Author Topic: Life changed through vipassana  (Read 6764 times)

flashgl

Life changed through vipassana
« on: May 31, 2010, 07:37:51 PM »
Hi everyone,
         I started meditating about a year ago. I have had some very powerful insights that have changed my life, much for the better. I had some questions though because very soon after i started meditating i became aware to this vibrating/pulising/moving energy which i have not ceased to stop seeing since it began. I have also recently started practicing seeing auras. Ive heard this is called clairvoyance, but i wanted to ask people who may know because in my opinion alot of those people trieng to be psychics just want to be cool and what not. This extra perception has just come to me as a bi-product of meditation. Also recently i was practicing the dhyanas and as far as i know i was experiencing the fourth dhyana of radiation and my whole body started vibrating with energy liek i had never felt before. If anyone can help me understand these experiences that would be greatly appreciated. thanks - flash

Matthew

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Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 11:33:14 AM »
flash,

Welcome to the forums. Are you working with any particular school or teacher? Also what precise techniques are you using for meditation? There are a number of possible explanations for some of what is happening but without this information it's hard to say.

Warmly,

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

flashgl

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 05:08:30 PM »
Hey matthew,
    I got into mindfullness of breath meditation with a locol buddhist temple near my house. I learned alot from them but after they taught me mindfullness i kind of moved onto vipissana by myself and really started exploring the aspect of one pointedness. Recently i have been practicing the dhyanas (states of higher absorbtion)  It was in what im guessing was the fourth dhyana when my body got full of this vibrating energy which was new to me. Hope this information helps. If you can help me understand any of these things i would greatly appreciate it. -flash

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2010, 06:03:08 PM »
flash,

Thank you for that information. When you say you were practicing breath meditation precisely where was your attention?

When you say you practice Vipassana precisely where is your attention?

When you say you "practice seeing auras" what precisely do you mean?

When you say you have been practicing Dhyana meditation what precisely do you mean?

I believe the energy you are dealing with is Kundalini from your description, but it seems unbalanced. The reason it may be unbalanced is that you have described several meditations in terms of the fruit of meditation.

There is no such thing as Vipassana meditation really. There is no such thing as Dhyana meditation. Both Vipassana and Dhyana/Jhana are fruits of the meditative life - not practices in themselves.

In this way, and by seeking fruits from the practice - and not just relaxing into your bright open relaxed awareness of what is, then letting the fruits come as they come, you may have introduced an unbalanced element of "seeking" or "wrong view" into your practice leading to the phenomena you are describing.

Warmly,

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

flashgl

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010, 02:24:42 AM »
I understand what your saying but honestly i dont believe myself to have wrong view, because when i meditate i am not looking for anything in praticular. what i meen by vipissana is that when i have achieved a state of perfect stillness and concentration i am allowed to see truth in topics of insight. I basically get brought down a river which i am not directing, or following, just watching. Several topics have given me a much clearer view on life. and when i say meditate on dhyanas i just meen mindfullness of these higher states of absorbtion. I know all the meditations are one in the same but as far as i know the 8 dhyanas are higher. understanding what the buddha taught about them it seemed i had reached the third or fourth dhyana because of the energy which was rediating from myself, i had never previously felt this before. and by seeing auras i meen looking at peoples bodies and seeing colored auras around them. they change alot but they are no doubt there. witht hat said is there anythign you can help me learn about kundalini?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2010, 07:28:25 AM »
flash,

Thank you for that information. When you say you were practicing breath meditation precisely where was your attention?
.....

flash,

I hear what you say but can offer little more until you answer this question.

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

flashgl

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2010, 02:38:09 PM »
Ok, yea when i focus on my breath i become the breath which enters my body from the outside then i follow it in a circular motion down through my spinal area and up through the spine/organs and out through my nose. through practice i have been able to achieve this focus much easier and soon after i achieve concentration the breath itself isnt apparent. my body as a whole seems to not be preseant. This is what makes me feel like i am going through this correctly because i become completely absorbed with my conciousness. Soon after "visions" and other random sequences of images and experiences will become apparent but not take over my mind. when i push these visions aside they soon become obsolete and my one pointedness becomes whole. At this point is when i started to "move through higher dhyanas." does this help?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 06:43:08 PM »
Ok, yea when i focus on my breath i become the breath which enters my body from the outside then i follow it in a circular motion down through my spinal area and up through the spine/organs and out through my nose. through practice i have been able to achieve this focus much easier and soon after i achieve concentration the breath itself isnt apparent. my body as a whole seems to not be preseant.

flash,

Breath meditation is not really centred on the breath, but on the body. Achieving mindfulness of whole body while breathing in and relaxing bodily tensions and achieving mindfulness of whole body while breathing out and relaxing bodily tensions.

