Experience while meditating

Paul Costello, modified 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 9:00 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 9:00 AM

Experience while meditating

Posts: 5 Join Date: 1/4/22 Recent Posts
I have a meditation practice for about 2 years now. Not consistent more off and on. The last year my practice is more consistent. 
Yesterday I sat for about 40 minutes. The muscle tension  in my body now when focused on feels like energy, feels pleasant. 
What starts to happen is that it feels like with every out breath is like the down stroke on a pump. It fills my body with pleasant sensation and what feels like pressure.
I can still hear sounds in the room. My body  feels very pleasant on any part that I focus on. My minds eye is a light white color. 
As I focus on my in and out breath it starts to vanish also, it feels like slow motion. Everything is slowing down.
Also there are sporadic upwelling of bliss. 
Also I feel like I could easily sit like this for hours.
I'm wondering is this access concentration?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 9:41 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 9:41 AM

RE: Experience while meditating

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How was the clarity? Did you feel alert? Before the breath started to fall away, how clearly did you experience it?

Sounds like some kind of jhana to me, but people use words so differently that it's hard to tell. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 10:06 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 10:06 AM

RE: Experience while meditating

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I'm wondering is this access concentration?

Yes, close to it. Your description reminds me of my first experiences of getting into jhana states.
Paul Costello, modified 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 10:14 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 10:14 AM

RE: Experience while meditating

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Clarity was very good. Perception of the breath seemed to slow down. Like I it seemed to me a long time between the in and out breath.
Also when that started to happen the slowing down it was like a strobe light kind of effect. That might not make sense. 
I sat for 40 minutes  but it felt like a lot longer. When I came out of the meditation I was expecting it to be really late but only 40 minutes had passed. Also I was very jumpy after the meditation, some fear of my surroundings which is not usual  for me. Some fearfull thinking.Nottiing major but just not usual for me.

But I was also very refreshed and not at all tired after the meditation. Everything around me was also visually very crisp.  
That strobe light like type of experience has also occurred to when I listen to certain poetry and also when I listen to certain dharma teachers. It is just different when my eyes are open. (I just remember the similarity when thinking about the meditation)
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 10:19 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 10:19 AM

RE: Experience while meditating

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What starts to happen is that it feels like with every out breath is like the down stroke on a pump. It fills my body with pleasant sensation and what feels like pressure.

I used to describe this effect as like the blowing up of a ballon.
Paul Costello, modified 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 10:26 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 10:26 AM

RE: Experience while meditating

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Yes that would be a good way also to visualise it. The wird thing for me,was that I was thinking of like and old water pump not even a modern like bicycle pump. I think I must have picked up the visual somewhere when listening to talks on meditation and just can't remember the source 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 5:48 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 5:48 PM

RE: Experience while meditating

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There doesn't seem to be any consensus around what qualifies as jhanas and access concentration, but you sure seem to be on the right track. 
Martin, modified 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 9:05 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/4/22 9:05 PM

RE: Experience while meditating

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That sounds very much like access concentration. You might like the book, Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas by Leigh Brasington.
Paul Costello, modified 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 7:18 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 7:18 AM

RE: Experience while meditating

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Thank you everyone for the replys. I meditated again today and I can now easily get to this state. I can really notice the sensations of the body which turn to pleasant like heat energy the longer I sit. 
I can really feel that heat energy in the body which is pleasant. 
I can really notice my breath and there is the white backdrop in my minds eye. 
The strange thing is that even though it is very pleasant, I feel  a sadness which is like a ball which just sits in this space. 
What gets me to this pleasant place is first focusing on the breath and then focusing on the pleasent heat energy in the body. 
Now it seems like the sadness feeling is there amongst the pleasant heat energy. Any ideas how to progress past the sadness feeling ?  
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 7:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 7:47 AM

RE: Experience while meditating

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Now it seems like the sadness feeling is there amongst the pleasant heat energy. Any ideas how to progress past the sadness feeling ?  

Don't try to ignore or repel this feeling - or any feeling for that matter. Try to sit with it, notice it, investigate it. Not from a psychological point of view while you're on the cushion, but from a phenomenological point of view. You have reached a really good platform from which to do this kind of observation. Do you identify with the feeling? What physical phenomena accompany it? what happens in the mind just before, during, and it arises?

Good luck, Paul!
Tom R, modified 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 1:25 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 1:22 PM

RE: Experience while meditating

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Also worth checking out is Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. It took both his and Brasington's instructions to paint the full picture for me.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 1:38 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 1:38 PM

RE: Experience while meditating

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It's available as audiobook for free on youtube: https://youtu.be/xCKjNODBNL8

You can also find great retreat recordings with Bante G available there, like this one: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-U7cVj3SaugwzrPO0FyEqxaN7jFbhqRt

I also warmly recommend Ayya Khema's dharma talks on access concentration and the jhanas, available both on youtube and Dharmaseed. 
Martin, modified 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 6:16 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/5/22 6:16 PM

RE: Experience while meditating

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Tom R
Also worth checking out is Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. It took both his and Brasington's instructions to paint the full picture for me.

Wow, that's super interesting! Mindfulness in Plain English was one of the first books that I read, many years ago, and I loved it to bits. Then I read Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English and I just didn't get it because I couldn't do what he was describing at all. I had completely forgotten that the book was even about the jhanas. So now I'm going to go back and take another look. Thanks for mentioning it!
Paul Costello, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:36 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:36 AM

RE: Experience while meditating

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Just listened to YouTube audio book recommended, Linda, Tom, Matrain and Chris . Just the first chapter introduction. Why bother meditate. Wow it is fantastic. I think it is important to put meditation in context. Very well put in the introduction