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Blocked piti at access concentration

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Blocked piti at access concentration
concentration access concentration 1st jhana piti pleas sukkha
Answer
10/13/10 2:25 PM
Last week I completed a ten day silent retreat with Leigh Brasington at Gaia House in Devon, UK. I have recently come back to practice after a long time away and although I'd been practising some two hours a day in the run up to the retreat I wasn't expecting an awful lot.

That said, I did practice pretty hard to get towards the first jhana. I didn't get there, despite Leigh's excellent guidance, but I did reach a level of access concentration that I hadn't experienced before.

The way Leigh teaches the jhanas is that he gets you to stay with the primary object (in my case, breath at the nostrils) until you can sense a pleasant physical sensation somewhere in the body. Then you switch your focus to enjoying that sensation until it expands and tips you into the first jhana.

I very soon experienced an electric fizziness in my hands. I had actually had this once before at home, when I had decided to stop following the breath at the abdomen and focused instead at the nostrils and upper lip. Now it was back again - warm, electric, swirling around and making me feel like my thumbs might snap off. It was very noticeable, but difficult to enjoy. More pleasant surges of the feeling at the point where the thumb meets the wrist were annoyingly rare.

Leigh told us that the pleasant sensation is the piti (glee or rapture) half of the piti-sukkha (happiness or joy) combo of the first jhana. If we weren't feeling any enjoyment in the sensation, then he suggested introducing - quickly and without stories - a happy thought. I tried images of friends laughing, sunsets and imagined some of my spiritual heroes meditating alongside me. He also suggested smiling.

Both of these things did work a bit. I was able to generate shockwaves of cold electric piti rippling over my body. I would suddenly find it surging over me, and I would get very excited, desperately trying to focus on the enjoyment of it, rather than 'expecting' to reach jhana (a surefire way to stop it happening, according to Leigh). But it was so all encompassing that I found it difficult to maintain a one-pointed awareness of these shockwaves. They had a tendency to wash over me two or three times - a kind of refreshing, cool wash of pleasure, but without any beaming joy or unstoppable grinning - and then bubble down to something in front of or around me, before fading away and dumping me back in the meditation hall.

I thought that maybe the lack of sukkha was because the piti was coming too early in my sits, before I'd got proper access concentration. So I sat for one 40 minute sit ignoring all the fizziness in my hands and focusing ruthlessly on the breath. It was closer to what Daniel describes as the 'rabid dog' mode of concentration in MCTB rather than the relaxed summer breeze, but I managed to go the whole sit missing only six breaths. Leigh said this was some pretty serious access and couldn't really recommend much more I could do.

Because I kept getting the fizziness and the waves, and because I was doing concentration pretty much all day long, I ended up with a lot of blocked piti. First above the heart centre, at the base of the throat, which felt like a cat was sitting on top of my chest. And second in a sort of wobbly line across my face, from one cheek to the other over the tip of the nose. This second block, which dominated the last three days of the retreat, sometimes felt like a kind of goo stuck to my nose, and I found myself inadvertantly trying to wriggle it off. At other times it felt like a clamp over my face, very constricting and uncomfortable, with the breath entering the nostrils as if through a very thin straw.

Naturally this unpleasantness made it very hard to enjoy the practice and feel the pleasantness of it all, although I did manage to get the waves back on the last night. Leigh's suggestion to remove the blockages was to sweep the attention up the spine through the brain and out wherever the blockages were didn't seem to work for me, or I wasn't doing it right.

I left the retreat on Sunday and after three days in the unreal world the pressure in the nose has dwindled to a sort of slug curled up on my nose. But ideally I'd like it to go away so I can enjoy samatha practice again.

I'd really welcome any suggestions about what to do about the blocked piti, both now and on retreats in the future. Also, if anyone has any advice about how to enter the first jhana without that pleasant sensation, I'd like to hear that too.

With much metta and gratitude,
Andy

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
10/13/10 2:35 PM as a reply to Andy W.
Try Focusing on the lower part of your body: buttocks, sitting bin, hips. Also try to imagine the energy flowing down and out to the sides, dispersing into the air. Do that for a few minutes and see if it makes a difference.

Eran.

