Author Topic: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana  (Read 6620 times)

Offline dhammaseeker51

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2009, 07:15:36 am »
I dont know if I agree that the nimitta is always present as a bright light, but would bow to Ajahn Brahms teachings on the subject.
I have also experienced the bright nimittas, but have also experienced jhana without a bright nimitta, only a dull "something"! (one time it looked like the crash barrier we have on UK motorways!)
But the profound bliss and the other factors convinced  me I definitely experienced 1st jhanna, I cried on coming out of it, I was so emotional at "losing" this state. (I'm not usually so emotional!)
Yes I was affected for about a week afterwards, and the phrase "peaceful abiding" echoed around my head and is still the defining characteristic which stays even now.
However meditating only to experience jhana is a great block to achieving it.
with metta.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2009, 05:11:24 pm »
Correct - the nimitta is not always a bright light.  Sometimes, people experience it as a different coloured light, e.g., blue.  Technically, it's not even a light but the mind perceives it to be.  So the light usually occurs in breath meditation when approaching Jhana.  On the other hand, with metta meditation, the nimitta is more of a feeling - so yeah, people can use metta meditation and take it into Jhana as well.

If the nimitta was dull, how was your virtue just before that episode?  :innocent:

So one way to tell if you were in Jhana is to ask yourself how did you feel after coming out of it?  If you felt like it was "So, so... neither here nor there", then it was highly unlikely that it was Jhana.

Sounds like you've been doing well with your :meditating:, Peter.


Offline caritas

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2009, 05:18:10 pm »
Instantly it felt as if a brake had been released, and the whole mindful experience was just roaring, a uniform and nondescript torrent.
Hypnagogia. The facial flushing is a symptom of autonomic hyperactivity, like sweating, or arrhythmia. These are signs that your brain is getting ready for sleep.

overmyhead

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2009, 08:12:45 pm »
Hypnagogia. The facial flushing is a symptom of autonomic hyperactivity, like sweating, or arrhythmia. These are signs that your brain is getting ready for sleep.

I think you're right.  I no longer attribute the experience to jhana.  It was much more intense than typical hypnagogia, though.  For some reason it was infused with elements of samadhi.

Offline caritas

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2009, 09:35:22 pm »
Hypnagogia. The facial flushing is a symptom of autonomic hyperactivity, like sweating, or arrhythmia. These are signs that your brain is getting ready for sleep.
I think you're right.  I no longer attribute the experience to jhana.  It was much more intense than typical hypnagogia, though.  For some reason it was infused with elements of samadhi.
Mindfulness can make a lot of things more intense!  <3

Offline dhammaseeker51

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2009, 08:17:02 am »
The first time I experienced the Nimitta was during Chakra meditation (Chakra "balancing") and it was a bit of a shock. I got a huge fright and jumped up quickly, coming out of meditation.
Now I know what to expect and since I usually use the breath object I come into the " beautiful breath" before the nimitta, which generally prepares you, with feelings of bliss and joy.
However I still sometimes "get stuck" at the beautiful breath stage and come out of the meditation,(or fall asleep), instead of going on to Nimitta and Jhana. ( Is this a common problem?)
I think its excitement (or the control freak in me) rather than lack of virtue which pulls me back from the Jhana experience,(not that i make any great claims to virtue) but who knows.
Any practical advise would be appreciated here.
My apologies if this posting is "off topic" !
with metta

Offline humanitas

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2009, 02:44:10 pm »
I assure you if it is "off topic" it's not by much.  <3 

>:D< 
This post was made with 100% recycled karma

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2009, 04:16:43 am »
If you ever get a chance to go on retreat with Ajahn Brahm, perhaps you could ask him those questions (he does have a huge new retreat centre).

In the mean time, you can consider brightening up your mind through virtue and remembering the good that you've done and remembering the purity of your precepts - this can bring some joy to the mind too.

If you're falling asleep, then it's the hindrance of drowsiness and lethargy.  Sometimes, rather than fight the drowsiness with willpower, one way of approaching it is just to allow yourself to sleep - especially if the body is really tired.  Once you wake up, you can continue with renewed virya/energy!  What this does is it gives the body a chance to rest and renew its energy.  Once the body's energy is revitalized, you will naturally be more refreshed and alert - and so, your mindfulness will naturally be stronger.

You're also realizing that the drowsiness is a temporary state that'll come and go by itself.  Sometimes, when you just be patient and wait it out, the drowsiness lifts by itself - it's a bit like the cloudy veil of mist lifting from your mind and your mindfulness starts to sharpen up naturally.

So what we're doing here is working with the body and mind rather than against it.  Otherwise, if you're fighting it - that's trying to control the meditation with your will.  The path is one of letting go and it's important to let go of the controller as well - this is a very important point. 

Too much forcing and controlling is not the way - that's the principle behind the beautiful breath anyway - so that you don't have to control as much.  You reach a stage where the breath seems so beautiful to you that it captivates your attention, so that your attention focuses easily on it without any effort (as opposed to forcefully putting your attention on the breath).  It's a bit like when you're watching a captivating movie - your attention is naturally fully with the movie and even if someone talks to you, you might not be aware that they've just said something - that's the principle.  So you want it to the stage where it's so beautiful that it pulls your attention in rather than you have to place your attention on the object of the breath.

So these are some general principles rather than specific advice but I hope they are helpful.

Offline Arya-Shraman

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2010, 12:14:31 pm »
  Because of this, the energy flows more freely.  And because the energy channels are opening up, that's why the blood was flowing freely again in your leg.  It's actually quite common and is not even close to Jhana yet ;).

what energy?

Offline dhammaseeker51

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2010, 09:35:37 am »
There are no physical sensations in the jhana states, it has all long since ceased.
Only mind states persist. Feelings of peace, happiness, knowledge.
Some residual feelings may persist afterwards of things experienced before entering jhana, mental images, thoughts, etc.
I think this is normal, but probably varies from person to person.
Members of the ordained Sangha cannot speak to lay people about these experiences, but there is no reason why we can't speak of them on this forum. It would be interesting to hear of others experiences.
With Metta

Offline dhammaseeker51

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2010, 02:25:32 am »
The unreliable nature of memory.....
Yes, If I meditate lying down (corpse posture) then when I enter silent present moment awareness (no verbal or graphic thoughts) then the soles of my feet begin to tingle strongly and sometimes the palms of my hands. As Arya Shravak Shaman says, its probably due to increased blood flow in some areas.
I used to think because less blood was required in the (quietened) brain, it was flowing more strongly in other parts, but this is probably too simplistic... This doesn't happen if I am sitting, meditating.
Before the body "disappears" some parts can also tingle. Often you get the strange sensation of most parts of the body gone, but a few persist, so momentarily you are disconnected, having only sensation in say, a knee, and a hand and the back of your head! It feels a bit weird, existing in separate bits!
With Metta 

Offline ABC

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Re: Question on experiencing the 1st jhana
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2010, 01:39:04 am »
My question is:  how should I interpret this face tingling?  It doesn't seem to fit with what I read about the jhanas.  Does anyone have experience with odd physical sensations during the 1st jhana?
Hi again

There are three levels of concentration and three corresponding levels of rapture (piti), namely, momentary, neighbourhood & attainment (jhana).

Your experience was of momentary concentration & momentary rapture. Generally, momentary rapture has physical manifestations & is difficult to control. It will surge & surge, even inhibiting sleep.

In jhana, there is complete control & stillness. Your experience was not of jhana.

Kind regards

ABC
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 01:42:01 am by ABC »
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

 


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