RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 4:41 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 4:41 AM

Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 27 Join Date: 5/1/22 Recent Posts
I was wandering if there where any runners on this site who also practice  mindfulness  meditation.  Could walking mindfulness  meditation  be used running or other  experiences. I would like to incorporate  more "off the Cushin" practice .   I know runners who say they experience  a strange high  or energy sometimes when they run. Could this be access concentration  or light jhana.? Has anybody tried anything of this sort?      Thanks  Matt
genaro, modified 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 6:58 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 6:58 AM

RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 113 Join Date: 11/23/19 Recent Posts
tutteji may be able to help you: accelerate your progress in mindfulness of breathing by breathing faster!

https://tuttejiorg.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/speed-meditation-2-0/

(running can help with this)

(caution alert: if you hyperventilate you could pass out, so don't try this at home please)

seriously though "runners high" is regarded to be caused by endorphins aka the human body's natural opiates, so it's a chemical buzz produced in response to physical stress.   and part of the fun is in switching your manic obsessive brain habits off for a moment (if you have them).

hmmm... that last sentence implies the removal of a hinderance so in answer to your question maybe, partly, a litttle bit, but not really.

​​​​​​​(my 2c)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 7:06 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 7:06 AM

RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Runners' high is dependent on external causes, so no, not jhana. 
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 4:41 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 4:40 PM

RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 1132 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Matt Jon Rousseau
I was wandering if there where any runners on this site who also practice  mindfulness  meditation.  Could walking mindfulness  meditation  be used running or other  experiences. I would like to incorporate  more "off the Cushin" practice .   I know runners who say they experience  a strange high  or energy sometimes when they run. Could this be access concentration  or light jhana.? Has anybody tried anything of this sort?      Thanks  Matt


This is pure speculation but I think they might be related - endorphins might be involved in both experiences. However the causes might not be the same. In running it might be a physiological reaction to stress - a survival mechanism that originated to help you keep running when your life depends on it. Where as jhana is a psychological effect where you set up a feedback loop of pleasure, you observe something pleasant which feels nice and produces a pleasant reaction which you observe and feels niceer which you observe and feels nicer etc, as long as you keep your attention focused on the pleasure. It's like the squeal that comes out of audio speakers when the microphone is too close.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 5:45 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 5:45 PM

RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Running and jhana are both big parts of my life. There is not a lot of overlap for me. I can develop some jhana factors while running, but it is easier to do so while walking or swimming. I do get a runner's high, and I would guess that it actually takes away from jhana factors. 

On the other hand, a run can contribute as much, or more, to my well-being as a meditation session. It is also easier to meditate when the body is in good shape. So please do run. If at all possible, join a running group so that you can support, and be supported by, other runners. Also, meditate and learn the jhanas. These are two fantastic things, but I have not found a way to merge them. 
Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 6:36 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 6:36 PM

RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 27 Join Date: 5/1/22 Recent Posts
Thank-you  that is interesting.  Do you find sitting in meditation  is easier after  some cardio?
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Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 5/27/22 3:14 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/27/22 3:14 PM

RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
It's a bit of a balancing act. Too much cardio right before a sit can leave me tired or spacy. In general, though, regular, hard (i.e. at least temporarily exhausting) exercise leads to calm and contentment in combination with higher energy. In other words, an exercise routine helps massively with the first four of the five hindrances to good mediation (desire, ill-will, restlessness, and torpor). If you've got those down, and you have confidence, the stage is set for starting a jhana practice. 
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J W, modified 28 Days ago at 5/29/22 7:42 PM
Created 28 Days ago at 5/29/22 7:42 PM

RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Runners' high is dependent on external causes, so no, not jhana. 



Okayyy, well excuse me for being picky. But are not our own minds dependent on external causes? emoticon
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finding-oneself *, modified 28 Days ago at 5/29/22 9:30 PM
Created 28 Days ago at 5/29/22 9:30 PM

RE: Runners high. Could this be jhana

Posts: 252 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Not sure if it's jhana. But Shinzen Young mentions the runners high or lifter pump can be used as a vehicle for awakening. Paraphrasing. https://youtu.be/q60eyIUKcNg

He mentions it in several places but that link is a podcast. He mentions it somewhere in there.

I've never been in a proper shamatha jhana, so far as I know, but I get into strange and pleasant vibratory territory on the cushion. IME the runners high I get is similar.

If I suddenly stop in the middle of the run, it feels and looks like everything is flowing. Kind of neat and pleasant. It's kind of nice to space out and enjoy it. I'm not sure how much or if that helps mediation for me.

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