It may seem a subtle difference yet it can have far reaching consequences. I would be interested to know if practicing in this way, allowing thoughts to arise and fall away, you are able to achieve the same level of concentration and what happens to your experience.

The difference is that by fabricating a pattern of breath to follow or focussing on a particular area such as the upper lip one can easily induce states similar to Jhana which are actually forms of self-hypnosis.

The Anapanasati Sutta is a very good text from which to understand the progressive nature of enquiry:

Quote
The Seven Factors for Awakening

"And how are the four frames of reference developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?

"[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

As you will note it is mindfulness of body whilst breathing that brings you to steady mindfulness. By fabricating a focus on your mental concepts of the breathing process you may have been missing something important your body has to say.

I could be wrong about all this. Jhananda may come along soon and congratulate you on entering Jhana so quickly and tell you all about it. He's our resident Jhana Junkie - been in Jhana for forty years and still has not reached enlightenment.

However, my sense of this is that you are fabricating much in your meditation and not allowing enough room for "being" your being. Perhaps you would try the experiment of focussing on your whole body and report back what happens?

Warm regards,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew

Source: "Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness of Breathing"(MN 118), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, May 29, 2010
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Morning Dew

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2010, 08:20:11 AM »
Quote
Breath meditation is not really centred on the breath, but on the body.

I whish you have told me streight like this when I started with Shamatha  :D  I was focusing on breath going down into my belly and out through my nose and so on and so forth.

Quote
Achieving mindfulness of whole body while breathing in and relaxing bodily tensions and achieving mindfulness of whole body while breathing out and relaxing bodily tensions.

It may seem a subtle difference yet it can have far reaching consequences.

Dear Matthew  :)  I am sorry for bringing this up yet again, but these slight diferences seem to be VERY important not to end up hypnotising one self or creating yet another ego-mind game.
Lets dissect it now, here together shall we  :)

There must be a better word expalining this "achieving mindfulness while breathing in and relaxing tensions ...". We now know that it is not about Focusing on the breath but the body.
"Bringing the attention towards the whole body breathing" is it more like an awake "inner eye", kind of sensing (but not scaning) all the body sensations in a Curious manner (but not wanting to find anything)?

As such, mind can be kept alert (not sleepy), since it has some sort of a "job" to do. Mind's nature is to be active, but in this case we kind of train our mind (like a good pack leader trains it's dog) to stay more active with our body rather than wondering around leaving the body behind.
In Aikido they call this Unification of Mind and Body.

Am I closer to the Truth  ;D LoL

Thanks!

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2010, 10:40:07 AM »
Dear Morning Dew,

Quote
"Bringing the attention towards the whole body breathing" is it more like an awake "inner eye", kind of sensing (but not scaning) all the body sensations in a Curious manner (but not wanting  to find anything)?

As such, mind can be kept alert (not sleepy), since it has some sort of a "job" to do. Mind's nature is to be active, but in this case we kind of train our mind (like a good pack leader trains it's dog) to stay more active with our body rather than wondering around leaving the body behind.
In Aikido they call this Unification of Mind and Body.

Your understanding is very lucid and well expressed. The most pertinent phrases I have highlighted.

Please accept my apologies if I was not clearer from the start.

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: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2010, 02:04:37 PM »
Hello flash, from the description of what is occurring in your meditation it sounds like you have made excellent progress in your meditation. 

What you and I call ‘absorption,’ the Buddha called ‘jhana.’ The term jhana was incorrectly translated as ‘dhyana’ when the Pali Canon was translated into Sanskrit in the first century BC. Dhyana means “practice of meditation” not “attainment of absorption,” so a lot of Buddhists have been confused about absorption for the last 21 centuries.  For instance it is common for a contemplative, who experiences the phenomena that you described, to be marginalized in most religious communities including Buddhist ones. However, as you have pointed out, your absorption and extra perceptions are just a natural bi-product of meditation, and not something that you are cognitively engaged in.

