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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

Expected but unexpected experiences during first retreat

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First post on this forum. 
Also English is my 2nd language, I am Swedish, and writing about meditation and mind states is not something that Im used to do, so if there is something that you dont understand - thats probaly one reason....

I started meditation a few years ago - mainly using the app Headspace as my guide. After a while I stumbled on to Daniels book. I read it, without understanding much, but enjoying it, and one of the things it made me realize is that I needed a proper trainging. 
I looked at the options and booked myself a 10-day Vipassana (mr Goenka Style) course in the Swedish vipassana center, without any real knowlage about what a retreat is.

For me that was probably a good idé - I went there with a open mind and a dedication to practice and to be "there" what ever happend.

The first days are spent practicing concentration and on the 3d day I had the first experience. Then I just knew it had to be one of the jhanas I had read about, but what and why I did not know. 

In this state I was able to fully concentrate on my breath at the same time as I had avareness of everything in my field of view. I could walk, eat and do other things without changing my focus. At the same time I was full of joy and happiness. This lasted for about 2 hours.
Then my feet started to feel cold - and then my body started to shiver- like I was freezing all over.I put on a thick jacket, extra socks and a beany cap - but I was still shaking. I realised that my body wasnt cold, It was just something in my mind.

Because I had read about the jhanas I was not afraid, but very curious.
 I described the event and asked the meditation teacher about what had just happend. He told me not to worry and explained that it was just a sankhara manifesting in this way. I asked if this was one of those mental states that I had read about but he told me not to worry about that - this things happen. 
When I got home and could check in the book - the first part of the experience fits the 2nd Jhana pretty spot on. But the shakings - I dont know about that.

Later in the course when the insight practice started I had a tough time (i.e- hell) to sit in adhitthana.
I was not used to sit on my but for that long and I have a problem with my hip and was sitting right on the spot where it hurt the most. 
So for the first 2 days of strong determination sittings I felt like I had ran a marathon every day. 

The third day I just at the end of a sitting I got a glimpse of something in my mind. I felt that If I went there the pain would stop - I went there and the pain stopped. I was so happy.

My thought was that I had found equanimity (or whatever it was)  and found that I could increase or decrease the feeling. In later sitting I played with this and increased the feeling to to a point where I felt it was flowing over and overtook everything.
Its hard to describe - but I had this good feeling all over and at the same time I was unable to concentrate on anything- doing body scans was impossible - I could not focus on smaller parts of my body - just the body and the feeling of the entire body.

The mind later went back to normal but the next day I found that I could control the amount of equanimitiy and that it had a relation to my focus. In practice it felt like I was using two controlls like a break pedal (equanimitiy) and gas pedal (focus) when I was doing body scans. To increase and decrease the sensations in diffrent parts of the body.

So my questions are - What was the shiverings? Any connection to the jana? Was it the 2nd Jana? And the feeling of equanimity - what was that about?

As you understand Im a beginner, I have not found a teacher and so thats why I ask these questions here.


Best Regards
Jonas

RE: Expected but unexpected experiences during first retreat
Answer
5/14/15 9:43 AM as a reply to Jonas Nywall.
Hallo Jonas. Your english is excellent by the way.

Once you start getting deeper into meditation the body/mind system starts relaxing and releasing pent up energies and contractions. That's probably what the shivering was about. As you go through the process your body may want to do strange and unexpected things, like shaking, twitching, turning around etc etc. I suggest you just let it do it since it's natural and healthy, but weird to the mind.

Most spiritual teachings tend to skip over the "weird" parts of awakening, which includes but is not limited to the body stuff. I've been surprised, very surprised, at times with what the body gets up to, but nowadays I just let it do what it wants. To be perfectly honest the body is now living its own life most of the time, undisturbed by the mind, and I'm just watching it all happen. Turns out the body already knows what to do and the ego/mind is just a control freak trying to run it.

Good luck with your awakening!

Ps. I would suggest meditating on the question "Who am I?" since that seems to be the most direct path in my experience, and add some physical aspect like Yoga or dancing to get the energies in the system aligned and the body more loose and relaxed.

RE: Expected but unexpected experiences during first retreat
Answer
5/26/15 7:07 AM as a reply to Mattias Wilhelm Stenberg.
Thank you for the answer.
I actually started my practice by working with the body in doing Yoga.
Yoga then lead me on the path of the mind and meditation and I probably do 50/50 meditation and yoga practice.

/jonas 

RE: Expected but unexpected experiences during first retreat
Answer
5/26/15 5:13 PM as a reply to Jonas Nywall.
Here's a guess:
In this state I was able to fully concentrate on my breath at the same time as I had avareness of everything in my field of view. I could walk, eat and do other things without changing my focus. At the same time I was full of joy and happiness. This lasted for about 2 hours.

4th nana/2nd jhana.
Then my feet started to feel cold - and then my body started to shiver- like I was freezing all over.I put on a thick jacket, extra socks and a beany cap - but I was still shaking. I realised that my body wasnt cold, It was just something in my mind.

5th nana.
Later in the course when the insight practice started I had a tough time (i.e- hell) to sit in adhitthana. 
I was not used to sit on my but for that long and I have a problem with my hip and was sitting right on the spot where it hurt the most. 
So for the first 2 days of strong determination sittings I felt like I had ran a marathon every day. 

6th-10th nanas.
The third day I just at the end of a sitting I got a glimpse of something in my mind. I felt that If I went there the pain would stop - I went there and the pain stopped. I was so happy. 

Low eq (11th nana).
Its hard to describe - but I had this good feeling all over and at the same time I was unable to concentrate on anything- doing body scans was impossible - I could not focus on smaller parts of my body - just the body and the feeling of the entire body.

Middle eq.
The mind later went back to normal but the next day I found that I could control the amount of equanimitiy and that it had a relation to my focus. In practice it felt like I was using two controlls like a break pedal (equanimitiy) and gas pedal (focus) when I was doing body scans. To increase and decrease the sensations in diffrent parts of the body.
 
Back to low eq.