I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditation

I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditation Bruno dharma 7/26/23 10:57 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Pawel K 7/26/23 11:57 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati shargrol 7/26/23 1:01 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 7/26/23 1:38 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Georg S 7/26/23 1:50 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 7/26/23 1:59 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Georg S 7/26/23 2:43 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Pepe · 7/26/23 2:49 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati shargrol 7/26/23 2:59 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 7/27/23 5:34 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati shargrol 7/27/23 6:10 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Pepe · 7/27/23 9:40 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 7/27/23 10:07 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 7/30/23 2:24 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati shargrol 7/30/23 6:30 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Pepe · 7/30/23 9:42 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 7/31/23 3:53 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Pepe · 7/31/23 12:48 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 7/31/23 1:16 PM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/2/23 5:48 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 8/2/23 8:08 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/2/23 9:10 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 8/2/23 10:17 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/2/23 11:55 AM
RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati Bruno dharma 8/3/23 2:46 AM
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 10:57 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 10:57 AM

I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditation

Posts: 13 Join Date: 11/21/21 Recent Posts
Hello,
There is a state of consciousness that I have seen many times while doing concentration meditation and I can't figure out what it is. I've been trying to find a reference to it in Buddhism or Yoga or any doctrine, but to no avail. I would like to describe it to you and if any of you knows even a name for it, I would be grateful. If you know this state from personal experience and you want tpo share some insight, that would be generous of you.

Before I give you the contexts in which I experience it, I should describe the state as best I can. I call it "clear mind, body asleep" or "no meditation". In it there is no sense of body, self, space or time. My mind is clearer than it has ever been outside of this state. I am capable of conscious thoughts, but no distraction. I can still intend to do something (like leave) and I have awareness. Something I can't do is apply effort to my concentration or surrender. It is as if all the effort that could have been applied has been applied and everything I could have given up has been surrendered. It is a state of suspension that feels like a waiting room, not in a spatial sense, but in the sense that I feel I'm here because something else is about to happen (a bit like Access Concentration feels like the waiting room of jhana). It also feels like a hub where many things are accessible (a bit like jhana 4 can feel) and everything I can imagine seems possible. The only thing that makes sense to do in this state is be awware of my object of concentration and just be. This is the description what the state is every time I experienece it.

On some odd occasions, it has given me weird sensations like that of being out of my body or seeing sounds etc.

As for the context in which this state happens, it gets complicated. I have had it on occasion since years ago a bit after I reached stream entry. I receognized it every time, gave it a silly name, but could never bring it willingly. Until recently. I was trying to access at will the state of nirvana, where everything fades out except existence, self-awareness and a blissful sensory overload (white light, ringing ears, buzzing skin...). I recently succeeded and I notice that the state or "clear mind, body asleep" was this kind of antechamber for it. I land in that state every time and from there, if I remain aware of my object of concentration, I blast off. The way I do it is by taking the emptiness of the mind as my object of concentration and flowing naturally through jhana 4 to 8. The object seems to get closer and closer to emptiness until I exit jhana 8 where Emptiness and me merge like two bubbles of mercury. That's where the state of "clear mind, body asleep" happens.

Another contexts in which that state used to happen outside of my control was when I was having vision while in jhana 4. It was a specific type of vision that I could have at will (even though it didn't always put me in the state I'm talking about). I was in a black space and gates would appear before me. They would look like tarot cards. I could chose one and enter. It would start a sequence of visions. One gate where the state occured several times was that of the card of Death. In it I would see myself die and be reborn as a new being. That rebirth would occasionally be the state of "clear mind, body asleep".

Another context was in sleep. I would wake up in the middle of the night into that state on random occasions.

Can anybody relate with any of this? It's too specific for it to be random and I would be surprised if I was the only one who experienced it.
Any insight would be appreciated.

Thank you!
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Pawel K, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 11:57 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Sounds pretty normal - even compared to my normal awake experience as I hardly feel my body and each touch feel like neurons waking up and immediately going to sleep. 

What you could do it be more aware of the differences between your normal waking state and this state and make your normal waking state be more like this experience if you like it. By make I mean it will just happen if you start making it arise in your normal waking state by thinking about it as in already experiencing it, meditation is not rocket science.

If these things have names or not I am not sure. Maybe "focus 12"... only one which comes to mind emoticon
shargrol, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 1:01 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 12:58 PM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Bruno, could you say more why it isn't a deep J4 or J6-J8? How did you rule these out?

