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Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...

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From my last mail, I have focused more on the experience of the sensation rather than just dissecting the sensation into smaller sensations. This put me into a more calm and focused state, while fighting what seems to be a dark night. However, I have a couple of questions, which I could not find an answer to in previous threads:

1) When I meditate, I found that I now can put my body (and some of the mind) to almost sleeping, while still being fully conscious. This produces a state in which there is little sense of the body. What remains is the breath, and momentarily the sense of there being a physical presence and also the breath disappears. Is this meditation a wrong tack or should I train this even more? Obviously, there is not much to note besides the breath, when the body sleeps, so should I bring the body back to a more awake state in order to experience sensations?

2) I have been wondering how hard I am really concentrating. I have been using count of outbreaths to 10 as a measure of being concentrated. However, I discovered that I can watch a soccer game and listen to the commentaries while counting outbreaths to 10 over and over. I can hardly be very absorbed in my breath while watching a soccer game, can I?

Best Regards

Andy

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/24/11 9:59 AM as a reply to Andy H.
Andy Hansen:
From my last mail, I have focused more on the experience of the sensation rather than just dissecting the sensation into smaller sensations. This put me into a more calm and focused state, while fighting what seems to be a dark night. However, I have a couple of questions, which I could not find an answer to in previous threads:

1) When I meditate, I found that I now can put my body (and some of the mind) to almost sleeping, while still being fully conscious. This produces a state in which there is little sense of the body. What remains is the breath, and momentarily the sense of there being a physical presence and also the breath disappears. Is this meditation a wrong tack or should I train this even more? Obviously, there is not much to note besides the breath, when the body sleeps, so should I bring the body back to a more awake state in order to experience sensations?

whether or not you bring the body back to a more awake state, you should attend to the sensations which do occur (sensations of the breath, sensations of the body, sensations of the mind, whatever) intently, not missing a moment of their occurrence.

Andy Hansen:

2) I have been wondering how hard I am really concentrating. I have been using count of outbreaths to 10 as a measure of being concentrated. However, I discovered that I can watch a soccer game and listen to the commentaries while counting outbreaths to 10 over and over. I can hardly be very absorbed in my breath while watching a soccer game, can I?

here's an idea: as you're doing your normal (first-layer) count, try also counting another layer - from 1 to 10 quickly in the same time as it takes you count each unit of 1, 2, 3 (so that you are counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, 2-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, 3-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 ... ). with these two count-cycles going at the same time, see how much soccer you can watch and commentary you can listen to then.

tarin

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 12:09 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Tarin,

Thank you very much for your answer. I interpret it as going into a very relaxed state of meditation is neither good nor bad when doing "noting meditation".

Best regards

Andy

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 1:21 PM as a reply to Andy H.
Andy Hansen:
1) When I meditate, I found that I now can put my body (and some of the mind) to almost sleeping, while still being fully conscious. This produces a state in which there is little sense of the body. What remains is the breath, and momentarily the sense of there being a physical presence and also the breath disappears. Is this meditation a wrong tack or should I train this even more? Obviously, there is not much to note besides the breath, when the body sleeps, so should I bring the body back to a more awake state in order to experience sensations?


I could be completely wrong, but this sounds to me very much like the 4th formless jhana, aka "neither perception nor non-perception." That's the only state in which I've felt like my body was non-existent, or at least like it was really far away. Either way, you can totally just note the breath. Sounds like good concentration to me. Maybe also note or investigate the feeling of being detached from your body?

Andy Hansen:
2) I have been wondering how hard I am really concentrating. I have been using count of outbreaths to 10 as a measure of being concentrated. However, I discovered that I can watch a soccer game and listen to the commentaries while counting outbreaths to 10 over and over. I can hardly be very absorbed in my breath while watching a soccer game, can I?


LOL I totally know what you mean haha. emoticon This is one of many reasons I hate counting practices. Personally, I would advocate replacing this practice with noting, which is much more dynamic and absorbing. Instead of this being a sign of your LACK of attention, I've found that it's in fact a sign of one needing a more difficult challenge, as tarin suggested.

