Author Topic: Deeply intense radiant and blissful sensation irregularly occurring during sits  (Read 280 times)

NewPathForward

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Hey everyone. 

I had this experience when I first picked up my practice, on my third week.  It occurred during my Anapana practice.  I started with a tense mind, which I then found equanimity toward in the sit.  My shoulders and legs were killing me, but throughout the sit I identified the pains as simple sensation, and saw clearly the separation between mind and pain.  Pain was still there but did not bother me at all past that point.  I found deep relaxation, in body and mind.

Then my eyes seemed to shut closed with a lot of pressure, and this was involuntary.  My eyes were already closed beforehand, but now they were being shut very hard.  I felt some kind of energy (For lack of a better less ambiguous word) "firing" within my body, it felt like something incredible was about to happen, and I became absorbed and attached to it, at which point it died down as I lost awareness of breath. 

A month later, it happened again, but this time my practice had developed a bit to the point where I was able to let it happen without interference a bit more, and I felt waves of bliss fire through my body from head to toe.  It was incredible.  My heart started pounding very quickly and it once again left me as I grasped onto it too much and probably tensed up.  Then it happened again the morning after.  My eyes were closed but it felt like I could see a hint of light, more than the moments before the experience occurred.

I am curious as to whether this is something I can work with or just let be and get on with my practice?  I have let go of expecting it to happen because that only hinders my progress.

gannuman

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How awesome!!! That sounds like second Jhana to me. And the light you experienced is called the nimita. I've never had those, but the instructions I've read pointed to what your intuition is already!

The nimita is best that you ignore, it might grow brighter and you should let it be and don't try to manipulate it in any way. You might use the bliss as the meditation object, once it arises, so that you go deeper into that Jhana. But, as you've noticed, if you desire it you'll lose it, so you have to turn your mind towards it, but relenquish clinging.

Ajahn Brahm talks a lot about those experiences (though the instruction I gave aren't from him). He says "the more you let go, the more bliss you get" (not an actual There is a talk from him on youtube named "riding waves of bliss", which I never saw but might be insightful to you heheh!

Hope this helps, even though I can't say much based on my own experience  :P
Lord of gods, there are two kinds of happiness ... Two kinds of sadness ... Two kinds of equinimity: That which you should cultivate and that which you should not cultivate.

stillpointdancer

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Hi NewPathForward. It's one of the better by-products of meditation, so much so that it can eventually get pretty distracting. Some only meditate in order to get to that state and stay there. We used to call them 'bliss bunnies', a somewhat derogatory term I'm afraid, but one used as a warning to others to be aware of what might hold you back. I found that such feelings can arise and not leave for a few months at a time so I had to develop ways of ignoring it during meditation. On the plus side I can quickly get back into it if I need to.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Is bliss the same state as peace? Why is it such a bad thing?
Mostly ignorant

NewPathForward

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Is bliss the same state as peace? Why is it such a bad thing?

I don't think it's a bad thing at all, I think it's how we approach it that can get weird.  Something I noticed after my first time experiencing this was that for several weeks afterward I was seeking it for the sole purpose of how good it felt, and this hindered the quality of my practice quite a bit.  I began to judge the quality of my sits on how close I felt I was getting to this feeling.  I was attached and grasping, and it led to suffering!  So I think stillpoint / gannuman may be referring more so in how it can be handled badly rather than the actual experience itself being "bad" or not.

Interesting enough, I haven't experienced it in a couple months I believe.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 05:31:07 PM by NewPathForward »

stillpointdancer

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Is bliss the same state as peace? Why is it such a bad thing?

Bliss and peace are somewhat opposite, although both are 'good'. Bliss is an all-powerful, all-encompassing emotion that takes all the happy emotions you have ever had, all the wonderful stuff life can offer, and then raises it to the nth degree. Never having taken such drugs, I guess it can equate to all the most incredible 'trips' you could experience all rolled into one. Having gone through it multiple times though, peace gives it a good run for its money, so much so that I personally would take peace every time.

The 'bad' thing about bliss is that it can be a distraction from the purposes of meditation, and any distraction, good or bad, can hold you back from making progress. Which still doesn't mean that  I'm not glad I can get back to it when I need to.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Dhamma

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Ajahn Brahm tells us that peace is the highest happiness.


Bliss is fleeting...

dharma bum

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I think I've probably not felt bliss then. When I feel 'peace', there is a kind of stillness. Every breath is effortless. It actually took me many years to realize what they mean by stillness of the mind. When the mind moves, it is either through some force of desire or aversion. When it is still, there is neither desire nor aversion.

It doesn't happen to me very often, but it is not that rare either. All the jhana stuff is just beyond my comprehension. First jhana, second jhana - I have no idea what they are. I think I'm going to skip all this and go straight to enlightenment. ;)
Mostly ignorant

Dhamma

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I think I've probably not felt bliss then. When I feel 'peace', there is a kind of stillness. Every breath is effortless. It actually took me many years to realize what they mean by stillness of the mind. When the mind moves, it is either through some force of desire or aversion. When it is still, there is neither desire nor aversion.

It doesn't happen to me very often, but it is not that rare either. All the jhana stuff is just beyond my comprehension. First jhana, second jhana - I have no idea what they are. I think I'm going to skip all this and go straight to enlightenment. ;)

Ha, ha...I agree...

Yes, perfect stillness of the mind is what it's all about, friend. We want to experience "pure consciousness" and transcend the "I".  But, again, we really have no goal, right?

I'm following a more Zen-type path now, doing Shikantaza.

The Jhanas are beautiful and serene states of intensive meditation, but they are not easy to grasp without sound instruction. They're used in the Theravada tradition, as you probably know. And,  like you, I know very little about them.

All schools of Buddhism lead to enlightenment when practiced properly - don't let anyone fool you. But certain schools are more appealing than others for reasons of simplicity, personality, current personal needs, accessibility, etc.


 

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