Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrateddani

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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 1 Year ago.

Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrateddani

Posts: 3181 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I have a new blog post about applying dimensional and categorical thinking to formless realms.

Hopefully, it will be of some utility.

Enjoy!

Daniel
"By being able to think both dimensionally, that is, in terms of degrees and shades of grey, as well as categorically, that of a binary “true formless” or “some form remaining”, and by being very deliberate in how we express these modes of thought, we can be much better communicators as well as hopefully better practitioners."

I wonder how does Daniel's description of categorical vs dimensional formless jhanas translate into the already commonly used terms like soft vs hard jhanas. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrated

Posts: 2461 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
I have a new blog post about applying dimensional and categorical thinking to formless realms.

Hopefully, it will be of some utility.

Enjoy!

Daniel

Jesus Fucking Christ, man, what a mind at work here. I'm lucky to be on the planet for something like this. I think you are noting single synapse firings at this point, the way the naked eye can detect a single electron in a perfectly dark room. 

I take comfort in the fact that 2500 years or whatever later we are still all in trying to suss what the Buddha and his ilk really were talking about. I think i may need the next 2500 years to get a single electron's worth in a totally dark room of what you're talking about here.

Thank you, is what I was getting at.
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Lewis James, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrated

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This is great, I have used Michael Taft's instructions on the formless realms a lot, which disregards first going through the form jhanas and skips right to formless realms from access concentration.

Having explored that a bit, I can really sense this dimensionality to how 'formless' an experience is. Just like there are hard/light form jhanas, there are hard/light formless realms. The "hard" end of the spectrum is completely absorbed with nothing but the formless realm. The "soft" versions seem to have some aspect of any of the form jhanas. So my suspicion is with the method I've used, whatever your cutting edge is jhana-wise, you will traverse the formless 'dimension' of that jhana.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrated

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That fits my experience too, and I no longer regard those as the formless jhanas. When I arose through the formed jhanas, using destillation of the nada sound into white light as a bridge into fourth, the formless jhanas pulled me in and were so clear and pure that nothing I had previously experienced came close to it. 
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Rich Lee, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrated

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That fits my experience too, and I no longer regard those as the formless jhanas. When I arose through the formed jhanas, using destillation of the nada sound into white light as a bridge into fourth, the formless jhanas pulled me in and were so clear and pure that nothing I had previously experienced came close to it.

I love this. It's absolutely spot on. Thanks
fabrice tom, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrated

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I might use the term j4.j6 to describe an experience that was much more fourth jhanic in its character but still had a significant aspect of vast, open presence, luminosity, and sense of all-pervading consciousness yet still had some form arising, however abstract, and so differentiate it from “true j6, Boundless Consciousness” in which form was utterly gone and it was like being in another realm of pure consciousness utterly removed in all obvious ways from the experiences of the space in which my body was sitting.

Hi Daniel

not sure to understand the all topic clearly and i would say sure that we all experience jhanas differently,  similarly but differently in many way specially the so called Formless jhanas.

However the idea of " X representing some jhana from 1-4 and F representing one of the Formless Realms from 5-8"  is a very interesting one , there is so many "feelings" that can arise from jhanas that it can help to clarify.
I also believe that we can experience lots of "power level"   from jhana state, i've been working for quite a while on the idea of "loading jhanas",  for instance you can load  a pré J1 or weak J1 , then go to a  weak  J2, then back to J1 and to J2, etc) in order to gain more power before going any further  but once you've gone through all jhanas you can  move from J8 directly to J1 for a "super load" of J1 then the next following jhanas  are super loaded too, more profound and with much more nuances.

So the thing is that for many reasons ( energy, messy mind, etc) strong jhanas are difficult to reach on the "first raw" but if you can go threw all jhanas even mildly, a second raw will make them much stronger and much more interesting in nuances, degrees, etc, i was wondering lately about a method to understand those degrees, feelings,etc, that is where jX.jF can be  helpful, we'll see...
Thankyou. I believe I slipped into Jhana no. 5 (boundless space) during a relatively long meditation sitting at home a while back. It was definately one of my most memorable meditation sittings ever. I have no experience with psychedelics or any drugs but similarly to those trips, these experiences are not possible to put entirely into words, but awe was definately a part of it. Since I rarely even access the lower Jhanas, it must have been beginners luck. Many Vipasana teachers seem to advice against obsessing over Jhanas, what are your thoughts? 

Ps. Apologies if the answer is in your book, I haven't gotten to the chapters about the Jhanas yet. It's a great book but it takes some time absorbing! emoticon  
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrated

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Olof:
Thankyou. I believe I slipped into Jhana no. 5 (boundless space) during a relatively long meditation sitting at home a while back. It was definately one of my most memorable meditation sittings ever. 

welcome to Dharma Overground (often, here, DhO), Olaf! You are Scandanavian?
I have no experience with psychedelics or any drugs but similarly to those trips, these experiences are not possible to put entirely into words, 

lol, you have no experience but similarly anyway, lol. By second hand reports. Don't trust them. No need to do the drugs now, though, if you've already blundered into 5th jhana. That's your working benchmark now; see how it holds up in your continued explorations. But that's a tentative state-of-the-art marker in the formless realms, and a take-off point, even if further experince makes you laugh at this self's take on it eventually. You bootstrap this shit, jumpin from illusion to delusion to whimsy to Just Plain Wrong. The miracle of this is that we're not all splattered all over whatever ground is below us. The second miracle is that when we fall toward that ground, having screwed up yet again, we somehow never hit. The third miracle is that the ground itself dissolves, the more we look at it. There are more miracles. You are knocking on their door.
but awe was definitely a part of it. 

and the awe of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Since I rarely even access the lower Jhanas, it must have been beginners luck. Many Vipasana teachers seem to advice against obsessing over Jhanas, what are your thoughts? 

i'll leave that one for Daniel, it's beyond my pay grade. Plus, I have been obsessing over the jhanas my entire life, lol.

