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Tremendously clear dream after jhana (3d entities)

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Earlier in the day yesterday I had practised concentration practices quite hard (for me, two hours at once). I tried to advance through the jhanas and make them hard. Not sure if I made it to fourth or not, but I remember in third having half the gross pleasure dissipate and all the visual stuff happen just outside of focus and some point where I think the rest of the pleasure disappeared and everything was panoramic with no focus. In what I suppose was fourth jhana I opened my eyes and it felt like the immediate area forwards of my person was all as much in focus as the rest. Moving on..

I went to bed really late, about 9 and a half hours after I left my concentration practise earlier. I was tired, but I wanted to try some concentration practise again. I was intellectually aware of fourth jhana related things like powers and visions so I entered jhana with some sort of determination to see, how I put it in my mind, a 3d intelligent entity doing its own thing, as I think Daniel I. put it.
Long story short, I got stuck in the second jhana I think, where the sense of effort disappeared and there was a large increase in gross pleasure. I was there for so long and I wasn't moving up that I broke the state. I then realized I was too tired for any insight practise and tried to sleep, with a lot of odd post-jhanic intensity.
I had some blurry regular dream where I was in a classical-inspired acropolis type area. I then had a profoundly clear dream. My former teacher came to me, in the setting where I usually saw him in the past, and started asking me very awkward questions. About my career prospects and the like. He then sat down (like a scene change) and morphed into a messed up looking old man with no lips, just edges. His eyes were moving around like a snail's. I tried to leave, walking painfully slow past him, but infinitely slower and slower. I saw what seemed to be an angel of death in the corner of my eye. Everytime my focus turned away, I could see it's black feathery wings flap in tremendous clarity, and as soon as I looked directly near it, they disappeared. It felt exactly like the third jhana experienced earlier.
Somehow, I realised I was in a dream, but it persisted for another ten seconds about, but this felt very very long. I woke up, with my body still rather unresponsive but I forced myself to get up incase I slipped back into something like that again.

I have had weird dreams very often, as far as I can remember, but this was so clear. For an hour afterwards my own house seemed more like a dream than that
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could say if this was concentration practise related? Or something related to fourth jhana visions, because I don't know any better.

Joshua

RE: Tremendously clear dream after jhana (3d entities)
Answer
11/27/12 11:09 AM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
A lot of different factors influence dream clarity and lucidity.
Relaxing before going to sleep and/or going to sleep without being exhausted makes a difference.
How much you eat before going to sleep and how much time before makes a difference.
When you go sleep somewhere new or travel or did or saw something that made you automatically more attentive and aware, makes a difference.

Joshua Sw.:
I had some blurry regular dream where I was in a classical-inspired acropolis type area. I then had a profoundly clear dream.

Did you wake up between these dreams?
It is well-known in the lucid dreaming community that waking up after about 4-6 hours of sleep and going back to sleep considerably increase odds of lucidity, they even gave it a name, WBTB(Wake Back To Bed).

Joshua Sw.:
My former teacher came to me, in the setting where I usually saw him in the past, and started asking me very awkward questions. About my career prospects and the like. He then sat down (like a scene change) and morphed into a messed up looking old man with no lips, just edges. His eyes were moving around like a snail's. I tried to leave, walking painfully slow past him, but infinitely slower and slower. I saw what seemed to be an angel of death in the corner of my eye. Everytime my focus turned away, I could see it's black feathery wings flap in tremendous clarity, and as soon as I looked directly near it, they disappeared. It felt exactly like the third jhana experienced earlier.

I never got too much into Dream Interpretation, it's a tricky business, it's too easy to fool yourself.
But be aware most of dream stuff is karmic, for example, you said your former teacher asked questions you deemed awkward and then changed form into something terrifying. A tentative interpretation(don't trust me) is that you are having problems yourself with these questions in your life, you find it awkward to deal with them, it was asked by someone you respected and/or find related to these questions(someone you think doesn't have these problems), but you didn't want to talk about it much and the figure and scenario became the image you have of these questions, your repulse of them.
Like I said, don't trust me on this, I just said whatever, only you can know for sure what the symbols mean and all.

While I certainly don't recommend as a primary practice, if you are interested in using your dreams to deal with karmic stuff, a book you could read is The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep

RE: Tremendously clear dream after jhana (3d entities)
Answer
11/27/12 5:22 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Sounds like you're getting your concentration skills together nicely. emoticon

As for the dream, if you're interested in trying to interpret it and gain insight from it you need to look at the symbolism and the emotional tone. This, in my experience, makes it easier to understand the 'terrain' of your dreams and allow you to develop a personal symbol system that opens up a whole new level of understanding.

RE: Tremendously clear dream after jhana (3d entities)
Answer
11/27/12 8:21 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Thank you very much for your replies.

A very odd thing happened today. I had been rather tired all day and so when practising concentration I had made it to third jhana, but kept almost nodding off to sleep, or something. So I dropped the practise.
I went to bed at midnight, or just before. I wasn't feeling too sleepy so I thought retracing my practise earlier would recreate the sleepiness and I would therefore sleep. After I made it to second jhana I felt like the concentration wasn't making me sleepy, but rather more alert, so I moved my eyes around and my head around a bit to firmly break the concentration and try to sleep regularly.

I woke up feeling strange, but I couldn't say what it was. I looked in the mirror in the bathroom and it became clear. I was in a rock-hard jhana! I checked the time and it said I was out for an hour and twenty minutes, and I too thought I was just sleeping, but my face in the mirror was completely altered. As if I just woke up at the seven hour point of a trip or something, but the feel and almost smell was definitely jhana, second, perhaps third I would wager. I have never been so hard in a concentration state ever, I felt like I was hyper-aware, made of diamond, and all that business. And without any conscious practise! I laid on the bed again, closed my eyes and just investigated all of this. Rather than feeling like a body, inclining my attention towards my ears, head, it was liking viewing a diagram, rather than a biological mass. I felt like I almost understood all the business of 'concentration on the ear-sign with jhana as a base will allow one to hear miles away', and such things, because it didn't feel like an ear anymore, just an abstract version.

I remember reading about yogis not sleeping and just entering very hard jhana (or something) and this was 'very noble rest' or the like. I think I was getting good insight too, once I was looking into this very foreign state. The knee-jerk reaction was myself getting very attached to it and feeling this was 'really me' and I was finally home, but of course I looked into the three characteristics to dispel all this.

Joshua

RE: Tremendously clear dream after jhana (3d entities)
Answer
11/29/12 8:10 AM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Yep, sounds similar to experiences I had. When I developed jhanas I would sometimes drift off to sleep at night but because the concentration was so conditioned into me I would be slightly awake to witness some of the dream like state. It's just a sign of better concentration.

Try using it in daily life so you can actually benefit from it. Follow the jhana factors with aversive objects or activities like exercise or work.

The relief should go as follows as you sustain concentration:

Jhana Factors

1. Applied Thought eliminates Drowsiness and laziness
2. Sustained thought eliminates Doubt
3. Joy or Rapture eliminates Ill Will
4. Peaceful Happiness eliminates Restlessness
5. One-pointed Concentration eliminates Sensual Desire