Extreme pleasure and then cessation in 8th Jhana

T H, modified 3 Months ago at 3/14/24 8:12 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/14/24 8:12 PM

Extreme pleasure and then cessation in 8th Jhana

Post: 1 Join Date: 3/14/24 Recent Posts
This was on retreat some months ago.

This was my second sessation while in neither perception nor non perception. The first sessation followed a dreamy sequence in which a disembodied and supremely powerful voice seemed to challenge me in regards to my craving for nibbana. Two devas began to come towards me, I assume for protection from the voice, but I waved them away instinctually. Then several orbs of energy emerged from my solar plexus, which radiated a powerful and equanimity-testing energy towards me. It was all I could manage just to maintain my equanimity. Then I had a cessation. I don't remember much about what happened when I came to, other than I was pretty shook up and emotional. There was definitely a "what was that?" sentiment, but not in a fun way, in a like WTF way.

I did not tell the teacher about this experience at the time as I believed the instruction was to ignore the visions.

Anyway, in retrospect the second sessation is more interesting to me. For this one I somehow found myself in some kind of experience or space where everything was permeated with an unbelievable pleasurable feeling. It was as if all of space itself was boundless pleasure beyond anything I had ever experienced. It was like my body, conciousness, everything was comprised of this incredible pleasure. Though there was no body, just the space and pleasure itself. Nonetheless, there was still some sense of myself and other because I saw a metalic-looking orb. It almost seemed like some sort of alien technology. I instinctively reached out towards it with my hand, which up until this point I had not been aware of existing or not existing. As I touched it I had a cessation.

When I came too my entire body was vibrating with the most wonderful pleasant vibration that felt like a mundane version of the more supreme one I had just experienced. Fairly quickly I began to think something like "Forget pursuing dispassion. I could get used to that!" and wanting to experience it again. Then I thought, these are vibrations, which means they are impermenant. Clinging to this experience will actualy bring only suffering. And so I took a moment and released my attachment to that experience. Basically right away the vibrations subsided. Then a deep equanimity and calm took over for some time, maybe the second half of the day. Not to say I lost equanimity later but simply that I felt exceptionally with it. The world seemed OK. Colors were brighter. There was a natural flow to things.

I did tell the teacher about this one and he made no comment.

I could go on about the fallout on the rest of the retreat or in my lay life since, but I will stop here for now unless commentors think those details would be specifically useful. I would appreciate if anyone with experience with sessations can offer some context or insight into this. These are my first and only two and I'm not sure how to think about them.

Blessings.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago at 3/14/24 9:41 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/14/24 9:41 PM

RE: Extreme pleasure and then cessation in 8th Jhana

Posts: 2860 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I just popped some pop corn and blissfully ate it with gusto. 

Best wishes and blessings! 

btw, introduce yourself (I honestly hope you are not an AI bot) START a meditation log on this site and keep logging so folks can get into your practice and see where you are. Daily practice and a quick update in the log after the sit (while it's fresh). Then folks here might help you out. Otherwise it's just ones and zeros on the screen! emoticon 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 3/14/24 9:57 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/14/24 9:55 PM

RE: Extreme pleasure and then cessation in 8th Jhana

Posts: 523 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Yeah, best way to understand where you're at is to just commit to a regular log and let us get to know your practice over a bit of time. A lot about where we're at is actually communicated in the day by day, sit by sit stuff. Big meditative "experiences" are generally pretty tricky to pin down. Mostly it's the A&P to be honest. How do you know you've had a cessation at all? 

The period after cessation is actually quite important. Please detail phenomenologically how things changed after both cessations and your experience of practice now.
T DC, modified 3 Months ago at 3/14/24 11:57 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/14/24 11:49 PM

RE: Extreme pleasure and then cessation in 8th Jhana

Posts: 517 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Sounds like some wild experiences, thanks for sharing. I would also be interested in hearing more about the context of the retreat, the after effects, and your greater overall practice - doesn't have to be a tome, sometimes just a summary can give helpful context. 

Cessation can occur as an aspect of insight experience, related to jhana, random, etc.  Honestly, the energetic, visionary type jhana experiences you described are relatively "out there" as far as bizarre cessation manifestations, so it might be helpful to know more about their after effects and your overall practice (how you got to that point) in order to provide more specific ideas.

Welcome to the forum and great first post.
shargrol, modified 3 Months ago at 3/15/24 5:47 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/15/24 5:47 AM

RE: Extreme pleasure and then cessation in 8th Jhana

Posts: 2523 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
T H, those are very cool experiences. Sounds like you know some of the meditation terminology. Could you explain why you are placing those experiences on the map in that particular jhana/nana?

Like others have gently suggested, you might be inflating where this occurs on the maps so hopefully you can soften the need to pin it to a particular location. I remember I tended to pin everything past the dukka nanas and even past stream entry because the idea of going through a dark night that was worse than my normal depression was terrifying. Well, it turned out that what I was calling EQ and Stream Entry was really a much more powerful jhana and A&P non-knowing event. And thankfully it turned out that I was already familiar with the dukka nanas and so going through them again was actually helpful/healing even though it was difficult at times. (Finally having a map for what I was going through really helped.) Turns out I was a classic dark night yogi who had probably had an A&P much earlier in my life. Knowing that helped me accept the dark night stages and take them a lot less personally, although I definitely was humbled by the whole process.

Hope this helps in some way. Congratulations on your first post on DhO! emoticon
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 3/15/24 9:41 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/15/24 9:30 AM

RE: Extreme pleasure and then cessation in 8th Jhana

Posts: 5269 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Fascinating! I'm flabbergasted by your description of your experience of the 8th jhana, and you had a cessation while in it. Can you describe your experience of the remaining jhanas?


I could go on about the fallout on the rest of the retreat or in my lay life since, but I will stop here for now unless commentors think those details would be specifically useful. I would appreciate if anyone with experience with sessations can offer some context or insight into this. These are my first and only two and I'm not sure how to think about them.

There are plenty of folks here with experience of cessations and the jhanas. Note that we're asking you for more information so that we can help you figure out where you are on the path. It's just not clear from your descriptions.
Todo, modified 3 Months ago at 3/15/24 10:30 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/15/24 10:30 AM

RE: Extreme pleasure and then cessation in 8th Jhana

Posts: 189 Join Date: 8/20/18 Recent Posts
I have no experience of cessation, so I don't know if I am allowed to chime in. 
but if I may, could you explain to someone who has no idea what the "jargon" you use means exactly what is your insight & how does it evolve over time? Eg. How stable?

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