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Samyama in yoga - Jhana

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Samyama in yoga - Jhana
Answer
9/30/12 4:16 AM
I haven't found any information relating the advanced yogi's ability of samyama to something discrete within jhana.
Two examples if you are unfamiliar:
By samyama on the strength of elephants comes a similar strength.

When samyama is done on the form of one's own physical body, the illumination or visual characteristic of the body is suspended, and is thus invisible to other people.

more here http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-31737.htm

I'm aware Buddhist texts speak on powers from time to time based in the fourth jhana, but the typical intellectual way it is put I find difficult to follow. When in fourth jhana, the best I can do is bring my attention towards something. If I try to make internal sentences or anything it breaks the jhana.

Is it just a matter of needing more practice in concentration? Higher attainment? In the Patanjali yoga sutras samyama is basically the big key to the rest of the picture. Samyama on this, samyama on that...until you find nothing else and are liberated. Is materialisation of a gold bar possible? Once you have the knack of samyama its meant to be a piece of cake. In Daniel Ingram's book I read the little section on psychic powers but the words were vague, something along the lines of 'feel it really deeply whilst in fourth jhana and emerge with it'.

Has anybody here really materialised an object at will? Please don't take me for a petty materialist or tell me the world is only vibrations so who cares or that kind of thing. I apologise if that sounds rude, I am only wondering on the technical element of it, not it's ultimate value.

Thank you

Joshua

RE: Samyama in yoga - Jhana
Answer
11/23/12 9:09 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Hi Joshua,

Many people will tell you that some of the higher siddhis, namely the ones that effect physical reality are not possible, but this is far from the truth. The fact is many of the people who actually write about Yogic topics do not have a very high level of realization, even some of the so called 'arahats'. People often mistake enlightenment with the ultimate goal. Enlightenment is nowhere near the peak of liberation. Enlightenment is a state of knowing, gotten to through insight meditation, and it is through this that one can break the Karmic cycle and avoid rebirth. A lot of people regard this as the ultimate goal of Yoga, but this is not the case.

Whatever path is taken, whether it be through Insight, or Concentration, both will merge together at some point. After insight mastery, pure concentration can be VERY easily developed, if the meditator intends it to be. If concentration is mastered first, then obtaining perfect insight and enlightenment can occur with a single whim, as long as the proper intention is done.

The various powers and abilities come almost exclusively out of concentration, though some can be found during insight as concentration is partially developed during insight. The idea is, the more powerful a persons concentration and awareness is, the higher their vibratory state is, and the higher that state is, the higher the reality a person can effect.

In a sense, after consciousness is of a certain vibration, it will operate almost exclusively in a higher state, a higher dimension. Consciousness exists simultaneously in all dimensions. Though, in the higher dimensions, the rules are different. Changes can be made in the energy of the higher dimensions that would be impossible in the lower dimensions. The idea is that since energy exist in all dimensions, in a unique manifestation in each dimension, changing it in a higher dimension, will also change it in a lower dimension. Basically through thought, they can make a thought have such intensity in a higher dimension that a physical object manifest in the lower realm. Thoughts are energy, and all of reality is simply energy.

It is through this that a Yogi is able to defy various laws of the physical world. This is because the physical world exist in a very low vibratory state. At a certain point in consciousness development, a person can exist entirely without a physical body, and essence escape physical death. Manifesting or disappearing in any form at any time, at any place.

Many people will tell you these things are fantasy and not possible, but I can assure you this is not the case. Very few people have spent parts of their life seeking out true masters. The Himalayas are FILLED with them. Spend a few months searching the Himalayas and finding Yogis capable of these types of things is very easy, it just takes some time, and the true intention to want to travel the spiritual path.

