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How did I do this ? Please help

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How did I do this ? Please help
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6/14/13 9:49 PM
Hello. I am a buddhist but I am a novice meditator. I can only get to 1st jhana in acces concentration and did not practice vipassana at all.

Just now, I practiced on a drug witch I will not name. It is the only drug that can improve meditation and this was my last time I use it. I do not encourage this so I will not name it.


This is what happened: I entered the arrising and passing away stage just now. I got to a point where images came up extremely fast, so fast that I could barelly notice them. They were like memories or thaughts that were linked with one another and one poped because of the other. I was in this state for 1 and a half hours and stopped so that I don't risk to harm my body. I did not practice vipassana untill now.

This is how I did it: (keep in mind I was on that drug that helps this but the method is important) - I entered 1st jhana and then instead of focusing on the pleasant sensation of my smile I let my focus lose to observe everything that pops up, like in vipassana. The method I use for jhana is concentration at the tip of the nostrils and then switch to the pleasant sensation of a smile.



What in the world was this ? Was I in a higher jhana than 1st jhana when I did this ? Is this the proper way to do it ? I thaught the method for vipassana (the classic one) is concentration on the movement of a point on the abdomen.

Somebody please explain me a little and help me, I live in a country where I can not find a teacher and this forum is the only one that can help. I intended to start my vipassana practice in a couple of days using the abdomen method but the expirience I just had makes me think if this is a better method. Please help

Edit: I practiced astral projection years ago before I was a buddhist and one time got an "insight" about cause and effect. I also had a dream that I diagnosed acording to many internet informations also acording to this site as been the arising and passing away event but I did not had this kind of experience, it was more like a lucid dream but an extremely powerfull experience, the most powerfull (don't know how to name it otherwise) experience I have ever had.

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/14/13 9:55 PM as a reply to Alexx alexxx.
Alexx alexxx:
Hello. I am a buddhist but I am a novice meditator. I can only get to 1st jhana in acces concentration and did not practice vipassana at all.

Just now, I practiced on a drug witch I will not name. It is the only drug that can improve meditation and this was my last time I use it. I do not encourage this so I will not name it.


This is what happened: I entered the arrising and passing away stage just now. I got to a point where images came up extremely fast, so fast that I could barelly notice them. They were like memories or thaughts that were linked with one another and one poped because of the other. I was in this state for 1 and a half hours and stopped so that I don't risk to harm my body. I did not practice vipassana untill now.

This is how I did it: (keep in mind I was on that drug that helps this but the method is important) - I entered 1st jhana and then instead of focusing on the pleasant sensation of my smile I let my focus lose to observe everything that pops up, like in vipassana. The method I use for jhana is concentration at the tip of the nostrils and then switch to the pleasant sensation of a smile.



What in the world was this ? Was I in a higher jhana than 1st jhana when I did this ? Is this the proper way to do it ? I thaught the method for vipassana (the classic one) is concentration on the movement of a point on the abdomen.

Somebody please explain me a little and help me, I live in a country where I can not find a teacher and this forum is the only one that can help. I intended to start my vipassana practice in a couple of days using the abdomen method but the expirience I just had makes me think if this is a better method. Please help

Edit: I practiced astral projection years ago before I was a buddhist and one time got an "insight" about cause and effect. I also had a dream that I diagnosed acording to many internet informations also acording to this site as been the arising and passing away event but I did not had this kind of experience, it was more like a lucid dream but an extremely powerfull experience, the most powerfull (don't know how to name it otherwise) experience I have ever had.


First of all lets break down what you are calling "1st jhana" and "arising and passing away". You haven't painted a very clear picture of what you have been experiencing. What more, apart from the fast moving images, did you experience in the experience you are terming "the arising and passing"? Sensations? Pleasant, unpleasant, neutral phenomena? Visuals? Help us out by being more phenomenoligcal in your descriptions rather than calling this and that experience this and that concept.

Nick

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/14/13 10:14 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
There were images most of the time, like 5-7 of them per second. They were like pictures of memories changing extremelly fast and one led to another. Like they would led in 1 minute normally if you think about that but happening in a split of a second. I also had sensations, thaughts, words that poped up but most were like pictures of memories. I noticed how they gave rise to emotions depending whether they are good/bad/neutral.

I think I was in the first jhana when I let my focus loose. I think vicara and vitakka were still present but I can not tell for sure. I do not know if I let my focus loose or if it dissapeared and entered second jhana and then started observing anything but I suppose I was in first jhana because if vicara and vitakka were not present then my focus(vicara) would not get loose and I would get into deeper jhana. There is not reason for me to belive I ever was in higher jhana than that

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/14/13 11:09 PM as a reply to Alexx alexxx.
To diagnose someones stage of meditation via internet can be really hard.

I'm not very good at remembering the kind of detail needed to be convincing, to describe a good picture of my meditation. Also when i first started reporting, I wasn't as familiar with the correct approach. Reporting is what you tell you teacher every few days or every day, about your meditation practice.

