Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Rod Coogan, modified 8 Years ago.

Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
The Experience

• Last week I started meditating again, with no expectations other than it seemed like the right thing to do.

• In the evening before going to sleep I went to meditate. Focused on the breath at the base of the nostrils …..and within several seconds I felt an excited feeling in my diaphragm which suddenly flooded across my whole body in big tingling waves. Wanting to prolong/explore it, I relaxed my legs and then it felt like my body just got dropped a foot or so and more tingling flooded throughout me. It then subsided a little leaving me with no thoughts looking straight ahead through my closed eyelids and feeling extremely balanced and peaceful feeling a pressure/tension between my eyes. I stayed in that for a while then tried to get back to what I had just experienced (by focusing on breathing again) and couldn’t. I checked the clock and 2 hours had passed. I couldn’t sleep after that, I felt so excited and wired. I eventually got a couple of hours then all day at work I was tingly and wired (excited) and not feeling tired.

• I tried the same thing in meditating the following night and got a similar result but far weaker.

• Since then I have found it hard to focus in meditation (although I have only just started and not really proficient at concentrating).

Any ideas on what this was? I suspect it was possibly the first Jhana but…..?? I will keep meditating – actually highly motivated to do it after this and continue to have no expectations.
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N A, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 157 Join Date: 7/10/11 Recent Posts
Yeah, that's jhana, enjoy it before it gets boring emoticon
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Thanks for your quick reply N A - appreciate it.

I will try and get back to it with better concentration through my practice.

It certainly felt great and if I can get back to it will enjoy exploring it.
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Rysiek X, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 40 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Rod C:
I started waking up in the middle of the night with my body locked and had to fight to regain movement. Freaked me out (I was young) and so stopped meditating and the experiences stopped (still don’t know what that was).


It's normal when you meditate and have lucid dreams.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dream
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Thanks - I haven't had it since but now starting up meditating, I expect things will start to happen if I am doing it properly. No fear this time.
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Bruno Loff, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Rod C:

• In the evening before going to sleep I went to meditate. Focused on the breath at the base of the nostrils …..and within several seconds I felt an excited feeling in my diaphragm which suddenly flooded across my whole body in big tingling waves. Wanting to prolong/explore it, I relaxed my legs and then it felt like my body just got dropped a foot or so and more tingling flooded throughout me. It then subsided a little leaving me with no thoughts looking straight ahead through my closed eyelids and feeling extremely balanced and peaceful feeling a pressure/tension between my eyes. I stayed in that for a while then tried to get back to what I had just experienced (by focusing on breathing again) and couldn’t. I checked the clock and 2 hours had passed. I couldn’t sleep after that, I felt so excited and wired. I eventually got a couple of hours then all day at work I was tingly and wired (excited) and not feeling tired.

• I tried the same thing in meditating the following night and got a similar result but far weaker.

• Since then I have found it hard to focus in meditation (although I have only just started and not really proficient at concentrating).


I could be wrong, but my guess, bullet per bullet, would be A&P, entry into dissolution, and Dark Night.

Do it again, then again, then again, until you come out the other side into equanimity.
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Thats interesting - reading the info about A&P and Dark Night, it does resemble it to some degree. I did notice after a couple of days from the experience, I felt quite disinterested in meditating and anything to do with it. Although now I feel better and certainly haven't felt anywhere near as bad as many descriptions of Dark Night. As I said in the original description, concentrating in meditation is hard now - concentrating on the breath is not easy and thoughts everywhere. But since I donot have a long established practice, it could be that I just am not adept at concentrating yet. I guess the only way to know as you suggested is to try again and again - the true situation will become evident.
Thanks alot for your comment emoticon
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Hi Bruno,

Sorry for my ignorance but is it actually possible for me to have an A&P, dissolution and Dark Night etc before getting into any Jhanas? If so, I guess I will come across them later?
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Bruno Loff, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

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Rod C:
Hi Bruno,

Sorry for my ignorance but is it actually possible for me to have an A&P, dissolution and Dark Night etc before getting into any Jhanas? If so, I guess I will come across them later?


Yes. I have had all nanas cycle many times, but only sporadic and brief access to jhanas. They are similar in some respects. Jhanas are learned through cultivation, though I'm the wrong person to ask about that.

Your goal should probably be stream entry by now. Having had the experiences you had in the past, you probably passed through dark night many times without calling it that.

By the way, the locked body phenomena you experienced is called sleep paralysis. It is absolutely nothing to worry about, and I was told can even be fun, since it is supposedly very easy to move from that state into a lucid dream. Your body does it every night so you don't fall out of bed, the only odd thing about that instance of sleep paralysis is that you are awake, probably as a result of big doses of meditation.
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Thanks Bruno, that's helpful, after reading up on as much as I could find (obviously missed that bit) I happily started meditating expecting to first develop access concentration and go from there! I seem to have come into the whole thing a little differently to where I expected. As I sift through the past 20 years since I last meditated, I still maintained a keen sense of wakeful contemplation throughout so I suppose progress was occurring and not being prone to depressive states, it makes those times all the more obvious when they have occurred - so dark nights would have happened. I actually read St John of the Cross's book a long time ago and have related to it a little at times over the years.
Thanks on the sleep paralysis point too - I feel a bit stupid giving up meditation back then just for that!
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Dodge E Knees, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 71 Join Date: 9/25/11 Recent Posts
Hi,

I second Bruno's assessment that you are probably into A&P (4th nana) territory, but am not so sure you crossed into Dissolution.

Rod C:
I felt an excited feeling in my diaphragm which suddenly flooded across my whole body in big tingling waves. Wanting to prolong/explore it, I relaxed my legs and then it felt like my body just got dropped a foot or so and more tingling flooded throughout me.


