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Extinguish stays in Samadhi

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Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
4/28/20 10:47 PM
This practice log will detail one meditator's practice toward the development of increased blissfulness. The goal of this log is to describe my efforts toward more blissfuness. 

I have experienced blissful states on the cushion but I question the typical notion that you have to sit cross legged and get really concentrated to experience bliss. My experience begs to differ and I have experimented and continue to experiment with jhana-like states accessed on short breaks lying on a random couch in the building where I work, sitting at my desk staring at my computer while other people type next to me, walking to the bathroom, waiting in the kitcken for the microwave, etc. This doesn't exclude the standard sitting bliss states, I just have a more open mind when it comes to bliss. 

I have had some success with accessing blissful states in everyday conditions like this, and no one really talks about calling up bliss while you're taking a walk to the bathroom or standing taking a piss. 

My teacher gave me the go ahead to cultivate the bliss whenever and wherever possible and necessary to gladden the mind, supress hindrances, and avoid less healthy ways of calming the mind. I consider it a pretty important part of my practice. I also practice a pretty standard Tibetan Buddhist practice on death and impermanence practice, and I may describe that at some point, but this log is going to be predominately about bliss. 

I will stick with phenomenological descriptions in my own words for everything rather than fancy pali terms or words like "jhana" or things like that. I don't think it's useful to label things as jhana or not jhana. 

First entry. 

I laid on my back in a corpse-like position 3 separate times today for 5-15 minutes and breathed. I felt a pleasant spinal tingle that I massaged and encouraged with my attention. This spinal tingle developed and spread and I felt pulses throughout the body that had a subtle but nourishing pleasantness to them. I had trouble staying with this sensation for the most part, but on one occasion the pleasant pulses and spinal tingles blossomed a bit, I felt my attention move up toward the back of my skull, there was a more pronounced mental sweetness and I was able to rest in that sensation for a few minutes until it faded. 

I felt refreshed and happy after doing this and my mind was clear. 

More to come as I practice 

RE: Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
4/29/20 1:42 PM as a reply to Extinguish.
Today the bliss phase of my meditation was difficult at first but I broke through into a clear and joyful state of mind before beginning my main practice. 

Later I laid down in a corpse position again on the couch before lunch for 15 minutes and a series of states arose as I focused on breathing blissfully. 

State 1 feels refreshing and physically blissful, like sex, but all over the body, akin to the pleasure of scratching an itch but many times stronger. 

A 2nd involved some mental blissfulness, energy centered in the back of the skull. 

3rd state involved subtle blissful breath energy and attention was centered on outer edges of the body, breathing became softer and more relaxed, this is a very relaxed but subtle state. Blissful but subtle. 

4th state. Attention wide, no thought, awareness of body. Super relaxing. 

I got up and the residue of state #4 is still with me about an hour later. Have been recalling state #1 and some of the blissful sensations are felt in the backgound. 

RE: Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
4/29/20 4:08 PM as a reply to Extinguish.
Extinguish:
This practice log will detail one meditator's practice toward the development of increased blissfulness. The goal of this log is to describe my efforts toward more blissfuness. 

I have experienced blissful states on the cushion but I question the typical notion that you have to sit cross legged and get really concentrated to experience bliss. My experience begs to differ and I have experimented and continue to experiment with jhana-like states accessed on short breaks lying on a random couch in the building where I work, sitting at my desk staring at my computer while other people type next to me, walking to the bathroom, waiting in the kitcken for the microwave, etc. This doesn't exclude the standard sitting bliss states, I just have a more open mind when it comes to bliss. 

I have had some success with accessing blissful states in everyday conditions like this, and no one really talks about calling up bliss while you're taking a walk to the bathroom or standing taking a piss. 

My teacher gave me the go ahead to cultivate the bliss whenever and wherever possible and necessary to gladden the mind, supress hindrances, and avoid less healthy ways of calming the mind. I consider it a pretty important part of my practice. I also practice a pretty standard Tibetan Buddhist practice on death and impermanence practice, and I may describe that at some point, but this log is going to be predominately about bliss. 

I will stick with phenomenological descriptions in my own words for everything rather than fancy pali terms or words like "jhana" or things like that. I don't think it's useful to label things as jhana or not jhana. 

First entry. 