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
10/25/10 9:45 AM as a reply to Andy W.
Hi Andy,

Sorry to hear about your struggles with absorption.
Andy W:
Last week I completed a ten day silent retreat with Leigh Brasington at Gaia House in Devon, UK. I have recently come back to practice after a long time away and although I'd been practising some two hours a day in the run up to the retreat I wasn't expecting an awful lot.

That said, I did practice pretty hard to get towards the first jhana. I didn't get there, despite Leigh's excellent guidance, but I did reach a level of access concentration that I hadn't experienced before.

The way Leigh teaches the jhanas is that he gets you to stay with the primary object (in my case, breath at the nostrils) until you can sense a pleasant physical sensation somewhere in the body. Then you switch your focus to enjoying that sensation until it expands and tips you into the first jhana.

It was using Leigh's advice and descriptions of absorption that I first got my start at jhana practice, so I am well familiar with his method of teaching. Some people take to it like a duck to water, while others struggle to get an idea about what he's talking about. Somewhere along the line, you have to use your intuition in order to figure this absorption thing out. It's such a subjective experience that it can be difficult to describe to others if they cannot relate in some way to your initial descriptions. Then, too, as time goes on in the practice, one may experience this arising in a slightly different manner from the way they first experienced it. This latter is usually the result of a more mature practice in entering absorption, of having a mind that instantly obeys one's commands and knows just where to go without wasting time or effort.

Andy W:

I very soon experienced an electric fizziness in my hands. . . . More pleasant surges of the feeling at the point where the thumb meets the wrist were annoyingly rare.

Leigh told us that the pleasant sensation is the piti (glee or rapture) half of the piti-sukkha (happiness or joy) combo of the first jhana. If we weren't feeling any enjoyment in the sensation, then he suggested introducing - quickly and without stories - a happy thought.

I've not heard of anyone attempting to focus on any kind of sensation in the extremities of the body in order to develop absorption. Although this is not to say that this could not be done; it's just foreign to me. I've never used that conceptual template as an assist in my practice.

The kinds of sensations I relate to with regard to the development of absorption have to do with pleasant mental sensations in the region of the head and forehead in the center of the brow. It's a sensation that arises naturally within me (as well as many others), and is one that I've recognized since I was a child, so I am well familiar with it and have used it extensively in my meditation practice.

If you know what that sensation is, you can induce it (that is, bring it on intentionally) on your own just by imagining it happening or remembering how it felt the last time you experienced it. Being able to recalling the feeling of the experience helps to bring it on effortlessly. You just have to learn, first, how to relax into it. Once you feel it arise, then you begin to get an idea about what Leigh is talking about. But you have to relax and let it arise on its own in the beginning, without trying to induce it any way.

However, once you become familiar with the sensation, you know how it feels and how it arises, and what triggers to think about in order to induce it to arise, then induction (mentally inducing it) will work. It's just that in the beginning you kind of have to relax into it and allow it to arise on its own so that you begin to become familiar with it.

Andy W:

I thought that maybe the lack of sukkha was because the piti was coming too early in my sits, before I'd got proper access concentration. So I sat for one 40 minute sit ignoring all the fizziness in my hands and focusing ruthlessly on the breath. It was closer to what Daniel describes as the 'rabid dog' mode of concentration in MCTB rather than the relaxed summer breeze, but I managed to go the whole sit missing only six breaths. Leigh said this was some pretty serious access and couldn't really recommend much more I could do.

Naturally this unpleasantness made it very hard to enjoy the practice and feel the pleasantness of it all, . . .

I left the retreat on Sunday and after three days in the unreal world the pressure in the nose has dwindled to a sort of slug curled up on my nose. But ideally I'd like it to go away so I can enjoy samatha practice again.

I'd really welcome any suggestions about what to do about the blocked piti, both now and on retreats in the future. Also, if anyone has any advice about how to enter the first jhana without that pleasant sensation, I'd like to hear that too.

I've never heard of nor am I really familiar with the concept of "blocked piti" so I may be of no help to you there. (Sounds to me like a fabricated perception. . . meaning that I'm not really certain that there is such a condition.)