I'm hoping someone else will recognize/respond, I'm curious too. emoticon  The no time, no space aspect of what you are describing is most curious to me.
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 1:38 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 1:36 PM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Thanks for you replies, both of you.
Ni Nurta:
Thanks for suggesting Focus 12. I was expecting some Pali name or something haha! I'll go back to my old mp3s and see if it gives me any results.

Shargrol:
Great point you're making. I have thought of jhana 4 and of deep jhana however I'm pretty sure that isn't it.
Here is my rationale. Deep jhana crushes my mind to pieces. I don't have a clear mind like in the state in question. Even a regular jhana (which is what I use btw, I keep deep jhana for its own practice) has a more fogged mind compared to the state in question. I called the state "clear mind, body asleep" because clear is realy the most obvious trait. The mind feels pristeen like it just came out of a the mind factory.
As for regular jhana, first of all I go through them before reaching the state in question and recognize their distinctions as I go. (also see point above about regular jhana)
Can't be jhana 5 because there is no sense of space.
Can't be jhana 6 because there is no distinct sensation of knowing or of vastness of awaress typical of this jhana.
Can't be jhana 7 because there is no emptiness other than my object of concentration (the empty mind). I don't feel a chasm or anything like jhana 7 gives me. Often times, jhana 7 gives me a distinct physical sensation of being hung from my back above a infinite void. I never have anything that dramatic here.
Can't be jhana 8 because jhana 8 is confusing mess haha and here everything is limpid.
It could be jhana 4 because I can sometimes feel quiet and stillness in the state in question, but it isn't the main trait like in jhana 4 and it isn't a constant.
In general the jhana is way more dramatic than this state. I would even say it's the most puzzling thing about it. It feel so simple.

Thanks for the epistemological challenge!
Georg S, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 1:50 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 1:40 PM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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...In it there is no sense of body, self, space or time......clear mind, body asleep...
how do you know if the body is asleep, when there is no sense of a body? Is there a body, or is there no body, or is there sometimes a body, and sometimes not? I am asking because of...

Some things you describe, seems like you are entering a lucid dream state (dream yoga). Some people can enter a lucid dream by entering it through the same dream again and again and again: When they are going to bed, they imagine entering the same dream, by focusing/concentrating on the dream content (like you describe it with the death cards) and they awake in the dream. There they can create their own world, how they would like it to be ("everything I can imagine seems possible"). Maybe you are entering into a lucid-dream state via meditation?

Another thing is sleep paralysis (antechamber?): Sleep paralysis is when your mind is awake and the body sleeps. I got that a lot, when I was "learning" lucid dreaming years ago. In this state I was sleeping at first. Then I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and my mind was awake, while the body wasn't able to move. In this state my mind was crystal clear - body asleep. I used sleep paralysis to enter a lucid dream (where you literaly could do/create anything that you want, if you are high lucid. Often I was not high lucid, so I was thrown into a dream, sometimes I entered the sleep paralysis again, got into the dream, etc. ).

... That just popped up in my head, when I was reading your description of your experiences.
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 1:59 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 1:58 PM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Georg S
...In it there is no sense of body, self, space or time......clear mind, body asleep...
how do you know if the body is asleep, when there is no sense of a body? Is there a body, or is there no body, or is there sometimes a body, and sometimes not? I am asking because of... Some things you describe, seems like you are entering a lucid dream state (dream yoga). Some people can enter a lucid dream by entering it through the same dream again and again and again: When they are going to bed, they imagine entering the same dream, by focusing/concentrating on the dream content (like you describe it with the death cards) and they awake in the dream. There they can create their own world, how they would like it to be ("everything I can imagine seems possible"). Maybe you are entering into a lucid-dream state via meditation? Another thing is sleep paralysis (antechamber?): Sleep paralysis is when your mind is awake and the body sleeps. I got that a lot, when I was "learning" lucid dreaming years ago. In this state I was sleeping at first. Then I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and my mind was awake, while the body wasn't able to move. In this state my mind was crystal clear - body asleep. I used sleep paralysis to enter a lucid dream (where you literaly could do/create anything that you want, if you are high lucid. Often I was not high lucid, so I was thrown into a dream, sometimes I entered the sleep paralysis again, got into the dream, etc. ). ... That just popped up in my head, when I was reading your description of your experiences.
Thanks! I understand the confusion, it's my fault for giving it a shitty name, but to be clear. There is no body. I call it body asleep because I can't feel the body.