Ps. Apologies if the answer is in your book, I haven't gotten to the chapters about the Jhanas yet.
all, well, get off this forum then, you slacker! emoticon

It's a great book but it takes some time absorbing! emoticon

"some" time! How about all time? lol.

nice to meet you. Don't mind me, much. We're glad to have you aboard this beautiful ship of dharma, sinking into the sea of samsara without a trace.

love, tim
Thankyou for this warm welcome. I am indeed Scandiavian, Swedish even! I might start exploring the Jhanas for a while and see if I can reach them more often. It is a very nice feeling afterall. 

Best wishes, 

Olof
Daniel M. Ingram:
I have a new blog post about applying dimensional and categorical thinking to formless realms.

Hopefully, it will be of some utility.

Enjoy!

Daniel

My own experience tends to be a very strong change of character between j3 to j4, with the remaining jhanas then being a progressive focus on and filling in with an aspect and then surrender of those remaining supports. In j4, sense contacts shift dramatically to being muted to gone, with anything remaining seeming like a disembodied sphere of pure, undifferentiated contact floating in space that is extant but not ego connected.

Beyond that, there comes a total detachment from these things arising and a gradual reduction of even the nudge in directionality to move through the jhanas until there's just complete rock solid neutrality and stillness, possibly followed by the infamous fruition.

When I've really hit those formless realms hard it is a completely dissociative experience similar to an NDE. This neutrality is bizarrely, incredibly pleasant stuff when looked at post experience, while also seeming incredibly neutral to any content.

What I have noticed is that if heading for j4 I don't quite achieve getting over that barrier into the stillness, then I spend time bouncing around these sort of mixed character states, sometimes never really locking down a solid j4. Sometimes also I get the j4 with the disembodied spheres of contact that move deep into background but don't dissapear and trying to push to formless realms results in mixed states.

Is it the same in your experience, or do those mixed states manifest right off the bat, without deflecting off of or failing to solidify j4?
Thanks! So in my case, I have only accessed Jhanas 1-2 a handfull of times and then there was this one-off event a few months back where I must have hit Jhana 5.

What I remember clearly from the sitting was bliss (every breath feeling orgasmic), rapture and nothingness. J3 was not that distinct for me. You description of J4 is spot on to my experience (this was what it felt like immediatly before the space opened up to a massive, awe inspiring space and the feeling while there was a little bit as if you would be standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon looking down, but litterally boundlessly big). And yes, I can relate to the neutral aspect of the experience.

So if I ever get to that place again, I guess I have to find out how to hit J6! That one's called boundless contiousness, right?  
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Michial N, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrated

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Thank you. This answers a lot from my email.
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Ni Nurta, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Formless Realms, Thinking Dimensionally and Cateforicallywww.integrated

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Daniel M. Ingram:
While one could think of even these two variants, that of shades of formlessness and stark formlessness in shades of grey, in that a formless experience can present more and more starkly, sharply, cleanly that some others.

Great post.

It matches my experience with formless jhanas where at first I had set of mind states I thought were formless jhanas but later I started working with the set of mind states which were completely different and over time started naming them as formless jhanas.

What is interesting is that the first versions matched names so "infinite space", "infinite consciousness", "nothingness" and "neither perception nor bon-perception" while what I now think are actual formless jhanas have no such "forms" and are literally map of my nervous system with different jhanas showing and enabling different aspects of perception and control of nervous system, even what seems as level of single neurons, though because there is so much of these only those which somehow stand out in how they feel (eg. have vivid colors, tastes, etc...) are easy to separate out out of whole mass. When I concentrate on random place in 5th jhana I can feel a lot of them being there though.

5th position of neurons - they do not really show themselves but can be felt and even allow what seems to be moving them around body or at least consciousness.
6th internal experiences of neurons - literally many simple minds experiencing themselves, their own consciousnesses. I am not sure what it enables me to do except knowing if neurons themselves feel well or not.
7th map of whole network connections - everything is made out of gray trees which feel strange to say the least, but quite peaceful even if taste is strange and colorless. Connections which are more active are brighter, inactive are much darker. I also did not use this mind state much, mostly as a quick way to work myself to 8th jhana.
8th action potential of neurons - can control how activated neurons are and even create basic algorithms by using certain activation levels to control activation levels and with this create quite fancy perception modes

Do you think I am talking about the same mind states as formless jhanas or something else?

I any case I intend to develop these mind states even further as there is level beyond just neurons and I do not feel it clearly with the version formless jhanas I have. Resolution is simply too low...

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