Also you understanding of this meditation practice, is lacking either the context of the metta language associated with this tradition or the experience, or both.

Mind you tripping out on a visual experience and investigating that is very A&P (arising & passing away) but can you do that in meditation without hallucinogenic substances? I've played with those substances, most mushrooms, but also acid, and a little m.d.m.a. I might consider trying some Ayahuasca in the future still.

Now back to point.
Here are some links and some titles of books, that would help get you up to speed on understanding you practice.

'A Path With a Heart,' by Jack Kornfield A really good approach to understanding insight practice.

'In this very Life', by Sayadaw U Pandita. The traditional seminal text, of which is seems to me that MTCB was actually based on.

'Living buddhist Masters' by Jack Kornfield, i love this one because it shows the variables of approaches to the path. There are 10 or 11 different teachers giving their version of the dharma, vipassana is more malleable, than a lot of people realise.

These books are fantastic for understanding vipassana better and getting a clearer insight into what Daniel Ingram means within his own book.

Also you talk about being interested in Samadhi/Samatha/Shamatha/concentration practice. Here are two links to a thread on the topic.

Access Concentration, Jhana, High Equanimity & Vipassana Jhana.

Kamalashila's Map

Jhana an all purpose thread This thread by Ian And has been flagged and placed at the top by Ingram, I'm not into it, but those that prefer the dry insight definition of Jhana are represented here.

When your learning this stuff, which is a lot of stuff, read it carefully, maybe a few times over and not all at once without some periods of meditation. Much of this stuff, is only really clear up to the point of your experience. Which takes a while to determine, clearly for oneself beyond the dishonesty of oneself's conceit and pride; a serious obstacle to one's meditation. Its okay to diagnose yourself, but even if you think you have achieved something, continue to investigate this. That does mean attack your assumptions repetitively with criticism, but just be open to the possibility that you may be wrong, wait and see over time. In the development of my practice, through the threads I have written in here, there is a lot of wrong! with regard to myself diagnosis and also my understanding of the path of dhamma. This has been refined to some extent through study and practice.
Kind Regards Neem. Another scared blocked darknight yogi emoticon

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/15/13 12:56 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
I like those recommendations also.

In general, if you are seeing things happening really fast on their own one after the other, that is usually A&P territory, which some, such as myself, would call the 2nd vipassana jhana, to distinguish it from its more samatha sibling, though really there are shades of grey here, and the A&P basically nearly always has some 2nd samatha jhana elements that are clear.

So: things arise and vanish. You now know that. What else can you see that for? Can you see that for everything else that makes up the rest of the world and you all through the whole body and space?

Something to shoot for...

Daniel

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/15/13 1:15 AM as a reply to Alexx alexxx.
howdy and welcome.
you are asking for help in the subject. what kind of help are you looking for? it seems that you are pretty familiar with the components of what makes up a jhana (at least the first one) but seem pretty sure that you do no vipassana. you were definitely doing vipassana, whether intentionally or not and you started having some outrageous experiences. that happens and drugs aren't necessary for that although they can accelerate the process of dropping through the levels of conciousness.

i have encountered territory similar to what you are describing in very high equanimity where the formations were presenting in such rapid succession that it was virtually impossible to comprehend them. with drugs these types of experiences are difficult to place on a typical "map" of insight progress. it can be very difficult in any case.

so , what kind of "help" do you want? a diagnosis of where you were on the ladder of insight? advice about drug abuse? encouragement to do vipassana? someone to tell you that everything is ok? whatever it is you will probably find it here.

cheers

tom

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/15/13 8:01 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Thank you very much everybody. I quited all drugs thanks to meditation for some time. I used this one for the last time and it does not distort meditation with any effects of the drug, it just cuts the mind from the body and works similar to an isolation chamber, it is a dissociative. The body is an impediment cause it can hurt and what you percieve with your senses can distract you. It also simply improves concentration overall a lot, I don't know how. I do not recomand this and you need experience with it to do this, you can't just take it and boom. It is the only one than has the proprieties to do this as far as I know and will not name it cause people might abuse it.


A&P basically nearly always has some 2nd samatha jhana elements that are clear

Well it was for sure no vicara and vitakka present. Everything was happening on it's own, there was just the observing of everything happening "I" had nothing to do with it. But I think I never was in the second samatha jhana, I never observed the pleasantness of the pleasant sensation withaught vicara and vitakka.

So: things arise and vanish. You now know that. What else can you see that for? Can you see that for everything else that makes up the rest of the world and you all through the whole body and space?

Well I did not have an "insight experience" like I had years ago about the cause end effect. That was something like "I knew this before but now I really know it in a special way". This sort of thing did not happen now and I did not think intelectually about that, witch would not make insight come anyway.




My most important question is: How should I practice vipassana ? I knew the way to do it is the abdomen method and I never read anywhere about this method that I used now. I entered first samatha jhana and let my concentration loose. How is this method named ? I think that if you start vipassana while in second, thirt, forth jhana you could get very far in vipassana using this method.

