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Jhana diagnosis?
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1/25/20 8:02 AM
Think I'm in 2nd or 3rd Samatha Jhana during recent sessions based on Kasina. My previous practice was 'Goenka Vipassana' where this stuff isn't talked about, so I've never worked through these states with a competent teacher. What does this look like to you?

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/18319183#_19_message_18319183

RE: Jhana diagnosis?
Answer
1/25/20 11:36 AM as a reply to Bill T.
Most modern descriptions focus on the physical stuff. Piti, sukha, cool bliss etc. When you are working with the visual field, they might be there but you really are not focusing on them so much.
Daniel describes them in the fire kasina book. The vipassana jhana section of mctb2 will be helpful as well.

Basically, 2nd will be a narrow detailed image. It could be very intricate. It could be spinning. Effort will start to fall away. There could be a halo. Or vortex. A&P stuff
3rd is pretty much the inverse. Hard to focus on the middle. It could be a black or very dark red dot. A wider background is more interesting. Notice how attention goes from narrow to wide. If you dont stay visual, dark night stuff can creep.
Of course, there is a lot of individual variations. It is more of a vipassana jhana vibe. I can go more on the concentration side if I also bring in some body awareness and dont refresh the image or move.
As far as diagnosis, transitions are the best sign posts. For example, observing a wobbly, hazy, effortful image that becomes stable, intricate, spinning and effortless then observing that go black in the center allows you to triangulate where you are much better than just picking one data point.

RE: Jhana diagnosis?
Answer
1/26/20 1:55 AM as a reply to Jason Massie.
Thanks so much Jason - this lines up very neatly with my experience. Effortful concentration through to non-effort, glowing sparkly stuff, through to 'deep field' glowing waves or fields that fill the 'sight'

Kind of blows my mind how 2,000 year old meditation manuals accurately describe predictable stages anyone will go through in this practice.