-m

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 3:00 PM as a reply to Morgan Taylor.
Morgan Taylor:
Andy Hansen:
1) When I meditate, I found that I now can put my body (and some of the mind) to almost sleeping, while still being fully conscious. This produces a state in which there is little sense of the body. What remains is the breath, and momentarily the sense of there being a physical presence and also the breath disappears. Is this meditation a wrong tack or should I train this even more? Obviously, there is not much to note besides the breath, when the body sleeps, so should I bring the body back to a more awake state in order to experience sensations?


I could be completely wrong, but this sounds to me very much like the 4th formless jhana, aka "neither perception nor non-perception." That's the only state in which I've felt like my body was non-existent, or at least like it was really far away. Either way, you can totally just note the breath. Sounds like good concentration to me. Maybe also note or investigate the feeling of being detached from your body?

you're right (about being completely wrong). it might be a good idea to refrain from offering commentary on attainments you don't have first-hand experience with, as doing otherwise sets an precedent of wild speculation which is unhelpful as far as anyone's practice is concerned. as the thread suggests, yogis are already lost in the jhanas; there no need to get lost in erroneous notions of jhanas as well...

tarin

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 4:25 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
it might be a good idea to refrain from offering commentary on attainments you don't have first-hand experience with


what attainment are you referring to?

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 4:38 PM as a reply to Morgan Taylor.
Morgan Taylor:
tarin greco:
it might be a good idea to refrain from offering commentary on attainments you don't have first-hand experience with


what attainment are you referring to?


Neither perception nor non-perception. I would not say the OP was accessing the 8th jhana.

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 4:44 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Neither perception nor non-perception. I would not say the OP was accessing the 8th jhana.


Ok, it just sounded like the closest thing to me, but to accuse me of not having experienced it is not really appropriate for this thread.

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 4:55 PM as a reply to Morgan Taylor.
Morgan Taylor:
Nikolai .:
Neither perception nor non-perception. I would not say the OP was accessing the 8th jhana.


Ok, it just sounded like the closest thing to me, but to accuse me of not having experienced it is not really appropriate for this thread.


Have you?
In another thread you talk of only just getting the 1st jhana. So I can see how Tarin assumed you did not have access to the 8th yet.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1979584

:-)

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 4:55 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Well (to hijack the thread), in my initial post, I mentioned my experience with it. You can disbelieve me all you like, but every description I've read of it sounds like my experience.

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 4:59 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
In another thread you talk of only just getting the 1st jhana. So I can see how Tarin assumed you did not have access to the 8th yet.


Fair enough, but the first sentence of that thread specifies that the experience I describe happened about a year ago.

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 5:02 PM as a reply to Morgan Taylor.
Morgan Taylor:
Well (to hijack the thread), in my initial post, I mentioned my experience with it. You can disbelieve me all you like, but every description I've read of it sounds like my experience.



Can you please describe the 8th jhana as you experience it , in your own words, phenomenologically speaking. This would help clear up any misunderstandings and clarify whether or not you may or may not be accessing the 8th jhana. It's easy to script and mis-diagnose. I've done it myself many times. So has everyone else here. This is not singling you out. THis is what happens here at the DhO. Don't worry about hijacking the thread. It's about jhanas anyway ;-)

Thanks Morgan,

:-)

Nick

RE: Another yogi lost in the jhanas, part 2...
Answer
6/28/11 5:23 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Can you please describe the 8th jhana as you experience it , in your own words, phenomenologically speaking. This would help clear up any misunderstandings and clarify whether or not you may or may not be accessing the 8th jhana. It's easy to script and mis-diagnose. I've done it myself many times. So has everyone else here. This is not singling you out. THis is what happens here at the DhO. Don't worry about hijacking the thread. It's about jhanas anyway ;-)


Out of respect to the OP, I'm submitting my description to the "Claims to Attainments" thread:

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1980725