3rd Jhana: Your experience of it & how best to shift into & hold it?

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neem nyima, modified 11 Years ago.

3rd Jhana: Your experience of it & how best to shift into & hold it?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 10/21/09 Recent Posts
I found a clearer sense of A&P away as a result of my practice with the 2nd Jhana.
I'm beginning to have some experiences of the third Jhana, (and think I may have had a mild experience of the Equanimity it felts a lot like A&P but not buzzy or so sensually orientated.)

I believe a clear definition of the third Jhana may help me see it more clearly or relax into it more easily. Maybe someone has some advice on ways of encouraging the shifting from the second into the third.

Having a clear picture of the third Jhana will help me see the process or the stages of the dark night more clearly. I find it helpful to be able to perceive these experiences more clearly so that I can recognise them when they arise and move through them clearly noticing the transitions.

I will greatfully appreciate any contributions, -Neem.
Trent H., modified 11 Years ago.

RE: 3rd Jhana: Your experience of it & how best to shift into & hol

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi,

A year or so ago I wrote most of a 100 some page book on the samatha jhanas (never got around to finishing it, maybe some day...), but here are some tidbits I tried to glean out of it for you (paraphrasing parts of the rough draft, below). I haven't even looked at this material for quite some time...maybe it's useful, maybe not. One of the "angles" I took with the writing was that I was attempting to model and explain the jhanas in a very analytical way-- without much reference to feelings (which is the typical way they're talked about), so perhaps it will help provide a fresh way of looking at the territory...please let me know either way.

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Daniel uses the analogy of a donut to describe the shift from 2nd to 3rd jhana: “Moving from the second to the third jhana is like going from [attending to] the donut hole to [attending to] the outer edge of the donut, except that now [your body is] the center of the donut.” (I added a bit to this in the brackets, though he may disagree with my additions).

It's interesting to notice that as one moves from one jhana to the next, one's focus is progressively becoming more and more complex and includes more and more of your mind / body awareness. The 1st jhana was narrow and centered. The 2nd jhana was wide and frontal. The 3rd jhana is still felt to be somewhat “frontal,” but will feel much wider, complex and more inclusive than the 2nd jhana. This is due in part because the focus in the 3rd jhana splits into what seems like two spacial dimensions (the donut and donut hole). Because of the inclusion of the new spacial dimensions and their natural characteristics, accessing and stabilizing 3rd jhana must be done through a focus which is wider than the 2nd.

Accompanying this spacial quality is the sense that one is unable to clearly see the “center” of the jhana (the donut hole). This makes sense if we consider the middle to be “out of focus." As Daniel mentions, the middle is indicative of your whole body, which means you may also feel like you're transparent or vanishing from reality. This may sound frightening, but it is actually this dissolution which creates the 3rd jhana's pleasurable body relaxation, often described as “body buzz” or “body coolness.” (Note: I did not edit this part at all, and it did not have the appropriate citations to "Daniel" so please keep that in mind).

Attempting to pay attention to the "out of focus" center of the 3rd jhana will cause your mind to feel oppressed, destabilized or otherwise troubled. If you imagine your body (the donut hole) and your focus (the donut) to be two different magnetic charges, you may get a sense of what this will feel like. You simply cannot attend to the center of the donut; the jhana does not allow it.

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Trent
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neem nyima, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: 3rd Jhana: Your experience of it & how best to shift into & hol

Posts: 168 Join Date: 8/6/10 Recent Posts
Accompanying this spacial quality is the sense that one is unable to clearly see the “center” of the jhana (the donut hole). This makes sense if we consider the middle to be “out of focus." As Daniel mentions, the middle is indicative of your whole body, which means you may also feel like you're transparent or vanishing from reality. This may sound frightening, but it is actually this dissolution which creates the 3rd jhana's pleasurable body relaxation, often described as “body buzz” or “body coolness.”


Thanks Trent I like the bit about the body being transparent, and I know what you mean. I had a period recently where I was sort of mistaking, the 2nd Jhana for the third and the possible the 3rd for the 4th. Any way that meant I was finding it very hard to access the fourth, because I wasn't sure what the third was, To me, one of the main distinctions between the third and the fourth is body bliss/pleasure and equanimity. In the fourth the bliss changes to equanimity and there is a unification of the mind.
i was hanging out in the third with that bodily bliss and spaciousness of attention and trying to cultivate rapture and then getting pulled back into the second as the focus on joy in the mind narrowed my field of attention, to me and away from the space and sounds around me. It's funny how in the third vipassana stage, things can get so intense, but be quite far-out and spacey and blissfully buzz in the 3rd jhana. I find it a lot easier to move between A&P and the 2nd jhana, but difficult making the shift with the third. To get the third quite good, I really need to go up through the jhana's more exclusively.
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neem nyima, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: 3rd Jhana: Your experience of it & how best to shift into & hol

Posts: 168 Join Date: 8/6/10 Recent Posts
My views and assumptions about jhana here are wrong.

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