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Four stages of meditation

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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four stages of meditation
四禅定 (Skt chatur-dhyana; Jpn shi-zenjo )

    Also, four stages of dhyana or four dhyanas.

Four levels of meditation that enable those in the world of desire to throw off illusions and be reborn among the four meditation heavens in the world of form.

The first meditation leads one to the first heaven, and so on.

In the first meditation, one is freed from the desires of the senses and the commitment of evil deeds and thus experiences pleasure.

In the second meditation, one experiences concentration of mind and inner serenity, which also produces pleasure.

In the third meditation, one feels true joy and equanimity.

In the fourth meditation, one gains the state that transcends both suffering and joy.

The meditation heavens are also interpreted as the states of consciousness attained by practitioners of the corresponding meditations.

Source

www.sgilibrary.org