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Vast Emtiness in meditation

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:07 pm
by Jesse
I have been meditating lately, trying to focus on a single object.. usually a small circle that I visualize. I try to keep my mind focused solely on that thing. It's funny how difficult it really is to do this, my mind wants to jump everywhere but where I'm trying to put it. I guess I can only laugh at how undisciplined my mind is. I am getting better at it, though.

After meditating in this way for a long while, I usually get to this place where it feels as if a vast emptiness opens up. Other than the emptiness, there is not much else, my thinking process tends to be more fluid and gentle at this point though.

Last night after I quit meditating, this emptiness stayed with me for a while afterwards. It was a very funny feeling. Like underneath of everything I see/feel/hear, there was this vast feeling of emptiness still there.

Has anyone else experienced phenomena from meditation carrying over like this?

Re: Vast Emtiness in meditation

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:52 am
by catmoon
Sounds kinda like the fifth jhana to me, but I'd have to know a lot more about you and your practice to be sure.

Re: Vast Emtiness in meditation

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:01 pm
by Jesse
Thank you catmoon, I looked it up and that does sound similar.

I had quite an amazing experience/realization today while meditating. I saw through my own illusion of myself. It's funny that we can read, and learn everything about how we are not separate, but to actually experience it, even shortly is so beyond words. It was such a profound thing to see I laughed myself out of meditation.

The thing I am curious about is, how do we move from seeing a short glimpse of this, to experiencing this view all of the time?

Re: Vast Emtiness in meditation

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:07 am
by catmoon
Familiarization. If you keep at it steadily, reactions like the laughing will eventually morph into first curiosity then investigation. But these states are funny things, "investigation" is not quite the right word, because it implies things like active thought, which should be absent in these states.

Please please take a word of advice. If you are in fact getting into the jhanas, this is a very bad time to be irregular in your practice. If you lose the ability it can be very hard to recover, especially if this is new territory for you. Get some time in every day until this solidifies. A really good teacher knows this and will work with you to help stabilize this practice.

Re: Vast Emtiness in meditation

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:08 pm
by Jesse
Thank you again for your input catmoon.

The realization I had has actually stuck with me far more than I thought it would. I've found myself smiling alot more since then. It has opened up a very different perception of myself and my relationships. More than that, It has given me insight into the many attachments I thought I could never live without.

It was in part due to your insight about my original question that led me to that particular meditation session - so again I thank you.

I honestly think it may have been a fluke occurrence, or perhaps just a very good streak of luck, reaching these states of meditation, because I still find myself struggling with more simple concentration meditations. I am not too worried about maintaining them, because I definitely feel I have alot more to learn before I can make any true progress. Though I intent to continue meditating at least twice a day for the foreseeable future.

Re: Vast Emtiness in meditation

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:26 am
by catmoon
Good stuff. Twice a day ought to do it. Keep me posted.