Blue fire, Small visualisations, Tingling in hands, No way further - Jhana?

Pavel Pek, modified 2 Months ago.

Blue fire, Small visualisations, Tingling in hands, No way further - Jhana?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/22/21 Recent Posts
Hello guys, I've been meditating for only about two weeks, so sorry if my question comes off as utterly dumb or ignorant or not really knowing the path (I am half the way in Daneil Ingram's book) at all. Today's meditation was a little bit different, it was no extreme fireworks, but I've just had some small visualizations that I normally don't have, it reminded me of entering the first Jhana as I've read about it on few blogs, but I just couldn't go further even after sitting in it for approximately an hour. So eventually I've had this image of me ascending into heaven slowly, it was a calm and pleasant feeling, I still knew it's just a small visual, nothing real or no-dream-like state. After that I had a weird visualization of a tube sucking me in, of some alien putting a third eye into my forehead and then my head bursting and me being kicked down from what looked like an airship back on Earth, then I was free-falling. Again, these appeared more like my fantasies that I used to have "day-dreaming" in childhood, I knew very well it's just a little visualization and there were no emotions attached (aka I wasn't shitting my pants falling down, it was just a first-person and then the 3D image in my head). Then I saw a small blue light/fire like the one that comes from lighters (only without the orange part). Then I try to "pour" my attention into it, almost as if it were a gas that ought to be poured into it. But not only that it didn't get any bigger, it actually ceased completely. Then I had this small visual of someone (probably me) on a sidetrack and I was going on and on and on and on and on and I saw this from 2D, I was going through some dark forest, I wanted to get from it fast, but I got sucked back into it. Then I realized my OCD is really kicking in and I try to ignore it for the whole session so I acknowledged it for the first time with my awareness not wanting to run off despite my mind telling me that this will ruin the visuals. The visuals got truly "ruined" since they didn't come back after this. However, I have found myself feeling crunchy peanut butter in my fingers, just like Daniel I believe describes the first Jhana in his book. However, any attempts to explore this more or of placing my awareness onto it went into cessation of that feeling. I then didn't know what to do, because I wanted to feel more of that crunchy peanut butter sensation - it was also very dim, just a small buzz, similar to the visuals, no crazy fireworks. Then I tried to observe the "doer" who wanted to do and who wanted to want to explore it further and to have "the first Jhana experience" from it. So I did this for a while and then I felt my OCD kicking back on my door and me trying to ignore it. So I "hugged" it with my awareness instead which lead to the last visuals of little figures hugging all these OCD thoughts and anxiety and other physical sensations that come with it. After that, I felt calm. I tried to connect with the "pleasant" feeling, but again, it felt as if an invisible barrier was put there for me that I couldn't cross. So I just relaxed doing nothing and then finally after some more minutes I tried to force a slight smile as I've heard somewhere this could add up to the pleasantness that could lead to 1st Jhana (again I think it was in Daniel's book). Then I just gave up on everything completely, just did nothing. Then I started observing the breath a little and mentally noting different sensations going on, then after trying to resist the urge to get up for a few minutes, I finally got up, believing that this is the end of this session and that no more fruits could come from it. I am very happy with this session and how it went. However, I wonder if this was even an entrance point into first Jhana, if so, if I should have somehow sat for longer or prevailed or do something differently to enter it, or if my concentration is perhaps just not built well enough, which really was that invisible wall that I feel was preventing me from accessing it. 

​​​​​​​Any thoughts on this are more than welcome.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Blue fire, Small visualisations, Tingling in hands, No way further - Jh

Posts: 2064 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
There are lots of different definitions of jhana, but you can only ever access your own experience, so it doesn't really matter what anyone else calls it! Comparing your own experience to others only results in judging yourself worse/better/same as others, none of which is true. emoticon The only thing you really need to know about jhana is that it is about letting go. The more you let go, the more you will be amazed by what can happen ...

What is impressive about this sit is that you are accepting and investigating your experience of OCD for "what it really is". If you keep doing that then you will do well. Regular practice is really important so you can establish your baseline experience and see how it changes over time and how your relationship to it evolves. If you need a little more structure you can try adding in some investigation of the Three Characteristics, as described in MCTB:

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-i-the-fundamentals/5-the-three-characteristics/
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A. Dietrich Ringle, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Blue fire, Small visualisations, Tingling in hands, No way further - Jh

