Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, please

Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, please P P 5/18/24 4:11 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Martin 5/18/24 4:47 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl P P 5/18/24 4:58 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Martin 5/18/24 5:21 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl P P 5/19/24 8:50 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Pawel K 5/18/24 6:07 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl P P 5/19/24 9:00 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Papa Che Dusko 5/18/24 7:35 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Martin 5/18/24 10:59 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Jim Smith 5/18/24 10:42 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl P P 5/19/24 8:59 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Jim Smith 5/22/24 12:03 AM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl P P 6/2/24 11:34 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl shargrol 5/19/24 8:41 AM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl P P 5/19/24 9:08 PM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Adi Vader 5/20/24 2:51 AM
RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl Dream Walker 5/22/24 5:13 AM
P P, modified 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 4:11 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 4:11 PM

Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, please

Posts: 8 Join Date: 5/18/24 Recent Posts
Hi there.

Preamble (sorry): Started doing open-eye shamatha, object = breath ~8 years ago and was doing 1 hour sessions daily for 1 year. During that time I noticed that when I would do it at night my sleep would get disturbed as if my mind was WAY too activated. I had vague creepy-crawley sensations in my body when I would lay in bed like inside my body (no it wasn't bed bugs, lol) and my therapist who thought it was a kundalini awakening so he said stop doing shamatha. He had had significant experience with kundalini care through a reputable and serious lineage in India so I trusted him. Ultimately I switched over to what was supposed to be vipassana with the breath as the object and my eyes closed and I reckon I didn't do the technique correctly and was doing a crappy shamatha instead off and on for years.

Anyways, over the last 6 weeks I have returned to daily hour long sessions of shamatha, eyes open, object = breath and I have whizzed through the stages for some reason(?). 2 weeks ago I started entering the jhanas and every day I could feel myself advancing through the jhanas a little bit more. Yesterday I got to the 6th jhana and felt the nothingness. I remembered the instruction at that level and stuck to it and could feel a transition happening. I had a vague recollection that there was an unconscious stage to come (I forgot if it was the next or the next next stage). During the transition my vision got a big distorted and I got freaked out because I wasn't sure how people get out of the unconscious stage unless someone knows to wake you. I didn't do my research and really didn't expect to get so far. Anyways, I did my session 6-7pm last night and could barely sleep at night. I'm on like 4 hours of shit sleep. Ordinarily with that sleep I could nap and would try to nap and I could not fall asleep.

I've decided to not meditate today. I am a bit worried. Could this be a kundalini thing? AM I going to be able to sleep tonight? Does this mean I can't do shamatha anymore? How do I investigate this further? Anyways, I am not sure who to turn to, but heard of this forum and joined just to ask all of this.

Sorry for all text. Really appreciate your guys' time and help
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 4:47 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 4:47 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 907 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Welcome!

It sounds like you have a strong practice! 

If things are uncomfortably weird due to meditation, stop meditating. You can start again later, when you feel stable and have had enough sleep. Lots of people have to take breaks from meditation. I've done it. You can pick up quite close to where you left off. 

Much of this practice is about balance. Backing off and taking care of yourself with things you enjoy, such as a walk in nature or a bit of exercise, is a good way of balancing. 
P P, modified 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 4:58 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 4:58 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 8 Join Date: 5/18/24 Recent Posts
Thank you Martin for a measured and compassionate response. I will take that advice. Have you had any similar reactions with sleep, if i may ask?
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 5:21 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 5:21 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 907 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I have. In particular, I often wake up in the middle of the night with strange dreams/visions when I have been practicing strong concentration and then cannot go back to sleep. Usually going to the kitchen for a cup of cocoa and a slice of toast is enough to reset things. If it isn't, I just stay in bed and try to rest. I was told by a sleep researcher that a few nights with poor sleep is nothing to worry about, heal;the wise, as the body will make up for it later. It's only when poor sleep lasts for long periods of time (I can't remember, but I think we might be taking weeks) that it is a concern. 
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Pawel K, modified 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 6:07 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 6:04 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 1172 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Your practice sounds solid.
Kundalini... yeah you could call it that.
It happens even to advanced practitioners if they overdo practice so its normal.
It being normal doesn't however mean it should be ignored.

I recommend to introduce relaxation meditation in place of object concentration to balance things out.
Focusing on breath is great practice and which allows you to scale level of relaxation vs concentration.

The jhanas as Buddha described don't require any staying on object and work beautifully. It is relaxation practice where you relax so much you don't even care to check how relaxed you are because of how relaxed you are and yet can remain very concentrated. Why Buddha recommended it BTW.

So you just close eyes (can do with opened eyes but perhaps for sleep issues its better to do it with closed eyes - if you become sleepy... you win!) and passively observe motion of your abdomen and feelings of relaxation in your body with each in-breath and out-breath. Try to not overdo focusing on release on out-breath and rather balance relaxation on both in- and out-breath.