I spent some time last year doing this very thing in Nepal. I saw many things I would have deemed miraculous at the time, but through my research, learning, and personal experience, I have understood them. One particular incident, I was traveling through the mountains on my first few days with a guide, and we both came across a group of monks sitting in circle. Not even a minute after we saw them from a few hundred yards away, they all begin to levitate off the ground. They sat in the air, about 10 meters up, for nearly 15 minutes, and slowly came back down. There were no hidden mechanisms, nothing suspicious. It was in the middle of an open forest, and they were above the trees. I knew what I saw. Before we even spotted the monks I could feel a great energy in the air.

What I'm getting at is, all of these abilities are easily possible, but it takes serious dedication to get to this level. As in, drop everything else in your life and go meditate, for many years.

People like to use the Buddha as an example, in an attempt to try to prove these powers don't exist, because the Buddha had back problems, and a ton of other health issues. He was in no way 'good' health when he died. What people don't realize is that while the Buddha was enlightened, he was not fully realized. There is a difference. He had the awareness, the knowledge, the knowing, to escape the Karmic cycle. His karma was pure, after his death there would be no 'karma' to pull him back to another physical body, it would be at his own choosing. While there are reports of the Buddhas siddhis, the siddhis that he is reported having aren't really too amazing, very minor things that don't involve direct manipulation of the laws of nature.

Many will tell you that while concentration practice can lead to many amazing powers, it does not lead to enlightenment. Only insight will lead to enlightenment. A yogi can have a whole host of demonstrable powers, but if he never practices insight, then he will never be enlightened. Though eventually once concentration is mastered, insight begins to happen automatically when there is nothing left to explore.

Hopefully this long...essay of mine that I have typed up will be able to answer all of your questions. If you truly wish to seek out a master, be ready to truly dedicate your life to these practices, and be willing to put in long hard months of searching. They are all over the world likely, but there tends to be a unusually high amount in the Himalayas. Find a master and you will witness many miracles. It is not an impossible task.

RE: Samyama in yoga - Jhana
Answer
11/24/12 2:43 AM as a reply to Scott V.
That's a really interesting post Scott, thanks!

Have you (or would you) written an account of your search, travel details, links, experiences etc?

I'd really like to know more.

RE: Samyama in yoga - Jhana
Answer
11/24/12 6:18 AM as a reply to Scott V.
Fascinating post Scott, thank you. Have you learnt under any of these yogis? How would you describe your own level of attainment? Do you also mean to say Gautam Buddha would not have sufficient skill to make it through the powers section of those Patanjali sutras? Also I am glad to find a proponent of concentration practise for a change! emoticon

Joshua

RE: Samyama in yoga - Jhana
Answer
11/24/12 11:01 AM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Joshua,

Since Buddha was enlightened, there would have been nothing stopping him from mastering the concentration states in a very short time period. This would be because he would basically have no ego or thoughts arising to get in the way.

Some people forget that while the Buddha primarily taught insight meditations, he himself attained enlightenment through concentration practices. It was his experience of Jhana as a child that eventually brought him back to realize that the pure joy of that state might have some relevance to escaping suffering. He basically practiced concentration to the point where he was forced to confront the deepest parts of his Ego, inevitable insight practice, it was through this that he became enlightened. I personally believe since he spent such a great deal of time teaching, he may have not kept continuing his practices.

Such high levels of energy and consciousness cannot be maintained in the physical body unless one practices very frequently. Many adept Yogis will tell you that ascended masters who have reached that point basically do a balancing act with their energies in order to stay in the physical body. The physical body can only hold so much energy, so at a certain point staying in it becomes an obstacle. In order to keep power with the physical body at it's limits a constant balancing of energies must be done. This is the reason some will tell you that at the moment of liberation, the consciousness is automatically ejected from the body(as in death) because the energies become too great. I am unsure if the Yogi can re-enter his body, but I would assume at such a level of accomplishment he would be able to.

I often don't discuss my level of attainment with people unless they are very close friends. Not for any reason in particular, I just don't want to become some Guru with thousands of followers who think I am some supreme being. People seem to forget that even the most enlightened and liberated beings are still human. Of course I am not at a master level, but I have learned under many masters. In this day and age of the Earth, one can easily find a master who will not require commitment, unlike the past. Though, I advise one not to seek any such masters unless their intentions are pure about their practice, and to be sure they are not doing it for entertainment purposes just for the sake of documenting powers of such masters. Many masters, though not all, will not like such intentions if that's what you seek them out for, and trust me they will know.