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Pavel Pek
Hello guys, I've been meditating for only about two weeks, so sorry if my question comes off as utterly dumb or ignorant or not really knowing the path (I am half the way in Daneil Ingram's book) at all. Today's meditation was a little bit different, it was no extreme fireworks, but I've just had some small visualizations that I normally don't have, it reminded me of entering the first Jhana as I've read about it on few blogs, but I just couldn't go further even after sitting in it for approximately an hour. So eventually I've had this image of me ascending into heaven slowly, it was a calm and pleasant feeling, I still knew it's just a small visual, nothing real or no-dream-like state. After that I had a weird visualization of a tube sucking me in, of some alien putting a third eye into my forehead and then my head bursting and me being kicked down from what looked like an airship back on Earth, then I was free-falling. Again, these appeared more like my fantasies that I used to have "day-dreaming" in childhood, I knew very well it's just a little visualization and there were no emotions attached (aka I wasn't shitting my pants falling down, it was just a first-person and then the 3D image in my head). Then I saw a small blue light/fire like the one that comes from lighters (only without the orange part). Then I try to "pour" my attention into it, almost as if it were a gas that ought to be poured into it. But not only that it didn't get any bigger, it actually ceased completely. Then I had this small visual of someone (probably me) on a sidetrack and I was going on and on and on and on and on and I saw this from 2D, I was going through some dark forest, I wanted to get from it fast, but I got sucked back into it. Then I realized my OCD is really kicking in and I try to ignore it for the whole session so I acknowledged it for the first time with my awareness not wanting to run off despite my mind telling me that this will ruin the visuals. The visuals got truly "ruined" since they didn't come back after this. However, I have found myself feeling crunchy peanut butter in my fingers, just like Daniel I believe describes the first Jhana in his book. However, any attempts to explore this more or of placing my awareness onto it went into cessation of that feeling. I then didn't know what to do, because I wanted to feel more of that crunchy peanut butter sensation - it was also very dim, just a small buzz, similar to the visuals, no crazy fireworks. Then I tried to observe the "doer" who wanted to do and who wanted to want to explore it further and to have "the first Jhana experience" from it. So I did this for a while and then I felt my OCD kicking back on my door and me trying to ignore it. So I "hugged" it with my awareness instead which lead to the last visuals of little figures hugging all these OCD thoughts and anxiety and other physical sensations that come with it. After that, I felt calm. I tried to connect with the "pleasant" feeling, but again, it felt as if an invisible barrier was put there for me that I couldn't cross. So I just relaxed doing nothing and then finally after some more minutes I tried to force a slight smile as I've heard somewhere this could add up to the pleasantness that could lead to 1st Jhana (again I think it was in Daniel's book). Then I just gave up on everything completely, just did nothing. Then I started observing the breath a little and mentally noting different sensations going on, then after trying to resist the urge to get up for a few minutes, I finally got up, believing that this is the end of this session and that no more fruits could come from it. I am very happy with this session and how it went. However, I wonder if this was even an entrance point into first Jhana, if so, if I should have somehow sat for longer or prevailed or do something differently to enter it, or if my concentration is perhaps just not built well enough, which really was that invisible wall that I feel was preventing me from accessing it. 

​​​​​​​Any thoughts on this are more than welcome.
The first jhana doesn't often lead up to people's expectations. Really any jhana, but especially the first few. Hope that helps. I have OCD too by the way. emoticon
Pavel Pek, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Blue fire, Small visualisations, Tingling in hands, No way further - Jh

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/22/21 Recent Posts
Dietrich, could I contact you somehow through social media/email? I would be very curious how you are able to not let OCD hinder all your dharma progress. Thanks for the contribution, George to you as well, I am currently looking into the three characteristics again. 
A. Dietrich Ringle, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Blue fire, Small visualisations, Tingling in hands, No way further - Jh

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
I am not very good at making recommendations for practice after the A&P (if you have gotten that far in Daniel's book). However if you want to just generally chat you can look me up on facebook at Dietrich Ringle (no A., although there is a profile of mine with that initial I no longer use) and we can schedule a time to talk. Look forward to it. 
A. Dietrich Ringle, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Blue fire, Small visualisations, Tingling in hands, No way further - Jh

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
My profile picture has me pointing to a sign that says "keep one ear free."
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Blue fire, Small visualisations, Tingling in hands, No way further - Jh

Posts: 5922 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hey, you are doing great. I love the playfulness. I detect a possible risk of rushing and pushing too hard (?), but you have already picked up on the signs that rushing things takes away the momentum, which is very helpful to notice early on. Listen to that and you'll be fine. Centered bright spots tend to get shy if one tries to focus on them too soon. Let it develop in its own pace while you keep doing whatever made it appear in the first place. For me, the buzzing, especially in the hands, has been less shy, but you'll still need to let it be while gently tuning into the pleasure of it. You can't will Jhana into being, using your ordinary mind. Trust it to find its own way, if that makes any sense. Appreciate it when it's there without grasping it. You can welcome it, but don't run towards it shouting, so to speak. It's a bit like a cat - if you can offer it a calm space with just the right amount of attentiveness and gentle touch, it will lay down in your lap purring, but if you get excited about it and approach it too intensely, it will run away. So no, don't push more to get into jhana. Give it some time and space. Allow yourself to enjoy the scenery without hasting to some peak. You'll get there. Your bodymind knows how to do it. Trust it. You are on the right track. You can see the signs pointing to it. 

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