Then if you want to make it more like your object concentration you focus more on just staying with object.
When you want to make it more vipassana you focus on individual sensation.
When you want to do it Buddha-style you do middle-way so kinda relax, kinda stay on breath, kinda notice sensation all the while secluding yourself from sensuality from this experience, seclude yourself from sensuality of relaxation, of sensuality of object of breath, of sensuality of all the sensations which arise and lastly even from sensuality of secluding yourself from sensuality.

Of course the trick is in right balance in this practice.
You might feel like doing one or the other or focusing on some stronger experiences is good - if you feel like that please do it. Explore.
The only thing to note is going deeper and deeper in to any experience can be overdone and when it starts to happen there are warning signs. Need to push it a little harder to get relief is a warning sign. When that happen you should not do it. You will get much better results when if you feel these warning signs you do more opposite thing. Like for object concentration if it starts to get out of hand you do more relaxation. Then its harder to relax but also harder to fall asleep in the middle of practice. If you do relaxation you can mitigate this issue by making practice more focused.

And of course this skill of keeping things in balance is what brings improvement to daily life. You will instinctively know how to keep right level of relaxation and focus. With this seclusion from sensuality thing you will also learn how to get right concentration - as it itself is when you can tune-out from mind to make experience of object arise by itself. It is right concentration because the point is not to have image of mind observing object but pure object - then all the mental bandwidth of your mind which went to keep image of mind observing goes in to the object and it makes it possible to experience never experienced before. Then tune out of further things to make even more details noticed. That is how you do real vipassana by the way. It isn't exactly about just noticing sensations or inputting characteristics - it is observing what arise in greater and greater detail once you know how it arose, why, be able to get intimate with your mind. On advanced levels it doesn't even require that much focus on individual parts as its possible for mind to automate this so that detailed images of details arise by itself. It does however require good practice.

Metta Fruitions,
Ni
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 7:35 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 7:35 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 2926 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Coincidence maybe but I just woke up due to the bright "jhanic" lights arising from within and growing larger and then vanishing totally just to re-appear as a light passing away outwardly and then vanishing again, just to arise again the same way etc ... so Arise>vanish>Pass Away>vanish>Arise>vanish>Pass Away>vanish>Arise>vanish>Pass Away>vanish ...

Now Im up a having me self a coffee with milk and honey and writing this on DhO emoticon 

May you find balance in your practice and may the practice be of benefit to you and may all beings benefit from it too! 
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 10:42 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 10:42 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Pavan Parashar
Hi there.

...

 I had a vague recollection that there was an unconscious stage to come (I forgot if it was the next or the next next stage). During the transition my vision got a big distorted and I got freaked out because I wasn't sure how people get out of the unconscious stage unless someone knows to wake you. I didn't do my research and really didn't expect to get so far. Anyways, I did my session 6-7pm last night and could barely sleep at night. I'm on like 4 hours of shit sleep. Ordinarily with that sleep I could nap and would try to nap and I could not fall asleep.

...


You don't have to worry about getting stuck in an unconscious state and staying there. You will come out of it. Most people only stay in it for a second or two, in the longer cases it is a few minutes, much less than an hour.

If you find that meditation continues to interfere with your sleep try meditating earlier in the day.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 10:59 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/18/24 10:59 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 907 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
There is a definite family vibe to this! :-)
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 8:41 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 8:41 AM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 2564 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
It's important to remember that kundalini type experiences are highly correllated to the Arising and Passing stage of meditation practice which is highly correllated to reduced need for sleep.

4. The Arising and Passing Away – MCTB.org

It's also important to anticipate that after kundalini/A&P type experiences there is often more "negative" or at least difficult stages of the dark night.

5. Dissolution, Entrance to the Dark Night – MCTB.org

It's definitely worth reading MCTB if you are going to get serious about meditation. Of course there are many different systems, but it's usually helpful to learn about a variety of traditions because they all have their strengths and weaknessess

MCTB2 – MCTB.org

Some other good things to consider:

Dark night after A&P: Daniel's Posts Compilation (danielpostscompilation.blogspot.com)
Standard Pattern: Daniel's Posts Compilation (danielpostscompilation.blogspot.com)

Hope this is helpful in some way.
P P, modified 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 8:50 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 8:50 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

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thanks for replying and offering support. Glad you have a solution for your issue when it arises.
P P, modified 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 8:59 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 8:59 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 8 Join Date: 5/18/24 Recent Posts
Thanks for replying Jim. Appreciate the reassurance and advice. The meditating earlier in the day hopefully will help. So to be clear, after the 7th jhana isn't it niehter perception or non-perception. After that is it nirodha samapatti. When we talk about the unconscious state that is what we're talking about right? So youre saying one still has some consciousness and can choose to get up at anytime or does it just end spontaneously? Thanks for your time and support.
P P, modified 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 9:00 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 9:00 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

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thank you for taking the time to reply and support me. take good care.
P P, modified 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 9:08 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/19/24 9:08 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

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thanks for responding and trying to help me.
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago at 5/20/24 2:51 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/20/24 2:51 AM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 329 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
This method has helped me in the past.

