New Here: Diagnosis Thoughts? (1st samatha jhana + mind/body?)

Michael A., modified 10 Years ago.

New Here: Diagnosis Thoughts? (1st samatha jhana + mind/body?)

Posts: 20 Join Date: 9/20/11 Recent Posts
Been doing regular anapanasati last several months, recently started spending whole days trying to be mindful of the breath to see if I could take this further.

Well, after a day and a half of that, I sit down for 20 minutes and find myself in what I'm pretty sure is first shamatha jhana. Waves of thrilling tingles sweep across the body, eye muscles go crazy and squint themselves in HARD and start rapidly moving, , breath's gone so subtle it's like an expanding ball of vacuum in my throat/nose, and then after riding the breath a little longer my whole awareness falls through a HOLE in the back of my skull and eyeballs, a MASSIVE kriya snaps my back up straight, and I'm floating in a bubble of peace and pleasure made out of my breath. Watching a major light show behind the eyelids like the end of 2001 but with jumpcutting. Even if I'm subtly distracted, I can't even lose it or the breath I'm following even by trying.

Anyway, I do this another 20 minutes past the 20 I planned. Have intense energy and my vision is a bit crawly all night, like acid flashback style. Too wired to sleep, I spend an hour doing household chores with intensive body-noting (still learning the practice, no progress at all till that night ). By the end, I'm in this sense of curious fluidity with the motions, like moving through a jar of honey but not sure what's moving first, me or the body part.

In the morning, I wake up less perceptually wonky but realize I've been noting all my physical actions, or at least my internal voice has been doing so on its own from the moment I woke up, non volitionally. I do 5 minutes mindful yoga and suddenly the body is following the breath which is following the words, or vice versa. Crazy sense of flow.

Sitting to meditate, I drop into jhana in 10 minutes flat, and the back takes a mind of its own, like a separate entity. The light show is a lot less intense this time. The peace however is strong.

I try informal walking meditation on the way to work from my car, and my feet seem to be flowing like butter every time I note more them in detail. I seem to be at a place where fast noting in a daily-life context drops me into this sense of deep flow where the words and the motions are almost unified and I can't say which moves which. In such a state, I actually seem to see my fears and resistances to doing things I'd rather not, and when I note them too, they kind of dissolve into physical sensation and I can step around them. Also, ever since, I can get to subtle breath just by focusing on it for a couple minutes, even walking around. Jhana is harderto reach because the back ached all weekend and my body seems to get nervous every time I'm circling the hole in my mind I fall through to reach it.

Anyway, could this shamatha jhana have kicked me into mind/body?



(For background,I may have had an A&P on acid once years back(totals dissolution of self, reality strobing in and out, the universe was liquid gold, also a Cadillac, also made out of the tone of a Wallace Stevens poem about the end of the mind, and somewhere else my voice was screaming joy), but after the anxiety hangover of regular life with no practice, I think I regressed to zero. Those kinds of enhancements not my cup of tea the last few years).
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: New Here: Diagnosis Thoughts? (1st samatha jhana + mind/body?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Anyway, could this shamatha jhana have kicked me into mind/body?

Nope, you've made your way to the 2nd jhana, the A&P, and quite possibly had a whiff of 3rd too.

Sounds like you've got some skills, your practice sounds good and your descriptions are nicely detailed.

What is it that you're aiming for with your practice?

Btw, welcome to the DhO.
Michael A., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: New Here: Diagnosis Thoughts? (1st samatha jhana + mind/body?

Posts: 20 Join Date: 9/20/11 Recent Posts

Nope, you've made your way to the 2nd jhana, the A&P, and quite possibly had a whiff of 3rd too.

Sounds like you've got some skills, your practice sounds good and your descriptions are nicely detailed.

What is it that you're aiming for with your practice?

Btw, welcome to the DhO.

Whoa. Well, thanks for the feedback. Keeping that heavily in mind. Interestingly, the visuals are way less intense now that my brain's not hitting said event all at once, and now that I don't tense against the rapture it just goes and then fades into bliss. So as soon as that fade happens and you are kind of floating and able to look around, is that the transition to 2nd?

The ol kundalini snake got quiet, but weirdly my back is holding ITSELF up now in jhana. Same way the breath is breathing itself. I plan to enjoy that while it lasts and learn to note from inside the bubble.

Also, does this mean I should brace for the Dark Night coming up fast? From what I hear, samatha helps.

It's fascinating getting kicked into insight by tranquility. I think I might seriously never have had the drive to get there without it. Think I'm going to spend some time rereading the anapanasati sutta, and seriously getting my noting nailed for more active practices.

As for goals, I had the blessing of learning the mundane side of the four noble truths the EASY way (lots of calamities happened, I let go, and was surprised to be vastly happier and more equanimous). Then they told me I had ADD, and to watch my unreliable mind. By the time I was sitting, I'd lived THROUGH monkey mind and was powerfully committed to finding a way out of grasping and reactivity, in a far wider sense than just the clinical. Plus, somehow, these last couple years, anatta and sunyata are basically how I see the world in a mundane sense. So I plan to buld my insight and explore the 3 Characteristics as far as they can take me,. Ultimately, I want to reach the state beyond all question of self and dharmas (think early prajna-paramita literature, back when they clearly still worked in the framework of the Pali suttas to tell people with high attainments to let go even of abhidharma). First, though, if this is A&P, I am working on wider mindfulness and insight to get ready to start gunning for stream entry. Anywhere but here, I know that would sound cocky, but that's why I like this place.

Thanks for the welcome and the advice!

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