The sensation of falling through the floor sounds like the same way I experienced the entrance to 4th nana, and extreme physical pleasure is also an indicator.

Rod C:
I tried the same thing in meditating the following night and got a similar result but far weaker.


Try not to cling to the idea of experiencing the same thing again, it doesn't often work that way, just watch what happens. It is normal for the entrance to a new state to be impressive, but each time you re-cross that territory towards your cutting edge, the experience will seem weaker.

Rod C:
Since then I have found it hard to focus in meditation (although I have only just started and not really proficient at concentrating).


This could be an indicator that you are into Dissolution, but you don't describe anything that seems to be the A&P event, which is often a big deal first time around, so I think probably not. Try to work on your concentration separately before you begin the practice proper, maybe give counting breaths a go.

See if you can discern the transitions into the early nanas, they may just seem like a change of focus. You may still get a sense of dropping at the entrance to the 4th nana, but look out for the tingling waves of pleasure, watch them arise and pass.

Are you getting a sense of the same tingling sensations during the day, off cushion?

Enjoy it and good luck.
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Thanks for your comments here Dodge, recapping on the experience, and subsequent sits (however unfruitful they felt at the time in comparison) there were subtle changing phases in concentration/perception leading up to that point. It happened so fast that since I am not a seasoned meditator, I guess I am looking at things at the 'sledgehammer in the head' level rather than subtlety - still getting my bearings. So thinking that way has revealed more points to indicate changing states. This morning, for example I woke up and meditated starting on the breath, and there were some fine changes in concentration/perception but the thoughts and day dreaming dropped in and it was too hard to maintain focus.
Thanks for your advice on this - really helpful.
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Dodge E Knees, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

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Rod C:
there were subtle changing phases in concentration/perception leading up to that point. It happened so fast that since I am not a seasoned meditator, I guess I am looking at things at the 'sledgehammer in the head' level.


Like you, I didn't really notice the early states at first because they can be subtle, and attention/ concentration is weak when you are out of practice, but there is no denying something is starting to happen when you reach this territory! It sounds like 2nd jhana/ 2nd vipassana jhana to me, but time will tell. The A&P can hit pretty soon after starting practice, even when trying to do samatha...that is what happened to me.

Wherever you are, you are definitely making progress, keep at it.

All the best.
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Thanks Dodge,

Thanks for the encouragement. The big adventure begins!
I am considering starting a practice log to keep focused and so when there is something I cannot understand, I don't need to give lots of background - its all there for anyone who cares to provide advice.
Regards
Rod
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Hi All who responded to my questions (Many Thanks)

I think I have found the answer. Last night I re-checked my meditation technique and made a resolution to reach 1st Jhana before forgetting it and settling in to meditate. I had read in one of Tommy's posts that resolutions can be quite effective. So gave it a try. Really systematically counted breaths and stayed focused. About 10 mins into the session, excited feeling in the diaphragm and one slightly larger breath and a bolt of energy and tingling shot straight up to my head and fixed my closed eyes in a vibrating flux with lots of little flashes. Great feeling, lots of vibrating all in my head around my eyes - my body was almost gone but I was aware of sounds outside etc but was not distracted at all. I was able to 'look around' my experience while this transfixing was ensuing and I tried to be aware of as much of the experience as possible. I tried to let go as much as possible which intensified the experience. Gradually the vibrating settled but my eyes remained in the twitching flux as the rest of the feeling subsided. I guess this at lasting for about 10-15 mins? not sure. It was a while. I tried 'ride' it as long as I could and understand it as much as possible. Once it settled, I stayed in a pretty relaxed and focused state for a while then closed the session and checked the clock - 1 hour. So then I wanted to see if I could experience it again and so tried again and was able to get back into that state 4 more times over the next 2 hours and in all cases was keen to see what the state was when all the vibrating energy settled. Went to sleep - feeling a bit exhausted. Woke up this morning and tried again, and was able to achieve it again. So I think this was all 1st Jhana with possible 2nd or 3rd at the tail but not sure how to look for those. But this repeating experiment confirmed to myself that I was able to develop some control over getting into it - so off first base I guess. I am now keen to know how to learn from this Jhana, recognise the 2nd, 3rd or 4th and how to learn from those.

The original experience that prompted this whole post was different in that it was not focused in my head or eyes but I guess it was the first time etc. Thanks for all your points and any tips on how to master the state to gain insights would be most appreciated etc.

Regards
Rodemoticon
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Sorry Dodge, answering your last question - very fine tingling is perceived but hard to tell the difference from background sensations. I definitely was feeling that way the day after my first peak experience. Thanks
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N A, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 157 Join Date: 7/10/11 Recent Posts
I don't think that was A&P, sounds like pretty ordinary jhana to me. And difficulty to concentrate later on is just random noise. Keep meditating. If you haven't meditated for a while, you are likely to experience a bunch of weird stuff at first simply because you are learning or remembering a fairly difficult skill, and also because you are likely to exaggerate the importance of what you experience.
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Rysiek X, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 40 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
N A:
I don't think that was A&P


Neither do I. From my point of view, there are clear insights into 3 characteristics, before A&P. And you have to have very strong mindfulness to reach A&P.
Rod C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Appreciate some advice on what I experienced

Posts: 88 Join Date: 11/19/12 Recent Posts
Thanks both N A and Rysiek X for you points too - my lack of experience in practice means the only way I will find out is to keep meditating to see what the result is. Good thing I have alot more time over the next couple of months to practice more earnestly - hopefully will be some progress over that time which will help me determine where I am on the map. emoticon

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