Good suggestions on lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis. I don't think that's it though. The practice with the tarot card was years ago. Today the state only happens when I do concentration meditation to reach nirvana state. I also practice lucid dreaming at night, so I can tell it's not the same thing. I guess it could be sleep paralysis except I'm not paralyzed. I can reactivate the body just by intending to. I wiggle my mental toe and a physical toe appears. I don't know much about sleep paralysis though, so I'm not sure. I do wonder why sleep paralysis would snuck in between jhana 8 and nirvana every single time though.

​​​​​​​Thanks for the suggetsions!
Georg S, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 2:43 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 2:41 PM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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I guess it could be sleep paralysis except I'm not paralyzed.
I am sure (99%) that it is not sleep paralysis. In sleep paralysis you are "really" awake (in your bed, room, physical body, etc.) but you can not move a tiny bit of your body. So sleep paralysis is not a meditative state or whatever.
I also practice lucid dreaming at night, so I can tell it's not the same thing.
Out of curiosity I have a few questions:

What do you do in this state?

You say there is no body or time, etc. Can you add a physical body, time, a scenery, etc. to your state? Have you tried that out?

What is the difference between lucid dreaming (which you do at night) and the state you are entering via meditation? Have you tried entering the same state while you are dreaming lucid at night, or to create a lucid dream while you are in this state?

Why is it important to know what this state is? Is it blocking you from "reaching" anything?

I'm looking forward to your answers, if you are willing to answer them, of courseemoticon
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Pepe ·, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 2:49 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 2:47 PM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Is it related to Owen's PL5

(no expertise from my side, just giving a link a remember)
shargrol, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 2:59 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 2:59 PM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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"Can't be jhana 7 because there is no emptiness other than my object of concentration (the empty mind). I don't feel a chasm or anything like jhana 7 gives me. Often times, jhana 7 gives me a distinct physical sensation of being hung from my back above a infinite void. I never have anything that dramatic here."


My wild guess is that it might be J7. Your description of J7 above (chasm, void) sounds like it has a bit of a like J5/6 flavor. 

My guess is worth what you paid for it!
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 7/27/23 5:34 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/27/23 5:34 AM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Georg:
I don't do much in that state. Like I said in the post, it is a place of being. It feels full of oportunities as if I could make anything happen, but I don't need anything. There is me, my awareness and the object of concentration (my empty mind). All I want is to be the object of concentration.
It's different from lucid dreaming in the sense that it has no story, no visual, no people. It's a state of consciousness. I don't have full control of my lucid dreaming, but I'd be interested to try and meditate to this state while dreaming, like you suggested. It should be fun!
As to why I care, my method of practice is to cycle through two phases: 1. personal experience 2. quickly confront it with the outside world by studying a book by an old indian dude or a tibetan/burmese recluse. Then back to 1. to check if anything new comes up and so on.
I can't do this with this state if I don't know anyone talking about it or if I don't even know its pretty name.
Thanks for the questions!

Pepe:
Pure Land! Why didn't I think of this? It's happening after jhana 8 of course, Pure Land! I'm an idiot. Thanks for bringing it up.
I can't say for sure if this is it, but it's the best lead I have so far. I don't know much about pure land though (or do I? haha). I've only read a little bit about it a while ago.
Would you happen to know a good source to study them in theory and/or to explore them in practice? I'll hop from link to link from the one you kindly provided and see if I can find the Light.
Either way you've already helped a lot. Bless you!