But on the subject of being able to enter jhana, that I am familiar with, although it can sometimes be difficult to teach to others. From your description above, I'd suggest that you stop trying to identify piti and sukha as they are occurring, and just remain focused on the pleasantness of the breath. It is the pleasant sensation of the breath (either in its whole bodily sensation or just in the limited sensation experienced at the tip of the nostrils) that is the doorway to successfully using Leigh's descriptions. That pleasantness will bring on the sensation (which will naturally have piti/sikha as part of it) that takes the mind into a blissful feeling and sensation.

The access concentration that you spoke of above was samadhi, a very strong samadhi at that, much more than is needed in order to access jhana. For the mind to become absorbed in an object like the breath, it first must become concentrated on the object. This is called samadhi. The difference between samadhi and jhana is that in samadhi one is concentrated on the object, whereas in jhana, the mind becomes absorbed in the object, which intensifies the blissful sensation of the state. The adjective "access" is only descriptive of the amount of concentration necessary in order to enter into absorption. Yet, even having developed that correct amount of "access concentration" one still must be able to relax into the pleasantness of the breath in order to enter or allow the jhana absorption to arise.

So, I would recommend first just allowing yourself to relax as you are entering meditation, and to continue to relax while focusing lightly on the breath. As in the old Brill Cream advertisement, "a little dab will do ya." A little dab of focusing (lightly) on the breath while endeavoring to experience its pleasantness. See where that takes you, then report back here.

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
10/24/10 1:36 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Dear Ian and Eran,

Thanks for your replies. I'm still bewildered by this blocked piti thing, or whatever it turns out to be (my girlfriend has nicknamed it 'dharma nose'), but I appreciate the help.

Ian - I think I'm getting the hang of relaxing into it. I just did an hour's sit and during the concentration half the sensations of the breath became very very pleasurable - in a wonderfully warm and not at all overwhelming way - for a little while. I think I now need to find the space to do longer sits. At the moment it takes me too long to get settled. But next weekend I'm doing a mini retreat with Rick Hansen, which will hopefully give me lots of space for practice.

Oh and I really appreciated the distinction between samadhi and jhana - it's very helpful. I am definitely still at the concentrated on an object rather than absorbed in it stage, but I've had a few small tastes of the latter - when the breath starts breathing itself. Hopefully I'll learn to relax enough to trust my body to breath on its own!

Thanks again for the advice.
Andy

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
10/25/10 12:50 PM as a reply to Andy W.
All that stuff is early-mid A&P territory and you are way beyond access concentration.

It is hard to stop once it starts, and the reactions to it are actually part of it, though this is hard to see at the time for most.

Thus, you are actually in second jhana territory, just vipassana jhana territory, and getting back to the lower 1st jhana when in that place is really hard and probably futile, and, though you might pull it off, it will likely just catapult you back up to the A&P stuff even harder.

I would just go with it, let it rip through when it does by just staying with the Three Characteristics, the tension, the vibrations, the movements, the odd constrictions (suffering), and the rest with precision, bravery, acceptance, and just a little more openness, instant after flashing instant, though don't be afraid to follow the constrictions down and in and all that, as the mindfulness itself is the key, regardless of what happens. The power of the mind to ride the wild waves and plunge and soar and buzz and really shine in that period is phenomenal and while it can seem like problematic territory if one has the ideal that in it one should simply be in stable, happy rapture, but if one just goes with it and follows it, amazing things can be seen about how fast and powerful the mind can be and all sorts of things about how the mind and reality function can be known directly in that laser-like light of awareness.

Blaze fearlessly: that's my advice. This territory, viewed correctly, is the fun stuff.

Watch for what comes next when it all dies down, which it eventually will, meaning 3rd vipassana jhana.

Helpful?

Daniel

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
10/27/10 2:23 AM as a reply to Andy W.
Hi Andy,
Andy W:

Ian - I think I'm getting the hang of relaxing into it. I just did an hour's sit and during the concentration half the sensations of the breath became very very pleasurable - in a wonderfully warm and not at all overwhelming way - for a little while. I think I now need to find the space to do longer sits. At the moment it takes me too long to get settled. But next weekend I'm doing a mini retreat with Rick Hansen, which will hopefully give me lots of space for practice.

It sounds as though you are beginning to get the hang of it. Without being able to question you more precisely, I'd say that that sounds like first jhana. Keep working at it, lightly though. Let it arise as you relax into it. Pursue the pleasantness of the breath with a loose grip on it, not a tight handle or grip. I think you'll have more success that way.