The characteristic phenomena of absorption is called “jhana-nimitta” in the Pali canon. Jhana-nimitta is just all of the stuff that arises during meditative absorption (jhana), such as the “vibrating/pulising/moving energy” that you described. It is a common characteristic of the upper jhanas.  I see and feel energy all day long now, not just when I meditate. 

You are correct the seeing of that energy is seeing the auras of people, which is another characteristic phenomena of absorption (jhana-nimitta).  I too see auras and have so for almost 40 years since I began a contemplative life.

In the Christian world they have their own terminology for these phenomena.  The overarching term for all psychic phenomena they call ‘charisms.’  And, when one sees auras and charkas, then you are correct in calling it the charism of clairvoyance.

Yes, feeling intense radiation of energy during meditation can be the fourth jhana, but it might not be.  More details will have to be revealed for me to understand your experience better.

When you say, you “achieved a state of perfect stillness and concentration” during your meditation, it is called the second jhana.  This is a very good sign and is the gateway to much more and deeper absorption, but it seems few Buddhist meditation teachers ever get beyond the second jhana, because none of them seem to understand the phenomena that you and I and hundreds of other contemplatives I have met experience.  Pointing this out makes a lot of devout Buddhists get very upset.

When you achieved a state of perfect stillness and concentration and you are allowed to see truth in various topics, this is called insight. What you described is the intuitive and revelatory aspect of insight.  The term for insight in the Pali canon is ‘vipassana,’ and it is described as intuitive and revelatory.  However, most Buddhist priests and meditation teachers simply conflate insight with mindfulness, so there is a lot of confusion in Buddhism between what you and I experience and the Buddha described verses how the dhamma is expressed today.

From your description you will find no Buddhist organization today that will give you refuge.  You are likely to find you will be marginalized and misunderstood by every Buddhist priest and meditation teacher.  I suggest that you consider yourself an Ecstatic Buddhist and find out what that means.  If you go to the URL below you will find many articles that will help you understand the phenomena of absorption (jhana-nimitta).

http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/jhanaarticles.htm

Best regards, Jhananda

elliberto

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2010, 05:07:48 AM »
Quote
The difference is that by fabricating a pattern of breath to follow or focussing on a particular area such as the upper lip one can easily induce states similar to Jhana which are actually forms of self-hypnosis.

So what exactly is this self-hypnosis state and how could you tell the difference between that state and jhana or another appropriate state?

Quote
"Bringing the attention towards the whole body breathing" is it more like an awake "inner eye", kind of sensing (but not scaning) all the body sensations in a Curious manner (but not wanting  to find anything)?

As such, mind can be kept alert (not sleepy), since it has some sort of a "job" to do. Mind's nature is to be active, but in this case we kind of train our mind (like a good pack leader trains it's dog) to stay more active with our body rather than wondering around leaving the body behind.
In Aikido they call this Unification of Mind and Body.

To play devil's advocate: There can be plenty to do when meditating focussing on nostrils. I remember In beyond mindfulness Gunaratana describing a technique that he calls vipassana awareness of the breath. Which is basicly investigating the 21 things that are going on: begin, middle, end, pause (both during breathing in as breathing out), pressure, releae, anxiety/relief, urgency and the four elements (4 qualities you can find in the breath).
Tried it myself and it works to stay alert. Also tried whole body breathing and still experimenting with it. Thus far I get more easily distracted that way, but that could be because it's a less concrete technique and me having trouble with that.

Morning Dew

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2010, 08:04:57 AM »
Quote
Tried it myself and it works to stay alert. Also tried whole body breathing and still experimenting with it. Thus far I get more easily distracted that way, but that could be because it's a less concrete technique and me having trouble with that.

In my lil experience  :) when I focus on my lower dantien I am fully alert all the time but in the whole body awareness my mind tend to become sleepy indeed. When thoughts come in Shamatha I feel being fully alert as soon I go back to whole body awareness my mind like on command becomes sleepy/slow, the mind has nothing to cling to, but this state changes quickly into calmness and relaxation state.
From what you are saying it is the conditined mind that feels better "doing something", studying the 21 things or counting sheep  ;D  but in reality the mind feels weak if not in control of what is happening and that is exactly what we are doing in Shamatha (I feel) we are letting go of our conditioned mind control  :)
Even not to be alert is a phenomena to observe and watch, be mindful of  :) At first I felt like fighting with sleepyiness but then understood that is a lost battle, rather observe it as it Is and notice that your back is slouching again  ;D


flashgl

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2010, 02:24:43 AM »
Hello Jhananda,
    Thank you for your input into what i have been experiencing through meditation. I took some tiem reading the site you posted and it had some stuff that was very informing to me. One thing i am not completely clear on is the higher jhanas. I have heard that the intense vibrating energy which i had felt during one meditation about a week ago while moving through the jhanas, is how we know that we are ready to experience the OOB "manomaya." Am i correct in presuming that this OOB experience would allow us to become aware to infinite space, infinite conciousness, and therefore the next two higher jhanas. Can i also ask if you have experienced this manomaya or any of the formless jhanas?
  thanks for the help,
             -flash

