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Did I experience ‘nirodha-samapatti’?

Hi folks…  Newbie and glad to be here! Hope to spend some time here and learn as much as I can from those more experienced…  I have a question regarding an experience I had years ago and want an accurate diagnosis of the exact state I ended up in. I’m writing an essay on ‘no-self’ and including this experience and want to get it right…  The experience: After ingesting about five large lungfuls of salvia divinorum smoke, all objects of consciousness completely ceased. No sounds, no visuals, no feelings, no thoughts, no emotions, no memories, no concept of self whatsoever. There was left only consciousness aware of itself. (If I was to ascribe a tone to the experience it would be one of curiosity and anticipation, of what ‘I’ had no idea as there was a complete absence of any conceptual thought)…  After a period of time (which would have been impossible to measure) a ‘slice’ of reality entered from the top left and top right of my vision and met in the middle. Then another two slices below that, then another, then another. An image appeared to be forming and ‘I’ waited in anticipation for the ability to be able to recognise the image. Eventually I recognised the image as my friend (who was sitting directly in front of me) and my ‘self’ concepts and the recognition and memory of what the situation was, flooded back. (I was told my eyes were wide open for the whole experience)…  Question: Within Buddhist mind-maps, where would I have found myself in the period before the visual bit started to occur? (ie. the first paragraph of the description)…  Was this ‘nirodha-samapatti’ or a ‘lesser’ jhana (seventh/eighth)?…  Thanks for your input…  I really appreciate it!

RE: Did I experience ‘nirodha-samapatti’?
Answer
10/21/16 11:10 AM as a reply to Myles Davidson.
Myles Davidson:
No sounds, no visuals, no feelings, no thoughts, no emotions, no memories, no concept of self whatsoever. There was left only consciousness aware of itself.

Question: Within Buddhist mind-maps, where would I have found myself in the period before the visual bit started to occur? (ie. the first paragraph of the description)…  Was this ‘nirodha-samapatti’ or a ‘lesser’ jhana (seventh/eighth)?…  Thanks for your input…  I really appreciate it!
Description of Nirodha Samapatti

Drug experiences do not map well. The ability to map is thru repeated experience and drugs are not so helpful in consistency. You had one interesting experience but unless it is repeatable and a certain level of mastery obtained it is just an experience. I have had lots of one time experiences with drugs and with meditation but they have not repeated so there is little to infer from them except for motivation to understand the things I can.
If I had to point to something (on the buddhist maps) similar it would be -
NOTHINGNESS, THE SEVENTH JHANA
If the meditator wishes to attain to the next formless realm, that of nothingness, they simply cultivate the jhana of boundless consciousness and disenchant themselves with the vastness and luminosity of that state. Eventually, the mind will abandon these and shift to the jhana of nothingness. To imagine this state, imagine space with all of the lights completely out, so that there is no vastness, and almost no sensations other than those of nothingness. It is almost as though attention is out of phase with nearly all phenomena except those that imply nothingness. They are still there somewhere, but they are not being attended to.

This jhana is different from the previous two formless realms in that they are quite present to reality in some way and panoramic in 1 perspective, whereas nothingness is more turned away from phenomena and perhaps more focused in some way. There is, however, some very subtle thought and some extremely subtle sense of a separate self. Note well, nothingness is absolutely not emptiness, though it is empty, but this is not the attainment of this understanding. However, one can easily be convinced that this is emptiness due to the extreme profundity of it.

As before, this jhana can have different degrees of intensity to it. Even when one is not strongly in it, there is a sense of being out of phase with reality, like being dissociated. Reality is there, but you have tuned it out on your radio. Note well, this is very different from just being “tuned out” in the colloquial sense.

While equanimity prevails, this state can be a bit scary at first, and this can cause some instability of this state. Now even consciousness and space are basically gone. However, there is still awareness of this state, indicating that there can be awareness that is not particularly consciousness or space. This really helps debunk the sense that awareness is consciousness or space or even a thing, that we are our body, etc. That said, it is not nothingness either. Nothingness may be perceived, whereas awareness may not.

