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Jhana using nada sound

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Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/22/17 4:45 PM
I managed to get into a jhana for few seconds for the first time in my life. It felt like glowing bliss in all of the body. The pleasure was too intense too handle and I couldn't hold it.

The problem is, I don't really remember what I did exactly. 

I've a high pitched sound in left ear. If I listen to it, it "expands" into cicadas and a new mosquito tone. There's a similar tone in right ear and a morse-code-like tone. I think I tried to focus on both tones at the same time. After some time tones got louder and I felt intense vibrations on my upper lip. Suddenly, something "synchronised" and I entered jhana. New delightful chirping sound was there - it was fascinating to listen to. The glowing stuff behind my eyelids morphed into a highly symmetrical shape - like a simple mandala.

Does anyone have experience with this technique? I think it's not good that I've different tones in ears - should I focus on the quieter tone in right ear to turn its volume up and the hold them both in attention? what do you think?

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/23/17 7:39 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
Cool beans!

Traditionally I think one would be advised to listen to the sound in the right ear, and to the more high-pitched sounds. I never heard anybody say that subjectively they thought it made much of a difference.

I've had similar experiences to yours, and noticed that there seems to be a postural element as well as the sound current. So I'm aligned as if being lifted up by a 'topknot', or more like the upright engaged position you'd have in a standing posture - core engaged, lengthened down the spine, chin tucked. I've no idea if that's relevant or helpful.

Rich

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/23/17 4:19 PM as a reply to Rich Lee.
What's the reason for listening to the sound in the right ear? Is it because I've a subtler tone there?

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/24/17 7:25 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
I have exactly the same phenomena, Paul, almost exactly - A ringing tone in my left ear and a silkier, more discreet/digital tone that has a kind of 'texture' to it in the right. I read the instruction to listen to the right in a book that came out a few years ago called "The Guru-Free Guide to Nada Yoga". However I never got very far with it. Interestingly, the only time I've got to a jhanic state with it is when trying to listen to both at once, like you - with a similar richly patterned brightening behind the eyelids. I've not really tried to do it since, but it's compelling that there's someone else with the same experience, I will give it another go.

Edit: I'll note that I spent most of my early twenties being very irresponsible with my ears and I've always just put it down to tinnitus as a result.

My guess as to why this possibly works is that hearing is a much 'closer' and simpler sense to detect with clarity - it's very obvious with concentration applied to noting that something is being listened to on the left or right hand side, rather than the many variagated possible locations that move and shift in body sensations. By listening to 'both' at once, attention is shifting rapidly from the left 'stream' to the right and back again - and with concentration applied you notice this quite clearly with relative ease, it all slows down and becomes clear that attention is moving at a frequency - so the 'syncing' feeling you described could be related to this?

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/24/17 7:49 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
Lewis, I'll check the book you mentioned. As to the syncing feeling, i think both hemispheres started to vibrate in harmony (whatever that means). The light pattern was similar to the central square on this image:




these are 'cymatics'. Did you see a similar pattern?

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/24/17 8:53 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
Paul Smith:
What's the reason for listening to the sound in the right ear? Is it because I've a subtler tone there?

If the tone seems subtler/higher then yes, follow that. It could shift to the left next week though, and you'd likewise follow that.

The instruction comes from light&sound, shabd, nada yoga Hindu-based traditions - Sant Mat, Surat Shabd Yoga, Divine Light Mission and so on. I don't recall hearing a technical reason for it.

We're getting into what many might consider woo. I know Daniel with his fire kasina and magical work has encountered weird stuff, and IME that's very easy to come across. But you're still 'within form' in a sense, and the stuff maps to etheric/astral/.../atmic in many esoteric systems.

These other traditions though have the idea of revelation/initiation into the sound current by a master, and state that other sounds one might hear are merely body sounds and concentrating on them won't confer any 'spiritual' benefit. A genuine initiation (in their terms) would open the initiate to 'higher dimensions' beyond those in the models I touched on above, and it's definitely the case that (some) people have outrageous and persistent unity/enlightenment experiences doing those practices with those initiations.

