Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby rob h » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:12 am

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:Perhaps try turning your attention to the non-sensory tingling that is often first felt in the hands and feet. If you stay with that, it will grow, it will slowly move up the legs/arms to the body, let it circulate, keep breathing, this can sometimes take up to an hour or more. If you can do that, while relaxing deeply, you will all of a sudden swoop! into second Jhana. You will know it when it happens, there is nothing to do, it does itself.

For me (I lie down to meditate) it feels as though a huge weight is lifted off the chest, anxiety and stress vanish, it is ecstatic, blissful, THOUGHT STOPS, and inside you may feel as though you are in infinite space. This is going from 1 to 0, beginners mind.

Practice daily and you will find it shortly, good luck!


Will keep that in mind and let you know if I get there/back there, and thanks!
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby rob h » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:49 pm

Just got back there as far as I can tell. I'm not completely sure about this as I need to repeat it a good few more times before I can verify properly, but anyway, incase it helps anyone else :

Anapanasati seems to work very well with the first two jhanas, and I'd guess the second two as well by the looks of it. I sat for around 15 mins and felt the first one arrive I think, then the unexpected happened and I might've crossed into the second a few minutes later. One thing was key with this though, and that was that I was firstly on the 5th step of anapanasati, sensitive to rapture, then when I decided to move to the next step, sensitive to bliss, it might have switched me into the second.

It mainly happened because this time I didn't get anxious or involve the "self" or "I" in the whole process (or at least it was minimized a great deal.) I wasn't in a brilliant mood when I sat down so couldn't be doing with the games the self plays to try and distract from concentrating in meditation, (getting excited/anxious about jhana which allows hindrances in, craving jhana, getting caught up in hindrances for other reasons, thinking about various other things instead of concentrating, and so on.) but this unwillingness to get involved with all of that continued as the jhana arrived, so maybe that was the main factor that allowed things to move further.

Another big thing was to refrain from getting caught up in the feeling of the jhana itself, and to remember that the main aim was to meditate for insight. That unattachment also seems like it helps with allowing the jhana stages to flow more freely.

As a last thing, it looks like the 5th and 6th steps of anapanasati work greatly for entering the first jhana, then as you continue through the feelings tetrad you can eventually work your way up to the third jhana as you work on the 8th step : calming the feelings and perceptions. It seems to work perfectly with allowing the pleasant/blissful feelings to start to drop off as you head towards equanimity, (at this stage I purposefully came out of meditation though. The main reason being that I've read about the problem of trying to attain various stages of jhana too quickly, in the sense that you should familiarize yourself with each step first before moving on, or you risk not being able to get back to the lower stages and mess everything up.) then it looks like you maybe come to a junction : you can either go for the arupajhanas and stop anapanasati (in the sense of stopping going through the 16 sutra steps, not stopping being mindful of the breathing.), or you can stick with anapanasati after hitting the 4th jhana and then go towards the insight meditations in the final tetrad. Or maybe when you're in the 12th anapanasati stage of releasing/liberating the mind you can work on infinitudes of space, consciousness, etc, there too.

Anyway, some of that is clearly going to take a fair bit of meditation to suss out, but thanks either way Thomas for the tips, and hope your meditation is going well too. :buddha1:
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby rob h » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:29 pm

Sorry, fixed a few errors in that post (some connected with listing wrong numbers for anapanasati stages.), looks like I dropped my concentration too much after meditating to get involved with posting about it! Back to meditating soon.
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:36 am

What did you experience during each stage of what you felt to be jhana? Just in what ever language feels right.
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby rob h » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:41 am

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:What did you experience during each stage of what you felt to be jhana? Just in what ever language feels right.


To try to say it briefly :

What I thought to be the 1st : Just a refined type of energy present all over the body, that makes me feel relaxed and content. It's something that doesn't feel fabricated, and it can take around 10-15 mins to get to that point. There's the conscious efforts to relax as meditation starts, then this eventually takes over if it's connected with. It seems to be more of a "place" instead of anything fabricated/fashioned, etc.

