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2 Jhanas at the same time?
Answer
9/21/13 3:00 AM
Hi all, this is my first post here so I'll give a little background info as its also obviously relevant to the question too. emoticon

I started reading about Buddhism and practicing meditation 6 years ago. 4 years ago I throw myself into it in a very difficult time in my life when I just couldn't bare to be me anymore, and very successful it was too, I believe at this point I experienced an A+P event. At the time I had never heard of the Dark Night, and things became very tough, what I had come to believe was some kind of ego backlash - I had witnessed no-self and clung desperately to a self which was excruciatingly painful as at some level I had already witnessed the illusion. Through all of this I have been self taught through books and vids, I had visited one center but didn't feel the teachings were genuine. I felt that I could see all my shit and that was tough enough to deal with, without being in a place full of people with all their own shit haha.

Things got tough for a while and I did some crazy things in an attempt to find the peace I had had, including leaving my life and living in a van, but always my meditation was filled with noise, pain and a lack of central focus. Thing have been extremely stressful at times and I have suffered with tension in my head, especially behind my eyes, where my spine meets my skull and what some people might refer to as my third eye just above my eye brows. A few months ago I met someone who had read the Core Teachings book and I'm starting to understand a lot more.

So to the question.......

I've been going through all this stuff and working on just being with the pain or confusion and seeing the three characteristic in all these 'negative' emotions/thoughts etc. I've been doing this while allowing a wider concentration and not worrying about the fuzzy bit in the center, and I have definitely crossed some kind of bridge and found more peace and acceptance, based on the fact that all these painful things are just sensations, and not even solid sensations at that.

Last night I read the summary to part 1, and the bit about knowing why I'm doing all this. This morning I was meditating and feeling the feelings that create the stress and tension, like anxiety, frustration etc etc. The summary popped into my head and I started bringing some love and gentleness to these parts of my body, figuring I was focusing on the first jhana and gaining a deeper insight into body and mind.

That combined with the question about why I am doing this highlighted in me a duality, a part of me which has been kinda sitting on the fence, not really putting any energy into my practice, just kinda hiding out over there where it doesn't have to deal with all the pain that has been going on.......

And the main question itself (I'll get there in the end haha).......

So it feels like this part of me, which seems far more capable of focused concentration, is around the jhana one stage, it brings a lot more focus and attention to my awareness of my body. Yet all of the above I seemed to be tackling challenges from deeper insight? So what's going on? haha emoticon

RE: 2 Jhanas at the same time?
Answer
9/21/13 11:21 AM as a reply to Kenny Whitman.
Kenny Whitman:


And the main question itself (I'll get there in the end haha).......

So it feels like this part of me, which seems far more capable of focused concentration, is around the jhana one stage, it brings a lot more focus and attention to my awareness of my body. Yet all of the above I seemed to be tackling challenges from deeper insight? So what's going on? haha emoticon

I would explore "that part of you" a bit more and see if it really is around the 1st jhana stage. Perhaps it is in the second jhana too. Perhaps it is awareness itself. Perhaps it is not separate. Perhaps it is focus. Explore it some more and see what it does and what you can do with it. Post the results and we can narrow it down a bit.

I recommend reading MCTB twice in a row. There is so much vocabulary and concepts that the first time around I only got the basics and the second time I was able to dig a lot deeper with the basics understood. I still go back and find more good stuff that I missed each time my perspective changes.

RE: 2 Jhanas at the same time?
Answer
9/21/13 1:40 PM as a reply to Kenny Whitman.
Thanks for the reply! I've been reading about the 5 aggregates a lot today, as well as a bit of MCTB but everything I read sent me into deep contemplation on something I read.

I just had a bit of a break through, and it seems that the something was focused awareness or something similar, which had been firmly focused on suffering, while my wider awareness was what seemed to be making the effort to try to get a handle on things (Please excuse my use of defining words if they are not accurate, I'm not used to talking about these things at this deep level and I am finding it rewarding and clarifying to do so!)

I felt like I was pulling this focused awareness up and shaking it awake, and I felt as I focused on my breath from this point it was much clearer, and because this focus was on my breath rather than looking at my thoughts my mind became very quite. I'm not totally up on my Jhana's, but I could see that my focus on my thoughts and negative ones at that were causing the tension and my suffering. I've been feeling a profound release and waves on hair standing on end sensations, it's quite nice haha! Feel a lot like I'm back home emoticon

Incidentally, I was able to identify where and how my idea of self sits in relation to the 5 aggregates, a very interesting teaching that I had not paid enough attention to in the past! I've enjoyed playing with perceptions, in that it is quite obvious to me that I have the perception of not wanting this false sense of self which has caused me so much pain, I feel that this has mustered a deeper commitment to what and why I'm engaged in this practice.

RE: 2 Jhanas at the same time?
Answer
9/21/13 1:37 PM as a reply to Kenny Whitman.
I just thought, it feels like I've reawakened clear mindfulness, where as before it was a fraught battle