Questions

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Ben V, modified 6 Years ago at 6/27/15 8:46 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 6/27/15 8:39 PM

Questions

Posts: 394 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
I have a few diagnostic questions. I've had a few sessions with KF in the last few months and addressed some of my diagnostic questions but forgot many I've wanted to ask. Anyways, I'll write some experiences I've had ever since I started meditating. If any of you have any diagnostic impressions for some of them that would be nice.

1. My first one was before I started vipassana in 1998. It must have been 1995. It was a taoist meditation but quite similar to Buddhist meditation. I was focused somewehre on my body or the breath (don't remember exactly where but on body sensations for sure). And suddenly there was a big explosion of sensations at the heart level followed immediately by another big explosion right at the so-called third eye chakra. This latter one felt like being knocked out by a punch but without pain, and was accompanied by a quick flash of white light. Never had that again.

2. A reccurent experience since practicing vipassana has been during sleep. I'm lying on my back and asleep yet fully aware of intense rushing vibrations all over the body, shooting at different places in the body with furious force. Yet I am very mindful of these vibrations. I purposely apply mindfulness continuously to them and maintain equanimity. The vibrations are not blissful at all like it is often described in A&P. What is strange and difficult to explain is that all this happens while I sleep.

3. I reccurently dream that I'm meditating but it is hard to keep stability in my body while meditating. My body keeps slipping off the cushion or falling on the side. Sometimes in the dream people come and bother me. Other times I just have an intense desire to meditate in the dream. I'm also a psychoanalytic therapist in training as well as studying Jung so dream stuff has an appeal to me personally.

4. During formal meditation practice (I'm just fresh out of a retreat  now so this is fresh stuff) I would at times have areas in my body (most often the facial area) where quick champain bubble-like sensations would be felt, or sometimes quite intense vibrations in the face (different than the champain bubbles due to the rapidity of it). The curious thing is that these experiences occur mostly in the face, with only an occasional jab of one rapid sensation elsewhere in the body. No bliss but quite concentrated. Even more curious is that these experiences can co-exist with solid pains elsewhere in the body. It's as if third nana stuff are co-exixting with higher ones. It's not clear-cut. Now that I'm writing this I'm thinking perhaps next time I should pay more attention to see if they really co-exist or rather alternate.

5. This one is quite subtle and more rare. I've succeeded to attain it spontaneously though after applying an instruction from Kenneth in this retreat: making my awareness more panoramic instead of localised. I would feel a stillness in my mind. And when objects would arrise I would perceive a subtle intention to "leap" toward them, as if the mind wants to go out and mingle with them, but not letting it do that. So the lleaps would be stopped in their track. I simultaneously feel like I (not even sure if it"s "I" really) don't want to let the mind leap towards objects. In other words, the mind becomes inclined toward stopping to leap toward objects. There can still be pains in the body while this happens. And concentration, though getting deeper here, can still break apart so it's not rock solid.

Any thoughts?

metta,

Benoit
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Noah, modified 6 Years ago at 6/27/15 9:37 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 6/27/15 9:37 PM

RE: Questions

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Any thoughts?
It's as if third nana stuff are co-exixting with higher ones.

If you keep a summary of each sitting you might be able to analyze this in terms of sub-nanas.  In the past, variations in meditation-effects before the a&p seemed undetectable for me.  More recently, I noticed that when it took me over 4 weeks to get to the a&p within a cycle, I saw a huge depth and breadth to the types of effects that could manifest in the 1st vipassana jhana alone.  I don't have a specific diagnostic suggestion, but I was just really surprised at all the little sub-stages myself.

