Jhana, I think...?

Mario Nistri, modified 9 Years ago.

Jhana, I think...?

Posts: 210 Join Date: 3/3/12 Recent Posts
Hi... I'm pretty sure I'm in EQ, (now are 4-5 weeks I'm there), and sometimes I went in some kind of plaesent state that looks like the first jhana.
Basically, it's like this: intense plaesent sensations, not in all of my body, but just in my arms, legs, head and foot.
In my abdomen I experience some anxiety, and that mix is kind of strange.
I can go there in many ways: [Chances to get there are much better if I do some fast noting before.]
1)I can stare at something until plaesent sensations arise, and then closing my eyes
2)Just closing my eyes and focus on what I see on the back of my eyelids
3)Repeating a mantra, focusing on it and then changing the mantra from "Buddho" to "pleasure", (that works really well).

When I'm there I try to experience every little sensation, so the thing does not last very long (never practiced jhana).
However, the very few times I decided to "enjoy" it it felt like there was not just plaesent sensations somewhere, but like if some parts of my body were a statue of plaesentness.
Also, kind of strange, sometimes I percieve, for example, my foot as a solid plaesent entity, but "above" that solid plaesentness there are very impermanent tingling sensations.

However, apart from anxiety, there always is some kind of tension, of slight restlessness somewhere that makes the state hard to enjoy, expecially if I don't sink into the plaesentness of the thing.

Also, kind of strange, sensations are very plaesent, and sometimes quite powerful, but it's like if they are not so "attractive"... I mean, sensations are great, but the state itself doesn't feel so good, not so much better than "usual" equanimity...

Question are:
Can you confirm that this is first jhana?
Or maybe it's just a state where the mind kind of makes contact with the jhana, without really being there in a stable way?
Or maybe something else at all?

Bye!
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Jhana, I think...?

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi Mario,

Question are:
Can you confirm that this is first jhana?

Jhana are defined, in part, as suffusive. (They also come to be personally experienced as suffusive). Therefore it's really useful that you detect the abdomen is not yet suffused by piti. When the jhana suffuses, eventually you will experience this a couple more times and I think that personal experience will let you confirm for yourself. That you already detect the location of where piti is and is not seems useful in my view.


Or maybe it's just a state where the mind kind of makes contact with the jhana, without really being there in a stable way?
I think the effort one makes to collect all sensation and attention into piti is an activity during which the mind does 'contact' aspects that are arising with the effort. For example, there may be apperception of something like lights or light and then the discursive mind may contact that as "unusual" and start questioning and commenting, "What is that?" or "huh?" and "is this jhana?"

Or maybe something else at all?
Always possible. So long as the mind doesn't make up stories about what is happening, then one is making their way to jhana in the steady effort to sustain the mind at piti. If one gets wrapped up in a cognizing about what the mental faculty is experiencing (such as labeling the lights as "special" or something), then one is postponing the effort and the outcome of jhana.

These are just my thoughts. You exploration of your own experience is paramount. You can also review anapanasati and see how your experience lines up word for word or not.