Hmmm... I reckon that if you're inclined to a materialist view and are doing secular shamatha/vipassana practices then it doesn't matter how you attend to the sound current - it's just an object of meditation. If you're more of a vitalist then you might want to go and find one of these initiations that claims to get people enlightened quickly and push it to see where it leads.

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/24/17 9:03 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
Yes, quite similar, though it's a bit hard to remember now - I tend to get a lot of shifting 'blobs' of light as I approach access concentration and when I tried this out they sort of phased into vivid symmetrical almost mechanical looking patterns.

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/24/17 12:07 PM as a reply to Lewis James.
If anyone is wondering why it's advised to use tones in the right ear: according to this article, "it is the left hemisphere that usually contains the specialized language areas". Since sounds from right ear are processed in left hemisphere, listening to right ear sounds 'disables' language processing, because it's hard to speak and listen at the same time. This quiets the internal dialogue.

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
10/25/17 3:45 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
Interesting, thanks for the info - I've never really noticed a difference when using either side, though I'm left handed which can often mean the lateralisation for various activities - and language processing in particular - is swapped or more 'balanced' between the two (left handed people aren't accepted into brain scan studies for this reason).

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
1/7/18 1:23 PM as a reply to Paul Smith.
I'm hoping not to be a bother in asking the previous posters for updates. I was delighted to find this post, as I've had similar experiences and there's not many resources for this technique.

Particularly, I'm curious about what you've discovered about entering jhana in this fashion. Now that you have the sound on hand, is it the easiest way to enter absorption?

If I concentrate on merging the tones from both ears, does that conflict with the jhana factor of one-pointedness?

What's the nimitta when using this sound, and how should it be attended? Should I follow new tones as they arise? And can I attend to the visuals with equal vigor as they arise?

When I had these absorption experiences on a retreat, they were pure piti (no sukkha). Is that a jhana, or something else? Did you experience sukkha?

And, if you had to guess, why isn't NADA being discussed? Is it rare for people to hear? Does it not bare the same fruits as other meditation objects?

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
1/8/18 4:13 AM as a reply to Rooster.
Teacher told me jhanas are like a spectrum, not a binary thing.

I'm experimenting myself to see what works. 

Bliss was too intense to investigate its characteristics - I noticed only piti, it was a clear and distinct state (1st jhana).

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
6/11/18 1:20 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
I noticed the nada sound only appear when there is some attention/awareness exist. So I use it as same as Ajahn Sumedho suggested - as a reminder to bring back the attention to the present moment. My teacher did warned that the "sound" could be a concept hence not showing impermenance. I understood his view, but I also see it as a skillful mean to bring back the awareness. Like a gate keeper, always remind if the mind wandering. 

The nada sound is even more natural/relaxing than the breath. Nada sound can be use like a background of awareness for other objects come in. I'm not using it as a samatha practice but as a support for mindfulness practice.

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
6/13/18 2:02 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
Mahasiddhi Vinapa realized mahamudra through nada yoga.There is also a mention of nada technique in Surangama Sutra.

The core practice is found in the Nadabindu Upanishad: sit in siddhasana, do vaishnavi mudra, listening to the internal sounds in the right ear. After some time listening to the different sounds, following whatever may rise, one eventually hears sounds like a "great kettle-drum", the sign that one should now focus on moving to subtler and subtler sounds, at last focusing solely on a single sound, achieving absorption into the nadi. The sound persists during the absorptions, the practice continues, eventually leading the yogi into the Turyia state behind the waking, dreaming and formless sleeping realms, where the yogi is delivered into the silence that is at the heart of AUM. Where the nadi ceases, the mind ceases.