I laid on my back in a corpse-like position 3 separate times today for 5-15 minutes and breathed. I felt a pleasant spinal tingle that I massaged and encouraged with my attention. This spinal tingle developed and spread and I felt pulses throughout the body that had a subtle but nourishing pleasantness to them. I had trouble staying with this sensation for the most part, but on one occasion the pleasant pulses and spinal tingles blossomed a bit, I felt my attention move up toward the back of my skull, there was a more pronounced mental sweetness and I was able to rest in that sensation for a few minutes until it faded. 

I felt refreshed and happy after doing this and my mind was clear. 

More to come as I practice 
Have you any success with the Divine abidings? 

Edit: what your describing sounds like boundless joy?

RE: Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
4/29/20 4:48 PM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
[quote=Sleeping Buddha Syndrome

]Have you any success with the Divine abidings? 

Edit: what your describing sounds like boundless joy?I have practiced loving kindness meditation for periods in the past but never compassion, sympathetic joy or equanimity practice. I think I had success with lovingkindness- when doing the practice I felt more warm toward people and was more forgiving toward myself and self talk was more kind. It also had the effect of producing blissful sensations of warmth in the chest and joy, so by that measure I would consider it a success. 

I was practicing exclusively loving kindness before starting with my new teacher on the Tibetan Buddist practices I'm doing now, and I will probabaly return to metta here and there and I'll be sure to describe how I do it here. 

RE: Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
4/29/20 4:52 PM as a reply to Extinguish.
I sat again in a corpse position on a couch for 15 minutes and this time the pleasant sex-like sensations were initially stronger and more calming, so I stayed with those pleasant sensations, but eventually the blissful sensations turned less blissful and more neutral with a cold feeling to them. I focused more on the joyful mental state, and the state fizzled out to an overall mildly pleasant comfort. Sometimes for whatever reason blissful sensations just decide to go more neutral and feel more like shivery tingles rather than blissful tingles. 

RE: Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
4/30/20 12:24 PM as a reply to Extinguish.
Went for a long walk yesterday with my wife. The weather was beautiful and I was wearing a t-shirt comfortabley outdoors for the first time this spring. I was practicing staying concentrated on the stepping with interludes to conversation but we were mostly quiet. I got into a cool, calm state with good awareness of the body, breath sensation prominent in the body, attention wide, and subtle bodily blissfulness that I cultivated and encouraged as I walked. I was able to maintain this nice state for a good chunk of the walk to the destination, and this was definitely a state of enhanced conscuiousness for sure. The posture and care with which I stepped seemed to encourage the state, and the coolness of the breeze felt very conducive to this state. It was a cool pleasure, like finding a cool oasis in a desert. 

This morning I was able to reach a similar state after a progression from bodily bliss to mental bliss to this more cool subtle contented bliss. 

RE: Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
4/30/20 4:25 PM as a reply to Extinguish.
Sounds like the piti-sukha jhana factors. For me, opening up to the bliss also opened up to some pain (headaches) after a while, but my conditioning wasn't great.

RE: Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
5/1/20 5:46 PM as a reply to Extinguish.
I fell off of the wagon yesterday and didn't take th time to cultivate much calm. Today I am back at it, and there is a nice satisfying mental joy that I've been tuning into at will today, it is a nice little haven of calm that seems to be located at the base of my skull physically. It is as if I reach back and massage this area with my attention, and joy arises, then I ride the joyful mental state and rest in it. This mental joyfulness is much better than the grosser physical pleasantness and it seems more readily accessible at will (at least for today). 

RE: Extinguish stays in Samadhi
Answer
5/13/20 3:05 PM as a reply to Extinguish.
I have been cultivating mental unification and calm but the last week or so I was less concerned with that and have been mindlessly self-medicating with caffeine and sweets and cough medicine. For some reason the OTC reccomended dose of 2 pills of cough medicine (containing 325 mg of acetominophen, 10 mg dextromethorphan, and 5 mg phenylephedrine each) gives me a type of energy that also  slightly dissociates me and makes music more meaningful. I do this and go about my business. I noticed today without the pills my mind feels less agitated but also there's a bit less gusto. 

I sat twice for 20 minutes in a secluded conference room so far today, getting into super lightly blissful states that have allowed me to remain focused today so far. I plan to keep taking short meditation breaks to keep up my concentration.