Message Boards Message Boards

Concentration

Recording some jhana phenomenology

Recording some jhana phenomenology
Answer
6/26/20 4:35 AM
I am a light jhana practitioner, which I have found to be sufficient. Until recently, I didn't have access to the formless realms. But I found the key earlier this year and have been gently exploring. Despite the name formless realms, I don't lose every last scrap of bodily sensation.  I suspect that having actively developed body sensitivity and breathing control since 1985, it is kind of hard to let all that go. However, everything outside a few scraps of breath sensation are nonetheless fully gone. Anyway, I am just recording some phenomonology from this morning's sit. Make of it what you will.

Practice: about 25 minutes of Wim Hof breathing (covering the first tetrad of anapanasati) following by a light jhanic arc over 20 minutes.  Jumped straight from first to third jhana, then fourth, then into a fairly soft fifth, and then quite briefly into sixth, seventh and eighth. And then - surprise!  With no intention at all, some completely new jhanas arose and I flicked through three or four of them in rapid succession, each with a fractionally different perspective. They had the flavour of 3rd jhana, but were slightly treacle-like somehow, and didn't have the silkiness of the lotus in water of third jhana. I do seem to get several types of third jhana, but they are all engaged somehow location in space (or the lotus in water). These new jhanas were disengaged from any other reference point, except maybe being slightly associated with the crown.They didn't seem particularly 'pure' compared to the brightness of the Amitabha Buddha jhana that I can summon with mantra and visualisation through the fontanelle (that one is really pure and bright), or the volumetric jhana of space that I can create by moving my location out of the body forwards (that one is really full and deeply satisfying). But I guess these new jhanas still had some kind of purity from being independent of form or consciousness (or perception).

So I don't know whether these were pure land jhanas or not.  If so, it would be quite interesting that they can be accessed from 'lite' formless realms. If not, then, I guess I can chalk up yet more variants of third jhana.

Recorded in the spirit of accurate observation to provide data for the benefit of all beings. 

Malcolm