From this state, the mind may get stuck, but this is not quite as likely as with the first two formless states, as this state is quite refined but not as breathtaking as the first two in some ways. The meditator may then try to move on to the next jhana, or may investigate this state. It may seem incredible that the sensations of nothingness itself could be observed to arise and pass, i.e. strobe in and out of reality, or that they could be known to not satisfy or not be self. However, this is definitely possible, if potentially quite disconcerting due to its extreme profundity and ability to really kick some sense into the mind about the truth of things. It also helps debunk the false idea that “The Void” or “awareness” is nothingness. It is not even this. Remember, no sensation can observe another, so anything you can think of cannot be said to be “awareness.”

By simply paying close attention to every instant that nothingness or equanimity is perceived, and with precise attention to the exact arising and passing of each of these, that these transient moments do not satisfy, and that these neither can impute nor can be a separate self, the three illusions can begin to be penetrated in the highest state in which this can be accomplished. As this is a particularly subtle business, the meditator may also leave the jhana and begin insight practice in the afterglow of this state as before. Strobing sensations of nothingness are more likely to arise during the progress of insight in the stage called High Equanimity for those with very strong concentration skills.
But really it sounds more like Lady Salvia took you out of your body without traveling anywhere in particular.

Good luck,
~D

RE: Did I experience ‘nirodha-samapatti’?
Answer
10/21/16 1:07 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Myles Davidson:
No sounds, no visuals, no feelings, no thoughts, no emotions, no memories, no concept of self whatsoever. There was left only consciousness aware of itself.

Question: Within Buddhist mind-maps, where would I have found myself in the period before the visual bit started to occur? (ie. the first paragraph of the description)…  Was this ‘nirodha-samapatti’ or a ‘lesser’ jhana (seventh/eighth)?…  Thanks for your input…  I really appreciate it!
Description of Nirodha Samapatti
the link above is broken

RE: Did I experience ‘nirodha-samapatti’?
Answer
10/21/16 5:08 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thanks Dreamwalker for the reply... that really helps emoticon... Yes, I am very aware that it was just an experience and very much unrelated to any acheivement on my behalf (unless you count holding lungfuls of smoke in ones lungs as an acheivement :-/)... Still, it is an experience I treasure because it gave me a glimpse of mind states that are possible resulting in increased faith in the path... I've had many such drug experiences but that was many years ago and am now strictly a meditator... The 7th Jhana resonates but I take your point that it difficult to say for sure and only a rough guesstimate... once again thanks!... (and if you could see whats up with the 'MCTB appendix' link, that would be great).

RE: Did I experience ‘nirodha-samapatti’?
Answer
10/23/16 1:46 AM as a reply to Myles Davidson.
The point about drug experiences not mapping is relevant, but still some comparisons can be provided.

The suggestion about Nothingness is a good possibility, as might be the 6th jhana, Boundless Consciousness, but this often has a sense of spaciousness to it that is pronounced. There are other experiences that get described like this, including "Ground of Being" experiences, "Substrate Consciousness" and the like.

Still, the point about mastery, being able to learn to access these things on your own, is an important one, as repeated tastes of that sort of territory can be very informative, and the effects of substances are quite variable and unpredictable. Still, one taste of that sort of thing may be a draw and inspiration to learn how to re-enter similar territory on your own power.

RE: Did I experience ‘nirodha-samapatti’?
Answer
10/23/16 3:39 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
[quote=]Still, one taste of that sort of thing may be a draw and inspiration to learn how to re-enter similar territory on your own power.
Hi Daniel
Have been very excited to have come across you and your work. The quote highlighted sums it up nicely for me. I have your book on it's way in the mail. Can't wait to read it!
Kudos to you my friend emoticon
Myles

RE: Did I experience ‘nirodha-samapatti’?
Answer
10/24/16 2:03 AM as a reply to Myles Davidson.
Thanks. I hope it helps you practice well. Be sure to fill in with the other sources it references, as they help make it more complete and more balanced.

RE: Did I experience ‘nirodha-samapatti’?
Answer
10/24/16 5:10 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Thanks. I hope it helps you practice well. Be sure to fill in with the other sources it references, as they help make it more complete and more balanced.

Will do. Arrived today emoticon