Rooster:
I'm hoping not to be a bother in asking the previous posters for updates. I was delighted to find this post, as I've had similar experiences and there's not many resources for this technique.

Particularly, I'm curious about what you've discovered about entering jhana in this fashion. Now that you have the sound on hand, is it the easiest way to enter absorption?

If I concentrate on merging the tones from both ears, does that conflict with the jhana factor of one-pointedness?

What's the nimitta when using this sound, and how should it be attended? Should I follow new tones as they arise? And can I attend to the visuals with equal vigor as they arise?

When I had these absorption experiences on a retreat, they were pure piti (no sukkha). Is that a jhana, or something else? Did you experience sukkha?

And, if you had to guess, why isn't NADA being discussed? Is it rare for people to hear? Does it not bare the same fruits as other meditation objects?


- very easy to enter jhana through the nada when established. listening is a very intuitive, immediate thing.

-no idea, I have only used right ear tones. will experiment.

-always follow the subtler tones, ever more subtle. when you think you have the subtlest, focus on that. eventually an even subtler will be revealed. focus on the sounds, not on visions or other phenomena. the nadi persists through the blisses, through the formless joys.

edit: as for why nada is not as common as other methods; i'm not sure. When I first tried it, I did not get any real results, just a lot of bizarre sounds chirping and clicking and buzzing. It was only later, when already having success with other concentration techniques, that I revisited it, and found it an intuitive and easy way. There is also this whole strange theory of the universe as occult sound waves at the bottom of it, of how any and all experience can be created, annihilated or modulated by the sonic yogi who masters the nada and eventually realizing the empty silence it flows from.

RE: Jhana using nada sound
Answer
7/13/18 8:01 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
The following is from my own model/research so it's keyboard jockeyish in places but I think it's on the right track.

Firstly, the high-pitched whine is from the left and right vagus nerves. These nerves innervate ears, heart, lungs and digestive tract, all implicated in meditation phenomena.

Secondly, I rate a "true" breath jhana by whether or not the high-pitched whine is present. This shows vagal activation. The left ear is the most important as this shows the right hemisphere is calming and unifying, and that is the important hemisphere regarding meditation since it is "the unconscious" with left hemisphere broadly correlating with the "ego".

High-pitched tones tend to appear during any successful concentration meditation. When using them as the object, in my experience you want to do it this way:

- Find wherever the tone is dominant -- left ear, right ear, or in between. It will tend to move around with, I assume, the natural flip-flop between hemispheres the brain goes through as part of its circadian rhythm.

- Do not be an "active listener" which I am using to mean "trying to interfere with the tone by jamming awareness into it). Instead, be a passive listener. The best way to do this, I have found, is to let the tone FLOW. This can be as simple as saying, "Flow" in your mind then sitting back and letting the process unfold.

- Letting the tone flow UP seems to have a beneficial effect on overall flow.

The high-pitched whine developing more strongly in the left ear is the giveaway for jhana developing. It might eventually get extremely loud then "pop" and become completely silent -- more silent than you have ever "heard", correlating with extreme mental silence.

The reason the instruction is given to listen to the tone on the right side first goes something like this:

- That is the left hemisphere. The left hemisphere is easier to "tune into"/manipulate because it is the dominant, "active" hemisphere.
- There seems to be a "principle of symmetry" in the body whereby activity on one side will tend to want to be "matched" by activity on the other. So, creating vagal tone in the right side of the body (easier to do since it's the left hemisphere) will create a sympathetic activation on the left side.

When the left tone begins to increase in volume this is actually a passive process caused by what you are doing with your attention elsewhere. As I said earlier, left side tone happens during many successful concentration meditations. The tone is a result of what you are doing, rather than a cause.

The short version of my instructions is:

1) Find tone wherever it is.
2) Let it flow UP.
3) Sit back and allow the process to unfold.
4) Do not try to manipulate it.

I will be interested to hear back whether that helped recreate your experience. Hopefully it will take you even further into absorption.