What I found useful was to see what comes directly before and directly after a repeated effect.
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Ben V, modified 6 Years ago at 6/29/15 5:37 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 6/29/15 5:32 AM

RE: Questions

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Thanks Noah. Makes sense. I did write journal entries during my retreat, everyday and it did reveal subtle changes day by day. I like the term you used "sub-nanas" and it reminds me I might have seen it in MCTB, though I'm not sure. Another thing that occured in that retreat, in one of the last days, is I felt a mounting pressure behind my nose which rose upward toward the head, to finally dissolve into wave-like sensations accross the foreheadand and side of the forehead. It then stoped and I was then strangely and suddenly "afraid" that some sudden "chakra/kundalini-like" experience would burst through the top of my head, but it didn't. I'm not into reading of paying attention to chakra or kundalini stuff and know little about those topics, but suddenly I was "concerned" about those.
In any case, the sub-nana topic interest me especially in terms of being somewhat between 3rd and 4th, or 10th and 11th, and what can happen in between those. Perhaps a back and forth movement. I'm not asserting what my diagnosis is but only speculating at this point.
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Noah, modified 6 Years ago at 6/29/15 1:52 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 6/29/15 1:52 PM

RE: Questions

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Word.  There are cycles, and then there are sub-cycles.  But the sub-cycles part can't be taken lightly because those things can have as much detail and drama as the full cycle.  Before and after is really important because you can tell what is happening in a sit.  Is it the early, middle or late portion of a nana that you are observing?  Or, are you actually observing multiple nanas within a sit?  It really depends on where your cutting edge is.

I have made the most progress when I disregarded "chakra safety warnings" and just tried to get that damn kundalini going as much as possible with no cares.  I trained in kundalini yoga for a brief period and the main instruction was 'surrender', which to me seems to indicate a certain type of encouragement of the progression of whatever energetic phenomenon happens to be occurring.
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Ben V, modified 6 Years ago at 7/4/15 7:00 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 7/4/15 7:00 AM

RE: Questions

Posts: 394 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Thanks Noah. More details to be mindful of. I also wonder if, like seems to be the case with jhanas, one can be absorbed in a nana with varying degrees of strength. For example, lightly absorbed in A&P vs strongly absorbed in A&P.
Eva Nie, modified 6 Years ago at 7/4/15 10:42 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 7/4/15 10:42 AM

RE: Questions

Posts: 831 Join Date: 3/23/14 Recent Posts
Ben Vipassana:

2. A reccurent experience since practicing vipassana has been during sleep. I'm lying on my back and asleep yet fully aware of intense rushing vibrations all over the body, shooting at different places in the body with furious force. Yet I am very mindful of these vibrations. I purposely apply mindfulness continuously to them and maintain equanimity. The vibrations are not blissful at all like it is often described in A&P. What is strange and difficult to explain is that all this happens while I sleep.
This kind of thing is extremely common with out of body travelers and lucid dreamers.  They refer to it as 'the vibrations.'  The vibrations are not associated with any special good feelings, but neither are they bad.  I find them interesting, can feel like the whole body is pulsing from some huge engine.  From my own mental explorations, I highly suspect you feel this when your awareness travels to areas that it usually doesn't.  The vibrations can vary quite a lot in intensity, pulse, and subharmonics.   I have felt it and then started to wake up and felt the vibrations recede in awarenesss such that once I awoke, I could just feel a distant soft pulse inside the body that I could recognize as still being the vibrations.  So the vibrations were still there but my awareness had receded from them.  Where before the vibrations had been intense when my mind had been focused there.  Lots of interesting things happen when asleep, awareness roams around, just that most people don't remember it later.  Start remembering it and it seems like amazing things happened that night!   
3. I reccurently dream that I'm meditating but it is hard to keep stability in my body while meditating. My body keeps slipping off the cushion or falling on the side. Sometimes in the dream people come and bother me. Other times I just have an intense desire to meditate in the dream. I'm also a psychoanalytic therapist in training as well as studying Jung so dream stuff has an appeal to me personally.
Another common one, being in a dream with a kind of fluxing and unstable feel like you are in a kind of wind that flutters your balance repeatedly, often in kind of a pulse pattern.  Can feeling like you are repeatedly swaying off balance.  This experience is observed often but we don't know what it symbolized.  Unless narrative is applied to the experience, it's generally a neutral experience. 
-Eva
Caro, modified 6 Years ago at 7/4/15 3:58 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 7/4/15 3:58 PM

RE: Questions

Posts: 91 Join Date: 5/10/15 Recent Posts
Ben Vipassana:

5. This one is quite subtle and more rare. I've succeeded to attain it spontaneously though after applying an instruction from Kenneth in this retreat: making my awareness more panoramic instead of localised. I would feel a stillness in my mind. And when objects would arrise I would perceive a subtle intention to "leap" toward them, as if the mind wants to go out and mingle with them, but not letting it do that. So the lleaps would be stopped in their track. I simultaneously feel like I (not even sure if it"s "I" really) don't want to let the mind leap towards objects. In other words, the mind becomes inclined toward stopping to leap toward objects. There can still be pains in the body while this happens. And concentration, though getting deeper here, can still break apart so it's not rock solid.