Shargrol:
Thanks, my friend. I can't say I agree with your hypothesis to be honest with you. The only thing that evokes emptiness or nothingness in the state in question is my object of concentration and that specific emptiness is present throughout. So any state would jhana 7 by that logic. However, I appreciate the challenge! Thanks!
shargrol, modified 11 Months ago at 7/27/23 6:10 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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No worries! emoticon  Sounds like you got a good lead (pure land) and I'm happy for you!
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Pepe ·, modified 11 Months ago at 7/27/23 9:40 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/27/23 9:40 AM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Hi Bruno! Glad that it helped. Don't recall of any book with actual practice instructions for PL jhanas. Nikolai have explored it well enough, check his blog entries and youtube video with Kenneth Folk, so why not contacting him? There's also a lot of practice related discussion in Kenneth Folk Dharma Archive, and to a lesser extent here in DhO. For a "classical" (pragmatic) description of PLs, check Antero's blog. The one I provided you in the previous post is an non-classical description, with entry in J4 and visual/magick/siddhis related. Some of what you wrote made me wonder if it could be related to it. At that high end level of practice, many have mentioned how customized jhanas could be, that you can (willfully or unconsciously) merge qualities of some jhanas and "create" one of your own. So perhaps you won't find a perfect match to what you're exploring. Related to that, some of what you said may also be connected to Daniel's and Kenneth's No-Dog, described by Daniel as some kind of PL version of I AM/The Witness. In Daniel's Posts Compilation you'll find lots of mentions to PL as well.

Hope this helps!
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 7/27/23 10:07 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Pepe ·:
Hi Bruno! Glad that it helped. Don't recall of any book with actual practice instructions for PL jhanas. Nikolai have explored it well enough, check his blog entries and youtube video with Kenneth Folk, so why not contacting him? There's also a lot of practice related discussion in Kenneth Folk Dharma Archive, and to a lesser extent here in DhO. For a "classical" (pragmatic) description of PLs, check Antero's blog. The one I provided you in the previous post is an non-classical description, with entry in J4 and visual/magick/siddhis related. Some of what you wrote made me wonder if it could be related to it. At that high end level of practice, many have mentioned how customized jhanas could be, that you can (willfully or unconsciously) merge qualities of some jhanas and "create" one of your own. So perhaps you won't find a perfect match to what you're exploring. Related to that, some of what you said may also be connected to Daniel's and Kenneth's No-Dog, described by Daniel as some kind of PL version of I AM/The Witness. In Daniel's Posts Compilation you'll find lots of mentions to PL as well. Hope this helps!
<br /><br />This is great! thanks for all the resources. This sounds similar to what I'm doing. Your mentioning siddih sounds to me like the impression I get of being able to accomplish anything in that state. And speaking of customization I've been noticing many times how some traits of some jhanas randomly pop here and there while in that state.<br />Thanks a lot!
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 7/30/23 2:24 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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I've spent the week studying this state (I lost my job on Monday so I got plenty of time!) I wanted to share my progress here.

First of all, I noticed I forgot to mention an important trait of the state: it feels like I'm outside the mind, close, but outside, like cloth wrapped around a crystal ball. It's important and it was key in helping me understand it. I reached a point where I think I've got it.

The big "ahah!" moment was when I tried to reach the state of Clear Mind (that's what I call it now until I find a better name) while taking the breath as object of concentration instead of the empty mind. Lo and behold, I couldn't reach it! So it's specific to the object of concentration, the empty mind or maybe just the mind. What I think is happening is, when I reach a certain intensity of concentration on the content of the mind (or lack thereof), my perspective pulls back as if my awareness reared outside of the mind. I think that's simply it. I focus so much on the mind that I see it clearer than usual, as a passive observer. I suppose I stumbled onto this state because I was kind of mixing two techniques unknowingly: concentration meditation and resting in the empty mind.

That would explain the other traits of the state. I have no sense of self, body, time, space because the "sense of" is a feature of the mind and I'm watching it from the outside, no attachment, no desire. It feels like a waiting room, because in this state I don't do, I only witness (same reason why I can't apply effort). It feels full of posibilities because of the broader perspective on the mind. The world is full of posibilities for the eagle, more so than for the ant. Seen like this, it makes a lot of sense to me.

I've also been studying the suggestions of Pure Land, The Witness and No Dog.
My conclusions, briefly, I don't think it's PL because I can access PL from the state of Clear Mind. I feel the transition to a different state and the traits are different.
It might be The Witness, but I'm not sure Kenneth means it as a state of consciousness that is as distinct as jhana can be for example. He makes it sound like a view of the world. Maybe it's because I'm still new to this state that it seems so distinct from reality-level awareness. I can switch to that kind of world view while living my life. I feel a slight click in the mind, like a filter has been applied. Those are two distinct experiences for me.
As for no dog, the description fits very closely, but Daniel says it's unstable (the State of Clear mind is one of the most stable states I have ever experienced) and he categorizes it as a chief attainment accessible only to arahants (I'm not an arahant, unless I'm a very shy and lousy one...)
So I would guess: too hard to reach to be The Witness and to easy to reach to be No Dog.
I imagine the tibetan buiddhists have written about this state, being focused on the mind. I'm going to research dzogchen a bit and see if I can find anyhing.