By the way, I am as mindfullness as I ever was at the moment. After I posted my message last night I started meditating like this again and things were not moving so fast and I kept seen bad images and having bad thaughts about linked with my phobia of phisical handicaps. Fear was the predominant feeling. The images were not moving so fast. After some time it ended and there were little images and thaughs and my focus went more on the pleasantness of the sensation cause I started having a pleasant feeling in my body. I fell asleep in that stage ( was meditation lying down and was a lot after sleep time). No insight experience this time eather

Not thinking I might have gone to the next levels, this things don't happen in 3 hours, just completed the description. My progres was always normal in terms of time, maby slow. So there is no reason to belive I am a "buddha boy" or something lol. The drug must have helped and I think most important is the technique of starting vipassana in first jhana. For somebody who did not practice vipassana to get to 4h nana (if that's what it was) like this is very encouraging.

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/15/13 11:51 AM as a reply to Alexx alexxx.
I took a walk and intented to be mindfulness all the way. I was very mindfulness for 2 and a half hours, all the way, extremelly mindfulness. I never was mindfulnes for more than 5 min and that only a couple of times after meditation. This is the first time I really understand what been mindfulness is. I am shocked by this, it is amazing.

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/15/13 12:02 PM as a reply to Alexx alexxx.
Alexx alexxx:
My most important question is: How should I practice vipassana ? I knew the way to do it is the abdomen method and I never read anywhere about this method that I used now.


There are many ways, and it is good to know many and when they are useful to apply. Figuring this out is a form of insight practice in its own right, because it is elucidating the causes and conditions for nirodha and other wholesome states.

The kind of meditation you were doing of loosening focus and attempting to take everything in can operate as a form of insight practice, but it tends to be a fairly delicate one, requiring very steady attention. But if it's working for you, keep it up. If it stops working, experiment with other insight practices for a while. Noting the three characteristics, the four noble truths, or tonglen are all good things to try.

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/15/13 7:54 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
I observed every thaught that came up in this method with no fixed spot. In the abdomen method you are supposed to return your atention to a fix spot. That sounds more like samatha to me and won't bring up this kind of experience I just had. Is that the proper way to do it ?

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
6/16/13 4:02 AM as a reply to Alexx alexxx.
The outcome of watching the belly with regard to insight or concentration, is all about how you apply your attention.

If you are focusing on calm and relaxation and identifying with pleasant sensation, this will direct the practice to Samadhi, you can even count the breaths on the in and out up to 10 to help keep you fix to the object.

But, if you look at the subtle change of senstation/formations/the elements in the area of the belly, as it rises and falls or such as the the rise and fall. You will instead develop insight and momentary concentration in balance, just continue to investigate. You can look at broader areas of the body and in a sense you will have to as the mind jumps around more in momentary concentration so other object will have to be integrated. But the big advantage of investigating the breath and taking that as you predominant object of focus, is when heavy shit comes up in the broader field of the body you can instead keep you attention with the breath, making it easier to manage the reaction to these sensation. Also because you are more balanced with your concentration you jhanic factors or soft jhanic states will arise, which is good as long as you investigate them.

Notice how things change, how they are unsatisfactory, how they are impersonal and you lack control of them. Pleasant passes, Unpleasant/Vedana doesn't pass quickly enough, the mind is constantly reacting (vedana) to body sensations/Rupa, thoughts and emotions/Sankhara react to these reactions.

The 5 aggregates; Rupa/the body& its sensations, Vedana/feelings of pleasant & unpleasant, Sanna/perception, discrimination or recognition and remembering, Sankhara/thoughts and emotions, Vinnana/consciousness.

In my first retreat, i pushed away some of the pleasant sensation, thinking they were Jhana, but if you look at the 7 factors of enlightenment these are actually required.
Good Luck Alex, you have a chance now to fast-track and avoid some of the mistakes I made. Kind reagards Neem.

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
7/5/13 7:31 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Thanks so much everybody but I think I made a little confusion.

Yesterday I entered the first jhana for the first time actually. It was the first time the pleasant sensation exploded into "orgasmic" pleasure. Direct and sustained focus was still required, was for sure the first jhana.

My problem is that thoughts and sensations starting to be observed extremely fast like what I described before happens to me quite often and easy. Even if been mindfulness in a non-meditative (observing everything that pops out without discrimination) body position before going to sleep sometimes cause this.

Is this normal or may it be something else ? Mental disorder, long term side effect from that drug ? These are quite improblable, no reason to be that but it is quite strange this thing to happen to somebody who is so low in concentration meditation, just entering first jhana yesterday.

RE: How did I do this ? Please help
Answer
7/23/13 7:12 PM as a reply to Alexx alexxx.
Sounds like the early stages of Arising and passing away? An idiots guide to Dharma Diagnosis, by Kenneth Folk
Keep working at it keep studying and eventually you will know for sure whether it is Jhana or A&P. Though in jhana thing become stiller, particularly the mind! there will be long gaps with no thought, that's if your going for the lowest common denominator of soft jhana. Hard jhana is totally absorbed and without any thoughts!