I think I´ve experienced something very similar while on a Vipassana retreat not long before I had a realization that there is no "self" as I always assumed there was. I was already at quite a calm, equanimous state. And at some points, I noticed sensations, thoughts etc arise and right afterwards the inclination of the mind to attach itself to them or to jump towards them. At that moment, I had for the first time the impression that this reaction is what created the "I". I think that was very useful as preparation for that later insight.
I don´t have more experience then what happened to myself, but from that point of view, sounds good what you´re telling emoticon
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Noah, modified 6 Years ago at 7/5/15 10:18 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 7/5/15 10:18 AM

RE: Questions

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Ben Vipassana:
Thanks Noah. More details to be mindful of. I also wonder if, like seems to be the case with jhanas, one can be absorbed in a nana with varying degrees of strength. For example, lightly absorbed in A&P vs strongly absorbed in A&P.
I definitely think there are 'hard' and 'soft' nanas.  Actually, I remember that adding this to my conceptual understanding was helpful in 'organizing' my experience (I tend to need to think this suff over a lot though).
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Ben V, modified 6 Years ago at 7/15/15 8:51 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 7/15/15 8:39 PM

RE: Questions

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Thanks for your inputs Eva and Caro! Caro, this is helpful and makes much intuitive sense to me, when you say the reaction to leap to objects is what creates the "I". Eva, it's an interesting investigation to look whether strong awareness creates the vibrations, or rather reveals them. Your experience is that the latter is the case. I remember one of my teachers (that was a long time ago so I might quote him wrong) said that when we meditate the nanas are all always there, in some way, but we are not mindful enough to notice them, or something like that.
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Ben V, modified 6 Years ago at 7/15/15 8:44 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 7/15/15 8:44 PM

RE: Questions

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I've heard of people who are not really aware of any significant stages in their practice. They just note note note and one day, poof, something a bit "weird" happens and their teachers will say it's stream-entry. Kind of like a frog acclimating to water that gets slowly but certainly hotter and hotter, without ever noticing the water is getting hotter, so the meditator gets slightly deeper and deeper meditation over the years without really noticing the progress until suddenly SE happens. Maybe those people have very soft nanas as well but just strong enough to give the results.
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Noah, modified 6 Years ago at 7/15/15 10:06 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 7/15/15 10:06 PM

RE: Questions

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O yeah, definitely.  My personal theory would be that it doesn't really matter at all how aware one is of them, as long as the territory is being traversed.

Its really interesting to hear about statements from professional meditation teachers about the nanas.  I only have one experience in that regard.   
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Ben V, modified 6 Years ago at 8/23/15 7:42 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 8/23/15 7:42 AM

RE: Questions

Posts: 394 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
I was going to write a new experience but first, I just realized reading point 5 in my  first post in this thread that it misses some elements. I said when I get in this state the mind loses interest in leaping toward objects. This is not false. But what it really feels like is that the mind loses interet in creating anything. Not sure if this makes sense to any reader, but that's the best way I can describe it. Not only does it lose interest in creating anything, there is a feeling of interest in falling into a void where there are no arising objects. It's as if there are objects (mind and body phenomena), but the mind is interested in the void in between each arising.
The longer I'm away from my last retreat, the least often this state manifests though. Nevertheless, a new experience for me lately, which happened only twice, is a feeling of quick flashes in my "third eye" area, between the brows. It's as if a light was swithched on and off very quickly. But when it happened I wondered if it was only the light of the candles in the room in front of me that was doing this. Not sure.
Now I'm tinking this post and the others here should go in my practice log thread so I may recopy them there.