​​​​​​​https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/ekrscz/samatha_practices_to_balance_attention_and/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web3x&utm_name=web3xcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 5/22/24 12:03 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/21/24 11:52 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
P P
Thanks for replying Jim. Appreciate the reassurance and advice. The meditating earlier in the day hopefully will help. So to be clear, after the 7th jhana isn't it niehter perception or non-perception. After that is it nirodha samapatti. When we talk about the unconscious state that is what we're talking about right? So youre saying one still has some consciousness and can choose to get up at anytime or does it just end spontaneously? Thanks for your time and support.


In neither perception or non-perception you are still conscious. In nirodha samapatti you are not conscious.

I was referring to nirodha samapatti when I wrote:

You don't have to worry about getting stuck in an unconscious state and staying there. You will come out of it. Most people only stay in it for a second or two, in the longer cases it is a few minutes, much less than an hour.

You don't worry about falling asleep and staying asleep forever or even for 20 years like Rip Van Winkle, right? It's like that. People always come out of it naturally after a brief time.
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 5/22/24 5:13 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/22/24 5:13 AM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

Posts: 1759 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
P P
Hi there.
Hello! Welcome
You wrote a lot but didn't give a lot of details. I have to make a lot of assumptions. 

Preamble (sorry): Started doing open-eye shamatha, object = breath ~8 years ago and was doing 1 hour sessions daily for 1 year. During that time I noticed that when I would do it at night my sleep would get disturbed as if my mind was WAY too activated. I had vague creepy-crawley sensations in my body when I would lay in bed like inside my body (no it wasn't bed bugs, lol) and my therapist who thought it was a kundalini awakening so he said stop doing shamatha. He had had significant experience with kundalini care through a reputable and serious lineage in India so I trusted him. Ultimately I switched over to what was supposed to be vipassana with the breath as the object and my eyes closed and I reckon I didn't do the technique correctly and was doing a crappy shamatha instead off and on for years.
Since you don't say what you actually did with your breath for an hour, or what you did that you label vipassana it is really hard to know the difference from your experience vs other. we tend to think everyone is similar but the details matter.

Anyways, over the last 6 weeks I have returned to daily hour long sessions of shamatha, eyes open, object = breath
So your eyes are open....but you focus of what part of the breath? in or out? both? neither? feeling at the tummy moving? air at your nose?
and I have whizzed through the stages for some reason(?).
What stages?
2 weeks ago I started entering the jhanas
how do you describe the jhanas? which one/s?
and every day I could feel myself advancing through the jhanas a little bit more.
ok, more.
Yesterday I got to the 6th jhana and felt the nothingness.
6th jhana is boundless consciousness, 7th is nothingness...
I remembered the instruction at that level and stuck to it and could feel a transition happening.
What instructions?
I had a vague recollection that there was an unconscious stage to come (I forgot if it was the next or the next next stage).
hmm. details?
During the transition my vision got a big distorted and I got freaked out because I wasn't sure how people get out of the unconscious stage unless someone knows to wake you.
I've nnever heard of that....where did you learn this?
I didn't do my research and really didn't expect to get so far.
Research then emoticon
Anyways, I did my session 6-7pm last night and could barely sleep at night.
Stop doing whatever you att night if it desturbs your sleep.
I'm on like 4 hours of shit sleep. Ordinarily with that sleep I could nap and would try to nap and I could not fall asleep.
That sucks....it is a sign of the A&P stage

I've decided to not meditate today. I am a bit worried.
Don't worry to much, just change things around to find what works...Try loving kindness or some gentle meditation at night and do your harder stuff not so close to bedtime

Could this be a kundalini thing?
A&P
AM I going to be able to sleep tonight?
dunno, did you?
Does this mean I can't do shamatha anymore?
you can do whatever you want, whatever that is that you do.
How do I investigate this further?
focus your attention on it?
Anyways, I am not sure who to turn to, but heard of this forum and joined just to ask all of this.
Welcome to the fun factory of many advises....pick and choose wisely, try different suggestions or none and see what works for you.
Sorry for all text. Really appreciate your guys' time and help
Best of luck, 
remember it is YOUR meditation. Change it around and have fun with it....grow with it and evolve with it. There is no wrong way if you keep being curious.
Fear is a very standard stage most of us move thru...
Read the links from shargrol
~D
P P, modified 1 Month ago at 6/2/24 11:34 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/2/24 11:34 PM

RE: Question about Jhanas and Sleep disturbances (looking for some help, pl

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thanks Jim for responding and supporting

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