Is it possible to attain the first jhana, then remain in first jhana, while walking, talking, eating and performing other daily activities?

Or does one remain in first jhana only while in sitting meditation, then he has to leave the jhana and meditation, before he is able to perform daily activities such as walking, talking and eating?

6 Answers 6


From AN3.63:

With the giving up of pleasure and pain, and the ending of former happiness and sadness, I enter and remain in the fourth absorption, without pleasure or pain, with pure equanimity and mindfulness.

When I’m practicing like this, if I walk meditation, at that time I walk like the gods.

When I’m practicing like this, if I stand, at that time I stand like the gods.

When I’m practicing like this, if I sit, at that time I sit like the gods.

When I’m practicing like this, if I lie down, at that time I lie down like the gods.

There are some who find the above an indication that walking meditation in jhana is possible. There are also those who find the above impossible given the depth of absorption in which senses recede and physical processes such as breathing stop.

There is also the matter of the Vinaya, which prohibits public discussion of attainments. To illustrate the difficulty of translation for those bound by the Vinaya, note that where Bhante Sujato uses "walking meditation", Bhikkhu Bodhi translates the section on walking in AN3.63 with more ambiguity. Both are bound by the Vinaya:

Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is celestial.

Discussion of jhana attainments is problematic given the prohibitions of the Vinaya. In other words, the monastics who understand jhana are forbidden from discussing it. Therefore, this question can never be answered definitively in a public forum such as this.

  • 1
    Thanks! AN 3.63 is interesting.
    – ruben2020
    Mar 13, 2019 at 15:08
  • Actually, the parajika regarding claims of jhana are only for those who make such claims not having attained that state e.g. en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/227/4pk.htm
    – user15020
    Mar 16, 2019 at 20:05
  • 2
    @000 I think monks aren't supposed to claim superior attainments even if that's true, to a lay audience e.g. en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/227/92pa.htm#ch-----8
    – ChrisW
    Mar 16, 2019 at 21:41
  • Interesting. Especially when you consider that laymen are more likely to be interested in jhana practice these days! ;-)
    – user15020
    Mar 17, 2019 at 0:52

It's possible to reach Jhanic states while not formal sitting, yet can be certain "dangerous". (while not serious, actually serious warning). Walking is perfect, but one should not train such in a "dangerous" environment for one self and others but only when already walking renouncing ways.

A will of change (sitting, walking, standing, lying), how ever, requires to leave the state, but if good trained, quick may continue.

It might occur, but would not be prompted by one knowing what he is doing, while doing other things concentrated.

[Note: not for trade, exchange, stacks and gains binding to world but liberation given]


According to Sutta Jhana formula, you have to sit cross-legged and keeping your body erects, keeping your mindfulness to the front when you are in first Jhana. In first Jhana you have abandoned five hindrances and acquired five Jhana factors vitakka, vicara, pithi, sukha and ekagata. your speech has ceased and no body pain. Hence walking, talking and eating do not satisfy the Jhana formula.

  • Do you have any sutta quote where the rupa jhanas explicitly require sitting cross-legged with body erect? Please provide quote. Thanks.
    – ruben2020
    Mar 13, 2019 at 15:07
  • I have posted this topic in Dhamma Wheel.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33930
    – SarathW
    Mar 14, 2019 at 6:26

Perhaps you can stay in Arahattaphla Samadhi while you are walking, talking and eating.


No, it's impossible. That isn't to say that you can't practice walking meditation (or any other technique) in a way that develops the five jhana factors, however. These can be cultivated to quite a significant degree especially if they are done as a supplement to seated meditation. Unfortunately, it's simply not possible to develop one-pointedness to the degree required by full jhana when one's attention has to be split between the object of meditation and the act of walking. By definition, one-pointedness cannot coexist in the midst of multiple objects of attention.


The First Jhana is just sustained thought and attention on the object, with some sukkha (pleasure, bliss), and some piiti (rapture, ecstacy) which are

"First dhyāna: the first dhyana can be entered when one is secluded from sensuality and unskillful qualities, due to withdrawal and right effort. There is pīti ("rapture") and non-sensual sukha ("pleasure") as the result of seclusion, while vitarka-vicara ("discursive thought") continues" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhy%C4%81na_in_Buddhism

"you will be overcome with rapture, euphoria, ecstasy, delight. These are all English words that are used to translate the Pali word piti. Perhaps the best English word for piti is “glee.” Piti is a primarily physical sensation that sweeps you powerfully into an altered state. But piti is not solely physical; as the suttas say, “On account of the presence of piti, there is mental exhilaration.” In addition to the physical energy and mental exhilaration, the piti will be accompanied by an emotional sensation of joy and happiness. The Pali word for this joy/happiness is sukha, the opposite of dukkha (pain, suffering). And if you can remain undistractedly focused on this experience of piti and sukha, that is the first jhana." Leigh Brasington - https://www.lionsroar.com/entering-the-jhanas/

It must be possible to experience these during sitting, standing, lying down, and walking, because they are standard positions for meditation. Eating is also used for meditation so that also. Conversing activates the discrimination mind, rather than the mind moving towards equanimity, so it will diminish the effect of the First Jhana. It is excellent to stabilize samadhi by doing these things, whilst in jhana, but preferably with Noble Silence.

"Huisi taught two different forms of the lotus samadhi. The "practice devoid of characteristics", or the practice of ease and bliss, is based on the fourteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra.[22][23] Huisi explains, "While in the very midst of phenomena [the practitioner discerns that] mental characteristics are quiescent and extinguished and ultimately do not arise. (...) He is constantly immersed in all the profound and wonderful dhyana absorptions because in all activities - walking, standing, sitting, lying down, eating or speaking - his mind is always settled [in samadhi]." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanyue_Huisi

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