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2010, 08:42:31 AM »
flash,

You'll have to write to him at his site - he has deleted his account.

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

flashgl

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2010, 06:39:08 PM »
alright, thanks, how do i find out his website?, would you know it?
   -flash

Morning Dew

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2010, 08:32:16 PM »
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/jhanaarticles.htm

Keep us posted with your observations  :)


elliberto

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2010, 08:27:43 AM »
From what you are saying it is the conditined mind that feels better "doing something", studying the 21 things or counting sheep  ;D  but in reality the mind feels weak if not in control of what is happening and that is exactly what we are doing in Shamatha (I feel) we are letting go of our conditioned mind control  :)

I think you misunderstand
You said this:

As such, mind can be kept alert (not sleepy), since it has some sort of a "job" to do. Mind's nature is to be active, but in this case we kind of train our mind (like a good pack leader trains it's dog) to stay more active with our body rather than wondering around leaving the body behind.

as an argument for whole body breathing.
My point is just that you can use the exact same argument for meditation where you focus on breath at the nostrils if you replace sensing body sensations with sensing the (21 or whatever) qualities of the breath. There is plenty to be aware of in both techniques without having to fabricate sheep :D
So that is why I asked the question to Matthew, because he seems such a strong advocate for whole body breathing and he agreed with your line of reasoning.

Morning Dew

Re: Life changed through vipassana
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2010, 09:06:52 AM »
You might be right elliberto  :)

Even though same in suffering not totaly conditioned in the sane way. Some people have more traumas then others and some are totaly delisional, etc ...
As I mentioned when I just came to this forum, I used to practice Ki-breathing (used in Aikido) and it suit my delted self big time. I was so all over the place I was hardly aware that I have a head on my shoulders  ;D  At that stage Shamatha would not have worked for me. Ki-breathing for 6 month did calm me enough to start seeing that there is more to me and that I felt to understand what it is.
My search led me to this forum and the rest you know  :D

Now after following Matthews advice for a few month I noticed that I still get sleepy most of the time while being sensitive to the whole body breathing (too relaxed I guess) so after reading J. Krishnamurti's speach where he advice people to try and meditate by stilling the eye movement I feel totaly awake during my whole meditation sesion and I still am sensitive to the whole body breathing and aware of my thoughts, emotions too.
by Krishnamurti -Pg 22, 36 K on education
Quote
First of all sit absolutely still. Sit comfortably, cross your legs, sit absolutely still, close your eyes, and see if you can keep your eyes from moving. You understand? Your eye balls are apt to move, keep them completely quiet, for fun. Then, as you sit very quietly, find out what your thought is doing. Watch it as you watched the lizard. Watch thought, the way it runs, one thought after another. So you begin to learn, to observe.

I wrote;
Quote
I will go into something and test it wheather it works against sleepiness/self-hypnosis.

All this being aware of the whole body breathing kind of exhausted me, kind of requires too much energy and I fall into sleepiness easily (thanks Matthew for the tips but they simply do not work for me).

I have noticed something very interesting while reading this quote. Krishnamurti suggested to close your eyes, and see if you can keep your eye balls from moving. It makes sense to me and I tried it for a while and I kind of am more aware of my self, of all what is taking place inwardly and outwardly. Much more calm and awake (AWAKE). This helps a lot 
I mean when being aware of mmy body my eyes are still searching for something and if there is nothing to cling to they tend to be sleepy even watery. In this way the eyes can stay where they actualy Are   in them selves !!!   Try it!
While the eyes are in them selves keeping them selves still (and my mind is usualy trying to act through my eyes always searching for some distruction), the whole body mind kind of becomes still too and it becomes much easier to be aware of the whole body sensations.
I will try this tonight and tomorrow morning when I am usualy very sleepy and post back at you with my observation.

 

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