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Experiences before concentration

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Experiences before concentration
concentration jhana access concentration strange experience experience practice
Answer
12/7/17 6:27 AM
After a long period of not meditating daily I finally decided to go back to serious meditation. I do not know if it happens to you (this is really my first direct interaction with a community of serious meditators), but when I apply concentration to an object (like rising and falling of the abdomen) at some point I notice that the object disappears all together, I have not reached jhana but it feels like something before access concentration. Then afterwards I am brought into a sort of internal dark space  in which if I chose to certain visions of moving colors  (sometimes images  and even storylines) occur. This state still has awareness with a more relaxed form of concentration. It feels very much like a dream, but it does not have that "unawareness" quality. Hvaing the context right I got a few questions:

1) What is your explanation of that state, is it a normal occurence?

2)Do you think if I meditated longer it will go away or get more reinforced?

3)How do I go around and established a more firm base for concentration?

RE: Experiences before concentration
Answer
12/8/17 4:32 AM as a reply to Bhumi.
IF like you said, you have attained SE, then your sessions always begin with A&P and what you described above, could be that. What you described could also be any of the stages prior to A&P, which means you have not attained SE. IME post-SE, there is no striving to attain Access Concentration, as the nanas are cycling just beneath the surface. A slight intent to perceive them will render their dance. You can try to attain to fruitions by willing it to happen. But to be frank, mulling over this SE business is nothing but added suffering. Assume you are starting from scratch and practice with equanimity with whatever pops up. SE or not - there is plenty of road on the path nonetheless.


If you are trying to do concentration practice, your attention should be locked onto the object. What you have described above is Vipassana/Insight Meditation. Since you have already entered with ease, you have sufficient concentration capabilities. Samatha can be a frustrating business, best to leave it alone for now.

Have fun!

RE: Experiences before concentration
Answer
12/8/17 4:47 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
I think you are right about this stream-entry business as it could be a double edged sword. I am doing my best to try things with a beginner's mind but it is just that my whole experience has radically changed since that time. With what I already have and might be experiencing, what meditation do you recommend to balance out the concentration and the mindfulness?

RE: Experiences before concentration
Answer
12/8/17 5:09 AM as a reply to Bhumi.
I am going to be as frank as possible because it will help to eliminate unnecessary suffering if you drop them now. 

1. Drop having doubts about practice. Just practice -> all the answers are there. The more you ask and know, the harder it is. You already have access concentration. It doesn't matter if the navel goes to the moon. All that matters is that you are paying attention to what is happening. All kinds of weird things will happen. Everything that you are supposed to notice are there. Things that dissapear will dissapear, knowing that they did is your only job. There is no quiz asking you: "Where's Wally?" at the end.
2. Noticing things come and go. 5 word complete instructions.
3. Besst to assume no attainments. Any attainment means you have to live them. That alone is suffering.
4. Drop all the theoretical questions. I would ask you back, how do we measure concentration and scale that with mindfulness? By weight vs length? If you do not have a problem, they are in acceptable balance.

You described going through a stage of Insight: you are doing fine, drop fear/worry/doubt and keep walking. The fruits await at the end of practice not at the last page of any book. emoticon

RE: Experiences before concentration
Answer
12/8/17 5:16 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Hahaha thanks for the reminder I think I may have gotten to focused on the 'grasping part' and not on the 'observe and letting go' side. I will follow your advice and keep practicing without expectation.