Can we use Piti as a meditation subject? There are 40 meditation objects are given in Visuddhimagga as follows. Ten recollections; ten foul objects; ten kasinas; four sublime abidings; four formless absorptions; one resolution into elements; and one perception of the filthiness of food. My question is whether we can keep four form absorptions as a meditation objects, but specifically Piti as a meditation object.


Anything can be used as an object of meditation. Hell, you could use a chocolate cake if it tickled your fancy. But just because you can use anything, it doesn't mean that you should. The best objects are those that are consistent, stable, repeatedly accessible, and don't give rise to additional mental formations. The breath is most often used because it checks all of those boxes quite easily. Piti can meet those same requirements, but until you hit the 1st jhana, it is entirely too unstable and inconsistent. It can also give rise to clinging and attachment which would ultimately prevent you from moving past the 2nd jhana.

  • The breath is consistent and stable? – Lowbrow Oct 27 '19 at 0:00

Piti can be used as a meditation subject.

When one is moving from the 2nd Jhana to the 3rd one notes the Piti and gradually suppress it. In this instance, ones focus it the Piti.


Similar to dishonesty about attaining jhana, clinging to rapture & jhana leads to rebirth in hell. Therefore, the Lord Buddha did not teach those who have unshakeable permanent faith in Him to "keep rapture" as meditation object. Instead, the Buddha taught those with unshakeable permanent faith to view impermanent alien diseased rapture with Right View.

There is the case where an individual, withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He savors that, longs for that, finds satisfaction through that. Staying there — fixed on that, dwelling there often, not falling away from that — then when he dies he... goes to hell

AN 4.123

There is the case where a monk, secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'

AN 9.36

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    But a disciple of the Blessed One, having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, is unbound right in that state of being. This, monks, is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor, between an educated disciple of the noble ones and an uneducated run-of-the-mill person, when there is a destination, a reappearing. – SarathW Oct 25 '19 at 10:29
  • Unbound means non-attached and not telling lies. – Dhammadhatu Oct 25 '19 at 11:27
  • parinibbāyati means Nibbana – SarathW Oct 25 '19 at 20:48
  • you seem to not understand. "unbound" means "not attaching to rapture"; viewing rapture as impermanent. But your question is about attaching to rapture. AN 4.123 says the mind can be unbound while experiencing impermanent diseased alien rapture. But in your question, you want to keep rapture. Therefore, your question lead to rebirth in hell and not Nibbana. – Dhammadhatu Oct 26 '19 at 0:51

Teachers like ie Leigh Brasington teach directing attention away from the breath to a pleasant sensation when such a feeling has spawned so that it may grow in intensity.

One can't just use joy as a meditation because it has to be brought about by directing the mind to a theme for the purpose of joy and withdrawing from the theme when achieved.

Also piti is only a factor in the 1st and the 2nd jhanas (by 4 fold classification). The 3rd and the 4th are without piti.

  • For reference; Leigh Brasington's Practical Guide to Jhana, Sutta dealing with directed and undirected development ie SN47.10 – 8527 Oct 23 '19 at 11:42

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