What I thought to be the 2nd : This is harder to explain. It's kind of like a surge of bliss that covers the whole body, and this started from the lower parts as I was sitting. If I had to describe where I thought it emerged from, I'd say a mixture of the two lowest chakra areas, as if they've connected with each other. (this might change if I get back there often though, it's just where it started from on this occasion.) Once it arrives, it's like an ecstatic feeling that fills the body, as if the origin point is a kind of beacon that shines the feeling out over everywhere else. There's a big temptation to just sit with this feeling, so it's probably hard at times to move on from this point as it becomes more refined I'd guess. Luckily though I'm not really interested in the idea of "blissing out", etc, and want insight instead. (and the thought of equanimity interests me a lot more anyway.)

I get that these might both just be stages of the 1st, and fair enough if so. It just seemed like there was a big change at some point after things stopped feeling fabricated. Finally I'd associate the 1st experience more with the fire element and the 2nd more with water. (mainly because there's less of a sense of movement, etc, in the 2nd.)

Hopefully that makes some type of sense anyway. :geek:
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:44 pm

That's it, Good work!
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby rob h » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:13 pm

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:That's it, Good work!


Cheers, will make sure to try and meditate more regularly so I can hopefully get used to it. :D
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:20 pm

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:What did you experience during each stage of what you felt to be jhana? Just in what ever language feels right.


have you ever tried experiencing Jhana through the process of ajapa japa mantra recitation?
i.e(Buddho or Nembutsu recitation)

if i'm not mistaken Ahjan Mun went into Jhana through ajapa japa Budd-ho recitation then attain Arhat.
do you have any information on poeple's experience of doing ajapa japa(Budd-ho) and then their process of entering jhana through such methods?
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:25 pm

I don't know about that, can you explain what it is in more detail?

Any meditation object will work. These days I just bring my attention to the non-sensory tingling (energy) that starts off strongest in the hands and feet, and maybe combine that with a body scan. Watching the breath, Yoga nidra, or a mantra also works well. Whatever works. The trick though is to bring your attention to the non-sensory stimulation as it begins to arise, this is the doorway to Jhana. It will begin to grow and intensify, and move through the body.

When I first began to experience 2nd Jhana, it was quite overwhelming, a very dramatic shift; thought, stress, anxiety, fear, would just vanish like the rug had just been pulled out from under me, into a totally ecstatic, blissful, joyful experience of infinite open space. But I find in the last few years the shift is much softer, thoughts often remain, and the intensity is less than it used to be. But I experience it every time I meditate now, and it can be 10min to an hour before it happens, 3rd happens less frequently, and 4th is still somewhat elusive.
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Re: Jhana and non-dualism - parallels?

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:01 pm

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:Perhaps try turning your attention to the non-sensory tingling that is often first felt in the hands and feet. If you stay with that, it will grow, it will slowly move up the legs/arms to the body, let it circulate, keep breathing, this can sometimes take up to an hour or more. If you can do that, while relaxing deeply, you will all of a sudden swoop! into second Jhana. You will know it when it happens, there is nothing to do, it does itself.

For me (I lie down to meditate) it feels as though a huge weight is lifted off the chest, anxiety and stress vanish, it is ecstatic, blissful, THOUGHT STOPS, and inside you may feel as though you are in infinite space. This is going from 1 to 0, beginners mind.

Practice daily and you will find it shortly, good luck!


Correction: the tingling sensation which grows is already the 2nd Jhana, this will grow and intensify, then usually quite suddenly there is a very noticeable shift, thought may vanish into a sphere of infinite open space, stress and anxiety vanish, I feel it most powerfully in the 2nd to 4th Chakra, as though a great weight had been lifted off the chest, this is the 3rd Jhana, this is where things become blissful and ecstatic, and equanimity and peace prevail. The sense of self still appears but union with spirit is predominant. More recently I have moved into the 4th Jhana which has a timeless aspect, it is as though the body had gone to sleep, no agitation or worry, no will to move or do anything.
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