Edit: There is actually a video of a United States Magician seeking out a particular Levitating monk in the Himalayas. He manages to find this monk and the monk happily demonstrates his Levitation, where he briefly sits in meditation for a minute or 2 and then begins to lift off of the ground. Many people think this video is a hoax, but I know it isn't. I have encountered this particular monk and felt his energy just by being in proximity of him. His abilities are great. While I do not know his name, he stays in 1 particular temple of the Himalayas for those who wish to seek him out, and that is all I can say about him.

Bagpuss,

I have not much desire to write a complete written account of my Journey, yet. Primarily because it is not complete. If I were to write such a documentation, I would want to include as much understanding about the topics of mastery that I know from experience, and with that said, I am not yet at complete mastery. I don't see a point of writing a book of my Journeys just to entertain people if it is not going to help them travel that same path and help master themselves. I also would not like to become an Idol of worship for people thinking I am some kind of Christ. People need to get away from worship of so called masters, whether they are real or not, and start by finding the Master that is within themselves. True knowledge comes from experience, it comes from within.


If anyone has any more questions I would be happy to answer. Do not feel afraid to ask a question that you think I won't answer. If I don't want to answer it, I won't take offence, I will simply not answer it.

RE: Samyama in yoga - Jhana
Answer
11/25/12 2:16 AM as a reply to Scott V.
I don't see a point of writing a book of my Journeys just to entertain people if it is not going to help them travel that same path and help master themselves. I also would not like to become an Idol of worship for people thinking I am some kind of Christ.


I shouldn't think there's much danger of that. I just meant your travel route, how you planned it, how you found this and that, and what you saw on your journey.

RE: Samyama in yoga - Jhana
Answer
11/25/12 2:09 PM as a reply to Scott V.
Null & Void:

I often don't discuss my level of attainment with people unless they are very close friends. Not for any reason in particular, I just don't want to become some Guru with thousands of followers who think I am some supreme being. People seem to forget that even the most enlightened and liberated beings are still human. Of course I am not at a master level, but I have learned under many masters. In this day and age of the Earth, one can easily find a master who will not require commitment, unlike the past. Though, I advise one not to seek any such masters unless their intentions are pure about their practice, and to be sure they are not doing it for entertainment purposes just for the sake of documenting powers of such masters. Many masters, though not all, will not like such intentions if that's what you seek them out for, and trust me they will know.

I have not much desire to write a complete written account of my Journey, yet. Primarily because it is not complete. If I were to write such a documentation, I would want to include as much understanding about the topics of mastery that I know from experience, and with that said, I am not yet at complete mastery. I don't see a point of writing a book of my Journeys just to entertain people if it is not going to help them travel that same path and help master themselves. I also would not like to become an Idol of worship for people thinking I am some kind of Christ. People need to get away from worship of so called masters, whether they are real or not, and start by finding the Master that is within themselves. True knowledge comes from experience, it comes from within.

If anyone has any more questions I would be happy to answer. Do not feel afraid to ask a question that you think I won't answer. If I don't want to answer it, I won't take offence, I will simply not answer it.


I do not think you are in any danger anytime soon of becoming an idol of worship or some revered guru here at the DhO. If you think that will happen, you haven't spent enough time here yet. From the DhO home page:

The Dharma Overground is a resource for the support of hardcore meditation practice. It is a place where everything related to the support of practice may flourish, including where to go on retreats, what techniques may lead to what, an in depth look at the maps of possible states and stages, discussions about how to determine what experience was what, and in general anything that has to do with actually practicing rather than what typically occurs in standard meditation circles. Here you will find a robust and variable community of people with a wide range of experience levels, perspectives and interests, though all loosely bound by the same basic principles of empowering, helpful, engaged dharma and exploration of the possibilities of the mind.

