by passing over this issue in silence, they discreetly imply that they do not attain the jhānas at all. Where the redactors of suttas fear to tread, commentators step in boldly. It is in the commentaries (including the Visuddhimagga) that we first find explicit mention of the sukkhavipassaka or “dry-insight” meditator, often in connection with passages that mention the paññāvimutta or “wisdom-liberated” arahant. The dry-insight meditator is defined as “one whose insight is dry, arid, because such insight is unmoistened by the moisture of the jhānas”.

See also the follow-up paper promised at the end of this one.