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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

I just practically climaxed. What happened please?

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Much of this comment here I have borrowed from a post I made today on Reddit. A user there kindly directed me to this site.

So I learned Transcendental Meditation over a decade ago and have tended to use it sporadically. I have gone through stages of daily practice, but more often I have used it as an ad hoc stress relief mechanism when the need arises. Recently I have picked up again with daily practice.

I was meditating this morning, and after the "usual" process of gently disengaging from emerging thoughts and drifting to a state of no-thought, I found myself experiencing subtle waves of warmth through my body. This is not uncommon when I meditate and I allow it to happen. It is pleasant and a temporary stage of my meditation. But whereas previously the sensation has been brief and mild, this time the waves grew in intensity and my breathing picked up from the highly subdued level it normally reaches while meditating. It built steadily and quickly to the point where my breathing was very heavy; I was gasping, rolling in my chair, and perceived intense waves of warmth moving upwards in my body. I felt something resembling surprise and simply allowed it to occur and overwhelm me.

I am male. I had no erection or excitement in my genital region. But the excitement, breathing, warmth and tingling over the rest of my body reminds me very much of the sensation I get when I climax sexually. In all honesty it felt exactly like a massive whole body climax, but without any genital focus of erection or ejaculation. Unfortunately I was disturbed by someone entering the room at the height of this and snapped back to reality. I am somewhat upset by losing the chance to find out how this phenomenon would have evolved.

I am having trouble pinning down what was going on before I got to the point where it began. I was under pretty deep, for want of better phraseology. Often when I meditate I seem to have a clock that keeps pretty good time and brings me out in about 20 minutes. And once meditation is over I can sense that 20 minutes (or more if I exceed it) has passed. But this time my memory, if it can be called that, or sense of passage of time, is of the first 10 minutes or so of meditation. I was really surprised when I saw I had been meditating for half an hour. Although I can't be sure, I assume the heightened state can only have lasted a minute or two at most. So it feels like there is this blank spot of 15-20 minutes that is unaccounted for.

Someone on Reddit suggested it could represent an Arising and Passing Away, and kindly steered me here. Any input is much appreciated. Please excuse any apparent ignorance on my part - I am unfamiliar with the canon of meditation, having in the past been content to use the practice without learning more about the path.

Any explanation or comment is very much appreciated.

RE: I just practically climaxed. What happened please?
Answer
2/7/13 3:07 AM as a reply to Mr Quasimodo.
Hey, welcome.

I agree: anything that seems like a full-body orgasm is almost certainly the A&P.

Consider reading the thread about diagnosing it stickied at the top of Recent Posts.

D

RE: I just practically climaxed. What happened please?
Answer
2/9/13 5:17 PM as a reply to Mr Quasimodo.
Mr Quasimodo:
I was meditating this morning, and after the "usual" process of gently disengaging from emerging thoughts and drifting to a state of no-thought, I found myself experiencing subtle waves of warmth through my body. This is not uncommon when I meditate and I allow it to happen. It is pleasant and a temporary stage of my meditation. But whereas previously the sensation has been brief and mild, this time the waves grew in intensity and my breathing picked up from the highly subdued level it normally reaches while meditating. It built steadily and quickly to the point where my breathing was very heavy; I was gasping, rolling in my chair, and perceived intense waves of warmth moving upwards in my body. I felt something resembling surprise and simply allowed it to occur and overwhelm me.


This just sounds like pretty straightforwardly moving from 1st to 2nd jhana. You say you're unfamiliar with the canon of meditation, so that may not mean much. Suffice to say that jhanas are stages that the Buddha described that a meditation can often go through in a recognisable sequence. The falling away of thought and the arising of "piti", usually translated as "rapture", are the signs of moving from 1st to 2nd jhana. Piti is pleasurable at first but can be anything from just enjoyable to overwhelming and eventually unpleasant, and this can vary from sit to sit.

When I started meditating it was with TM and I used to get very concentrated very quickly and experience intense, sometimes overwhelming, waves of bodily pleasure which were indistinguishable from those experienced during sex, but with no sexual arousal. I found over time that using a wider focus of concentration (the breath works for me) made the piti less overwhelming and allowed me to go further into the jhanas. The main advice is to stick with your meditation object and let the rapture come and go as it pleases, and this will let you go further. It sounds as if this is what you were doing anyway before you were interrupted. Using a less narrow focus of concentration than your TM mantra, like the breath in the body, might also help.

Thanissaro has recently released a new guide to breath meditation which discusses the jhanas which you may find helpful. It's here.

RE: I just practically climaxed. What happened please?
Answer
2/11/13 1:06 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Many thanks. I have now read it once and will go back and digest it some more.

RE: I just practically climaxed. What happened please?
Answer
2/11/13 1:24 AM as a reply to Tamanan Suebwonglee.
Tamanan

Thanks for the advice and the link.

Oddly enough, although I learned TM as a gateway to meditation, my use of the TM mantra given to me faded quite some time ago, as over time I found it was almost unnecessary. I could start meditating and somewhat quickly progress to a point where thought faded away, without the use of the mantra. I would find myself experiencing very subtle waves of warmth of the kind I described in my original post, but then moving beyond them to simply an empty space, one that was immensely calm. By this stage I would usually have lost connection with my physical sensory perception of my bodily extremities and the mental sensation would be one of simply existing, nothing more. That's the best I can describe it.

I would really only use the mantra in places where meditation was more difficult, say if I was on a plane or in some other noisy environment.

Is it a bad thing to "drop" the mantra, and not have any specific object? Doing so seemed to work for me. I will have a look at breath meditation, as you suggest.

Thanks again