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Intense feeling during anapanasati - Dhamma Wheel

Intense feeling during anapanasati

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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withoutcolour
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Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby withoutcolour » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:46 am

Hi all,

So I've been meditating faithfully every day for about a week (whereas before I was doing it roughly once a week, and then before then, once a month probably... though in high school I was meditating [nonreligious] every day). With that being said, I just meditated for about 20 minutes (which is no major feat), and I experienced something I never really experienced before.
I'm going to do my absolute best to describe it -- I suppose I just want to figure out what I'm experiencing, and if anyone else has felt the same. Or if anything I'm feeling corresponds to the jhanas or I'm just a nut and doing the whole thing wrong, haha...
When following my breath, my breathing became really shallow, almost nonexistent, and I began to feel like I was going deep "into" my self. Everything got dark (my eyes were closed, but things looked darker than normal). I became super-aware of my entire body (in its entirety, not parts specifically), like I was perceiving my entire body all at once. I felt a little dizzy, like the room was almost spinning -- but not in a bad too-drunk sort of way. I would liken it to feeling like I was in space -- I know that sounds weird. It was very intense.
There was no thought occurring, other than me noting "this is an unusual and amazing feeling." I was smiling and super "happy", but not sense-pleasures happy, more like the way Buddha describes feeling "blissful" or "joyous" -- happiness without relating to sense-pleasures.
Also, normally when I meditate, I experience pain along my spine (because I have poor posture, being a lazy student), and my right foot falls asleep and then I oftentimes have to stand up because of the painful pins-and-needles that follow. But that didn't happen -- my body felt at ease, no pain or discomfort whatsoever. It felt natural.
Eventually, the feelings became less intense and I began to feel "at home" with the feeling. Eventually my meditation alarm clock went off and I opened my eyes, and took a deep breath. I felt very refreshed.

Any input, anyone? Or am I :cookoo: ?
Thanks
-wc
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

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Ben
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:58 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:24 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Reductor
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby Reductor » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:30 am

Next time that happens, let it get to that 'at home' sense. Then look up. Keep your eyes closed of course.
Maybe something interesting will happen.

EDIT: more interesting. Your experience seems to be pretty neat already.

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withoutcolour
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby withoutcolour » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:31 am

Thanks, both of you.
I am really glad that what I experienced related to something relevant.
And retro, I'd say that sounds fairly close.

I did some wiki-ing and found the following passage that sounds fairly close to what I felt (though wikipedia is not a reliable source, it was cited, which is a nice change). I feel like this passage describes it better than I did above, especially the "no body" part:
"As the concentration become stronger, the feeling of breathing and the feeling of having a physical body will completely disappear leaving only pure awareness. At this stage the inexperienced meditator will usually become afraid thinking that they are going to die if they continue the concentration because the feeling of breathing and the feeling of having a physical body has completely disappeared, at this stage the meditator should not be afraid and should continue their concentration in order to reach full concentration (jhana)."
-Venerable Sujivo, Access and Fixed Concentration. Vipassana Tribune, Vol 4 No 2, July 1996, Buddhist Wisdom Centre, Malaysia
(Found in Wikipedia, but was cited as above.)

I'll update this thread once I meditate tomorrow, and we'll see if that weird feeling returns.
-wc
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

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fig tree
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby fig tree » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:24 am

This sounds really good. :jumping: <-- Although, um, stay more calm than this guy! Keep practicing, and don't worry about whether you repeat the experience soon. Hopefully something like this will sooner or later become a familiar experience and you can take it further.

Fig Tree

Kenshou
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby Kenshou » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:21 pm

withoutcolor- my experience is that the more you do this, the more the dizzy, disoriented aspect of it will decrease and it will feel more stable. I'd like to point out one thing though, though these spacey, happy feelings are generally a sign that you're making some progress, be sure to not be thrown off by them and maintain awareness on your object, the feeling of the in-and-out point of the breath. When things begin to happen, try not to become preoccupied with them and lose focus. If you maintain concentration on the object, those feelings will increase on their own. You ought to be mindful of all that's going on, but keep your focus of concentration where it is the best you can. Interesting things start to happen. I had to find that out for myself after some annoying jumping back-and-forth and wondering what I was doing wrong. :thinking:

Also, maybe you'd find this article helpful: http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebmed058.htm Contained in there are a number of good points about this sort of practice that I've found to be spot-on. Take a look at the author's quotations from the Patisambhidamagga and Vimuttimagga and see how your experience relates. I'm pretty inexperienced compared to many of the people around here, but it sounds like you're at a place that I was awhile ago, and so maybe some of the same stuff that I found useful will be useful to you.

-thereductor: What's this about "looking" upwards? I've never tried that. I tend to try and just shut off my eye-awareness, sounds like something to try.

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withoutcolour
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby withoutcolour » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:21 am

I meditated again today, for about twenty minutes. I didn't experience anything like yesterday though.
I did want to mention, however, when I meditated a few days ago (for about 10 minutes -- I was introducing my fiance to meditation, so we were just doing a short 10 minute one together), I had that same feeling but it was very very brief.

Also, I have a question about something you said, Kenshou:
You said not to get wrapped up in the weird feeling -- but wouldn't becoming aware of the changes in my body and my feelings be just another part of anapanasati meditation? Wouldn't I be experiencing whole-body awareness? Or are you saying not to become attached to it?
If you meant not to get attached to it, boy are you right! I was meditating today, watching my body and the whole time I was half-wondering if that feeling was going to happen again. I'm pretty sure that disrupted my progress, haha. (Also, I was in a room full of several ticking clocks and I had a song stuck in my head, so that was miserable for my concentration.)

Thanks everyone
-wc
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

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Ben
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:28 am

Hi WC
Best not to get attached to anything you experience.
Remain mindful of your meditation object and treat everything else with objective equanimity.
As soon as you begin to crave for a particular meditative experience, say Jhana or something else - it becomes a barrier to experiencing that phenomena.
All experiences, regardless of how rarified they appear to be, are anicca (impermanent), dukkha (suffering when one develops attachment to it) and anatta (not-self, not "me", not "mine"). Remember that everything you experience is changing, meaningless impersonal phenomena. Getting attached to this or that experience is like grasping at mist.
Be aware and be equanimous.
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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withoutcolour
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:53 pm

Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby withoutcolour » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:45 am

It's so difficult that now I am aware of the existence of access concentration and the jhanas... they pop into my head. I am trying very hard though, to just focus on the breath.
Haha, I was doing so much better before I had googled "jhanas". Seems a bit counterintuitive if you ask me.
Anyway, just another bump in the road! Something to overcome! :)
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

Kenshou
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby Kenshou » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:16 am


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drew
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby drew » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:10 pm

Hi Withoutcolour,
I am reminded of the beautiful Ajahn Chah quote about the still forest pool and all the animal that will come and drink.
A bright, sharp and stable mind is such a treasure to behold.
Unfortunately unless we are enlightened it often turns back into a mud pit :)
I guess equanimity is all about practicing with whatever arises without identifying with it.
Attachment certainly causes dukkha.
And practicing with equanimity and mindfulness certainly brings sukkha.
I guess that space would be an ideal opportunity for some powerful metta mediation.
Share it around.
:buddha1:
The gift of the Dhamma excels all gifts (DP354)

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AdvaitaJ
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Re: Intense feeling during anapanasati

Postby AdvaitaJ » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:59 pm

The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai


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