If anyone is interested in trying, I can describe how I do it so you can give it a go. If you do, please let me know what it feels like so we can compare the experiences! It would really help me anchor my practice. I don't believe a high level is necesary, because I used to get there by accident a long time ago. To control it, though, you probably need the ability to rest in an empty mind for an extended period of time. But what do I know!

My method:
I close my eyes and I stabilize them behind my eyelids. I let my breath drop to the bottom. I hold it there without effort until I reach a shallow breath. I can now forget the body.

I am aware of the emptiness of my mind. I bring my awareness to the edge of it and quickly, I become aware that the mind is sitting in nothingness. My sensations go blank, my concentration bursts outwards. (If you don't experience this, focusing on the empty mind is enough to reach the state. Both ways work just fine.)

I incline the will towards the nothingness that is my object of concentration. As I do, I formulate the intent to reach the state of Clear Mind, going through any jhana necessary. I'm usually taken through (soft) jhanas 4 to 8, then I come out in the state of Clear Mind (it takes about 15 to 20 minutes). At the beginning, I used to be taken through jhanas 1 to 8. On rare occasions, I get dropped into the state instantly. The transition to Clear Mind feels like a union (not The Union mind you). There is this light up there that I've been pulled towards, jhana after jhana. I'm getting closer and closer then we merge like two drops of quicksilver. Then I feel like I just entered a different reality.

The main trait of the state is immediately apparent: the mind is particularly clear, almost eerily. It barely feels like my mind (is it?) I realize I see it from the outside.

Other traits of the state I found this week:
I feel an energy field where my body was, like a multi-colored torus. I also feel the chakras distinctly. This trait doesn't seem very important.
The state seems to strengthen any other state I access from it, like a Super Access Concentration. If I go to a jhana from here, it is often a deep jhana (maybe similar to Pa Auk's merged Nimitta > jhana absorbtion). Effortlessly, I'm sucked upward through the mind and to the Crown. The mind is squeezed out as if it wasn't allow to come with me. Imagine the yolk of an egg being sucked out leaving the egg white of the mind behind. Clear Mind also allows me to enter a state of nirvana directly without going to any extra jhana. Once I'm in Clear Mind, I stay on the empty mind and wait. After a few minutes, I feel a switch being flicked inside me. The sensations go brrr and then only existence exists.
All these states are usually short though, so it's not a magical formula either. Maybe with practice I can learn how to stabilize those states.
I haven't been able to access nirodah the same way (I can't control nirodha yet, unfortunately, maybe because I suck at insight!) I'm trying that this coming week. If you don't hear from me, it means I failed haha
There are plenty of things I want to try from this state.

PS: If you want me to try and guide you, we can schedule a quick call. I can't promisse anything, but I'm willing to try. You can contact me here https://thelightitself.com/coaching/

shargrol, modified 11 Months ago at 7/30/23 6:30 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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just as another data point: Kenneth associates The Witness with J6, Boundless Consciousness
The Yogi Toolbox: Riding The Jhanic Arc Via The Witness | The Hamilton Project
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Pepe ·, modified 11 Months ago at 7/30/23 9:42 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Fabulous!

too hard to reach to be The Witness and to easy to reach to be No Dog

I've read in a pragmatic mahayana group that Daniel's No Dog is seen as just the I AM, but with the full power of his clear mind. In fact, it's recommended to those at the high-end to re-experience every know and then this state. That is, I AM is not dismissed as a lesser attainment, just that it may be golden chains hard to get rid of. Here you  have lots of entries on the topic
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 7/31/23 3:53 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Shargrol:
Nice catch. Thanks. I had missed that.

Pepe:
So maybe my state is a beginner version of No Dog (No Puppy, then). That could be it.
I didn't know that blog. It's great. It's giving me a new perspective on the Work. I'm going to read through all of that.
I'm amazed at how much stuff you're pulling out of the internet. You've got a bird's eye view on this things. It's great!
Thank you for sharing.
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Pepe ·, modified 11 Months ago at 7/31/23 12:48 PM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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My goggle-fu is not that good, it's just that I did Daniel's compilation and mostly of John Tan's (AtR) too, so I have that topics still fresh in my mind. Also, Shargrol's compilation as well, check his inspired posts!
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 7/31/23 1:16 PM
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Awesome! Another one that goes in my favourites. Thanks Shargrol!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago at 8/2/23 5:48 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Thanks for an inspiring read! 

