The back of my eyelids are always having a party

Tom Tom, modified 12 Years ago at 10/1/09 3:32 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/1/09 3:30 AM

The back of my eyelids are always having a party

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
I've been doing concentration practice for a while. I stopped paying attention to what jhana is what after a while and now I just sit and do concentration practice. I haven't verified any of the states I've been in with anyone. I've entered a lot of interesting states though I can't say I've ever fully lost awareness of my entire body, but I have had some brief moments where it flashes out and I'm only left with very little.and other moments where just the point of contact where my hands are sitting and tension points on my legs are apparent.

I'm meeting with a teacher to practice in a few weeks so I guess I'm not too concerned because I will talk with him about it then.

However, I now have this flashing every time I close my eyes. There is this high frequency white noise flashing in and out in the blackness. And sometimes it will turn into geometrical figures like snakes and move around (sometimes in 3-d?!) It's kinda cool, but it's really bizarre when I'm trying to fall asleep. Last night I was watching it while I was falling asleep and I fell into this super extremely realistic dream where I was touching my teeth and all the teeth I touched fell out as I went to touch them. I was frightened that I was dying and all I could think about was my mother! I tried to get up to find my mom but something pulled me back and suddenly I awoke touching all my teeth to find them still in tact.

I suppose the eyelid thing is probably a temporary byproduct of the meditation and maybe I've just been practicing too much?

-Thomas
Tom Tom, modified 12 Years ago at 10/1/09 3:48 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/1/09 3:48 AM

RE: The back of my eyelids are always having a party

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Or was this something that was always there that I just never noticed as it was before?
Tom Tom, modified 12 Years ago at 10/1/09 4:46 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/1/09 4:46 AM

RE: The back of my eyelids are always having a party

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Oh yeah, one more thing. I am now spending more time than I would like to meditating. I usually start with the intention of meditating for 30 minutes to an hour, but now in the middle of the meditation lately I just turn the alarm off because I'm feeling so good or let it ring and ring for who knows how long because I can't think enough to turn it off. I sort of still have the thought to turn it off, but the action doesn't follow it. And when it finally does I will turn it off and keep meditating for like another 30 min to an hour.
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 10/1/09 9:23 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/1/09 9:23 PM

RE: The back of my eyelids are always having a party

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Thomas Allen Vitale:


However, I now have this flashing every time I close my eyes. There is this high frequency white noise flashing in and out in the blackness. And sometimes it will turn into geometrical figures like snakes and move around (sometimes in 3-d?!) It's kinda cool, but it's really bizarre when I'm trying to fall asleep. Last night I was watching it while I was falling asleep and I fell into this super extremely realistic dream where I was touching my teeth and all the teeth I touched fell out as I went to touch them. I was frightened that I was dying and all I could think about was my mother! I tried to get up to find my mom but something pulled me back and suddenly I awoke touching all my teeth to find them still in tact.

I suppose the eyelid thing is probably a temporary byproduct of the meditation and maybe I've just been practicing too much?


Hello.

This sounds like 4th jhana. If so, you may also notice that the visualizations pulse rhythmically somewhat in accord with the breath. This isn't necessarily a temporary byproduct of samatha work, depending upon your degree of enlightenment in the 4 path model and/or sub-stage within each of the 4 stages of the path. If you're not down the path at all, it is temporary and contingent upon your concentration strength (and thus ability to access the samatha jhana). If proceeding along the path, you may notice (increasingly as you approach arhatship, aka embodiment of 4th vipassana jhana) many of the 4th samatha jhana characteristics as something of a default resting place, since they're not necessarily "samatha" qualities anymore, but rather, just 4th jhana period.

Make sense/helpful?

Trent
Tom Tom, modified 12 Years ago at 10/2/09 12:04 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/2/09 12:04 AM

RE: The back of my eyelids are always having a party

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Yes this was helpful. The visualizations do "pulse" in accord with the breath...like if I breath really hard they vibrate really fast and quick.

Last night as I was falling asleep some sort of blue object came into my "vision" and grew until it turned into some sort of giant space craft with elaborate circular texture...

Anyways,
I haven't completed any paths as I haven't started doing much insight practice yet nor done any retreats. I've been doing almost exclusively concentration practice on my own. I'm waiting a few more months before starting insight practice as I need to finish college and falling into a "dark night" doesn't sound like it would help me finish.
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Florian, modified 12 Years ago at 10/2/09 8:22 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/2/09 8:22 AM

RE: The back of my eyelids are always having a party

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Thomas,

"Something pulled me back" sounds to me a lot like an out-of-body dream/experience, caused by your degree of development in concentration skills. Stuff like this starts coming up in A&P territory; being able to sit for long periods is also A&P-ish. 3-D stuff may indicate 4th Jhana, like Trent said.

If you want to figure out "where you are" in order to avoid dark-nighting your way through exams, you should give the Progress of Insight chapter in MCTB a careful read (not just that first Wiki page, but the entire chapter). The big table summary of the progress of insight, found on Daniels homepage, is also very useful.

Some random thoughts on 4th Jhana, and "samatha jhana vs vipassana jhana":

  • In 4th Jhana, the difference between samatha and vipassana jhana is becoming increasingly small. With stable 3-D imagery, how hard is it to resist examining the special effects, investigating, penetrating? OTOH, it also becomes tempting to buy into the content of the special effects - i.e. to wonder whether that OOB experience or compelling vision was "really real", instead of figuring out what leads to what.
  • Being able to access a Jhana, and penetrating/investigating/figuring out the Jhana are separate "steps" so to speak. They strongly tend to be accessed in sequence (though that sequence can be very quick), and penetrating the Jhanas also occurs in sequence (the progress of insight models this sequence). One crude way of understanding the relationship of these two sequences is that being able to access a jhana indicates some degree of penetration of the previous jhana. This is not a hard rule, but if you can get to 4th, this could very well indicate quite a bit of penetration of the first three - read: you might already have had more than a taste of the dark night. But maybe not. This coupling is not very dependable, just one more factor to take into consideration.
  • If you are worrying about hitting the dark night at an inappropriate time, in addition to not doing insight practice (which may or may not make sense if you hit 4th, see the first point), you should really make use of a formal resolve not to make progress at this time, until you resolve to do otherwise. Formal resolves of this kind are really astonishingly effective. You can think of your powerful concentration skills as giving your formal resolve extra leverage, if you like.


I hope there's something in there that's useful. Good luck with your studies!

Cheers,
Florian

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