Micro Jhana?

Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

Micro Jhana?

Posts: 146 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
I've been working on my concentration practice for almost two years now. I'm starting to come to the conclusion (bad idea I know) that I don't experience the jhanas in the well-taught version of the 1-4 and then 5-8 being versions of 4. 

Instead of noticeable shifts between 4 jhanas, I'm noticing at least a dozen micro concentration states. Samatha nanas? Some are tight, some loose. It's difficult to put them into words but many of the different states have to do with where the object is in space and visual imagery. I have a lot of visual imagery in my sits and they tend to be on the psychedelic side. Sometimes the body disappears, sometimes it feels concrete. Sometimes I feel energy pulling in multiple directions. Density in the body changes as well, heavy, floating, etc.

It appears that there is some control over the states but it's very minimal. The different states usually last seconds to minutes and occur naturally. 

I'm finding the word piti less and less helpful in defining jhana as it is always present somewhere in my body and there doesn't appear to be a way to remove, drop, or control in any way. 

I recently read an article made by Kenneth Folk about how the nanas and samatha jhanas are connected. Perhaps this is what I'm experiencing, it's unclear. 

Thanks for reading this! I appreciate your feedback.

​​​​​​​-Kelly

 
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 407 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Hi Kelly, please check:

- Vipassana-Jhanas 
Vipassana Jhanas and the Progress of Insight
How the Vipassana Jhanas and the Seven Factors of Awakening can help 

Also, there are a very few who have experienced Pure Land Jhanas right after J4, though they are usually reported as post J8. 
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 146 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Fascinating, encouraging, and daunting.

It seems that I may have been oversimplifying my jhana practice after all.

Thanks for sharing! 

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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 407 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Daniel Ingram also provides a map correlating jhanas & ñanas

Pure Land Jhanas (post J8) described in MTCB2.

Check in Daniel's posts compilation. There's some overlap with MCTB2, but the entries are linked to old DhO threads where other advanced meditators gave their personal experiences and tips: 

Advanced (Vipassana-) Jhana Classification 
Vipassana Jhanas 
Pure Land Jhanas 
Pure Land Jhanas (TM) 
Custom/fusion jhanas 
- Pure Land One, the set up 

Check also Antero's take on (Kenneth Folk's) 5 Pure Land Jhanas.
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 146 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Thank you for this! Where are the sub jhanas and their descriptions listed? 
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 407 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Your welcome! 

Here are explained the subjhanas Advanced (Vipassana-) Jhana Classification, though it isn't a full list but instead a way of classifying jhanas. For example, my (soft and sparse) jhanas usually have an EQ/formless vibe (probably because thoughts have been my main mental object). That would be J1-subj4 or J1-ñana11 for example. The smoke you mentioned as J4 in another thread, I have experienced in J1. What you described later is pretty good, how you progress throught the first four jhanas. Haven't heard anyone going into the "fractal" aspect of jhanas (as Daniel Ingram says) before Stream Entry, but I'm no expert at all on the topic. Shargrol says it's usually reported post SE. 

Wouldn't it be better to skip that level of detail for the future (assuming that they're not pointing to the 3Cs) and instead improve your already good J1-J4 practice? Or perhaps expand it a bit and check if the formless jhanas are permeating in the lower jhanas? Please check Stefan's practice log, where he run through the eight jhanas, following Leigh Brasington guideline. There's also a Kenneth Folk's video where he guides a student through the eight jhanas.

Hope this helps!
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Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 146 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
I've been attempting to classify the jhanas in my practice as 1-4 for 9 months but I have issues as mentioned in another thread. I have piti "stuck on" and piti isn't a part of third jhana.

So by definition, I shouldn't be able to reach third. However, I don't think this is the case as piti is always stuck on and has been for almost 2 years. I can feel it in my forehead as I type this. Maybe I'm related to Harry Potter? =) Also, I'm pretty sure I reached SE a year and a half ago as I cycled the POI many times, experienced cessation and several fruitions and now the path has settled down.

My experience doesn't follow 4 bulk jhanas. I do feel the drop from first to second but where third begins is not apparent as piti is ever-present. I usually identify third as smoky, wide, and very intimate with the breath being low. After second and third I experience micro absorptions that last from seconds to minutes and then where I end up I do not know, usually watching unconscious thoughts. 

I've decided that basing jhana on piti alone is too narrow as others have pointed out. Piti is irrelevant and vague.  I'll check out those links. Thanks!
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 146 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Interestingly, I just came upon this thread and think this is what I'm dealing with. It's not stuck on piti. I have pressure at the base of my nose and it's like the void that is described by the other posters. 

I think that I'm going to work on the void for awhile and see if I can release it since it's been around for a really long time.

I did check out the Advanced (Vipassana-) Jhana Classification post by DI and I have to say it's pretty complicated. I'm not sure if that level of complexity is necessary for my practice, although it's fascinating to think about. I think I may need something half way from the 4 basic jhanas and the sub jhanas. 

​​​​​​​Thanks again!
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 407 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Good to know you found the correct advice. Some time ago I have experienced (just 2-3 times) drawn towards a point of concentration between the nose and the teeth. Is that what you are saying? It was discussed by Kenneth Folk's crowd years ago, can't remember where though. As you mentioned to have crossed SE, could also be some symptoms of what Daniel and Shargrol called "rewiring of the brain"? Not my territory... 

Best wishes!
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Micro Jhana?

Posts: 146 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
It feels like a strong pressure at the base of my nose but it moves around within a 3 inch area from the base to the center of the forehead. It's persistent on and off the cushion. I also experience, not sure if it's completely related but that other poster seemed to think so, that it has gravity to it like a void/black hole. 

I'll see if I can find Kenneth Folk's info on it!

Thanks man!
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