I occasionally have jhanic visions of tarot cards as well, or something very similar to it (I don't know enough about tarot to tell whether or not they are such cards or just share the esthetics). This makes me wonder if I could learn to enter them. 

I'm thinking that there is a lot to the yoga of dream and sleep (Tibetan) that excedes regular lucid dreaming. Might be wortwhile to read up on it. It definitely involves extreme bright clarity. 
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 8/2/23 8:08 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/2/23 8:08 AM

RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Linda:
Thanks for the suggestions of dream practice from yoga and tibetan buddhism. I have some limited experience with dream yoga and I want to read up on tibetan buddhism once I get a little break in my practice.

It's super interesting that you got Tarot visions as well! I had that about 2 years ago when I was still new to meditation. My first reaction was to take them as doors with an image in it. It's only later that I realized the images where always very similar, like they were sticking to a theme. When I started naming them for practical reasons, I noticed the names I came up with were similar to Tarot cards. That's when it clicked. They always appeared in jhana 4 and I could go back at will. I haven't tried since, but I promissed myself to explore a bit more one day. Nowadays, I'm more familiar with the Tarot and I've studied the work of Crowley, which should give me a better understanding of the experience, hopefully.

Can you bring them up at will? Have you tried going in a specific jhana (like 4 maybe), and formulate the intent to bring them up? If you ever try entering, I'd love to hear what it's like. I wonder if our experiences will be similar.

Either way, thanks for sharing!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago at 8/2/23 9:10 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Thanks for your kind response! I very rarely have that kind of precision, but if I can, I will.

The last time I had cards coming up in a jhanic vision was this Midsummer night while I was trying out a specific dream yoga practice for the first time (beginner's level). I wrote about it in my log. That specific time it wasn't tarot cards, though, but playing cards with a modern version wrathful deity as the joker and word written on them, different hyperboles. I was able to interact with the cards intentionally, but it wasn't me entering through them but rather them entering me, lol. The deity stepped out from the cards and shoved them first into my mouth and then into my throat from the outside. I decided to breathe them in, which made the choking dissolve into bliss. 

Usually when tarot cards come up, they are presented one at a time in rapid succession, so if I would want to enter one, I would have to hurry. There have been cases of a slower pace, but I'm not sure that has ever been the case specifically with the tarot cards. Might have been other vision images only. Tarot card visions present themselves like a screen in front of me (one card per screen). How do the tarot cards manifest for you? I mean, with regard to time and space. 
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 8/2/23 10:17 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Thanks for sharing, Linda. That Midsummer experience seems like quite the ride! It's super interesting. It sounds like a Jungian thing how you tranformed wrathful entities into bliss. That must have been wonderful.

The way the cards used to appear to me was like this: I would enter jhana 4 with the intent to see those gates and explore them. That would send me into a black room or an environment that looked like outer space. Then I would intent to see the first gate and it would appear before me. The "gate" was a rectangular frame (like a door frame without a wall or even a door, just standing on its own) usually sculpted out of stone or wood. The iside would have a moving image of some kind. I would look at the image inside until I know which theme is explored within. If I wanted to skip, I would just intent another gate. Once I had decided, I would step inside. There I would have what I would describe today as a shamanic trance or a mild psychedlic trip. The visual would be recognizable, but not as clear as reality.
My favourite was Death, where I would see my own ritualized death and rebirth. It's the one I explored the most because it was just too trippy to resist. I would die, be taken into some kind of tomb from antiquity, then blackness, then a rising sun. And then would come the real trip. This is were I first found the state of Clear Mind I described here. One time I had the sensation of standing in front of my seated body. I opened my eyes and fell backwards into my body. One time I heard a truck pass by in the street and I could see the sound as little red bubbles. One time the room was upside down. That time, I tried to do Mahasi Noting on the breath and, for the life of me, I couldn't prevent myself from noting "rising" when exhaling and "falling" when inhaling. My mind was backward...
Themes other than Death included: Lovers, space exploration, abstract things, heroic/power fantasy stuff. Some of them I couldn't clearly match to a Tarot Trump.

