Author Topic: A Recent Meditation Experience  (Read 5384 times)

atomjack

A Recent Meditation Experience
« on: March 16, 2010, 05:24:21 PM »
For about 20 seconds I felt sensitive from my head to my toes. I could feel sensations everywhere inside and outside my body. I felt like I was shaking from the blood pulsating through me everywhere. It was such an intense and beautiful feeling that tears formed in my eyes. Then my mind chimed in.

"This is amazing!"

At that second the feeling was gone.

Morning Dew

Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 07:45:30 PM »
Then my mind chimed in.
"This is amazing!"
At that second the feeling was gone.

Bhante Gunaratana actualy explain this very well  ;D
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/mindfulness_in_plain_english_5.php

Quote
Our human perceptual habits are remarkably stupid in some ways. We tune out 99% of all the sensory stimuli we actually receive, and we solidify the remainder into discrete mental objects. Then we react to those mental objects in programmed habitual ways. An example: There you are, sitting alone in the stillness of a peaceful night. A dog barks in the distance. The perception itself is indescribably beautiful if you bother to examine it. Up out of that sea of silence come surging waves of sonic vibration. You start to hear the lovely complex patterns, and they are turned into scintillating electronic stimulations within the nervous system. The process is beautiful and fulfilling in itself. We humans tend to ignore it totally. Instead, we solidify that perception into a mental object. We paste a mental picture on it and we launch into a series of emotional and conceptual reactions to it.

Remain relaxed  :)

Crystal Palace

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  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 04:24:26 AM »

Then my mind chimed in.

"This is amazing!"

At that second the feeling was gone.
 

Doesn't this give you a signal?

There you were experiencing a beautiful feeling and suddenly - bam! - it was gone, just like that.

The Buddha said there is suffering in suffering and that there is suffering in pleasure. What you experienced was a subtle but direct example of the latter.

Pleasant sensations come and go in meditation but the key is to remain equanimous to them. Why? The reason is simple: The pleasant sensations come and go not as you please but as they please so clinging to them can only bring misery.

While it is easy to remain equanimous towards gross sensations, it is rather difficult to remain equanimous towards the subtle, pleasant kind of sensation. You can see this in your own experience.

You had penetrated deeply and had sensitised the mind to feeling even the subtle sensations but the moment you exclaimed "aah this is amazing!" you lost the balance of your mind, and with it the sensations. 

You must train yourself to remain truly equanimous with whatever that comes up during meditation. In the beginning, you may get elated at such experiences just for the sheer thrill of having experienced them but over a period of time you must realize that these sensations are not permanent. And you have to be EXTREMELY careful that you do not develop an attachment for this pleasant feeling because it is in our very habit to subtly engage in and enjoy such pleasant sensations.

So what may happen is that when you experience these sensations you may keep saying to yourself "I am going to stay equanimous! I am going to stay equanimous!" but in reality your mind will have decieved you and would be taking pleasure in those sensations.

To judge whether you are clinging or not, you have to examine yourself when the free flow passes away. What happens then? Do you feel dejected, disappointed, defeated, depressed, as if you have regressed? If any trace of such feeling is present, it shows that there was clinging. Even after you first experience dissolution, from time to time unpleasant sensations keep coming. At that time you must examine yourself: "Now that these gross sensations have come again, is a part of my mind still craving for the dissolution I experienced some time back?" If the thought arises, " I must get it again, I must get it again!" then certainly there is aversion towards the unpleasant sensations and craving for pleasant ones; you are not coming out of the old habit pattern.

You must understand what is happening.


Best Wishes,
Crystal Palace
 
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

atomjack

Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 04:36:26 PM »
I know it is a habit of the mind to constantly want to chime in and it's a habit I hope to break through meditation. Seeing now that I was forming an attachment to the feeling puts it in a different perspective for me. Thank you so much for both of your input!

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
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Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 06:55:05 PM »
I know it is a habit of the mind to constantly want to chime in and it's a habit I hope to break through meditation. Seeing now that I was forming an attachment to the feeling puts it in a different perspective for me. Thank you so much for both of your input!

Don't attach to anything, nor reject it. Fabricate nothing.

The moment your ego attached to what was going on "bang" .. it wasn't going on any more. Just ego at work. Keep working on ego through sitting and accepting experience without judgement. Like anything meditation gets easier with practice.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jhananda

Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 04:13:56 AM »
Good work atomjack, you had a brief encounter with jhana.  Now, the trick is to see how you can get back there time and again, and keep your mind from doing the "WOW was that great!" and just be with it with a calm and still mind.  If you do, you will have traversed the first, and second jhanas.  You may find the following article of interest on this subject:Recognizing the Absorption States (jhana)
Here is a sutta quote that might help you here:
Quote
Satipatthana Samyutta {SN 8} {8} “The Competent Cook,”
“Suppose, contemplatives, a wise, competent (and) skillful cook were to present a king or royal minister with various kinds of curries…that wise…cook observes the sign of his master’s preferences.”