Andy W:

Oh and I really appreciated the distinction between samadhi and jhana - it's very helpful. I am definitely still at the concentrated on an object rather than absorbed in it stage, but I've had a few small tastes of the latter - when the breath starts breathing itself. Hopefully I'll learn to relax enough to trust my body to breath on its own!

Well, actually, its not that "the breath starts breathing itself," if I correctly understand what you are saying here. The way it's being described here, it sounds more like a hypnotically induced illusion than actual jhana. I know this from personal experience, because I have experienced a kind of "breath starts breathing itself" type sensation when I was first taught a mantra meditation to perform. In retrospect, the "sensation/illusion of the breath breathing itself" was the result of a pre-hypnotic suggestion I was given by the person who taught me the mantra meditation. He had suggested, before I began to practice the meditation, that some monks experienced a kind of "never ending breath" when they practiced this mantra in a certain way. Well, that was enough for my naive mind to take off with that suggestion, and it is exactly what I experienced for about two to three months of meditations, until it gradually began to fade away and I no longer experience it again.

It's more like each breath (and even in between breaths) one does not lose contact with the absorption. The absorption experience continues on without having to be induced by vitakka and vicara (directed attention and sustained attention on the breath). The inhalation and the exhalation of the breath itself becomes integral with the arising of the pleasant sensation such that it becomes an "automatic feedback loop system," as Leigh has described. Once you hit that "feedback loop" you are in the second jhana. Just prior to that though, you're still in the first jhana, having to direct and sustain attention on the breath. Second jhana is effortless; the breath itself sustains the absorption without your having to make an effort. The pleasant sensation ("a wonderfully warm and not at all overwhelming way') is the indicator of having entered absorption in the breath. Even if it was only for "a little while," you were there for that short duration. Now that you know what you're going for, you should have better success in subsequent attempts.

First jhana is good. But second, third, and fourth are even better, and more refined by the time you get to the fourth. I found that in the beginning stages of learning about jhana, if I practiced for samatha (calming the mind) exclusively — as opposed to vipassana (pursuing insight knowledges) — that I had a better chance of comprehending this process (i.e., of the first four jhanas) more thoroughly. As the breath becomes more refined and the movements of the mind begin to settle down — both piti and sukha, though pleasant, are still agitations of the mind, and must subside for the mind to arrive at the fourth jhana — you should experience a state of meditation in which you feel that you could remain in for hours without becoming uncomfortable.

This is when the mind becomes, in the Buddha's words: "malleable, workable, established, having gained imperturbability." In this state, it feels as though you are able to concentrate and focus on any object or subject of knowledge without interruption or distraction, and that your mind is like a steel trap when it grasps onto an object, not letting it go. This is the state in which the Buddha pursued his insight knowledges. It is the perfect state for contemplation of phenomena as the true nature of phenomena becomes apparent and insight about that nature arises with ease.

Work with those descriptions for a while and see what you come up with.

Best wishes,
Ian

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
10/31/10 3:26 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Thus, you are actually in second jhana territory, just vipassana jhana territory, and getting back to the lower 1st jhana when in that place is really hard and probably futile, and, though you might pull it off, it will likely just catapult you back up to the A&P stuff even harder.


Hi Daniel,

All very helpful stuff, thank you. I had no idea I could be that far along. I read that bit in your book about the first jhana being the minimum requirement, and assumed that since I hadn't even had that then I must really be on the starting blocks, if not several feet back. So I decided that I'd make getting into the first jhana pretty much my only spiritual priority for the next twelve months and see what would happen. I was doing nothing except concentration practice before and during the retreat. Now that I'm back, I've used the second half hour of my sits to do noting practice.

Since starting this thread, I've found I can get the pleasurable cold whooshes up the spine while doing noting, sometimes bubbling down much like they did on that retreat, leaving me in quite a relaxed and spacious place to pay attention to the sensations that arise. Sometimes I can make the whooshes arise at will. At other times - when the whooshes don't come - noting feels cramped, sometimes sort of disgusting - occassionally even making me feel ever so slightly nauseous. As a kid I used to get these horrible nightmares where I felt like I was surrounded by piles of stuff, tiny pieces of stuff, crowding around me, everything bitty and repellent, as if sitting in the middle of a landfill site with all that rubbish right up to my neck. That's the sensation that has come back to me now, if less extreme - I suppose that's the suffering part of the 3Cs, right?