Have you tried studying the symbolism of those image sequences you mentioned? Do they "feel" like they have meaning?
I used to just look at pretty pictures when it would happen, but now that I've studied shamanism and hermeticism (unrelated as they seem), I analyze everything I see and often find insightful stuff.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago at 8/2/23 11:55 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Thanks for another inspiring post and for sharing so generously!

Thanks, yes, it felt amazing. The day after it I felt somewhat wobbly, though, so it was probably on the edge of what I was ready to deal with. 

It sounds like your experiences are generally deeper than mine insofar as it's what Daniel would call 4th screen rather than 2nd or 3rd screen (I think the definitions are on his fire kasina website). That is, for you it is an environment that you can immerse yourself in and interact with just like in daily life or in a dream. For me it's usually less developed. With the cards most of the time it's just a screen that I can witness, sort of like watching a piece of finely crafted artwork (if I remember correctly, that would be screen 2). At times visions (others than specifically cards) are a scene that presents itself in 3D, but I'm still not "in it" in the sense of being able to make choices, but either see it more like a film (which I believe would be screen 3) or (briefly) embody someobody in the scene as in a non-lucid dream, or rather as reliving a vivid memory although it is no memory I can relate to personally (probably still screen 3), or as hallucinations around me, or sometimes like being drawn through a wormhole with nothing I could do about it apart from admiring the scenery (not sure what that would count as but doesn't sound like full screen 4; yes, shamanic trance or trippy describes this well but with less development than for you). At one time I was in a very clear 4th screen setting, floating around in a 3D maze made out of complex geometry with intricately patterned textures on the walls. I have also had nightmarish dukkha ñana jhanic visions in sleep where I have encountered TV monitors growing out of the walls in my bedroom and a green levitating cat and an inflated helium balloon girl floating above me, and things like that. But with the cards, this midsummer eve was my first case of fourth screen, and in that case, the cards themselves appeared to be just cards (from the moment of 4th screen starting). 

The cards revealing some realm in them that I could step into is not something I have yet encountered. It sounds like it could be a possible development if I'm lucky. Fascinating! I have encountered something at least slightly similar in lucid dreaming, but without the symbolism and without the jhanic features, so definitely not the same thing in any other sense than it being a screen development. What you describe sounds very Bardo-like, which speaks further for Tibetan sleep yoga being a good match. Very very interesting!

I actually have a hard time remembering the images on my tarot cards. I see them so incredibly clearly and take them in completely in the moment, but then they are gone. They are definitely symbolically loaded, but I haven't been able to look it up. I'm not sure I could remember them, and I'm not sure if I should either. A few years ago I got really fascinated by the sacred geometry I was seeing and started to look it up, amazed that it's something that reappears for so many practicioners, but I was warned by a number of people that people can get sidetracked for many years if they start engaging in that kind of content and try to interpret the meaning of it, so since then I have mainly rejoiced in getting to see how awareness can produce something outside of consensus reality that is so elaborate, and tried to apply that as insight into how consensus reality manifests as well. Still, I have one foot into tantric traditions too, and maybe a couple of toes in shamanic ones, so I'm not ruling out the possibility of there being something to it. There was definitely a theme to the hyperboles jotted down at the cards in my midsummer eve experience. ​​​​​​​I have at times gotten relevant practice pointers in visions. I'm open to the idea of seeking up teachings in sleep yoga. 

Haha, I have found myself often mixing up inside and outside in my experiences when noting. I also have had the experience of finding myself meditating upside down, levitating, and then invented a circle to glide down the inside of to get back on the cushion (that was a long time ago now), and I do have synesthetic experiences as well. I have had the sense of popping out through my forehead for a while and then popping back in. I would love to explore more of all this, but as I said earlier, I very rarely have that kind of precision. I sort of just stumble over it unexpectedly. 
Bruno dharma, modified 11 Months ago at 8/3/23 2:46 AM
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RE: I can't recognize this state of consciousness in concentration meditati

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Fascinating! It's beautiful how different individuals can have such a wide range of experiences while maintaining some degree of similarities.
For what it's worth, I agree that if you don't fee compelled to analyze the symbolism, it's better left untouch.
I also had experiences of beautiful images passing by so fast I can't even remember them. I'm left wondering, why I'm even seeing them.
Let's see if I can find anything related to this once I start reading on Tibetan Buddhism.

Thanks for sharing, Linda!

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