Reaching Jhana: Hot flushes, racing heart, ood stuff...

Nick Wilson, modified 10 Years ago.

Reaching Jhana: Hot flushes, racing heart, ood stuff...

Posts: 41 Join Date: 6/28/11 Recent Posts
Hi everyone,

As I sit, concentrating on the breath at/around the nostrils i get a slow progression of "tingling" all over my body. It usually starts in my hands/feet but eventually covers me entirely. At some point fairly early on my attention naturally shifts to include more of the whole body movement of the breath, and this feels good.

I imagine I am breathing in sweet air, trying to kindle a pleasant object to focus on and as this progresses each inhalation adds more to the growing feeling of "reaching something". As it gets near "breaking point" though i get the oddest feeling...

It feels very much like hot, acute teenage embarrassment. Flushed face, racing heart, not pleasant at all. And I tend to hover on/off this verge of "breaking point" for the entire hour I sit.

Can anyone offer any thoughts or advice?

(Note: the first time this happened did not include the uncomfortable bits and I think I was even in jhana ((i kind of became the breathing..)) or was very close to it but it didn't last as my mind was doing cartwheels with the excitement of reaching it emoticon -- this only happend the once though. I've not been able to repeat it. The above happens instead..

Many thanks,
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Nipuna Ross A., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Reaching Jhana: Hot flushes, racing heart, ood stuff...

Posts: 123 Join Date: 6/15/11 Recent Posts
what your experiencing is extreme piti in the corruption of insight category. Solution is to keep yourself grounded with your original theme (nimita) of meditation. Piti which is translated in a number of ways (rapture, joy, Zest, zeal), and manifest in a number of ways Theravada commentaries list 5 different forms of piti. Piti is a resultant factor, and therefor one shouldn't switch ones focus to it because that would entail taking focus of the causal factors of Jhana, i.e., vitakka (directed or applied thought) and vicara ( evaluation or sustained thought) , basically uninterrupted mindfulness.
looking at such experiences with mindful equanimity is what is needed to break through this impasse. or you can think of the earth elements in your body to get a good grounded feeling (thinking of the bones being made of iron). Maybe try dwelling in that which knows, (awareness itself, the witness, looking at that that is looking, direct mode of perception it has many names but it stays the same regardless) and, forget about jhana levels ( at least while meditating, because theories wont cause result, action will), just keep shedding and shedding relaxing letting go and surrendering to what is here now.
where do you feel or see that sense of the know-er does it have a location? in you head, your heart, your aching knees? is it subject or object. forget that just know and let the mind be still. if anything big is going to happen its got to happen right here and now.
And, from time to time read up on the theory of higher level practice. Dont get so lost in the cloud of theory that you forget the ground your standing on.
Please forgive me if you find anything mentioned here arrogant or pretentious. I don't always have the best tact when speaking, but, I know a thing or two about how mind works.

With Metta - Ross
Nick Wilson, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Reaching Jhana: Hot flushes, racing heart, ood stuff...

Posts: 41 Join Date: 6/28/11 Recent Posts
Ross that's hugely helpful. Thanks so much! SInce posting this I have managed to break through it and in much the way you described. I stopped focussing on "generating a pleasant feeling" and when the uncomfortableness started I concentrated to an even finer level, pretty much without break till I came out the other side.

It now feels like I'm on to something. I think i have seen a flickering nimitta once or twice, and although there is much tingling / sensation all over the body it is not unpleasant.

I do not seem to have any "pleasant" sensation to focus on though? Witch Daniel in MCTB and Ian And in his Jhana thread both recommend cultivating and focusing on.

I broke this by going back to basics and focusing ruthlessly on the anapana spot. Should I continue in the hope of solidifying that nimitta and reaching Jhana through that? (Ajahn Brahm style, minus the loss of control..)??

Thanks again, much appreciated!
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Nipuna Ross A., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Reaching Jhana: Hot flushes, racing heart, ood stuff...

Posts: 123 Join Date: 6/15/11 Recent Posts
Nimita is very personal and if you put difinitive lines on it you may be limiting your progress. I chased this mysterious white light nimita at the anapana spot for a long time discounting that I actually was already experiencing jhana. because I thought i needed to have a white nimita at the touch point I threw it (actual jhana) to the side.

Within the sutta jhana formula there is a lot of wiggle room. jhana is not a dot on a piece of paper that you have to hit from 10 feet away. Its (1st jhana) directing and sustaining thought on an object (within the bounds of the four foundations of mindfulness kaya/body, vedana/feeling, citta/mind, dhamma/mental phenomena) at a single point or proccupation and having rapture/joy/refreshment with happiness/pleasure. then going to second, ones mind naturally drops direct and sustained thoughts. leaving just unified mind with rapture and pleasure.

If after a long time your not getting this light nimita you may want to just refer to sutta jhana, Which dosent talk of this nimita. but it is valid.

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