I also sometimes experience the 'helicopter' vibrations - but only in two of the senses: in the touch sensation (like in my leg, or hands) and also in visual sensations behind the eyelids (i.e. not mental images). Things start to pulsate. I am starting to be able to break up sounds somewhat, but thoughts are still as solid and seductive as ever, and I have real difficulty in not getting attached to and identifying with them. I can only note them in retrospect.

At other times, doing insight practice can feel like a swirling from one part of the body to another as different sensations arise and vanish. By the way, none of the above feels especially profound or trippy, nor are they totally all consuming experiences. I don't feel particularly deep in any of them.

But, from what you've said, and looking at the descriptions in MCTB, it does seem about right that I'm between the 3Cs and the A&P.

My question is: what should I prioritise as my next goal? I had planned to find another jhana retreat to do early next year, but if it's not worth bothering with jhana for now, should I do an insight/noting retreat? At what stage is it useful to come back to the jhanas if I have to put them on hold? I don't really feel I have good enough concentration and energy to do the noting well - I often get hooked into thoughts and sometimes the noting can slow right down simply because it gets overwhelming or tiring. Presumably a jhana or two would help here, but is it possible to get to them from where I am?

Thanks,
Andy

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
10/31/10 3:31 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Hi Ian,

Thanks very much for the advice. I will definitely be checking out your encyclopaedic jhana thread as well.

I'll do as you say and let the descriptions sink in and then I'll let you know what happens.

Cheers
Andy

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
11/1/10 11:25 PM as a reply to Andy W.
Ah, if you are seeing pulses, no need to note, really, as you have moved to the next level, at least for the moment.

Progression from bad to good:

don't meditate
meditate and get lost in crap/pain
meditate and try to pay attention
meditate and can pay attention
meditate and able to note sometimes
meditate and able to note continuously
meditate and able to perceive objects vibrating
meditate and able to perceive background vibrating/fluxing
meditate and able to see the Three Characteristics of the Whole Thing

We tend to move up and down this basic axis at various points. If you are able to perceive your objects pulsing, no need to note unless you fall back, then note until you can perceive things vibrating again and repeat as needed.

You are doing well: no need to worry, just keep it up.

As to whether or not to do more samatha or more vipassana, I can't answer definitively for you, but I personally tend to prefer insight if you can manage it first, which you are, and samatha as a fallback if you can't, which isn't your problem at the moment, though there are schools of thought that completely reverse this or have other permutations, and they have some valid points to make, depending on your talents, inclinations, and time to spend on all of this. Straight insight, get stream entry, work on jhana afterwards is by far the fastest if you can simply pay attention and not indulge in your stuff, but not everyone can do this, so there are supports for those people, such as jhana first, etc. Realize that this is just my advice as this is how I did it, but there are various valid ways to go. What seems to make sense to you at this point?

D

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
11/2/10 1:25 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Daniel,

I liked your list of "progression from good to bad" as it seems like a fairly generic/universal way to describe it in a manner that most people would be able to relate to.

According to your list, would you say that the last four

meditate and able to note continuously
meditate and able to perceive objects vibrating
meditate and able to perceive background vibrating/fluxing
meditate and able to see the Three Characteristics of the Whole Thing


would equate to being in a state of samadhi in order to accomplish? By samadhi, I mean having a strong level of concentration developed, which can either be used for insight or further samatha development (e.g., jhana or absorption).

I also liked the description and advice that:

"As to whether or not to do more samatha or more vipassana, I can't answer definitively for you, but I personally tend to prefer insight if you can manage it first, and samatha as a fallback if you can't,... Straight insight, get stream entry, work on jhana afterwards is by far the fastest if you can simply pay attention and not indulge in your stuff, but not everyone can do this, so there are supports for those people, such as jhana first, etc. Realize that this is just my advice as this is how I did it, but there are various valid ways to go."

as that is how I did it too (although not according to the methods/pursuits/maps you've given in your book). (And, of course, I also agree that "there are various valid ways to go" as different individuals may require different methods.)

