43

Pa-auk monastery tradition:

If you ask this question at pa-auk, they will recommend "you should in meditation, first". Because mind and mind factors arising are very fast and complex. So, it is not possible for no-attained-jhāna-person to clearly understand jhāna factors. And I am agree with that recommend, too.

This image captured from TEACHING & TRAINING book of Pa-auk monastery:

By jhāna master from pa-auk.

From path of purification pāli, pathavīkasiṇaniddesa:

ayaṃ panettha atthappakāsanā, paṭhamajjhānato vuṭṭhāya paṭhamaṃ vitakkaṃ āvajjayato bhavaṅgaṃ upacchinditvā uppannāvajjanānantaraṃ vitakkārammaṇāneva cattāri pañca vā javanāni javantiฯ tato dve bhavaṅgāni, tato puna vicārārammaṇaṃ āvajjanaṃ, vuttanayāneva javanānīti evaṃ pañcasu jhānaṅgesu yadā nirantaraṃ cittaṃ pesetuṃ sakkoti, athassa āvajjanavasī siddhā hotiฯ


  1. Emerges 1st jhāna, then...
  2. Bhavaṅga-minds auto arising, break it, then ...
  3. Thinking of vitakka by only 4-5 javana-minds arising, then...
  4. Agree only 2 bhavaṅga-minds arising, break it, then...
  5. Thinking of vicāra by only 4-5 javana-minds arising, then...
  6. Loop 4-5 steps by 5 jhāna-elements' sequence, until you will attain Jhana Mastery Of Reflection.

How to notice the Jhana Mastery Of Reflection attainment?

General person use 7 javana-minds arising per thought and uncountable bhavaṅga arising between thought, but the jhāna-master must use lesser javana-minds and lesser bhavaṅga-minds to take mastery jhāna.

The practitioner attained right, exact Jhana Mastery Of Reflection, when he can meditate Jhana Mastery Of Reflection follow above step without any getting struck, such as more than 2 bhavaṅga-minds arising or more than 4-5 javana-minds arising.

Still doubt?

There are many jhāna masters at Pa-Auk Forest Monastery. This is better way, because below quote was written in the path of purification page 94:

So if someone with cankers destroyed is available, that is good. If not, then one should take it from a non-returner, a once-returner, a stream-enterer, an ordinary man who has obtained jhána, one who knows three Piþakas, one who knows two Piþakas, one who knows one Piþaka, in descending order [according as available]. If not even one who knows one Piþaka is available, then it should be taken from one who is familiar with one Collection together with its commentary and one who is himself conscientious. For a teacher such as this, who knows the texts, guards the heritage, and protects the tradition, will follow the teachers’ opinion rather than his own. Hence the Ancient Elders said three times, “One who is conscientious will guard it.”

For alternative translation see:


For word definition:

  1. http://www.palikanon.com/english/sangaha/chapter_1.htm
  2. http://www.palikanon.com/english/sangaha/chapter_2.htm
  3. http://www.palikanon.com/english/sangaha/chapter_3.htm
  4. http://www.palikanon.com/english/sangaha/chapter_4.htm
  5. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/PathofPurification2011.pdf
  • Thank for your help. Truly appreciate it
    – DeusIIXII
    Jan 13, 2018 at 2:06

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