Aṅguttara Nikāya

9. Book of the Nines

45. (Released) Both Ways

[Udayin:] “‘Released both ways, released both ways,’ it is said. To what extent is one described by the Blessed One as released both ways?”

[Ananda:] “There is the case, my friend, where a monk, withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He remains touching with his body in whatever way there is an opening there, and he knows it through discernment. It is to this extent that one is described by the Blessed One as released both ways, though with a sequel.

“Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana… the third jhana… the fourth jhana… the dimension of the infinitude of space… the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness… the dimension of nothingness… the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. He remains touching with his body in whatever way there is an opening there, and he knows it through discernment. It is to this extent that one is described by the Blessed One as released both ways, though with a sequel.

“Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And as he sees with discernment, the mental fermentations go to their total end. He remains touching with his body in whatever way there is an opening there, and he knows it through discernment. It is to this extent that one is described by the Blessed One as released both ways without a sequel.”