Ian

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
11/2/10 1:53 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
This is all fantastically helpful. Glad I finally posted something on the DhO!

I think I'm veering around in the first 75% of your scale. I rarely ever get to the 'don't meditate' although I have bailed out early a bit too much recently - blaming tiredness, having a cold, the winter or whatever. Still aiming at two hours a day, getting at least one hour in every day.

I was getting confused about noting practice, because everything seemed to be going too fast. It makes more sense if I'm just supposed to focus on the vibrations. Last night I was noting as quickly as I could and then something shifted - like an opening. I can only describe it as a kind of flash or crack in the wall of my visual mind (I visualise absolutely everything) which a whole gammet of sensations started to pour through. It lasted all of a quarter of a second and felt maybe pleasurable, maybe exciting, maybe just crazy - it was too quick to really tell.

With regards to the 3Cs - I can sense the crappiness (suffering) of physical and visual sensations, but sounds still feel kind of neutral and thoughts are quite alluring. I can see that they all come and go, but it still feels quite intellectual. With not-self, I can recognise that some thoughts are utterly random nonsense that I have no control over, but other thoughts are completely alluring and nigh-impossible to note until well after they have gone.

There is a nine day Mahasi-style retreat at Gaia House next May, which I am promptly booking myself onto. Now need to find something for the interim! (Suggestions from UK-based DhOers welcome...)

A

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
11/2/10 2:13 PM as a reply to Andy W.
Andy W:


There is a nine day Mahasi-style retreat at Gaia House next May, which I am promptly booking myself onto. Now need to find something for the interim! (Suggestions from UK-based DhOers welcome...)

A


I'm not a UK based DhOer, but I can offer a suggestion: How about you take the resolution to get 1st path before that May course you are booking in there for. Then you could well get 2nd path on it. It is very doable, even outside of retreat conditions. You just need to gather a momentum in your practice. Momentum being key.

Go for it!

Nick

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
11/2/10 7:53 PM as a reply to Andy W.
Andy W:

With regards to the 3Cs - I can sense the crappiness (suffering) of physical and visual sensations, but sounds still feel kind of neutral and thoughts are quite alluring. I can see that they all come and go, but it still feels quite intellectual. With not-self, I can recognise that some thoughts are utterly random nonsense that I have no control over, but other thoughts are completely alluring and nigh-impossible to note until well after they have gone.


Hey Andy,

The way one sees the 3Cs can change with the practice. In the beginning it may feel somewhat intellectual and forced later in the practice it can become more natural. Try getting more intimate with sensations, noticing how each one arises and passes as clearly as you can. This often works for me to bring about that shift to a more natural perceiving of impermanence. it looks like one it has been seen clearly for the first time, it becomes easier to see this way again and again. Be patient!

As for seeing suffering and no-self, one can often see them more clearly when one has a clearer of the impermanence. Noticing how all sensations are fleeting and un-reliable one can see how sensations are ultimately unsatisfying (how can anything gone so quickly be satisfying?). Out of seeing the unsatisfactoriness of sensations, one starts to develop a dispassion towards sensations and out of that can arise a clear notion of not self (if things are so unsatisfying and unreliable, how can I call them me mine or myself? Why would I?).

Another way that may work is trying to focus on sensations arising. See how every moment more sensations arise. This may highlight the impersonal aspect of sensations, showing you how there is no one in charge of making sensations arise, there is no one they are happening to, etc. Similarly, focusing on sensations passing away, seeing the end of each sensation, can highlight the aspect of suffering.

Thoughts are tricky, they are so easy to identify with. Notice that even the most alluring thoughts just arise and pass away without any Thinker ever coming into being. They don't have to be nonsense, they can make a lot of sense, the sense doesn't matter, just their 3Cs.

Hope this helps,
Eran.

RE: Blocked piti at access concentration
Answer
11/3/10 1:23 AM as a reply to Ian And.
Dear Ian,

Yes, as you suspected and probably know: the last four refer specifically not just to jhanas in general, but actually correlate specifically with the 4 vipassana jhanas specifically, with those being the sign of mastery of each of those, or at least one of the signs.

D