In general our basic principles and attitudes favor:

* pragmatism over dogmatism: what works is key, with works generally meaning the stages of insight, the stages of enlightenment, jhanas, freedom from suffering in what ways are possible, etc.
* diligent practice over blind faith: this place is about doing it and understanding for yourself rather than believing someone else and not testing those beliefs out
* openness regarding what the techniques may lead to and how these contrast or align with the traditional models
personal responsibility: you take responsibility for the choices you make and what you say and claim
* a lack of taboos surrounding talking about attainments
* the assumption that the various aspects of meditative development can be mastered in this life
* the spirit of mutual, supportive adventurers on the path rather than rigid student-teacher relationships and the notion that the collective wisdom of a group of strong practitioners at various stages and from various traditions and backgrounds is often better than following one guru-type.

There are lots of ways up the mountain, and many interesting skills and insights to develop using many traditions and paths. Make yourself at home. Discover the possibilities of how straightforward, down-to-Earth, and practical the Dharma can be. May all find something here that is of value and contribute to the wisdom represented and conveyed here.


This place has made a habit over the past few years of shedding talk of awakening, states and stages of all the silliness you mention. Feel free to share your practice, ongoing perceptual baseline experience etc, as knowing more about your practice, techniques, approaches and how the field of experience plays out for that mind/body organism there will be more informative and helpful to the kind of people who frequent this place rather than avoiding such talk. In fact I'd say, from past experience of others who have passed through here only to avoid such straight talk, it has the effect of making others not take them as serious.

I'll start with some questions to see where we both can relate with each other's experience:

What is the ongoing perceptual baseline like? How does 'conceit' or I am-ness or me-ness manifest in the ongoing experience, phenomenologically speaking? What is the experience of the felt sense of 'existing' or 'being' or 'presence' like these days? Do you still experience any fluctuations in 'mood' or 'emotion'? Is there a lack or sometimes lack of push and pull of mindstates? Has the compounding of 'emotion' seen some changes? If so, what were they? What is the relationship to the subject/object split? Is there a centre point or non-localised sense of being/exisiting? If there is none of the above, how does this affect how the mind functions? How does ill will manifest? Is it attenuated? Does it arise in a fragmented way thus not seen as full blown 'ill will' anymore? Or perhaps it does not have any manifestation full blwon or fragmented anymore? Do you experience unpleasant sensations in specific areas up and down the body (e.g. throat, chest, solar plexus) which may trigger unpleasant or any type of mind state? Do you experience an 'inner world' and an 'outer world'? Is there a 'background' and 'foreground' seemingly perceived in the field of experience? While looking at a visual object in front of you, does the mind's attention flitter about over the object segregating out parts of it from focus, perhaps with the mind;s attention jumping to other aspects of the field of experience and back again, like some sort of rapid 'attention bounce'? If this is not the case, how does perception play out for example with perceiving light?

Perhaps one too many questions, but it's a good start to see where you are coming from. Though you don't need to answer all of them, it would indeed be insightful to see what the techniques and approaches you have used have resulted in so that others could test and experiment with them to get the results advertised if so desired.

Welcome to the DhO,

Nick

RE: Samyama in yoga - Jhana
Answer
11/25/12 6:10 PM as a reply to Scott V.
Null & Void:
People like to use the Buddha as an example, in an attempt to try to prove these powers don't exist, because the Buddha had back problems, and a ton of other health issues. He was in no way 'good' health when he died. What people don't realize is that while the Buddha was enlightened, he was not fully realized. There is a difference. He had the awareness, the knowledge, the knowing, to escape the Karmic cycle. His karma was pure, after his death there would be no 'karma' to pull him back to another physical body, it would be at his own choosing. While there are reports of the Buddhas siddhis, the siddhis that he is reported having aren't really too amazing, very minor things that don't involve direct manipulation of the laws of nature

"siddhis reported" is different than "siddhis attained"
But even the siddhis reported are quite amazing, start from here.

He did not like to display them though, as he says in this sutta: