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consciousness splitting spinning
Answer
4/12/10 7:24 PM
Hello fellow practitioners,
I checked with the search engine for any descriptions of what I just experienced but I couldn't find anything relevant. I apologize if this was a topic already brought up in the past, I think I experienced this once before but it's mostly new to me. Be easy on me; I'm a newbie to this website and Samatha meditation.
I've been practicing consistently for 4 months now and sit for 30 minutes at this point. Today, I decided to meditate in my car so I reclined, closed my eyes and focused on my breath. I think it was about 5-10 minutes into the meditation that I started getting this spinning sensation (like one might get when they've had too much to drink.) Part of me considered stopping it but I decided to just ride the sensation out and see where it went.

I felt like I was spinning intensely to my right and I noticed it seemed to slow and accelerate with my breath. Eventually the spinning sensation started to feel like it was getting smaller inside of me, began to spin far away yet still inside of me and located itself in the right side of my chest. I felt like my consciousness became split into two parts, the tiny part of me still spinning deep inside my chest and the large me which was becoming less defined and seemed to have an almost hallow quality. I felt interrupting thoughts and sounds butt-in but they became very distant to the experience, very far away.
The spinning self slowed and become a deep indent in the larger self which felt hollow and light. While the larger self had those characteristics, the tiny self in my chest felt extremely dense and as if it was sinking into the larger self. The smaller self eventually faded away and I noticed a fluidity of my body. I noticed my attention wasn't localized on a specific body part as it usually is but was aware of the whole body; where my mind usually feels separate to it, I felt like everything had a easy connection and as if everything was activated.

This eventually faded away in the thirty minutes though, and I felt myself once again become aware of the individual parts of my body starting to get antsy and my mind once again started to separate itself into that position of control.
Hopefully my description makes sense. If you need any clarification, don't hesitate to ask.

Any ideas on what that is though? I hypothesize that it was probably because I was reclining in my car and the fact that I started breathing very slowly and deeply. Still, what's going on?

RE: Spinning
Answer
4/15/10 7:20 PM as a reply to Kaitlin Blue.
the sensations of spinning (and the yoking of its speed with the movement of the breath), a split in the sense of self, the sense of bodily distortion, and the feelings 'like everything had a easy connection and as if everything was activated', together, indicate insight into early jhana, which territory is sometimes referred to as the first vipassana jhana. more specificity is difficult, as your account includes aspects of several of the knowledges (or ñanas), including, interestingly enough, a common feature of the early 4th ñana (the knowledge of arising and passing away) that doesn't usually show up in the earlier stages. other than the meditation which you have been practising consistently for the past four months, have you done anything you think might have caused the stages of insight to show up before?

tarin

RE: Spinning
Answer
4/15/10 5:27 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thanks for the concise response, that really helps achor these experiences down. I've had the sensation of spinning before but as far as the splits in the sense of self and easy connection, that's all pretty new.
Back in December I went on my first and last acid trip in celebration of my birthday. I've since given up drugs other than the occasional glass of wine or tea, but I'm wondering if the meditation I've been doing has been impacted because of that experience. Any thoughts?

RE: Spinning
Answer
4/15/10 6:45 PM as a reply to Kaitlin Blue.
Tarin, did you mean second jhana? Because this sounds like Three Characteristics and early A&P stuff to me, but you said "fourth jhana."

Some people experience an A&P as a result of psychedelic use, which would make them dark night yogis until stream entry. However, it's rare. And if that didn't happen, then chances are that the acid isn't affecting your meditation any more.

RE: Spinning
Answer
4/15/10 7:22 PM as a reply to J Adam G.
J Adam G:
Tarin, did you mean second jhana? Because this sounds like Three Characteristics and early A&P stuff to me, but you said "fourth jhana."


thank you for the correction - i did indeed mean to indicate early a&p, and meant to write 2nd ñana. i have now edited my previous reply to reflect this.

RE: Spinning
Answer
4/15/10 8:01 PM as a reply to Kaitlin Blue.
Kaitlin Blue:
Thanks for the concise response, that really helps achor these experiences down. I've had the sensation of spinning before but as far as the splits in the sense of self and easy connection, that's all pretty new.
Back in December I went on my first and last acid trip in celebration of my birthday. I've since given up drugs other than the occasional glass of wine or tea, but I'm wondering if the meditation I've been doing has been impacted because of that experience. Any thoughts?


i suspected as much.

a good number of people have gotten into arising and passing territory under the influence of psychedelic substances. i would even venture to guess that it's not uncommon, particularly among people who take these substances looking for spiritual/mystical/cosmic experiences to begin with, though as no studies or surveys on this have been conducted (and so statistics are lacking), i cannot say with any surety how common or rare an occurrence it actually is. anecdotally, however, it is far from unheard of; i personally know a number of people who almost certainly crossed the a&p for the first time on lsd or mescaline or something of the sort, some of whom have gone on to get stream-entry, and one of whom is currently, as of earlier today, very close. given this, i do not disparage the use, past or present, of mind-altering drugs in aid of one's practice. i am all for people 'cheating' their way into paradise.. provided they are willing to go all the way.

would you share the experiential details of your birthday trip? describe it in the same fashion as your meditation report above. if you are disinclined to write further about it on a public forum, you are welcome to send me a private message. i will attempt to answer your query about how your acid trip may have impacted your meditation subsequent to your reply (when i have more information which may - or may not - be diagnostically relevant).

tarin

RE: Spinning
Answer
9/19/14 4:14 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hello guys!

This is an old thread, but I have also a question involving spinning.

Durning my meditations I had a few spinning sensations and gone along with them.

Recently the spinning also occured when I was waking up, I thought this is just becouse I moved my head too fast or something.

But today.. I woke up and I feel the spinning sensation all the time for like 20min now. I'm walking like I was kinda drunk. It is loosing it's "force" but it is still there. It doesn't feel particulary bad, it is just strange.

Anyone got something like this, or heard what it could be?

Rafal

RE: Spinning
Answer
9/19/14 8:08 AM as a reply to Rafal K.
Since you mention:

I thought this is just becouse I moved my head too fast or something.

it could possibly be "benign paroxysmal positional vertigo".  I've had about four bouts of this in my life.

RE: Spinning
Answer
9/19/14 2:12 PM as a reply to C P M.
I get a sense of dizziness during meditation  from time to time.  I don't think it means anything for me. Again, for me, it is just another sensation like an itch.

RE: Spinning
Answer
9/19/14 6:00 PM as a reply to Jack Hatfield.
I have also had a weird dizzy feeling at least once while meditating, it was like a "whirl" that occurred briefly. I'm pretty sure that was different from the Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) problems I have had.
If someone has BPPV, then you can get a pretty strong attack of vertigo just by rolling over in bed.  The first time it happens it can be very frightening. When Rafal K mentioned:
Recently the spinning also occured when I was waking up, I thought this is just becouse I moved my head too fast or something.

It made me think of BPPV.