What are deva realms?

This question came up in the Online 10-day Retreat Nov 3, 2020, guided by Delson Armstrong. Day 7 was part of a daily 30-minute discussion on the suttas, the Dhamma talk and reflections.

Slightly edited to improve readability

There are the higher sensual realms, there are the brahma realms, there are different deva realms, and there are realms related to the jhanas. Then, there are the realms of infinite space, infinite consciousness, the realm of nothingness. When you experience different jhanas, they correspond to different higher realms beyond the human realm. So, there are some higher sensual realms, where you are basically enjoying the fruits of your good kamma. Just like hell is temporary in Buddhism, so is heaven. There is no eternal heaven. There are different kinds of heavens as well, depending upon the kamma you produce. And as you get deeper into your practice, you start to cultivate the jhanic factors, you start to cultivate the jhanas, and these can create the opportunity for you to experience higher deva realms, the brahma realms, and then of course the realms associated with the formless realms, the formless jhanas, as they call it.

This is really the perception and being in the realm of infinite space, infinite consciousness, nothingness, and neither-perception-nor-non-perception. In these realms it’s more of mentality, being spontaneously reborn in mentality, rather than mentality-materiality.

Watch it here

Category: Online Retreat
Tags: Arupa jhanas, Day 7 online retreat, jhana, Kamma