“So too, monks, here some wise, competent, skillful monk dwells contemplating the physical body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.  While he (or she) dwells contemplating the physical body, his (her) mind becomes absorbed (jhana), his (her) corruptions (nivarana) are abandoned, he (she) picks up the sign (nimitta).  He (she) dwells contemplating the (5 Skhandas) body (rupa)… sensations (vedana)… perception (sañña)… mental states (sañkhara)… cognition (viññana)… ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.  While he dwells contemplating phenomena, his (her) mind becomes absorbed (jhana), his (her) corruptions (nivarana) are abandoned he (she) picks up the sign (nimitta)” of absorption (jhana).
Based upon a translation of the Samyutta Nikaya trans. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom, Edited by Jhananda

atomjack

Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 01:08:32 AM »
Thank you, Jhananda! I was able to feel a similar feeling today and was able to stay with for a little longer. Again, tears came to my eyes from this intense and beautiful feeling. 

Jhananda

Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 07:48:00 PM »
Hello atomjack, now you know from direct experience the purifying quality of jhana.  Do, keep up the good work, because it only gets better.

Jhana Sutta (AN XI.36)
"I tell you, the ending of mental agitation depends upon the first meditative absorption (jhana)...” (through 8th samadhi)

Based upon a translation by Geoffrey DeGraff (Thanissaro Bhikkhu), Access to insight, corrected by Jhananda
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index.html

kidnovice

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Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2010, 01:37:12 AM »
Jhananda, I must say that I'm intrigued by your quick assessment of Atomjack's experience as "jhana," and it raises a few questions that I would be curious to explore more deeply.

First, your assessment seems to imply that any experience of great bliss (in conjunction with thorough awareness of sensation?) is, in some sense, jhana. In your view, is that correct?

Secondly, you also mention:
Quote
now you know from direct experience the purifying quality of jhana.
This seems to imply that any experience of bliss is inherently purifying? Is that your view?

Thirdly, I am curious to know how important you think it is to actually characterize an experience as "jhana?" That is, if Atomjack were to never call his experience "jhana" would he be somehow misguided? Conversely, do you think there is an intrinsic benefit in seeing this experience as "jhana?"

Yours in the dharma,
dylan
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Alex

  • Member
Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2010, 08:10:46 AM »
I too am intrigued by all this.

In my first retreat, now 3 years ago, I was sitting and all of a sudden I was overwhelmed waves of energy. I don’t recall very specific bodily sensations, just waves through (not limited to) my body, waves of peace, joy. I do remember the effect however. It was very purifying. For days after I felt like crying (of joy) when I remembered the experience en felt the changes it had brought to my being. The effect lasted for weeks, but unfortunately I still had bad habits and a lack of daily practice...

In a retreat a year later, I had more or less the same experience.

I always thought of these experiences as a kind of release, something that happens when it happens, but that I shouldn’t expect to experience regularly.
When trying to get there I found myself not being in the moment. Maybe I should say: when longing to get there, I found myself not being in the moment.

So I’m very curious about your reaction, Jhananda, and about what you mean when you say
Quote from: Jhananda
Now, the trick is to see how you can get back there time and again

I think I also read in a different thread that you have some authority when it comes to Jhana. Why is that?

Kind regards,
Alex

Jhananda

Re: A Recent Meditation Experience
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 02:13:34 AM »
Hello dylan and Alex, and thank-you for posting your inquiries.  First, Atomjack and Alex have demonstrated the purifying quality of jhana.  Secondly, I have maintained a daily meditation practice that has produced jhana almost every time I meditate for the last 35 years. Thirdly, I happen to have run a forum for those who experience jhana for almost 7 years.  And, finally I have written numerous articles on just about every aspect of jhana.  So, I am familiar with the experience of jhana, and how it is expressed by hundreds of people.

I would also like to answer Dylan's question regarding how important it is to tell someone that they had the experience of jhana.  i believe in every avenue of life we do better if we receive positive feedback.  So, if one's meditation teacher says, "Oh, just ignore that," when the kinds of meditation experiences that Atomjack and Alex reported, then they are not likely to endeavor to repeat the experience. 

If, on the other hand a meditation teacher validates our positive experiences with meditation, and critiques our negative experiences, then we are likely to be well guided.  So, that is my work.  Here are a few articles I wrote on the experience of jhana:

Recognizing the Absorption States (jhana) (October 16, 2004)
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/recognizingabsorption.htm

Are the physical senses fully effaced during jhana?
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/physicaljhana.htm

An Experiential Look at the Phenomena of Meditative Absorption
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/experientialjhana.htm

A Proposed Unifying Theory for the Experience of Gnosis  within the Buddha’s 9 stages of Meditative Absorption (fana, jhana, samadhi, shamatha)
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/transitionalabsorption.htm


 

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